Lord of the Rings star believes in elves because of Mount Doom

Lee Pace, who played Lord of the Rings character Thranduil, was inspired to think elves exist thanks to a fateful hike around Mount Doom

Lee Pace as Thranduil in The Hobbit

The world holds many wonders, and a lot of them are beyond explanation. Lee Pace, who played Lord of the Rings character Thranduil in the Hobbit trilogy, was inspired to believe in elves thanks to the fantasy movies.

As he tells it, one of his hikes during filming involves a lost phone that was miraculously rescued. “When I was shooting The Hobbit in New Zealand, I would always go on a big hike where I would backpack and camp,” he tells Vulture. “I did Lake Waikaremoana, and I did the Tongariro Northern Circuit, which is about a five-day hike that takes you basically up to where they shot Mount Doom. I was taking pictures with my phone, and on the second day I reached for my phone and I couldn’t find it.”

Panicking, and despite his best efforts, Pace couldn’t locate the device. “When I was making camp, I’d tear apart my pack, looking for my phone, thinking, It must be in here somewhere! It must be in here!” he remembers. “Three days go by, the phone is nowhere to be. I mean, I’ve lost it. I’m certain I left it back there.”

Then, something miraculous happens: the adventure movie star found the phone stuck to his back on the last night. He’s taken it as confirmation this mythical creatures exist, and that they want us to enjoy nature, not looking at it through our phone cameras.

“Elves. That’s elves!” he states. “They said, ‘Son, you don’t need that here! We’re going to take that technology away from you! You need to think about other things. Look around, be where you are, you don’t need that phone. It will not help you’.”

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He ends the anecdote by asking if that’s not proof, and while we might be unconvinced, it sounds like these hikes left quite the impression on the actor. Like the Lord of the Rings movies, The Hobbit trilogy was filmed back-to-back in New Zealand by Peter Jackson, allowing for the cast and crew to go on long trips like this one so they can discover more of the gorgeous region for themselves.

We wonder if any of the stars of fantasy series Rings of Power have had the same experience. Regardless, you don’t need to believe in elves or dwarves or anything else to know that Rings of Power season 2 is on the way.