Ain’t It Cool News‘ Harry Knowles visits the Minas Tirith set and sends back this amazing report!
Here is an excerpt:
Well, as we reached the area of the road that leads up to the quarry where the set is built, the lady driving tells me… Look you can see the top dome from here… I started feeling giddy. This was THE SET!
As we turned and begin driving up the quarry road… the scent of horse manure creeped its way to my nostrils… hahaha, when I see RETURN OF THE KINGS in 2003, I will remember… horse manure… That’s a sort of real life detail that you just can not appreciate in the non-John Waters scratch and sniff world of cinema.
I begin seeing details… This set is ENORMOUS. The largest set to date that I have paid visit to, was the Hughes Brothers’ FROM HELL White Chapel set. That was a painful recreation of a real world place and time. This set felt the same way. Again, there were the stone streets, the buildings reaching up into the sky… all carved out of a seeming alabaster stone.. knock knock (Hollow)… the faÃ§ade of entertainment… I love it.
There is this GIGANTIC 30 or 40 ft tall door, seemingly covered with well petinaed bronze carvings and figures… that bronze greenish-turquoise hue… IMMENSE in scale. Off to the side, is the destroyed door for after the battling ram crashes through. Apparently that is soon to be filmed… which means… oh goody goody, I’ll be here. YIPEE!
The chest pieces of armor all have that glorious tree design that they should have… and not in a cheesy sort of manner, but in a functional, realistic manner. The armor is not polished silver, but rather tarnished as if it had seen quite a bit of battle and weather. Splattered here and there is the black blood of orcs (I suppose) perhaps Uruk Hai. The rangers are also walking about, horses are everywhere… strange saddles… functional and real, but like nothing I’ve seen in recorded times, but I believe these could’ve existed.
We pop out of the van within sight of two great wind machines… the smell of horse hits me like a memory of my high school years cleaning my mother’s stables. AAAaaaah, fond memories. Hehehe. I hear the lady with me say, “There’s Peter.”
ALRIGHT, Derek! I’m gonna meet Derek! Peter is dressed in a pair of shorts, that Day 133, LORD OF THE RINGS vest that you have seen in the Real Video footage from ONE TV in NZ. I begin heading straight for him… He owes me about 8 sets of 20 questions… hehehe…
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Be sure to also follow the links below to read Harry’s previous reports:
- Chapter 10: Peter Jackson’s home and film memorabilia collection
- Chapter 9: The wrap party and blooper reel
- Chapter 8: The last day of filming – Aragorn confronts Sauron using the palantir and plans his assault against Mordor with Gandalf
- Chapter 7: Denethor’s Hall and Alan Lee
- Chapter 6: Aragorn’s Coronation, the Corsairs of Umbar, autograph collection, and… Arwen’s role in the films
- Chapter 5: Weta Workshop, blue screens, marquettes, and props
- Chapter 4: Denethor, Treebeard, accents, Faramir and Eowyn’s wedding, and The Scouring of the Shire
- Chapter 3: The doors of Moria, Fangorn Forest, Gandalf’s resurrection, and the Houses of Healing
- Chapter 2: Faramir, Howard Shore, and the trailer
- Chapter 1: Minas Tirith