The Lord of the Rings films are known for how massive and packed with detail they are. The adventure is based in a well-realized location in the form of Middle-Earth. Tolkien's writings and Alan Lee's illustrations gave a clear picture of what this world looked like and how its places connected together.
Despite everything that Peter Jackson packed into The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, there were still plenty of details about Middle-Earth that didn't make it into the films. As such, we'll be exploring 10 of those facts that were cut from the movie versions of Tolkien's fantastical world.
In The Fellowship of the Ring novel, Frodo and his friends encountered some trouble on their way to Bree. They were trapped in a series of hills just east of the Shire called the Barrow-Downs. This location was home to men, but it was inhabited by Barrow Wights after the Witch-King conquered the region thousands of years prior.
It was the Ringwraiths who stirred up the Wights again, which led to Frodo being captured. However, this location never appeared in the films and wasn't even mentioned. It would get more references in games like The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth II. (art by Jonathan Guzi)
9 PRESENCE OF THE DUNEDAIN
Aragorn is one of the major characters in The Lord of the Rings and is known for being one of the Dunedain Rangers, a protector of the region of Eriador. However, the films don't delve into what the Dunedain Rangers specifically did. Furthermore, Aragorn was the only one to appear in all six movies.
In the books, the Dunedain were more fleshed out. The Shire specifically celebrated its life of peace because the Rangers would fight orcs and goblins in the North. In the books, Aragorn was able to call on some of his scattered Rangers to aid him in battle. Some helped in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
8 DOL AMROTH
Minas Tirith wasn't the only major city in Gondor, as The Lord of the Rings movies might've had some people believe. There was another to the south called Dol Amroth. This city sat on the Bay of Belfalas and even had its own ruler.
In The Return of the King novel, the leader of Dol Amroth at the time, Prince Imrahil, came to the aid of Minas Tirith with the company of 700 men. Despite being a grand city in its own right, though, Dol Amroth was still subject to the will of the King of Gondor. Men from that city stayed for Aragorn's coronation.
7 DALE AFTER THE HOBBIT
Dale was a major area in The Hobbit. It was inhabited by Men until it was destroyed by Smaug. However, the dragon was defeated and the Battle of the Five Armies won at the end of the novel and the films. Those following the movies won't find anything else about Dale, though.
There's no mention of it in The Lord of the Rings movies. The books are a bit more descriptive, stating that Dale was rebuilt and reinhabited. Bard became its king and was succeeded by his son and grandson. Brand, Bard's grandson, fought against Mordor arc alongside King Dain during the War of the Ring.
6 OLD MAN WILLOW
There were several magical elements from The Lord of the Rings books that were cut from the films. For starters, Treebeard and the Ents weren't the only talking trees in Middle-Earth. Near the Shire existed a place called the Old Forest, which used to be connected to Fangorn.
It was in this old forest that a talking tree lived who could cast spells to force people to drift to sleep. This cranky tree was called Old Man Willow and he nearly subdued Frodo and the other three Hobbits by trying to entangle. However, Tom Bombadil figured out how to tame this cranky tree.
5 TALKING EAGLES
The Eagles were a convenient part of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films, but they're much easier seen as a plot device because they don't do much other than get the heroes out of a tough spot. What the films failed to bring from the books is how the Great Eagles would talk and communicate with others.
The Hobbit novel had a scene after the "out of the frying pan" sequence when Gandalf was talking to the Eagles. The leader of those Eagles was named Gwaihir. The Eagles never talked in the films, but games like War in the North gave them voices again.
4 TRAVELING TO VALINOR
The Lord of the Rings movies make a few references to the Undying Lands (that's where we end the story with Frodo anyway). However, we don't get much detail outside of that. The Undying Lands had a name: Valinor. It was there where the Elves would go to live immortal lives away from the pain of the mortal world.
However, an invitation to join was extended to people like Frodo and Bilbo because they bore a Ring of Power. What's more interesting is that Valinor was created in the beginning, essentially when Middle-Earth was flat. The Elves had special boats that could pass through the curvature of the modern Middle-Earth to return to Valinor.
3 WITCH-KING'S REIGN OVER ANGMAR
There is one serious mention of the Witch-King's reign over Angmar in the films, and it was little more than a sentence. The movies didn't have time to dive into this history, but the Nazgul were a bit more destructive than just trying to find the One Ring.
While Sauron was building power in Dol Guldur, the Witch-King established a kingdom for himself in Angmar. It was there that he amassed his own armies to take on the Men of the North in the kingdoms of Arnor. It was his assault that led to the destruction of Amon Sul, later known as Weathertop.
2 KINGDOMS OF ARNOR
Gondor wasn't the only Kingdom of Men in Middle-Earth. There was once a glorious region in the north known as Arnor. Arnor was divided essentially into three different countries: Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur. Arnor and its men were seemingly wealthier than Gondor, which is what motivated the Witch-King to attack it (it was even home to the High King, who ruled both Arnor and Gondor).
However, the men of Arnor defended themselves valiantly against Sauron's forces and teamed up with the Elves of Rivendell to win the war. That said, Arnor still fell.
1 CONSTRUCTION OF MINAS MORGUL
As far as The Lord of the Rings movies are concerned, Minas Morgul is no more than a fortress of sorcery where the Witch-King and the rest of the Nazgul lived. However, it wasn't constructed by Sauron and his servants. Instead, this fortress was once known as Minas Ithil, and was built by Isildur, the very same who slain Sauron in the Second Age.
When the Witch-King's armies were vanquished in Angmar, the Nazgul went back to Mordor and conquered Minas Ithil to use it for Sauron. The name was changed to Minas Morgul after that, meaning "Tower of Dark Sorcery".