Before Peter Jackson decided to take on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, it had only existed in animated form. Most fans thought a live-action adaptation was impossible, given the scope of the work, but he managed to pull it off. His film series was so well-received, it's unlikely anyone will ever try to top it, and he even went on to adapt The Hobbit into another successful film trilogy.
It's been a few years since the Lord of the Rings trilogy made it to film, but how much does the average fan really know about it? So much went into making the movies, there are still quite a few details you maybe didn't know about the Lord of the Rings films.
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It Took Two Years To Make The Armor For The Movies
The trilogy features many extras and main characters wearing elaborate suits of armor, which were mostly composed of chainmail. All the armor was handmade, and designers needed two years to complete all the costumes.
They fabricated a total of 7 miles of chainmail, all by hand. Much of this went underneath plate or leather armor, so a lot of it wasn't even seen by the audience. A single suit of armor for an Orc required 13,000 individual rings, which took three days to make.
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Because Of His WWII Experience, Christopher Lee Knew The Sound A Person Would Make When Stabbed
During filming of The Lord of the Rings, Sir Christopher Lee had to correct director Peter Jackson about the sound a person would make when stabbed in the back. He pointed out that a person wouldn't scream "Argh" when that happened; they would instead say "uh." Lee, who knew because of his experiences during WWII, explained in an interview:
Have you any idea what kind of noise happens when somebody's stabbed in the back? Because I do. It's "uh" because the breath's driven out of your body.
Jackson went with Lee's "uh."
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The Uruk-hai Army Sound Was Made By Sports Fans In A Stadium
To get the proper sound he wanted for the Uruk-hai army, Peter Jackson turned to sports: He used the sound of 20,000 cricket fans for the Battle at Helm's Deep scenes. Jackson managed to create the sound he needed from a match on February 16, 2002, which pitted New Zealand against England at Westpac Trust Stadium in Wellington.
During the innings break, Jackson went onto the field with a microphone and led the fans in a series of howls, growls, and roars. The match itself was reportedly far less exciting than the small break Jackson took advantage of; Cricket Country described the match as "an insignificant, insipid encounter." New Zealand ended up the victor (244 to 89). The most memorable aspect was apparently the sound generated for an award-winning film.
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New Zealand's Government Appointed Its Own 'Lord and Minister of the Rings'
While the films were being developed, to take advantage of tourism and future filmmaking opportunities, the New Zealand government appointed to its cabinet what the New Zealand Herald called a "Lord and Minister of the Rings," Pete Hodgson, who also served as minister of energy. "This film will really put us on the map,” Hodgson said. "Not many people knew that Star Wars was in Morocco, but everyone will know that Middle Earth is in New Zealand."
Hodgson did his job well. The films boosted the country's tourism industry; numerous tours take the island's visitors to sites used as Lord of the Rings locations.