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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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This article is about the film by Peter Jackson. For the the unrelated video game by Vivendi, see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game).
The Fellowship of the Ring
DirectorPeter Jackson
ProducerPeter Jackson
Barrie M. Osborne
Tim Sanders
Fran Walsh
J. R. R. Tolkien
Frances Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Peter Jackson
MusicHoward Shore
CinematographyAndrew Lesnie
EditingJohn Gilbert
DistributorNew Line Cinema
ReleasedDecember 19th, 2001
178 min.
Extended Edition:
208 min.
CountryNew Zealand & USA
Budget$94 million
WebsiteOfficial website
IMDbIMDb Profile

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a film, released on Wednesday, December 19, 2001, directed by Peter Jackson with a runtime of 178 minutes (2 hours, 58 minutes). It is the first part in the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films. The film retells the adventures of the members of the "Fellowship of the Ring" that is contained in The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings. The final scene is actually taken from the first chapter of the second volume, The Two Towers. The screenplay was written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson. It was produced as the first of three films based on the novel, filmed simultaneously on location in New Zealand with a budget of U.S. $180 million, the most in moviemaking history, with principal photography taking 14 months and postproduction continuing long after that. This adaptation was the most popular of all, winning many awards.



Role Actor
Frodo Baggins Elijah Wood
Gandalf the Grey Ian McKellen
Aragorn (Strider) Viggo Mortensen
Samwise Gamgee Sean Astin
Galadriel Cate Blanchett
Boromir Sean Bean
Arwen Evenstar Liv Tyler
Gimli son of Glóin John Rhys-Davies
Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) Dominic Monaghan
Peregrin Took (Pippin) Billy Boyd
Legolas Orlando Bloom
Saruman the White Christopher Lee
Elrond Hugo Weaving
Bilbo Baggins Ian Holm
Rosie Cotton Sarah McLeod
Celeborn Marton Csokas
Haldir of Lórien Craig Parker
Lobelia Sackville-Baggins Elizabeth Moody


Sauron, the dark lord, has awakened and threatens to conquer Middle-earth. To stop this ancient evil once and for all, Frodo Baggins must destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Men, Hobbits, a Wizard, an Elf and a Dwarf form a fellowship to help him on his quest.


  1. Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All... **
  2. Concerning Hobbits *
  3. The Shire **
  4. Very Old Friends **
  5. A Long-expected Party **
  6. Farewell Dear Bilbo
  7. Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe
  8. The Account of Isildur
  9. At the Green Dragon *
  10. The Shadow of the Past
  11. The Passing of the Elves
  12. Saruman the White
  13. A Short Cut to Mushrooms
  14. Bucklebury Ferry
  15. At the Sign of The Prancing Pony
  16. The Nazgùl
  17. The Midgewater Marshes *
  18. The Spoiling of Isengard
  19. A Knife in the Dark
  20. The Caverns of Isengard
  21. Flight to the Ford **
  22. Rivendell
  23. Many Meetings
  24. The Fate of the Ring
  25. The Sword that Was Broken **
  26. The Evenstar
  27. The Council of Elrond **
  28. Gilraen's Memorial *
  29. Bilbo's Gifts
  30. The Departure of The Fellowship *
  31. The Ring Goes South **
  32. The Pass of Caradhras **
  33. Moria **
  34. A Journey in the Dark **
  35. Balin's Tomb **
  36. The Bridge of Khazad-dùm
  37. Lothlórien **
  38. Caras Galadhon **
  39. The Mirror of Galadriel **
  40. The Fighting Uruk-hai
  41. Farewell to Lórien **
  42. The Great River **
  43. Parth Galen
  44. The Breaking of the Fellowship **
  45. The Departure of Boromir
  46. The Road Goes Ever On...
  47. Credits
  48. Official Fan Club Credits

* denotes a scene only available in the Extended Edition cut of the film.
** denotes a scene which includes extended content only available in the Extended Edition cut of the film.

Special effects

The Fellowship of the Ring makes extensive use of digital, practical and makeup special effects throughout. One noticeable effect that appears in almost every scene involves setting a proper scale so that the characters are all the proper height. Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, is 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) tall in real life; but the character of Frodo Baggins is barely four feet tall. Many different tricks were used to cast the hobbits (and Gimli the Dwarf) as diminutive. Large and small stunt doubles were used in certain scenes, while entire duplicates of certain sets (especially Bag End in Hobbiton) were built at two different scales, so that the characters would appear to be the appropriate size. At one point in the film Frodo runs along a corridor in Bag End, followed by Gandalf. Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen were filmed in separate versions of the same corridor, built at two different scales, and a fast camera pan conceals the edit between the two. Forced perspective was also employed, so that it would look as though the short hobbits were interacting with taller Men and Elves. Surprising the makers of the film, kneeling was used to great effect.

For the battle between the Last Alliance and the forces of Sauron that begins the film, an elaborate CGI animation system, called Massive, was developed that would allow thousands of individual animated "characters" in the program to act differently. This helped give the illusion of realism to the battle sequences.

Filming locations

A list of filming locations, sorted by appearance order in the movie:

Specific Location
in New Zealand
General Area
in New Zealand
Hobbiton Matamata Waikato
Gardens of Isengard Harcourt Park Upper Hutt
The Shire woods Otaki Gorge Road  
Bucklebury Ferry Keeling Farm Manukau
Forest near Bree Takaka Hill Nelson
Trollshaws Waitarere Forest  
Ford of Bruinen Arrowtown Recreational Reserve Queenstown
Rivendell Kaitoke Regional Park Upper Hutt
Eregion Mount Olympus Nelson
Dimrill Dale Lake Alta The Remarkables
Dimrill Dale Mount Owen Nelson
Lothlórien Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
River Anduin Rangitikei River  
River Anduin Poet's Corner Upper Hutt
Parth Galen Paradise Glenorchy
Amon Hen Mavora Lakes Milford Sound

Deviations from the source material

A small but vocal minority of admirers of the original book raised some concerns when the film was released, complaining that the movie's screenplay made a number of changes to Tolkien's story. Many of these protests seemed to be rather minor concerns and were largely ignored by general movie going audiences. However, more than a few people expressed surprise when the movie's plot diverged from that of the book in what might be considered more fundamental ways.

  • The Hobbits' adventures on the way from the Shire to Bree, which occupy over five chapters of the novel, were drastically cut, implying that the journey took place over a much shorter period of time. This material includes the Hobbits' interaction with Tom Bombadil, who is completely absent from the film. The time the Hobbits spend in Bree itself is also significantly shortened, and their acquisition of the pony, Bill, is missing. Also missing is an entire subplot in which Frodo pretends to be moving back to his ancestral home in Buckland, with the help of his Hobbit friends (who, in the book, turn out to be Sam's co-conspirators and are introduced quite differently).
  • Arwen Evenstar has a far greater role; and her replacement of the character of Glorfindel from the novel raised the ire of many dedicated Tolkien fans.
  • In the film, Sam Gamgee is treated as an adult at Bilbo Baggins' farewell party; in the books, he was only 21 (still 12 years from his coming of age). Perhaps more significantly, Frodo appears much younger. The seventeen year time period between the party and Gandalf's return to the Shire is significantly shortened. This tightening of the timespan occurs frequently.
  • The characterization of Boromir is expanded somewhat, and his final stand at Amon Hen is included on-screen (an event which takes place in the next volume of the books). This change has been received fairly positively.

Other fans explain that, compared to the many film adaptations of literary works over the years, many of which bear little or no resemblance to the source material, this film and the remainder of the trilogy are still very faithful adaptations, with some changes necessary due to the differing limitations of film.

Linguistic elements

Some fans also felt that movie producers missed the linguistic basis of the work (as Tolkien invented the world to bring his languages alive and not the other way around):

In particular, Namárië, Galadriel's lament in Lórien that begins "Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen", did not appear in the film, although Tolkien considered it one of the highest points of The Fellowship of the Ring. A few lines of the poem do, however, make it into the soundtrack at the departure from Lórien. Other samples of Elvish language from the books are treated similiarly. However, Elvish (most often Sindarin) is spoken extensively in the film, with and without subtitles. The Elvish lines were, for the most part, devised specifically for the film version, sometimes based on English text written by Tolkien.

The movie features numerous books and artifacts with Tengwar inscriptions. Even though they were researched for accuracy, they still show a couple of peculiarities and inconsistencies not found in Tolkien's own Tengwar samples.

Another idiosyncrasy of the films is that Hobbit writing is shown in the Latin alphabet, while the books state that the Hobbits used the Tengwar. However, the Latin calligraphy is written in such a way that it bears resemblance to the Tengwar, including tehtar above their corresponding vowels. This refers visually to the Tengwar while allowing the audience to immediately recognise the text.



In 2002 the movie won four Academy Awards out of thirteen nominations. The winning categories were for Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Best Music, Original Score. The other nominated categories were Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Music, Song (Enya, Nicky Ryan and Roma Ryan for "May It Be"), Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.

After the close of its theatre run, it ranked in the top ten highest grossing movies worldwide, with takings of $860,700,000 USA dollars from world-wide theatrical box office receipts (movie ticket sales). (Source: IMDB Top Movies Chart).

The movie has also been released on videotape and DVD, with some editions having additional footage and commentary not included in the theatrical release edition. Notable among the restored scenes is additional footage of a smiling Galadriel bestowing gifts on the members of the fellowship. In the theatrical version, she appeared dark and brooding. On Tuesday, November 12, 2002, Special Extended DVD Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released, containing 208 minutes (3 hours, 28 minutes) of footage.

The extended editions of The Fellowship of the Ring and the second movie, The Two Towers had limited theatrical runs in selected cities worldwide in late 2003, during the run-up to the release of the final film, The Return of the King.


See also

Licensed film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's works
The Hobbit (1966) · The Hobbit (1977) · The Lord of the Rings (1978) · The Return of the King (1980) · The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) · The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) · The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)