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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

The End of an Era -- Elijah Wood after his last take.....

Posted on 2006.09.25 at 09:31
Tags: ,
The End of an Era — An Actor Says Goodbye....

Gandalf had lived all the ages of the created world, and for life-ages he had walked in Middle-earth. He must have been long-accustomed to saying good-bye. Yet he did not seem unaffected making his last farewell on the eastern side of the sundering Sea. He had said,

"Well, here at last dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."


For the final post of this “End of RotK” screencap series, I am posting what to me feels like the end of the film experience: the experience that re-awakened my love for Tolkien’s book and its characters, and woke an ardent, passionate, creative spirit in me that had lain dormant for many years. I still cannot believe the wonders I have seen and shared since I began participating in Tolkien fandom. It has been, even at my advanced age, life-changing.

If it has been powerful and life-changing for me, how much more powerful and life-changing for the young person who played the character I so love? If it has been difficult for me to “put it behind” me, how much more so for him? I know he is a young man, not yet in the part of his life that looks backwards, but this was nothing less than a major rite of passage.

Elijah Wood has said, and others have said of his time spent making Lord of the Rings, that for him it was comparable to spending four years at college. It was the first time he’d been away from home for an extended period, unchaperoned, living and working in a community of people with whom he became deeply involved, forming tight friendships. He worked hard and played hard, drank and smoked and caroused.

I don’t know where I’m going with this except to say that when I watched his goodbye to the role and the cast he’d grown up in and come to love, I could not feel anything but deeply moved and empathetic, thinking of my own farewells to wonderful experiences in the past.

I want to end my series with these screencaps, beautiful images of a beautiful soul to whom I will be ever grateful.

~ From "Cameras in Middle-earth": Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood embrace after his last take as Frodo....


Previous entry: “A Life Remembered” ~ Grey Havens caps, jan-u-wine’s “A Sailor’s Quest”, HERE.

Listing of all Frodo Screencap entries HERE.

~ Mechtild


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shirebound at 2006-09-25 14:54 (UTC) (Link)
Oh gosh, I loved that scene, which I only saw for the first time recently. They hugged for SO LONG, I'm sure everyone around them was weeping too.
mechtild at 2006-09-25 15:13 (UTC) (Link)
Indeed, I believe they were, Shirebound. In a way, it was as if these two were acting out the love that everyone felt, not only themselves. I don't mean consciously, but actors and artists are sensitive to symbols and metaphors. They couldn't help but he affected at some level by the sight of their leader over the years, their director, profoundly embracing the person who played the character called "the heart of the story". That, combined with it being the last of all these ritual good-byes, had to have a powerful effect for those watching.
lily_the_hobbit at 2006-09-25 15:11 (UTC) (Link)
Oh... that hug!! I have seen it only once but it brought tears to my eyes. What an emotional moment.
mechtild at 2006-09-25 15:14 (UTC) (Link)
Me, too. *sniffle*
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mechtild at 2006-09-25 19:29 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Mews. It really has been an entirely special experience, hasn't it?

Watching Elijah sitting with PJ and Fran at the awards, I thought how much they related like parents to him and he as their son - relaxed, loving, affectionate. I always wondered if they didn't take to each other a little bit that way.
bagma at 2006-09-25 16:35 (UTC) (Link)
*wipes tears*

I love that scene. And like you, when I see it I think of Gandalf's words, so appropriate in that context. Thank you for sharing it, and for posting these wonderful screencaps.

It has been, even at my advanced age, life-changing.

I know the feeling...
mechtild at 2006-09-25 19:36 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, I'm more "advanced" than you. :D I love it, too, Bagma. I read in a thread a few months ago the opinion of an EW fan who felt ashamed watching these goodbye scenes in the Extras, like watching something meant to be private..

I wrote back, somewhat nonplussed and saddened for this person, what the heck did they shoot hundreds of hours of "behind the scenes" documentary if not to share them (I said it more kindly than that)? It had been my impression from the first set of Extras that they'd specifically invited us fans to come along with them, and join in the experience as much as was possible in a vicarious manner. They were happy to have us on board, as fans of the films routing for their efforts. Of course they would want us to share in the tears that crowned the years of work, just as as much as they were pleased to let us share the laughs and gripes and bumps and bruises.

That's my opinion, anyway.
alyrthia at 2006-09-25 17:10 (UTC) (Link)
Those are beautiful. A thing I like so much about Elijah is that for him the love is real. I think he really believed in Frodo and he believed in his goodness and he believed in the love his character gave to the world. I think he would do Frodo proud in his true appreciation for those values and virtues. It seems as if everyone who has met him finds this goodness to be genuine. It makes his Frodo all that much more real.
mechtild at 2006-09-25 19:37 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Alyon, now you are making *me* all weepy. That's a beautiful sentiment. Thanks.
Estelanui - Francesca
estelanui at 2006-09-25 17:56 (UTC) (Link)
*looks at this with swimming eyes*
mechtild at 2006-09-25 19:43 (UTC) (Link)
Me, too.

I just die over the second to the last shot of him looking over Pete's shoulder, image #13.

The look in his eyes, I dont'know, it's so .... this was the look PJ seemed to be trying to get from EW for his grieving scene outside Moria. I never thought EW quite got it, however prettily the lone tear trickled down his beautiful cheek. But the look in his eyes here makes me think of strongly of Frodo after Gandalf's fall in Moria.
hobbitlove83 at 2006-09-25 19:24 (UTC) (Link)
Ohh, Mechtild, thank you and bless you for sharing!

Whenever I watch this I can't help but cry...

But then I remember Gandalf's words:

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are of evil"

Really, I do believe we are so lucky: throughout those three movies and all the extra's we were so fortunate to watch a lovely boy growing up to become the most beautiful of men.

We're really blessed!
mechtild at 2006-09-25 19:45 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, we are. I loved these films so much, I thought then and now, how lucky I am to have been born not too early and not too late, to have lived somewhere with movie theatres with good screens and sound systems, and to have the wherewithal to pay to see them. :)
(Anonymous) at 2006-09-25 21:03 (UTC) (Link)
Dear Mechtild,

Each time I have wandered into your LJ recently, intending to leave a comment, I have been waylaid by yet another wonderful post. So now, as the final curtain falls on this exquisite series, I feel I must add the echo of my own appreciation to the applause, and stand, in awe and admiration.

The collective talents of jan-u-wine, Pearl, and yourself have presented us with an evocative and heart-felt gift. The sublime beauty of Film Frodo, the precious essence of Book Frodo, and the real sense of love and esteem that each of you three ladies hold for this most beloved character is reflected in your work.

The deep commitment and sincerity with which Elijah inhabited Frodo greatly impressed me. Frodo lives - for that is he in your pictures, Mech; he exists within the powerful language of jan-u-wine’s heart-wrenching poetry; he dwells amid the graceful thread of Pearl’s bitter-sweet ‘Star of the Sea.’ Your own commentary, in which you express your thoughts and observations so eloquently, are, as ever, insightful and thought-provoking.

That you should end the series with Elijah’s farewell scene is a lovely touch. What a wrench it must have been for him - for them all - to say goodbye.

I only wish I could articulate my own deep feelings of affection for Frodo Baggins half as well as you three ladies. As yet I have only used music and lyrics that speak to me of Frodo, in the form of music videos, to express in any ‘artistic’ way how much he means to me. The Dante’s Prayer video that Not Alone mentioned several days ago is one of mine (at least I think she was referring to me) - the lyrics of Loreena McKennitt’s hauntingly beautiful song evoke Frodo’s story so strongly. It was the perfect choice to compliment Pearl’s story.

Beautiful, inspiring work. Thank you all!

Blossom. xxx
mechtild at 2006-09-25 22:32 (UTC) (Link)
Blossom, what beautiful words. I started out making and presenting the screencaps as just chances to slowly admire the beauty of film-Frodo but over time they did develop into something more.

I still have a few sets left; maybe I will make more (I would be sorry not to do ANY from The Two Towers; he may have had to do some very un-Frodo-ish things in it, but his Frodo looked angstily glorious throughout). But with the addition of the written word, I do feel the caps emerged as something else, something more evocative than just the images they are. I have always loved text paired with visuals, I suppose I am just doing that with these caps. It only needs music to make it a *full* experience! (Howard Shore, all the way.)

I am merely fortunate to have stumbled into an acquaintance with jan-u-wine, whose narrative poetry is as rewarding as fanfic for its ability to convey depth character and dramatic mood, but with the verbal spareness, exactness, and beauty that only poetic forms can create.

Thanks so much for commenting, Blossom. You offer thoughtful, gracious praise.

P.S. You have mentioned the Dante's Prayer piece - where might it be seen/heard? Do you have a website, Blossom? I know you aren't on LJ or you would have an icon.
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julchen11 at 2006-09-25 22:00 (UTC) (Link)
It’s all said above ,I don’t know what else to say but I will try.
Watching this sequence on DVD always nearly kills me and makes me cry. The emotions are overwhelming, they feel real, they feel good.
Looking at your wonderful screencaps I’m deeply touched.
PJ said – Frodo was the heart of the films. It’s so true – Elijah put so much heart in this role to bring Frodo alive. He was and he is the perfect choice.
Thanks to Peter Jackson for his wonderful work
And many thanks to jan_u_wine for her breathtakin poems

But most important of all: I would like to say thank YOU my dear for all the work you did – the fantastic screencaps, the quotes, the reports… you enriched my life … you can’t imagine how much.

I will come back over and over again, this will never end!

mechtild at 2006-09-25 22:22 (UTC) (Link)
Julchen, I love what you said about Elijah putting his heart into the role. I think he really did, not just into the role but into his whole role on the project: his role as the actor of Frodo, but also his role as "newbie" (being the good-natured butt of the others' teasing), his role as friend and near-brother to fellow cast-mates, his role as young learner with the older actors and his director and writer/mentors, his role as "lovely fellow" with the wardrobe and make-up people and other crew members, and - very important for us - his role as the ever-gracious, amiable, and informative host through countless hours of documentary footage, answering questions with enthusiasm, humour and grace, making us all feel warmly welcomed and included in the project. He was a real spokesman.

But most of all, what you said: he put his heart into playing Frodo. He may never have read the book, but he seemed to do what was the most necessary thing: make his Frodo one in a million, full of heart and feeling and a rarefied spirit. Not to mention flabbergastingly beautiful.
taerie at 2006-09-26 00:42 (UTC) (Link)
So sweet.
mechtild at 2006-09-26 01:24 (UTC) (Link)
*tweaks your little chin*
(Anonymous) at 2006-09-26 01:51 (UTC) (Link)

how very, very beautiful

I adore those moments when PJ and Elijah are embracing (as jan-u-wine might say, a 'fierce embrace') after his final take as Frodo. I so enjoyed Mecht's comments, and all the other posts, as well. What I loved as much as Frodo himself was Elijah's intense love of the role, the films, the ensemble, the process, all of it... he loves very intensely; he admits it openly, but it's clear to see in all of his body language and of course in those incredible, expressive eyes. And, as someone (without getting too personal, and only going on what I've read in interviews) who grew up without an emotional tie to his own father, Elijah surely must have seen at least SOME sort of loving uncle or father in Peter Jackson. For me, that expression/frame where Elijah looks the most bereft is him saying, "I have loved all of this and all of you so much, and Pete so much -- and how can it possibly be over? Where will I go, what will I do?"

And sure enough, he went back to LA and basically kind of hid out for a year, not knowing for sure who he was/what to do/how to live in a new way(according to his interviews)... this was the only life he had known for 3 years(counting all the retakes, promo tours, premieres, awards shows..)...

and for someone so YOUNG to have that much grace and so much of a 'centered' (as in grounded) personality... I love him as much for that as for everything else about him. How many people do we all know who are many decades older than Elijah, who don't have the grace/outlook/maturity he had even at the incredibly young age of 20? He really was (and is) an 'old soul', bless his heart. I pray so fervently that he will always be happy, or at least be able to bounce back from life's inevitable traumas. He is such a joy.

Thank you so much for the wonderful screencaps and your comments, Mecht. It brought back a gorgeous moment that I usually re-play about 10 times, when I DO watch that particular DVD.

Sighing with the rest of you.
Must run.
mechtild at 2006-09-26 02:06 (UTC) (Link)

Re: how very, very beautiful

Thanks so much for commenting. Your words radiate love that is tender and understanding, for the LotR, Frodo, Elijah, and the film people who made it all happen.

I agree with all you said about EW and how splendidly he rose to the occasion of bearing the Ring-bearer to fruition on-screen. It really is amazing that he was able to do it at such a young age. He had a very unusual upbringing and youth, to be sure; he was precocious. Still, it's terribly impressive. I was such a TWIT when I was that old!!!!!
pebbles66 at 2006-09-26 02:32 (UTC) (Link)
Here from a link from Middle Earth News. I wanted to thank you for posting these beautiful pictures. It's been a while since I watched the movies, and it was wonderful to see these lovely images again. Somehow, lately, I can't bring myself to watch the movies. I'm so sad that it's all over. Maybe one cold, dreary day this winter, I'll just hole up on the couch and have my own "Trilogy Tuesday". Anyway, thanks again for the screencaps. It must have been quite a task, but I can tell you enjoyed it, too. Oh, and the poems were also beautiful and touching.
mechtild at 2006-09-26 03:00 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Pebbles. I, too, haven't watched the films much in the last year. But because I am afraid I will watch them one too many times and reach my breaking point, finally saying, "Meh. I'm sick of them." Doing the screencaps was different, since I didn't actually watch the film as a continuous narrative, but only "excerpts". I enjoyed it very much, especially paralleling the book and the film and letting them reflect on each other in non-contentious ways (unlike the old messageboard battles between the "revisionists and the purists").
melyanna_65 at 2006-09-26 10:15 (UTC) (Link)
It's so hard to let Frodo go!

Whether is a scene from the movie, or caps from his last take, or the moment when you meet Lij for real and you have to go ... it's so hard!
I don't know how it happened, but I really love this guy and I care for him!

mechtild at 2006-09-26 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
All the more would you, Melyanna, judging from your wonderful reports last month (the month before?) at the Giffoni when you met and talked to him in person. That he has found it difficult to let Frodo (and the whole experience) go is perhaps an indicator of the strongly feeling, faithful sort of person he is. Such a person is bound to give off invisible love-inducing energy waves. :)
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-10-02 13:46 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Mechtild for this absorbing series and for bringing together the images the poetry the fan fiction.

… beautiful images of a beautiful soul to whom I will be ever grateful.

Hear! hear! I wish Elijah every happiness.

Still, it's terribly impressive. I was such a TWIT when I was that old!!!!!

*chuckle *

Join the club :-D
mechtild at 2006-10-02 22:02 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for coming along for this ride, Este. You are always a wonderful companion on the way. *smooch*
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-10-02 13:52 (UTC) (Link)

I've downloaded Blossom's file. Now all I need is sound.

Thank you Blossom
(Anonymous) at 2006-10-02 22:18 (UTC) (Link)
You're very welcome, Este. Thank YOU for taking the time to leave your comment at YouSendIt - I do appreciate it.

No sound? Do you mean the audio music track didn't play with the video?

~ Blossom.
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