Balrogs, Beatles and Bean: Twelve Facts You May Not Have Known About Lord of the Rings

gandalfSean Connery was originally offered the role of Gandalf, but had never read the books and “didn’t understand the script.”

Sean Bean is afraid of riding in helicopters, so he chose to take a ski lift in full Boromir costume and then walk the rest of the way to the set.

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a tumultuous friendship in real life.

Tolkien typed all 1,200 pages of The Lord of the Rings with two fingers.

John-Rhys Davies, the actor who plays Gimli, is also the voice of Man Ray on Spongebob Squarepants.

The mountains on Titan, Saturn’s moon, are named in honor of Tolkien’s work.

The Return of the King holds the record for highest movie body count, tallying in at 836 (not including animals).

Back in the ’60s, the Beatles wanted to make a movie adaptation of Lord of the Rings, with Stanley Kubrick directing, but Tolkien killed the project.

While filming a fight scene, Viggo Mortensen chipped a tooth, went to the dentist during his lunch break, and then started shooting again the same day.

Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood never actually filmed a scene together in person.

Tolkien sold the film rights to The Lord of the Rings in 1969 for £10,000.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf had his big standoff scene with the Balrog, Ian McKellen was actually acting to a ping pong ball.

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