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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Host of the Eldar

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Peter (cont.): I do think it’s very funny when he says, “We’ve only just finished saying ‘Good morning.’” [Philippa laughs] (beat) [Aragorn sits on the steps of Helm’s Deep] This scene is particularly noticeable because of the two boys: Aragorn looks across and Viggo sees his own son, who’s standing there on the right-hand side [screen cap] – that’s Henry, Viggo’s son – and then this is Calum, who’s Philippa’s son. [Philippa: Hmm.] Eh, Philippa?

Philippa: Yes. A bit of nepotism in the casting. He was quite young then.

Peter: How old will he be? Twelve?

Philippa: He’s… no, I think he was thirteen there, but just thirteen. And he’s coming up seventeen now, so when we came to do his ADR, his voice had broken, so we couldn’t use his own voice. We found a lovely young actor in England who was able to match his performance pretty well. He probably still sounds a little young, actually.

Fran: It was Viggo’s idea to do this scene.

Philippa: Yeah.

Fran: And it was a very good one.

Philippa: Yep. His turning point.

Peter: Yeah. Yeah, it’s all good. (beat) [Aragorn prepares for battle] This is a classic arming up moment. [giggles] I love this stuff! It’s the classic strapping on the weapons! You normally see it in science-fiction films, don’t you, when they pull their armour and their, kind of, gadgets on, but we sort of did it in a kind of mediaeval way. The person at Weta that was joining these chain-mail rings did it for, like, two years, and they wore the fingerprints off their fingers. [Philippa gasps] Yeah, because they just spent, like, two years putting millions of these little links together, and they ended up [laughs] with no fingerprints on their fingers!

Philippa: Oh!

Fran: [surprised] Is that true?

Peter: Yeah, completely true!

Philippa: Oh, my…

Peter: Just worn…

Fran: [at same time as Peter] I find that impossible to believe!

Peter: No, just worn flat, like shiny, smooth fingers.

Philippa: [Gimli’s chain-mail fall to the ground] This is an old gag. This was around for a while, wasn’t it?

Peter: Well, this was back in the original script, wasn’t it?

Philippa: Yeah.

Peter: Like way, way back, years ago.

Philippa: Yeah.

Peter: [The horn of the Elves is heard] Of course, the Elves don’t actually come to Helm’s Deep at all in the book, do they?

Philippa: No, they definitely don’t.

Peter: [to Philippa] Can you explain yourself here? Why… why…?

Philippa: [laughs] This was you!

Peter: Me? No! I didn’t! You girls –.

Philippa: You wanted it!

Fran: It was all Peter’s idea!

Peter: No!

Philippa: This was a Peter Jackson idea that we had to make work.

Fran: He forced us to write [Philippa: He did.] all the scenes with Elves in them! It was terrible! [Peter laughs]

Philippa: This –. This was actually –.

Fran: We said, “The fans are going to hate it!” and he said, “I don’t care about the fans!” [Philippa laughs]

Peter: Oh, I did not!

Philippa: This, actually, was a very good instinct, because every time I’ve seen this with an audience, they’ve burst out cheering when the Elves turn up, and it really was… You need this at this moment.

Peter: Well, I tell you what: if, for no other reason, it’s a kind of a device of a battle build-up.

Philippa: [in agreement] Mmm.

Peter: That the heroes are… overwhelmingly outnumbered, and then at the last minute, this small band of addition heroes shows up, you know, they’re still outnumbered [Philippa agrees] but they just have another group of –

Fran: They have a fighting chance.

Peter: – of willing, kind of, supporters.

Philippa: For the purists who felt this was very against the spirit of Tolkien, we just want to remind them that it was very difficult, because the Elves do actually drop out of the story and, reported, you find out in the book that they are fighting their own battles and holding the line against invasions from the North, attacks are being made on Lothlórien – perhaps not quite at this phase –.

Peter: That’s something –. That would be great to show that, wouldn’t it?

Philippa: Yeah.

Peter: Let Lothlórien [?] under attack.

Philippa: I know, but you can’t. You know, that’s –. We knew that.

Peter: Well, maybe we should do it [Philippa: Oh, God!] in ‘Return of the King’.

Philippa: [laughing] Do you mean we did this for nothing?

Fran: Enough battles!

Philippa: Fran! Stop him!

Fran: No, I know!

Philippa: Stop him now!

The Battle of the Hornburg >>

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