Internet and ‘Lord of the Rings’ players paid tribute to Bilbo Baggins actor on his demise

Sir Ian Holm, the actor who portrayed Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (among many other roles over his long career), passed away on 19June at the age of 88. Tributes have poured in for the actor, and on 20June PeterJackson himself weighed in on what made Holm special, and what his presence on the set of the Lord of the Rings trilogy meant to him. Peter Jackson shared a long letter with his Facebook followers that details his memories of working with Ian Holm. Within the post, he shared several behind-the-scenes photos of their days on the Lord of the Rings set, which added an extra personal touch to the memorial. He began by offering his abiding memory of the beloved actor: “Ian was such a delightful, generous man. Quiet, but cheeky, with a lovely twinkle in his eye.Back in early 2000, before we started shooting our Bilbo scenes for The Fellowship of the Ring, I was nervous about working with such an esteemed actor, but he immediately put me at ease. Standing in Bag End on the first day, before cameras started rolling, he took me to one side and said that he would be trying different things in every take, but I shouldn’t be alarmed. If, after five or six takes, he hadn’t given me what I needed, then by all means I should give him specific direction.And that’s exactly what we did. But incredibly his varied line reads and performances were all quite wonderful. He rarely needed direction. He gave us an amazing range of choices to select from in the cutting room.” Soon after the news of his death spread, hundreds of Lord of the Rings Online players gathered in the game, holding a number of tribute events across various servers. Players on the Evernight server gathered around the game’s Bilbo Baggins NPC within the Last Homely House’s Hall of Fire in Rivendell Valley, as pictured in this Reddit post. Similarly, players on the game’s Belegaer server “gathered in front of Bag End, and to Lobelia’s dislike, had a big firework [display]. There was music and mourning, and we all wished Ian godspeed on this last of journeys.” Players on the Laurelin server also paid their respects by holding a march towards the Shire, complete with fireworks and concluding with a cozy in-door gathering where music was played in the actor’s honor. In response to all this, Lord of the Rings Online developers Standing Stone Games enabled the Baggins’ Birthday quest until  23 July, and extended the Spring Festival until 29 July.