Viggo Mortensen reveals in an interview that he shot a Lord of The Rings scene with Liv Tyler that isn’t included in any edition of the movie.
Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen teases a never-before-seen scene he filmed with Liv Tyler that hasn’t been included in any of the extended editions. Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning fantasy epic spans three movies and 11.2 hours in total. A television adaptation is currently in the works at Amazon.
Mortensen plays Aragorn in the movies, the king of Gondor by birthright and member of the Fellowship of the Ring. In addition to taking over as the series’ arguable protagonist in The Return of the King, Aragorn is also the story’s romantic lead. His star-crossed romance with the ethereal elven princess Arwen (Tyler) motivates Aragorn as he assists Frodo in his quest to destroy the Ring of Power by leading the charge against Saruman’s army. Arwen, meanwhile, must choose between becoming immortal in the Undying Lands or giving up her immortality in order to remain in Middle-earth with Aragorn. In the end, Arwen chooses a mortal life by Aragorn’s side as his queen.
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Speaking with NME, Mortensen reminisced about a scene he and Tyler filmed that never made it into any of the Lord of the Rings extended cuts. The actor says he would have liked to explore the romantic component of Aragorn’s story more, perhaps as opposed to the many lengthy battle scenes the character is featured in. Here’s Mortensen’s recollection of the scene:
“There was a scene that we shot as a sort of memory flashback. It was from the courtship days—and we shot it just before we were taking a break so I was clean-shaven and prettied up. They’d tried to make me look as young as possible. I had different hair and I was dressed like an elf. It was a scene from the book where they’re walking in this flowery meadow. It was a beautiful sequence but obviously it wasn’t needed for the movie. I’ve never seen it but I enjoyed shooting that scene. It’d be nice to see it actually, it’s not in the extended editions either.”
A number of special editions and director’s cuts of the movies have been released to appease LOTR‘s passionate fanbase since The Return of the King concluded the series’ theatrical run in 2003. Extended cuts that have been released for home viewing feature hours of footage and deleted scenes not included in the theatrical versions of the movies. Most recently, Peter Jackson remastered all six films in the Lord of the Rings universe, including The Hobbit series, in 4K resolution. Unfortunately, none of these have included the scene Mortensen is referencing.
Mortensen’s perspective as both an actor and a director is evident here: the scene was likely useful to the actors in their understanding of the characters’ backstory, but it didn’t include any necessary information for the viewer. Among many other reasons, The Lord of the Rings is remarkable for successfully adapting a long and dense fantasy epic into movies that were both entertaining and true to the books. That success was due in large part to Jackson’s shrewd editing choices that kept the runtime as short as possible without excluding key details or sacrificing artistry. While viewers are surely grateful for the eminently marathon-able adaptation, there are plenty of superfans who would kill to see that scene. Considering there’s still a market for new LOTR material, it might behoove Warner Brothers to dig up that footage for the next one.
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