Wow, I go to sleep for a few hours, and come back to dozens of translations in my inbox … Anyway, here’s a translation of the article for your reading enjoyment. Many thanks to the dozens of people who e-mailed spymaster.

One note – the bit about Aragorn fighting the dead is not a mistranslation. Hmmmm ….

Unique Pictures from the last “Lord of the Rings” film

Wellington. Now the last scenes are being filmed for “Return of the King”. Peter Jackson has again brought together the actors and built up Middle Earth’s environment. Aftonbladet is the only Swedish newspaper there. We go from Minas Tirith to the battlefields of Pelennor to Edoras.

“‘The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers” were just practice for this film” says Peter Jackson.

The Golden Hall in Edoras. It smells like a timber yard in the new building. Shouting extras have long hair like hard-rockers at a festival.

Aragorn walks amongst the Rohan soldiers. In front Gandalf looks on in amusement at a drinking contest. Aragorn draws pensively on his pipe while the two talk about the others in the company. What is Sauron thinking of doing?

New Scenes are recorded

Ian McKellan misses a line and they do another take. Viggo Mortensen gets help with keeping his pipe alight while the make-up artist sprays his hair with water.

New take. Everything goes well. Peter Jackson gives the thumbs up. The next scene is prepared in the studio close by.

“The third film has always been my favourite” says Peter Jackson ” I enjoyed the shooting the most and this film has the coolest action and the strongest feelings. The third film is the reason that we did all this.”

How long will the “Return of the King” be?

“I don’t know yet. It will be what’s needed, longer than the two previous films” says Peter Jackson “But it won’t be anything silly. Not four hours.”

What does New Line say?

“Before the two previous films we had a decree that they absolutely could not be longer than two and a half hours, which we didn’t bother about. Now the order is that it can’t be longer than three hours. So that’s progress, ha ha ha “

After two episodes and six hours that have built up the tension, now its time for the resolution. Frodo will take the ring to Mount Doom. Aragorn must decide if he dares to be a leader. Gandalf shall steer the battle against Sauron’s strength.

Many new environments. The battle of the Pelennor Fields where over 200, 000 orcs are mobilised. We get to see Minas Tirith. Frodo and Sam meet the terrifying giant spider, female monster Shelob. Aragorn fights against the dead armies.

More expensive than a feature film

Jackson devotes eight weeks of summer for completion. Only it costs more than a normal feature film. When he finished a rough cut of the film in January he saw what needed improving.

“This film is the one I will really be proud of” says Peter Jackson “the end must be as good as possible”

Most of the actors have come back to complete the film. A couple of lines here, a close up there, little clarifications.

But its difficult to work out the schedule. Orlando Bloom, who in the last year has filmed “Pirates of the Caribbean” and now “Troy”, did his Legolas scenes in April.

From Aragorn to Cowboy

Viggo Mortensen has had a busy schedule with the film “Hidalgo”, about a Horse-riding competition in North Africa in 1890.

“Yesterday evening I actually had some more voice coaching for Hidalgo here in Wellington” says Viggo Mortensen “So in the middle of playing Aragorn I could speak like a cowboy from 1890″

What do the new scenes with you and Gandalf provide?

“They try to celebrate with the others after the battle of Helm’s Deep. But they know that many new dangers await” says Viggo Mortensen

“Is Frodo alive? They say one thing, but think another ” says Viggo “Pretending to be hopeful, but they are actually worried. The undertext is interesting, and its good to do such a scene with an actor like Ian. Now I have to do a scene with Legolas and he isn’t here. So I get to speak with a tennis ball”

Tennis Ball?

“Yes, sometimes it’s a bit of tape or a cross on the floor. I have acted with many tennis balls”

Ian McKellan has returned to New Zealand for completion every summer, 2001, 2002 and now. It makes it easy to get it right.

“Like a rock”

“Oh, one never forgets a role. Gandalf is like picking up an old rock. Before we start we look through much of what has already been filmed to wake the feelings” says Ian McKellan.

What do you look forward to seeing in “The Return of the King”?

“The battle scenes. When Gandalf crushes orcs’ skulls” says Ian McKellan “I have fought for gay rights for many years. Now I shall fight for the elderly. I like that the film shows an older man as a successful hero on the battle field.”

Jens Peterson