I can now give you the next chapter in this epic - the second part of Madness In Milton Keynes, again filled with many great memories and much nostalgia for me. Many thanks to msilverstar for her contributions to this chapter:)
In Frodo's Journey - The Promise.
For anyone unfamiliar with my pet project, 'A Journey With Frodo' (a work in progress) is the story of Elijah Wood's experience in becoming Frodo, from back in 1998 when the LOTR movies were just a whisper up to the triumphant Oscars of Feb 2004. In reliving Elijah's journey, and mine, I am using everything I can lay my hands on - behind-the-scenes material from the various dvd's, magazine articles, books, internet sites, tv coverage, word-of-mouth info, etc. Previous chapters can be found here:
"A JOURNEY WITH FRODO"
Hope you enjoy this new chapter
COLLECTORMANIA4 (continued from previous chapter):
Reader, I met him!! More on that later - and apologies to Charlotte Brontë for that quote!!
Sunday, 05 October 2003 Q&A:
(Again, this isn't in the exact order that things happened. And the text is a mixture of snippets from my own report, that of msilverstar and someone from theonering.net)
Elijah and Sean were due to start at 6.30 again, but at nearly 6.45 they hadn’t appeared. We were told not to worry, they had arrived but they’d had a very hard day [as we knew] and were just chilling out for a while [and judging by their high spirits when they did arrive, taking a little ‘refreshment’ I think!!]. When they were announced a few minutes later they actually came in the same way we all had, not through a stage door, and Elijah ran manically round and round, touching any hands that were being held out – must have been three or four times all round the first block of seats – he has such energy, and considering he’d not long ago had surgery its quite amazing. Sean followed him and also ran around but not quite so much – I wonder if Lij warned him he was going to do that! When Elijah finally landed on stage he said “Why did we do that?”. They asked if anyone had been at their talk the previous evening – there was only us and a couple of others.
"The Dom show was fabulous, but it was the Elijah-and-Sean show that turned me into a fangirl. It was so incredibly fun! They are sweet, sincere guys, I can't believe anyone could fake that much pleasure in talking with the fans. A mutual admiration society to be sure." msilverstar
Several people gave them pressies and sweets. Elijah said he’d been overwhelmed by all the gifts he’d been given during the day. Someone gave them a sparkly cowboy hat each, red for Lij, black for Sean, which they put on at various stages during the evening, causing them to break into cowboy songs such as ‘Rhinestone Cowboy!
"Elijah sat and ate jelly rings all the way through, says he love them. Offered to share chocolates with the audience." msilverstar
Question: "Hi, there are a few of us here from TheOneRing.net who met through the discussion boards. We were wondering if you ever lurk on the discussion boards to find out the opinions of people?"
E: I don’t go on the boards. I look on the front page to find out the news, see what our friends are doing! Discussion boards? Er no… I used to when the website first started out and I was so excited and we couldn’t find any other websites and Billy or Dom and I would write messages and stuff. Now I’d rather just talk to him on the phone though."
"Q: I’m going to have to take a sickie tomorrow to get to meet you. Who would you take a sickie for?
EW: “Oh, I don’t know, probably someone in music. Radiohead. And Sean would definitely for the President of the United States, wouldn’t you?” msilverstar
Someone asked them how they felt about the merchandise and the commercialism and whether they had any say in this. Elijah said that they were asked for their approval of certain things. Sean made a very valid point by saying that Tolkien had tried to create a mythology for the British people which could be enhanced by other art forms and the toys and merchandise were just another facet of this. He mentioned that even the various religions had their commercialisation. He also mentioned something about LOTR toilet paper but can’t remember exactly what!
Question about injuries:
E: You mean, you didn’t hear about Sean’s foot?
S: I can’t even remember which foot it was now.
E: Wait wait! [Elijah jumps off stool and goes over to Sean and picks up his left foot]
S: Elijah was poking a stick at my blood when it had clotted and it was lying on the ground.
E: There was a, like, GLOB of clotted blood. And then he got whisked away in a helicopter. . I was quite impressed.
They also talked about Sean’s loom accident. I always think how ironic it is that Sean is so safety-conscious and yet he ended up having more accidents than anyone! Sean mentioned that the doctors told him he’d got a big brain and Lij teased him about having a big head. Someone shouted out something I didn’t catch and Lij said “See, they don’t like it when we’re nasty to each other”. Sean said “We love each other really” and someone shouted “Give him a kiss then!”. Sean immediately got down from his stool, swept Lij into his arms and gave him a passionate kiss – Lij’s arms and legs were waving about wildly. It was so funny. Sean returned to his seat and said “And that wasn’t the first time”. It was hilarious!
They were asked about Tig and Cup and Elijah said he really didn’t realise they were joking with him over Tig. When he found out it was like discovering Santa Clause wasn't real when he discovered Christmas paper in his mom’s drawers. Then he realised how this sounded and said “Well…not really in her drawers!!”
"Question about the backpacks
S - Backpacks? My back pack!
E - he was the one who carried it most.
S - It wasn't a nice modern neoprene back pack with padded straps. It was not comfortable.
E - the straps come over the shoulders and tie under the back, there are slits in the cloaks.
S - we cut our necks on the Eleven brooches
Elijah - Elven brooch stabbings!” msilverstar
At one point someone asked Elijah if he would give her mom a hug and he obliged. This was good for me as he stood only a few feet away while he did this. I had a clear view of his face – I could have easily forgiven him if he’d looked a little bored or fed-up after all the hugs he’d already dished out that day – but he looked joyful, as if he really was enjoying the moment – he is just amazing. Of course, this set off a chorus of requests for hugs – he did come down again and I got another nice view!
Question: “Who is the real hero of LOTR?”
E: “Sam”. There was applause and cheering. “Sam is so loyal and picks Frodo up when he can’t go on”.
S: “Frodo. Frodo is holding this huge weight which he can’t drop or the world will end. Elijah really nailed Frodo’s internal struggle.”
Elijah was again asked to show his tattoo. His appendix scars looked extremely inflamed and he said that the site of one of the incisions kept swelling up. [Ahem! Please try to concentrate on tattoo and appendix scar!!]
Q: Do you think Tolkien would have been happy with the films?
SA: Well, he sold the film rights as Peter always says. I think so – any myth will only go on existing if it’s reinterpreted for modern times.
EW: And it was filmed with so much passion.
Question: “In the book the orcs take everything from Frodo – will this happen in the film?” Lij said “I won’t be naked – but nearly!”
The subject of internet rumours was raised.
Sean: “You’re talking about the rumours about Elijah and Dom?”
Elijah said they’d heard about the rumours from Ian McKellan.
Sean: “He loves that stuff, doesn’t he?!”
Elijah went on to say that he thought it was really funny and that at one stage there was a rumour that Dom was going out with his sister Hannah as a cover-up and that they were under contract to not come out until after ROTK. He also mentined rumours about all the hobbits being gay and getting up to stuff in NZ. He admitted they’d played along with it for a while.
Elijah: “Why can’t men just be really good friends without having all these rumours?”
To the horror of some of the girls in the crowd, Lij said he was not a fan of ‘Pirates’. This was during a discussion about how polite they were about each others work.
"Question: How important was music to you when you were filming?
E: For us? Yeah! Massively important. We spent our days with it, went and had naps in our trailers with it. Wrapped out with it, which is more important. To get out of all our make-up at night it would take about 45 minutes..and it was like “Hey, we’ve just done and 15 hour day and now we’re going home!”, so we played music at that time. …But massive! And Dom and I D.J.ed at parties and things in New Zealand. We are kinda music idiots!
S: We’d try to jam together too. Billy’s incredibly musically gifted.
E: He plays and writes.
S: We’d go around to Peter’s house and there was a drum kit and a piano.
E: We also had that Thanksgiving too, when Billy had the drums! Incredible! Really cool.
E: I made him buy a lot of new CDs too.
S: What’s wrong with The Eagles? [whooping] They go on to discuss the new Led Zeppelin CD and say jokingly that it would be a good soundtrack for LOTR." (theonering.net member)
Someone asked Sean about the short movie and said “Wasn’t there enough for you to do?. Lij found this hilariously funny and had a massive giggling fit. He was actually putting his hand over the mike – Sean said “its ok – he gets like this sometimes”
"The talk was meant to last an hour. They didn't want to stop and stayed half an hour more, telling the organisers that they could go on all night. I think they were having as much fun as the rest of us and it really showed. They're very close, able to answer questions on each other's behalf and finish each others stories. Sean's very thoughtful with his answers, very considerate, and Elijah's energy just bounces off the walls, taking his replies anywhere. He's a total force of nature, and of all the cast I've encountered (Lij, Dom, Astin, Karl, Liv, Billy, Lawrence etc) he and Liv have the market cornered in the sheer power of their presence. He glows, and you know when Simon Cowell talks about X Factor? Elijah is what he means. He's something special, and is remarkable in the way he takes the time to make everyone around him feel special too. I was a fan before and I really cannot speak highly enough of him now." (posted on theonering.net)
At the end they put their cowboy hats back on and gave us a rendition of “Happy Trails to You”. It was all superb – they seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves so much and they went way over the scheduled time – it was like they didn’t want to stop. Unforgettable!
Monday 06 Oct 2003 ~ The Signings:
Not certain which day this was, but this is part of The Queue!
Everyone was worried because the signings were due to start at 9am and by 9.30 they still hadn't come. But then, we heard a bit of a commotion up above ... and saw this!
How adorable is this?
Many of us are familiar with this beautiful pic of Elijah with ismenin
Many thanks to msilverstar for the following seven pics:
I asked Elijah's assistant, pictured here, what he was like to work with. Her reply: an absolute angel!!
A fan studies Elijah's famous 'If Not Now When?' ring:
My Journey Continues:
After the Sunday experience, we made sure to get to the con really early on the Monday morning - I think it was a little after 6am, only to find quite a long queue already there!! I panicked when I saw that queue but calmed down a little when I got a ticket which was in the first 200. My number finally came up round about mid-day and at last I was ushered in to join the queue behind the screen. No more wondering - I was definitely going to meet Elijah. My husband decided not to join me and I have to say I was relieved. I preferred to be alone when meeting my 'other man' :D I'd only been waiting a short time when I heard that Elijah had gone for a break. I didn't mind, I perched on a small wall and savoured the moment. After some time had elapsed I was sort of staring into space when a distant figure suddenly came into focus and was quickly approaching. Yes, it was Elijah, he'd returned a different way and was going to pass me - he'd be literally inches away. That was my first really close sight of him and it just took my breath away. He breezed past, smiling and saying 'Hello, hello, hello' over and over. And I saw it straight away - that glow that so many speak of. As I got closer to the signing table a strange feeling of unreality took hold of me - was this really happening? Every word of my carefully prepared/rehearsed little speech disappeared completely! And then - the person in front of me was walking away from the table (the queue did not move along the table as at other cons - people were summoned one by one) and Elijah was looking, and smiling, straight at ME!!! The Showmasters person ushered me forward and I placed my pics for signing in front of Elijah. As he signed, the SM person said, 'Now would be a good time to take a pic' which I did with trembling hands! But it wasn't really a good time to take it as he's looking down but, of course, the SM person was more interested in time-saving:
He carefully blew on the ink of the last pic he signed - I wish I'd noted which one it was - and smiled so sweetly as he gave them to me. I can barely remember what I said - I do remember thanking him for coming and he said, "You're welcome" and I said I hoped he'd come again. He replied, "We will". With Elijah it's so often "we" rather than "I", isn't it?
So that was it - my first proper encounter with Elijah. I felt quite dazed and sat down by myself for a while. Since that day I've met Elijah several more times; he's always a joy but I have to say that I've never seen him so animated, so high-spirited and so joyful as he was at that event. I believe it had a lot to do with the excitement of the imminent release of ROTK and the fact that Sean and Dom and several other cast members were there with him. I feel so lucky to have seen him at that time.
Frodo's Journey continues...
PJ, dvd: "The last sequence between Frodo and Sam on the boat here was actually directed by Fran, she was there on the day when this was shot and I was about 300 miles away directing Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli."
Go back Sam! I’m going to Mordor alone.
Of course you are. And I’m coming with you!
You can’t swim. Sam!
I made a promise Mr Frodo.
A promise. Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee.
And I don’t mean to ...
...I don’t mean to.
“Quite simply, it is love”, says Elijah Wood. “It is that unconditional love that says, regardless of what you do or where you go, I will always be there for you”. (Official Movie Guide)
"At the end of this first film Frodo and Sam are separated from the rest and row across
the river, destination Mount Doom — on even a scratchy video, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin are
heart-breaking and couldn't be better — I thought. I reckoned without Howard Shore's music,
some of which is being recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a male choir
especially assembled for the movie. Last week I dropped in to watch them play and sing. It
was the end of a long day for the musicians but their enthusiasm for Howard and the whole
project was evident. I sat behind Peter Jackson huddled over a monitor showing the footage of Sam and Frodo in their rowboat. As the majestic Fellowship theme soared over the pictures and a plaintive flute and drums enchanted the ear, I heard and saw the first moment of completed film. Trust me: it is magnificent." (Ian McKellan, The Grey Book)
Hurry! Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore.
You mean not to follow them.
Frodo’s fate is no longer in our hands.
“At length they came to land again upon the southern slopes of Amon Lhaw. There they found a shelving shore, and they drew the boat out, high above the water, and hid it as well as they could behind a great boulder. Then shouldering their burdens, they set off, seeking a path that would bring them over the grey hills of the Emyn Muil, and down into the Land of Shadow.” (Fellowship of the Ring : The Breaking of the Fellowship.)
I hope the others find a safer road.
Strider will look after them.
PJ: "That's a real sunset behind them, this was actually shot at the very end of the day when the sun was going down."
I don’t suppose we’ll ever see them again.
We may yet Mr Frodo. We may.
I’m glad you’re with me.
This moment is so special to me. It 'cemented' what had been building up inside me for the three hours of my first FOTR viewing. I had sat completely rapt throughout the film, quite overwhelmed by everything, the amazing story, the beauty of Middle Earth, the gorgeous music, but over and above everything else I was constantly drawn back to Frodo - who was this amazing young actor? It was as Frodo turns to Sam in this scene that I knew, without any doubt, that something had happened in my life. I wasn't quite sure exactly what but now, ten years later, that moment marks for me the start of my own very special journey of discovery:)
E: "It's funny, you're taught your whole life that you're not supposed to talk during movies!"
Dom: "Where was this filmed guys?"
E: "That was in a parking lot on Ruapehu, and then when it comes around for that ..
that was blue screen! On a stage in Wellington!"
Billy: "A year and a half later!
E: "I think it was quite a ways later than that. Pieces, little pieces to the puzzle.
Billy: "Look at that bag that Sean had to carry every day.
E: "You finally did get rid of it but not for a very long time.
“For Frodo the Halfling, it is said, at the bidding of Mithrandir took on himself the burden, and alone with his servant he passed through peril and darkness.”
~ The Silmarillion : JRR Tolkien
Phillipa Boyens: "I think the reason nobody complained, Pete was because - I remember Elijah saying this - that whenever he got tired he'd just look across at you and know that your day wasn't over, you had four hours of dailies to watch and he always felt that if you could do it, he could do it and I think a lot of them were doing it for you.
TO BE CONTINUED
LINK TO ALL CHAPTERS:
"A JOURNEY WITH FRODO"
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