Nearly two decades years after the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, fans are still discovering new things in Peter Jackson‘s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. There’s a lot of material to cover, with the three lengthy theatrical releases further extended in their home video editions. Which is why it’s so surprising that, all these years later, people keep spotting one particular detail for the first time.
We’re talking about Gandalf’s pipe, specifically where he keeps it. It’s not up his sleeve or in the pocket of his robe — does his robe even have pockets? No, it’s actually stored at the top of his staff, a convenient and elegant solution that’s hiding in plain sight.
You never actually see Gandalf pull his pipe out of his staff during the trilogy, but you can see it clearly if you examine stills from the movies; the long, gently sloped shape of the pipe is unmistakable, but you don’t notice it unless you’re looking for it.
The latest person to stumbling upon the pipe staff is Sam Sykes, a fantasy author whose tweet on the subject has attracted over 68,000 likes since it went up on May 15.
I was today years old when I found out Gandalf carried his pipe in his staff. pic.twitter.com/SfXsw8pJkB
— Sam Sykes (@SamSykesSwears) May 15, 2020
Imagine that Captain America kept a sandwich inside his shield for when Avengering made him hungry. And that you could see it every time the shield appeared onscreen. And that you didn’t notice it until years after you’d seen it in the movies. That’s what this is like.
So enjoy this knowledge, and enjoy dropping it on unaware friends and loved ones. Because the only thing better than learning something like this is being the one to tell other people about it.