The 15th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is here, and it's pretty hard to believe it's been that long. Watching it today, it's clear the special effects were ahead of its time, particularly with their famous use of motion capture. #TheLordoftheRings will always be in our hearts, but where has the cast of #TheFellowshipoftheRing been for 15 years? Let's take a look at what they're up to now.
Elijah Wood / Frodo Baggins
#ElijahWood was the youngest of the main cast, only 18 years old when filming began on Fellowship. He brought the youthful spirit that Frodo needed, but Wood was also able to portray the intense struggle and dark change that the Ring brings upon him, switching from an almost possessed-like state to a happy hobbit within seconds. It was for this talent that from 2001–2004, he deservedly won multiple awards for his outstanding performance in the Rings trilogy. The 2000s were an extremely busy time for Wood, as he also worked on many other films like Ash Wednesday, Spy Kids, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. When Rings finished, Wood starred alongside Charlie Hunnam in Green Street Hooligans, a well received British-American indie flick.
Wood worked on a range of films and shows before returning to his roots in 2012, making a heartwarming appearance in Peter Jackson's first installment of The Hobbit trilogy: An Unexpected Journey. After putting Frodo Baggins away for good, he's starred in the comedic drama series Wilfred, the adventure fantasy The Last Witch Hunter, and presently, you can see him on the Netflix series Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, a science fiction comedy based on the books by Douglas Adams. You can expect to see him in 2017 starring alongside Melanie Lynskey in Macon Blair's I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore.
Sean Astin / Samwise Gamgee
Many of us had seen #SeanAstin before Fellowship (remember Goonies?), but we couldn't help but fall in love with him all over again as Samwise the Brave. Many would argue him the true hero of the story, he always acted as a source of hope and joy, even in the darkest moments. Astin won multiple awards for his portrayal as Sam, but since, hasn't been too involved in anything so fantasy heavy. You'll remember him as Doug in the romantic comedy 50 First Dates, but after that, Astin quickly made his switch from film to television, and that's where you'll most likely to recognize him.
Astin has appeared in a range of shows, from the thrilling crime drama 24 to FX's The Strain, playing characters that are unquestionably far from Sam's gentle and loving nature. You may also recognize his voice from shows such as Special Agent Oso, as the title character, or the ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as Raphael. Astin has a few projects lined up in the new year, most notably his appearance in an episode of Netflix's hit sci-fi Stranger Things. You can also see him return to the big screen as Headmaster Nash in the action comedy Bad Kids of Crestview Academy.
Dominic Monaghan / Meriadoc (Merry) Brandybuck
#DominicMonaghan was lovable in Rings, no doubt about it, but it was nothing compared to the project he would begin in 2004. One of the original members of the #Lost family, Monaghan played Charlie Pace, a bassist/recovering heroin addict that would both capture and break our hearts in the years to come. While Monaghan is wonderful in everything he does, he has never shined so brightly as he did as Pace.
Since his work on Lost, he appeared in a few films such as I Sell the Dead and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but like Astin, has mainly switched to television. Appearing in a range from dramas like Flashforward, horrors like The Unknown, and the comedy Goodnight Burbank, Monaghan has certainly showed his versatility, truly blossoming when he announced that he would be hosting his own wildlife show: Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan. It ran from 2012–2014 and was well-received — even Billy Boyd made a cameo.
As far as 2017 goes? You can expect to see him in the TV movie A Midsummer's Nightmare, a thriller where young lovers are confronted by their fantasies and darkest secrets, proving once again that Monaghan is nothing if not versatile.
Billy Boyd / Peregrin (Pippin) Took
#BillyBoyd proved to us within the first half hour of Fellowship that he was great at being the comedic relief. While Pippin definitely had some emotional moments (end of Fellowship/basically the entirety of Return of the King), he also kept us laughing when not much else could. So, while he has done some dramas since, such as Master and Commander, Ecstasy, or The Forger, he's mainly kept to comedic films and shows.
In 2008 he starred alongside Gregor Fisher in the BBC4 comedy series Empty, but despite receiving good ratings, the show only went on for six episodes. In 2012 he went on to star in the Canadian sci-fi comedy Space Milkshake, a weird yet amusing film about four astronauts trapped on their spaceship who must discover what happened to civilization, all while being attacked by an evil rubber duck named Gary (George Takei).
Boyd's taste for the weird continued this year when he appeared in Stoner Express, a film about a man who wants to make his father's marijuana coffee shop succeed. However, if you still don't recognize him, he returned for Jackson's final installment of The Hobbit to write and perform an emotional farewell song titled "The Last Goodbye." There wasn't a dry eye in the theater as fans realized this was most likely the last we would be seeing of Middle Earth, and no one could have captured the love and sadness like Boyd.
Sir Ian McKellen / Gandalf The Grey
#SirIanMcKellen is a genius, and in all honesty, I doubt anyone else could have portrayed Gandalf better. Bringing gentleness, intensity, and an undeniable wise nature to the role, McKellen was the perfect choice for this iconic wizard, which is why it's amazing that he was also able to embody Erik (better known as Magneto) in the X-Men films so perfectly. It's a true testament to his talent, especially considering both trilogies were released in the early 2000s.
Since his work on Rings, and before his return to Middle Earth in The Hobbit, McKellen starred in dramas such as Neverwas and Asylum, as well as the thrilling mystery The Da Vinci Code. He also appeared in 10 episodes of Coronation Street and of course, continued his work in theater, landing the title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company's King Lear in 2007.
In 2012, McKellen returned as one of our favorite wizards in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The film tested McKellen in new ways with his green screen work, often having to act by himself on a tiny set. He pushed through for two more films, and while many agreed they weren't as good as The Lord of the Rings, they were still very enjoyable. More recently, he starred as Freddie Thornhill in the comedy Vicious, a series about a gay couple who has been together for over 50 years and loves to entertain. And in March 2017 you can see him in the long anticipated live-action Beauty and the Beast as Cogsworth. Who else is counting down the days?
Sean Bean / Boromir, Son Of Denethor
#SeanBean managed to turn the audience's feelings towards Boromir around in mere minutes, making us tragically love and admire him just before he dies protecting Merry and Pippin. This isn't the only ill-fated character Bean has played. In fact, he's known for choosing roles in which he always dies. Over 20 of his characters have died, and it's become a running joke among his fans:
However, if you want a film where Bean makes it to the end, they definitely can be found. His 2000s work such as Troy, National Treasure, Silent Hill, and Percy Jackson are great examples of this. Unfortunately, this is where HBO steps in.
Bean was sought out specifically for the role of Ned Stark in HBO's hit show Game of Thrones, and there's really no question as to why. A loving, strong Northerner who's honorable to a fault and unquestionably ill-fated? No one could have captured Ned as perfectly as Bean. Though he didn't even last an entire season, he is still the favorite of many fans and has become, in many ways, an iconic part of pop culture. Since then, he has appeared in many other shows, including The Frankenstein Chronicles, Legends, and Roman Empire: Reign of Blood, to name a few. In 2017, he continues his television streak in BBC One drama Broken, where he will play Father Michael, a Catholic priest who helps a congregation adjust to the modern world.
John Rhys-Davies / Gimli, Son Of Gloin
#JohnRhysDavies — who funnily enough, was one of the tallest members of the cast — was a wonderful choice for the stubborn and hilarious dwarf, Gimli. Though they may not have known it at the time, Rhys-Davies's performance would go on to shape the portrayal of dwarves for The Hobbit trilogy, in which 13 of the main characters are dwarves. He stuck with comedy, starring alongside Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, and Chris Pine in the sequel to The Princess Diaries, playing Viscount Mabrey, a man out for Princess Mia's throne. Since, he has appeared in many TV movies such as Anaconda: The Offspring, Ferocious Planet, and Killing Jesus to name only a few.
Rhys-Davies has continued his fantasy streak with films like One Night With the King and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. In 2014 he voiced Grand Pabbie in the hit fairy tale series Once Upon a Time, and this year he starred in MTV's The Shannara Chronicles as, funnily enough, the King of the Elves, Eventine Elessedil. Rhys-Davies shows no signs of stopping now, as he's joined the lineup for the 2017 fantasy fairy tale Starbright. No news yet on which species he'll be playing this time, but it's sure to be good.
Orlando Bloom / Legolas Greenleaf
#OrlandoBloom portrayed Legolas of the Woodland Realm (son of Thranduil), and along with the help of characters such as Arwen, Elrond, and Galadriel, he changed the way we viewed elves. Up until then, we imagined tiny and friendly creatures who were excellent at making things. Thanks to Jackson bringing Tolkien's vision to life, we were shown that elves are graceful, beautiful, and quite deadly creatures. Not to mention tall, elegant, and ridiculously skilled and agile.
Since his work on Rings, Bloom has starred in multiple genres, ranging from comedies such as Elizabethtown and New York, I Love You, to dramas such as Main Street, The Good Doctor, and Zulu. But like Rhys-Davies, Bloom loves his fantasy work. He starred in both Troy and The Three Musketeers before picking up his bow and arrow once again as Legolas in the second and third installments of The Hobbit. Though not in the books, many fans applauded the daring choice, excited to see their favorite elf again. And of course, in 2017 you can expect to see Bloom pick up his sword once more as the beloved Will Turner. This summer he will be returning in the fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean alongside Johnny Depp. No Keira Knightley, unfortunately, but we have to take what we can.
Viggo Mortensen / Aragorn, Son Of Arathorn
It's crazy to think of anyone else other than #ViggoMortensen playing Aragorn, but it nearly happened. In fact, when filming began, he wasn't even cast. He stepped in at the last minute, and thank the elves for that! Knowing that it could have just as easily been Nic Cage is haunting to say the least. No one could have done a better job. Since then, Mortensen has continued to steal the scene in everything he has done. Unlike the rest of the cast, he has not dabbled in television, sticking exclusively to film. The 2000s were an extremely busy time for him, jumping right out of Rings into the action/adventure Hidalgo, and then directly into the crime thriller A History of Violence.
In 2008 he worked with the incredible Ed Harris in Appaloosa, and in 2009 he starred in The Road, a post-apocalyptic drama about a father who will go to incredible lengths to protect his son. The film was highly acclaimed, winning multiple awards for acting, directing, and cinematography. He worked with Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender on A Dangerous Method, the biography about Sigmund Freud, in which Mortensen portrayed Freud. Most recently, he starred in Captain Fantastic, a heartwarming, eccentric comedy about the struggles of becoming a parent. It doesn't look like Mortensen has anything lined up for 2017, but based on his impressive track record, I think we can look forward to an amazing film within the next few years.
The Fellowship has been very busy since their time on Rings. But no matter what they do, we will always know and love them for their characters in the legendary trilogy. For many of us, The Lord of the Rings has been a massive part of our lives, even our childhoods. For that, we wish them the best of luck in all endeavors. And on every anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, we'll go back and re-watch it, falling in love with both the story and characters all over again.
Who do you think has changed the most? What do you most look forward to from the cast of Fellowship in 2017? Let us know down in the comments!