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

WHEN: November 22, 2014, 6:16am. (Week 47, November 16-22.)

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

FORMAT: Blu-ray on a Vizio 47″ LCD HDTV.

COMPANY: Becca here and there.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating pumpkin cookies, running out of ideas.

Welcome to the part of the Cinema 52 year where I run out of ways to watch my assigned film without wanting to hack my own brain apart with a meat cleaver. I’ve watched The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring while writing poetry, I’ve watched it upside down, I’ve watched it with another movie on at the same time, I’ve counted how many times each character says the word “the,” and now I’m down to this: how often does Frodo blink?

Staring contest, go!

Since this was such a good idea when I counted how many times Maverick blinks in Top Gun, here we go again! Ready?

By my count, Elijah Wood blinks approximately 195 blinks over the course of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Here’s a graph!

And now, some bullet-pointed blinking observations!

  • Seriously, Frodo is a goddamned robot. He almost never blinks. Either this was a conscious decision from the beginning to give him an otherworldly quality, or the editor just really hates using takes where an actor is blinking. Or Elijah Wood will die if he blinks more than 20 times in one minute.
  • Frodo does a lot of looking around, and I think he uses those moments to blink. I couldn’t tell. The count is probably wildly off, doesn’t that just ruin your life right now?
  • Frodo’s blink count by hour: 67 in the first hour, 87 in the second hour, 41 in the third hour.
  • Keeping in line with Michael Caine’s demonstration of blinking to show weakness, Frodo’s blinkiest moments are when Boromir confronts him and when Sam almost drowns. (He practically breaks into eye flutters when he hugs Sam.) Strangely, though, Frodo almost never blinks when he is poisoned.
  • Maverick blinks 469 times over the course of Top Gun‘s 110 minutes, so how can Frodo only blink 195 times in three hours? Well, the film doesn’t focus on him that much. There’s the prologue and various cutaways to other characters, and blinks can’t really be counted in super-wide helicopter shots. I could also just suck at counting.


Before you run off to show your mom how some nerd counted all the Frodo blinks, please keep in mind that I previously stated that Pippin only says “the” twice over the course of Fellowship, and during this viewing, I clearly heard him say “the” three times. EVERYTHING I TELL YOU IS A LIE.

I’ve failed you, Pip.

Some Weeping Angels, for they’ve clearly met their match.

“Thanks for the assist, Gandalf! Wait, don’t look at m–“