Some of the best movies of our generation come in threes. Think Star Wars, The Matrix, Indiana Jones, The Hunger Games: all hugely successful and spectacularly entertaining films in their own right. But by a clear mile (and then some), The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is the best ever, hands down. Here’s why:
1. Despite being turned down by every major Hollywood studio, all 3 LOTR movies were filmed back-to-back
Given the success we now know LOTR for, it’s hard to imagine Peter Jackson struggling to find anyone interested in it. But he did. In fact, the films were almost never made. After a blip with Miramax and then being turned down by all of the major Hollywood studios, only two smaller studios considered it: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and New Line Cinema.
New Line ultimately bought the rights and all three movies were filmed back-to-back – a first for any filmmaker.
2. Jackson’s attention to detail – even before filming began – is second-to-none
Director, Peter Jackson, wanted everything to look as realistic and believable as possible. Hobbiton was built a year in advance of filming to give the impression of real growth and age.
This included planting a vegetable garden and moving 5,000 cubic metres of earth to create roads.
3. Over 70 “miniature” sets were produced for the films, taking over 1,000 days to build
Weta (a special effects and prop company based in New Zealand) coined the term “bigature” for the 72 not-so-miniature sets produced for the films.
As the cameras were filming within inches of them, each of these “bigatures” had an extreme amount of detail so that post-production could make them look as real as possible.
One example is the white city of Minas Tirith – the largest set ever built in the Southern Hemisphere – which functioned as a small working city.
Due to the amount of detail each set required, the miniatures unit worked for over 1,000 days – more than any other special effects crew.
4. Every single prop was made from scratch
That’s right. Every. Single. Prop. In another first for any filmmaker, Jackson decided that every item in Middle-earth should be made from scratch. “I had to create the most believable world I could.
The decision was to make it feel very historical, with the levels of detail creating the illusion that the viewers were immersing themselves in a real world.”
Props included 900+ suits of hand-made armour, 20,000+ household/everyday items, and over 1,600 pairs of individually-sized prosthetic feet and ears.
5. The film score is a masterpiece on its own, taking 4 years to compose
Most composers spend around 10-12 weeks working on the music for a film. John Williams spent around 14 weeks on each Star Wars movie, and approximately 40 weeks for the entire original trilogy.
But Howard Shore spent almost 4 years composing, orchestrating, conducting and producing the recordings for the LOTR trilogy. Another reason why The Lord Of The Rings is the best trilogy ever.
6. Jackson’s eye for detail even extended to the costumes, with over 19,000 created
Ngila Dickson was hired 6 months before filming started to begin creating thousands of costumes. She and 40 seamstresses worked on over 19,000 costumes for the trilogy. 10 versions of each costume were made, with 30 more for stunt, scale, and other doubles. All in all, each design had 40 versions.
Jackson also wanted the costumes to have the same amount of realism as the sets and props, so they made the costumes look “lived in” by wearing away colour and dirtying them for authenticity.
They even added to the story and enhanced characterisation by giving each race their own unique style and special touches. If you look closely, the buttons of Aragorn’s tunic are embellished with the tree of Gondor, giving a subtle nod to this part of his history.
7. The trilogy used – as well as invented – ground-breaking special effects
The technology and artistry that brought Gollum to life is something that LOTR took to a whole new level. In fact, Gollum was the first photo-realistic movie character created using performance capture.
Weta visual effects supervisor, Eric Saindon, said, “when we did Gollum, no one had really done a CG creature mixed with live-action that you were supposed to believe was just a creature in the scene […] the detail made him an actor on screen, rather than just a scary monster, which is what a lot of the CG creatures up to that point had been.
And because we were inventing technology as we were doing it, it was a huge challenge”. But they didn’t just live up to the challenge, they smashed it, and it won them an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
8. Although some actors were Jackson’s second choice, none of them were second best
Aragorn, Eowyn, Galadriel, Gimli. These are just some of the characters who were almost played by someone else. But perhaps the biggest shock of all is Gandalf. Both Jackson and New Line’s first choice for the role was Sean Connery…
Thankfully, Gandalf and all the other roles went to their respective actors and actresses. After all, a Gandalf without Sir Ian McKellan wouldn’t be Gandalf at all. The Academy Awards agreed, giving him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
9. The critics loved it too, and it cleaned up at the Oscars
While Return Of The King is tied with Titanic and Ben Hur for the ‘most Oscars for a single film’ record (11), it was the only one to win all the Academy Awards it was nominated for. Neither of the other two did. It was also the first-ever fantasy film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and was the only one up until 2017.
Yes, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is – without a doubt – the best trilogy ever made. We could list many other reasons why, but something tells us we’re in good company with a fellowship of 9.
Are there any we missed out that you would like to have seen on the list? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out more of our movie lists HERE.
Read IMDB information about The Lord of the Rings trilogy HERE.
Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered
It’s been over 24 years since the first instalment of the Harry Potter series was published. But regardless of the length of time passed, many questions are still left unanswered. Fansites still tear apart page upon page looking for the key to unlock J. K. Rowling’s extraordinary mind. Interviewers have fired question after question at the infamous author. Yet, when one question is answered, it seems to open the flood gates for many more.
J. K. Rowling has now moved onto crime fiction. But she still finds the odd spare moment to grace Potter fans with her virtual presence. Using Twitter to answer some of the endless questions’ fans have conjured.
Let’s take a look at some of the most valid Harry Potter questions asked on Twitter and how J.K. Rowling answered them.
What happened to Fluffy the three-headed dog?
Poor Fluffy wasn’t mentioned again after being set free in the Forbidden Forest. Never fear! Rowling is here to tell us of Fluffy’s fate.
Back in February 2015, Rowling replied to the question on Twitter. stating that ‘He was repatriated to Greece. Dumbledore liked to put Hagrid’s more foolish acquisitions back where they belong.’
Beyond the happily ever after
A snapshot of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Happily Ever After is presented at the end of the final book. The three (and Ginny) complete the circle by walking their own children to the Hogwarts train.
But, their lives developed much more than having children. As Rowling revealed back in 2007. Hermione began her career within the Ministry of Magic. She worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Here, she became instrumental in the improvements for the treatment of house-elves. After this, she moved to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, where she ensured the eradication of pro-pureblood laws.
Harry and Ron took different paths. Harry became an aura, a highly trained law enforcement officer. Ron went into the family business, helping his brother run Weasley’s Wizarding Wheels.
Did Harry, Ron and Hermione return to their schooling?
There’s a huge gap at the end of The Deathly Hallows. The pages seem to jump from the defeat of Voldemort to 19 years later. So did the famous trio return to school?
Rowling stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWT’s. But Harry and Ron did not, instead, they followed their career paths straight away. Although, I’m pretty sure defeating the source of all evil scores big points on a C.V.
Harry’s scar shape is important, right?
Well, no. Unfortunately, Rowling just thought ‘it looked cool’.
Potter super-fans have other ideas, though. One Tweet back in 2019 revealed that the scar could symbolise much more. @TodayYearsOld Tweeted:
‘Did you know Harry Potter’s scar isn’t a lightning bolt, but the hand motion to cast Avada Kedavra.’
Avada Kedavra is a killing curse used within the Dark Arts. The hand movement looks like a lightning bolt, but much softer. Not surprisingly, the Tweet went viral and caused shock waves through the Potter community.
What does Hufflepuff’s common room look like?
We are taken on a trip to Slytherin and Ravenclaw’s common room, and we spend a lot of time in Gryffindor’s. So, when fans asked Rowling for a description, she was only too happy to oblige.
‘The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry – I should say ‘painting’ rather than portrait because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape’s dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels leading to the dormitories. All of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.’
Is there more than one Wizarding school?
If you are one of those people who watch the films before the books. You’ll have probably asked ‘Is Hogwarts the only school for wizards?’. In this instance, it’s the books that hold the key, and if you take notes in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’ Students from other schools arrive at Hogwarts to attend the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
The books reveal more about a couple of schools, such as the Palace of Beauxbatons. Beauxbatons is a beautiful chateau situated in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France. Durmstrang is another, and one of the three largest in Europe. Durmstrang is situated in the northmost regions of Norway or Sweden and is known for its Dark Arts.
Rowling has since revealed more schools, including Castelobruxo, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Ilverymorny.
Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood end up together?
It’s a no, which has disappointed fans. But the two remained close friends as Luna followed a career in Wizarding Naturalism. She became famous for tracking rare creatures before marrying Rolf Scamander.
Neville married fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbot. Surprisingly, Neville became an aura before returning to Hogwarts as a Herbology Professor.
Did Draco Malfoy get his just desserts?
This is a big one for Potter fans who wished to see Draco pay for everything he subjugated Harry to. But, as The Deathly Hallows hints, it appears he went through a huge transformation.
Draco was a complex character, not only a member of Slytherin, but he was also a bully. But much of his behaviour came from his upbringing.
Draco tried to prove himself to the Dark Lord, only to be rescued by the three he often tormented. This caused him and his mother to neglect Voldemort once it was believed Harry was dead. The two avoided Azkaban, and he went into a very dark place, emotionally. But he emerged a changed man. He had a wife and a son, and a simple nod to the trio 29 years on seemed to solidify that he had changed.
Thanks for reading our article on unanswered Harry Potter questions now answered. Did you already know these? Did we miss any big ones? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out 5 Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows That You Missed HERE.
Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.
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