The Little Things: Details from All 3 Movies
Fellowship Two Towers Return of the King
Being a detailed oriented person, I always
the little things happening in the background that don't scream, "look
at me!" These details happen everyday in life, but as this isn't an
"everyday in life" website, I better stick with LOTR for now. Did you
In "The Fellowship of the Ring"
- The uninterupted Gandalf & Frodo cart-ride is one of my favorite scenes in the trilogy, and it's only available on the theatrical cut of FOTR. Apart from being so well written, it also brings back feelings of nostalgia, reminding me of December of 2001.
- In that scene, soon after Gandalf and Frodo are riding past the mill over the bridge, and all the Hobbits are waving at him, you can see Merry pulling a goat along. In the Extended Edition you can see this shot as Bilbo says, "by the world at large" as he narrates over the daily Hobbiton life.
- When the mountains of Mordor are shown early in the movie, you can see Osgiliath just beside them.
- When the Black Rider confronts the wood-chopping hobbit and his dog and says "Shire... Baggins," the dog starts wagging his tail. What a lousy actor that dog is.
- It is really cool to listen to the Black Rider say, "Shire... Baggins" if you have a home theater system. The sound circles around the room with each word.
- When Frodo is packing in preparation to leave the Shire, he is just shoving things in his bag haphazard. Gandalf folds a shirt neatly and holds it out to Frodo, who snatches it in his haste. Of course it unrolls, and Frodo shoves it into his bag. (Great character building addition for both.)
- The infamous car scene was digitally taken out of the DVD and home video version of the film, but it can still be seen in the Appendices and the National Geographic special. (There's not much to see, and this was blown way out of proportion.)
Update: It turns out it wasn't a car or a mistake at all.
Members of the LOTR Fan Club have solved the mystery.
- Gandalf's first staff holds both the wizard's pipe and his tobacco pouch. It even has a metal spike for cleaning the pipe, getting stones out of horses' hooves, or scratching secret signs on Hobbit doors. Now that's a versatile staff.
- After Pippin and Merry crash into Frodo and Sam in Farmer Maggot's cornfield, Sam throws Pippin off Frodo. Watch his eyes. They never leave Frodo. He never once looks at Pippin to see if he landed on his feet, face or neck!
- When the four hobbits are running from Farmer Maggot, on the regular version, the subtitle quotes Farmer Maggot as saying, "You know what'll happen when I catch up with you?!". In the extended version, the subtitle says, "You'll know the devil if I catch up with you!"
- Also when Farmer Maggot is chasing the hobbits, Frodo, Pippin, and Merry stop short of a drop. Samwise runs into them, however, and they all tumble over. During the chase at Moria, Sam proves that he's learning. The same incident happens, but this time the gardener stops short of pushing his friends over the edge.
- As the Ringwraith approaches the hobbits on the road, all the birds in the area can be heard flying away.
- At the Prancing Pony, just before Frodo asks Butterbur who Strider is, Pippin heads to the bar to get a "pint". (One of the men pats him on the back. Great little thing. I love that pat.) Suddenly, however, Pippin can be seen sitting across the table from Frodo. He moves fast! Curiously, Merry is gone though. Did he finish his pint already? Just what Frodo needs: a bunch of drunk hobbits. (A friend tells me, "I talked about this with Dom last year, and he said it's an editing mistake that Pete deliberately left in to see if folk would notice it.")
- When listening to the commentaries it's noticable that different people use different pronunciations for the various names, places, and objects of LOTR. This isn't a surprise since different readers will develop different ideas of how to pronounce things. But it really shows us how much work was put into getting the pronuncations right on film (even if Peter pronounces some things differently himself). There are no variations in the films themselves.
- In the first shot after Bree, the village can be seen in the distance.
- In the scene where the hobbits ask Strider where he is taking them, he answers, "Into the wild" and then walks right into the camera, bumping it with his bow. Peter Jackson knows how to make the viewer feel like he's there with the characters! I always feel like saying, "Oops, excuse me, Aragorn."
- At Amon Sul, after Frodo takes off the Ring, Samwise runs right to him, fearless of the Ringwraiths.
- When Saruman says "Rip them all down!" to the orcs, one of them (lower left) is tugging so hard on a tree that when it's uprooted he falls over backwards onto his butt.
- In contrast, the Elves are more coordinated. Whenever an Elf dismounts from a horse, he or she does not "bounce" upon landing like normal person would.
- As Gandalf escapes from Saruman, a plate can be seen at the top of the Tower or Orthanc with food crumbs on it. Now wasn't that thoughtful of Saruman? (Or perhaps Gandalf got it out of swiss army staff? Heck, there's probably a tent in there!)
- At the Grand Chamber of Rivendell, the sword that Elrond and Arwen use can be seen on display (along with Narsil).
- Whenever Viggo has a romantic scene with Arwen, he strokes her ears. I just find this funny for some reason.
- At the Council of Elrond, as Gimli finishes saying. "I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an elf!" he tries to spit, but the saliva gets all caught up in his beard.
- Just after the above incident someone says, "So much for the legendary courtesy of the Dwarves!" (You need a really good home theater system and your ear right up next to one of the background speakers to hear this. Yes, I am weird.)
- Also at the Council or Elrond, Gimli breaks his axe trying to destroy the Ring. When he offers his services to Frodo, he grabs the axe belonging to the dwarf to his left. Apparently he's not giving it back, as he says, "And my axe." (This is clearer in the EE Appendices where the scene is broken down shot for shot.)
Primula: He broke that dwarf's axe and then presents his own whole one, not his neighbor's now broken one. Still - hardly good manners, one would think...
- When Galadriel rides her small boat, someone is sitting on the bank to the left looking around. Is this guy trying to check out Galadriel's rear? (Extended Edition only)
- Apparently when carving the Argonath, Gondor ran out of rock. The top portion is made of brick.
- After Aragorn kills Lurtz, as he runs to the dying Boromir, one of the orcs puts his head up to watch the final conversation between the two men. (Can we blame him?)
- This shot of Balin's tomb is an exact copy of a shot in Citizen Kane (1941) (when Mr. Thompson visits Walter Thatcher's library).
- The Lothlorien stuff was sure butchered by the editor for the theatrical cut, wasn't it? I never liked it that much in the theater, but it's brilliant in the Extended Edition.
- Sean Astin says that filmmaking is a counterintuitive process: if the characters are supposed to be really cold, invariably the actors are filming in a hot studio. Well, this follows his rule: Gimli - a dwarf - is played by an actor who stands over six feet tall. Meanwhile, Galadriel - noted for being tall - is played by a short woman. I find it funny to think about when the two share their scene together in the Extended Edition.
- In the EE, Aragorn says he won't lead the Ring to within 100 leagues of Minas Tirith. Well, I guess the Ring isn't going to Mount Doom then. (Actually, I know Aragorn isn't serious, because shortly afterwards he plots out a course that takes the Ring within 50 leagues of Minas Tirith!)
- After Merry and Pippin tell Frodo to run for it and try to get the attention of the enemy, I can't help but think of C3PO and R2D2 doing the same thing in The Return of the Jedi (1983). "Hey, I say, are you looking for me?"
- I thought it rather funny that there was a discussion on a message board about C3PO and R2D2 violating the terms of the Geneva Convention.
"It is illegal to lure the enemy into a trap under pretence of surrender."
"Who gives a flying [expletive] whether C3PO broke the Geneva convention in Star Wars or not."
"It could be argued that they were just moving to draw attention away from the bunker and the trap. They weren't surrendering explicitly to lure the enemy."
"Old 3PO knew more then he let on. He understood the Eowk's lanuages and figured it out. Crafty snake, under that enfemmite British exterior beats the cold machine heart of a Machevilian"
I'm thinking my life won't be complete until I'm privy to a discussion of whether or not Merry and Pippin violated a World War I treaty.
- There has been a lot of talk about how the car has been removed from the Extended Edition of the movie, but few websites mention that other more obvious mistakes have also been fixed. I'm really happy that Boromir no longer blinks after he dies. That always bugged me when I saw the film at the theater.
- My name's in the credits! (Extended Edition only) Okay, so many of our names are in the credits. It's still cool.
In "The Two Towers"
- There are whip scars on Gollum's back from when he was captured by Sauron.
- After his first meeting with Aragorn, Eomer's sword falls out of its scabbard (just before he rides off). It would have been funny had Eomer showed up at Helm's Deep and said, "Wait a second, what happened to my sword?" But I suppose it wouldn't have fit the tone of the moment.
- The entire scene at the burning pile of Uruk carcasses is reversed horizontally. The ring on Aragorn's finger, the brooch on his shoulder, and the position of Legolas's quiver are backwards left-to-right.
- The gesture Legolas makes when he whispers the Elvish prayer for the Hobbits is the same gesture of farewell he and Aragorn make when the Fellowship leave Rivendell in FOTR EE.
- When Gandalf reveals himself, Legolas bows to him. This is probably because for the first time the Elf has realized Gandalf is a Maia.
- Treebeard talks and acts just like the Rockbiter from The
NeverEnding Story. (The original, not any of its stupid sequels.)
- Isn't it a bit ironic that the actor who says, "What do trees have to talk about?" is the actor who voices a talking tree in the same movie?
- One of my favorite relationships in the books is that between Gandalf and Aragorn - the wizard and the pupil who would be King. Unfortunately, the relationship is buried in the first film. But at Fangorn Forest it shines through for a moment when Aragorn says, "In one thing you have not changed, dear friend. You still speak in riddles." The line is especially well delivered by Mortensen, and McKellen's response sells it to the audience. From this moment on, the Gandalf Aragorn relationship gets closer and closer to the books.
- When Shadowfax makes his first appearance,
Legolas blinks several times. The Elf rarely blinks at all elsewhere.
- When Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are riding toward Edoras villages are burning far away in the distance.
- Aragorn has bare feet when he is on the couch with Arwen. This is probably derived from Appendix A which talks about the two walking "unshod" upon the grass.
- As Gandalf pleads with Théoden to fight, he places his hand on
the King's throne.
Théoden gives him a look, and Gandalf subtly moves his hand
away. In the book, people
are often questioning Gandalf's motives, believing his ambition is to
gather power. This
simple and subtle piece of acting explores this issue better than any
- Legolas has never had to deal with death before the movies, so he goes through all the stages of grief in succession as almost a child would. When Gandalf dies, he's confused. When Boromir dies, he's obviously learned more about mortality; he looks on with pity. When he discovers the apparent death of the hobbits, he's sad. When Aragorn appears to die, Legolas gets very angry. This is like his own private 12 step program!
I like what you've done,
but I have one
correction, if I may: Legolas is no
stranger to death. Elves live forever only if
they are not killed. He fought in
many wars, which would explain why he is such a great warrior. Even
though, as we
know, "wars not make one great." - miss carol
- The tapestry in Arwen's room shows the Two Trees and a ship. Daddy must have personally decorated her room and wanted to send her a message.
- After Aragorn falls over the cliff in TTT, the shot with Theoden, Legolas, and Gimli peering over is nearly identical to a shot in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) with the actors even adopting the same poses. John Rhys-Davies is one of the peerers in both movies.
- As Saruman is pouring explosives, Grima approaches with a candle. Saruman stops the candle and moves it away. This incident, as well as the camera angle, matches a shot from Army of Darkness (1993).
- It's hard to see, but there's a rat in the culvert as Grima talks about the drain. Nice touch.
- Faramir needs to talk to his cartographer. His map has several typos: "Black Gates", "Helms Deep", and "Dagorland"
says "Black Gates" (multiple) because in the original script, the
writer made a typo and wrote gates ... subsequently, the model
designers created the Black Gate minature with 2 gates. This can be
learned from the TTT EE director's commentary.
- (This one makes me cry) When Théoden's saying, "Who will come? Elves? Dwarves? We are not so lucky in our friends as you!" there's a young mother on the wall behind him playing patty-cake with a toddler. Another nice touch.
- One of the most powerful scenes in TTT is where Gamling is putting Theoden's armor on him. Look carefully at the bright backlight in the background: you can see the shadows of two figures sitting down with blankets over them. Those are the children of Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) who were visiting the set.
- The hair restoration industry should thank their lucky stars they don't live in Rohan.
- The marching of the Elves is very quiet. In addition, at Helm's Deep the breath of Men shows in the air, but the breath of Elves does not. (In contradistincton, when Legolas jumps up on a rock to look at the approaching flock of birds in FOTR, you can see his breath showing, and yet no other member of the Fellowship has his breath show.)
- Every single one of the young boys who are given weapons in the 'arming' sequence before the battle of Helm's Deep has their death shown on-screen.
- When the men are retreating into the halls of Helm's Deep, an archer in the bottom right corner repeatedly shoots his bow without an arrow on the string. Who taught this guy how to fight?
- During the retreat, when Legolas runs over the bridge and shoots his last arrows, there is a man quite near that Uruks surround and kill. It's in the background, but it's very sad.
- Samwise gives a touching speech about the tales that really matter. "Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going." In The Goonies (1985), the protaganists, deep underground, are offered an opportunity to abandon their quest (via a wishing-well) and safely make it back home. Mikey makes a touching speech which convinces all to continue. Sean Astin plays both Sam Gamgee and Mikey Walsh.
In "The Return of the King"
- When Gandalf arrives at Isengard Treebeard greets him as "Young Master Gandalf." That amuses me.
- Just afterwards, Theoden’s horse fertilizes Isengard. After what Rohan has been through you can’t blame the beast.
- The flags and banners have been restored to the entrance of Meduseld.
- When Eowyn offers Aragorn a drink from a goblet, the shot is an exact duplication of an Alan Lee painting (with even Miranda Otto's hair styled to match). Recreating paintings is something Peter Jackson did a lot of in the trilogy (more info here) and it's great for us longtime Tolkien fans. These paintings are as famous to us as the Mona Lisa is to the general public, and we've always imagined the artists went to Middle-earth and saw these sights for real, then painted them. Now we actually get to see them happen in real life. (Although, I'll let you in on a secret: the painting is actually from a later part of the story.)
- The closed captioning says Eowyn is speaking in Elvish when she says, "Westu Aragorn hál." What the heck? Everyone knows it's Rohirric, not Elvish. Come on, get with the program! (I'm just pretending to be outraged. I'm sure the CC people did the best they could, and only someone off the deep end with his or her LOTR obession would notice such things.)
- When Saruman says, "The victory at Helm's Deep does not belong to you, Théoden Horse-master," (EE) it must strike a nerve. Later, Theoden echos the thought when speaking to his niece. "It was not Théoden of Rohan who led our people to victory."
- Gimli's line, "It's the Dwarves that go swimming with little hairy women!" (EE) is similar to a line in Jaws (1975): "Here's to men who go swimming with bow-legged women!"
- During the song about the Green Dragon, I love the reaction of Gamling after Pippin kicks a tankard into his lap.
- Gandalf, referring to Sauron, says, "His defeat at Helm's Deep showed our enemy one thing." The wizard then goes on to list three or four things. And I know Gandalf wants to one-up the Eye, but isn't it a stretch to say Sauron was defeated at Helm's Deep?
- "Tonight we remember those who gave their blood to defend this country. Hail the victorious dead!" After Theoden says these lines, Aragorn pauses a moment to reflect. It's a nice moment, because we all know who he's thinking about!
- I'm glad the drinking game was cut out of the theatrical cut and wish it wasn't in the extended cut for two reasons:
Firstly, Tolkien establishes in "The Hobbit" that wood-elves love impairing their judgement with wine. He then reinforces this in The Lord of the Rings when Legolas shows a keen interest in the drink. I find it difficult to ignore these things for the sake of one cute moment in a film.
Secondly, the scene doesn't even do anything. It doesn't move the plot forward. There's no character development as Legolas has already been established as the cool Elf, and Gimli has been established as comic relief. I also don't think it fits in with the scenes that surround it.
- As Arwen is walking to Grand Chamber of Rivendell she walks past a picture of the lost city of Gondolin.
- Ever wonder what Elrond does at Rivendell when he's not manipulating his daughter or entertaining Hobbits and Dwarves? We find out in ROTK as Arwen surprises him with her return. He fills out paperwork! No doubt his average day is spent paying bills, working out schedules, calculating budgets, that sort of thing. Running Rivendell is a tough job, you know. (You should see the heating bill! And I won't even talk about how much the new roof of 3010 cost.)
- I'm curious. When Gandalf walks out on Denethor, where is he going
to? He's not been offered lodging accommodations yet (unlike the book),
and it's not like there's anyone in the city besides Denethor he needs
to visit. Perhaps he just walks into a guesthouse and takes it over?
(Ah, isn't film wonderful? A director can gloss right over issues an
author must consider.)
- When Frodo fears to go forward because he doesn't think he'll be coming back (in the Extended Edition), it's a great companion piece to Sam's reluctance to leave home in FOTR. "If I take one more step, it will be the farthest away from home I've ever been."
- When Gandalf tells Pippin of the Witch-king, he mentions Weathertop. Later, Frodo speaks of Weathertop to Sam at Bag End. So, what's this Weathertop? (It would have helped had someone mentioned the name in FOTR, but for some reason no one ever did!)
- Throughout the entire trilogy Gandalf never once says “Pippin” or “Merry”. He always refers to them as “Peregrin” and “Meriadoc”.
- Gandalf never addresses a hobbit by his shortened name. He only uses a shortened name when talking to others: "Sam has hardly left your side." "Merry and Pippin are quite safe." "There was no lie in Pippin's eyes.")
- The silence before the eruption of the Minas Morgul signal is golden. It makes that scene for me. (I love lightning and thunder for the same reason: you get a silence as you see the lightning, then, after a few moments of golden anticipation: BOOOOOOM. For some reason they don't think this is dramatic in the movie world, because they always have the lightning and thunder happen at the same time... which is wrong.)
- Is it just me, or doesn't Gothmog, the Orc Captain, look like Sloth from the Goonies? I half expect Sean Astin to come to his aid.
- In Faramir's first scene (at Osgiliath), Aragorn's hair makes a cameo appearance. The guy who says, "Come on!" is Tolkien's great-grandson, and he's wearing Viggo's wig!
- At Edoras, Pippin asks how far Minas Tirith is, and Gandalf responds "Three day's ride as the Nazgûl flies." So you figure at least three days pass before Gandalf arrives at Minas Tirith, right? But then at that city Faramir tells Gandalf he last saw Frodo and Sam "in Ithilien, not two days ago." What? Either someones math is off or the story threads have not been interlaced chronologically!
- When we return back to the stairs on Cirith Ungol (when Gollum helps Frodo up after almost grabbing for the ring) you can see the Minas Morgul troops still streaming out over the bridge. Now that's an army.
- The dialogue between Gollum and Sam having to do with "sneaking" is straight out of the Bakshi's Lord of the Rings. (In the book it is much more wordy)
- As Aragorn looks at the Dimholt road for the first time, the King of the Dead appears in the middle for a brief moment.
- You can see the statues of the Púkel-men at Dunharrow
- Elrond says in Elvish, "I give hope to men,” and Aragorn replies “I keep none for myself.” These are the words inscribed on the grave of Aragorn's mother at Rivendell in the FOTR EE.
- When Brego flees, he takes Aragorn's scabbard with him, so Aragorn cannot sheath his sword while taking the Paths of the Dead or battling at Minas Tirith.
- Had ROTK been released a few months later, I'm guessing the decapitated heads would have been edited out.
- When Frodo slides down the little tunnel that Shelob can't fit through, he drops the Phial of Galadriel.
- The dead kings in Rath Dinen (the Silent Street of Minas Tirith) are laid out just like we see Aragorn in Arwen’s vision of his death in TTT
- In the Charge of the Rohirrim, Theoden shouts some
thing like 'Eomer, take your eored to the left, Gamling follow the
King's banner and Grimbold take you eored right when we pass the wall.'
Now in the book Minas Ttirith is surrounded by the Rammas wall. this
wall does not feature in the film so unless there is an invisible wall
we can't see, that would mean running into Minas Tirith itself , and if
map of the city I have is correct they would run into a dead end. Also
the day of no dawn has been edited out.
Like Lothlorien and Fangorn Forest, the Paths of the Dead gain a
lot from the Extended Edition.
- Apparently trolls have rhythm. Who knew? Is there a school where trolls are taught marching band or drumline?
- I love watching Theoden’s expressions as the different stages happen in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Sometimes he’s like, “Yes!” and other times he’s like “Damn!” and other times he’s like “What now?”
- Lawrance Makoare is a welcome addition to the commentary team. But apparently he doesn't know the difference between a Nazgul and a fell beast.
- Gothmog says, "pikes in front, archers behind"... and of course some of the Orcs end up doing the reverse. Not too bright, those Orcs.
- The Witch King's fell beast uses its wing thumbs to shamble towards fallen Theoden. This is what bats do.
- Gimli's line, "That still only counts as one!" is a great "movie theater" moment. The DVDs don't do it credit, because you need a big audience roaring with laughter to appreciate its full charm.
- What's the secret to cracking $1 billion at the box office? Kill off Bernard Hill.
- When Eowyn says to Theoden, "No, I am going to save you," and Theoden
replies, "You already did," was anyone thinking of another Return of
the something movie which closed out a trilogy? I half expected Theoden
to say, “Tell your sister, you were right!”
- When Eomer discovers Eowyn lying on the battlefield (EE), he does a
great impression of Christopher Reeve finding Lois Lane dead in Superman
(1978). I half expect Eomer to fly backwards around the world.
- We see Pippin finding Merry, then cut to Sam finding Frodo. Cool editing.
- After Sam stabs Gorbag at the Tower of Cirith Ungol, Sting stops glowing as the Orc dies.
Additional comment: When
Sam stabs Gorbag and removes Sting there is no blood on it.
- When Sam rescues Frodo and pulls out the Ring, the score is the same as when Smeagol murders Deagol. It makes you wonder if Smeagol and Deagol were once like Frodo and Sam. And what did the murder of Deagol do to Smeagol? What would the murder of Sam do to Frodo?
- Quick, who becomes the Steward of Gondor after Denethor dies? Wrong! Apparently it’s Gimli. Or at least he’s sitting in the Steward’s chair during the last debate.
- "Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?" This is another great "movie theater" moment, and thus the theatrical cut gives time for the audience to laugh; that's shrewd editing. Meanwhile, the Extended Edition has more dialogue and another story element introduced; that's shrewd editing again - this time for home viewing.
- In the Design Team commentary track, John Howe says Tolkien never got around to explaining the agriculture of Mordor and how Sauron feeds his Orcs. I beg to differ! In the chapter "Land of the Shadow" in The Return of the King Tolkien says, "Neither [Sam] nor Frodo knew anything of the great slave-worked fields away south in this wide realm, beyond the fumes of the Mountain by the dark sad waters of Lake Nurnen; nor of the great roads that ran away east and south to the tributary lands, from which the soldiers of the Tower brought long waggon-trains of goods and booty and fresh slaves."
- Frodo and Sam are mistaken for Orcs in both the animated and live action ROTK. I'm happy that in the latter they actually look like Orcs.
- Sam's pans are hitched on his belt when he's in his Orc armor. Of course, he does like to use them as weapons, doesn’t he? Perhaps he thinks he’s armed.
- Aragorn gives a speech to the men of Gondor and Rohan on his horse Then in the next scene his horse is gone. I guess his speech didn't convince his horse to stay and fight? "The hell with this."
- As Frodo stumbles at the foot of Mount Doom and tells Sam he can no longer remember the taste of food, his eyes changed color, just like they do in FOTR when he begins to succumb to the Morgul blade.
- When Sam picks up Frodo and ascends Mount Doom, Tolkien writes that Sam may have been given "some gift of final strength." I think this same gift was given to Howard Shore. Everyone else did a fantastic job, of course, but when the hobbits reach Mount Doom, Shore's score suddenly leaps from "fantastic" to "the greatest ever". And like Sam carrying Frodo, Shore then carries the film all the way to the credits and beyond.
- Gandalf falls off a cliff, but he comes back. Aragorn falls off a cliff, then he comes back too. Gollum also falls off a cliff and surprise, surprise - guess who comes back as well?. Who wrote this script? Peter Jackson or Wile. E. Coyote?!
- Frodo's look, the angle, and the lighting as he claims the Ring mirrors the shot of Isildur making the same choice in FOTR.
- When Sam talks about Rosie Cotton, it's the first time in the trilogy he talks about his own desires.
- Okay, what happened to the Easterlings? We see them enter Mordor in
TTT when Frodo, Sam and Gollum visit the Black Gate... and then they're
never heard from again. Did Sauron feed them to the Orcs? That
would sure be a violation of the Geneva Convention.
- When the Eagles rescue the Hobbits, Gandalf's Eagle picks up one Hobbit, another Eagle picks up the other Hobbit, and the third Eagle flies away without carrying anyone. Was Gandalf prepared to rescue Gollum, just in case? This would be consistent with Gandalf's character.
- A lot of people are in love with the shot in ROTK where Frodo is carried away by an Eagle: “The look on Frodo's face as the eagle carries him above the lava is without a doubt the most beautiful and heartbreaking moment ever seen on film - we see Frodo's agony over his broken body and his experience, perfectly mingled with absolute ecstasy of the release.”
I agree, though I want to add that Renée Fleming, the soprano who sings Elvish there, makes the scene for me. Here’s the translation of the lyrics for those of you who aren’t yet fluent in Elvish:
In a dream I was lifted up.
Borne from the darkness
Above the rivers of fire.
On wings doft as the wind.
What's happened to the world?
Is everything sad going to come untrue?
- Echos: The white light as Frodo awakens to see Gandalf parallels his reunion with Gandalf at Rivendell. Gandalf's laugh is reminiscent of his laugh with Frodo in his first scene in the film, in the Shire, before all the danger begins.
- Elrond's look when Arwen and Aragorn meet is quite interesting.
- At Aragorn's coronation: Frodo, Sam and Pippin slowly bow down and Merry sees them doing so and does the same with a kind of 'Ah, they're bowing, I'd better do it too!".
- At Aragorn's coronation the Hobbits are wearing the same clothes they wore at the beginning of the journey.
- If you look beyond the four hobbits you can see the mountains of Mordor - with a clear sky overhead.
- After always traveling left to right on screen for their journey to Mount Doom, Frodo and Sam (and Merry and Pippin) are shown traveling right to left on their way home - and on their way to the Grey Havens.
- Pippin catches the bouquet at the wedding. Interestingly, in the books he's the next to get married.
- Echo: the shot of Frodo writing at Bag End is the same framing as a shot of Bilbo writing in FOTR EE.
- In Frodo's in the journal, it refers to Sam's courting of Rosie as "the bravest thing he had ever done". Personally, I would have picked battling the cave troll, entering the Tower of Cirith Ungol, or saving Frodo at Mount Doom while the whole place collapsed around them... but Rosie is pretty cute.
- While Frodo is writing, over his shoulder on the wall are two swords crossed: a Gondorian sword and the Orc sword Frodo picked up at Cirith Ungol.
- In one of the last shots of Bag End, when Frodo is standing with a mug looking out of the window, there are black smudges above one of the candleholders where the candle must have burned itself out while Frodo was away on his quest.
- At the Grey havens you can see Narya on Gandalf's hand, Which corresponds to the line in the book "Gandalf now wore openly on his hand the Third Ring, Narya". Elrond can be seen with Vilya.
- The Grey Havens scene includes Cirdan, last seen in the prologue of
- In the FOTR EE there is a shot of Sam holding up a flower with delight as he works on his garden. Little did we know when we first saw this that we were looking at the location of the final shot in ROTK.
- Here's a little fun fact you can surprise your friends with: Frodo is played by a girl. No, not Frodo Baggins, but Frodo-lad, the baby Rosie holds.
- I see that Sam doesn't move into Bag End at the end of the movie. Now I'm wondering what became of the place. Did the Sackville Bagginses get it in the end after all? They waited through The Hobbit, they waited through The Lord of the Rings books, and then they had to endure the Bakshi movie and the first two Jackson movies... but finally, after all that perhaps they got Bag End! A lesson of patience.
- No, the portraits of the actors at the end of film 3 are not preproduction drawings as so many websites have stated. You can get the real story from Alan Lee at Urban Legends
- The ship at the Grey Havens is the same ship Gandalf blows out of smoke in FOTR.
- In the last shot, Sam's garden is lush and beautiful. In the FOTR EE There is a shot of the same spot looking not nearly so nice.
- At the end of the credits Howard Shore pays tribute to Richard Wagner: the end of the score sounds exactly like the end of The Ring of the Nibelungen as a pencil sketch of the Ring is shown. This is a fitting homage. Wagner’s Ring score invented the use of themes for characters and places, now a staple of movie making - and the way LOTR is scored, of course.
If anybody wishes to correct any
of these or add your own, I welcome your comments.