We all know that The Lord of the Rings series of fantasy movies are full of epic death scenes, bloody battles, and dangerous situations. But, turns out Viggo Mortensen was actually in genuine danger while filming the third movie in the adventure movie trilogy, when he ran into a minefield.
Peter Jackson and his cast and crew shot all three movies back to back in New Zealand between 1999 and 2000, exploring all kinds of different terrains and natural landscapes to find the perfect shots. It was all worth it of course, with the Lord of the Rings trilogy considered some of the best movies of all time.
In a report from Time relating to the book Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson and the Making of Middle-Earth, Mortensen revealed the story of his brush with death. Apparently, while preparing for the scene in Return of the King where his Lord of the Rings character, Aragorn, prepares the troops for the battle of Mordor, Mortensen stumbled upon an old military training ground, and a whole host of landmines.
It seems the crew had come up with a safe route to navigate the minefield without any issues, but Mortensen kept improving his action in the scenes, which left Peter Jackson and his team pretty stressed out, as you can imagine.
“Jackson remembers waiting for the explosion,” Nathan wrote. “Having found their perfect Aragorn, they were going to watch him get blown up by an unexploded New Zealand bomb.”
Mortensen did not get blown up, but he did suffer his fair share of injuries throughout the production of the Lord of the Rings movies. While filming the second movie, The Two Towers, Mortensen kicked a helmet and broke his toe. Funnily enough, it is this cut which ended up in the final movie.
If you can’t wait for the new Lord of the Rings series on Amazon Prime Video, check out our guide to the Lord of the Rings series release date.