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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Heir of Númenor

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Peter (cont.): They’re called the Huorns in the book [Philippa: Mmm hmm.] – they have a name, which we never really used in the film – and the Ents are there to look after the trees, and make sure the trees don’t get up to any mischief, or they don’t, you know, have any harm done to them: they’re actually there as protectors of the trees, and they’re two very different species.

Philippa: [The Heir of Númenor] This was us thinking that, maybe if we gave all the exposition in one great wadge to Ian McKellen, he’d leverage it off the page.

Peter: And just tell everybody what the whole film was about! [Philippa laughs]

Philippa: [laughing] Poor old Ian!

Peter: [laughing] It’s one of those scenes where –

Philippa: We always did that to him!

Peter: – this explained the… well, it explained what this film was about.

Philippa: Yeah.

Peter: And in the end, we didn’t use it.

Philippa: No! [Peter laughs]

Fran: No, no.

Philippa: God, that was pages and pages, and he just did it so brilliantly.

Peter: He did do it brilliantly. This was filmed in an apple warehouse in a very tiny New Zealand town; it was raining, and we were shooting some scenes outside Dimrill Dale for ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ when they come out of the Mines of Moria. It was absolutely pouring with rain, and so we retreated into this old warehouse. We couldn’t built a set, and so that’s why there’s no set there [laughs], it’s just some smoke behind them! [Philippa laughs] And we shot this scene while the rain was hammering down on the tin roof; but at least we got a few pages shot that day when it was pouring with rain!

Philippa: Yeah.

Peter: This scene serves a purpose in the sense that it does really focus Gandalf as the enemy of Sauron, and that he’s very much reliant upon Aragorn to help him [Philippa agrees], to be his ally, and the fact that he’s saying to Aragorn: “Well, you know, Sauron now knows about you, and he’s basically going to be coming after you, too. You’re a marked man, you’ve got to now fight back. It’s time now for war, really”; it is, you know, telling Aragorn that now is the hour. (beat) Some of the shots in this scene, we saw with horror that Ian’s rubber nose had gone black – remember that? We had to use our computer to re-colour his nose, because for some reason the lighting [Fran: Mmm.] that we were using didn’t bounce to well off the rubber, and it made his nose look black.

Fran: Yes, we…

Philippa: God, you can’t have Gandalf with blackheads!

Peter: [at same time as Philippa] Like a bit of frostbite.

Fran: No, we had nose rot problems.

Philippa: [laughing] Did you have nose…! [laughs]

Fran: There was a tense week where we were waiting on the verdict from Weta as to whether they could re-colourise his nose or we had to re-shoot.

Philippa: Oh, right.

Peter: Right. (beat)

The Black Gate is Closed >>

The Lord of the Rings and its content does not belong to me, it is property of the Tolkien Estate;  the commentaries transcribed here, as well as the images used, are the property of New Line Cinema.