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10 things you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Geek Dave says you shall not pass until you have read 10 things that you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Before we get to The Two Towers trivia, let's establish just how much of a bad-ass Viggo Mortensen is. Having previously nearly died early on in the Lord of the Rings shoot whilst rehearsing the scene where he floats down the river in full armor, he then had an actual dagger accidentally thrown at him by Lurtz (Lawrence Makoare) - Mortensen simply parried it away with his own real sword! So when it came to The Two Towers, how would he top that?...

1. After snapping a tooth totally in half, Mortensen waited until the scene was completed and then requested some superglue so he could reattach it himself. The production team wouldn't let him, and so he begrudgingly went to the dentist, but was back the same day filming. Then, in the scene where Aragorn angrily kicks a helmet (above), Peter Jackson asked him to keep trying to get it as close to the camera as possible. Eventually he kicked it so hard that he broke two toes. Jackson wanted one more and without letting on about his injury Mortensen obliged. That's the take used in the movie, the scream of pure agony was real.

2. Mind you, Mortensen wasn't the only one who was injured on set. In the wide shots of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli running after the Orcs, Mortensen is nursing his broken toes, Orlando Bloom had two broken ribs from falling off his horse and Gimli's stunt-double, Brett Beattie, had a dislocated knee.

3. Andy Serkis was originally only going to be providing the voice for Gollum. He'd flown to New Zealand for what he though would be three weeks worth of voiceover work, but Peter Jackson was so impressed with how he got into the character that he offered Serkis the chance to perform the movements for Gollum as well. This caused huge headaches for visual effect company WETA, as they had already spent two years designing the character, and now had only 2 and a half months to incorporate Serkis' physical performance and facial characteristics. As Serkis did not arrive on set until the filming for The Two Towers began, the Gollum that is briefly seen in The Fellowship of the Ring is actually that original WETA creation.

4. Amazingly, the scene where Gandalf calls for his horse and Shadowfax comes galloping across the fields and straight up to his master was actually achieved in the very first take.

5. In Tolkien's original novel, Sam and Frodo never passed through Osgiliath at all. So Peter Jackson had a line inserted in the script - Sam says, "By rights, we shouldn't even be here" as a little reference that they were deviating from the source material.

6. As well as starring as Gimli, John Rhys-Davis provided the voice for Treebeard. There was no high tech adjustments made to his voice, he simply used his normal booming tone but spoken through a wooden megaphone.

7. It took so long to get Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Dominic Monaghan (Merry) up the 14 foot high animatronic Treebeard puppet, that the pair stayed there in between takes and during breaks. Their lunch was winched up to them, and they used their spare time collaborating on a screenplay (which has yet to see the light of day).

8. The battle of Helm's Deep took almost four months to shoot, all of it at night. Filming was delayed at one point in time because the many extras employed to assist in knocking down the main door of Helm's Deep could not achieve the task - even though they were using a real re-enforced battering ram. Eventually the door itself had to be weakened. If you listen to the commentary on the Extended Edition DVD, Peter Jackson says that if anyone ever needs to defend a castle then they should call WETA as those guys know how to build doors. When filming for this segment of the movie was finally completed, Jackson was left with 20 hours of, what was deemed, usable footage. So for those who complain about how long his movies are, just think how much is left on the cutting room floor.

9. Brad Dourif had to shave off his eyebrows for the role of Grima Wormtongue. He later said that whilst they were growing back they felt incredibly itchy and irritating, and that he'd never want to do it again. Unfortunately, after Dourif was released from set, thinking his scenes were complete, he was called back four more times over the space of two years. On each occasion he had to shave his eyebrows again, and on each occasion he had gone through the irritation and they had fully grown back before the phone rang again.

10. Dourif wasn't the only one to be called back to set by Peter "I've had an idea" Jackson. I mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring trivia that Sean Bean has a debilitating fear of flying, and will only do so when absolutely necessary. He'd finished up all his scenes and had flown back home to England, but had hardly been in the country when he was asked to fly back to New Zealand to film an elaborate flashback scene. You can imagine how upset he was when the whole scene was cut from the movies theatrical release! (Although it was included in the Extended Edition DVD).

Read All Our Lord Of The Rings / The Hobbit Trivia Articles
The Actors Who Could've Been In The Lord Of The Rings
10 things you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
10 things you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
10 things you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
10 things you may not know about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
10 things you may not know about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Samug
10 things you may not know about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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