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This Lord Of The Rings Prop Is The Biggest Ever Made For The Trilogy

"The Lord of the Rings" is a trilogy defined, at least in part, by achievements. It comprises three of the top 100 highest grossing films of all time, according to Box Office Mojo. Furthemore, IMDb attributes a combined 17 Oscars to the series as a whole. This isn't even counting "The Hobbit," the prequel trilogy that adds a litany of other wins and nominations for the onscreen version of Middle Earth.

One of the categories in which "The Lord of the Rings" dominated every Oscars ceremony was Visual Design. Director Peter Jackson and his crew went to the utmost lengths to make sure everything looked as realized and authentic on the big screen as J.R.R.Tolkien had described in the pages of his books. The films took the route of both quantity and quality when it came to digital and physical effects throughout the trilogy, using both styles well and often.

Why is this important? Because it resulted in the creation of some truly awe-inspiring props from all of the design teams hired to work on the series. Some of the trilogy's best examples of props sell for prices as high as $437,000, according to Screen Rant. However, price isn't always important. Sometimes bigger means better, and the largest prop ever made for the trilogy is surely something to behold.

Oliphaunts in The Lord of the Rings really are that big

It shouldn't be a surprise that one of the most impressive props in "The Lord of the Rings" comes from its depiction of a massive army. During the trilogy's final entry, "Return of the King," we see that Sauron's forces are made of more than orcs. He also has the men of Haradim under his command. The Haradim are interesting by themselves, but part of their visual spectacle during battles are their war beasts, the Mûmakil (or Oliphaunts, as the Hobbits call them). As the Hobbits' name implies, these beasts resemble elephants closely, but they are much larger.

Several of these mammoth beasts are shown falling in battle throughout the series. To depict some of their corpses, Peter Jackson requested that New Zealand-based prop team Weta Workshop create a massive Oliphaunt carcass large enough for the majority of their team to stand on it at once (via Weta Workshop Facebook). 

According to the behind-the-scenes book "The Art of Return of the King," the massive prop had to be transported in separate pieces. One of the filmmakers even referred to it as "the largest prop ever made for a movie." However, it is difficult to confirm this piece of information. Still, the piece is so impressively huge and difficult to work with that it still stands as one of cinema's coolest examples of large-scale prop design.