Peter: Yeah. Yeah.
Fran: A bit like Alan.
Peter: That’s right. Exactly. (beat) [Aragorn discusses the defence of Helm’s Deep with Legolas]
I like the idea that Aragorn is just thinking about the defence: again, it was just building up that tension; and this is
a scene that we decided for pacing reasons, really, more than anything, not to include in the theatrical version. I guess
we felt that it got in the way, a little bit, of the build-up to the battle, didn’t we?
Fran: Yeah. We didn’t really want to, also, put Éowyn quite in such a definitive place with Aragorn in this
movie: it was something that we felt in the end would’ve been better to leave for Film Three.
Peter: That she’s, sort of, completely in love with him? You mean you think this scene goes too far to reveal
Fran: [at same time as Peter] Yes, I do, yeah.
Fran: It doesn’t leave us anywhere to go.
Peter: Well I hope it does! We’ve got a whole other film to do yet!
Fran: Well, exactly. [Peter laughs]
Peter: We ultimately didn’t feel the need to make it like a soap opera. We just thought, “Well, it works
okay in the book.” It’s a romantic triangle, but it’s not, you know, because at no point, really, does Aragorn
ever commit to Éowyn.
Fran: Yeah, and it diminished, too, the true nature of the love story between Aragorn and Arwen, because that’s
a story of heightened romantic love.
Peter: [screen cap] This is Elijah Wood’s sister that you’re seeing on the screen here with the blonde hair, just walking past the
camera. She came to visit the set one day down here in New Zealand and we made sure we got her in as a featured Rohan extra.
(beat) The only shot that we ever see of the Glittering Caves and their enormity is this one [screen cap], which is a lovely matte painting that was done by Weta, and I love the idea of these incredible caves in Helm’s Deep:
they weren’t just caves, but they were like some, you know, geological wonder that we never really were able to show
much of it in the movie, unfortunately. Most of the Glittering Caves is just this relatively small set that we built. (beat)
[Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli in the armouries] This is a piece of made-up stuff that’s not in the book, but it’s,
again, trying to really amp the tension up before the battle, because we felt that if there was fractiousness between our
heroes, then that would just show that the situation is indeed getting very desperate. And I always liked the idea that the
old men and young boys are being forced to arm themselves, because there’s no – just simply not enough soldiers
to defend this place properly. (beat) There’s a couple of featured extras in the back of some of these shots,
too: there’s Dan Hennah, our art director, and Alan Lee features in the back of a couple of the shots too as one of
the Rohan extras. (beat) The armouries scene was originally a bit longer, because Théoden came in and addressed the
troops; but in a sense, Bernard’s performance was so strong and so compelling that it actually, in a funny way, diffused
the tension, because we have this, kind of, this subtle sense of despair with the fact that Aragorn and Legolas are at each
other’s throats; …