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Sean Astin's kids have finally seen Lord of the Rings - kind of

Maybe watching LOTR in a hotel on cable with cuts and commercials isn't the best way, but its hard to control these things

Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee in LOTR
Image credit: Embracer

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When was the first time you watched The Lord of the Rings? Did you catch it in theaters or did you watch it for the first time streaming on your phone, as so many movies are watched today? For Samwise Gamgee actor Sean Astin, the first time his kids watched a Lord of the Rings movie was when it came up on television halfway through the movie. Oh yeah, and it was the third movie in the trilogy too.

Astin regaled a crowd of fans with the funny story about his kids finally getting around to watching one of his biggest movies during the Hobbits panel at the recent LA Comic Con.

It all started a few years ago when Astin was filming Stranger Things season 2 in Atlanta and his family came to visit him. Astin and his wife and daughters Elizabeth and Bella were watching TV in their hotel room when a familiar movie showed up.

Here's how Astin tells it: "We were in the hotel and we turned on the television and it was on TNT. So we watched the third film with commercials. They cut stuff out, it's terrible. But because they hadn't seen the first two, and we were coming in halfway into it..." Astin was then interrupted by a horrified Elijah Wood asking, "They hadn't seen the first two? They watched the TNT version of the end of Return of the King?" Wood seemed incredulous about the whole situation. "It wasn't like we planned it" Astin replied humorously.

Of course as a parent watching a child watching your big project for the first time ever, stakes seemed rather high. Astin's daughters seemed like they were into the movie, so after the movie ended, Astin couldn't wait to see what they thought. Astin shared, "Elizabeth is looking at me and giving me side eye, and I ask ' Well, what do you think?'"

Elizabeth Astin replied in shock, "Dad - you're like the main guy."


You can watch Sean Astin reunite with his Lord of the Rings colleagues including Elijah Wood and Sean Astin live in our livestream of the cast reunion at Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con 2024.

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Tiffany Babb avatar

Tiffany Babb

Deputy Editor

Tiffany Babb is Popverse's deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast. Tiffany likes stories that understand genre conventions (whether they play into them or against them), and she cries very easily at the movies— but rarely at the moments that are meant to be tearjerkers.

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