These are from two different specials, but from the same photo session. In the context of the features from which they are taken, the four hobbit actors are posing for a group shot. They can’t be seen in these caps, but Sam and Pippin are crouching or kneeling in the foreground. Merry and Frodo are standing. Although these were not for use in the film, the actors are in character. As they pose for a photographer, someone else is filming them for the “behind the scenes.”
I really love these two series of caps because they are so evocative of character and mood. Like the "hilarious Elijah" of the previous entry, I only wish the camera had been better focussed.
In the first set, the “happy Merry and Frodo” shots, Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan seem to have giggled at something while they pose. Even though they have started laughing, the two seem to have remained in character for the sake of the shoot.
It was this sort of sequence that helped me see where all the Merry/Frodo slash fic came from. I just couldn’t see the basis for their slash relationship in the actual film, and still don't. But in the Extras, the hobbit actors spend so much footage horsing around affectionately and sharing their in-jokes, it is an easy leap to imagine whole relationships, sexualized or platonic, between the characters (or between the actors, in the case of RPS’ers).
The first seven screencaps of Merry/Dom and Frodo/Elijah sharing a lighter moment are taken from the featurette, Elijah Wood. The last two might be from that, but I am not sure. I think the expressions on the faces of both actors are simply lovely -- and loving:
The following eight caps come from the Fox TV special, but they do come from the same photo session.
I really, really love these caps.
If the previous “happy” set makes me think of Frodo and Merry from before the Quest, this set makes me think of them after the Quest. That is why I have posted the two groups together in one screencap entry.
Again, although they were just posing for stills, they were posing in character. I think it shows.
When I look at this sequence, the attitudes of both of them seem rich with a sense of inwardness and memory. People inadvertently walking in front of the camera lens create blurs that give me the impression of the fading in and out of their mental images. I look at Frodo’s face and picture his memories shifting and moving before the eyes of his mind, the first slipping away before the next edges into view, just as our view of him shifts because of the obscuring blur of the person moving in front of the camera. It's as if we get to see bits and pieces of memory moving through his mind. Bits of memory that are not happy, but full of melancholy and regret, even bitterness.
In this series, I even appreciate the lack of camera focus, the blurred quality. As I scroll through them, they remind me of old photographs of soldiers young soldiers in the American Civil War, a bit darkened and worn with age, like pictures found pressed between the leaves of an old book.
Merry and Frodo being photographed for in-character stills, from Quest for the Ring: FOX TV Special:
Click HERE for table of Frodo and Elijah Wood Screencaps.