Once I found out that my friend Beren, webmaster of Company of the Ring: Tol Galen, had spent six weeks on the set, I immediately sent him a list of questions that have been plaguing me and many of our readers. And, much to my surprise, he came back with some answers!
Q. We know that Liv Tyler has spent about 12 months (cumulative) filming in New Zealand, and that there have been numerous reports of her wielding a sword, disguising herself as an archer, and withstanding a charge of Orc riders at the Helm’s Deep set. Yet Phillipa Boyens has said that, aside from Arwen replacing Glorfindel at the Flight to the Ford, Arwen’s role in the films is pretty much as it was in the books, counting Appendix A. So were all of the reports wrong, did many of Arwen’s scenes wind up on the cutting room floor, or is Phillipa engaging in disinformation? What’s your guess about how much screen time Arwen will have?
A. From what I’ve picked up Liv didn’t suit the Xena-type roll that Arwen was going to have, so it was rewritten to suit her acting style so to speak. I didn’t find out a lot about this while on set, most of what I know has been picked up from emails to different people in the production.
Q. We all know about the wizard kabob picture — yet Peter Jackson has said that Scouring of the Shire will be in the films in some fashion. So, do you think Saruman will be killed off at the end of The Two Towers or not?
A. I know when, where and how Saruman dies, but if Peter doesn’t want everyone to know I’m more then happy to respect that fact, but I will say it is different from the book. As for Scouring of the Shire, from what I understand, this will be seen, and in one of the places it is mentioned in the book, though this place may not be at the end of the third movie.
Q. Will Prince Imrahil be in Return of the King? How about Beregond and Bergil?
A. I know one of these characters are in the movies, for all I know all three could be, I haven’t seen a full cast list. I know there are a lot of specific roles cast for the movie so a lot of the characters will appear but played by lesser or unknown actors.
Q. Based upon the audition scripts I’ve read, it looks like some of Galadriel’s gifts — lembas and the phial — won’t be in the films. Have you heard otherwise?
A. Not 100% sure about this, I know Galadriel gives out gifts, and the ones I know of are the same as the book.
Boromir gazes at The One Ring.
Q. Does Boromir somehow get a hold of the Ring briefly while the Fellowship is crossing Caradhras?
A. Yes and no, we will see him with the Ring as per the preview but he may not actually get his hands on it. God, if that’s not going to keep you wondering nothing will.
Q. Orc cocoons – cool or lame idea?
A. Couldn’t tell you, I haven’t seen any pictures of these, but they will be there from what I understand.
Here are questions that Beren didn’t have the answers to.
Q. Any idea about how the first part of the film will deal with all of Gandalf’s visits before Frodo actually departs? Are there fewer visits from Gandalf than there are in the book, or will the film show the long passage of time between Bilbo’s and Frodo’s departures? Since Radagast doesn’t appear in the films, how is Gandalf summoned to Orthanc?
Q. If the Barrow-wight sequence is out, where do the hobbits get their Númenorean swords from? Does Aragorn give them to the hobbits in Bree?
Q. How will the films end? At the Grey Havens, or does Sam return to the Shire and announce “Well, I’m back.”
Be sure to visit Company of the Ring: Tol Galen and read about Beren’s adventures working on the blue screen set!