The LOTR Movie Site
February 19, 2000

Secret Photos on the Official LOTR Site
Matthew Bass

Update: TheOneRing.net decided to ignore the rights of the creators of the official site and go ahead and post the hidden images without permission. Since the cat is out of the bag, as it were, I've posted the photos here as well. Check Hobbiton and Concept Art to view these images.

Well, the official LOTR site has been updated and I have just one thing to say: it's about time. The new update was well worth the wait, though ... or at least, it will be well worth the wait when they eventually add all the content that the current update promises they'll add. I'm not disappointed, though.

Let's get to the point of this article. While exploring the revamped site in the wee hours of the morning I discovered, through slightly devious means, some photos on the lordoftherings.net server that were not tied in with the site in any way. Perhaps they'll be posting these photos sometime in the future, but obviously they don't have them up now. Maybe one of their web guys slipped up, or maybe they put too much faith in an assumption that Tolkien fans will not necessarily be computer wizards, but I'm getting off subject here.

I contacted Gordon Paddison at New Line Cinema and informed him of the potential leak. I also requested permission to post a few of the photos and sketches on the site here. I'm currently waiting for a reply. For now, though, I'll do the legal thing and give you a description of what I found.

First, you'll notice that when you first visit the site, there is a dark graphic extending horizontally across the center of the page. It doesn't look like much right now, but I discovered several other images that look like they're meant to be rotated in this space. As I stated above, I'm waiting for permission to post these, but if you're dying to see them (one features Liv Tyler, another Elijah Wood) our friends over at TheOneRing.net decided to go ahead and post them so stop by there to check them out. They're pretty fancy.

The remaining images I found did not seem to belong in any particular place on the site. There were several VERY nice photos of Hobbiton, including a large distance photo of Bag End and some close-ups of various Hobbit holes. Most of these Hobbit holes looked alike, except the door colors varied.

There were a couple of very large scans of what appeared to be design sketches. The first sketch looked like a plan for a chair, while the second (which loaded upside down!) was without doubt a beautiful hanging lamp.

There was also a sketch which appeared to include a map of Hobbiton, a tea pot, a cup, and a clock. Like I said before, I'm working on getting permission to post these fantastic images, so keep your fingers crossed.