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Film Friday: Mount Sunday (Lord of the Rings)


May 4, 2012 by Amanda

Each Friday, I’ll be briefly profiling a specific location somewhere in the world that has been featured in a movie or TV show.

This week, the site is Mount Sunday in New Zealand.

New Zealand is full of breathtaking scenery. But this particular spot may just be one of my favorites.

Located on a remote sheep station in New Zealand’s Canterbury Region, Mount Sunday is better known to “Lord of the Rings” fans as Edoras, capital of the kingdom of Rohan in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. This wind-swept location is where Gandalf (the White), Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli come in “The Two Towers” to free King Theoden from the grips of wizard-gone-bad Saruman. It’s also the first place where we get a glimpse of Eowyn, with her hair blowing in the wind.


Screen capture from “The Two Towers”


Screen capture from “The Two Towers”

The set, believe it or not, was not computer-generated. The crew actually spent 8 months building this city atop Mount Sunday, filmed on it for a couple months, and then tore it all down.

Today, there are not many signs that this remote location ever served as a movie set — except for the film fans who ford streams and carry swords and flags to the top of the hill. And, looking at this site and comparing it to author J.R.R. Tolkien’s description of Rohan and Edoras, it’s almost eerie how spot-on it is.

It’s as if this location was meant to be Edoras.

Mount Sunday, Canterbury, New Zealand

The valley, with Mount Sunday in the center.

Mount Sunday, Canterbury, New Zealand

Mount Sunday up close.

Mount Sunday, Canterbury, New Zealand


Can’t you just hear the sweeping strains of fiddle music?


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