The Fellowship of the Ring is the first movie in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson. The movie is based closely on the well-loved book of the same name, written by J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1950s.
The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a humble hobbit thrust unexpectedly into a treacherous quest to save the lands of Middle Earth from the Dark Lord, Sauron. To do this, Frodo must destroy Sauron’s evil Ring of Power (‘the one ring to rule them all’). Sauron (Sala Baker) created the Ring centuries earlier to rule Middle Earth. When the Ring is lost to him, he makes it his purpose to get it back and unleash his evil power on Middle Earth.
Gandalf (Ian McKellan), a well-loved wizard, knows that hobbits are the only race in Middle Earth pure enough of heart to carry the Ring safely to the land of Mordor. This is the only place where it can be destroyed. Gandalf gives this responsibility to Frodo, and Frodo hesitantly sets out on this heroic journey. He’s guided on his quest by his hobbit friends, Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd). Also going with him is the Fellowship of the Ring, a group formed to represent all the free races of Middle Earth.
The supernatural; Armageddon; death
This film features continuous intense action violence, including scenes of blood and other injury. Examples include:
- Wars between good and evil where killing of people and creatures by sword, knives, bow and arrows, catapult and ball and chain are seen. The bodies of people who have died are seen including one scene where a dead body floats down a river with arrows sticking out and blood flowing. Severed heads of Orcs are seen.
- Gollum is tortured by Sauron and his army. He is heard screaming in pain.
- The Ringwaith, the dark riders hunting Frodo and the Hobbits for the Ring, stab Frodo with a sword and almost kill him.
- Two very popular characters are killed during the film, Gandalf and Boromir. Gandalf is killed when attacked by a dark dragon and he falls into the fiery pit of hell and Boromir is killed in war by the Orcs, who repeatedly shoot him with bows and arrows. Blood drips from his mouth before he collapses and is left to die. He is found by his friend Aragon who holds him until he dies.
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie shows some use of substances. For example:
- The hobbits drink ale out of pint glasses during Bilbo Baggins’s farewell party. Bilbo sometimes slurs his speech during his farewell toast.
- The hobbits go into a pub to escape from the Ringwaiths. Most of the people in the pub are drinking, and many are drunk.
- Bilbo talks about smoking weed.
- Gandalf smokes a pipe.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity in this movie. There’s only minimal sexual activity, including a scene where Arwen and Aragon kiss.
None of concern
This movie has some mild coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is an epic tale of good and evil. It’s also the story of an unexpected hero who risks all on a quest to save his homeland.
The main messages from this movie are to do with friendship and loyalty. Sam’s commitment and loyalty to his dear friend Frodo is beautifully expressed throughout this movie, as are other friendships such as Gandalf’s friendship with Bilbo and the hobbits. There’s also the Fellowship’s loyalty to each other and to Frodo and his friends.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include trust, selflessness, loyalty and responsibility for the greater good.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the following:
- Good and evil is a strong theme throughout this movie. You could explore these concepts in reference to today’s world.
- The narrator says that ‘no matter your size, we all have a part to play in humanity’. You could talk about what part you and your family plays ‘in humanity’.