Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sean Bean checking his script in Lord Of The Rings created a classic meme

Illustration for article titled Sean Bean checking his script in iLord Of The Rings/i created a classic meme
Screenshot: Josh Gad (YouTube)

One of the internet’s early memes, borne from a time when our endlessly repeated online jokes were nice and straightforward, shows a dismayed Sean Bean telling The Lord Of The Rings’ Fellowship that “one does not simply walk into Mordor.” That scene was all we needed back in the early 00s. It, along with such material as a cat asking for a “cheezburger,” made us laugh uproariously because our sense of humor was as sophisticated as the media literacy of those who fled theaters when they watched a filmed train heading their way.

Well, internet historians rejoice: An unexpected bit of online archeology has revealed some background on the Bean Meme’s origins, which you can now use as trivia to entertain your (at least 30 year-old) friends.

This valuable bit of history comes to us thanks to the latest episode of Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart webseries, which got pretty much the entire cast of The Lord Of The Rings (along with director Peter Jackson and co-writer Philippa Boyens) together to reminisce about their experience filming the trilogy.


At one point, while talking with Bean about working on The Fellowship Of The Ring, Jackson says that the big speech where he warns about simply walking into Mordor was “written the night before” it was shot. Because he didn’t have time to memorize it, Bean had his lines printed out and “taped to his knee,” which is why he looks down in a kind of disbelief before he speaks the words that became one of the ‘00s favorite memes.

Watch the entire reunion chat for more on shooting the films, including highlights like Viggo Mortensen remembering how the crew ferried around a recliner chair for John Rhys-Davies, Ian McKellen’s Christopher Lee impression, and some behind the scenes footage that finds Jackson discussing his expectations for Gollum to be “better than Jar Jar Binks.”

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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