The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, is an epic fantasy novel, written by J. R. R. Tolkien. Published in 1954, it started off as a sequel to The Hobbit, published almost 20 years prior. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Fellowship was followed by The Towers and The Return of the King, both published in 1955. A little over 20 years later, director Peter Jackson first watched an animated version of The Lord of the Rings and the seed was planted. However, it would be another 20 years before Jackson could pursue bringing the story to life on the big screen.

In 2001, two years after Peter Jackson filmed LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of the trilogy was finally released. The much-anticipated movie was the most ambitious Jackson had ever directed, with a multi-million dollar budget. The entire trilogy, which comprises The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, was filmed on location in New Zealand and took eight years to complete. Lucky for us, Jackson and the cast were loyal fans of the Tolkien work, believed in the project, and committed to the success of the movies.

24 Sir Peter Jackson And The Cast Of Lord Of The Rings

Sir Peter Jackson, bottom center, pictured with the incredible cast who helped bring The Lord of the Rings movie franchise to the big screen. On the bottom left is Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee. Bottom right is Billy Boyd, who portrayed Peregrin Took, otherwise known as Pippin. In the center row is Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck, better know as Merry), Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), and Liv Tyler (Arwen Undómiel). Standing in the back row are Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Sean Bean (Boromir), and Orlando Bloom (Legolas).

23 Elijah Wood Arriving In Salt Lake City

Though Elijah Wood is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the American actor has been in the movies since 1989. He began his career with a small role in Back to the Future II and in 1990, landed his first starring role in a historical drama, according to Since then, Wood has appeared in major films but none as incredibly popular as the LOTR blockbusters. Also, Wood has been in many indie projects, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah.

22 Special Effects For Andy Serkis As Gollum

Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum in The Lord of the Rings movie franchise, is never seen as himself in The Fellowship of the Ring. At least, not as a man. His role in LOTR developed from the voice of the animated creature, to actually becoming Gollum. Thanks to the magic of filmmaking, and complex, ground breaking technology that monitored movement, facial features, and expressions, viewers were treated to the subtleties and human-like range of emotions that brought Gollum to life. Although the photo above is actually from Star Wars, it depicts the amount of work involved in filming real-time movement to create a more realistic character.

21 Lord Of The Rings Cast Departs New Zealand

Many friendships were forged during the filming of The Lord of the Rings. You don’t work on a project so deep and intense without establishing lasting relationships. Sooner or later, though, all things must sadly come to an end. The cast says goodbye to Wellington before boarding the airplane and going their separate ways. From left to right: Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, and Sean Bean, hiding behind Serkis. Before boarding the airplane, they bid Wellington farewell and went their separate ways.

20 Elijah Wood Checks In

Since the age of nine, Elijah Wood has been in front of the camera, doing what he loves to do most… acting. Even now, 16 years since the last of The Lord of the Rings trilogy was released, he continues to be an in-demand actor, appearing in movies, television, and providing the voice for video games, as well as the animated action-adventure, Star Wars Resistance. Naturally, this means Wood frequently has to travel and often flies solo, as shown here, after checking in and collecting his boarding pass for his flight.

19 Ian McKellen On The Great Wall Of China

Highly regarded around the world as one of the most talented stage and screen actors, Ian McKellen began his character in a show called The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling, produced by the BBC. With two Oscar nominations and a winner of major theatrical awards in both the UK and the US, McKellen has appeared in dozens of roles. The one he will probably always be known for is his portrayal of Gandalf, in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. As Gandalf, the Gandalf the Gray and Gandalf the White, McKellen imparted sage wisdom to Frodo Baggins while on his quest to destroy the One Ring. In real life, McKellen travels the world, drinking in its beauty and wonder, while imparting wisdom to us all.

18 Dominic Monaghan On Set Of Wild Things

Dominic Monaghan began his acting career in 1996 when he played the role of Geoffrey in the comedic crime-drama, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. A few years later he was cast to play Meriadoc Brandybuck, lovingly called Merry. Together with Pippin, Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo Baggins, Merry sets off to destroy the One Ring—and, hopefully—the Dark Lord Sauron as well. Otherwise, all of Middle-earth will be decimated. However, far from Middle-earth, Monaghan hosted “Wild Things” a show where he encountered fantastic animals, like the turtle in this photo, from exotic locales around the globe.

17 Elijah Wood On His Way To Miami

Ever popular and in-demand, Elijah Wood—now 38—likes to be comfortable when he travels. Even when walking what GQ magazine calls “the dreaded airport catwalk” Wood is all smiles, unlike some who probably just want to be left alone. But in this photo, he’s well on his way to Miami Beach, Florida, for a bit of sunshine and to enjoy the international art fair, Art Basel. The east coast city might not be Middle earth but offers a warm climate and provides a chill vibe with swanky flair. No, it's not Middle earth or the wild beauty that is New Zealand, but it offers plenty of diversions and almost as many adventures.

16 Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan and Orlando Bloom

From the moment they began filming The Fellowship of the Ring, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, and Orlando Bloom forged a strong bond and became fast friends. Then again, working together on such a massive project as The Lord of the Rings trilogy can turn you into a fan. Wood, who portrayed Frodo Baggins, and Monaghan, who played Meriadoc Brandybuck, better know as Merry, show off their bromance with BFF and film co-star, Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas, a Sindarin Elf and Prince of the Woodland Realm.

15 Cate Blanchett at JFK International

International star of stage and screen, Cate Blanchett began her movie career in 1990 and has been busy ever since! In 1997 she married writer, director, and producer, Andrew Upton. As Lady Galadriel, she co-ruled Lothlórien with her husband. As a mother in real life, Blanchett co-rules over three sons and one adopted daughter. Though Blanchett and her husband became artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company, they eventually resigned from their roles, sold their home in Australia and moved to America. Here she’s arriving at JFK International Airport in New York City and probably ready for a nap after a long flight.

14 Dominic Monaghan Lands At LAX

Born in Berlin, West Germany, to British parents, Dominic Monaghan moved back to England with his folks at the age of 11. As an adult, while studying Drama and English Literature, he was offered the role of Geoffrey in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, playing opposite Patricia Routledge. When he was cast in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the actor moved to New Zealand for the amount of time it took to film his role of Merry. Since then, Monaghan has traveled the globe, living in Hawaii, and eventually moving to Los Angeles, California. He might be British, but walking through LAX makes Monaghan quite happy because he knows he’s home.

13 Orlando Bloom In The Cockpit

In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Orlando Bloom portrayed Legolas, Prince of the Woodland Realm in the fictional world of Middle earth. One of nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas accompanied the Fellowship from Rivendell as their archer. Here on earth, Bloom has filmed around the world and traveled the globe. In fact, he’s such an experienced traveler that British Airways made him their ambassador, according to International Traveller. Bloom is full of travel tips he picked up along the way but the one thing he can’t do, that we know of, is fly the plane. But he probably would if he could. He’s certainly convincing as a co-pilot!

12 Ian McKellen And BFF Patrick Stewart

Some people dream of retirement, but to Ian McKellen, it’s the furthest thing from his mind. With his training and experience, the former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon has kept busy, with a busy schedule that doesn’t allow moss to grow under his feet. In 2013, he and BFF Patrick Stewart, who McKellen met at the RSC, starred in No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot, in New York City. Both plays garnered critical acclaim and, according to Variety, despite the existential despair of the masterpieces, Sir Ian and Sir Patrick found a consoling comedy to the audience, perhaps drawing on their legendary bromance.

11 Dominic Monaghan Gets Through Security

When the layperson thinks of travel, they might get bogged down planning out all the things that need to be done before leaving for the airport—cleaning house, paying bills, finding a babysitter for the pets—not to mention packing, and the inconveniences of modern-day travel. Going through security, in particular, is no picnic, especially after 9/11. And no, famous people don’t have it any better. Take Dominic Monaghan as an example, who has to wait along with everyone else. Yes, even famous actors are subject to taking things out of their pockets, putting them into bins, and getting a pat-down.

10 Ian McKellen Celebrates Gay Pride

In 1988, while on the radio discussing Margaret Thatcher’s Section 28—legislation that banned schools from discussing LGBT relationships—Ian McKellen came out of the closet. Since then, he’s been active in the gay rights movement and continues to do so. In July of 2018, Sir Ian McKellen attended London Pride, where over one million people took to the streets in one of the largest LGBT celebrations. Pictured here, proudly waving the rainbow flag in Trafalgar Square, McKellen has served as an inspiration for thousands of gay men and women around the globe, giving them hope and courage.

9 Viggo Mortensen Arrives in Salt Lake City

Viggo Mortensen, who portrayed Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, made his screen debut in 1985, at the age of 27. Since then, he’s appeared in dozens of movies over three decades. Though many will know him for his role as a Ranger of the North, first introduced as Strider to the Hobbits, Aragon was crowned King of the West, heralding a new age of peace on Middle-earth. In real life, Mortensen is a private person and doesn’t make many appearances at big events. However, he does make exceptions. In this instance, Mortensen landed in Salt Lake City, Utah, to promote Captain Fantastic and stopped long enough to sign a few autographs.

8 Ian McKellen And Orlando Bloom In New York City

The cast of The Lord of the Rings, more specifically The Fellowship of the Ring, became like family during the filming of the movie franchise. According to Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2016, the actors grew so close they wanted a tattoo to commemorate their closeness and the feeling of camaraderie they shared. Perhaps that’s why, even after 16 years, you might see pictures of various LOTR alum, like this one of Sir Ian McKellen and Orlando Bloom in New York City. In a way, it sounds like the voiceover at the beginning of the movie… each was given a ring of power, but only one ruled them all.

7 Liv Tyler Arrives At LAX

In Middle-earth, Arwen Undómiel, portrayed by Liv Tyler, was the youngest child of Elrond, Lord of Rivendell. Half-elven and half human, Arwen possessed the power of telepathy. She was considered to be the fairest of all Elven Princesses and admired by her peers for her intelligence, as well as her beauty. On earth, Tyler, whose first name means life, is like Arwen personified as she is the daughter of music royalty, Steven Tyler, and former fashion model, Bebe Buell. Though married and a mother of three, Tyler still finds time to film and travel, splitting her time between West London and Los Angeles, California.

6 Orlando Bloom Flying First Class On British Airways

Orlando Bloom has come a long way from playing Legolas in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, despite his struggles with dyslexia at St. Edmund’s, the school he attended in Canterbury. And even after a fall that nearly paralyzed him, Bloom managed to pick himself up, dust himself off, and win his way into our hearts as Archer, and Prince of the Woodland Realm on Middle earth. A decade after the release of The Return of the King, the final installment in the LOTR trilogy, Bloom became the ambassador for British Airways. He might no longer be the airline's ambassador, but Bloom still travels first class. And why not?

5 Mom-To-Be, Liv Tyler

As one of the few prominent female actors in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Liv Tyler didn’t have nearly as much screen time as did her male counterparts. Then again, in the books of the same name, her character was mostly in the appendices and fleshed out for the movies. Despite that, Tyler still made a tremendous impact in her portrayal of the Elf maiden, Arwen, and Aragorn’s love interest. To be in all three LOTR films, Tyler learned the fictitious Elven language created by the book’s author, J. R. R. Tolkien. Tyler also spent months learning how to handle a sword for the battle scenes in The Two Towers. Sadly, her scenes were cut when the script was changed.