Okay I know we always go on about Marvel’s uncanny casting ability.
But if you thought they were the only ones, let me draw your attention to this man:
Viggo Mortensen, aka Aragorn son of Arathorn,
aka Sexiest Ranger in Middle Earth
- would hike, often for more than a day, to remote filming locations, in costume, for the sake of authenticity
- was the best swordsman Bob Anderson (swordsmaster/instructor for LotR, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc) says he has ever trained
- occasionally writes poetry (more book!canon than film!canon but um hello)
- does all his own stunts
- lived all over and speaks about 23940209384 languages
- you know that scene at the end of Fellowship when he’s fighting the Uruk-hai? And one throws a dagger at him and he hits it away with his sword? Yeah, the guy who threw it was supposed to miss, but accidentally threw it directly at Viggo. Who just casually Aragorned and hit it away.
They actually cast Aragorn to play Aragorn
Can I just add a few things?
- Would randomly give chocolates to the hobbits
- According to John Rhys-Davis (aka Gimli), whenever you have a large cast, one or two actors will naturally become the leaders. Guess who ended up in that role.
- Single-handedly convinced cast and crew to camp out to shoot a scene in the sunrise
- Once hit a wild rabbit with his car by accident. Promptly stopped his car and went to see if the rabbit was dead, needed a vet or if the only merciful thing to do was to finish killing him. The rabbit was dead. Viggo realized he was hungry. So he took the rabbit, made a fire by the roadside and ate it.
- According to cast and crew, sometimes you’d just see him disappear in the middle of the night and suddenly he’d come back with fish he’d caught
- Had his sword with him at all times. Slept with once.
- The best horse rider of the cast, hands down. Rides better than lots of pros, according to a horse trainer. Couldn’t bear to part with his horse at the end of the shooting, so he bough him. The next movie of his also involved horses, and he bought his horse in that one, too.
- Knows how to survive in the wild. I’m not kidding.
- Hand-stitched a few things in his costume for an authentic “I live away from civilization” Ranger feel. Also told the weapons department to make him a small bow because “Aragorn lives in the wild, he needs a hunting bow, or he’ll starve to death” – literally nobody else had thought about that. Also requested a small stone to sharpen his sword. Suggested that Aragorn would take Boromir’s arm guards after his death.
- Speaking of hand-stitching, once he was touring Japan with a reporter for an article. Walked into a store, took a tshirt, bought it, cut off the print and hand-stitched it into the hat he was wearing. The reporter was going “?????????” the entire time.
- Peter Jackson literally sometimes called him Aragorn by accident
Would you like to hear the story of how Viggo got cast in LoTR?
So, production gets started and the actor originally cast to play Aragorn dropped out and now thre’s a pickle cause you need Aragorn. So someone in production gets in touch with Viggo and after a conversation, he hangs up and his son Henry asks, “What was that about? Was that about LoTR?”
Turns out Henry was a huge fan of the books and is pretty much the reason Viggo took the job.
“just casually Aragorned” is the best phrase in this post tbh
the actor originally cast to play Aragorn
That was Nicholas Cage btw
I will never get over that last fact.
(*Nicholas Cage voice*) “I’m gonna steal the Sword of Elendil.”
Stuart Townsend was actually the original Aragorn. (Long list of sources here)
I know Nicolas Cage *claimed* he was considered at one point, but I’ve never found any confirmation for that claim anywhere else. Every other instance I could find of Cage being
mentioned for the role is always in the context of the 2015 Newsweek interview where
he, and he alone, claimed to have been offered it.
Even the old real-time production reports which were coming out while LOTR was filming only ever mentioned Townsend. They also reported his firing almost immediately after it happened. In this quote, Townsend says he was fired on the day before filming started (which was October 11th, 1999). Here’s a screencap of the news from October 14th of the same year.
Anything’s possible, so it may be that Cage’s name was brought up at one
point somewhere in development, but there’s no evidence he was ever
actually offered the role, and certainly none that he was ever on set for filming.
Stuart Townsend is the only other person besides Viggo Mortenson who is *known* to have been cast as Aragorn.
Reblogging for added commentary and info 🙂
Plus during filming of Two Towers there’s a scene where Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli find the burning pire of dead orcs that captured Marry and Pippin. Aragorn thinks they’re dead and kicks a helment in anguish/frustration and falls to the ground. That wasn’t scripted and Vigo actually broke two of his toes when he kicked the helment. They used the shot in the movie because it looked so authentic.
Almost better during filming of Fellowship he broke a tooth in a fight scene, went to the dentist and got it fixed during the lunch break, and then continued filming.
If that isn’t some Strider-bad-ass shit right there I don’t know what is.