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Arrows & Guards: The LOTR Faces You Never Thought You Knew

There has been much talk about Peter Jackson adding characters for The Hobbit (Tauriel, I’m looking at you). But I have always maintained that there are plenty of unnamed characters in the works of Tolkien; Peter Jackson just goes to the trouble of giving them names. And here is proof in the form of two characters from The Lord of the Rings.

You may remember actor Bruce Allpress from his role in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. His character, Aldor, mistakenly fired the first shot at the battle for Helm’s Deep. But he was a bit confused about his role. “Unfortunately, I never ever knew who I was supposed to be or what I was supposed to be,” Allpress lamented. “I kept asking, ‘Look, who am I? What am I playing? Can I please have some background?’

“The young boy was supposed to fire the arrow. And we were about to get set up for this and they said, ‘Oh by the way, you’re firing the arrow,’” he remarked. “ I fire the arrow and look around, and Peter [Jackson] comes up and says, ‘You’re not selling it to me.’ ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to be selling!’ Anyway, we sorted that all out and when I saw the movie, I found out who I was supposed to be.”

Ian Hughes, who played Gondorian guard Irolas in The Return of the King, discussed how working on The Lord of the Rings was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “When I was there, I was saying to myself, ‘Take this in,’” Hughes said. “’This is it. It’d be lovely if it does happen again, but man, this is the s**t.’”

He described the level of detail his costume had. “Everything was done perfectly, done to the last. Just everything. I went to a costume fitting, then came in on set, and they went, ‘We’ll give him a cape,’” he explained. “They’d get me a cape and then Ngila Dickson [the costume designer] was like, ‘We’ll line the inside of that with velvet.’ And I came in the next day, and they put on the costume, and I had this cape. Honestly, you’d take one step and it just filled up with air.” And though there was nothing in the script about it, he got a customized sword. “I never drew it,” he said. “It was made for my character; the hilt was different to every other person’s sword.”

Watch the full video below. The section about The Lord of the Rings begins at 1:40.

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4 Comments

  1. 😀 I think that just about answered all my questions on just how awesome Peter Jackson is. I remember my Dad cracking up laughing when the old man fired his arrow, and now I know who is behind the beard.
    Thanks Lily, great write up!

  2. That was a pretty good scene with the arrow. Pity PJ had to stick the Elves in there though. I understand WHY he did so, but it really stuck in my craw that PJ left the Grey Company OUT of the Battle, and the rest of the film (something that the next person to do The Lord of the Rings will have to fix).

  3. I’m with Matthew on this one for sure.
    I think it was a great scene, but not at all from the books.

    • That’s Hollywood. All in all though a great adaptation of the Battle. They should make a LOTR Film for us who would get all the subtle references to The Grey Company and so on. I think they left it out because it would have confused the viewer who had never read the books and this was their first experience with it. but that same viewer would see the current movie and go: “OOOOHHH Army of Elves!”