It was already twenty years ago that The Fellowship of the Ring premiered around the globe (2001). In subsequent years, The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003) were released. Despite the advancement of visual technologies since the release, I still believe it’s one of the greatest film series ever made. The appendices of the extended DVDs and several “making of” books of the trilogy amplified my interest in the film-making process of The Lord of the Rings movies.

In this article, I will share a selection of color-graded photos together with screenshots of the corresponding scenes. For more information and an overview of all the locations and GPS coordinates, you can visit my website.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. owns the copyright of the screenshots.

More info: middle-earth.timeworx.nl

#1

Bag End - Hobbiton Movie Set

Bag End - Hobbiton Movie Set

In one of the most well-known scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring, we see Gandalf arriving at Bilbo Baggins' home, Bag End. The exterior that can be seen today, is the one that was rebuilt for the Hobbit trilogy in the Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata. The home of Bilbo offers a view of The Party Tree and The Green Dragon. The interior of Bag End was shot in a studio in Wellington, using different scales for Gandalf and the Hobbits.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

der sebbl
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I would want to live there. If there was interior behind the door

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Because of my work as an engineer, I am able to live and work in various countries and travel from there during holidays. When I was living in Australia, the filming locations in New Zealand were relatively nearby. In 2016 I visited the Hobbiton Movie Set for the first time. By that time this set was rebuilt for the Hobbit trilogy. Seeing the site you know so well (from watching the films over and over) made a big impression on me and made me even more interested in the other locations. So much, that I returned to New Zealand a couple of times to visit several other filming locations.

#2

Rivendell - Kaitoke Regional Park

Rivendell - Kaitoke Regional Park

The original Rivendell set has been removed after filming. However, later, Wētā Workshop placed an arch in the same architectural style.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
2 months ago

Well that arch is new since I was there. Used to be barely anything to indicate where Rivendell supposedly was, funny seeing tourists donning wigs for photos with just a small river in the background.

#3

Nen Hithoel - North Mavora Lake

Nen Hithoel - North Mavora Lake

Towards the end of the first film the Fellowship land the Elven boats after passing the Argonath. After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo and Sam cross the lake, continuing their journey to Mordor. These scenes were filmed around North Mavora Lake.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Evie Denen
Community Member
2 months ago

Very pretty!

In order to find the locations, I purchased the Location Guidebook by Ian Brodie. Though this certainly helps, some locations are missing in this guide. Among the various other sources I used to find additional filming locations, I find the YouTube video by Niki Topgaard one of the most informative. In cases where only a rough description of the filming location was available, I used Google Earth to find the exact location.

#4

Edoras - Mount Sunday

Edoras - Mount Sunday

The remote location of Mount Sunday was transformed into Edoras. It took several months to build this huge set. In the photo, we see the view that Éowyn has from Meduseld when she sees Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli arriving by horse.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
2 months ago

I've been there too! There's an official tour you can go on where they take you up there. There's a metal landmark up the top and someone had written - I think it was Theoden's big speech? - on it in German!

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#5

Argonath - Kawarau River

Argonath - Kawarau River

Kawarau River doubled as the Anduin River. The screenshot is taken just before The Fellowship sees the two Pillars of the Kings guarding the river. The photo is taken in the opposite direction. A river trip is required to go to the exact spot.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Lisa Valen
Community Member
2 months ago

Almost mythical.

The films relied on digital colour-grading to change the ambience of the scenes. The prologue, for example, has a very antiquated look whereas Hobbiton had a warm and welcoming look. I have recreated the ambience in Photoshop by applying a gradient map with sampled colours of the original screenshot. The success of this process depends on how similar the lighting conditions were.

There is a nice colour grading tutorial by PiXimperfect on youtube if you're interested.

#6

Pelennor Fields - Twizel

Pelennor Fields - Twizel

The plains near Twizel were used to shoot the scene in which Gandalf rescues the riders from the winged Nazgûl.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Henry Hagens
Community Member
2 months ago

Wow, that's huge

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#7

Pelennor Fields - Twizel

Pelennor Fields - Twizel

This viewpoint is seen in the epic scene when Théoden gives a speech before the Rohirrim charge into battle.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

I am most proud of finding locations that are not that well-known. For example, I knew the backdrop of the location where Legolas shoots down an Oliphaunt was somewhere near Mount Cook. By studying the scene frame-by-frame and comparing this with my own photos, I found the exact location.

Currently, I am making plans to visit the Game of Thrones locations in Croatia and Iceland.

#8

Get Off The Road! - Mt Victoria

Get Off The Road! - Mt Victoria

This is the scene where Frodo senses the approaching Nazgûl. This spot is very close to where the Hobbits hid under the roots of a tree. The artificial tree for that was part of the set and has been removed. The scene was filmed at Mount Victoria, very close to Wellington.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

threebies
Community Member
2 months ago

I would love to walk here :]

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#9

Emyn Muil - Whakapapa

Emyn Muil - Whakapapa

In the opening scene of The Two Towers, we see Frodo and Sam climbing uphill. The precise location is to the right of Meads Wall.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

#10

Gandalf Calls Shadowfax - Mavora Lakes Rd

Gandalf Calls Shadowfax - Mavora Lakes Rd

The scene in which Gandalf the White calls Shadowfax is filmed at the same location as where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli find the burnt Orc Mound.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

#11

Hobbiton - Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton - Hobbiton Movie Set

When Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton, there is a brief shot of one Hobbit with a wheelbarrow and one sweeping the floor in front of their Hobbit hole. This shot is from the extended edition.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Lisa Valen
Community Member
2 months ago

I would live there.

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#12

Minas Tirith - Mount Cook National Park

Minas Tirith - Mount Cook National Park

This mountain range seen in the photo served as the backdrop left of Minas Tirith. It features prominently in the scene of The Return of the King where Gandalf and Pippin ride to the capital of Gondor. The photo is taken from the Tasman Glacier viewpoint, roughly 80 m above ground level. The battlegrounds around Minas Tirith were filmed near Twizel.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Mayo
Community Member
2 months ago

Amazing, we have technolgie to make this CG thats aint real. Wish it's real.

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#13

Pelennor Fields - Mount Cook National Park

Pelennor Fields - Mount Cook National Park

A slope in the Mount Cook National Park can be seen in the background of the scene where Legolas shoots down an Oliphaunt. The photo is taken from the Tasman Glacier viewpoint, roughly 80 m above ground level.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Legolas Greenleaf
Community Member
2 months ago

It was a fair win (read: Gimli's still not over it, come on, it's been a few millenia, gods)

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#14

The Green Dragon - Hobbiton Movie Set

The Green Dragon - Hobbiton Movie Set

The Green Dragon first appears in The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf and Frodo pass it in Gandalf’s cart.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Thomas Sparling
Community Member
2 months ago

Reminds me of the Telletubbies set.

#15

Hobbiton - Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton - Hobbiton Movie Set

This hobbit hole appears briefly in the scene where Mr. Proudfoot sees the four Hobbits returning to the Shire. In The Fellowship of the Ring, he appears in front of a different Hobbit hole with a red door.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

watto
Community Member
2 months ago

Very cool

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#16

Helm’s Deep - Erewhon Station

Helm’s Deep - Erewhon Station

In a wide shot, we see Aragorn arriving at Helms Deep. This location is nearby Mount Sunday (Edoras). In front of the mountain range, a few trees are visible. Just to the right is where Helms Deep was superimposed onto this mountain range.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Shoshana Sherrington
Community Member
2 months ago

It's so cool that they kept the Rohan locations in the same region

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#17

Rohirrim Village - Poolburn Reservoir

Rohirrim Village - Poolburn Reservoir

The Orc attack on the Rohirrim Village is filmed around Poolburn Reservoir. Scenes with Aragon, Legolas and Gimli chasing the Uruk-hai that were taking Merry and Pippin to Saruman were also filmed nearby.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Quinn Alexander
Community Member
2 months ago

Top image - Poolburn Bottom image - Burn the Pool

#18

Gollum Goes Fishing - Mangawhero Falls

Gollum Goes Fishing - Mangawhero Falls

The scene in which Gollum chases a fish in the river was filmed near the Mangawhero Falls. The location is at the slopes of Mount Ruapehu where many other scenes were filmed.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Peppermallow
Community Member
2 months ago

The area had heavy snowfall on the day of fliming. Crew had to get out with flamethrowers to melt the snow. The actor was freezing splashing in snow melt

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#19

Ithilien - Oliphaunts - Twelve Mile Delta

Ithilien - Oliphaunts - Twelve Mile Delta

The scene where Frodo, Sam and Gollum spot two Oliphaunts is filmed in the Twelve Mile Delta near Queenstown. The preceding scene in which Sam and Gollum disagree on how to prepare coneys for a meal is also filmed nearby.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

#20

Sandyman's Old Mill - Hobbiton Movie Set

Sandyman's Old Mill - Hobbiton Movie Set

Not much later, Gandalf and Frodo pass Sandyman's Old Mill in Gandalf’s cart and continue their way over the double-arched bridge.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

watto
Community Member
2 months ago

They look like really peaceful places.

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#21

Isengard - Near Glenorchy

Isengard - Near Glenorchy

A scale model of Isengard was superimposed onto this landscape.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
2 months ago

Is that the real Glenorchy in Scotland?

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#22

Samwise Gamgee's Home - Hobbiton Movie Set

Samwise Gamgee's Home - Hobbiton Movie Set

The trilogy ends with Sam returning from The Grey Havens and reuniting with his family back in Hobbiton. In the final shot, the camera zooms in to the yellow door of his house.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

HavocR24
Community Member
2 months ago

That's not the same door

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#23

Orc Mound - Mavora Lakes Rd

Orc Mound - Mavora Lakes Rd

In The Two Towers, we see Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli finding the burnt Uruk-hai and Orcs who had been carrying Merry and Pippin towards Isengard. The area is not too far from North Mavora Lake.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Mike Loux
Community Member
2 months ago

Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#24

The Green Dragon - Hobbiton Movie Set

The Green Dragon - Hobbiton Movie Set

After the quest Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin quietly enjoy their ale in The Green Dragon. The interior of The Green Dragon was shot in a studio in Wellington. A fully functional replica has been constructed at The Hobbiton Movie Set.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Jyri Hakola
Community Member
2 months ago

One of the dissappointing things in the film trilogy. Instead of the Scouring of the shire, last fight and fame, the hobbits returns back at home at nobodys and no-one around gives a damn about what they have done.

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#25

Dunharrow - Mt Victoria

Dunharrow - Mt Victoria

The former quarry at the top end of Ellice Street in Wellington was one of the sites used as the Rohirrim camp at Dunharrow.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Charlotte Grace
Community Member
2 months ago

I've laid on the grass with friends there lol

#26

Rohirrim Refugees - Deer Park Heights

Rohirrim Refugees - Deer Park Heights

Scenes, where the Rohan refugees travel from Edoras to Helms Deep, were filmed at the Deer Park Heights. Their battle with the Wargs and Orcs was also filmed here. This photo was taken further away, but the backdrop with The Remarkables is very recognizable.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Okokok!
Community Member
2 months ago

Was there, too, (oh mei, 16 years ago) and there was also a movie set of an old B-Movie (dunno the title). Back in the day property could be passed but I think I've heard something about it is closed now 1653487597...91343a.jpg 16534875975104611606405405448226-628e3b591343a.jpg

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#27

The Battle Of The Last Alliance - Whakapapa

The Battle Of The Last Alliance - Whakapapa

In the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring, you see a brief shot of Gil-galad fighting Orcs in the Battle of the Last Alliance. The background seen from this viewpoint can be recognized, but my photo is taken from a different angle.

Tom Bos , Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Report

Anthony Misiano
Community Member
2 months ago

Brilliant job on the color grading, you really matched the screenshots' individual palettes beautifully.

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