‘The Lord of the Rings’: Could Gollum have killed one of the hobbits?
Short answer? Yes, Gollum could’ve taken out any of the nasty little “hobbitses” he wanted to! With his centuries of experience sneaking up on unsuspecting victims and taking them out with a rock – alluded to in The Hobbit – he could’ve snuck up on Frodo or Sam in their sleep and whacked em. Heck, he almost takes the pair out when he’s wrestling them for the One Ring in Mount Doom!
That said, as the twentieth anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring dropping in theaters looms closer, we’re getting more & more tidbits about old plans for the franchise that launched a thousand other franchises. The latest? Peter Jackson planned on axing a hobbit in his film version.
So which poor hobbit was going to take one for the team, further prompting Lord of the Rings critics to ask why the Fellowship didn’t just take the Eagles to Mordor instead of walking the whole way?! Dust off your hairy feet, grab a second breakfast to go, and let’s take a stroll down memory lane to find out!
Who would’ve died?
Since this behind-the-scenes fact comes from an interview with Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry in The Lord of the Rings, you can guess which hobbit was probably going to get whacked by Gollum. Monaghan told IGN:
“It’s a good job that didn’t happen, because it would have been me. It definitely would have. There’s no way they are killing Frodo and Sam, and the only ones that would be left would be Merry and Pippin. They wouldn’t kill Pippin because Pippin has a really strong story with Gandalf. It would have definitely been me”.
But who’s they? And would they really have killed Merry off? From Monaghan’s statement about this scrapped Lord of the Rings subplot, it sounds like a good old case of executive meddling. However, Monaghan later revealed how director Peter Jackson stuck to his guns and said “no” to any superfluous hobbit-killing.
“I think Pete quite rightly was like, ‘This is a luminary piece of written work, and we need to stick close to the text.’ So, he stuck by his guns. Yeah, I’m thankful that didn’t happen”, Monaghan said.
Merry & Pippin
If you’re fuzzy on Lord of the Rings characters (we get it – it’s been a while), here’s a refresher: Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took (Billy Boyd) are the comic relief, more so in the movies, but they have their moments in the book. Their biggest claims to fame are the “what about second breakfast” scene that launched a million memes, smoking with Treebeard, and some heroics here & there.
Merry & Pippin’s adventures in Lord of the Rings are mainly tied to Frodo & Sam’s in Fellowship, but after orcs attack the party and kill Boromir (Sean Bean), they capture Merry & Pippin. The orcs plan on taking the hobbits to Isengard (“gard-gard-gard . . .” sorry for the earworm) but end up being pursued by Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson) and company.
Frodo & Sam go a different direction, allowing themselves to be guided to Mordor by Gollum (Andy Serkis) who wants to kill them and take his precious back. Meanwhile, Merry & Pippin end up cracking skulls with Treebeard and the rest of the ents when they trash Saruman’s fortress.
Then, the duo split up in the final installment of The Lord of the Rings when Pippin accompanies Gandalf to Minas Tirith. However, Merry has a small part to play, too, when he helps Eowyn take out the Witch King at the Battle of Pelennor Fields. (I am no man!) It’s lightyears away from where Gollum was in the books & movies, so maybe Merry was supposed to be taken out by an orc? Who knows?
Other cuts were made to Lord of the Rings, including infamously taking out Tom Bombadil from the entire film trilogy. Are there any changes you still would’ve wanted to see? If they rebooted Lord of the Rings, what plot points would you include and which ones would you cut? Let us know in the comments below!