Every Christmas, there’s a discussion around whether a certain film is a Christmas film or not. Is “Die Hard“? What about “Harry Potter“? The movie, or trilogy, if you will, people usually forget about but is essential Christmas viewing is “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Now that the entire trilogy has been re-released and remastered in 4K, Empire Magazine re-shared its 15th-anniversary oral history with Viggo Mortensen, who had a few things to say about changes made to the books. “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,” Mortensen said. “Seeing him lead King Théoden and his army of Rohirrim through the forest to join the fight to save Minas Tirith would have been thrilling. Towards the end of Tolkien’s ‘The Return Of The King,’ the Forest of Drúadan is given by newly-crowned Aragorn to Ghân and his people for their exclusive use, leaving it to them to decide that from then on if anyone else is to be allowed to enter it.”
Of course, the films are already quite long as they are, as Mortensen himself admits. “I suppose all of that extra material would have given the already thematically complex and quite lengthy movie far too long a running time and an overwhelming amount of information for viewers to easily assimilate. Die-hard Tolkien aficionados, however, might have enjoyed the character, as he is a one-of-a-kind noble descendant of prehistoric humans.”
While Ghân-buri-Ghân was not even part of the film adaptation’s plans, Mortensen told NME earlier this year that there was a flashback that was shot, but never released in any of the extended editions. “There was a scene that we shot as a sort of memory flashback,” the actor revealed. “It was from the courtship days when he first met Arwen – 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.”