The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 fantasy adventure film, directed by Peter Jackson. It is the first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films, based on the best-selling novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film tells the story of young hobbit Frodo Baggins who, accompanied by eight companions, embarks on a journey to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.
The screenplay was first started by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson in 1997, and eventually it was reaching completion in tandem with its filming, on location in New Zealand. The film had a budget of about $180 million U.S. dollars, principal photography took 14 months, and post production continued long after that. It was also a great box office success, making over $871 million worldwide and was the fifth highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release (behind Titanic, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Jurassic Park). After the 2011 re-release of The Lion King and the 2012 re-release of Finding Nemo, it is currently the 68th highest-grossing film of all time.
The film is the first Middle-earth film adaptation to be released, and the fourth in Middle-earth chronology.
Sauron, the Dark Lord, has awakened and threatens to conquer Middle-earth. To stop this ancient evil once and for all, Frodo Baggins must destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Men, Hobbits, a wizard, an Elf, and a Dwarf form a fellowship to help him on his quest.
He travels from his home in the Shire with fellow hobbits Sam, Merry, and Pippin. They go to the town of Bree, where the group meets a shadowy figure known only as Strider. Pursued by Black Riders, they must get to Rivendell. Upon their arrival a council is convened, which decides the only course of action must be to take The Ring to Mordor and destroy it. Frodo is joined by his friends Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, and Gandalf; and newcomers Gimli, Legolas, and Boromir. They try to cross over the Misty Mountains by way of the Pass of Caradhras, but Saruman's magic forces them to turn back and travel underneath, through the mines of Moria. It is here that the Fellowship encounters a Balrog. Gandalf challenges the Balrog, and falls from the Bridge of Khazad-dûm into a chasm, presumably to his death. The Fellowship (excluding Gandalf) then travel to the country of the elves in Lothlórien, and down the Great River on boats, where the company splits during an attack by Uruk-hai. Boromir is killed, and Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas split off to track the Uruk-hai who have captured Merry and Pippin. Frodo and Sam head east in the direction of Mordor.
Following his 111th birthday party, Bilbo Baggins gives the Ring to his nephew, Frodo. After some time, the wizard Gandalf the Grey begins to suspect Bilbo's magic ring may be The One Ring, lost for over three-thousand years, and rides to Minas Tirith for discernment and confirmation of this suspicion - he is taken to a small room filled with many books and historical documents. After poring over old documents for months, he finds the account of the finding of the One Ring. Gandalf learns that the Ring has several lines of Black Speech written on it that are only visible if the Ring is heated with fire. He returns to Bag End only to learn that the ring Frodo has been holding onto is, in fact, Sauron's One Ring. Gandalf tells Frodo to leave the Shire immediately with the Ring. Gandalf catches Samwise Gamgee eavesdropping by a window and decides to send him along with Frodo. Gandalf rides to Isengard to meet with Saruman the White who reveals to Gandalf that the Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths, have left Minas Morgul to capture the Ring and kill whoever carries it. Gandalf attempts to flee to warn Frodo, but Saruman, having already been corrupted to Sauron's cause, imprisons Gandalf atop his tower Orthanc. Gandalf is then forced to watch as Saruman, following Sauron's orders, commands the Orcs of Isengard to construct weapons of war and produce a new breed of Orc fighters called the Uruk-Hai.
While traveling to the town of Bree, Frodo and Sam are soon joined by fellow hobbits, Merry and Pippin. After encountering a Ringwraith on the road, they manage to reach Bree only to discover that Gandalf hasn't arrived yet. Instead, Frodo meets a man called "Strider", who agrees to lead them to Rivendell. They continue traveling and spend the night on the hill of Weathertop, where they are attacked by the Nazgûl. Strider fights off the Ringwraiths, but Frodo is grievously wounded by one of the wraiths that stabbed him with a Morgul blade, which will cause him to turn into a wraith if not attended to with the proper care. While chased by the Nazgûl, Frodo is taken by the Elf Arwen to the Elven haven of Rivendell, and healed by her father, Elrond (the leader of the Elves at the battle of Mount Doom three-thousand years before). Arwen also uses her magic to cut off the pursuing Ringwraiths at the Ford of Bruinen, summoning a surge of water that sweeps the Ringwraiths away.
In Rivendell, Frodo finds Gandalf, who explains why he didn't meet them at Bree and that he had escaped Orthanc and Saruman's clutches with the help of an eagle. Later, Elrond calls a council to decide what should be done with the Ring. Elrond warns against keeping the Ring in Rivendell for long, knowing that the Elven realm could come under attack from both Mordor and Isengard. The Ring can only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom, where it was forged. Frodo volunteers to take the Ring to Mount Doom and is accompanied by his hobbit friends and Gandalf, as well as Strider, who is revealed to be Aragorn, the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. Also travelling with them are the Elf Legolas, the Dwarf Gimli, and Boromir, the son of the Steward of Gondor. Together they comprise and become the Fellowship of the Ring.The Fellowship sets out and tries to pass over the Misty Mountains by the mountain pass of Caradhras. Saruman creates an enormous storm, triggering avalanches and heavy snowfall, which nearly wipes out the Fellowship. At Gimli's insistence, they decide to seek safety and travel under the mountain through The Mines of Moria. Frodo agrees, but while travelling they are attacked by the Watcher in the Water, forcing them to travel through the mines. Inside, they encounter Goblins and a cave troll in the Chamber of Mazarbul, and encounter a Balrog, an ancient demon of fire and shadow, at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf faces the Balrog on the bridge and manages to send it plunging into the abyss below, but the monster drags him down with it. The group escapes the underground realm and flees into the Elven realm of Lothlórien, where they are sheltered by its rulers, Galadriel and her husband Celeborn. That night, Frodo meets Galadriel, who tells him that it is his destiny to handle the Ring and ultimately destroy it. Before they leave, Galadriel gives Frodo the Phial of Galadriel, and the other members also receive gifts from them. Taking the straight path to Mordor, they travel on the River Anduin towards Parth Galen.
After landing at Parth Galen, Boromir tries to take the Ring from Frodo, believing it to be the only way to save his realm, but Frodo escapes him. Aragorn encounters Frodo, but unlike Boromir, Aragorn manages to resist the Ring's temptation and chooses not to take it. Knowing that the Ring's temptation will be too strong for him or anyone else that is in the fellowship, Frodo decides to leave them and go to Mordor alone. Meanwhile, the rest of the Fellowship are attacked by Uruk-hai, who Saruman had ordered to hunt down the Fellowship and take the Ring. Aragorn and the fellowship distract the Uruk-hai so that Frodo can escape; Merry and Pippin, also realizing that Frodo is leaving, distract the orcs, allowing Frodo to escape. As Boromir rushes to the aid of the two hobbits, he is mortally wounded by the Uruk commander Lurtz. Before Lurtz can finish off Boromir, Aragorn arrives and attacks Lurtz, decapitating him after a short but brutal fight. As he lies dying, Boromir regrets having attempted to steal the Ring and is forgiven by Aragorn. Merry and Pippin are then captured, prompting Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas to begin their pursuit of the orcs with the intent of rescuing the hobbits - leaving Frodo to continue his quest. Frodo returns to the banks of the river and begins rowing across when Sam appears and swims out after him, insisting he has promised Gandalf he would look after Frodo. Frodo accepts Sam's presence and together they continue their journey through the hills of Emyn Muil.
Cast in alphabetical order
- Noel Appleby as Everard Proudfoot
- Sean Astin as Sam
- Sala Baker as Sauron
- Sean Bean as Boromir
- Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
- Orlando Bloom as Legolas
- Billy Boyd as Pippin
- Marton Csokas as Celeborn
- Megan Edwards as Mrs. Proudfoot
- Michael Elsworth as Gondorian archivist
- Mark Ferguson as Gil-galad
- Ian Holm as Bilbo
- Christopher Lee as Saruman
- Lawrence Makoare as Lurtz
- Brent McIntyre as Witch-king of Angmar
- Ian McKellen as Gandalf
- Peter McKenzie as Elendil
- Sarah McLeod as Rosie Cotton
- Dominic Monaghan as Merry
- Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
- Craig Parker as Haldir
- Cameron Rhodes as Farmer Maggot
- John Rhys-Davies as Gimli
- Martyn Sanderson as the Gate keeper of Bree
- Andy Serkis as Gollum
- Harry Sinclair as Isildur
- Liv Tyler as Arwen
- David Weatherley as Barliman Butterbur
- Hugo Weaving as Elrond
- Elijah Wood as Frodo
"Hero Orcs", Goblins, Uruk-hai, & Ringwraiths
- Victoria Beynon-Cole
- Lee Hartley
- Sam La Hood
- Chris Streeter
- Jonathan Jordan
- Semi Kuresa
- Clinton Ulyatt
- Paul Bryson
- Lance Fabian Kemp
- Jono Manks
- Ben Price
- Phil Grieve (fifth listed in the extended edition)
Extended Edition only
- Jodi Carlisle as "woman"
- Betty Adams
- Timothy Bartlett as Robin Smallburrow
- Bob Blackwell
- John Christophers
- Taea Hartwell as Cute Hobbit Child
- Jill Jackson
- Jeff Kingsford as Party Hobbit
- Bernie Lord
- Liz Merton as Hobbit band member
- Tom Walsh as Fredegar Bolger
- Many others
Men of Bree
The Fellowship of the Ring makes extensive use of digital, practical and makeup special effects throughout, as well as computer effects harnessed by Weta Workshop's sibling group Weta Digital, which Jackson helped found. Many documentaries found in "Part Two" From Vision to Reality" (the fourth disc of the Extended Edition release) cover this area of the production process.
Personnel who worked on the special effects included Andrew Lesnie, Stephen Regelous, Paul Lasaine, Jeremy Bennett, John Labrie, Alex Funke, Brian Van't Hul, Gray Horsfield, Mark O. Forker of Digital Domain, and overall creative supervisor Richard Taylor.
One noticeable effect appearing in most scenes involves setting a proper scale so that the characters are all the proper height. Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, is 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) tall in real life; but the character of Frodo Baggins is barely four feet tall. Many different tricks were used to cast the hobbits and Gimli as diminutive. Large and small stunt doubles were used in certain scenes, while entire duplicates of certain sets (especially Bag End in Hobbiton) were built at two different scales, so that the characters would appear to be the appropriate size. At one point in the film Frodo runs along a corridor in Bag End, followed by Gandalf. Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen were filmed in separate versions of the same corridor, built at two different scales, and a fast camera pan conceals the edit between the two. Forced perspective was also employed so that it would look as though the short hobbits were interacting with taller Men and Elves. Kneeling was used to great effect for size compensation, to the surprise of many, as were over-sized body costumes (called "Big Rigs") and midget actors wearing masks of the Hobbits' faces.
For the battle between the Last Alliance and the forces of Sauron that begins the film, an elaborate CGI animation system, called Massive, was developed that would allow thousands of individual animated "characters" in the program to act independently. This helped give the illusion of realism to the battle sequences.
A list of filming locations, sorted by appearance order in the movie:
in New Zealand
in New Zealand
|Gardens of Isengard||Harcourt Park||Upper Hutt|
|The Shire woods||Otaki Gorge Road|
|Bucklebury Ferry||Keeling Farm||Manakau|
|Forest near Bree||Takaka Hill||Nelson|
|Ford of Bruinen||Arrowtown Recreational Reserve||Queenstown|
|Rivendell||Kaitoke Regional Park||Upper Hutt|
|Azanulbizar||Lake Alta||The Remarkables|
|River Anduin||Rangitikei River|
|River Anduin||Poets' Corner||Upper Hutt|
|Amon Hen||Mavora Lakes||Milford Sound|
- "(I amar prestar aen.) The world is changed. (Han mathon ne nen.) I feel it in the water. (Han mathon ne chae.) I feel it in the earth. (A han noston ned 'wilith.) I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it."
- "Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death, and many that die deserve life. Can you give that to them, Frodo?"
- —Gandalf speaking to Frodo in Moria
- "One does not simply walk into Mordor."
- —Boromir to the Council at Rivendell
- "Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!"
- —Gandalf to Pippin
- "It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing."
- —Boromir talking about the One Ring
- "I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. "Don't you leave him Samwise Gamgee." And I don't mean to. I don't mean to."
- —Samwise Gamgee to Frodo Baggins
- "If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. You have my sword..."
"...and you have my bow..."
"...and my axe."
"You carry the fate of us all, little one. If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done."
- —Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir to Frodo Baggins
- "In the common tongue it reads "One Ring to Rule Them All. One Ring to Find Them. One Ring to Bring Them All and In The Darkness Bind Them"."
- —Gandalf talking of the letters in the One Ring
- "In place of a Dark Lord you would have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Dawn! Treacherous as the Sea! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!"
- —Galadriel after Frodo Baggins offers her the One Ring
- "I gave you the chance... of aiding me willingly... but you have elected the way of... PAIN!"
- —Saruman to Gandalf
- "I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened."
"So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought."
- —Frodo Baggins and Gandalf
- " Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."
- "Gentlemen! We do not stop until nightfall."
"What about breakfast?"
"We've already had it."
"We've had one yes. What about second breakfast?"
"I don't think he knows about second breakfast Pippin."
"Well, what about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them doesn't he?"
"I wouldn't count on it"
- —Aragorn, Pippin, and Meriadoc Brandybuck
- "We're coming too!"
"You'll have to send us home tied up in sacks to stop us!"
"Anyway, you'll need people of intelligence on this sort of journey... quest... thing."
"Well in that case that rules you out Pip"
- —Pippin and Merry
- "Nine companions...So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring."
"Great...Where are we going?""
- —Elrond and Pippin
Deviations from the source material
A small but vocal minority of admirers of the original book raised some concerns when the film was released, complaining that the movie's screenplay made a number of changes to Tolkien's story. Many of these protests seemed to be rather minor concerns and were largely ignored by general movie going audiences. However, more than a few people expressed surprise when the movie's plot diverged from that of the book in what might be considered more fundamental ways.
- Bilbo's birthday party was actually a combined birthday party for himself and Frodo (who was 33) since they share the same birthday. The (controversial) number of guests invited to the party (144) was determined by adding their ages together.
- The Hobbits' adventures on the way from the Shire to Bree, which occupy over five chapters of the novel, were drastically cut, implying that the journey took place over a much shorter period of time. This material includes the Hobbits' interaction with Tom Bombadil, who is completely absent from the film, along with Goldberry. The time the Hobbits spend in Bree itself is also significantly shortened, and their acquisition of the pony, Bill, is missing. Also missing is an entire subplot in which Frodo pretends to be moving back to his ancestral home in Buckland, with the help of his Hobbit friends (who, in the book, turn out to be Sam's co-conspirators and are introduced quite differently).
- The character of Saruman has a significant presence within the film. In the novel, Saruman was only mentioned by Gandalf at the Council of Elrond, but in the film his encounter with Gandalf is shown in full. The book does not explain how Gandalf was held captive, but the film shows Gandalf and Saruman engage in a rather violent wizard duel which results in Gandalf's capture. Saruman is also credited with influencing the storm on Caradhras, which in the film is more dangerous and almost results in the Fellowship's death.
- The character Radagast is absent, meaning that Gwaihir is summoned to Isengard by a different means; Gandalf communicates with a small moth which alerts Gwaihir.
- Old Man Willow was transplanted to Fangorn Forest (in the extended version of The Two Towers).
- At The Prancing Pony, when Pippin exposes them, Frodo does not entertain the room or sing his song, but tries to reach Pippin, which still results in his fall and "disappearing act".
- Arwen Evenstar has a far greater role; her replacement of the character of Glorfindel from the novel raised the ire of many dedicated Tolkien fans. Additionally, she is shown to have great power when she causes the River Bruinen to flood and wash away the Ringwraiths. In the book, this was the work of Elrond and Gandalf.
- The Council of Elrond is trimmed to focus only the matter of the Ring, rather than any of the history surrounding it. Gimili also tries to destroy the ring with his axe, but fails, with the Ring shattering his axe's blade. Glóin appears, but has no speaking lines.
- In the film, Sam Gamgee is treated as an adult at Bilbo Baggins' farewell party; in the books, he was only 21 (still 12 years from his coming of age). Perhaps more significantly, Frodo appears much younger. The seventeen year time period between the party and Gandalf's return to the Shire is significantly shortened. This tightening of the timespan occurs frequently.
- The characterization of Boromir is expanded somewhat, and his final stand at Amon Hen is included on-screen (an event which takes place in the next volume of the books). This change has been received fairly positively. Additionally, it's the Uruk-Hai who attack instead of Orcs, and the Uruk who kills him is a character created for the purpose of the film, named Lurtz in the script.
- Frodo informs Aragorn of his departure from the Fellowship. Also, he leaves in his boat in plain sight (unlike the book, where tried to leave while wearing the Ring).
- Boromir's lust for the ring was made more evident in the film, to the point where certain characters openly speak of his treachery. Galadriel directly warns Frodo that Boromir will attempt to take the ring from him. In the extended edition, Gandalf also warns Frodo.
Other fans explain that, compared to the many film adaptations of literary works over the years, many of which bear little or no resemblance to the source material, this film and the remainder of the trilogy are still very faithful adaptations, with some changes necessary due to the differing limitations of film.
Some fans also felt that movie producers missed the linguistic basis of the work (as Tolkien invented the world to bring his languages alive and not the other way around):
In particular, Namárië, Galadriel's lament in Lórien that begins "Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen", did not appear in the film, although Tolkien considered it one of the highest points of The Fellowship of the Ring. A few lines of the poem do, however, make it into the soundtrack at the departure from Lórien. Other samples of Elvish language from the books are treated similarly. However, Elvish (most often Sindarin) is spoken extensively in the film, with and without subtitles. The Elvish lines were, for the most part, devised specifically for the film version, sometimes based on English text written by Tolkien.
The movie features numerous books and artifacts with Tengwar inscriptions. Even though they were researched for accuracy, they still show a couple of peculiarities and inconsistencies not found in Tolkien's own Tengwar samples.
Another idiosyncrasy of the films is that Hobbit writing is shown in the Latin alphabet, while the books state that the Hobbits used the Tengwar. However, the Latin calligraphy is written in such a way that it bears resemblance to the Tengwar, including tehtar above their corresponding vowels. This refers visually to the Tengwar while allowing the audience to immediately recognise the text.
One can perform a comparative analysis of the film and the book by comparing scenes to chapters and comparing time to pages. Those chapters that have low pages per minute values are chapters that have been given focus in the movie, and the converse is true as well.
- Main article: Soundtracks of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy
The other nominated categories were:
- Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen),
- Best Art Direction-Set Decoration,
- Best Costume Design,
- Best Director,
- Best Editing,
- Best Music, Song (wikipedia:Enya, wikipedia:Nicky Ryan and wikipedia:Roma Ryan for "May It Be"),
- Best Picture,
- Best Sound, and
- Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.
After the close of its theater run, it ranked in the top ten highest grossing movies worldwide, with takings of $860,700,000 USA dollars from world-wide theatrical box office receipts (movie ticket sales). (Source: IMDB Top Movies Chart).
It has been voted Best Fantasy Film On Earth by movie fans.
The movie has also been released on videotape and DVD, with some editions having additional footage and commentary not included in the theatrical release edition. Notable among the restored scenes is additional footage of a smiling Galadriel bestowing gifts on the members of the fellowship. In the theatrical version, she appeared dark and brooding. On Tuesday, November 12, 2002, Special Extended DVD Edition of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released, containing 208 minutes (3 hours, 28 minutes) of footage.
On June 14, 2011, the digitally remastered version of Extended Edition of the film was re-released in theaters.
The extended editions of The Fellowship of the Ring and the second movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers had limited theatrical runs in selected cities worldwide in late 2003, during the run-up to the release of the final film, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, released in 2002.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, released in 2003.
Box office records
The film grossed approximately $871.5 million in box office (not including DVD and VHS sales), at an unadjusted-for-inflation rate. Adjusted for inflation, the total box office for this film is $1,075,835,513.
The Fellowship of the Ring was the lowest grossing film of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
- The Fellowship of the Ring - Book by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Fellowship of the Ring - For more information on the fellowship.
- Easter Eggs in the Lord of the Rings movies
|The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien|
|Books:||The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King|
|Movie trilogy:||The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King|
|Animated movies:||J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings | The Return of the King (TV special)|
|Miscellaneous:||The History of The Lord of the Rings | Lord of the Rings radio series|
|The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy|
- Music video for Enya's "May it Be" from "Fellowship of the Ring" Performed by Elena House
- "The Fellowship of the Ring" on Wikipedia