When a Doctor Forced Sean Astin to Hear His Lord of the Rings Complaint

Sean Astin, one of the stars of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Sean Astin, one of the stars of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. / Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Twenty years ago, The Lord of the Rings movies were tearing up the box office and delighting fantasy fans everywhere. The cast—including Sean Astin as the ever-loyal hobbit Samwise Gamgee—were major celebrities, shuttled from event to event in limos. They met many passionate fans along the way, some of whom were all too eager to share their complaints about Peter Jackson's big-budget epics.

Astin recalled the story of one such fan to Screen Rant. “[W]e jump in the limo and there’s this guy knocking on the window,” he remembered. “But this guy, he was dressed fancy. So I rolled the window down a little bit, and he puts an envelope through the thing, and he is like, ‘Hi, I’m Dr. So-and-so.’ He’s like, ‘I have to tell Peter Jackson that there’s a mistake, or there’s an anomaly,’ or something like that.” 

The continuity error, according to this doctor, occurred during the cave troll fight from The Fellowship of the Ring. "I’m using pots and pans on orcs, and Elijah’s got the mithril vest to stave off the orc, or the whatever, the cave troll stabs him with the spear," Astin recalled. "Well, Balin’s Tomb, the dwarf is lit by a ray of sunlight, and the cave troll passes through it. Well, if you know The Hobbit, when trolls encounter sunlight, they turn to stone. This cardiologist had identified this seam in the universe, in the mythology where we had made this mistake. I just remember thinking, ‘I don’t think we can redo it now, man.'"

Sean Astin still wants justice for Barb in Stranger Things

Astin worked consistently after Lord of the Rings, and had another viral spike when he played Bob in the second season of Stranger Things, a super nice guy who unfortunately gets torn apart by interdimensional monsters in the season finale.

Astin is more or less OK with what happened to Bob, but he still wants justice for Barbara Holland, who suffered a similar fate in season 1 but had no one to spread her story, because no one realized exactly what happened.

“This is the thing. Bob had justice,” Astin said. “He died a hero’s death. Barb, no one knows what the hell happened. We need justice for Barb! We can have a statue for Bob ... rename the Hawkins school after him or something like that."

We'll have to see if Barb gets justice when Stranger Things season 4 debuts later this year.