The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Crowdfunded campaigns have been used to create everything from a hoverboard to the Veronica Mars movie. Now a group of “ambitious” architects and structural engineers want to harness the power of the people in order to build a life-sized recreation of Minas Tirith, a city in The Lord Of The Rings. And the best news is they think they can do it for the low, low price of £1.85 billion, or roughly 2.9 billion U.S. dollars.

“We’re fully aware of the scale of our ambition,” the Indiegogo page explains, “but we hope you realize just how special this project could be.” The designers are proposing a “beautiful, inspirational and fully-functioning replica of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith” that would have both residential and commercial properties. So it would be like Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, only people could actually live there.

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Minas Tirith, of course, is the capital city of Gondor. It’s one of the largest and most cosmopolitan locations in Middle Earth and it features heavily in the final film, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King.

To recreate it in one of two potential locations in southern England, the designers estimate they will need about $23 million for land, $300 million for labor, and $2 billion for material. While it would have been far more manageable to create a livable Hobbiton, Bree, or, hell, even Edoras, these designers seem to be the “go big or go home” type.

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Thankfully, they at least have a good sense of perspective. The page notes, “Please only donate within your means, and in the knowledge that this project is a light-hearted venture with virtually no chance of succeeding.” And since all money is returned if the project isn’t fully funded in 60 days, the stakes here are actually pretty low.

But if there’s one thing J.R.R. Tolkien taught the world, it’s that even the smallest person (or the smallest donation) can change the course of the future. Those who want to lend a sword, a bow, an axe, or a few thousand dollars to the cause can do so over at Indiegogo.