There's no doubt that the Peter Jackson theatrical adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's most famous works in Lord of the Rings and later The Hobbit are forever enshrined in cinema history as the pinnacle of high fantasy. While celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of the LOTR trilogy, star Sean Astin, who plays the Hobbit Samwise Gamgee, the best friend of protagonist Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), spoke with Screen Rant recalling an encounter with a cardiologist who slipped him a note about the fellowship's encounter with a cave troll in Balin's Tomb.
And it's funny how, after a week of it, you're just used to it. You're just like, 'Oh yeah, of course, we're in another thing, we're in another thing.' But we jump in the limo and there's this guy knocking on the window because people were always like… It was like a Beatles movie, they were always chasing after you. It was crazy. But this guy, he was dressed fancy. So I rolled the window down a little bit, and he puts an envelope through the thing, and he is like, 'Hi, I'm Dr. So-and-so.' He's like, 'I have to tell Peter Jackson that there's a mistake, or there's an anomaly,' or something like that.
When the cave troll comes into Balin's Tomb, and it's really the first time the Fellowship sets up as a group, and we're fighting him. I'm using pots and pans on orcs, and Elijah's got the mithril vest to stave off the orc, or the whatever, the cave troll stabs him with the spear. Well, Balin's Tomb, the dwarf is lit by a ray of sunlight, and the cave troll passes through it. Well, if you know the Hobbit, when trolls encounter sunlight, they turn to stone. This cardiologist had identified this seam in the universe, in the mythology where we had made this mistake. I just remember thinking, 'I don't think we can redo it now, man.'
That detail about sunlight and trolls wasn't lost later when Jackson stayed true to the source material when three trolls did end up turning to stone in 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as they're trying to find a way to cook and eat Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the dwarves he's adventuring with. Building upon Jackson's films, Amazon plans to release their prequel series Lord of the Rings in Fall 2022.