Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd Reveal the Nude ‘Lord of the Rings’ Scene That Almost Was

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Lord of the Rings stars Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd are talking back against fan controversy over Amazon Studio’s upcoming prequel series possibly including nudity.

The duo, who played Mariadoc “Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin “Pippin” Took in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on June 29 to promote their podcast The Friendship Onion. Now eighteen years on from shooting the original films, the two spoke to life-long J.R.R. Tolkien fan and host Stephen Colbert about the new series, which is set to address the lore of Middle Earth millennia prior to the start of The Hobbit.

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Image via New Line Cinema

RELATED: Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd Stump Stephen Colbert With a ‘Lord of the Rings’ Question

The series, which has not yet set a title or release date, has come under gentle fire for the possibility of “adulting up” the world of Middle Earth. Comparisons have been made to other high fantasy projects like Game of Thrones and its infamous inclusion of nudity and sexually explicit content, and fans have posted petitions online imploring Amazon not to include any nudity in the series.

In response to those comments, Boyd revealed a more “adult” scene that nearly appeared in the original trilogy, concocted by co-writer Philippa Boyens:

“Here’s the thing. There was almost nudity in the movies. Philippa Boyens…she wrote a scene, because we’d been doing some kind of gags and winding people up…[and] she said, “Oh, it’s a new scene we’re filming next week, with the Ents…When Merry and Pippin are up Treebeard, he gets afraid and shakes his branches, which makes you guys fall, and as you hit all the branches on the way down, by the time you hit the ground, you’re naked. And Merry turns to Pippin and says, ‘It’s cold, isn’t it?’ And Pippin says, ‘Hold me, Merry.’”

The scene was clearly just a gag, like many of Merry and Pippin’s other antics, but speaks to the truth of Lord of the Rings’ source material and the more mature themes included within. Colbert also reminded his audience that the hobbits in Tolkien’s original novel strip naked, saying, “So I don’t want to hear it from any of the prudes.”

We have yet to discover any of what Amazon’s prequel series will include — nudity or not — but production is currently underway, having been halted last year by the coronavirus pandemic.

New episodes of The Friendship Onion premiere every Tuesday on Spotify and YouTube. Watch the full clip of Monaghan and Boyd’s interview below:

KEEP READING: Benjamin Walker on How He Joined the ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Show & Why a Bigger Budget Is Important


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