Viggo Mortensen, who starred as Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s seminal Lord of the Rings trilogy, has provided his pick for the one Lord of the Rings character who should have been in the best fantasy movies ever made. We’ll be honest, it’s not a pick that we saw coming.
Across the three Lord of the Rings movies, Mortensen helped lead the cast as Dúnedain ranger of the north Aragorn. After meeting the four Hobbits in Bree, Aragorn helps the group navigate their way to Rivendell before joining the fellowship at the Council of Elrond. From there, Aragorn steps into his fate as heir to the throne of Gondor, helping to lead the resistance in Rohan and Gondor against Saruman and Sauron’s evil forces.
Mortensen himself has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Tolkien’s Middle-earth and the source material for the trilogy. He showed that off when speaking with Empire Magazine for the anniversary of the movies, telling the outlet which Lord of the Rings character he wished had made it into the fantasy series.
“I’d like to have seen what Peter Jackson would have done with the character Ghân-buri-Ghân, the chief of the Drúedain, wild men of the Drúadan Forest,” said Mortensen, in a comment which will take even Tolkien devotees aback.
As Mortensen says, Ghân-buri-Ghân plays an important role in Tolkien’s writing, as he helps to guide Théoden’s forces through the mysterious and ancient Drúadan Forest in order to reach Minas Tirith in time to come to Gondor’s aid at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
With his important-but-limited role in the story, Ghân-buri-Ghân isn’t a name that anyone who hasn’t read the books will recognize. And, even some of those who have might have forgotten.
Mortensen went on to explain more about his choice. “Seeing him lead King Théoden and his army of Rohirrim through the forest to join the fight to save Minas Tirith would have been thrilling. Towards the end of Tolkien’s The Return Of The King, the Forest of Drúadan is given by newly-crowned Aragorn to Ghân and his people for their exclusive use, leaving it to them to decide that from then on if anyone else is to be allowed to enter it.”
Reflecting on why he didn’t make the cut, Mortensen shared, “I suppose all of that extra material would have given the already thematically complex and quite lengthy movie far too long a running time and an overwhelming amount of information for viewers to easily assimilate. Die-hard Tolkien aficionados, however, might have enjoyed the character,” said the actor, undoubtedly right.
Perhaps the story of the Drúedain might intersect with the new Lord of the Rings movies. Or, it could be explored in a future season of Rings of Power. To be honest, though, we doubt it. Sorry, Viggo.