The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a film, released on December 19, 2001, directed by Peter Jackson. It is the first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films. The film tells the adventures of the members of the "Fellowship of the Ring" that are 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 novels, filmed simultaneously on location in New Zealand. It had a budget of $180 million U.S. dollars, principal photography took 14 months, and post production continued long after that. Also the film was a great box office success, making over $871 million worldwide. The film is the first Middle-Earth film adaptation to be released and the fourth chronologically.
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.
He travels from his home in the Shire with fellow hobbits Sam, Merry, and Pippin. They go to the town of Bree, where the group meets a shadowy figure known only as Strider. Pursued by Black Riders, they must get to Rivendell. Upon their arrival a council is convened, which decides the only course of action must be to take The Ring to Mordor and destroy it. Frodo is joined by his friends Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, and Gandalf; and newcomers Gimli, Legolas, and Boromir. They try to cross over the Misty Mountains by way of the Pass of Caradhras, but Saruman's magic forces them to turn back and travel underneath, through the mines of Moria. It is here that the Fellowship encounters a Balrog. Gandalf challenges the Balrog, and falls from the Bridge of Khazad-dûm into a chasm, presumably to his death. The Fellowship (minus Gandalf) then travel to the country of the elves in Lothlórien, and down the Great River on boats, where the company splits during an attack by Uruk-Hai. Boromir is killed, and Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas split off to track the Uruk-Hai who have captured Merry and Pippin. Frodo and Sam head east in the direction of Mordor.
Sixty years later, following his 111th birthday party, Bilbo gives the Ring to his nephew, Frodo Baggins. After some time, the wizard Gandalf the Grey begins to suspect Bilbo's magic ring may be The One Ring, lost for over 3000 years, and rides to Minas Tirith for discernment and confirmation of this suspicion where he is taken to a small room filled where many books and historical documents are stored. After poring over old documents for months, he finds the account of the finding of the One Ring. Gandalf learns that the Ring has several lines of Black Speech written on it that are only visible if the Ring is heated with fire. He returns to Bag End only to learn that the ring Frodo has been holding onto is, in fact, Sauron's One Ring. Gandalf tells Frodo to leave the Shire immediately with the Ring. Gandalf catches Samwise Gamgee eavesdropping by a window and decides to send him along with Frodo. Gandalf rides to Isengard to meet with Saruman the White who reveals to Gandalf that the Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths, have left Minas Morgul to capture the Ring and kill whoever carries it. Gandalf attempts to flee to warn Frodo, but Saruman, having already been corrupted to Sauron's cause, imprisons Gandalf atop his tower Orthanc. Gandalf is then forced to watch as Saruman, following Sauron's orders, commands the Orcs of Isengard to construct weapons of war and produce a new breed of Orc fighters called the Uruk-Hai. While traveling to the town of Bree, Frodo and Sam are soon joined by fellow hobbits, Merry and Pippin. After encountering a Ringwraith on the road, they manage to reach Bree only to discover that Gandalf hasn't arrived yet. Instead, Frodo meets a man called "Strider", who agrees to lead them to Rivendell. They continue travelling and spend the night on the hill of Weathertop, where they are attacked by the Nazgûl. Strider fights off the Ringwraiths, but Frodo is grievously wounded by one of the wraiths that stabbed him with a morgul blade which will cause him to turn into a wraith if not attended to with the proper care. While chased by the Nazgûl, Frodo is taken by the Elf Arwen to the Elven haven of Rivendell, and healed by her father, Elrond (the leader of the Elves at the battle of Mount Doom 3,000 years before). Arwen also uses her magic to cut off the pursuing Ringwraiths at the Ford of Bruinen, summoning a surge of water that swept the Ringwraiths away.
In Rivendell, Frodo finds Gandalf, who explains why he didn't meet them at Bree and that he had escaped Orthanc and Saruman's clutches with the help of an eagle. Later, Elrond calls a council to decide what should be done with the Ring. Elrond warns against keeping the Ring in Rivendell for long, knowing that the Elven realm could come under attack from both Mordor and Isengard. The Ring can only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom, where it was forged. Frodo volunteers to take the Ring to Mount Doom and is accompanied by his hobbit friends and Gandalf, as well as Strider, who is revealed to be Aragorn, the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. Also travelling with them are the Elf Legolas, the Dwarf Gimli and Boromir, the son of the Steward of Gondor. Together they comprise and become the Fellowship of the Ring.
The Fellowship sets out and tries to pass over the Misty Mountains by the mountain pass of Caradhras, but they are stopped by Saruman's wizardry. At Gimli's insistence, they decide to seek safety and travel under the mountain through The Mines of Moria. Frodo agrees, but while traveling through the mines, they are attacked by a Watcher in the Water, Goblins and a Cave Troll, and encounter a Balrog, an ancient demon of fire and shadow, at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. Gandalf faces the Balrog on the bridge and manages to send it plunging into the abyss below, but the monster drags him down with it. The group escapes the underground realm and flees into the Elven realm of Lothlórien, where they are sheltered by its rulers, Galadriel and her husband Celeborn. That night, Frodo meets Galadriel, who tells him that it is his destiny to handle the Ring and ultimately destroy it. Before they leave, Galadriel gives Frodo the Phial of Galadriel, and the other members also receive gifts from them. Taking the straight path to Mordor, they travel on the River Anduin towards Parth Galen.
After landing at Parth Galen, Boromir tries to take the Ring from Frodo, believing that it is the only way to save his realm, but Frodo escapes him. Aragorn encounters Frodo, but unlike Boromir, Aragorn manages to resist the Ring's temptation and chooses not to take it. Knowing that the Ring's temptation will be too strong for him or anyone else that is in the fellowship, Frodo decides to leave them and go to Mordor alone. Meanwhile, the rest of the Fellowship are attacked by Uruk-hai, who Saruman had ordered to hunt down the Fellowship and take back the Ring. Aragorn and the fellowship distract the Uruk-hai so that Frodo can escape; Merry and Pippin, also realizing that Frodo is leaving, distract the orcs allowing Frodo to escape. As Boromir rushes to the aid of the two hobbits, he is mortally wounded by the Uruk commander Lurtz. Before Lurtz can finish off Boromir, Aragorn arrives and attacks Lurtz, decapitating him after a short, but brutal fight. As he lies dying, Boromir regrets having attempted to steal the Ring, and is forgiven by Aragorn. Merry and Pippin are captured, prompting Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas to begin their pursuit of the orcs with the intent of rescuing the hobbits, and leaving Frodo to his quest. Frodo returns to the banks of the river and begins rowing across when Sam appears and swims out after Frodo, insisting he has promised Gandalf he would look after Frodo. Frodo accepts Sam's presence and together they continue their journey through the hills of Emyn Muil.
- Alan Howard as The Voice of The Ring
Cast in Alphabetical Order
- Noel Appleby as Everard Proudfoot
- Sean Astin as Sam
- Sala Baker as Sauron
- Sean Bean as Boromir
- Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
- Orlando Bloom as Legolas
- Billy Boyd as Pippin
- Marton Csokas as Celeborn
- Megan Edwards as Mrs. Proudfoot
- Michael Elsworth as Gondorian Archivist
- Mark Ferguson as Gil-galad
- Ian Holm as Bilbo
- Christopher Lee as Saruman
- Lawrence Makoare as Lurtz
- Brent McIntyre as Witch-King of Angmar
- Ian McKellen as Gandalf
- Peter McKenzie as Elendil
- Sarah McLeod as Rosie Cotton
- Dominic Monaghan as Merry
- Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
- Ian Mune as Bounder
- Craig Parker as Haldir
- Cameron Rhodes as Farmer Maggot
- John Rhys-Davies as Gimli
- Martyn Sanderson as Gate Keeper
- Andy Serkis as Gollum
- Harry Sinclair as Isildur
- Liv Tyler as Arwen
- David Weatherley as Barliman Butterbur
- Hugo Weaving as Elrond
- Elijah Wood as Frodo
Hero Orcs, Goblins, Uruks & Ringwraiths
- Victoria Beynon-Cole
- Lee Hartley
- Sam La Hood
- Chris Streeter
- Jonathan Jordan
- Semi Kuresa
- Clinton Ulyatt
- Paul Bryson
- Lance Fabian Kemp
- Jono Manks
- Ben Price
- Phil Grieve (fifth listed in the extended edition)
Cute Hobbit Children
- Billy Jackson
- Katie Jackson
Extended Edition only
- Peter Corrigan as Otho
- Lori Dungley as Mrs. Bracegirdle
- Norman Forsey as Gaffer Gamgee
- William Johnson as Old Noakes
- Elizabeth Moody as Lobelia
- Brian Sergent as Ted Sandyman
- Kate O'Rourke and Thomas McGinty as Hero Orcs, Goblins, Uruks & Ringwraiths
- Michael Elsworth as Cirdan
- Dwarf LordsEdit
- Rich Mayberry
- Gino Acevedo
- 5 unknowns
- Betty Adams
- Timothy Bartlett as Robin Smallburrow
- Bob Blackwell
- Norman Cates as Fredegar Bolger (Decipher Card)
- John Christophers
- Taea Hartwell as Cute Hobbit Child
- Jill Jackson
- Jeff Kingsford as Party Hobbit
- Bernie Lord
- Liz Merton as Hobbit Band Member
- Tom Walsh as Fredegar Bolger
- Many unknowns
Men of Bree
- Peter Jackson as Albert Dreary
- Bruce Parkes
- Chris Ryan
There are great amounts of symbolism in Peter Jackson's rendition of the trilogy. In particular was a scene during Bilbo's Birthday Party that shows this. Before the party was entirely ready, Bilbo and Gandalf stood on the edge of a path next to Bag End gazing at the party tree and the cheers of the hobbits. Both are smoking pipes, so Bilbo puffs out a rather circular shape of smoke. When Gandalf released the smoke, he designs a ship that sails through the circle Bilbo created.
While controversial, this event is to some a foretelling of the end of the third movie when Frodo and the other Ring-Bearers go on Cirdan's ship and depart from the Grey Haven's to the Undying Lands. The ship being the ship Frodo boards, and the circle being the sea, or possibly the sun. However, this is only something to consider, though it is still a fine example of Peter Jackson's artistic directing. This particular scene, although included in the film, is not found in Tolkien’s written trilogy. Peter Jackson borrowed this scene from The Hobbit, showing his familiarity with Tolkien's work as a whole.
Comparison with the source material
Release and Reception
Theatrical and extended release
The Fellowship of the Ring was released on VHS and DVD in August 2002.
In November 2002, an extended edition was released on VHS and DVD, with 30 minutes of new material, added special effects and music, plus 20 minutes of fan-club credits, totaling to 228 minutes. The DVD set included four commentaries and over three hours of supplementary material.
In August 2006, a limited edition of The Fellowship of the Ring was released on DVD. The set included both the film's theatrical and extended editions on a double-sided disc along with all-new bonus material.
The theatrical Blu-ray version of The Lord of the Rings was released in the United States in April 2010. There were two separate sets: one with digital copies and one without. The individual Blu-ray disc of The Fellowship of the Ring was released in September 2010 with the same special features as the complete trilogy release, except there was no digital copy.
The extended Blu-ray editions were released in the US in June 2011. This version has a runtime of 238 minutes (the extended editions include the names of all fan club members at the time of their release; the additional 9 minutes in the Blu-ray version are because of expanded member rolls, not any additional story material).