- Lord of the Rings -There Are 5 Hidden Easter Eggs In the 'Lord of the Rings' Extended Edition DVDs
I have moved approximately eight times between 2002 and 2020, and only four things have survived the cardboard-laced fracas of too many unexpected interstate journeys: me, and my three Lord of the Rings extended edition DVDs. Yet, no matter how many times I watched Gandalf arrive precisely when he meant to, the Wilhelm Screamer fly off the walls of Helm’s Deep, and John Noble squirt cherry tomato juice straight to Osgiliath, I neglected to discover that the DVDs came with not one, not two, but five hidden easter eggs until just weeks ago. That’s precisely not when I meant to.
Even though navigating your way to the easter eggs is about as easy as carving a path through Emyn Muil, it’s frustrating that even I — the person who watched on the edge of her seat as Weta’s special effects professionals clicked a cave troll into existence on a late ’90s PC in a Fellowship of the Ring featurette — failed to discover these gems until my 16th annual rewatch. So I cannot possibly be alone.
For your easy reference, below, find how to access these eggs, and what to expect (free of too many spoilers to ruin the delightful discoveries). No, no, my friends — you bow to no one. Paying Dominic Monaghan’s sense of humor forward is the very least I could do.
The Fellowship of the Ring
Where To Find It: For once, resist the urge to click “play” to hear Cate Blanchett coo I amar prestar aen. Instead, navigate to “scenes 25-28” in “scene selection,” and hover over 27. You will see the words “new scene” at the bottom of the screen, and the image of Sauron’s ring beside it. Click the Ring, and you’ll descend into a confusing, chaotic place that deteriorates your soul.
What You’ll Find: That place is early 2000s MTV. (Just kidding. I watched every single episode of A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila and am pretty sure I was the only person to watch the Acuvue twins on 8th & Ocean. I’m in the wrong place for this non-sequitur — do you understand any of these words?) But, as you’ll see later in this piece, Lord of the Rings had almost as tight of a relationship with the MTV Movie Awards as it did the Oscars, which gave Return of the King the honor of being one of three films to have won 11 golden Emilio Fernandez statues.
This easter egg is one you might have seen before, had you hit puberty the same time Vin Diesel and Paul Walker first revved their engines. That’s because this parody of The Council of Elrond aired as a part of the 2002 MTV Movie Awards, and featured co-hosts Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar as two new members of the Rivendell meeting of the minds. The humor from Black is blue, but its charm is as wide-eyed as Mr. Frodo’s baby blues, so it would likely only send Tolkien rolling a quarter of a way around in his grave. I strongly suggest fans go the long way and check out the easter egg on the DVD itself, but since so many DVD players have gone to the Undying Lands, you can also find the sketch below.
Where To Find It: You couldn’t resist and watched all of Fellowship of the Ring Part 1, didn’t you? Okay, then, as soon as you hear Pippin ask, “where we going?” slip Disc 2 in your player, navigate to “select a scene,” and click scene 48. Click on the image of the two towers when you push down on your remote.
What You’ll Find: Something that was far more exciting to audiences in 2002 than 2020: a trailer for The Two Towers. But nostalgic Lord of the Rings fans might appreciate getting transported back to the memory of a full theater on the night of Fellowship‘s release, when the trailer first ran after the credits. So lean back, remember silently sobbing with joy and mentally committing to watching everything in the Elijah Wood oeuvre even North, and enjoy.
The Two Towers
Where To Find It: Navigate to “select a scene,” select “scenes 29-30,” walk quietly through Farmer Maggot’s cabbage patch, and select “new scene” that appears next to the Ring when you hover over scene 30.
What You’ll Find: Something raw and wriggling. Quite literally. Again, in partnership with the MTV Movie Awards, Lord of the Rings provides a sketch tied to Andy Serkis’ win for Best Virtual Performance. (For once, it’s easy to be thankful for MTV — Serkis is the Academy’s biggest oversight in decades.) But Serkis, accepting the award from the Lord of the Rings reshoot set, is joined by the wriggling Gollum, who gets quite raw. (Again, I urge you to go the long way, but you can find the video below as well.) Perhaps it’s because it’s helmed by an honorary Fellowship member and not Shallow Hal, but this easter egg is as easy to swallow as a Green Dragon pint. Not as easy to swallow, though, is the fact that Two Towers features just one easter egg.
The Return of the King
Where To Find It: Will you know how to find this one? Will Tom Bombadil sing? Of course you do — follow the path you forged on Discs 1 of Fellowship and Two Towers, but, this time, find the easter egg at scene 36.
What You’ll Find: Like the flee to Bree and its Prancing Pony, now here, my friends, is where things get good. Extended edition featurette MVP Monaghan pranks co-star Wood on the set of a press junket (a soul-crushing activity for journalists and actors alike), calling in via phone as a German interviewer who is as uninformed as he is inappropriate. The result will only make you love Monaghan and Wood more, especially with the context of this being the second German-related prank played on Wood — Viggo Mortensen told reporters he called Wood in the middle of the night for six weeks while on set, claiming to be a old German friend of the actor. You can find the clip online here. Perfekt.
Where To Find It: Why didn’t you just fly the Eagles to scene 78?
What You’ll Find: Peter Jackson’s love for MTV continues. He voted for Tom Green’s “Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)” seven times for TRL, and then made this easter egg, the third collaboration between Lord of the Rings and the MTV. This 2004 sketch features Jackson, alongside Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn (not, notably, the night’s host, Lindsay Lohan), as his disinterested self fielding Hollywood executive pitches for another Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately, what was comical ridiculousness in 2004 turned out not to be, the big punchline being Stiller and Vaughn’s insistence that the trilogy be a “quadrilogy.” Cue: the painful stretch of The Hobbit into three films eight years later. You know what, just put in Two Towers and watch Mortensen kick an Uruk-hai helmet again. It’s less painful. But if you’re craving a slight cringe, this one, too, is online here.
Yes, your Extended Edition DVDs are the age of the Dúnedain, but enjoy these relics, while you still can. ‘Tis a gift.
Image: New Line