Magic: The Gathering’s recent slew of announcements for upcoming Lord of the Rings set Tales of Middle-earth had many reveals, including food, Nazgûl and commander Bill the Pony. Among the biggest - and most charming - surprises was the appearance of none other than Frodo Baggins himself, Elijah Wood.
Wood - who played Frodo in Peter Jackson’s acclaimed trilogy of Lord of the Rings movies, as if I needed to tell you that - showed up in a teaser at the end of Wizards of the Coast’s Tales of Middle-earth debut video to offer his trademark delight and charm in response to seeing how the characters of Middle-earth had been reimagined as MTG cards.
“It’s tough to be a hobbit with a ring, man!” Wood chuckles upon pulling the set’s Frodo, Determined Hero, before listing off his former Fellowship companions (“Gimli! Aragorn!”), allies (“Arwen! Rosie Cotton! Galadriel!”) and foes (“Shelob!”)
“Seeing all these characters, they really mean something to me,” Wood says with trademark sincerity, before excitedly discovering “two very important friends”: Merry and Pippin.
Of course, the video takes the opportunity for a fun nod to Wood’s on-screen Frodo as he attempts to walk away with The One Ring card still in his pocket, echoing Bilbo’s words to Gandalf at the start of The Fellowship of the Ring: “Oh, here it is, in my pocket. Isn't that odd, now?” (Although, keen-eyed viewers will note, even Wood isn’t permitted to hold the one-of-one serialised The One Ring card written in Mordor’s Black Speech.)
Cynicism about nostalgia-baiting marketing aside, Wood’s natural charm, honest sincerity and genuine excitement makes it a delight to see the former Frodo rediscover his fantasy companions in cardboard form. Give the teaser a look for yourself below.