Between February and May this year, the Hutt Hobbit and his friend Salome were regular observers of the filming at Helm’s Deep. Today he tells us how it all began:
“My first real sight of Helm’s Deep was one dark stormy night as I was driving home in my Hobbitmobile. There in the distance I could see flashes of green light, like lightning. This light seemed to be coming from Hayward’s Hill. Lightning from a hill? This could not be! As I got closer, I saw the flashes were coming rom Dry Creek Quarry, at the base of the hill. There in the quarry a movie set had been built. My curiosity was aroused.
A few nights later I rang Salome on the Hobbitphone. “There are strange and unusual sights at Helm’s Deep” I said. She jumped on her horse and rode off to the Quarry. I ran as fast as my little Hobbit legs would let me to meet her.
At the Quarry we put our plan into action. Salome distracted the guards by doing her famous ‘Dance of the 7 Veils’, while I made myself comfortable, put my feet up, ate a Big Mac and spied on the action.
At the top of a long sloping walkway there was a castle front. The door was shut, and at the top of the set some crew were standing. At the base of the castle wall more crew members were standing around. Smoke was drifting about, and crew members were running about making last minute checks.
“Action,” I heard.
Up the slope there marched an Army of Orcs, dressed in large padded black armour. Their faces were obscured by their helmets, but I know an Orc when I see one! Some had long ‘dreadlocks’ hanging down their backs.They were carrying strange looking weapons – what appeared to be swords with large ‘hooks’ at the end. Above their heads they carried long shields. This was to protect them from the projectiles being thrown down at them from the special-effects crew at the top of the castle! They marched to the castle door. “Cut” yelled the director.
The Orc extras took a break. Some took their helmets off, and I got a good look at their armour: Black ‘leather’-like breastplates and shoulder pads. Full length arm coverings. A large flap hung down from the breastplate, half way to the knees. The helmets had a crest running sideways across the top. The legs had similar armour to the arms. LOTR crew walked amongst the extras, making adjustments to costumes. The castle walls were sprayed with water, and the extras got back in position. The lights were dimmed, smoke was pumped out, cameras started rolling, and the orcs marched again!
By this time several cars had gathered in the carpark, and excited humans were pointing at the set at talking happily. Binoculars were being trained on the set. Inquisitive creatures, these humans.
I decided to leave, before one of the humans spotted me, and anyway, it was time for KFC. I gave the Salome the secret sign. She released the poor guards from the spell she had them under, and we faded into the shadows, leaving no trace of our night’s activities.