Lord Of The Rings Actors Discuss The "Meat's Back On The Menu" Scene

Would an Uruk-hai even know what a menu is? The actors involved in the scene weigh in.


There is a particularly memorable and quotable scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers when an Uruk-hai kills one of his comrades and then loudly declares, "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!" For years, commenters have pointed out that this line is a touch odd, given that Uruk-hai presumably would have no concept of what a menu is. Now, three of the actors involved in the scene have shared their thoughts on it.

Nathaniel Lees, who played the Uruk-hai Ugluk who delivered the iconic line, said in an interview with Thrillist that the choice to say "menu" was to meant to clarify that, "Menu is merely the choice of food available." Once Ugluk killed the orc, Snaga, his "meat was back on the menu," according to Lees.

Stephen Ure, who played the Orc captain Grishnakh who suggested maiming Pippin and Merry and eating parts of them, commented that there is plenty in The Lord of the Rings that doesn't exactly make logical sense. Getting into costume, including extensive makeup and more, was a challenging and difficult experience, Ure said. So raising concerns to scriptwriters that could have delayed production and kept them in costume for longer was not something he wanted to do.

"There's a lot of stuff that doesn't really make sense. Of course they wouldn't know what a menu was," he said. "You're not going to start debating the writing, because maybe then they are going to run away and rewrite it and then you are going to be sitting there in all that stuff. Really, at the end of the day, you just want it to be over and get out of that stuff."

Ure said he's baffled by how the "meat's back on the menu" line became very famous. He also said it was probably written by Philippa Boyens, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who worked with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh on the scripts for all three movies.

"I had no idea that this scene had become so famous. There's a lot of clunky things in there. It's Philippa Boyens. She puts all this stuff in there that doesn't make sense," he said.

Jeb Brophy, who played the orc who had his head chopped off, said some "modern vernacular" slipped into the script for The Two Towers. Brophy said the "menu" line could be understood when you consider that Uruk-hai may be orcs bred with humans, making it at least theoretically possible that they might understand the concept of a menu.

"I guess when you look at Bilbo Baggins and the types of food he eats. They do talk about banquets, especially in Hobbiton. So 'menu' [could] be a common phrase. The Uruk-hai are orcs bred with humans, so who knows where that language comes from, really?" he said.

The full interview at Thrillist dives much deeper into this important matter and you can and should read the full thing to get the complete context.

In other Lord of the Rings news, Amazon is currently filming an expensive and ambitious Lord of the Rings TV show in New Zealand. The company was working on a Lord of the Rings MMO as well, but it was canceled, reportedly due to a contract dispute. Outside of Amazon, Daedalic is making a Lord of the Rings game focused on Gollum.

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