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 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
Alan Howard Voice of the Ring
Noel Appleby Everard Proudfoot
Sean Astin Sam
Sala Baker Sauron
Sean Bean Boromir
Cate Blanchett Galadriel
Orlando Bloom Legolas
Billy Boyd Pippin
Peter Corrigan Otho
Marton Csokas Celeborn
Lori Dungey Mrs. Bracegirdle
Megan Edwards Mrs. Proudfoot
Michael Elsworth Gondorian Archivist
Mark Ferguson Gil-galad
Norman Forsey Gaffer Gamgee (Extended Edition only)
Ian Holm Bilbo
William Johnson Old Noakes (Extended Edition only)
Ian McKellen Gandalf
Christopher Lee Saruman
Lawrence Makoare Lurtz
Brent McIntyre Witch-king
Peter McKenzie Elendil
Sarah McLeod Rosie Cotton
Dominic Monaghan Merry
Elizabeth Moody Lobelia
Viggo Mortensen Aragorn
Ian Mune Bounder
Craig Parker Haldir
Cameron Rhodes Farmer Maggot
John Rhys-Davies Gimli
Martyn Sanderson Gate Keeper
Brian Sergent Ted Sandyman (Extended Edition only)
Andy Serkis Gollum (voice)
Harry Sinclair Isildur
Liv Tyler Arwen
David Weatherley Barliman Butterbur
Hugo Weaving Elrond
Isildur (voice)
Elijah Wood Frodo
Victoria Beynon-Cole, Lee Hartley, Sam La Hood, Chris Streeter, Philip Grieve, Jonathan Jordan, Semi Kuresa, Clinton Ulyatt, Paul Bryson, Lance Fabian Kemp, Jono Manks, Ben Price, Kate O'Rourke (Extended Edition), Thomas McGinty (Extended Edition) Hero Orcs, Goblins, Uruks, Ringwraiths
Billy Jackson, Katie Jackson Cute Hobbit Children


Actor Role
Gino Acevedo, Xander Forterie, Rich Mayberry Ring Dwarf-lords
Betty Adams, Timothy Bartlett, Darcy Beehre, Bob Blackwell, Dave Houma, Timothy Patrick, Jo Surgison, Kate Surgison, John Turner, Josh Widdicombe, Geoffrey Hughes, Bernie Lord Hobbits
Frazier Anderson, Daniel Andrews, Rodney Bane, Mana Hira Davis, Branko Dordevich, Siaosi Fonua, Winham "Mu" Hammond, Ralph Johnson, Timothy Patrick, Nooroa Poa, Chris Reid, Samuel E. Shore, John Turner, James Waterhouse-Brown, Saeed Zamiri Orcs
Sala Baker, Rachel Clentworth, Mana Hira Davis, Ben Fransham, Winham "Mu" Hammond, Lani Jackson, Sharen Maxwell, David J. Muzzerall, Steve Reinsfield, John Turner, James Waterhouse-Brown, Robert Young Goblins
Daniel Andrews, Sala Baker, Sean Button, Ryan Carey, Tack Daniel, Peter Daube, Mana Hira Davis, Shane Dawson, Branko Dordevich, Siaosi Fonua, Ben Fransham, Matthew Gibbons, Winham "Mu" Hammond, Greg Lane, Tim McLachlan, Nathan Meister, Dean Morganty, Greg "Danger" Morrison, Andrew Munro, Grant Roa, Vincent Roxburgh, Mike Stearne, Andrew Stehlin, Ken Stratton, Tim Wong Uruk-hai
Matt Appleton, Jonathan Harding, Sam Kelly, Blair Morton Council Elves
Jarl Benzon, Ben Britton, Kester Fordham, Sam Kelly, Jason Secto Last Alliance Elves
Jørn Benzon, Ben Fransham, Jonathan Harding, Ax McClennan, Jason Secto Lothlórien Elves
Lynden Berryman Uruk at Amen Hen
Ben Britton, Sabine Crossen, Kester Fordham, Andy Gunn, Gareth Jensen Rivendell Elves
Jed Brophy, Tim McLachlan Ringwraiths
Riley Brophy, Phoebe Gittins, Taea Hartwell Cute Hobbit Children
Justin B. Carter, James Morcan, Ken Reinsfield, Vincent Roxburgh, Billy "Roy" Taylor, Marcus Thorne, Brendan Young Gondorian Soldiers
Norman Cates, Jeff Kingsford-Brown, Jill Jackson Party Hobbits
Randell William Cook Cave Troll
Matthew Gibbons Birthing Uruk
Michael Elsworth Círdan the Shipwright
Warren Green, Stu Johnson, Peter Lyon Isengard Orc Blacksmiths
Zo Hartley Kissing Hobbit (Extended Edition)
Ray Henwood, Ralph Johnson Council Men
John Howe, Alan Lee, Larry Rew Ring Kings of Men
Peter Jackson Albert Dreary
Tim Kano Gondorian Citizen
Sacha Lee Arms of Gollum
Marta Martí Village Female Hobbit
Bret McKenzie Figwit
Nathan Meister Gondorian Guard
Liz Merton Hobbit Band Member
Arnold Montey, Paul Shapcott Burning Ringwraiths
Greg "Danger" Morrison, Robert Young Orc Archers
Christy Qullium Galadriel's Elf
Shane Rangi Witch-king
Thomas Robins Hand of Gollum
Chris Ryan, Bruce Sinclair, Rebecca Fitzgerald Breelanders
Samuel E. Shore Refugee
Ken Stratton Isengard Orc
Ken Stratton, Andy Gunn Last Alliance Soldier
Ken Stratton Morgul Orc
John Turner Wildman
Nathan Clark Galdor
Nikki Webster Elf
Andy Serkis Black Rider, Witch-king (voices)
Fran Walsh Screaming Ringwraith (voice)
Mike Hopkins Farmer Maggot (voice)
Augie Davis, Ross Duncan, Jason Fitch, Micha Kemp, Sandro Kopp, Andrea Russell, Pete Smith, Piripi Waretini, Tim Wong, Andrew Van Klei Extras

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 screen adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's works
Animation The Hobbit (1967) · 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)
Live-action The Lord of the Rings film series The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) · The Two Towers (2002) · The Return of the King (2003)
The Hobbit film series An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Other films The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum (2026, upcoming)
TV series Hobitit (1993) · The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (2022-present)

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 Official Movie Guide · The Making of the Movie Trilogy · Complete Visual Companion · Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic · There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale · Weapons and Warfare · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Sketchbook
The Fellowship of the Ring Visual Companion · The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers Visual Companion · Photo Guide · The Art of The Two Towers
The Return of the King 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