Lord of the Rings actor reveals why Urak-hai knows what a menu is

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(Image credit: New Line)

“Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!” The line has gone down as one of the most iconic from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, not only because it's downright fun to say out loud, but the fact that the Uruk-Hai know what the word "menu" is quite funny in itself – do they have restaurants at Sauron's tower?

In a recent interview, Lord of the Rings alumni Stephen Ure and Jed Brophy revealed the origins of that specific line created, which was said during The Two Towers.

"There's a lot of stuff that doesn't really make sense. Of course, they wouldn't know what a menu was," Ure, who played various orcs and Urak-hai in the series, told Thrillist. "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. I had no idea that this scene had become so famous. There's a lot of clunky things in there."

According to Ure, the line may have come from one of the four co-writers on The Two Towers, Phillippa Boyens. He went on to back up his speculation by saying: "She puts all this stuff in there that doesn't make sense."

"She was taken on board because she was the Tolkien expert," he said. "I can tell the lines that Philippa wrote. Like in the third film where I'm playing Gorbag, and when I finally come up from the big Orc fight that starts over the Mithril vest, and I'm going to kill Elijah [Wood as Frodo], and say, 'I'm going to bleed you like a stuck pig."

It sounds like the likelihood of the line coming from the pen of Boyens is quite possible, but what we know for sure is that it's an iconic line and moment from the trilogy. Now that there is a Lord of the Rings TV series on the way, there will be new entries in memeable lines from Tolkien's universe. 

The Lord of the Rings by author and scholar J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the best-selling books ever written, with over 150 million books sold. For the last two decades, the trilogy of films based on his works has helped keep his stories alive. Fans have furthered those efforts by creating memes featuring some of the more memorable lines from the films. For more, check out everything we know so fat about the Lord of the Rings TV show.

Stephanie is a comic book historian and pop culture critic for publications including SYFYFANGRRLS, Marvel, The A.V. Club, Nerdist, Den of Geek, and Rotten Tomatoes. Stephanie is also a comic creator with three ongoing webcomics, Parenthood Activate!, But What If Though?, and Living Heroes. She made her Marvel debut with a short story featuring Monica Rambeau in Marvel’s Voices: Legacy. She recently made her DC Comics debut in Wonder Woman Black and Gold #2 and is co-writing the Nubia and the Amazons miniseries.