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A Production Horse has Died on the Set of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

BY Brandon

Published 1 year ago

A Production Horse has Died on the Set of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

What is the Lord of the Rings trilogy without the story of Viggo Mortensen breaking his toes when he kicked the Uruk helmet in Two Towers? As it turns out, Amazon’s The Rings of Power has also ran into a production snag in the form of a dead horse.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that a production horse has died of cardiac arrest on the set of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The horse was said to have died while it was being prepped for rehearsal. An Amazon Studios spokesperson said:

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died… The incident took place in the morning whilst the horse was being exercised prior to rehearsals. The trainer was not in costume and filming had yet to commence. Both a veterinarian and a representative of the American Humane Association were present at the time. The independent necropsy has confirmed that the horse died of cardiac failure.” 

The horse comes from outfitter The Devil’s Horsemen who have also supplied the horses for Game of Thrones. This was said to be the first on-set fatality for the company in its 50-year history, and it was also said that the horse wasn’t showing any health problems before it died among the other 20 horses.

While it does sound like it’s nobody’s fault that the horse died on the set, PETA has already issued a statement urging the production to stop using real horses. Their statement reads, “It seems that living underground with the orcs is par for the course for the producers of The Rings of Power because they have the option to use CGI, mechanical rigs and other humane methods that wouldn’t run vulnerable horses to death on set… PETA is calling on the show’s creators — and all other producers — to take on a new quest without using any real horses. If they can’t avoid exploiting animals for their art, they should find a new medium, because no one wants to see a spinoff for TV with torment as the theme.”

On one hand, I see PETA’s point, but on the other, this is the same organization that tried to get Pokemon banned because of its promotion of animal cruelty. As long as the horses are cared for and not stressed out, I think it’s fine that they keep them for the series.

No release date has been announced for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power 2.

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