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Lord of the Rings Fan Can’t Wait to Explain How Viggo Mortensen Actually Murdered 26 Extras in This Scene

SEATTLE — Last Tuesday, a friend group’s annual rewatch of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was suddenly plagued by disruptions after one member, 34-year-old Brian Braxton, couldn’t help but interject with everyone’s favorite and oft-repeated piece of movie trivia; how Viggo Mortensen actually murdered 26 extras while filming this scene.

“Look, right here; you’ll see Aragorn decapitate this background actor; that’s something Viggo actually did. He really cut that guy’s head off; they just kept all this in the final edit,” Brian reportedly said, pausing and skimming frame by frame. “Peter Jackson kept doing the scene over and over because they weren’t getting the shot they wanted, so on the last take, Viggo just went for it and started cutting down extras left and right as if he was the actual true heir of Gondor, and now it’s all in the actual movie. He didn’t even use the prop sword, he cleaved into those poor, nameless New Zealanders with the legit steel hero sword that Weta made for the film. Pretty cool if you ask me.”

Despite the friend group’s shared love for the Tolkien trilogy, the other members expressed annoyance at Brian’s insistence on repeating the same, well-known behind-the-scenes factoids every time they sat down for a viewing.

“Every time Brian just HAS to regale us with stories from the making of the movies like he was there. We all watched the bonus feature Appendices; we’ve heard all the stories before!” ranted Claire Lewis, hapless friend to Brian. “Every time he’s gonna point out Peter Jackson eating the carrot in Bree or tell the story of Orlando Bloom breaking his rib. Everyone knows the most famous story: how Viggo Mortensen, playing out the scene where Aragorn believes Merry and Pippin to be dead, became so caught up in the anguish of his character that he fell into an insatiable bloodlust, chopping up 26 extras who were cast as Riders of Rohan. I bet Brian will also tell you the story of how they couldn’t find enough men with horseback riding experience to play all the Riders, so some of those now-forgotten extras that Viggo butchered were just women in fake beards.”

Over the two decades since the film’s release, the popular tale from the set has taken on a life of its own, generating thousands of viral jokes and memes online about the time Viggo Mortensen effortlessly decimated a comparatively large percentage of the New Zealand populace. Sir Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Bad Taste, offered his thoughts on the lasting legacy of Viggo’s performance.

“The great thing about working with Viggo was you never knew what he was going to bring to the table as Aragorn,” said Jackson, calling in over Skype from Weta FX in Wellington. “Viggo was so dedicated to the role; he’s incredibly method, you know. He used to wear Aragorn’s costume around town so it would look more weathered and worn. Everyone still asks me about that famous scene where he lays siege to the Riders of Rohan, skewering a couple dozen of them over the course of 30 actual minutes. Of course, none of that was in the book, but it’s just another thing Viggo brought to the role that fits the character so well we kept it in. It was incredibly brave of him to embrace the fearlessness of that role; Strider, as a ranger, wouldn’t be afraid of slaughtering a bunch of innocent people, so to commit to really doing that for the sake of the film took quite a bit of courage. We actually had so much extra footage of him desecrating the bodies of the newly slain, trampling their fresh corpses with his horse; we had to save most of it for the Extended Editions. Obviously, that’s the type of scene you can’t pull off without all the dedicated extras we had on set to help make it happen. I unfortunately don’t recall any of their names, but at least their uncredited contributions are forever preserved in the film.”

Attempts to reach Viggo Mortensen for comment went unanswered. However, recent reports indicate the actor may still be recovering from the multiple surgeries he underwent to remove his own organs during the filming of Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future.”

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