Study Guide

The Fellowship of the Ring Screenwriter

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Phillipa Boyens, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson

Three pens for writers men… well, two women and Peter Jackson anyway.

Let's start with Philippa Boyens, MNZM. No, our keyboard did not malfunction with caps lock on; MNZM is like the knighted "Sir" of New Zealand, and is for "for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits," which sounds pretty important if you ask us (source).

But what's more important and more impressive than receiving national honors for New Zealand royals? Writing the script for The Fellowship of the Ring. Not that Boyens, MNZM stopped there. She's co-written the final two Lord of the Rings scripts, all three The Hobbit scripts, and The Lovely Bones and King Kong.

But it wasn't just Jackson and Boyens, MNZM that were toiling on all of these scripts. Their third partner in crime is Fran Walsh, another New Zealander who is also the life partner of Jackson and mother of their two children. She met with Jackson early in both of their careers and has co-written almost all of his films, including all the films Boyens, MNZM was a part of. Before venturing into the realm of fantasy, the duo started out with a lot of comedy-horror blend movies like The Frighteners and Meet the Feebles.

Walsh was also a co-composer for The Return of the King. Almost as impressively, her vocals were used to create the terrifying Nazgûl screechy speech.

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