If The LEGO® Group was going to produce sets adapted from films, Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R. R. Tolkien’s three-volume high-fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings was a natural fit. Many adults and teen fans of LEGO® (known respectively as A.F.O.L.s and T.F.O.L.s) would gravitate toward models of movie sets they recognized from the films and for the older adults maybe compare them to the way locations looked in their imaginations when they read the books and before they saw The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (2001-2003). As a whole, the trilogy had garnered seventeen Oscars, and The Return of the King alone won eleven, which tied the record.
To promote the release of The Hobbit (2012-2014) films (which were announced as two films but ultimately were three films), Warner Bros. reached a deal with The LEGO® Group under which The LEGO® Group would produce both The Lord of the Rings sets and The Hobbit sets. [Warner Bros. already had a relationship with The LEGO® Group by that point because of a deal under which The LEGO® Group produced sets that adapted Harry Potter films as well as sets that featured DC superheroes including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.] The LEGO® Group released sets in the licensed themes LEGO® The Lord of the Rings and LEGO® The Hobbit from 2014 to 2014. There were a further three packs in LEGO® Dimensions (a video game with tie-in toys) that featured Gollum, Legolas, and Gimli in 2015. Needless to say, this was an unusual move in the toy business because in producing The Lord of the Rings sets, it meant The LEGO® Group would be producing sets to promote a film trilogy not as it was being released in theaters (as was the case with The Hobbit) but years afterward, and yet fans of those films and The LEGO® Group were not going to complain. Undoubtedly, executives at Warner Bros. and The LEGO® Group were kicking themselves for not having thought of it earlier.
Some A.F.O.L.s noted in retrospect that The LEGO® Group treated these Lord of the Rings and Hobbit sets as proxies for LEGO® Castle sets, which is to say the LEGO® Group stopped producing sets in the LEGO® Castle theme (product line) whilst it produced The Lord of the Rings sets in the belief the market could not sustain both the LEGO® Castle theme and the licensed LEGO® The Lord of the Rings theme simultaneously. In recent years, there has been a trend amongst some A.F.O.L.s who were big fans of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films to show off on Instagram, YouTube, FaceBook, and undoubtedly other social media models of their own design – known as M.O.C.s (an abbreviation of My Own Creation) – that recreated images from Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.
Broadly, these M.O.C.s have fallen into two categories. Firstly, there were M.O.C.s that were bigger or more elaborate versions of models The LEGO® Group had released, such as a version of Helm’s Deep – Rohan’s fortress built into a mountainside as depicted in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – that was an accurate scale model of Helm’s Deep, whereas the model released by The LEGO® Group had enough detail to be recognizable but seems compressed. [I am sure The LEGO® Group’s designers calculated how many bricks (and other pieces) would be needed to create a recognizable model of Helm’s Deep and chose not to include more because it would have been prohibitively expensive to release a bigger set.] The same is true of the Morranon (the Black Gate at the main entrance to Sauron’s kingdom of Mordor). Secondly, there were M.O.C.s that created images from the films that The LEGO® Group did not attempt to capture in sets. These included Barad-dûr – the great fortress that was Sauron’s residence and headquarters of his war-host – surmounted by the flaming Eye of Sauron – as depicted in the films, and figures of Sauron as depicted in the prologue of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). There have been increasing calls in this fanbase for The LEGO® Group to bring back the LEGO® The Lord of the Rings theme.
Various individuals and small firms that make accessories for LEGO® Minifigures, such as helmets, hats, capes, weapons, and capes have catered to fans by releasing arms and armor to equip Minifigures™ for L.O.T.R. tableaux. These accessories have also fallen into two categories. Firstly, the majority of these accessories were made to enable customers to arm and equip Minifigures™ to represent characters or the equivalent of movie extras that appeared in the films but The LEGO® Group did not bother to include in sets, such as (a) Second Age elf warriors who resisted Sauron and his armies as depicted in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring and (b) Gondor troops such as Faramir commanded in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Secondly, and more rarely, there have been individuals and firms that made accessories to enable customers to arm and equip Minifigures™ to represent characters that Jackson left out of the films, such as Prince Imrahil.
There was good reason on the part of fans to hope that The LEGO® Group would release more L.O.T.R. sets because Warner Bros. announced in 2021 that a new animated film set in Middle-earth would be forthcoming. This animated film, to be made by Warner Bros. Animation and New Line Cinema in the style of a Japanese anime, would be The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, a conflict referenced in Tolkien’s book as having occurred in Rohan generations before the War of the Ring (the events covered by The Lord of the Rings). In June of 2022, Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro reported that director Kenji Kamiyama’s voice cast had been lined up, and it included Australian actress Miranda Otto and Scottish actor Brian Cox. Miranda Otto would be reprising her role from Peter Jackson’s trilogy as Eowyn, the niece of Theoden (played by Bernard Hill), King of Rohan, and sister of Éomer(played by Karl Urban), future King of Rohan. Eowyn will serve as the narrator of the film. Brian Cox will provide the voice of Helm Hammerhand, the King of Rohan and ancestor of Theoden, Eowyn, and her brother Eomir.
Last year, in 2022, The LEGO® Group announced that this year they would release a few more LEGO® The Lord of the Rings sets. This made fans jubilant, and yet the announcement was disappointing because the only sets would be BrickHeadz representations of certain characters such as Frodo. This would appeal to people who like the L.O.T.R. films, building with LEGO® bricks, and collectors of Funko Pop figures, but would disappoint A.F.O.L.s and T.F.O.L.s who hoped The LEGO® Group would release sets with model buildings.
Then, on Thursday, February 2, A.D. 2023, The LEGO® Group and Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products surprised fans with the announcement that a set would be released the following month that would have the most elaborate LEGO® L.O.T.R. model building yet: LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ (Set #10316). Immediately, certain prominent A.F.O.L.s who are considered social media influencers revealed on Instagram and YouTube that The LEGO® Group had already given them LEGO® ICON The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ for free so they could post reviews of the building experience, etc. before the public could purchase it, and they had to wait until the press release to share their reviews. Spokesmen (and spokeswomen) and journalists refer to a story that has to be held back that way until a certain date to being “under embargo.”
Credit: Ashnflash Caption: This is one of the influencers who received LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell kit early for free so he could post a video review shortly before The LEGO® Group released the set.
It is likely not a coincidence that a few weeks later, on Thursday, February 23, A.D. 2023 Warner Bros. would produce even more film adaptations of Professor Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, despite Amazon having purchased the rights to make a streaming series adapted from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings. The reason I say it is likely not a coincidence is that Warner Bros. executives would have known the announcement from The LEGO® Group was forthcoming for some time and by allowing that announcement to come first, they were able to capitalize on renewed interest in New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, whereas they had foolishly overlooked the opportunity to release The Fellowship of the Rings in theaters on the 20th anniversary of its release in 2021 or to release an even longer version of the trilogy that Jackson teased in the Director’s Commentary for the Extended Edition he could release at a later date. Warner Bros. and Embracer Group AB (formerly Nordic Games Licensing AB), a Swedish video game and media holding company, jointly announced an agreement between (a) Embracer Group AB and (b) Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. Middle-earth Enterprises, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Embracer that is part of Embracer’s Freemode operating group of companies, “forged a multi-year agreement to collaborate on features based on” The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as stated by Warner Bros. Embracer and Warner Bros. announced this pact twenty years after the release of the third film in the L.O.T.R. trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ is comprised of 6,167 bricks and other pieces. The set comes with fifteen Minifigures™ which is far more than most LEGO® sets but seven fewer than the Lion Knights’ Castle (Set #10305). It is for adults and teenagers (ages eighteen-and-over). Those Minifigures™ include Elrond Half-elven™, his daughter, Arwen™, and future son-in-law Aragorn™; the elvish prince Legolas™; the Hobbits Frodo Baggins™, his cousin who raised him, Bilbo Baggins™, Frodo’s other cousins Merriadoc™ ”Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin™ ”Pippin” Took, and Frodo’s gardener Samwise Gamgee™; Boromir™, the son of Steward Denethor of Gondor; the dwarves Gimli™ and his father Gloin; the wizard Gandalf the Grey™; and two unidentified elves. This does not include the Minifigures™ that are monochrome gray statues of unidentified elves.
Several weapons in the set are new. The shattered hilt of Narsil, Aragon’s shattered sword inherited from his ancestor Isildur is a new mold from The LEGO® Group. Boromir carries the Sword of Gondor, which is a new piece rather than a reuse of an existent sword mold. The set includes a new version of Sting, the sword Bilbo gives to Frodo at Rivendell. According to the press release, the set also includes “numerous dwarven axes and elvish blades to ensure the Fellowship are well armed for their quest ahead.”
Much as the castle model from the Lion Knights’ Castle (Set #10305), released last year, can be divided in two, the Rivendell model can be divided into three pieces. The Rivendell measures fifteen inches (thirty-nine centimeters) tall, twenty-nine-and-a-half inches (seventy-five centimeters) wide, and nineteen-and-a-half inches (fifty centimeters) deep. Firstly, there is a section that is the largest part of the main building, and features the Council Ring, Frodo’s Bedroom, and Elrond’s study. Secondly, there is a section with the tower, which features statues (monochrome gray Minifigures™) in a semi-circle at its base. Thirdly, there is a section with a gazebo and a bridge that gracefully arches over a river. The retail list price is $499.99 in the United States of America (U.S.A.), £499.99 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (U.K.), and €499.99 in the European Union (E.U.).
Section One has the Council Ring, Frodo’s Bedroom, and Elrond’s Study. The Council Ring consists of a semi-circle of chairs and a plinth at the center on which rests the One Ring, as seen in Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo’s Bedroom has a desk and chest where Frodo recovers following Arwen’s rescue of him from the Nazgûl (also known as the Ring Wraiths)  and reunites with Bilbo, as seen in Fellowship of the Ring. Elrond’s Study has paintings from the history of Middle-earth.
Section Two features a tower with “unnamed famous warriors from the past,” which come in the form of monochrome gray Minifigures™. This is called the “elven tower” in the press release.
Section Three consists of a gazebo, river, and bridge. In the press release, The LEGO® Group stated this section “recreate[s] the scene where the Fellowship departs Rivendell.” That gazebo has the daybed that appears in a dream or vision of Aragorn’s in The Two Towers.
LEGO® Design Master Mike Psaiki stated, “We know many of our fans have been anticipating a set like this for a long-time – but a great LEGO The Lord of the Rings set is never late, it arrives precisely when it means to! It was important to us that we created something really special in this recreation of Rivendell. We aimed to add as much detail as possible and create an engaging experience throughout the build [the experience of constructing a model] to delight fans recreating scenes or proudly displaying Elrond’s home. We are really pleased with the final design and how we have brought Rivendell to life in brick form.”
Figure 1 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell (Set #10316) comes in a stylish box featuring photographs of the model against a stark black background.
Figure 2 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell (Set #10316) is meant for builders eighteen-and-over. It is comprised of 6,167 bricks and other pieces.
Figure 3 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the back of the box for the LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ (Set #10316). The list price is $499.99 in the United States of America (U.S.A.), £499.99 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (U.K.), and €499.99 in the European Union (E.U.).
Figure 4 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Between the 5th and 7th of March of 2023, the LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ (Set #10316). Between the 5th and 7th of March of 2023, the set will be available to purchase exclusively by LEGO® V.I.P. members. From Wednesday, March 8, A.D. 2023 onward, anyone can purchase the LEGO® The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ set at LEGO® Stores and the online LEGO® Shop (at www.LEGO.com/LOTR).
Figure 5 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a “lifestyle” picture The LEGO® Group provided of a young woman outing the finishing touches on the Rivendell™ model.
Figure 6 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The Rivendell splits into three sections. The first section features the Council Ring, the second features the tower, and the third features the gazebo.
Figure 7 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The fifteen Minifigures™ that come with LEGO® ICONS The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ (Set #10316), from left to right, are two unidentified elves; Elrond Half-elven™; the wizard Gandalf the Grey™; the Hobbits Bilbo Baggins™, the cousin he raised, Frodo Baggins™; Frodo’s young cousins Merriadoc™ ”Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin™ ”Pippin” Took; Frodo’s gardener Samwise Gamgee™; Boromir™, the son of Steward Denethor of Gondor; the elvish prince Legolas™; Elrond’s future son-in-law Aragorn™; Elrond’s daughter, Arwen™; and the dwarves Gimli™ and his father Gloin.
Figure 8 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: In this lifestyle picture, we see Arwen standing in the gazebo, holding a book, near the daybed that features in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, whilst Frodo and Sam look on, and Aragorn climbs the stairs toward either the gazebo or the bridge. Arwen is the daughter of Elrond and future bride of Aragorn.
Figure 9 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The Rivendell model measures over 15” high, 29.5” wide, and 19.5” deep.
Figure 10 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This side of the Rivendell model is like a stage set. On the ground floor, we can see Elrond and his daughter Arwen in his study. On the second floor, we can see the room where Aragorn and Boromir look at the hilt of Narsil, the sword of Elendil the Tall. In Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, it looks like Elrond had held onto the shards of Narsil for the royal family of Gondor since orcs had ambushed Elendil’s son, Isuldur, near the Gladden Fields until Elrond reforged the sword for Aragorn as Andúril during The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The largest of the three paintings we see on display captures the moment from the film when Sauron prepared to strike down Isildur with his mace but Isildur raised up the hilt of Narsil to defend himself and second later cut off Sauron’s fingers. Separating the Lord of the Rings from the One Ring (into which he had poured so much of his power) caused the demon’s body to combust, but the One Ring’s endurance allowed him to reconstitute his body thousands of years later.
Figure 11 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a recreation of a scene from The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring in which Boromir (Sean Bean) lifts up the hilt of Narsil whilst Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson) sist nearby reading a book and is shocked to find the blade is still sharp. 
Figure 12 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Here, we seen an unidentified elf blacksmith working on a sword while a blonde elf-maiden walks nearby and Elrond is in the distance.
Figure 13 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Again, here we seen an unidentified male elf blacksmith working on a sword while a blonde elf-maiden walks nearby.
Figure 14 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the base of the tower with monochrome gray Minifigures™ representing statues of unidentified elves.
Figure 15 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is one of the monochrome gray Minifigures™ representing statues of unidentified elves.
Figure 16 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the top of the Rivendell model’s tower.
Figure 17 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a perspective of the Rivendell model with the Council Ring at bottom right.
Figure 18 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is how the section of the Rivendell wit the gazebo looks before the gazebo is installed.
Figure 19 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the gazebo with the daybed. Building the filigree or latticework at the top is the kind of challenge to which adult LEGO® builders look forward, but would be too difficult for most children.
Figure 20 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is lifestyle photo in which a model places the daybed in the gazebo.
Figure 21 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Again, this is the woman model placing the daybed in the gazebo model.
Figure 22 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a recreation of the Council of Elrond as depicted in The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. The One Ring rests on a plinth at the center of a circle while representatives of the three races (Elves, men, and Dwarves) encircle it, seated in chairs.
Figure 23 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is another recreation of a moment from the Council of Elrond scene from The Fellowship of the Rings, Gimli’s attempt to destroy the One Ring with his axe. These chairs in the ring circle for the Council of Elrond are an innovation.
Figure 24 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is Frodo’s guest bedroom in Rivendell where Gandalf the Grey greets Frodo when Frodo wakes up. In the book, its Glorfindel who rescued Frodo from the Rings Wraiths, but in the film its Arwen. The mithril chain mail shirt Bilbo gives Frodo can be seen as a folded-up square in the chest in one corner. In the book, Gandalf tells Frodo its “worth more than the Shire and everything in it.”
Figure 25 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Here we see Bilbo sitting while Frodo lays in bed holding up the One Ring. We can see Bilbo holding a feather pen.
Figure 26 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Here, we see Bilbo writing the Red Book of West March. In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien explains that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are (supposed to be) adapted from a single larger book, the Red Book of West March, which Bilbo started, Frodo continued, and Samwise finished, after which a scholar in the court of the High King of Arnor and Gondor added some annotations.
Figure 27 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Here, we see the Minifigures™ arranged to represent three of the Hobbits – Samwise, Merry, and Pippin listening in on the Council of Elrond.
Figure 28 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a downward view of the Rivendell model where the Minifigures™ are not arranged in a way that recreates a scene from The Fellowship of the Ring, but is plausible. Boromir and Gimli are holding their weapons out but appear to be holding a conversation. Arwen is standing in the gazebo, staring off I the distance as if lost in thought or seeing something out of frame so to speak. Elrond, Aragorn, and Frodo are talking in the ring of chairs where the Council of Elrond takes place.
Figure 29 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Boromir, armed with the Sword of Gondor and a shield is talking to Legolas Greenleaf, who is armed with a bow-and-arrow piece. Near them, are standing an unidentified blonde elf-maiden and a brunette elf. The hairpiece for the elf-maiden is the same as that of Legolas and the only difference between the unidentified elf’s hairpiece and theirs is that his hairpiece has a dark brown color.
Figure 30 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: At left are Gloin (one of the twelve dwarves from The Hobbit) and his son, Gimli. At right are four Hobbits: Frodo, Frodo’s cousins Pippin and Merry, and Frodo’s gardener Samwise Gamgee. Notice Frodo’s facial expression is appropriate for the trance-like state he enters when wearing the One Ring and he is holding the One Ring (since LEGO® Minifigures™ lack fingers).
Figure 31 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: At left are Elrond Half-elven, Gandalf the Grey, and Bilbo Baggins. At right, are future husband-and-wife Arwen and Aragorn.
Figure 32 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: In this lifestyle photo, we see how the Rivendell model looks when displayed on a bookcase.
Figure 33 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: In this lifestyle photo, we see how the Rivendell model looks when displayed on the same bookcase but with the open side facing outward.
Figure 34 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: In this lifestyle photo, we see the Rivendell model as it would appear on display on top of a chest-of-drawers (also known as a dresser). Since this one is near an open doorway that looks like it opens on a living room or family room it is likely supposed to be a silverware cabinet or the like but it also gives viewers an idea of how the Rivendell model would look like displayed on top of a dresser in a bedroom. The model (woman) we saw building the model in previous photos can be seen in the deep background at right.
Figure 35 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the Rivendell model displayed on a different kind of piece of furniture, perhaps a cabinet of some kind, one that looks appropriate for a home office.
Figure 36 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a closeup of the previous photo of the Rivendell model as displayed on a cabinet that looks appropriate for a home office. I do not recommend placing it on display at this height if you have children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews younger than, say, nine. To an adult or a teen, this would be a model, but a small child would reasonably think it is a toy and want to play with it. Some of the alterations Adorable Little People make to LEGO® models are easier to undo than others.
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The word “Icons” does not appear on the box for Lion Knights’ Castle (Set #10305), but it is listed on LEGO.com as a LEGO® Icons set. This is a collection of sets for adults and teenagers eighteen years old and over. Other examples include the Eiffel Tower (Set #10307); Colosseum (Set #10276), which I wrote about; Optimus Prime (Set #10302); Loop Coaster (Set #10303); LEGO® Titanic (Set #10294); Holiday Main Street (Set #10308); Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (Set #10304); Atari® 2600 (Set #10306); Galaxy Explorer (Set #10497); Boutique Hotel (Set #10297), Haunted House (Set #10273), which I wrote about; Bonsai Tree (Set #10281); Back to the Future Time Machine (Set #10300); Ghostbusters™ Ecto-1 (Set #); Porsche 911 (Set #10295); Pickup Truck (Set #10290); Hogwarts™ Icons – Collectors’ Edition (Set #76391); Flower Banquet (Set #10280); Jazz Club (Set #10312); Succulents (Set #10309); Orchid (Set #10311); Dried Flower Centerpiece (Set #10314); Wildflower Bouquet (Set #10313); Bird of Paradise (Set #10289); Police Station (Set #10278); Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (Set #10299); Santa’s Visit (Set #10293); The Friends Apartments (Set #10292); NASA Space Shuttle Discovery (Set #10283); Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (Set #10291); Volkswagen T2 Camper Van (Set #10279); Adidas (Set #10282); Old Trafford – Manchester United (Set #10272); Fiat 500 (Set #10271); Camp Nou – FC Barcelona (Set #10284); and Elf Club House (Set #10275). Note that the three Christmas-themed sets Holiday Main Street, Santa’s Visit, and Elf Club House all belonged to the “Winter Village Collection.” Also, the Police Station, the Boutique Hotel, and the Jazz Club all belonged to the “Modular Buildings Collection.
Between the 5th and 7th of March of 2023, the set will be available to purchase exclusively by LEGO® V.I.P. members. [That would be Sunday, March 5, A.D. 2023; Monday, March 6, A.D. 2023; and Tuesday, March 7, A.D. 2023.] When LEGO® V.I.P. members purchase the set during that period next week, they will receive Frodo and Gollum LEGO® Brickheadz (Set #40630) for free. To become a LEGO® V.I.P. member for free, go to www.LEGO.com/VIP. From Wednesday, March 8, A.D. 2023 onward, everyone (who can afford it) can purchase the LEGO® The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell™ set at LEGO® Stores and the online LEGO® Shop (formerly known in English as LEGO® Shop-At-Home) at www.LEGO.com/LOTR.
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 Many filmmakers and film buffs alike consider the siege in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to be the finest siege in cinematic history.
 Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif) lusted after Eowyn (Miranda Otto), and Saruman the White (Christopher Lee) promised him he could have her as reward for his betrayal of his people. She loved Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson), disguised herself as a man so she could join the army of Rohan and defended her uncle from the Witch-king of Angmar, and ultimately married Faramir (played by David Wenham), Steward of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien. Some people might object the last event may be from the book but it was not in the film. However, on Instagram Miranda Otto has shared still images from the production of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King that reveal Jackson must have filmed a double wedding for Aragorn & Arwen and Faramir & Eowyn or something along those lines but did not include it even in the Extended Edition of The Return of the King.
 Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products (W.B.D.G.C.P.) is under the umbrella of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Brands and Experiences. It manages a portfolio of intellectual properties (I.P.s) for the purpose of licensing products, including toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing. W.B.D.G.C.P. represents the film, television, animation, and video games studios of Warner Bros.; H.B.O.; Discovery; DC; Cartoon Network and Adult Swim; HGTV; Eurosport; and other divisions and subsidiaries of the conglomerate Warner Bros. Discovery. “With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, and promotional partnerships, WBDGCP” stated it “is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.”
 The first season of that series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, unfortunately came across as bad fan fiction, so no one is clamoring for merchandise inspired by it.
 Freemode is one of twelve operating groups owned by Embracer Group AB.
 Hugo Weaving played Elrond Half-elven in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Born in Nigeria to English parents, Weaving has spent most of his life in Australia and is otherwise best known for playing Agent Smith in The Matrix (1999) and its first two sequels.
 American model-actress Liv Tyler played Arwen, daughter of Elrond, granddaughter of Galadriel, and future wife of Aragorn. Liv Tyler is the daughter of singer Steven Tyler and Playboy Playmate Bebe Buell. Another famous musician, Todd Rundgren, helped raise her.
 Viggo Mortensen played Aragorn, initially identified as Strider to the Hobbits. He had served King Theoden’s father and Denethor’s father as the mercenary general Thorongil. At the conclusion of the War of the Ring, he was crowned King of Gondor, King of Arnor, and High King of Arnor and Gondor. Born in America to a Danish father and an American mother, Viggo Mortensen was raised in Venezuela, Denmark, Argentina, and America. Jackson had cast Stuart Townsend to play Aragorn and only realized after filming had begun that he would have to recast the role because Townsend was too young to plausibly play the character. Mortensen had not read the book and initially wanted to decline the role, but his son convinced him otherwise. Previously, he had had supporting roles in Carlito’s Way (1993), The Prophecy (1995), Crimson Tide (1995), G.I. Jane (1997), and A Perfect Murder (1998). Notably, he played an artist in A Perfect Murder and his own real art was displayed in that film.
 English actor Orlando Bloom played Legolas Greenleaf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Legolas is the son of the Elvenking from The Hobbit, whom Tolkien retroactively identified in The Lord of the Rings as Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood.. Bloom co-starred with Keira Knightly and Johnny Depp in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. Bloom reunited with Sean Bean (though they have no scenes together) when he played Prince Paris of Troy and Bean played Odysseus, King of Ithaca, in Troy (2004), a de-mythologized version of Homer’s account of the Trojan War. Between 2010 and 2013, he was married to the Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr and they have a son. He also has a daughter by singer-actress Katy Perry.
 American actor Elijah Wood played Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and the prologue for The Hobbit.
 Sir Ian Holm (1931-2020) played Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings and the prologue for The Hobbit. Born in England to Scottish parents, he had previously provided the voice of Frodo in the B.B.C. radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings in 1981. English actor Martin Freeman played a younger version of Bilbo in The Hobbit trilogy.
 Anglo-Irish actor Dominic Monghan played Merriadoc ”Merry” Brandybuck, a cousin of Frodo and the future Master of Buckland. Monaghan went on to play Charlie on Lost (2004-2010). Scottish actor Billy Boyd played Peregrin ”Pippin” Took, a cousin of Frodo and future Thane of the Shire. Monaghan and Boyd are friends in real life and have a podcast called The Friendship Onion.
 American actor Sean Astin, the son of John Astin, played Samwise Gamgee. Sean Astin knew he wanted to work for Peter Jackson because John Astin had enjoyed the experience of making the comedic horror film The Frighteners (1996) with Jackson.
 English actor Sean Bean played Boromir, Captain of the White Tower. Boromir is the son of Denethor II, Steward of Gondor; elder brother of Faramir; and nephew of Prince Imrahil. In the book, Boromir goes to Rivendell in response to a dream he and Faramir both had, but in the films it plays out differently. In a flashback of Faramir’s in the Extended Edition of The Two Towers, we see after his victory in freeing Osgiliath (the old capital of Gondor) from the orcs, his father dispatches Boromir after he received an invitation from Elrond. Boromir is under the mistaken impression he can use the One Ring to defend Gondor from the Lord of the Rings. Bean is well-known for how many times his characters, usually villains, have died on screen, but his on-screen death in The Fellowship of the Ring stands out as a noble death. He had played the archvillain in the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995).
 Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies played Gimli. Rhys-Davies had previously been best known for his role of Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). His first major role was as Macro, Prefect of the Praetorian Guards, in the historical miniseries I, Claudius (1977). He played Soviet General Pushkin in the James Bond film The Living Daylights (1987).
 Sir Ian McKellen played Gandalf the Grey in the first installment of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and Gandalf the White – Gandalf resurrected and imbued with more power by Eru Illúvatar (God) in the second and third installments of The Lord of the Rings. Gandalf, Saruman, and the other Istari are Maiar (lower order angels/gods) that are equal to Sauron in origin but constrained from using all their power, unlike Sauron (who is also able to tap into power vented into the world by his master Morgoth) because they are supposed to guide elves, humans, and dwarves to resist Sauron, not lead the fight. Sean Connery had been offered the part but declined to accept because he had never read The Lord of the Rings and did not understand the script. McKellen was better known as a stage actor but within a short period of time became world-famous for playing Magneto in the X-Men films and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings films.
 In the book, of course, it was the elf warrior Glorfindel rather than Arwen who rescued Frodo. This raises the question, why did Peter Jackson and his co-screenwriters replace Glorfindel with Arwen in that scene. There are likely a few reasons. By substituting Arwen for Glorfindel they gave her an exciting introduction. Glorfindel has only that one action scene in the novel and Jackson saved money he would have had to spend casting an actor to play the impressive character. [This is probably the same reason Jackson and his co-screenwriters left out Arwen’s twin brothers.] The audience was worried for Arwen and Frodo as the Ring Wraiths closed in on them to a far greater extent than they have worried for Frido if he was protected by Glorfindel. Further, the film audience would have been confused as to why Glorfinel was not a member of the Fellowship of the Ring or did not join them later. The explanation in the book is that he was so powerful there was no way it would have escaped Sauron’s attention if he attempted to surreptitiously enter Mordor the way the whole Fellowship of the Ring was supposed to do (not just Frodo and Sam).
 Bilbo Baggins is the hero from The Hobbit who raised his cousin Frodo after the latter’s parents died.
 You wouldn’t know it from the films, but Galadriel and Celeborn are Arwen’s maternal grandparents through their daughter Celebrían, Elrond’s wife.
 Elendil the Tall (played by Peter McKenzie in the prologue of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) was a Númenorean aristocrat, the patriarch of a cadet branch of the Númenorean royal family and leader of the Faithful – the Númenoreans who remained friends with the elves and loyal to the Valar (the higher-ranking angels/gods that represented Eru Illúvatar (God) when the King’s Men (later to be known as the Black Númenoreans) turned against the elves (of whom they were jealous). When Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Númenor (also known as Westernesse), who had usurped his first cousin’s throne and forced her to marry him, took Sauron prisoner, within a few years took him as counselor. Sauron created a new religion as he persuaded Ar-Pharazôn and the Black Númenoreans that Eru Illúvatar was not real, that they should worship his master Morgoth (the Devil), they started to sacrifice the Faithful as well as lesser humans (non-Númenoreans) of Middle-earth to Morgoth. Sauron also persuaded Ar-Pharazôn and the Black Númenorean the Valar and elves were only immortal because they lived in Valinor, so they attempted to conquer Valinor with a great fleet called the Armament. Elendil could sense this would not end well and prepared a fleet of his own to flee Númenor. When the fleet arrived, the Valar were so offended they cast down their authority and Eru Illúvatar directly intervened. The moment Ar-Pharazôn touched foot on Valinor, a great mudslide destroyed his fleet. Further, Eru Illúvatar sank the island-nation of Númenor (Tolkien’s Atlantis) and made the flat Earth round. Elendil the Tall’s fleet had already set sail for Middle-earth. He became the first High King of Arnor and Gondor. Whilst he directly ruled the Kingdom of Arnor, his sons Isildur and Anárian ruled Gondor as his vassal co-kings. Sauron had not accompanied the fleet as he remained in the Númenorean capital city. His body was destroyed along with the island, but as a Maiar (lesser-ranking angel/god), he simply returned to Barad-dur and reconstituted a new body for himself, although he lost the ability at that point to appear handsome.
 The book was more gruesome as Sauron did not need a mace to kill, as he burned men and elves to death with his bare hands. When Sauron rose again in Barad-dur and tried again to conquer the world, he had a special animus for Arnor and Gondor, the Númenorean Realms-in-Exile. Elendil, the High King of Arnor and Gondor, formed an alliance with Gil-galad (played by Mark Ferguson in The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring), High King of the Noldor elves. Elrond Half-Elven, the twin brother of Elendil’s distant ancestor Elros, the first King of Númenor, was the Herald of Gil-galad.
 This is another difference between the book and the film. In the book, Elendil, the High King of Arnor and Gondor, and his ally, Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor elves, killed Sauron, but he killed them, as well. In the aftermath, Isildur cut off Sauron’s fingers to get the One Ring, which he claimed as weirguild because not only had Sauron just killed his father (and their ally) but also his brother Anárian had died in the course of the war. Isildur became the second High King of Arnor and Gondor and the second King of Arnor. He remained in Gondor long enough to instruct his young nephew in the art of kingship (which was the beginning of the Gondorian royal family) and intended with his elder sons to join his wife and youngest son (who were guests of Elrond at Rivendell) and then continue on to the capital of Arnor. However, his company was ambushed by orcs near the Gladden Fields and he and his elder sons perished. His youngest son became the third King of Arnor but it was not until Aragorn that there was a third High King of Arnor and Gondor. As a matter of fact, Aragorn also had to reconstitute Arnor (of which the Shire and Bree were a small part) because the Witch-king of Angmar had led a series of wars that systematically destroyed the three kingdoms into which Arnor had broken. The royal family of Arthedain, the final kingdom to fall, endured in part thanks to Elrond, but there were so few surviving Dúnedain (descendants of the Númenoreans refugees) in this region, the patriarchs of the family were known as Chiefs of the Dúnedain and led the Rangers of the North in policing Wilderland.
 In the book, Aragorn carries the hilt of Narsil around on his person.
 Optimus Prime (Set #10302) is an unusual set for two different reasons. Firstly, as a structure, because Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots (the good Transformers), the model can transform from a truck to an anthropomorphic robot soldier. Secondly, it represents an agreement between two different toy companies. Hasbro, which makes the Transformers, had to have given permission for The LEGO® Group to produce Optimus Prime under license.