The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Trivia: John Rhys-Davies is missing the end of his middle finger on his left hand due to a farming accident as a child. The make-up artists made artificial, gelatin fingertips for him to wear in the movies. Davies one day, cut the tip in half, put 'blood' in it and closed it up. He went over to Peter Jackson (unaware of the gelatin tip) and said, "Boss, I've had an accident, look what happened". Jackson saw a small cut, but Davies bent the tip back and it split open, gushing. Nice.

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Super Grover

Trivia: During post-production, one of the effects technicians had to transport the first effects shots to a special location, since their computer could not send them all the way to Peter Jackson. After storing them in his iPod, he walked out into the street and was targeted by two thugs. After some serious sprinting, he managed to reach a hotel and save WETA's visual effects from falling into criminal hands.

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Trivia: In order to get the stunt Elves riled up enough to be on the offensive during certain scenes, the very aggressive stunt Uruk-hai would nastily taunt and mock them incessantly on the set and even call them, "Cupcakes." It worked! Commentary, extended DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: Liv Tyler had filmed several scenes of her fighting in Helm's Deep. Eventually the filmmakers decided for her character not to show up at that time, and cut and edited her scenes out. For instance, she was also pulling Gimli and Aragorn up the rope back into the fortress.

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Jack's Revenge

Trivia: Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan spent so much time on the Treebeard animatronic, that they spent their time in between shots writing a screenplay. They were also left there during breaks because it was such a hassle to get them up and down.

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Trivia: Elijah Wood describes this as "spontaneous, violent love." Apparently Viggo Mortensen and some stunt men enjoyed greeting co-workers by 'head-butting' each other. One night he persuaded stunt man Sala Baker to head-butt Orlando Bloom, who jokingly swears he saw 'white light', after their heads smashed together. A bright red mark on Bloom's forehead was not appreciated by the make-up artist the next day. Mortensen was amused because Bloom had the "perfect, pale Elven complexion." Appendices, Extended DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: When Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli run up to search the burnt orc corpses for Merry and Pippin in Rohan, Aragorn kicks the metal Orc helmet on the ground. This particular bit was reshot several times and it is the last take they show in the film because Aragorn's scream and following sigh are so realistic. Well, that is because Viggo Mortensen actually broke two of his toes, when he kicked the helmet so hard in that take.

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Trivia: 48,000 separate pieces of armour were made for all the different citizens of Middle Earth.

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Trivia: Many of the Wild Men in the film were portrayed by actual groups of bikers, motorcycling around New Zealand at the time. Commentary, extended DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: In the Extended Edition, Merry and Pippin are fighting about the Ent-draught. As the fight ensues, they are swallowed up by a tree. This is an homage to Old Man Willow, a character from the book "Fellowship of the Ring" that didn't make it in to the film adaptation. The hobbits are captured by the tree, until Tom Bombadil (who is also not in the film version) comes and saves them. Treebeard saves Merry and Pippin in the movie, using many of Tom's lines from the book.

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Trivia: In the shot at Helm's Deep right before the fighting begins, when Aragorn is standing in front of the elves and he draws his sword, the man he is blocking our view from is the designer of the elven armor making his cameo.

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Trivia: When Gollum is catching a fish in the river, Andy Serkis had to act out the scene first, so the computer animators has something to work with. However, when they got to the river, it had been snowing and the whole river had turned to ice. The crew had four hours to defrost the river and get rid of the snow so the scene could be shot. They managed to do it, but Serkis still had to perform the scene in near-freezing water with so many thermal suits, etc, that he could hardly move.

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Trivia: Jed Brophy plays the part of an Orc who has his head cut off by an Uruk at the Fangorn Forest, while they argue about eating the Hobbits. Ironically he also played one of the Rohan Warriors who rode into the same scene and killed the remaining UrukHai and Orcs. I too was a Rohan Rider in that shot and worked with Jed on the scene. The rider scene was actually shot a year after the Orc scene, even though they are only seconds apart in the film.

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Trivia: While filming the trilogy, Viggo Mortensen got so into character that, during a conversation, director Peter Jackson referred to him as "Aragorn" for half an hour, and Mortensen didn't even realize it.

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Trivia: Grima Wormtongue's eyes are not the same color, because he has a light blue contact in his right eye, and no contact over his left eye, which is a different shade of blue. He and the costume designers just thought he looked weirder with only one contact in. His eyebrows have also been shaved off.

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Trivia: In Faramir's dream, Boromir is in the boat, with water around him. The color of the water is pink, because Sean Bean's (Boromir) shirt was leaking dye into the water. Since it kept occurring in the retakes too, Peter Jackson decided to just leave it in, figuring it was a "symbolic blood-type effect."

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Super Grover

Trivia: As some already know, JRR Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon. Some names in the books (and the films) have Old English meanings. Some examples: Frodo = wise, Theoden = king, Mordor = torture, Isengard = iron-hard, Orthanc = intelligence, Hasufel = grey-skinned, Arod = quick, Smeagol = intrigue.

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Trivia: When filming the battle of Helm's Deep, the filmmakers used a computer program called "Massive," created by Steven Regelous. It uses Artificial Intelligence, AI, where each CG character has its own "mind." Huge battles can be created more realistically, because each CG character can be allocated a "side," and will then react/fight accordingly, in a variety of different styles (depending on the circumstances they find themselves in), rather than having to create and program each CG character individually. In the very first "Massive" battle test at WETA, soldiers were set to run until they found a target. This caused many of the soldiers to appear to be retreating the battle, after some were spawned facing the wrong direction.

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Trivia: While they were waiting between takes on set, the extras who portrayed the Uruk-hai at Helm's Deep started chanting, singing and tapping their spears on the ground, to the beat of their singing (probably because many of the extras were Maori, the native people of New Zealand, and the chanting was a Maori haka). This is how the idea evolved for Peter Jackson to use it in the movie. It developed into the dramatic piece of the chanting and pounding of spears, by the Uruk-hai, at the stand off in Helm's Deep. As heard on the Appendices DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: When Sam's cooking the rabbit stew, Sam says, "lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish", and Gollum spits. Andy Serkis is very proud that something of his is on screen, because it is his spit we see, not a CGI like the rest of Gollum's body. Appendices of extended DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: The two people who spent three years creating the chain mail costumes and costume pieces no longer had any fingerprints on their index finger and thumb by the time they had finished. Peter Jackson jokingly said that they would now be able to commit a crime with 4 fingers.

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Trivia: Viggo Mortensen was so impressed with the horse his character Aragorn was riding in the movies, that he bought it from its owner. It had to be flown back to New Zealand for reshoots. While filming, he would sometimes sleep in the stable with the horse, to earn its trust. Trust was particularly important for the scene when the horse kneels and lies near him at the river.

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Trivia: Almost certainly not deliberate, but the scene where Saruman is making gunpowder and Grima Wormtongue leans over with a candle, so Saruman gently edges him backwards, is almost identical to a scene in "Army of Darkness."

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Trivia: Viggo Mortensen's son, Henry, makes a brief cameo as one of the children preparing for battle at Helm's Deep. Before Aragorn addresses Haleth, son of Hama, Henry Mortensen is the boy with the helmet, standing beside Haleth.

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Trivia: It is Christopher Lee's voice mixed with Ian McKellen's that is heard when Gandalf speaks while he's hidden by the white light in Fangorn Forest. It is also Lee's voice heard when King Theoden is speaking to Gandalf, while he is still under Saruman's power. Confirmed on the commentary.

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Super Grover

Trivia: There were days where Orlando Bloom (Legolas) was unable to wear his blue contact lenses, because they scratched his eyes. For those scenes his eyes were digitally colorized.

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Super Grover

Trivia: Gimli's prosthetic forehead had become detached by the time they were to shoot him in this scene. The senior prosthetics supervisor got on his stomach behind Gimli and pulled on a rope that was attached to the back of the prosthetic in order to pull the wrinkles out of Gimli's forehead and keep it in place. Art Director Ben Price is the very dead twitchy Uruk-hai that Gimli is sitting on. Commentary, extended DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: Most of the actors who played the Orcs were actually women.

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Trivia: In the scene at Helm's Deep when Legolas is talking about how Rohan will definitely lose the battle, there are two men to the left of Aragorn. One is conceptual artist Alan Lee, and the other is art director Dan Hennah.

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Trivia: In the Extended Edition, when Merry and Pippin begin to grow, Merry says "But I've always been the tall one," Monahan and Boyd said in the commentary that quite often that is how the crew referred to them because they kept confusing Monahan and Boyd so they were the "tall one" and the "short one."

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Jack's Revenge

Trivia: The filming of the Battle of Helm's Deep was so long and grueling (months), that by the end of the shoot, the actors, crew and extras had T-shirts made up that read, "I survived Helm's Deep," but with the letter "m" crossed out.

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Super Grover

Trivia: 1,000 Hobbit feet were created. (Each pair only lasted for two days.)

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Trivia: Andy Serkis (Gollum) did the voices of three Uruk-hai and Orcs in the scene outside Fangorn. Some of the lines he says are, "We ain't had nuthin but maggoty bread for three stinkin' days," and "Why can't we have some meat. What about them? They're fresh."

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Super Grover

Trivia: Elijah Wood's (Frodo) sister Hannah, is in the film. She's the lone, blonde, lost-looking girl, clutching her shawl with her left hand, at the beginning of the shot in the Glittering Caves, at Helm's Deep when the women and children go in. She is also on the stairs for Theoden's return.

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Trivia: To get the cheering and shouting for the Orcs at the battle of Helm's Deep, the producers recorded the crowd at a New Zealand/England cricket match.

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Trivia: In one of the takes while filming the scene where Frodo and Sam are about to run to the Black Gate, and Gollum pulls them back, Andy Serkis (Gollum) pulled so hard on them both that he ripped off the wig worn by Sean Astin (Sam).

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Scrappy

Trivia: Usually when the people in charge of the scenery need to make a life-size model of something, they create the smaller version and then create the life-size one as much like it as possible. However, it was the other way around with Helm's Deep: the life-size model was built first (with an easily collapsible wall) and the miniature for it was built later.

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Trivia: John Rhys-Davies who plays Gimli the Dwarf also provides the voice for Treebeard the Ent.

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Trivia: In Helm's Deep, when women and children retreat to the caves, look closely at the children. They're the same actors as the Hobbit children listening to Bilbo's story of the trolls at his birthday party in "Fellowship" and they're in RotK as well. They're the children of director Peter Jackson and writer Fran Walsh.

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Trivia: Many of the major shots depicted in the movie are duplicates of Alan Lee's illustrations, in the LotR books, that had been published years before. In many shots, the actors were positioned in the same poses, as the drawings in the books. One example is, when Frodo pulls Gollum's head back and holds Sting up to his throat.

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Super Grover

Trivia: Before he was cast as Legolas, Orlando Bloom was nearly killed in 1998 when he broke his back in a fall out of a window and fell three floors. He was told he might not walk again. He was operated on, and twelve days later he walked out of the hospital with the help of crutches.

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Trivia: During the location shooting at Edoras, there were very strong winds, as can be seen by the actors' hair, especially Éowyn's. During one particular day's filming, the wind was so strong that it tore Peter Jackson's glasses right off his face, and blew them straight down the hill. He had to spend the rest of that day without them.

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Super Grover

Trivia: It took seven months to build the Helm's Deep set on location.

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Trivia: While one of the most accomplished horsemen of the Fellowship, Viggo Mortensen (who loves and own horses) was united with a horse who tended to kick into reverse gear in busy shots. As a result, much film was wasted re-taking scenes in which Aragorn backed right into the crowd he was trying to escape from.

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Trivia: 12 million plastic links were used to create the chain mail armor worn by the movie's heroes. The links were made from thin slices of 14 mm tubing.

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Trivia: In the battle for Helms Deep, a man falls and the famous "Wilhelm" scream is heard as he falls. This is a signature sound effect, recorded in 1951 at Warner Bros., used as frequently as possible by sound supervisors at George Lucas's Skywalker Sound and Weddington Productions in Los Angeles, CA. On the "Rings" trilogy, two of the re-recording mixers and at least one of the sound effect designers work for Skywalker.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers mistake picture

Trivia: At the battle of Helm's Deep, when the Uruk-Hai are storming the gate, we see a black-haired man throwing a spear. The man is director Peter Jackson in a cameo.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers mistake picture

Trivia: Many of the Riders of Rohan appearing with Éomer when they meet Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, are accomplished horse women in beards. The crew knew that the set was a true traveling circus, when they actually sat down to lunch surrounded by bearded ladies. Appendices DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: While filming the scene where Aragorn is floating unconscious down the river, Viggo Mortensen almost drowned because the rapids were worse than expected.

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Trivia: 200 Orc masks were handmade for the movie's enemies.

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Trivia: At Helm's Deep, the one-eyed man who shouted, "Fire" after Theoden gives the order for a volley, really is missing an eye; it's not a CG effect. Director's commentary, extended DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: Haleth, son of Hama, is played by Calum, son of Philippa Boyens. When it was time to do the ADR for the movie, Calum's voice was much deeper by then, so another young boy's voice was dubbed to say these powerful lines, "...The men are saying we will not live out the night. They say that it is hopeless." Director's commentary, extended DVD.

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Super Grover

Trivia: In the cave scene in which Faramir lifts the Ring from under Frodo's shirt, David Wenham was afraid of accidentally stabbing Elijah Wood, so a swordsman was brought in to do the scene.

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Trivia: In Elrond's vision of a dead Aragorn, it is Anduril he has clasped to his chest, not his ranger sword. This is a bit of a spoiler, as Elrond himself reforges and gives the sword to Aragorn in the third movie. In the books, he reforged the sword right before or after the council at Rivendell.

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Trivia: In one of the first wide shots of Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn tracking the Uruks, all three actors are running injured. Viggo had broken his toes doing a previous scene, Orlando Bloom had a cracked rib from falling off a horse and the scale double of John Rhys-Davies had a knee problem.

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Trivia: There is a clear parallel to a scene in 'The Wizard of Oz.' In the scene where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum reach the Black Gate of Mordor, they peer over the edge of the mountain at the army marching below. The gate swings open, and the army enters. I couldn't help but be reminded of when Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man reach the Witch's castle and watch the columns of her soldiers march into the fort.

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Trivia: The Warg scene that includes the infamous shot of Legolas leaping onto the horse, was filmed on the same day that Orlando Bloom fell off his horse and cracked his rib. He landed on a rock and Gimli's scale double (Brett) fell on top of him. So the filming crew could not film Bloom actually jumping onto his saddle, because of the injury. Later in post-production, about six months before the release of "The Two Towers," Bloom had grown a beard, for the filming of "Ned Kelly" (2001). He was not permitted to shave, which meant he could not do the pickups for this scene in "The Two Towers," so the CG animators at WETA created a CG Legolas to do the actual springing onto the horse.

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Super Grover

Trivia: The map that Faramir is looking at after he has captured Frodo and Sam is actually the map used in the books. It was drawn by Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien's son.

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Trivia: Many scenes in this movie, such as the gates of Mordor, Helm's Deep, and Orthanc, as well as in the Fellowship of the Ring, closely resemble the actual artwork of Alan Lee, the artist who did watercolor illustrations for the anniversary edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's book in the early 1990's. He has been involved in the concept making process of the films.

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Trivia: Around the start of the movie when it shows Saruman, one of the Orcs behind him that is pulling on a piece of rope is actually Paul Homes, a news presenter from New Zealand.

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Trivia: Actor Orlando Bloom originally auditioned for the role of Faramir, but was turned down and later asked by director Peter Jackson and co. if he would like the role of Legolas.

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Trivia: You may notice that in every shot of the Hobbits, they are always walking or riding from the left side of the shot to the right. This was done deliberately to give the impression that they are journeying towards Mount Doom at all times.

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Trivia: When Elrond gives Arwen his hard-father talk before sending her away, he asks, "Do I not also have your love?" and she replies, according to the subtitle, "You have my love, father." Actually she said, "Gerich veleth nín, Ada." Adar = "father", but Ada = "papa". One of many nuances lost in translation in the films' subtitles.

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Trivia: During the filming, Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas) would rib each other quite a lot. Mortensen would tell Bloom to go brush his long, blond hair and get another manicure, because the Elves are so prissy. Bloom would call Mortensen a dirty human (which is entirely true as he rarely bathed during filming) and say that at least the Elves live forever (which is entirely false and is based on a popular misconception of how long they live).

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Super Grover

Trivia: The rain during the battle of Helms Deep is real rain (as opposed to the product of a rain machine, as is normally the case).

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Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The rain at Helm's Deep was real in some parts, but man-made in others.

Trivia: During the assault on Isengard, one of the Ents is set on fire. When another Ent tears down the dam and Isengard is flooded, the Ent on fire dunks its head into the wave of water to put itself out. (Extended Edition, Disc 2).

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Cubs Fan

Trivia: John Noble plays Sean Bean's father in the movie, even though in real life he's only 11 years older than Bean.

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Quotes

Sam: It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.

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Mistakes

Gimli is lying with his face under the water, after jumping off the Deeping Wall and landing on the Uruk-hai. In the close-up, the right arm that grabs Gimli's shoulder to help him out of the water is Legolas' right arm. Yet, in the wide shot, suddenly it is Aragorn helping Gimli to his feet, not Legolas.

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