The Lord of the Rings: Memorable Accidents
The Lord of the Rings, perhaps the most successful trilogy of its time, first appeared on screen in 2001. Packed with countless action scenes and special effects, The Lord of the Rings serves as an excellent source of entertainment for many. Although no fatal accidents occurred during the filming of this movie, many of the actors experienced painful injuries that perhaps made the filming of this movie even more memorable for them.
During The Fellowship of the Ring, there were many on set injuries. One of these accidents occurred while filming a fight scene, where Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) lost a tooth. During his lunch break, Mortensen went to the dentist to get his tooth fixed up, and resumed working on the film later that day. Another accident occurred in the scene that details Gandalf’s visit to Bilbo and his hobbit house. Ian Mckellan, who plays Gandalf, accidentally banged his head on the ceiling, but played it off so well that this mishap was actually included in the movie.
While filming The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom (Legolas) suffered a few broken ribs after being thrown off a horse. Brett Beattie (Gimli’s scale double) somehow injured his knee, while Mortensen broke his tow in an earlier scene after kicking a steel helmet. While still recovering from injuries, all three actors later filmed a scene that detailed them running after the Orcs, but because they appreciated the art of the film, they decided to continue work regardless of their pain.
For Bloom, however, on set injury is just a part of the job. Bloom has broken almost every bone in his body thanks to his audacious childhood and acting career. Some of these injuries include having cracked his skull three times, breaking his back after falling off a roof, receiving broken ribs due to falling off a horse, and breaking his nose and both of his legs, among other injuries.
Many scenes throughout this trilogy presented challenges to the stunt coordinator, George Ruge, which includes the scene for the Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers. The primary challenge of this shoot was to make the scene as realistic as possible while still keeping it safe for the actors. This was extremely difficult for Ruge because it was often raining and the set was built into a rock quarry. All of the filming was done at night, and according to Ruge, most of the actors received a sprained ankle here and there, or a few cuts, which was hard to avoid considering the location and intense fighting scenes.