Hearken, fans of ancient data, for here is the saga of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in statistical form. Andy Hill is full of Middle-earthly facts and figures.
The titular Hobbit gets the whole saga under way, finally popping his clogs at the end of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy aged over 131. Well, old Hobbits die hard… Key quote ‘I need a holiday. A very long holiday.’ Trivia In 1967 Leonard Nimoy (Spock in ‘Star Trek’) recorded the trippy ‘Ballad of Bilbo Baggins’.
Chosen to carry the One Ring into Mordor because of his mawkish incorruptibility, Frodo ultimately gives one in the eye to Sauron. Key quote ‘I will take the Ring to Mordor. Though I do not know the way.’ Trivia Despite having massive feet,Frodo falls over 39 times during the course of the ‘LOTR’ trilogy.
Gandalf often saves the day, deploying an array of awesome tricks from up his wizard’s sleeve. Key quote ‘You shall not pass!’ Trivia Sean Connery turned down the role of Gandalf, which was maybe a good thing. We can’t decide whether on-screen enemies ‘Schauron’ or ‘Scharuman’ could have taken him scheriouschly.
Once a Hobbit himself, emaciated cave-dwelling Gollum is barely living proof of the corrupting influence of the One Ring and the futility of combovers. Key quote ‘Sneaky little Hobbitses!’ Trivia The big-screen incarnation of malnourished scrag-end Gollum was influenced by wiry-torsoflaunting rocker Iggy Pop.
Hotshot Elf archer Legolas also boasts extreme hearing, telescopic vision and no need of sleep. Key quote ‘God help us.’ Trivia Legolas is weirdly lightfooted: capable of walking on top of snow while his companions are forced to trudge through it. This is especially important as his footwear of choice is Elven slippers.
Six films, digested
A genial halfling is convinced by a wizard to lead a bunch of dwarves on a dragon-bashing quest. He finds a comparatively plain ring everyone seems fixated on and makes it home without getting sautéed. Sixty years later, four little men, a wizard (him again), a dwarf, a hobo, a metrosexual archer and Sean Bean set out to throw said ring into a volcano, while a schizoid goblin tries to thwart them. The bad guys die. The good guys have a party.
A pissload of walking.
Teach yourself Elvish
‘Ná, i Hyardo ole ve Lúnaturco’
‘Yes, The Shard is much like Barad-dûr’
‘Mo ua vanta ú hrango minna Morden’
One does not simply walk into Morden.
36 For the six Middle-earth movies
29 For the ‘Godfather’ trilogy
25 For the ‘Star Wars’ franchise
Gollum says ‘precious’: 15 times in ‘The Two Towers’
17 times in ‘The Return of the King’
14 times in ‘An Unexpected Journey’
Bilbo v Frodo
In ‘The Hobbit’ Bilbo walks 950 miles over 172 days
In ‘LOTR’ Frodo walks 1,800 miles over 185 days
The Middle-earth movies in numbers
60,000 False feet worn by the Hobbits in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’.
8 Weeks Peter Jackson paused filming of ‘An Unexpected Journey’ while Martin Freeman shot the second series of ‘Sherlock’.
836 The body count for ‘The Return of the King’,the saga’s bloodiest film to date.
1,836 Special-effects shots in ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’, including one where a giant eagle drops an angry bear into a violent battle between Orcs and Dwarves. Yep.
$9.3 billion The worth of Smaug’s gold (as estimated by Forbes magazine) in ‘The Desolation of Smaug’.
Hang on a second…
…why didn’t Frodo just fly to Mordor on the back of one of those eagles?
Tolkien himself addressed this issue in 1958 when a Hollywood screenwriter tackling the book suggested that this was a gaping plot hole. ‘Would [the screenwriter] think that he had improved the effect of a film of, say, the ascent of Everest,’ thundered Tolkien, ‘by introducing helicopters to take the climbers halfway up?’ So there.
Several real-life critters were recorded to create the howls of Middle-earth’s beats.
Possum + Elephant seal = Orc
Horse+ Walrus+ Tiger = Cave troll
Donkey + Horse = Balrog
Heights: real v fictional
John Rhys-Davies 6’1 Gimli 4’4
Sir Ian McKellen 5’11 Gandalf 7′
Elijah Wood 5’6 Frodo Baggins 3’6
Gourds of the rings
Recreate the atmosphere of the Prancing Pony with our ‘Lord of the Rings’ drinking game!
Frodo says ‘Sam’ Drink two fingers of Barliman’s Best ale
Sam says ‘Mister Frodo’ Take a slug of Elvish wine
A baddie dies with one blow A shot of dwarves’ mead
A goodie refuses to die after at least three blows A puff of Old Toby
Gandalf saves everyone’s ass again A long draught of rum and Miruvor
Barely concealed homoerotic tension between any of the main characters Finish your glass of Old Winyards
‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Fie Armies’ is out in cinemas today. Read our review now