Lord of the Rings stunt double and actor Kiran Shah–who was the scale and stunt double for all five Hobbits in the original series–has shed some new light on some of the injuries he sustained while making the movies.
Shah told Metro UK that one of his injuries was extremely serious. For a pivotal battle scene in Return of the King, Shah broke his back after falling off a horse.
“I broke my back on Lord of the Rings,” he said. “In the last big fight in Return of the King, I was riding in front of Pippin, riding the horse, fighting the big [Oliphant] and slashing it with both hands and Pippin is controlling the horse. The first run we did, he bolted. He took one big step and I took off completely…I couldn’t even kick off the horse. I couldn’t turn on my back, and I landed on my front, and something happened there. I could feel uncomfortable but not in pain and the paramedic came and said, ‘I think you’ve broken your back.'”
Shah was transported by helicopter to a hospital and spent months in recovery before he was OK again. According to the report, director Peter Jackson refused to allow Shah to perform any further horseback stunts after this.
But Shah did sustain other injuries working on The Lord of the Rings. In a scene when he was standing in for Elijah Wood as Frodo, Shah was thrown backwards through the air and into the camera. He remarked that he “came out of it really well,” but he was scratched up and injured to the point where he needed stitches.
Shah shares more fascinating stories from the making of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbits films in the interview, so be sure to read the full thing.
In other news, Amazon is currently filming a Lord of the Rings TV show in New Zealand with a reported budget of $465 million for its first season alone. A former Amazon higher-up has said this figure is “fake news.” Outside of the TV show, Amazon was working on a new Lord of the Rings MMO but the company recently canceled it reportedly due to a contract dispute.