Clocked

The ‘Lord of the Rings’ films almost had an incredibly weird nude scene

Lord of the Rings  actor Billy Boyd, in an interview with Stephen Colbert, revealed there was almost a nude scene in the iconic Tolkien film trilogy. Although perhaps not the one you wish to hear about.

So now that I have your attention, let’s break this down a little bit. Peter Jackson’s Hollywood take on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (LOTR) was the definition of family fun. Sure, there was a touch of horror throw in to add some spice, and a body count to rival Saving Private Ryan, but all things considered the kids would be alright. Right?

Well according to Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan, the British actors responsible for bringing a commendable amount of mischievous charm to Pippin and Merry, there was almost a nude scene in LOTR. Cue: moral outrage and boorish prudishness.

lotr nude scene
Image: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

But what kind of nude scene are we dealing with here? A passionate scene where Aragorn gives Arwen a taste of what she’ll be missing if she gets on the boat to Elvish heaven?

Perhaps a moment of tenderness between BFFs Samwise and Frodo, undoubtedly while the pervy voyeur Golem skulks around in the bushes? No, those in charge had something far more controversial in mind for their sensual LOTR nude scene.

As Boyd explained to The Late Show host Stephen Colbert,

Philippa Boyens, she wrote a scene, because we’d been doing some kind of gags and winding people up. She said, ‘Oh, it’s a new scene we’re filming next week, with the Ents…When Merry and Pippin are up Treebeard, he gets afraid and shakes his branches, which makes you guys fall, and as you hit all the branches on the way down, by the time you hit the ground, you’re naked. And Merry turns to Pippin and says, ‘It’s cold, isn’t it?’ And Pippin says, ‘Hold me, Merry.’

merry and pippin
Image: The Lord of The Rings / New Line Cinema

All jokes aside, it sounds like there was very little chance this nude scene was ever going to make its into the LOTR films; and to be honest it comes across like Boyd and Monaghan were just messing around, in much the same way their characters are known to.

Still, the way he articulates the scene recalls the sort of thing you might find in a twisted, erotic fan-fiction blog.

Either way, the greater context at play here is that Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series (which doesn’t actually cover the story of The Lord of the Rings, the three books Jackson based his films on) has become the subject of some controversy of its own.

Apparently, some Tolkien purists don’t want the show to feature adult themes, arguing that they would be out of step with the world’s tone; and only exist as a response to the success of Game of Thrones.

It’s a valid point. But come on, just think of the possibilities…