The Return Of The King

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In attendance:

Some photos courtesy of Mike's phone:

Good flick. My butt was kind of sore after 3+ hours. Hope Dex didn't mind my fidgeting. Loved the trolls and oliphaunts. Shelob was adequately scary.

Disappointments: * The continuing ramifications of the lack of Barrow Wights in film 1. No mention of how Merry's blade was the only one that could harm the witch king. * No King's Foil or bonding between Faramire and Eowyn * Really disappointed by the lack of the Mouth of Sauron exchange in front of the black gate. * And of course, the lack of the scouring of the shire was a big loss

I can see why Peter Jackson decided to cut this stuff in order to keep the film to a bearable length, but they are still elements of the canonical story that I would have liked to see realized on screen.

OK guys chime in with your comments. precede them by a line with ---- as a separator. Edit your wiki pages after your names also.

I enjoyed it as a movie but was disappointed in general. I had heard that this movie was the closest of all three to the original writings, but I think PJ missed the emotional impact of many of the scenes.


To paraphrase Gaje: "Too much action too little story".

Gandalf challenging Dwimmerlaik at the city gate after it was broken by Grond was a sorely missed scene.

Just how did the Palantir make its way into the water if Wormtounge didn't chuck it at Gandalf?

How can Sauruman be powerless if Gandalf has not broken Sauruman's staff?

Sam's one-liners (like "not if I stick you first") were unneeded.

The Frodo, Sam, Shelob branch of the story was well done. Wish they would have been abducted by the Orcs for a while, but that is a minor complaint. They still got to wear orc armor.

I'm glad that Smeagol was happy in the end.

Dialog in the Eowyn-Dwimmerlaik battle was modernized a little too much. Less epic. But the exchange of blows was done well; Merry's contribution was perfect. That is my favorite scene from the book, and I was hoping PJ would dwell on it more.

I wish they had focused more on how Theoden's shield was shining in the sunlight and all of the good vs. evil, darkness vs. dawn, shifts in power. Especially explaining that the clouds were generated by Mordor to blot out the sun, giving the evil troops power to battle in the open. The arrival of the black ships was stupid. Didn't seem to fit into the setting. It was much more epic in the book. Missed the unveiling of Aragorn's banner.

The seige seemed short compared to the book. No pit-digging by the forces of Mordor. No scenes of Aragorn healing the men who had been affected by the Nazgul's black breath (they used the king's foil in the first movie instead).

Mouth of Sauron better be in the extended version... it is supposedly played by the dude who was the aviator in "The Road Warrior".

Distances in the movie seemed short compared to the books. Didn't know you could see Osgiliath from the White City.

And I missed the scouring of the Shire portion also. People think it doesn't belong in the book, but it serves many great purposes:

Ties up loose ends with Wormtongue and "Sharky"

Lets the Hobbits know just how close they came to losing everything they cherish, emphasizing the point that isolationism is not a good defense (as it was in the movie, after returning home, the Four Hobbits got no props for saving the Shire or the World. Instead they are reduced to exchanging a knowing glance in the pub)

Brings Merry and Pippin out of the shadow of the other great heros, showing just how herioc and leader-like they can be -- how much they have grown over the course of the adventure.

An army of Hobbits kicking ass, showing that every Hobbit has the potential to break out and fight for freedom -- an enemy would need to think twice before invading the Shire ever again.

Gives Sam a use for his other gift from Galadriel.


upon some deep reflection on the ROTK last night while I couldn't sleep I determined I really want to see it again, so if anyone is up for a matinee after the chaos has subsided let me know. I could also work an evening showing into my schedule.

Upon yet further reflection, I have come to the same conclusion I came to when I was 11. I would like to move to Middle Earth. I noticed yesterday that no one there (with the exception of the orcs) seems to have a job and society is just fine with that.

I think I would just buy a VW bus and follow Tom Bombadil around for a while.

My complaint is Merry and Pippin weren't taller than all the other hobbits when the got home. That and Sam turning straight at the end seemed a bit of a copout.

- Phat aka PatOkell?

Well, I had hoped to post this in my blog, but evil Dave took it down.

things i hated: Not much on this list. - The only gratuitous distraction for me was Denethor's flaming cliff jump. So what, he sprinted a half mile while on fire? dumb. not LSoS? dumb, but still dumb. - I could have done without the oliphants at the battle of Pellenor Fields - Elrond showing up at the muster of Rohan annoyed me for some reason. Maybe because Elrond in general annoys me.

things i missed: Again, nothing major, but there were a couple things I would've traded just about any Arwen scene for. - The confrontation between Gandalf and Saruman at Isengard was the most glaring ommission. i was really looking forward to seeing Wormtongue chuck the Palantir stone at them. - I was also looking forward to Eomer's rampage after he believes that Eowyn is dead - The Mouth of Sauran at the Gates of Mordor - The cleansing of the Shire would've been nice to see, but I can see why they left that out - Not that i totally missed the Faramir/Eowyn? love story, but it did seem kind of odd to show none of that but then show them together at the end. I'll wait for the DVD, i guess.

things i dug: - Eowyn versus the witch king was kickass! That whole scene (from when Theoden is crushed by his horse to his final words to Eowyn) lived up nicely to what was one of the best parts of the book. I'm hoping they include the subsequent Eomer scene in the DVD. - Sam's fight with Shelob was also awesome. I liked all of the Sam/Frodo? stuff more than I thought I would. - Gandalf's rescue of Faramir at the gates of Minas Tirith was very well done. In fact, all of the Faramir scenes were excellent (especially nice since i thought they really botched his storyline up in the second move). - As usual, the sets (especially Minas Tirith) were all superb.

Looking forward to a Peter Jackson 'Hobbit'

- MikeVisaya?

this link has most of the text from the Eowyn-Dwimmerlaik battle... I like the dialog better from the book, but I guess the movie had to be more action oriented; formal-speak might scare away audiences...


see Dex. there was no, "I am a woman".


but there was: "But no living man am I! You look upon a woman"


my likes and dislikes seem to mimic what you other cats have already said. I really enjoyed the Shelob scenes, (especially Sam battling her) and the battle at Minas Tirith was pretty awesome including the witch king's demise (which was my favorite part of the book). although I did laugh when Eowyn said, "I am a woman", I would have laughed less if she had said that line a little bit softer and without removing her helmet. it was a little too hollywood. I totally dug the trebuchets, but thought they were catapults until Mike and Dave informed me otherwise. got tired of seeing evil marauding elephants being killed. do computer generated animals need to be killed just to reinforce their being killed in the 'real' world? Very much missed the Mouth Of Sauron/Gandalf?? exchange, and the Palantir/Sauruman??/Gandalf?? story. Sadly the movie lacked that subtle yet epic sense of hugeness that the books convey - like what Dex mentioned about the sun being blocked by the evil clouds and the unfurling of Aragorn's banner, etc. I was not upset by the omission of the scouring of the shire. There were only brief mentions of the battle between nature and industry in the movies, but that was a major theme in the book, and the scouring of the shire chapters was just Tolkien's last attempt at shoving that concept down your throat. I totally agree with Tolkien, but Peter Jackson made little effort to make that point in his movies, and it would have been even more disconcerting to have it in the film. You wouldn't want to alienate potential movie goers with such a depressing concept as nature is good - business and industry is bad. especially during the important holiday shopping season. I think I'm with Okell. I'd feel a lot better living in middle earth.


I really don't have a whole lot to add here, I guess I enjoyed about 75% of the movie and thought the rest could have ended up on the cutting room floor.

My notable omissions include (but are not limited to):
     • Cleaning of the Shire.
     • Merry and Pippen getting bigger.
     • Wot happend to Sauruman?
     • Denthor looking into the palantir and going all goofy.
     • The mouth of Sauron. (I forgot about that till we talked about
                             it after the movie, I then went back and
                             read bits of the book and agree that it
                             was a cool part)

I liked the Shelob portion quite a bit except Sam's constant whimpering and Frodo's paralized goth stare. (lay off the eye liner dude)


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Edited May 3, 2005 (hide diff)