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10+ Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Lord Of The Rings' Fans Didn't Know

It's no easy task to transform a literary masterpiece into a successful film franchise. But that's exactly what director Peter Jackson managed to do with The Lord of the Rings.

To shine a light on some of the more unknown aspects of the franchise, here are 10+ behind the scenes secrets from The Lord of the Rings that fans didn't know!

1. Sir Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, actually met J.R.R. Tolkein in real life!

Lee was a die-hard fan of the series. He's said to have read "The Fellowship of the Ring" every single year from the time of its release until his own death in 2015.

He was the only cast member to ever meet the legendary author.

2. Being an Orc wasn't fun at all.

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Being that Orcs have black blood, director Peter Jackson felt that it didn't make sense for the insides of their mouths to be pink.

Hence he made the actors swish their mouths out with a black-licorice based mouthwash.

3. The Dwarvish language has a real world story.

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According to the late author J.R.R. Tolkein, Dwarvish was modeled after an ancient Semitic language. The history of the Dwarves also mirrors that of the ancient Hebrews.

The parallels were so great that the Nazis came calling on Tolkein during WWII to investigate him.

4. Peter Jackson gave both Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis a very special parting gift.

The legendary director gave both Wood and Serkis one of the rings used while filming. How cool of a conversation starter would that be?

"Oh hey, want to see the One Ring from Mordor?"

5. Viggo Mortensen will never kick another helmet again.

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There's a scene in The Two Towers where Aragorn angrily kicks a helm lying on the ground, before exclaiming out in pain.

It appeared this was done over the loss of his Hobbit companions, but as it turns out this wasn't the case.

Viggo actually broke two toes delivering the fateful kick and the footage was actually used in the final cut of the film!

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Peter Jackson was apparently blown away, thinking that he'd just witnessed an incredibly emotional performance from his lead actor.

Little did he know that Viggo's boot was actually filling up with blood!

6. The scene where Gandalf hits his head in *The Fellowship Of The Ring* wasn't actually scripted.

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Apparently, Sir Ian McKellen bumped his head totally by accident! The pain that we see on Gandalf's face is completely genuine.

Kudos to Sir Ian for being able to act through it!

7. The film used real soldiers for The Battle at the Black Gate.

There were hundreds of extras needed for the scene. So to solve the problem, the film recruited members of the New Zealand Army.

Some of whom were so excited to participate, that they kept breaking their wooden swords!

8. John Rhys-Davies absolutely hated playing Gimli.

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To be more specific, what he really hated was the makeup. Supposedly, it would cause a horrible rash all over his face.

When production on The Return of the King finally wrapped, the makeup team let him burn the mask in effigy.

9. Andy Serkis' Gollum voice took a toll on his vocal chords.

As you can imagine, constantly talking in such a high, gravelly register would be incredibly difficult - especially over a long period of time.

In order to keep his throat properly lubricated, Serkis would drink a homemade concoction of lemon, honey, and ginger.

10. Viggo Mortensen's sword is the real deal.

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Viggo was striving for authenticity while playing the role of Aragorn. He'd accept no substitute.

So much so that his sword was actually made from folded steel, as opposed to something much lighter/safer like aluminum or rubber.

Not only that, but according to the film's veteran sword master, Viggo was the best he'd ever trained.

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Clearly Viggo was a Knight of the Round Table in some past life or maybe a heroic hero of old in an alternate universe?

He certainly looks the part, that's for sure.

11. Jake Gyllenhaal originally auditioned for the role of Frodo and it went terribly.

"I remember auditioning for The Lord of the Rings and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent."

That's a pretty major detail to omit! Things only got worse for Jake from that point on.

According to Jake, he was one of the absolute worst actors that Peter Jackson saw audition for the part.

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"I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, "You know that you have to do this in a British accent?" We heard back it was literally one of the worst auditions."

14. Liv Tyler suffered a semi-serious injury on the set of *The Fellowship Of The Ring*.

While she was filming the "If you want him, come and claim him!" scene, Liv accidentally stabbed herself in her right thigh!

If you own the DVD or Blu Ray version, you can see it in the deleted scenes/blooper footage.

15. The Fellowship all got matching tattoos!

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"We all got the same one - the word "nine" in Elvish - because that's what we are, nine. I visited the tattooist a couple times, showed him the drawing and stuff. I didn't say anything about Ian McKellen or whoever may be coming in. He just did it."

16. Stuart Townsend was originally cast to play Aragorn.

"I was there rehearsing and training for two months, then was fired the day before filming began," Stuart said during an interview.

After that, it went from bad to worse.

Not only was Stuart fired but production also refused to pay him!

Instagram | @stuarttownsend

"After that I was told they wouldn't pay me because I was in breach of contract due to not having worked long enough. I had been having a rough time with them, so I was almost relieved to be leaving until they told me I wouldn't be paid."

17. Billy Boyd really is singing.

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Fans of the series were likely surprised to learn that Pippen (Billy Boyd) has an incredibly impressive singing voice.

That's because actor Billy Boyd is a musician in real life. His band is called Beecake.

18. Andy Serkis seriously strained his back while filming.

"When I was going back and forth a lot between the Two Towers reshoots and doing motion capture, midway through my back started to give me a lot of problems."

Andy goes on to say that even though he was suffering, he only ever blamed himself.

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"It was my decision to make him crawl," Serkis admits. "I wanted the audience to feel the physical tension of the character."

Mission accomplished, Andy!

19. Peter Jackson was almost fired for going over budget

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“We had to either agree to do it or walk away,” Jackson reflected during an interview. “He already had John Madden lined up to direct, and Hossein Amini to write the script.”

20. The studio originally wanted Sean Connery to play Gandalf the Grey.

Jackson was also a fan and agreed that Connery would be perfect for the role. Sadly, he declined.

The role was then offered to Sir Ian McKellan and the rest is history!

21. Christopher Lee wanted to play Saruman right from the very beginning.

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Referring to Jackson, Lee said "I sent him a picture of myself all made-up in the wizard’s role, but it was more in the nature of a joke, really. 'This is what I look like as a wizard, don’t forget this when you cast the movie.'

22. Viggo Mortensen gave himself a concussion!

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Not at all how you would expect, either. Viggo was apparently surfing for the first time and the board came up and clipped him in the face. He had a horrible black eye and nearly lost consciousness.

He also terrified his fellow cast mates.

When it first happened and his fellow castmates rushed to ensure that he was alright, Viggo apparently didn't know who he was for the first few moments.

Luckily he was fine. Just a little sore and plenty embarrassed.

23. There was one character that Viggo Mortensen would have liked to have seen in the films:

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"I’d like to have seen what Peter Jackson would have done with the character Ghân-buri-Ghân, the chief of the Drúedain, wild men of the Drúadan Forest."

24. Sir Ian McKellan took his fair share of souvenirs from the set.

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"I keep Glamdring in my hatstand and the pointy hat in the basement, often worn by visiting youngsters. Gandalf’s staff is behind the bar in my Thames-side pub The Grapes, in East London. Don’t tell Peter, but the keys to Bag End are hanging up at home."

25. Sean Bean wouldn't go anywhere near a helicopter.

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"We had to go up in helicopters and I had to walk the whole way, really. I was two hours behind everybody else on top of this mountain because I just didn't want to get in any helicopters. I was terrified of them."

26. The final days of shooting were incredibly emotional for Sean Astin.

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"I cried heavily through my send-off. I remember being presented with my costume, including Sam’s backpack (pots, pans, sausages, elven rope, lembas bread, box of salt) and sword."

27. Sean Bean had a clever way of dealing with script re-writes.

"If you look at the movie, you'll see he occasionally has his head bowed, as if dealing with the emotional weight of the horrors of Mordor. In actual fact, the new script page had been taped to his knee!"