OBJECTIVE: Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring once per every week of 2014.

WHEN: May 2, 2014, 6:12am. (Week 18, Apr 27-May 3.)

WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME.

FORMAT: Blu-ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV, Spanish subtitles on.


PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Just woke up. Excited to learn more film facts about The Lord of the Rings.

So ever since Cinemanaut John joined me to watch some special features on the production design of The Fellowship of the Ring, I’ve been able to admit that while I don’t give two shits about the subject matter of these films, the work that went into them is fascinating. So, I decided to learn more about the behind-the-scenes movie magic that made Fellowship possible by turning on the Blu-ray’s trivia track.


Aaand since the Blu-ray doesn’t have a trivia track and I didn’t have a back-up plan for not being bored to tears by this movie, I decided to turn on the French subtitles to see if my French was getting rusty.


Aaand there are no French subtitles on what I’m now realizing is a pretty bare-bones Blu-ray box set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so I decided to turn on the Spanish subtitles, because fuck it. I don’t speak Spanish and I don’t know what I’ll possibly get out of this experience other than, “oh, that’s how you say that line,” but it’s better than trying to enjoy the movie.

Mi tesoro.” Neat?

As I prepared myself to jot down translations of all the lines nerds love and call it a day, I made an interesting discovery: the characters’ names are different in the Spanish version. Bilbo Baggins is now Bilbo Bolsón. Hmm. I put “bolsón” into Google Translate and it spit the same word back out. Did they replace a made-up word with a different made-up word?

Which country has the goofiest Bilbo?

Swapping out all these names seems like an unreasonably large task. Do they have any idea how many silly bullshit words are in this flick? And yet, they commit. Brandybuck becomes Brandigamo. Took becomes Tuk. Gamgee becomes… Gamgi, okay, a lot of these are pretty close. My absolute favorite, though, is Strider, whose Spanish version sounds like a badass spaghetti Western rogue: Trancos. Cue Ennio Morricone.

Google informs me that “trancos” means “striding” and not “four coffins.”

Place names are also changed. The Shire is now Comarca, which translates to “region,” and Bag End becomes Bolsón Cerrado, which means “Bag End.” Wait, hold on, I thought “bolsón” didn’t mean anything? Google Translate sent that back with capital letters. Are Lord of the Rings terms incorporated into Google Translate?

¡Dios mío!

Okay, wow, so “bolsón” has no meaning, but “Bolsón” means “Baggins.” Hmm, maybe it’s a play on words? Looks like “bag” in Spanish is… “bolsa.” Alright, I’ve been overthinking this. Let’s move on.

¡Son crebain de Dunlan!

Here’s one that threw me for a loop; they translated “Dwarrowdelf” as “Khazad-dûm.” You dinks! Those are two different places! One is… wait, fuck, I don’t know the difference either, so I hopped onto the LOTR wiki. Supposedly, both names are interchangeable, and there are five more fake terms that mean the same damn thing.

How do you people keep up with this stuff?

Nope. I give up. I can’t believe that something as simple as turning on the Spanish subtitles has sent me into another Tolkien hate-spiral. Here, enjoy those lines everybody loves, but not in English. Because that’s fun. I guess. Sigh.

¡No pasarás!

¡Huyan, tontos!

Vamos a cazar orcos.

Subtitles make everything better, right, James?

A trivia track of any kind.