The release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings Peter Jackson’s trilogy to a close, and marks the end of a life immersed in Middle Earth for the actors. For several of the cast it was a years-long journey, and like any trip it’s nice to pick up a souvenir as a keepsake.
According to director Peter Jackson the actor who played the exiled dwarf king Thorin stole “the most boring thing in the world to steal,” from the set of the penultimate film, The Desolation of Smaug, socks.
“I did steal every single pair of costume socks,” said Richard Armitage, “because we were given a brand new pair every day.”
As production on The Battle of the Five Armies wrapped Armitage was gifted with some more interesting props including the deadly goblin cleaver Orcrist, which he keeps in an umbrella stand, “cause I want to be able to pick it up.”
Martin Freeman, who plays head Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, says he doesn’t miss making the films—“I’m really proud to have done it,” he says, “and I’m really glad to have done it, but I rarely miss jobs.”—but kept his sword and prosthetic ears as mementos.
Unlike Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen does get sentimental when he reflects on making the movies because, “a lot of the audience seeing The Hobbit part three wouldn’t have been born when we started filming it.” After spending thirteen years playing wise wizard Gandalf the Grey he took two priceless props from the set, “Gandalf’s staff, which I keep with umbrellas and walking sticks, and Gandalf’s hat, which I keep in the basement.”
Many actors have pilfered props from their movies. Keira Knightley walked off with Elizabeth Bennet’s striped socks from Pride & Prejudice. Elijah Wood has the One Ring from Lord of the Rings and Daniel Radcliffe liberated two pairs of Harry Potter’s famous round glasses, even though there was a strict policy about taking props from the set.
‘The ones from the first film are absolutely tiny now,” he says, “but they are very sweet.”
Kristen Stewart kept the engagement ring Edward Cullen gave her at the end of Twilight: Eclipse and Zachary Quinto took the ears he wore as Spock in Star Trek: Into Darkness but the strangest cinematic souvenir may belong to Mark Wahlberg.
The Academy Award nominee kept the prosthetic penis he wore as Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights. “I used to keep it in my desk drawer,” he said, “and I’d take it out and slap my friends in the face with it. I don’t keep many things from my movies, but that just seemed to have personal significance.”