The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 fantasy
adventure film directed by Peter Jackson based on the similarly titled first
volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Set in Middle-earth, the
story tells of the Dark Lord Sauron (Sala Baker), who is seeking the One Ring
(Alan Howard voice). The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo
Baggins (Elijah Wood). The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo
and eight companions form the Fellowship of the Ring, and journey to Mount Doom
in the land of Mordor: the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.
Released on December 19, 2001, the film was highly acclaimed by critics and fans
alike, especially as many of the latter judged it to be sufficiently faithful to
the original story. It was a box office success, earning over $870 million
worldwide, and the second highest grossing film of 2001 in the U.S. and
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) which made it the 5th highest
grossing film ever at the time. Today it is the 15th highest-grossing worldwide
film of all time. It won four Academy Awards and five BAFTAs, including Best
Film and Best Director BAFTA awards. The Special Extended DVD Edition was
released on November 12, 2002. In 2007, The Fellowship of the Ring was
voted number 50 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 greatest American
films. The AFI also voted it the second greatest fantasy film of all time during
their AFI's 10 Top 10 special.
The foreword, spoken by Galadriel, shows the
Dark Lord Sauron forging the One Ring in order to conquer the lands of
Middle-earth. A Last Alliance of Elves and Men is formed to counter Sauron's
forces at the foot of Mount Doom, but Sauron kills Elendil, the High King of
Men. His son, Prince Isildur grabs Elendil's broken sword Narsil, and slashes at
Sauron's hand, separating him from the Ring and vanquishing his army. However,
because Sauron's "life force" is bound to the Ring, he is not completely
defeated until the Ring itself is destroyed. Isildur takes the Ring and succumbs
to its temptation, refusing to destroy it. He is later ambushed and killed by
orcs, and the Ring is lost in a river. The Ring is found by the creature Sméagol
thousands of years later, who takes it underground for five centuries, giving
him "unnaturally long life" and transforming him into the creature Gollum. Since
the Ring is bound to Sauron, it has a will of its own and wants to be found.
Therefore, the Ring consciously leaves Gollum in its quest to be reunited with
Sauron. However, it is instead found by the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, much to the
despair of Gollum. Bilbo returns to his home in the Shire with the Ring, and the
story jumps forward in time sixty years.
At his 111th ("eleventy-first") birthday, Bilbo leaves the Ring to his nephew
and adopted heir Frodo Baggins. After a ride to the Gondorian city of Minas
Tirith, while searching for answers, the Wizard Gandalf soon learns it is the
One Ring, and that Sauron seeks to retake it. Taking no chances, Gandalf tells
Frodo to leave the Shire with the Ring and sends him to Bree with his friend and
gardener, Sam, with plans to meet him there after Gandalf goes to Isengard to
meet the head of his order, Saruman. Saruman reveals that the Nazgûl, or
Ringwraiths, have left Minas Morgul to capture the Ring and kill whoever carries
it; having already been corrupted to Sauron's cause, he then imprisons Gandalf
atop Orthanc. Gandalf is then forced to watch as Saruman orders his orcs to
destroy the forests surrounding Isengard to build weapons of war and create an
elite Orc army called the Uruk-hai.
While travelling to 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, and there they meet a Man called Strider, who agrees to lead them to
Rivendell. They agree only because Strider already knows about the Nazgûl and
that Gandalf isn't there to guide them. After some travelling, they spend the
night on the hill of Weathertop, where they are attacked by the Nazgûl at night.
Strider fights off the Ringwraiths, but Frodo is grievously wounded with a
morgul blade, and they must quickly get him to Rivendell for healing. While
chased by the Nazgûl, Frodo is taken by the elf Arwen to the Elven haven of
Rivendell, and healed by her father, Elrond.
Gandalf confronts the Balrog, Durin's Bane, on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm.In
Rivendell Frodo meets Gandalf, who explains why he didn't meet them at Bree as
planned (he had escaped Orthanc and Saruman's clutches with the help of an
eagle). In the meantime, there are many meetings between various peoples, and
Elrond calls a council to decide what should be done with the Ring. The Ring can
only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires (that is, lava) of Mount Doom,
where it was forged. Mount Doom is located in Mordor, near Sauron's fortress of
Barad-dûr, and the journey to it will be incredibly dangerous. Frodo volunteers
to take the Ring to Mount Doom as all the others argue about who should or
shouldn't take it. He 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 the Fellowship
of the Ring. The Fellowship set out and try to pass the mountain Caradhras, but
they are stopped by Saruman's wizardry. At Gimli's insistence, they decide to
seek safety and travel under the mountain through the Mines of Moria. They
discover that an attempt by Gimli's cousin Balin to colonize it has failed. They
are attacked by Orcs and a Cave Troll, and encounter a Balrog, an ancient demon
of fire and shadow, at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf confronts the Balrog on
the bridge, allowing the others to escape the subterranean realm, while he falls
with the creature into the abyss below.
The group flees to the Elven realm of Lothlórien, where they are sheltered by
its rulers, Galadriel and her husband Celeborn. While resting, Boromir tells
Aragorn about the troubles afflicting the land of Gondor and the people's desire
to see a strong King rescue it from destruction. He also states that he and
Aragorn once shall ride to the city as "The Lords of Gondor". Frodo meets
Galadriel, who tells him that it's 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 that it is the only way to save his realm. Frodo manages to escape by
putting the Ring on his finger and vanishing. Aragorn encounters Frodo, but
unlike Boromir, Aragorn chooses not to take the Ring. Knowing that the Ring's
temptation will be too strong for 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 back the
Ring. Merry and Pippin, realizing that Frodo is leaving, distract the orcs
allowing Frodo to escape. Boromir rushes to the aid of the two hobbits but is
mortally wounded by the orc commander Lurtz. Before he can finish Boromir,
however, Aragorn arrives and slays Lurtz after a swordfight. Boromir regrets
having attempted to steal the Ring, but is forgiven by Aragorn, who promises him
that he will not allow Gondor to fall into ruin. Heartened by Aragorn's words,
Boromir accepts Aragorn as his king before he dies. Merry and Pippin are
captured prompting Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas to begin their pursuit of the orcs
with the intent of rescuing the hobbits, leaving Frodo to his fate. Frodo
remembers to promise Gandalf. Before Frodo departs, Sam decides to join him and
together they head off to Mordor.
Before filming began
on October 11, 1999, the principal actors trained for six weeks in sword
fighting (with Bob Anderson), riding and boating. Jackson hoped such activities
would allow the cast to bond so chemistry would be evident on screen as well as
getting them used to life in Wellington. They were also trained to pronounce
Tolkien's verses properly. After the shoot, the nine cast members playing the
Fellowship got a tattoo, the Elvish symbol for the number nine. The film is
noted for having an ensemble cast, and some of the cast and their respective
- Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: A
hobbit who inherits the One Ring from his uncle, Bilbo Baggins. He is mostly
accompanied by his best friend and fellow hobbit, Samwise Gamgee. Elijah Wood
was the first actor to be cast on July 7, 1999. Wood was a fan of the book,
and he sent in an audition dressed as Frodo, reading lines from the novel.
Wood was selected from one-hundred-and-fifty actors who auditioned.
- Sean Astin as Samwise "Sam" Gamgee: A
Hobbit gardener and friend of Frodo. When caught eavesdropping, Sam is made to
become Frodo's companion and from then on becomes very loyal. Astin, then a
father of one, bonded with the eighteen-year old Wood in a protective manner
similar to Sam and Frodo.
- Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn: Dubbed
Strider, he is a Dúnedain Ranger and the heir to the throne of Gondor. He
travels with the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor. He is unsure of
whether to become King following the failure of his ancestor, Isildur, to
destroy the Ring. Nicolas Cage turned down the role because of "family
obligations", whilst Vin Diesel, a fan of the book, auditioned for Aragorn.
Stuart Townsend was cast in the role, before being replaced during filming
when Jackson realized he was too young. Russell Crowe was considered as a
replacement, but he turned it down after a similar role in
Gladiator. Producer Mark Odesky saw Mortensen in a play and it was
Mortensen's son, a fan of the book, who convinced him to take the role.
Mortensen read the book on the plane, received a crash course lesson in
fencing from Bob Anderson and began filming the scenes on Weathertop.
Mortensen became a hit with the crew, method acting by patching up his costume
and carrying his "hero" sword around with him offscreen.
- Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey: A
wizard and mentor to Frodo Baggins, who helps him decide what to do with the
Ring. He becomes the leader of the Fellowship after it is decided to take the
Ring to Mount Doom and destroy it. Sean Connery was approached for the role,
but didn't understand the plot, while Patrick Stewart turned it down as he
disliked the script. Before being cast, McKellen had to sort his schedule with
20th Century Fox as there was a two-month overlap with X-Men. He
enjoyed playing Gandalf the Grey more than his transformed state in the next
two films, and based his accent on Tolkien. Unlike his on-screen character,
McKellen did not spend much time with the actors playing the Hobbits, instead
working with their scale doubles.
- Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc "Merry"
Brandybuck: A Hobbit and a friend of Frodo. He helps him find a ferry to
escape the Nazgûl, travels with the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor,
along with his best friend Pippin. Monaghan was cast as Merry after
auditioning for Frodo. Together with Peregrin Took (see below), he serves as a
comic relief in the trilogy.
- Billy Boyd as Peregrin "Pippin" Took:
A Hobbit who travels with the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor, along
with his best friend Merry. He is loyal but a prankster, often being a
nuisance for Gandalf. Together with Meriadoc Brandybuck (see above), he serves
as a comic relief in the trilogy.
- Sean Bean as Boromir: A prince of the
Stewards of Gondor, he journeys with the Fellowship towards Mordor, although
he is tempted by the power of the Ring. He feels Gondor needs no King, but
becomes a friend of Aragorn. Bruce Willis, a fan of the book, expressed
interest in the role, while Liam Neeson was sent the script, but passed.
- Orlando Bloom as Legolas: Prince of
the Elves' Woodland Realm and a skilled archer who accompanies the Fellowship
on their journey to Mordor. Bloom initially auditioned for Faramir, who
appears in the second film, a role which went to David Wenham.
- John Rhys-Davies as Gimli: A Dwarf who
accompanies the Fellowship to Mordor after they set out from Rivendell. He is
initially xenophobic towards Elves, but changes his attitude in the course of
the story, particularly after meeting Lady Galadriel. Billy Connolly was
considered for the part of Gimli. Rhys-Davies wore heavy prosthetics to play
Gimli, which limited his vision, and eventually he developed eczema around his
- Christopher Lee as Saruman the White:
The fallen head of the Istari Order, who succumbed to Sauron's will via his
use of the palantír. After capturing Gandalf, he creates an army of Uruk-hai
to find and capture the Ring from the Fellowship. Lee is a major fan of the
book, and reads it once a year. He has also met J. R. R. Tolkien. He
originally auditioned for Gandalf, but was too old.
- Sala Baker portrays Sauron: The main
antagonist and title character of the story, who created the One Ring to
conquer Middle-earth. He lost the Ring to Isildur, and now seeks it in order
to initiate his reign over Middle-earth. He cannot yet take physical form, and
is spiritually incarnate as an Eye.
- Hugo Weaving as Elrond: The Elven
master of Rivendell, who leads the Council of Elrond which ultimately decides
to destroy the One Ring. He lost faith in the strength of Men after witnessing
Isildur's failure 3,000 years before. David Bowie expressed interest in the
role, but Jackson stated, "To have a famous, beloved character and a famous
star colliding is slightly uncomfortable."
- Marton Csokas as Lord Celeborn: An
Elf and the co-ruler of Lothlórien along with his wife Galadriel.
- Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: An Elf
and the co-ruler of Lothlórien along with her husband Lord Celeborn. She shows
Frodo a possible outcome of events in her mirror and gives him the Light of
- Liv Tyler as Arwen: An elf, Arwen
escorts Frodo to Rivendell after he is stabbed by the Witch-king. She is the
daughter of Elrond and Aragorn's lover, to whom she gives the Evenstar
necklace. The filmmakers approached Tyler after seeing her performance in
Plunkett & Macleane, and New Line Cinema leaped at the opportunity of
having one Hollywood star in the film. Tyler came to shoot on short occasions,
and bonded most with Bloom.
- Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins: Frodo's
uncle who gives him the Ring after he decides to retire to Rivendell. At
Rivendell, he gives Frodo a mithril mail-shirt and his own sword, Sting, which
can detect the presence of nearby orcs by emitting a bluish glow. Holm
previously played Frodo in a 1981 radio adaption of The Lord of the Rings,
and was cast as Bilbo after Jackson remembered his performance. Sylvester
McCoy was contacted about playing the role, and was kept in place as a
potential Bilbo for six months before Jackson went with Holm.
- Lawrence Makoare as Lurtz: The
commander of Saruman's orc forces who leads the hunt for the Fellowship as
they head to Mordor.
Comparison with the source material
Jackson, Walsh and Boyens made numerous changes
to the story, for purposes of pacing and character development. Jackson said his
main desire was to make a film focused primarily on Frodo and the Ring, the
"backbone" of the story. The prologue condenses Tolkien's backstory, in which
The Last Alliance's seven year siege of the Barad-dûr is a single battle, where
Sauron is shown to explode, though Tolkien only said his spirit flees.
Events at the beginning of the film are condensed or omitted altogether. In the
book, the time between Gandalf leaving the Ring to Frodo and returning to reveal
its inscription is 17 years, which is compressed for timing reasons. Frodo also
spends a few months preparing for his journey to Bree which is compressed to a
day, to increase dramatic tension. Also compressed is the time between Frodo and
Sam leaving Bag End and their meeting Merry and Pippin. Characters such as Tom
Bombadil are left out to simplify the plot and increase the threat of the
Ringwraiths. Such sequences are left out to make time to introduce Saruman, who
in the book only appears in flashback until
The Two Towers. Saruman's role is enhanced: he is to blame for the
blizzard on Caradhras, a role taken from Sauron and/or Caradhras itself in the
book. Gandalf's capture by Saruman is also expanded with a fight sequence.
A significant new addition is that Aragorn must overcome his self-doubt to claim
the kingship. This element is not present in the book, where Aragorn intends to
claim the throne at an appropriate time. In the book Narsil is reforged
immediately when he joins the Fellowship, but this event is held over until
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in film. This was done
because of Peter Jackson's belief in "character growth", the idea that every
character must change or learn something over the course of the story. Arwen
Evenstar also has a greater role in the film, replacing the book's character of
Glorfindel in rescuing Frodo. Elrond is also different from his counterpart in
the printed novel; in the film, he doubts the strength of Men to survive without
a King. Jackson also shortens the Council of Elrond establishing the Ring quest,
by moving exposition from the chapter into earlier parts of the film. Elrond's
counsellor, Erestor—who suggested the Ring be given to Tom Bombadil—was
completely absent from this scene.
The tone of the Moria sequence was altered. Although in the book the Fellowship
only realize all the Dwarves are dead once they reach Balin's tomb, the
filmmakers chose to use foreshadowing devices instead. Gandalf says to Gimli he
would prefer not to enter Moria, and Saruman has a telepathic communication with
Gandalf, and also reveals an illustration of the Balrog in one of his books. The
corpses of the dwarves are instantly shown as the Fellowship enter Moria.
The book simply stops in terms of dramatic structure, as Tolkien wrote it as a
single story published as three volumes. Jackson's finale is played as a
climactic battle, to which he introduces the (unnamed) antagonist referred to as
Lurtz in the script. In the book the battle leading to Boromir's death is told
in flashback in the second volume, but in the film their encounter is shown in
real time. Adding to the ending before the wait for the next film, Aragorn is
shown as aware of Frodo's decision to leave.
Jackson began working with Christian Rivers to
storyboard the trilogy in August 1997, as well as getting Richard Taylor and
Weta Workshop to begin creating his interpretation of Middle-earth. Jackson told
them to make Middle-earth as plausible and believable as possible, to think of
Middle-earth in a historical manner.
In November, Alan Lee and John Howe became the primary conceptual designers for
the film trilogy, having had previous experience as illustrators for the book
and various other tie-ins. Lee worked for the Art Department creating places
such as Rivendell, Isengard, Moria and Lothlórien, giving art nouveau and
geometry influences to the Elves and Dwarves respectively. Though Howe
contributed with Bag End and the Argonath, he focused working on armour having
studied it all his life. Weta and the Art Department continued to design, with
Grant Major turning the Art Department's designs into architecture, and Dan
Hennah scouting locations. On April 1, 1999, Ngila Dickson joined the crew as
costume designer. She and 40 seamstresses would create 19,000 costumes, 40 per
version for the actor and their doubles, ageing and wearing them out for
impression of age.
A list of filming locations, sorted by appearance order in the movie:
in New Zealand
in New Zealand
Gardens of Isengard
The Shire woods
Otaki Gorge Road
Kapiti Coast District
Forest near Bree
Ford of Bruinen
Kaitoke Regional Park
Upper Waiau River
The Fellowship of the Ring
makes extensive use of digital, practical and make-up special effects
throughout. One noticeable illusion that appears in almost every scene involves
setting a proper scale so that the characters are all the correct height. Elijah
Wood, who plays Frodo, is 5ft 6in (1.68 m) tall in real life, but the character
of Frodo Baggins is barely four feet in height. Many different tricks were used
to depict the hobbits (and Gimli the Dwarf) as being of diminutive stature. (As
a matter of good fortune, John-Rhys Davies — who played Gimli — is as tall
compared to the hobbit actors as his character needed to be compared to theirs,
so he did not need to be filmed separately as a third variation of height.)
Large and small scale doubles were used in certain scenes, while entire
duplicates of certain sets (including 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.
Even the simple use of kneeling down, to the film makers' surprise, turned out
to be an effective method in creating the illusion.
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 by
Stephen Regelous; it allowed thousands of individual animated "characters" in
the program to act independently. This helped give the illusion of realism to
the battle sequences. The "Making of" Lord of the Rings DVD reports some
interesting initial problems: in the first execution of a battle between groups
of characters, the wrong groups attacked each other. In another early demo, some
of the warriors at the edge of the field could be seen running away. The reason
was not that they were programmed for cowardice (or survival) and could not see
the enemy so they ran away, but that they were initially moving in the wrong
direction, and had been programmed to keep running until they encountered an
The digital creatures were important due to Jackson's requirement of biological
plausibility. Their surface was scanned from large maquettes before numerous
digital details of their skeletons and muscles were added. In the case of the
Balrog, Gary Horsfield created a system that copied recorded imagery of fire.
The musical score for the Lord of the Rings films was composed by Howard Shore.
It was performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, The London Philharmonic
Orchestra, The London Voices and featured several vocal soloists. Two original
songs, Aníron, and the end title theme "May It Be", were composed and sung by
Enya, who allowed her label, Reprise Records, to release the soundtrack to this
and its two sequels. In addition to this Shore composed "In Dreams" which was
sung by Edward Ross of the London Oratory School Schola.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the
Ring was released on December 19, 2001 in 3,359 theaters where it grossed
$47.2 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $314.7 million in North
America and $555.9 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring received acclaim from
most major film critics, receiving 92% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "Peter Jackson ...
has made a work for, and of, our times. It will be embraced, I suspect, by many
Tolkien fans and take on aspects of a cult. It is a candidate for many Oscars.
It is an awesome production in its daring and breadth, and there are small
touches that are just right". USA Today also gave the film three out of four
stars and wrote, "this movie version of a beloved book should please devotees as
well as the uninitiated". In his review for The New York Times, Elvis Mitchell
wrote, "The playful spookiness of Mr. Jackson's direction provides a lively,
light touch, a gesture that doesn't normally come to mind when Tolkien's name is
mentioned". Entertainment Weekly magazine gave the film an "A" rating and Lisa
Schwarzbaum wrote, "The cast take to their roles with becoming modesty,
certainly, but Jackson also makes it easy for them: His Fellowship flows, never
lingering for the sake of admiring its own beauty ... Every detail of which
engrossed me. I may have never turned a page of Tolkien, but I know enchantment
when I see it".
In her review for the Washington Post, Rita Kempley praised the cast, in
particular, "Mortensen, as Strider, is a revelation, not to mention downright
gorgeous. And McKellen, carrying the burden of thousands of years' worth of the
fight against evil, is positively Merlinesque". Time magazine's Richard Corliss
praised Jackson's work: "His movie achieves what the best fairy tales do: the
creation of an alternate world, plausible and persuasive, where the young — and
not only the young — can lose themselves. And perhaps, in identifying with the
little Hobbit that could, find their better selves". In his review for the
Village Voice, J. Hoberman wrote, "Peter Jackson's adaptation is certainly
successful on its own terms". Rolling Stone magazine's Peter Travers wrote,
"It's emotion that makes Fellowship stick hard in the memory ... Jackson
deserves to revel in his success. He's made a three-hour film that leaves you
wanting more". However, in his review for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw wrote,
"In the end, signing up to the movie's whole hobbity-elvish universe requires a
leap of faith ... It's a leap I didn't feel much like making - and, with two
more movie episodes like this on the way, the credibility gap looks wider than
In 2002, the movie won four Academy
Awards out of thirteen nominations. The winning categories were for Best
Cinematography, Best Effects (Visual Effects), Best Makeup, and Best Music
(Original Score). Despite its praise by fans, the other nominated categories of
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Art Direction-Set
Decoration, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Music (Best Song) (Enya, Nicky
Ryan and Roma Ryan for "May It Be"), Best Picture, Best Sound, Costume Design
and Best Writing (Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or
Published) were not won.
As of February 2009, it is the 15th highest grossing films worldwide, with
takings of US$870,761,744 from worldwide theatrical box office receipts.
The movie won the 2002 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It also won
Empire readers' Best Film award, as well as five BAFTAs, including Best Film,
the David Lean Award for Direction, the Audience Award (voted for by the
public), Best Special Effects, and Best Make-up.
In June 2008, AFI revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic"
American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative
community. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was
acknowledged as the second best film in the fantasy genre.
DVD Extended edition
The success of the theatrical cut of the
film brought about an Extended Edition (208 minutes), with new editing, added
special effects and music. This version was released on DVD November 12, 2002
along with four commentaries and hours of supplementary material. It was so
successful that the sequels were each given similar releases.
Notable among the restored scenes is a new beginning to the film (following the
prologue) that concerns Hobbits and the Shire. The Bag End scene with Bilbo and
Gandalf is extended to include a conversation about the Sackville-Bagginses.
Bilbo's birthday party is extended. New scenes include conversations at the
Green Dragon, Frodo and Sam spotting Wood Elves on their way to Bree, and the
Hobbit's march through Midgewater Marshes. The Council of Elrond, Moria, and
Lorien are expanded as well. The extended edition contains many
character-building elements, showing sides of various protagonists (notably
Aragorn and Galadriel) that were absent from the theatrical cut, which was
largely edited around the character of Frodo.
DVD Limited edition
On August 29, 2006, a Limited Edition of
The Fellowship of the Ring was released. This Limited Edition contains two
discs. The first is a two-sided DVD (also known as DVD-18) that contains both
the Theatrical and Extended editions of the film. At the beginning of each side
of the disc, the viewer can choose which version to watch. The second disc is a
bonus disc that contains a new behind-the-scenes documentary.
In an advertisement for upcoming Blu-ray Disc
releases from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment included in the Blu-ray edition of
The Ultimate Matrix Collection, released October 14, 2008, the logo for
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring can be seen under the
heading: "Coming Soon". The Blu-ray of the theatrical release will be released
November 3, 2009, and is available for pre-order. There is not yet a date for
the release of the Blu-ray of the extended version.
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