The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

From Tolkien Gateway
"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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The name The Fellowship of the Ring refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Fellowship of the Ring (disambiguation).
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Ensemble poster.jpg
DirectorPeter Jackson
J.R.R. Tolkien
Frances Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Peter Jackson
Stephen Sinclair
ProducerPeter Jackson
Barrie M. Osborne
Tim Sanders
Fran Walsh
CinematographyAndrew Lesnie
EditingJohn Gilbert
MusicHoward Shore
StudioWingNut Films
New Line Cinema
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 the first film of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings (film series).It is directed by Peter Jackson, while it's screenplay is written by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and Stephen Sinclair.

The film retells the adventures of the Fellowship of the Ring, taking its story from the first part, The Fellowship of the Ring, and the first chapter of The Two Towers.

It is the first film of Peter Jackson's film trilogy, and it was filmed simultaneously on various locations in New Zealand. With a budget of U.S. $180 million, it is one of the most expensive movies production in history of cinema. Principal photography took 14 months and postproduction continued long after that. The film premiered at Odeon Leicester Squareon, in London, in 10 December 2001.It was followed by The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2002.


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 Nazgûl
  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-dûm
  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.


Actor Role
Gino Acevedo Sindri
Noel Appleby Everard Proudfoot
Matt Appleton Saelbeth
Sean Astin Samwise Gamgee
Sala Baker Sauron
Timothy Bartlett Hobbit
Sean Bean Boromir
Victoria Beynon-Cole Orc
Jarl Benzon Last Alliance Elf
Jørn Benzon Lothlórien Elf
Cate Blanchett Galadriel
Orlando Bloom Legolas
Billy Boyd Peregrin Took
Fran Walsh Screaming Ringwraith (voice)
Jed Brophy Ringwraith
Orc commander
Riley Brophy Cute Hobbit child
Paul Bryson Extra
Ben Britton Extra
Nathan Clark Galdor
Rachel Clentworth Goblin
Peter Corrigan Otho Sackville-Baggins
Sabine Crossen Rivendell Elf
Marton Csokas Celeborn
Augie Davis Extra
Mana Hira Davis Extra
Ross Duncan Extra
Lori Dungey Mrs Bracegirdle
Megan Edwards Mrs Proudfoot
Michael Elsworth Círdan, Gondorian archivist
Mark Ferguson Gil-galad
Jason Fitch Extra
Rebecca Fitzgerald Prancing Pony patron
Norman Forsey Hamfast Gamgee (Extended Edition only)
Xander Forterie Úri
Ben Fransham Extra
Mark Fry Prancing Pony patron
Philip Grieve Extra
Andy Gunn Extra
Jonathan Harding Extra
Lee Hartley Orc
Taea Hartwell Cute Hobbit child
Ian Holm Bilbo Baggins
Mike Hopkins Farmer Maggot (voice)
Alan Howard The Ring (voice)
Geoffrey Hughes Hobbit
Billy Jackson Cute Hobbit child
Jill Jackson Party Hobbit
Katie Jackson Cute Hobbit child
Lani Jackson Extra
Peter Jackson Albert Dreary
Gareth Jensen Extra
William Johnson Old Noakes (Extended Edition only)
Jonathan Jordan Extra
Sam Kelly Silinde
Lance Fabian Kemp Extra
Micha Kemp Extra
Sandro Kopp Extra
Semi Kuresa Extra
Sam La Hood Extra
Greg Lane Extra
Alan Lee King of Men
Christopher Lee Saruman
Lawrence Makoare Lurtz
Jono Manks Ringwraith
Rich Mayberry Dwarf
Ax McClennan Extra
Thomas McGinty Extra
Brent McIntyre Witch-king of Angmar
Ian McKellen Gandalf
Bret McKenzie "Figwit"
Peter McKenzie Elendil
Sarah McLeod Rosie Cotton
Dominic Monaghan Meriadoc Brandybuck
Elizabeth Moody Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
Viggo Mortensen Aragorn
Blair Morton Extra
Ian Mune Bounder
Kate O'Rourke Extra
Craig Parker Haldir
Ben Price Extra
Shane Rangi Extra
Cameron Rhodes Farmer Maggot
John Rhys-Davies Gimli
Grant Roa Uruk-hai
Thomas Robins Hand of Gollum
Andrea Russell Extra
Martyn Sanderson Harry Goatleaf
Jason Secto Last Alliance Elf
Lothlórien Elf
Andy Serkis Gollum (voice)
Witch-king of Angmar (voice)
Brian Sergent Ted Sandyman (Extended Edition only)
Paul Shapcott Ringwraith
Harry Sinclair Isildur
Pete Smith Extra
Chris Streeter Extra
Liv Tyler Arwen
Clinton Ulyatt Uruk-hai
Piripi Waretini Extra
David Weatherley Barliman Butterbur
Hugo Weaving Elrond
Isildur (voice)
Nikki Webster Elf
Tim Wong Uruk-hai
Elijah Wood Frodo Baggins

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, making it 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 to 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

Narrative differences

Jackson, Walsh and Boyens made numerous changes to the story. Jackson said his main desire was to make a film focused primarily on Frodo and the Ring, the "backbone" of the story. The prologue condenses Tolkien's backstory, in which The Last Alliance's seven-year siege of the Barad-dûr is a single battle, where Sauron is shown to explode, though Tolkien only said his spirit flees.

Events at the beginning of the film are condensed or omitted altogether. In the book the time between Gandalf leaving the Ring to Frodo and returning to reveal its inscription, which is 17 years, is compressed for timing reasons. Because of this, Frodo is around the same age as Sam, Merry, and Pippin in the films. Frodo also spends a few months preparing to move to Buckland, on the eastern border of the shire. This move is omitted and combined with him setting out for Bree. Also compressed is the time between Frodo and Sam leaving Bag End and their meeting Merry and Pippin. Characters such as Tom Bombadil are left out to simplify the plot. Such sequences are left out to make time to introduce Saruman, who doesn't appear in the book until Gandalf's account at the Council of Elrond. Saruman's role is enhanced: he is to blame for the blizzard on Caradhras, a role taken from Sauron and/or Caradhras itself in the book. Gandalf's capture by Saruman has an added fight sequence.

Barliman Butterbur's role at the Prancing Pony is largely removed for time, although the character does appear briefly.

The events at Weathertop were also altered. The fight against the Ringwraiths occurs at the ruins on top of the hill rather than a campsite at its base. When Frodo was stabbed in the book, the party spent two weeks travelling to Rivendell, but in the film it takes less than a week, with Frodo's condition worsening at a commensurately greater rate. Arwen's role is greater in the film, accompanying Frodo all the way to Rivendell, while in the book Frodo faces the Ringwraiths alone at the Ford of Bruinen. The character of Glorfindel was omitted entirely and his scenes were also given to Arwen. She was tacitly credited with the river rising against the Ringwraiths, which was the work of her father Elrond with aid from Gandalf in the book.

A notable addition is Aragorn's self-doubt, which causes him to hesitate to claim the kingship of Gondor. This element is not present in the book, where Aragorn intends to claim the throne at an appropriate time. In the book Narsil is reforged immediately when he joins the Fellowship, but this event is instead moved to The Return of the King to symbolically coincide with his coronation. These elements were added because Peter Jackson believed that each character should be forced to grow or change over the course of the story.

Elrond's character gained an adversarial edge; he expresses doubts in the strength of Men to resist Sauron's evil after Isildur's failure to destroy the ring as depicted in the prologue. Jackson shortened the Council of Elrond by spreading its exposition into earlier parts of the film. Elrond's counsellor, Erestor — who suggested the Ring be given to Tom Bombadil — was completely absent from this scene. Gimli's father, Glóin, was present but had no speaking lines.

The tone of the Moria sequence was altered. Although in the book the Fellowship only realises the Dwarves are all dead once they reach Balin's tomb, the filmmakers instead used foreshadowing devices. Gandalf says to Gimli he would prefer not to enter Moria, and Saruman is shown to be aware of Gandalf's reticence, and also reveals an illustration of the Balrog in one of his books. The corpses of the dwarves are instantly shown as the Fellowship enter Moria.

In terms of narrative structure, the book simply ends; there is no climax, because Tolkien wrote the book as a single story published in three volumes. Jackson's version incorporates the first chapter of The Two Towers and makes its events, told in real time instead of flashback, simultaneous with the Breaking of the Fellowship. This finale is played as a climactic battle, where he first introduces the Uruk-hai referred to as Lurtz in the script. In the book, Boromir is unable to tell Aragorn which hobbits were kidnapped by the orcs before he dies. From there, Aragorn deduces Frodo's intentions when he notices a boat and Sam's pack missing. In the film, Aragorn and Frodo have a scene together where Frodo's intentions are explicitly stated.

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 to life and not the other way around):

Particularly, Namárië, Galadriel's lament in Lothlórien 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, appear in the soundtrack on the track "Lothórien". Other samples of Elvish language from the books are treated similarly. 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, there are still 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 was designed to resemble Tengwar, including tehtar above their corresponding vowels. This refers visually to the Tengwar while allowing viewers to immediately recognise the text.



In 2002 the movie won four Academy Awards out of thirteen nominations. The four awards were won for Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Best Music, Original Score. The nominations 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 its theatre run, it ranked in the top ten highest grossing movies worldwide, with takings of $860,700,000 USA dollars from world-wide box office 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 Lord of the Rings film series 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 film series The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Other films The Hobbit (1966) · The Hobbit (1977) · The Lord of the Rings (1978) · The Return of the King (1980) ·The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (2024, upcoming)
The Lord of the Rings film series
Source material: The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
Films The Fellowship of the Ring (extended editionThe Two Towers (extended edition) · The Return of the King (extended edition)
Music The Fellowship of the Ring (The Complete Recordings) · The Two Towers (The Complete Recordings) · The Return of the King (The Complete Recordings) · "May It Be" · "Gollum's Song" · "Into the West"
Tie-in books The Fellowship of the Ring Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · Photo Guide · The Art of The Two Towers
The Return of the King Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · The Art of The Return of the King
Video games The Two Towers · The Return of the King · The Third Age · Tactics · Conquest · Aragorn's Quest · Lego The Lord of the Rings
Characters Frodo · Bilbo · Gandalf · Sam · Merry · Pippin · Gandalf · Aragorn · Boromir · Legolas · Gimli · Elrond · Galadriel · Théoden · Éomer · Éowyn · Saruman · Sauron · Witch-king · Denethor · Faramir · Gollum · Gríma · Treebeard · Celeborn · Haldir · Lurtz · Sharku · Grishnákh