In a scene in The Two Towers, a fight between the Orcs and Uruk-hai breaks out over the prospect of eating the hobbits, Pippin and Merry. The scene climaxes with an Uruk-hai bellowing “Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!” before a bunch more start chowing down on an Orc.In an interview with Thrillist, Lord of the Rings actor Stephen Ure explained the origin of the line and expressed his own bafflement about what it implies about Middle Earth’s cuisine and restaurant business. Ure portrayed several Orcs across the three films, most notably the Orc captain Grishnákh.
“There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t really make sense. Of course, they wouldn’t know what a menu was,” Ure said. “You’re not going to start debating the writing, because maybe then they are going to run away and rewrite it, and then you are going to be sitting there in all that stuff. Really, at the end of the day, you just want it to be over and get out of that stuff. I had no idea that this scene had become so famous. There’s a lot of clunky things in there.”
Ure continued by speculating that the line was written by screenwriter Philippa Boyens, who worked on all three Lord of the Rings films and received shared writing credit with Fran Walsh, Stephen Sinclair, and Jackson on The Two Towers.
“She puts all this stuff in there that doesn’t make sense,” Ure said. “She was taken on board because she was the Tolkien expert. I can tell the lines that Philippa wrote. Like in the third film where I’m playing Gorbag, and when I finally come up from the big Orc fight that starts over the Mithril vest, and I’m going to kill Elijah [Wood as Frodo], and say, ‘I’m going to bleed you like a stuck pig.'”The interview goes into further detail on the performances and filming of the scene, with additional quotes from Ure, as well as fellow actors Jed Brophy and Nathaniel Lees, who portrayed Snaga and Ugluk respectively.
In other Lord of the Rings news, a new edition of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings novel is set to release on October 19 and will include new illustrations by Tolkien. Meanwhile, Nacon’s Gollum-focused adventure video game has been delayed to 2022.
Additionally, Amazon is currently in production on a new television series set in Middle Earth. The story will take place thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.