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Things We Saw Today: Lord of the Rings Cast Reunion Was Everything We Dreamed It Could Be

When we’ve said before that everything was terrible, we were right but also … so naive, because honestly this week things are even more terrible and even finding a little bit of joy is really hard. Which is why we’re extra super grateful for the latest episode of Reunited Apart from Josh Gad.

Gad has been doing A Lot during lockdown. He’s been voicing adorable Frozen shorts as Olaf in Olaf at Home. He’s part of the new Apple + series Central Park, and he’s been taking time to surprise healthcare workers’ kids, all on top of hosting the Zoom reunions of our dreams. So far Gad has reunited the cast of The Goonies, Back the Future, and Splash, but the latest episode was the most ambitious yet, as Gad reunited (apart) the cast of The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings is a property that feels particularly moving in dark times, and so it’s extra wonderful to see the cast together on Zoom. Peter Jackson and Phillipa Boyens were joined by Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, John Rys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Sean Bean, Karl Urban, Miranda Otto, a Liv Tyler. One Zoom to rule them all!

I love seeing how much these actors are still clearly friends and how evident it is that this was a transformative experience for everyone involved. They shared stories that even I, a giant super-fan of the movies who has watched every behind the scenes feature, didn’t know about, and many of those stories come with jokes at the expense of Sean Bean, which is adorable. We also get to see the famous matching tattoos of The Fellowship!

This reunion also has many moving moments, including heartfelt tributes to the language coach for the film who recently was lost to COVID, and a moving tribute to the late Christopher Lee. But there’s much levity as well, including the cast recreating iconic scenes (loved Andy Serkis breaking out his Gollum voice) and stories galore.

It’s 50 minutes of joy in a chaotic time, and it’s also a fundraiser for No Kid Hungry, which you can still donate to. The special has already raised over $85,000 to fight childhood hunger, making it doubly worth your while.

(image: ScreenGrab)

Here are a few other things we saw today, some of them will make you mad. The means you’re human and it’s up to you how you take that anger and use it to change things.

  • A second, independent autopsy on George Floyd at the behest of his family has revealed that he died asphyxia. (Washington Post)
  • We also need to talk about how cops are always the main characters on TV. (Vulture)
  • This family restaurant in Minnesota caught fire, the owners say let it burn. (Washington Post)
  • Wow.

  • Another Black man, David McAtee, was killed by police in Louisville this morning. (via Courier-Journal)
  • Remember what a real president was like?

Stay safe out there, everyone. What did you see today?

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.