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December 21, 2003 - December 29, 2003

12-29-03 Latest News

The TORn RoTK Geeky Observation List
Demosthenes @ 4:55 am EST

All kudos for this huge list must go to the members of the TORn messageboards led by Grammaboodawg, who has been compiling this little monster. I have added a few comments and links here and there. Enjoy!

Warning, there are some possible RoTK EE spoilers scattered throughout.

Update:: Many (many) people wrote in with additional observations, corrections and thoughts. I have endeavoured to include as many as I can below. If yours did not make it, don't despair, I may have simply missed it among my piles of e-mail.

Lists such as this are never definitive - can never be "complete". I simply thought the Boarders' list contained some cool points of interest. So this is where my involvement ends, and I hand it back to the real owners - the people on the TORn boards.

Yes, that means no more updates from me, so no more e-mails please! Anyway, Enough rambling from me, enjoy! - Demosthenes

by TORn Discussion Board Members
(**NEW** are recently added observations)

posted on 12/24/03 *NEW* added 12/26/03

1. Chapter titles in the Return of the King soundtrack: Shelob's Lair (from Two Towers book); Minas Tirith; The Black Gate Opens; Return of the King (book title); The Grey Havens

2. The opening scene with the worm immediately reminded me of the scene in the TT EEE in which Gollum slurps up a worm. A much larger worm than the one he uses to bait his hook, at that. I thought that it represented the ring leading to Gollum's devolution into a more primitive state. Where once he used worms to get food, now worms *are* food. He's moved down a notch on the food web.

Reader update: The shot of Deagol grabbing the ring from the river is the same shot as the hand grabbing the ring in the prologue of FOTR. That one was pretty obvious, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

When Deagol dives down, Smeagol doen't look for him, but brings the boat to the shore instaed (He isn't wet when Deagol reappears)
The Fishing Boat is round like a Nut Shell.

Smeagol has already blue eyes, even before being like Frodo.

3. Sméagol and Déagol's ears were larger and shaped slightly differently to normal hobbit ears, to reflect the fact that "River folk" are a slightly different race of hobbits than Shire folk?

Reader update: Some disagreement over being a different race. Gandalf's words from the text: "I guess they were of hobbit-kind; akin to the fathers of the fathers of the Stoors, for they loved the River and often swam in it, or made little boat of reeds." From Fellowship of the Ring: Book One, Chapter Two.

4. "Hobbit Sméagol" had always had the Sméagol voice.

Reader update: Smeagol says: 'Give us that, Deagol, my love', he says , he uses the plural for himsself already.

When Gollum is speaking to himself, watch his eyes. When he's in his "Smeagol" persona, his pupils are dilated, but when he's "Gollum," they constrict.

5. *NEW* Just as when the animals/birds fled when the Black Rider hunted the hobbits, as Déagol is looking at the ring, once again there's the sound of the woodland creatures fleeing.

6. *NEW* When Sméagol has killed Déagol, the ring laughs and recites the ringspell as it did at the Council of Elrond.

7. Sméagol mutters "We wept to be so alone" (from TT Gollum's Song) and "catch a fish so juicy sweet."

8. During Sméagol's transformation to Gollum, it seemed like the *gollum* sound was a reaction to having strangled Déagol.

9. Both Frodo and Gollum talk about what they can't see anymore once the ring takes hold. Gollum says he can't remember the taste of bread, hear the sound of trees or the softness of the wind. We forgot our own name.'

Sam asks if Frodo remembered the taste of strawberries. Frodo says he cannot remember, nor remember the Shire, I think. This runs very similar to the text: 'No, I am afraid not, Sam,' said Frodo. 'At least, I know that such things happened, but I cannot see them. No taste of food, no feel of water, no sound of wind, no memory of tree or grass or flower, no image of moon or star are left to me. I am naked in the dark. Sam, and there is no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I begin to see it even with my waking eyes, and all else fades.' From Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter Three - Dem.

10. *NEW* Food is important to hobbits, and it's great how it starts with Merry and Pippin's feasting on the spoils of war. Food plays very soon with the hobbits in all three films. Bilbo offering food to Gandalf in FotR; Sam and Frodo eating lembas in TT; Merry and Pippin in Isengard.

11. *NEW* The flags and banners have been restored to the entrance of Meduseld.

12. *NEW* When Éowyn offers a cup of (wine? mead?) to Aragorn to drink, you can see the ring of Barahir on Aragorn's finger and the adoration in Éowyn's body language. There is an illustration (by Alan Lee I think?) of that very scene that just comes to life so beautifully.

It's here and is spectacularly similar to this picture I took at the RoTK afterparty. - Dem.

13. *NEW* Éowyn says "Westu Aragorn hal" which translates to "Be-thou Aragorn well!"

14. *NEW* During the Green Dragon song, Pippin kicks a tankard off the table into someone's lap!

This is at Edoras. - Dem.

Reader update: Actually I believe it's Merry and he kicks it into Gamling's lap. Gamling then exclaims disgustedly as he leaps to his feet. [Some reader disagreement on who did the kicking. - Dem.]

15. *NEW* When Pippin is looking into the palantir, Sauron says the same thing to him as he did to Frodo at the Prancing Pony ... "I see you." and begins to chant the ringspell.

16. *NEW* Aragorn cannot control the Palantir when he wrenches it from Pippin.

Reader update: Gandalf had the Palantir when he went into the stable with Pippin and Merry (in Edoras). But there's no evidence of the Palantir at all during the stable scene. However, there is at least one photograph of Aragorn holding the Palantir. Additionally, when Merry runs up to watch as Gandalf and Pip ride off, Aragorn is right behind him as if he had been close by (or in the stable?) at that point. An extended scene for the DVD?

At the morning after Pippin looks into the Palantir Gandalf tells the others: 'His defeat at Helm's Deep showed our enemy one thing: ... Men are not as weak as supposed. There is Courage still, Strength to challenge him.' This is the same thing that Boromir told Aragorn at the shores of Andurin: 'But there is courage also, and honor to be found in Men.'

17. *NEW* We have Figwit back as an escort for Arwen!

He also has a line - something like: "My lady, we cannot delay." You can see pictures of Figwit here and here. If the Figwit phenomemon confuses you, go to Figwitlives.net to increase your level of confusion. - Dem.

18. *NEW* When Gandalf tells Pippin of the Witch-king who stabbed Frodo, he refers to Weathertop, not Amon Sul. Frodo also refers to it as Weathertop when speaking with Sam at Bag End.

19. *NEW* In the very first shot of the trailer, we see a vertical red flare going up into the sky. This is doubtless the signal from Barad-dûr that Minas Morgul responds to with a green flare, a signal that the assault on Minas Tirith is starting.

20. *NEW* The perished White Tree is honoured by a guard in the courtyard.

You can see this here and here. - Dem.

21. *NEW* Pippin climbing to light the beacon parallels Sam and Frodo's climb up the stairs of Cirith Ungol.

22. *NEW* We have our shot of magnificent mountain ranges (as in the first two films) as the beacons are lit.

23. *NEW* What's on the mural on the wall in Rivendell (next to Isildur and Sauron). Númenor?

Some think it could be this picture. I'm not certain. - Dem.

24. There's an optical device (telescope?) on Elrond's desk.

25. *NEW* When Elrond walks away from Arwen, and she sits down and drops the green book( just after saying the "crownless again shall be king" line), you can see on the lower part of the spine of the book a couple of spots that are a darker green than the rest of the book (library stickers?).

26. *NEW* You can see the Púkel-men when the Rohirrim camp at Dunharrow.

There is a close-up of the Púkel-men as Elrond rides up to the encampment. - Dem.

27. *NEW* When Elrond brings the sword to Aragorn, there are the seven stars etched into the metal.

Reader update: After the PotD, Aragorn is always associated with the theme of Gondor in the soundtrack. Nicely done to show that he has finally accepted his destiny.

28. *NEW* Stybba got his small moment with Merry as they ride from Edoras for the Rohan encampment.

Stybba was the name of the pony Theoden gifted to Merry in the text. - Dem.

29. Gandalf sleeps with one hand on his sword and his eyes open! Aragorn sleeps with one hand on his knife.

Does Legolas sleep? He never does in the books: "he could sleep, if sleep it could be called by Men, by resting his mind in the strange paths of elvish dreams, even as he walked open-eyed in the light of this world." From the Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter Two. - Dem.

30. When Pippin looks up at the statues as they enter the throne room in Gondor, one of them is holding something in his hand (A palantir? — looks more like an orb since there's something standing out from the top of it).

More like a sceptre - though I doubt it would be the sceptre of Annuminas. It could be the white rod of the Stewards since it's never clear whether the statues are of Stewards or Kings. You can check that out here. Also note, we do not see the Rod in the theatrical release - EE scene, perhaps? - Dem.

Reader update: Just wanted to point out that the Rod of the Stewards does make it into the theatrical cut. When Gandalf and Pippin first enter the Citadel and find Denethor on the Steward's chair holding the cloven Horn of Gondor, the rod is set aside, leaning up against something (slightly behind and to Denethor's right, I believe). It is white and about a quarter of it is cast gold, in some sort of leaf motif (from what I was able to glimpse). It was interesting that they showed the Rod in that manner, suggesting that Denethor had set aside his duties to Gondor.

Moreover, the ball in the statues hand is similar to that which the kings/queens of England use during their coronation. One item is the Sceptre. The other is simply referred to as "The Orb" which has a cross mounted on it. In the English tradition, this symbolizes Christ's domination over the world.

31. Sam's frustration and rage grows the more Frodo trusts Gollum.

32. Cameo spotted? The orc that hands the spear to the head orc to kill Mablung and later fires at the charging Rohirrim could be Viggo's son, Henry (he's said to be an orc in RotK).

"He played a little boy in the battle of Helm's Deep. Then by the time we were doing reshoots for the last movie he was playing - I fought him actually - he played an orc. The stunties really took to him; he's pretty good with martial arts. And I think he can actually do all the knifework faster than Orlando at this point."

"He played - one scene he was a Gondorian - so he was on my side. And then the next thing I know I'm running this gauntlet and he's the first in line with this meat cleaver. Fortunately the choreography called for me to duck and him to miss and Gimli to take him out. Because he probably would have finished it ..." Viggo Mortensen at the Wellington media roundtable on November 30, 2003. - Dem.

LISTEN 980KB MP3 file.

31. *NEW* In one particular shot of Gothmog, there is yellow pus leaking from his left eye (the lower down one); in all other shots his eye is "clean".

33. It looks like Denethor has a starburst on his ring and on his breast (medallion or engraving?) that looks a lot like the starburst on the Redbook of Westmarch (gift for Bilbo from Aragorn?).

I can't really make it out - this is one of the best Denethor pictures there is. And this one. - Dem.

34. One of the Gondorian guards at the Beacon at Minas Tirith is Christian Rivers (WETA art director).

35. *NEW* The boy from Star Wars: Episode 2 that played Boba Fett as a kid (Daniel Logan?). He's in the crowd scene, when Faramir and his men return to Minas Tirith from Osgiliath, right before he speaks to Gandalf. You can see him running up to the riders, almost in the middle of the background crowd.

36. Royd Tolkien could be the other guard of the beacon at Minas Tirith and is seen again at the gate when it's breached by Grond.

37. Billy and Katie (Jackson?) are two Gondorian children standing along the street as Faramir and his men leave and two of the hobbit children(?)

38. Pippin is wearing his elven cloak over his armor. That wouldn't be allowed in many armies.

Indeed, this was not the case as Tolkien wrote it. "He was permitted to keep the grey cloak of Lorien, though not to wear it on duty." From the Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter Four. - Dem.

39. Pippin shoots Denethor a quick, sidelong look when he's talking about not knowing what to sing in evil times. Pip's no fool anymore.

40. Wilhelm scream can be heard when Faramir's men are attacked during their retreat, when Legolas attacks the Southrons on the Oliphaunt, and when a Nazgûl snatches three defenders from the upper walls of Minas Tirith and drops them to the first tier.

41. *NEW* Minas Morgul (the dead city) has the same sickly green glow as the army in Paths of the Dead.

42. *NEW* When Sam is attacking Gollum after overhearing him at the pool, he hits him with his pot as he cries, "I'll stove your head in!"

Stove: a verb meaning to puncture or smash a hole in. Dictionary.com - Dem.

43. Sam and Frodo's blankets and clothes are torn and filthy, but their elven cloaks never show signs of wear (a homespun look).

44. *NEW* While the hobbits are climbing up past Minas Morgul, Gollum urges them on, saying "Come, master, come to Sméagol!" -- the exact inverse of what Frodo said to Gollum at the Forbidden Pool.

45. *NEW* When Gollum goes after the lembas bread, the music and his position over the hobbits matches when he first tried to jump them.

46. Merry wears the armour of Rohan and Pippin wears the armour of Gondor.

47. The lines "I give Hope to men" (Elrond) "I keep none for myself" (Aragorn) are from appendix A, only it's Gilraen's (Aragorn's mother) line to Aragorn the last time she sees him.

I think these lines are also engraved on the grave of Gilraen at Rivendell as seen in the FoTR Extended Edition. Elrond came to confront Aragorn about his detiny there, so it seems absolutely perfect - maybe too perfect - revisitation of the theme in RoTK. - Dem.

48. Aragorn's scabbard went away with Brego, but not his sword. I guess he has to carry it unsheathed until he can get to Minas Tirith.

49. Legolas' arrow passes straight through the spectral king, but Aragorn not only stops his sword with Andúril, he grabs him by the throat as well!

50. Aragorn raises Andúril before his face before fighting the King of the Dead.

It's a challenge and a salute, he also does it in Fellowship when the Uruk-hai appear on Amon Hen. Here is the RoTK shot. - Dem.

Reader update: On Weathertop when the Nazgul are about to attack the hobbits, they use the exact same salute that Aragorn uses.

51. During the siege of Minas Tirith, when the first rock is thrown into Minas Tirith and part of a building crumbles ... a crowd of Gondorians are running and one of them looks to be Barrie Osborne.

52. Gandalf gives the description to Pippin of the end being a continuing journey from a dream Frodo had at Tom Bombadil's house which he remembers as he approaches Valinor at the end of the Grey Havens chapter. "The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise."

53. Théoden looks down on the agony of Minas Tirith just before sounding the charge (as described in the book).

54. Before they charge, the riders shout "Death!"

In the text, it is Eomer who begins the chant of "Death" after discovering Éowyn seemingly dead upon the field. '"What madness or devilry is this? Death, death, death! Death take us all! ... Over the field rang his clear voice calling: "Death! Ride to ruin and the world's ending!"' From Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter Six. - Dem.

55. The horns of Rohan! "And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains."

56. Théoden upon Snowmane outpaces the charge of the Rohirrim!

This is as in the text. "Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him, his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them." From the Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter Five. - Dem.

57. Éowyn grabs an orc's blade right from its hands as Merry drives their horse toward the mûmakil. She slashes as the legs as they pass under bringing down the beast.

Reader update: In the Two Towers, as Theoden is released from Saruman's hold, he says to Éowyn: "I know your face..." When Éowyn finds him upon the battlefield, beneath his horse, he says the same line to her. [Couldn't find a better place for this one. - Dem.

58. Legolas brings down the mûmakil with a 3-arrow shot! He learned after fighting the cave troll, and the Lothlórien bow is much more powerful.

59. The dead Kings in Rath Dinen are laid out just like we see Aragorn in the vision of his death from Two Towers.

60. Duplicate with 74.

61. *NEW* In Shelob's lair, Frodo cries as he holds up the phial: "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! (Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!)" exactly as in the book.

62. *NEW* Some of Shelob's eyes on the left side of her head are covered over with a thick crusty deposit of filth, probably hindering vision.

63. Frodo loses the phial when he slides down the hole evading Shelob and loses Sting as he cuts away the web he's tangled in. Sam shows up with both of them later, which shows how well he tracked Frodo in the dark.

64. After escaping Shelob, betraying Sam, Gollum's betrayal, fatigue, the ring... all the things tearing at Frodo... when he's fighting with Gollum, pity and compassion once again takes over and Frodo tells Sméagol he must destroy the ring for both their sakes. (The strength of Frodo).

Pity, compassion and empathy are major themes. Frodo sees himself in Gollum - what he could become in the end; it's something he desperately fears. This series of screencaps of a deleted scene that was on the Two Towers EE emphasises this. - Dem.

65. When Frodo has lost Sam, his phial and Sting, Galadriel appears to him herself to give him strength. He was never alone.

Frodo being covered in cobwebs blurs the line between dream and reality in this scene. - Dem.

66. Sam begs Frodo: "Don't leave me here alone. Don’t go where I can't follow. Wake up! Don't escape in death."

On my second viewing, I felt this was a foreshadowing of Frodo's later departure at the Grey Havens. Speaking of Grey Havens, is this a deleted scene/EE anyone? - Dem.

67. When Sam charges the three orcs in Cirith Ungol, he's holding Sting in his right hand and his blade from Strider in his left (not his trusty frying pan).

68. *NEW* At Cirith Ungol, four orcs come down the stairs to fight Sam, but he deals with only three of them when one turns and goes back up the stairs (carrying Frodo's effects).

Expect to see this carried through to its denouement with the deleted Mouth of Sauron confrontation in the RoTK EE. - Dem.

69. *NEW* When Sam stabs the orc at Cirith Ungol, Sting is slightly glowing.

Sting also stops glowing as soon as the orc - Gorbag - dies. - Dem.

70. The ring was whispering "keep me" when Sam was trying to give it back to Frodo.

Reminiscent of the scene in the text where Sam *is* tempted.

"As Sam stood there, even though the Ring was not on him but hanging by its chain about his neck, he felt himself enlarged, as if he were robed in a huge distorted shadow of himself, a vast and ominous threat halted upon the walls of Mordor. He felt that he had from now on only two choices: to forbear the Ring, though it would torment him; or to claim it, and challenge the Power that sat in its dark hold beyond the valley of shadows. Already the Ring tempted him, gnawing at his will and reason.

Wild fantasies arose in his mind; and he saw Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age, striding with a flaming sword across the darkened land, and armies flocking to his call as he marched to the overthrow of Barad-dûr. And then all the clouds rolled away, and the white sun shone, and at his command the vale of Gorgoroth became a garden of flowers and trees and brought forth fruit. He had only to put on the Ring and claim it for his own, and all this could be." From Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter One.

On the flipside, we see get to Sam from Frodo's perspective.

"'All right, Mr. Frodo,' said Sam, rather startled. 'Here it is!' Slowly he drew the Ring out and passed the chain over his head. `But you're in the land of Mordor now, sir; and when you get out, you'll see the Fiery Mountain and all. You'll find the Ring very dangerous now, and very hard to bear. If it's too hard a job, I could share it with you, maybe?'
`No, no!' cried Frodo, snatching the Ring and chain from Sam's hands. `No you won't, you thief!' He panted, staring at Sam with eyes wide with fear and enmity. Then suddenly, clasping the Ring in one clenched fist, he stood aghast. A mist seemed to clear from his eyes, and he passed a hand over his aching brow. The hideous vision had seemed so real to him, half bemused as he was still with wound and fear. Sam had changed before his very eyes into an orc again, leering and pawing at his treasure, a foul little creature with greedy eyes and slobbering mouth." From Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter One. - Dem.

71. There is blood on Frodo's neck from carrying his 'heavy burden,' a circular scar on his chest from Shelob's sting (back of neck in the book) and a scar on his shoulder from the Morgul blade.

Reader update: I believe that the circular one is from the Cave Troll's spear, that he got in Moria. It's too well healed to be Shelob's bite and appears to be a bruise more than a cut wound. [Hard to say for certain - Dem.]

72. Frodo doesn't turn on Sam when he hesitates to give back the ring because he knows how the ring works on the mind.

I disagree - he grabs at it, though not as emphatically as in the text. - Dem.

73. Sam's orc armour makes him look like an oliphaunt!

You can see their armour here. There is a huge continuity bubble when they suddenly end up back in their hobbit clothes - looks like this the part where Frodo throws away his orc sword and armour was cut for time. Expect an EE scene, probably. - Dem.

74. *NEW* Gandalf has lost his staff by the time he gets to the tombs with Pippin.

This is apparently because of a cut scene where Gandalf confronts the Witch King of Angmar. Remember that scene from the trailer where Gandalf is one Shadowfax, and the Fell Beast descends from the sky? Apparently Gandalf's staff is broken here.

This is interesting, since Gandalf breaks Saruman's staff when he confronts him at Isengard in the text. Are there parallels at work here? - Dem.

75. Sam's pans were hitched on his belt when he's in his orc armor.

76. Frodo paws at the air trying to evade the wheel of fire before his eyes (just as in the book).

77. Frodo's look, the angle, and the lighting as he claims the ring mirrors the scene with Isildur at the crack of doom from the first movie.

I found the appreviation of lines to merely "The Ring is mine" interesting. In fact, it's possible that there could be a cut here, and we may get the full dialogue in the RoTK EE.

"'I have come,' he said. 'But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!' And suddenly, as he set it on his finger, he vanished from Sam's sight." From Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter Three. - Dem.

78. Before the Black gate, the good guys are in a tight circle surrounded by a larger circle of orcs etc. After the battle engages there is a wide shot where the army of the west (slightly lighter in coloration) are fighting into the large circle of orcs and it looks like a sunburst.

Reader update: No doubt due to cut scene at Morannon, the Army of the West approaches on horseback but ultimately charges the gate on foot.

79. *NEW* When Sauron sees Aragorn at the Black Gates, he says Aragorn's name in a slightly fearful voice. Sauron then says Elessar.

80. Sauron tries once last attempt to seduce Aragorn ... but he turns and smiles and whispers, "For Frodo" as he leads the charge, followed by Merry and Pippin!

81. The moth shows up signalling to Gandalf that the eagles have arrived!

82. As Gollum goes into the lava, he doesn't even flinch! He's just so focused on the Ring - so giddy with possession - that's all he can see or feel.

83. As the Ring sits on the lava, you can see it absorbing heat -- the area around it darkens!

84. The print of the ring lingers for an instant once the metal has melted.

85. Sam reaching for Frodo as he hangs off the cliff echoes Frodo when he rescues Sam from the Anduin in FotR.

Reader update: Notice the elements in the key scenes when Frodo and Sam held/helped each other throughout the trilogy? Sam's drowning, the Nazgul at Osgiliath, 'I can carry you' and Frodo's fall in Mount Doom. They're the FOUR ELEMENTS - water, wind, earth and fire. I have a feeling even PJ didn't intentionally meant to do that. [Unintentional, I'm sure - Dem.]

86. *NEW* After the destruction of Sauron the scene is almost exact to the original "destruction of Sauron" in FotR. An explosion and then a wave filters out throughout the lands, but it seems less potent and doesn't knock everyone down.

They are a lot further away than in the Last Alliance battle, admittedly. A reader also notes only the forces of badness are knocked over. - Dem.

87. *NEW* At the Black Gate, when the ring is destroyed, Pippin and Merry's usual roles are reversed. Merry exults in Frodo's apparent success, while it's Pippin (the wiser of the two for the first time) who realizes that it means Frodo is likely killed when Mt. Doom explodes.

Some reader disagreement here - Dem

88. Once free of the ring, Frodo can see the Shire; the Brandywine River; Bag End; Gandalf's fireworks; the lights in the Party Tree... Sam can see Rosie dancing with ribbons in her hair.

89. *NEW* Film version: "I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee. Here at the end of all things." Book version: "I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam." Given the dynamics of the film's Frodo and Sam, I like the focus to be Frodo being glad to be with Sam instead of being glad that Sam's there with him ... Frodo's putting Sam ahead of himself.

90. *NEW* Landroval and Gwaihir were so gentle when picking up Sam and Frodo, as if they were caressing a newborn baby! Meneldor was also there.

Gorgeous still shot of that here. - Dem.

91. 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. The way that shot lingers on his face and how without saying a word Elijah conveys that moment, is beyond my ability to put into words.

92. *NEW* The light on Frodo waking up parallel's Rivendell waking and reuniting (healing powers?). Gandalf was there waiting for him each time.

93. Frodo still has scratches on his face and Sam has a bruised chin in the bedroom scene.

94. Gandalf's laugh is reminiscent of his laugh with Frodo in his first scene in the film, in the Shire, when Frodo is once again seeing Gandalf for the first time in a long while.

95. Gimli dabs at his eyes at the hunters watch the hobbits frolic.

96. King Elessar's beard is fuller than Aragorn's.

97. *NEW* At Aragorn's coronation, the White Tree is alive and kicking, with many flowers.

Wonderful what they can do with CGI - they filmed that scene here - Dem.

98 and 99. *NEW* You can see the banner that Arwen made for Aragorn (in the book) to the left of the picture as he kneels before Gandalf during the coronation. A black standard where "there flowered a White Tree, and that was for Gondor; but Seven Stars were about it, and a high crown above, the signs of Elendil." Arwen also carries a banner and Aragorn takes it from her at the coronation scene (House of Elrond's banner?).

Read about Arwen's Standard of Gondor in this post from maegwen. - Dem.

100. The hobbits are wearing their clothes from the Shire during Aragorn's coronation.

Reader update: Other coronation observations.
a) Arwen's clothes change into spring colors (bright spring green), as a symbol of her new beginning, as Aragon's queen.
b) Eowyn goes from dark or white ( cold ) to sunny bright yellow also spring colors symbolic of her emotional change. Also Faramir looks more like a prince than a warrior.
c) Eomer has on much richer and fancier clothing and armour at the Coronation. He looks like the King.
d) Gimli does not hold crown, Frodo does in book. However we would have missed the wonderful line of not bowing to anyone.
e) Legolas wears a 'crown" for the first time denoting his royal status.
f) Aragon's royal clothes are much less rich than Theodens or Eomers, except in Arwen's vision of her son where Aragorn is better dressed.
g) In the coronation scene, you can see the swan banner of Dol Amroth in the crowd. Didn't see Prince Imrahil, but perhaps I'll have to see the movie again to be sure. [Not sure about this one - haven't spotted the banner myself - Dem.]

101. When we fly over the map with Frodo's voice over, as Frodo says "eternally bound by friendship and love" (talking about the Fellowship, of course) the camera is over Fangorn Forest - a nice nod to Treebeard and to Legolas and Gimli going there after the War of the Ring!

102. *NEW* Frodo's wearing more Elvish silks and pale colours as he becomes more ethereal and withdraws from the mortal world.

103. *NEW* When the hobbits return to the Shire near the end of the film they are all wearing very fine clothing. In particular Merry wears a richer looking Rohan outfit (rich green cape w/gold trim, deep reds for the rest of the outfit). Pippin wears a richer looking Gondor outfit (similar to the one he wore throughout the film but it looks newer and richer in color).

You can see these outfits in this image - one that never made the theatrical cut. - Dem.

Reader update: You get to see Merry and Pippin decked out when they first ride into town; one of my favorite scenes is Pippin, dressed in full Gondor blacks as he was while serving Denethor, half-waving and saying "Hi" to the old hobbit (a direct parallel of his placement and scowling from Fellowship).

104. Sam is the first of the hobbits to make a move to get back his life when he leaves the table to see Rosie.

105. Pippin gets the wedding bouquet at the wedding of Sam and Rosie. And indeed Pippin is the next to be married of the four hobbits.

106. Frodo (or Sam) has totally tidied up Bag End. It looks funny uncluttered.

107. *NEW* Galadriel had said in TT that "In his heart, Frodo begins to understand the quest will claim his life." While in Bag End, Frodo reflects that In his heart he begins to understand he can't go back.

Apparently "claim his life" literally. At the Wellington roundtable interview, Philippa asked the journalists about his departure at the Grey Havens. "Did you understand that in essence Frodo was dying?" - Dem.

108. Part of what Frodo's written in the Redbook of Westmarch includes, "...can finally ask for the hand of the fair Rosie Cotton." and "...the bravest things he's ever done." and "... Samwise Gamgee was elected mayor." ALL of these need to be expanded upon and verified!

109. At the very bottom of the cover of the Red Book, there are two intertwined "B's" , for Bilbo Baggins.

Frodo scribbling in the Redbook of Westmarch. - Dem.

Reader update: In the scene at the end of ROTK when it shows Frodo sitting in Bag End writing in the Red Book, the camera pans into the room and closes in on him in the same exact fashion and angle as when Bilbo is writing in the book in the EE of FOTR. I loved how it paralleled the two hobbits writing down their adventures.

110. *NEW* The sword that's on the wall behind Frodo in the Bag End study looks like Glamdring or Pippin's blade he carries in Minas Tirith, which is mounted and crossed with an Orc sword. It looks like a breast of Mordor armour is above it.

111. Sam has brass buttons on his vest coat. Frodo has a silky grey elvish-looking vest (double-breasted).

112. Sam still wears his elvish brooch clasped the opposite direction of everyone else.

113. Gandalf wears Narya openly at the Haven.

Elrond also can be seen with Vilya on his hand, and Galadriel with Nenya. - Dem.

114. Cirdan is standing behind Galadriel and Celeborn at the Havens.

115. *NEW* Is Pippin wearing tartan at the Grey Havens? PJ told Billy early on that the Tooks were Scots, which meant he could keep his native accent. Looks like he also donned some Scottish garb as well!

116. *NEW* Frodo's kiss on Sam's forehead mirrors Galadriel's kiss on his. Frodo is now ethereal and blesses Sam the way Galadriel blessed him.

Reader update: This also mirrors Aragorn kissing Boromir's forehead at the end of FotR. Could possibly be seen as a final farewell, since we don't get an epilogue, and Tolkien never does say that Frodo was *alive* when Sam made it across the sea. [A topic of much debate and uncertainty - Dem.].

117. After Frodo enters the ship and turns to his friends, his eyes lose their redness and his pale cheeks flush with the life he had at Bilbo's party. Our Frodo is back, without the shadows and pain.

118. The moment of Frodo smiling at the end before the ship departs is so very telling: Finally he is coming to peace; reassuring to his friends; he will be alright; he will miss them.

119. There's a little 3 sign on the door of Sam's house in Hobbiton.

Reader update: Actually, this is a great nod to the book -- Sam and Sam's father live in 3 Bagshot Row. In the book Sam and his family move into Bag End before Frodo departs; for whatever reason they didn't do that in the movie version but the '3' maintains a perfect continuity from the text. It would be interesting to double check if in fact that's the same house that Sam is seen in the EE of FOTR doing a brief bit of gardening in front of.

120. Baby Frodo Gamgee is played by Maisie McLeod-Riera (Sarah McLeod's child).

Reader update: In that scene Rosie looks as if she is pregnant with number three, young Rose. [I never really noticed - Dem.]

121. The ending - ultimate geeky moment of them all: "Well I'm back." Exactly same last lines as in the book.

122. Return of the King simply finishes with the words, "The End" Poignant, and sad.

123. One of the last sketches in the credits is possibly of Elijah's sister Hannah; watch just before the very end in the lower left-hand of the screen.

124. The credits show someone else was lost: "In memory of our dear friend Cameron Duncan."

Reader update: Cameron Duncan was a gifted young New Zealand film maker. While still at school, he made award-winning TV advertisements for a road safety campaign. He loved LoTR, and was a great admirer of Peter Jackson. Peter Jackson met him and talked with him several times, and took him onto the set. He died just a few months before RoTK was released, from cancer, at the age of 17. There is an article about Duncan at The Listener, which details, amongst other things, his friendship with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, and the RoTK team. It also gives an interesting insight into the lyrics for 'Into the West'.

125. At the end of the credits, listened to the very end of the score. Howard Shore pays obvious (to any opera fan) tribute to Richard Wagner at the close of his own great opera: the end of the score sounds exactly like the end (and so also beginning) of the Ring of the Nibelungen, under that wonderful pencil sketch of the Ring.

Would Tolkien be impressed? "Both Rings are round, and there the resemblance ends." - Dem.

126. Reader update: It seemed to me, that in the Grey Havens scene at the end, that Bilbo was dressed deliberately to make him look like the great J R R Tolkien himself. It's been mentioned many times, often by himself, that he thought of himself as a hobbit, and I thought it was a great nod to the man himself, rather than just his literature. I think there is an autobiography where his picture adorns the cover in such strikingly similar attire.


126. *NEW* TIDBIT: English translation of Renee Fleming's solo as the eagles swoop down to rescue Frodo and Sam:

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?

127. TIDBIT: Musically, I love the way the tune of "Into the West" is used at various points. When Gandalf is talking to Pippin about death it plays very softly as he says the line about "...... a white shore and a far green country under a swift sunrise" - the description in the book of Frodo's glimpse of Valinor. Later, on Mount Doom, when Sam says, "I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!" the theme rings out on the horns in a truly heroic theme. Beautiful. Howard Shore's score has been absolutely masterly, operatic in scale. I also like the way he and PJ will match a very dramatic and violent scene with quite delicate and poignant music, such as Pippin's song during that suicidal cavalry charge and the soaring voice of Renee Fleming when Mount Doom is raining fire and it really is the "End of All Things."

128. *NEW* TIDBIT: It is essential that we see Frodo choose life so that when he sails from the Havens we know that is only with Eru's blessing that he relinquishes life on Middle Earth. I do think it is important to make his decision to sail clearly different to a impulse to suicide and that moment when he reaches for Sam's hand establishes that beyond all doubt.

129. *NEW* TIDBIT: There's a suggestion suggests some relationship between Frodo's choice and the fate of the ring. NOTICE THAT THE RING DOES NOT SUCCUMB to the fires until Frodo decides to live. In fact, there is a moment just as we see complete resignation in Frodo's eyes when the inscription on the ring shines forth as though in victory. As soon as Frodo grabs Sam's hand, the ring dissolves in the fire.

130. TIDBIT: The costumes seem to echo certain aspects of the characters. When Arwen returns to Rivendell and makes her decision to remain, her dress changes colour from blue with white sleeves to a dark plum colour with blood-red sleeves. Is this to show she has chosen mortality - red is the colour of life (blood) and death?

Reader update: If red is life, a dark plum/purple is for royalty.

131. TIDBIT: When Aragorn sang the Quenya declaration of Elendil ("Et Eärello Endorenna...") at his coronation, he didn't just speak it, he sang it in a very haunting way, like a hymn, and gave it the respect that a true hymn deserves. At first I didn't understand what he was saying, but then a sort of shiver went through me when I figured it out. It is one of my most vivid and most haunting memories of the movie. I thought it to be one PJ's greatest gifts to those of us who have read the books. I also like how he left the phrase untranslated. It makes it seem more mysterious.

It's a quote from the text: "Then Aragorn took the crown and held it up and said: Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta! And those were the words that Elendil spoke when he came up out of the Sea on the wings of the wind: 'Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.'" From the Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter Five. - Dem.

132. TIDBIT: Characters who have sung in the trilogy are Pippin, Merry, Frodo (together at the Green Dragon), Aragorn, Éowyn, Gollum/Sméagol, Bilbo, Gandalf, and Treebeard.

133. TIDBIT: Lembas in general: Lembas is symbolic (and those in the RR know the Body of Christ argument). It sustains them. Sam telling Frodo he's rationing for the trip home underlines the importance of Frodo's task. One: Frodo already understands on some level that there will probably not be going back-- yet he has a bit of hope left. Two: lembas represents the elves' light and aid. Later it aids Sam to turn around and go back to Frodo.

134. TIDBIT: Stealing lembas: Then, Gollum's set up of Sam -- Since the Ring has a hold on both Frodo and Gollum, it's easy to understand how they both would assume Sam would want it as much as them -- especially someone who has been as close a proximity as Sam has been to the Ring. But taking the Ring -- is one thing. Others have tried. Stealing life is another. That is why Gollum sets up Sam by destroying the lembas. Notice what Sam is doing as he wakes and stands up asking Gollum what Gollum's sneaking around doing, Sam is tightening his belt. He has starved himself to give his food to Frodo (This makes Sam's earlier words more meaningful -- "I'm not hungry for lembas" Frodo now interprets this differently: I'm not hungry because I'm already stuffed with it, instead of the truth, I'm saying I'm not hungry and giving mine to you.), but it keeps Sam going even though he's not eaten it.

135. TIDBIT: AOL Time Warner announced it would be dropping the AOL part from its name ... What does this have to do with LOTR? Well, when you go back into the theatres this holiday season, check out the New Line logo ... from the three installments in the trilogy, this may turn out to be the only one that has "A Time Warner Company" underneath the logo, instead of the usual "An AOL Time Warner Company".


137. Billy and Katie Jackson: They're hobbits at the party in FotR; They're Rohan Children in the caves at Helm's Deep; They are children Faramir passes at Minas Tirith on the way back to Osgiliath; They also look like two of the children at Sam and Rosie's wedding.

138. *NEW* There is a brief shot of a corsair ship, with Peter Jackson swaggering around the deck in full pirate garb. He actually had a considerably longer appearance filmed, including a fight scene which ended with him being killed (either by Legolas or Aragorn; I've heard both and don't know which is correct.) That sequence didn't make it to the theatrical release, but we may see it in the EE.

Reader update: The first scenes of the corsair ships show them entering the screen from the right and moving left as a precursor, wherein the enemy is discussing that the fleet is already on the move; right after the sacking of the river garrisons. Later, when the ships stroll into port just prior to Aragorn's dismount at the vanguard of the host of the dead, the ship-entry scene, right to left, is re-used.

Speaking of scene re-use, there's at least one shot during fighting outside Minas Tirith that you have Aragorn and Gimli both in the scene (Aragorn in the foreground, Gimli's too-tall too-thin too-orange-haired stunt double in a blurry background) where the exact scene was reused; the first appearance is during fast battle cuts, the second extends and aragorn has (I think) a speaking part.

139. Henry Mortensen plays an orc.

140. Barrie Osbourne is one of the fleeing Gondorians when the first rock hits inside the city.

141. One of the Gondorian guards at the Beacon at Minas Tirith is Christian Rivers (WETA art director).

142. The boy from Star Wars: Episode 2 that played Boba Fett as a kid (Daniel Logan?).

143. Royd Tolkien could be the other guard of the beacon at Minas Tirith and is seen again at the gate when it's breached by Grond.

144. Billy and Katie are two Gondorian children standing along the street as Faramir and his men leave and two of the hobbit children (?)

145. Reader update: Unconfirmed cameo at the Green Dragon Inn. Thomas Robins (Deagol) allegedly appears at the birthday party and carrying the pumpkin into the green dragon at the end.

For further cameos, check out this TORn report. - Dem.


145. Stephen Ure portrays Grishnákh in TTT and is listed as Gorbag in RotK.

146. John Rhys-Davies portrays Gimli and does the voice for Treebeard.

147. Lawrence Makoare plays both the Witchking and Gothmog.


148. Jay Laga'aia broke his leg while filming fight scenes for "Return of the King."

149. Reader update: Craig Parker is both Haldir and the voice of a Nazgul. He is also credited with doing voices in RoTK.


1. LOTR has its fake death scenes! (Fake Death Syndrome) Let's see if we can count 'em all!




Of the main characters, it's only Legolas, Gimli, Galadriel & Elrond don't suffer from 'fake death syndrome.'

Reader update: Gimli has a "fake death" after the wall is breached at Helm's deep. More so in the book, but in the movie he is below the water of the stream and Legolas (or is it Aragorn?) thinks he is dead.

12-28-03 Latest News

Andy Serkis in New York City Report
Xoanon @ 7:59 pm EST

Andy Serkis in New York City Report
Andy Serkis in NYC

Heather writes: I'm submitting some photos and a write-up from the Andy Serkis signing in Times Square (the one at Toys R' Us that was held on 12/18). Please post when you have the chance. Thank you very much.

On December 18th 2003, I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Andy Serkis when he was in NYC promoting for 'Return Of The King (he was doing a signing at Toys R' Us in Times Square).' I was very excited when I got my ticket- number 14! :) There were 750 tickets given out, and judging from the large amount of people that showed up, I’d say most of that number was gone (in order to receive your ticket, you had to purchase the LOTR editions of either Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or Risk, then you had to go to the 3rd floor and hand your receipt to the personal shopping services and they'd assign you a ticket with a # on it. and just like at Trilogy Tuesday, you were specifically told NOT to lose your ticket. haha).

Although I was exhausted from Trilogy Tuesday the day before (I had seen it in West Nyack, NY), I had no trouble getting out of bed. I was too excited! I got to the Toys R' Us around 12:45 pm and the line was long, but not ridiculous. It was after I had arrived that it began to pile up. The Toys R' Us staff brought 10-20 people at a time up to the 3rd floor where Andy would be meeting and greeting the fans. Once upstairs, the staff asked people for their names, which were handed to them on a Post-It note to be given to Mr. Serkis when it was their turn to meet him. Afterwards, they would receive a complimentary poster from New Line Cinema, which Andy would personally sign (it was the Gollum teaser poster). While waiting on-line, we were all treated to the ROTK trailer repeating itself on the big screen, as well as opportunities to enter a raffle for Wormtongue's dagger.

When it was my turn, I exchanged greetings with Andy, and the first thing he noticed was my T-Shirt, which had the logo for the band Joy Division on it. He exclaimed wildly: 'oh my god, Joy Division! That is absolutely fantastic!' he mentioned briefly how he grew up listening to them and how he's still a big fan of theirs. I then told that I really enjoyed his performance in '24 Hour Party People’ (about the Manchester punk/rave scene of the 80's. it featured dramatizations of bands like New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, etc.). I told him just how perfect his portrayal of Martin Hannett (Joy Division's producer) was, and he was glowing! :) He asked me if I had seen ROTK yet, and I told him it was absolutely phenomenal. I even let him know that I cried through most of it, and he thought it was very sweet. awwww. I showed him my Gollum-shaped ring and he had never seen it before, so he asked one of the photographers to take some pictures of him holding my hand and looking at the ring. For a minute, I thought he was going to pull a Gollum on me and try to steal it because he liked it so much! haha. He signed my poster (it reads 'Hi Heather, my precioussss'- Andy Serkis), and after we took a picture together, he gave me a HUGE hug and said 'thank you so much for wearing the Joy Division T-Shirt. It really means a lot to me.' awwww. How 'precious.' :)

Meeting Andy Serkis was one of the most pleasant experiences I ever had. He is an extremely down-to-earth individual who is willing to take as much time as he can to talk to his fans. True, he's done extensive acting work (especially in recent years), but he is still very much a regular guy who still enjoys kicking back to the music of his youth. Thank you Andy! :)

Lord of the Cuts
Demosthenes @ 12:10 pm EST

Ringer Issy sent us this translation of an interesting article from German magazine Spiegle. The orginal article can be found here.

By Rüdiger Sturm

The theatrical cut of ‘The Return of the King’ does not include some scenes which were filmed and contain important plot points. The actors of the trilogy are puzzled as to why the director of the film, Peter Jackson, has kept back more than an hour’s worth of material from the cinema-going public.

Viggo Mortenson ought to be happy. He is playing the title character of a film for the first time in his career. The Return of the King bestows his character Aragorn with the most heroic moments from throughout the whole of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. However the 44-year old actor who plays the heir to the throne of Gondor, Aragorn, appears to be dissatisfied with the film. “Practically half my scenes were cut from the film. Scenes which show important moments in Aragorn’s development into the King of Gondor are missing from the theatrical cut of ‘The Return of the King’.

Viggo Mortenson is right about this. Aragorn is practically reduced to being a supporting character in the story due to the relentless pace of the storyline of the third part of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. However Viggo Mortenson can count himself lucky to have the amount of screen time that he does in comparison to Christopher Lee. Christopher Lee’s character Saruman was actually intended to meet a spectacular end in a seven minute sequence in ‘The Two Towers’. Peter Jackson planned to insert this scene at the start of ‘The Return of the King’ when it became clear that the pace of it would not fit into ‘The Two Towers’. However then Peter Jackson decided to cut this scene out completely. Cinemagoers will never discover what happens to the villain of the first two films. An internet petition from Christopher Lee fans did not have any effect.

However, there is a place for the missing scenes in ‘The Return of the King’: “I believe that the Extended Versions of the films are more satisfying’, says Viggo Mortenson. Fans prize the extended versions of the films higher than the theatrical cuts which are around thirty minutes shorter than the extended versions. Is the theatrical cut of ‘The Return of the King’, which millions have rushed to see and has garnered millions in ticket sales for cinema owners, therefore only a stumpy version? It seems to be unlikely that the studio forced the director to make cuts to the theatrical version of ‘The Return of the King’ after the overwhelming success of the first two films in the trilogy. Did they only want to hold back scenes from the theatrical cut in order to be able to increase the marketing potential of the extended version?

Peter Jackson refutes such assumptions from journalists: “The theatrical cuts of the films are the definitive versions. If I had packed more scenes into the Return of the King, it would have diluted the emotional effect”. The ‘extended versions’ are however only aimed at fans who want to see as much material as possible.

Nonetheless the director seems to be quite openly underestimating the quality of the script. ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ was a more satisfying film in the extended version, because it included additional scenes which gave the film a more balanced rhythm and which increased our understanding of the characters. In ‘The Two Towers’ Peter Jackson made cuts which deprived the film of some important scenes in its theatrical version. Particularly important amongst these scenes is one in the ruins of Osgiliath which Faramir’s relationship with his brother Boromir and his father Denethor is explained “This scene is one of my favourite scenes from the second part of the trilogy”, says Viggo Mortenson, which is not even included in the theatrical cut of the film. “Only having seen this scene can you understand the nature of Faramir’s character and his role in the whole story.”

The cuts in the third part of “The Return of the King” are very noticeable. Christopher Lee is not the only actor who had cuts to his part made. Those people who do not know the book will not understand why Faramir and Eowyn are suddenly exchanging loving looks at Aragorn’s coronation. Yet the missing sequence has been filmed: both are brought to the Houses of Healing suffering from wounds, are healed by Aragorn, and discover their feelings for one another.

The extended cut of ‘The Return of the King’ is going to answer other questions about other unclear plot points as well: What is it with the magic ball which has such a toxic attraction for Pippin? Why did Denethor go mad? Even the battle before the gates of Mordor will have a quite different emotional impact on viewers : this is because Jackson filmed a scene in which an ambassador of Sauron presents the ‘allies’ with the clothing of the apparently dead hobbits Frodo and Sam. From this the ‘allies’ assume that the ringbearer’s quest has failed. The battle at the gates of Mordor then becomes a symbolic blooming of the spirit of human resistance.

Would including this scene really have ‘affected the dynamic of the film’ as Peter Jackson supposes? Jackson, who cut these scenes from the theatrical version, seems to want to do justice to two different sensibilities here. On the one hand he is trying to be true to the essence of the story, and on the other hand he wants to film great action scenes. “I want to film battles the like of which noone will ever have seen before” is one of his declared goals. The visual fireworks which he sets off leave even Viggo Mortenson silent “These films are so powerfully optically, that you can forgive them for leaving the missing scenes out”.

12-27-03 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Frode @ 6:48 am EST

It seems that the hottest topic among those that have seen 'The Return of the King' is Denethor, the Steward of Gondor. Those that haven't seen the movie can stop reading now and get themselves to a theater pronto.

Perhaps no other character from Tolkien's books has been changed so
greatly. Denethor, a proud but honorable man fighting for his soul and
sanity, is now depicted as utterly mad. But what is the reason for his
madness? How is this madness depicted and explained? And how has his
personality been altered by this change? Most importantly, for what
purpose may these changes have been made in the first place?

Changes beget other changes. The characters that interact with the Steward have also been altered. Perhaps most strikingly is the change in Gandalf. Rather than respectful discourse between two stewards ("For I also am a steward, did you not know?"), Gandalf ends up beating a madman into silence. Just as dramatic is the change in Gandalf's interactions with others and in assuming leadership of the Gondor troops. Join us in #thehalloffire as we debate the hows and whys surrounding Peter Jackson's portrayal of Denethor.

Upcoming topics:

weekend 030104-040104
The Return of the King; How is Aragorn portrayed in the final movie?

weekend 100104-110104
Peter Jacksons 'The Lord of the Rings'; the trilogy as a whole

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 9:30am Sunday (09:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 5:00am (05:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AET = Australian East Coast

Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at

Prize winners for TORn Line Party contest
maegwen @ 12:20 am EST

A little post-Christmas bonus for a lucky few who participated in the Line Party, Royal Selangor contest. Hundreds of LP3 participants registered for the giveaway and five were lucky enough to be awarded prizes.

The grand winner will have a chess set delivered but the "consolation" prizes are beautiful commemorative plates! There is one each for The Hobbit, The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers and The Return Of The King. These prizes will be mailed directly to the winners who all participated in LP3 activities with TORn lines around the globe.

Besides these amazing prizes. RoyalSelagnor.com offers a whole line of beautiful Lord Of The Rings products. Check them out!

1st (winner of the Lord of the Rings chess set) - Karen E., Line Party - Williamsville NY

2nd (winner of The Hobbit Commemorative Plate) - Heather G., Line Party - Salt Lake City

3rd (winner of The Fellowship of The Ring Commemorative Plate) - Adrienne L. Line Party - Carmike Southridge 12, Des Moines, IA

4th (winner of The Two Towers Commemorative Plate) - Ria M., Line Party - Loews Cineplex Boston

5th (winner of The Return of The King Commemorative Plate) - Denise P., Line Party : Uptown Theater-Conn. Ave Washington DC

Congratulations to all!

View all the Line Party Prizes from Royal Selangor

12-25-03 Latest News

Upset over RotK Trailer Spoilers in Japan
Tookish @ 3:38 pm EST

Note: this article may contain a spoiler so beware!

Hello. I'm a Japanese LotR fan. At first, I'm sorry for my poor English.

Now, many Japanese fans are angry because of Japan original RotK trailer which was released yesterday...

To my surprised, this trailer has the scene that Frodo collapse one ring finally. I nearly died when I saw the scene. It [is a] very serious spoiler, [isn't] it? I don't know why they let us see such [an] important [spoiler] of climax scenes?

This trailer is going to be screened until February when RotK will be released in Japan. Perhaps a lot of people who don't know original story will see this trailer at theater. I think this trailer robs such people of thrill. Of course spoiler warning is not showed at theater!

Japan Herald that bought dramatic rights in Japan always let [makes?] Japanese fans be angry.

* Bad caption!! (Fans protest were introduced into PJ)
* Irrelevant advertisement.(FotR promo word was "search the one ring!")
* TTT and RotK release are delayed.

They must hate LotR.

Thank you for reading.

12-24-03 Latest News

There And Back Again - Part II
Demosthenes @ 4:13 pm EST

Ringer Spy Pippin Skywalker attended the world premiere of Return of the King in Wellington on December 1. Okay, this report is a little late (my fault), but this was her experience.

Dawn touched my eyes and opened them on the morning of December 1st. The waking day was verdant with hope,joy and anticipation. With a fervent and happy spirit I awoke to meet the glorious day--and what a day it turned out to be! I scurried with my hobbit feet to get ready for breakfast and got down to the lobby restaurant as the hour for elevensies was nigh.

I sat down and as is usual with hobbits ordered a rather hearty breakfast of eggs,bacon, and pancakes. As I was downing breakfast and second breakfast my keen hobbit senses noted another hobbit entering the room with a little entourage. The group sat down at a large table nearby and added liveliness to the nearly empty restaurant. The hobbit I have just spoke of was none other than Sean Astin.

Obviously hobbits have a way of eating breakfast late so here was where they came for sustenance. With Sean was his young daughter and the rest of the family who sat down to a peaceful meal without much disturbance. I decided to leave them be since I would most likely see them later, and they would get enough attention later in the day; now was their little time to relax so I let them have it. I was quite pleased however to be in such excellent company. :)

Entry Pass To The World Premiere

After breakfast I traipsed off to the Duxton Hotel to pick up the tickets for the Premiere and then hopped over to the Te Papa Museum to get a Return of the King cap for the occasion. At 3:30 in the afternoon I walked about a block from my hotel to where the parade was going and my timing could not have been better. The parade was not as brutally crowded as I would thought it would be since this is after all the shire and not like the gigantic cities of the Big Folk in other places of the world. I was able to get very close, almost to the point of being able to shake hands with the actors as they passed.

When I arrived nobody had come down the lane yet. Then came a whole army of orcs (some of whom made a snarl or two at the crowd) men of Rohan on horseback, elves and other Middle Earth dwellers. Between all these came slow moving vehicles with the cast and crew riding in them and waving. The first one had the very happy Peter Jackson in it, merrily waving to the crowd. Other vehicles followed with Richard Taylor and his wife in one, David Wenham in another, a car with Billy and Dom, another with Elijah Wood. Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortenson and Orlando Bloom all went by as well all waving and shaking hands.

It was quite a parade and without a doubt it was the best I have been to in my life. You were not crushed in a crowd, and the setup of the whole thing was really cool. When all the VIP's, elves,orcs, and hobbits had gone by I began to realize like Cinderella I had to get ready for the ball in a hurry. I had to be at the Red Carpet at 5:00 pm and had just an hour to get ready. So of I hobbled with my little hobbit feet making cheerful stride in time with the music of my mood. An hour and a half later, all dressed up with my Return of the King cap on and my Video and Snapshot Cameras, I set off towards where the guests joined the Red Carpet on Alan Street.

I had in hand a copy of the Return of the King Visual companion for the cast to sign, and my hand bag with the cameras inside. As I was in line to show the tickets to the event staff, three teenage girls ran up to me all excited and jumpy, thinking perhaps they were meeting someone from the production. They asked me all sorts of questions like how I had got in, and so forth, and my guardian felt a deep desire to pull me out of trouble (fearing the trio had a mind to rob me of the Premiere tickets).

The One Ring

It turned out alright in the end however--I answered their questions in a friendly manner and moved on (they probably would have kept me there all day hehe). After showing the tickets to the event staff we stepped for the first time onto the red carpet--what a marvelous feeling! I had barely gotten on the NZ equivalent of the Yellow Brick Road, when a young girl of 12 shouted out to me from behind the barriers "You look really cool!" perhaps referring to my Return of the King cap. I thanked her kindly and moved on, excited beyond belief.

I had resolved to walk down the carpet very slooowly, since this entish pace would be more fun and besides who would want to rush a moment like this! I looked about and when I felt I had arrived at the right spot I waved to the webcam that my parents were watching of Courtney Place and the Embassy. Of course to those who DIDN'T know about this webcam it must have looked rather odd like I was someone famous waving to the audience of kiwis and tourists crowding the balconies and windows. Anything for my mom and dad though. :)

So I moved onward, and was told later that an ecstatic Asian girl had wanted the autographs of me and my Guardian (what is this! Is it the hat?). That was no doubt one of the funniest stories of the day. As I walked on I spotted Cliff Broadway in the crowd of press seeking to interview the cast. At the moment he was interviewing Sir Ian Mckellan and I was about one hobbit foot behind him! Next Viggo walked up to Cliff's mic (all this time I'm close enough to tap him on the shoulder and shake his hand) as I wait for Cliff to finish so I can say hi.

By this time someone of the event staff comes to gently hurry me along but Cliff finishes in time and I wave hello and am waved at by the perhaps surprised but happy Entish fellow. From here I waltz on, not for the life of me rushing for the Embassy door. Eventually we arrive and go inside the beautifully refurbished theater full of Return of the King posters.

After checking our cameras in down in the lobby, we proceeded upstairs where on each landing there was an elf in full armor with elvish blades in hand (woah!). Upstairs was a waiting area where champagne and orange juice were served. I picked up a tall glass of the fruity drink and looking about decided to proceed on from the crowded room into the cinema.

Richard Taylor and Tania Roger With Pippin Skywalker

Now before I go any further I thought I should explain a bit of the set up of the Premiere so people can understand the whole layout of things. The guest list for the World Premiere originally was for about 700 or so people but this number tripled, so in the end they had a guest list of over 2000 people. Yes, enough to assault the dark lord of Mordor in his tower. Because of this major change, the Premiere was split up and held at two theaters: The Embassy and the Reading Cinemas.

Two rooms were selected from the latter to accommodate the monstrous crowd, cast, crew, and New Line executives were spread out over the three cinemas. For instance Viggo Mortenson, Ian Mckellan, John Rhys Davies, Orlando Bloom and some others were at the Reading. However much of the TV and Media coverage was at the Embassy and so were Peter Jackson, Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, and Richard Taylor (Wooh!). I watched on the big screen inside the Embassy as the entire cast gathered together on a podium to make speeches.

Almost the entire principle cast was there as well as some of the smaller roles such as Sarah McLeod (Rosie) and Thomas Robins who plays Deagol in Return of the King (he is actually a friend of mine, we met online and he gave me advice when I had the crazy idea of trying to be an extra in ROTK this year when they were doing pickup shots. Thank you Thomas!).

After this people filed into the theaters and quite promptly (a blessing of the kiwis is their promptness) the movie began. I am going to give a small review here which WILL have a terrible amount of spoilers. If you are just fainting away to know what happens and what is cut from the movie read on. If not scroll way down. ;) (Spoilers Begin!):

The movie starts with a ten minute sequence of Smeagol and Deagol. We see them fishing together and of course Deagol finds the Ring and Smeagol waantsss it. This scene is done in a very scary, nerve racking way, which was quite well done. Smeagol kills Deagol for the Ring and after this we are shown the slow physical and mental deterioration of Smeagol over time. The last time we see Andy he is in as messed up a state as Smeagol can get and then with an absolutely BRILLIANT use of special effects we go from the Andy Serkis in yucky makeup as Smeagol to the digital Gollum. It is quite amazing.

To sum up the whole movie would take years, and frankly if I said every spoiler in the movie I would be Bilbo's age at the end of the War of the Ring. To sum up: John Noble is an AWESOME Denethor! I must warn fans of the books though that his death scene IS somewhat different than that of the book. Instead of actually dying on a pyre, he is thrown in the fire by accident and then runs of the tallest part of Gondor and leaps of. Quite dramatic and well done actually. Of course Eowyn fighting the witch king was awesome, and being especially wonderful since I have read that scene over and over again since I was 12 years old.

I am quite sad that the Houses of Healing is ENTIRELY absent from this movie...alas the ROTK DVD will heal over many woes... So what did I think? I share the opinion that many who have seen it feel in their hearts--it is great as a movie but might make fans of the books miss some things (though not as strongly as in the Two Towers). It is a great movie though, but I did think it had to be longer to fully reach its potential as a film.

If they put in-theater beds in the Cinemas maybe we could make it through a 5-6 hour version and have breakfast afterwards. ;) The film ended both melancholy and hopeful,and was I think a pleasing ending to the journey.

I must say the audience's reaction truly amazed me. Now remember I was sitting in a crowd of jaded Hollywood people, and various celebrities and business people. At the end of the movie there was sniffling shooting out all over the theater and when the credits rolled there was a STANDING ovation and I would say they clapped through almost half the credits, when some family or friend who worked on the film appeared or certain ones of the major actors names came up.

There was a sense of finality and sadness in the credits and instead of the usual black screen there was conceptual drawings of each of the characters as the actors who played them appeared. (End of Spoilers) The music in the film is beautiful...I mean hearing Billy sing so sadly greatly added to the movie I would say, as did Viggo singing in a sad almost Celtic dirge like tone. Despite it's imperfections it is without a doubt a lovely film and a fine ending to this trilogy which we have known and loved these 4 years.

The World Premiere After Party Pass

When all was over, and almost everyone had left I noticed Peter Jackson still standing at the front (probably trying to figure out how to leave that place without getting mobbed). I really wanted to meet him again so I walked down the stairs with my Guardian Ben in tow. Boldly as a hobbit to another hobbit may, I said to Peter that it was a wonderful film and that I thought Tolkien would be proud. He thanked me and then said no more.

My heart was burning with excitement then, and my statement turned out to have more meaning than I thought at first. My friend Hilary (winner of the AOL Red Carpet Contest) had asked Peter in an interview earlier what he thought Tolkien would think of the film. Part of Peter's response was that he hoped Tolkien would be proud. This proved to be quite a providential statement since I had not realized that Peter had said that till after I had said "I think Tolkien would be proud".

There are more wills in the world than that of the Ring and Sauron... The next person to meet Peter was my guardian who is studying to become a Director and so was in complete awe of Peter. He kicked himself everyday afterwords for not saying something more worthy of rhe occasion. All he said was "I really enjoyed your movie." LOL.

After this we left the theater, and hopped on a shuttle to the After Party which was held at a sports event center on Queen's Wharf right across the street from the our hotel. We walked into a foyer with a giant black Return of the King Banner, and a large version (sauron size)of the One Ring on a pedestal. Going through another set of doors one finds oneself in another foyer type place with long tables of Perrier and Champagne. On the walls were large pictures of scenes and characters from the film. Moving on we entered the main room that was quite delightfully decorated.

First you are face to face with a white statue of one of the kings of Gondor, and after that you join the army of guests (at least 2,000) and behold the glorious and beautiful white tree of Gondor standing in the middle of the room. Dividing the dining area from the dance floor is a huge bigature of the front walls and gates of Minas Tirith with the gates standing open. Also in the dining area were more large pictures from the film, a large statue of the witch king on his fell beast hanging from one end of a ceiling wall. Later in the event this creature came to life and roared and then swooped over everyone's head (hey is this Lord of the Rings or Jurassic Park? Totally awesome! ;) )

To top it all off there was green elvish script laser light on the floor (VERY cool). To move around in this place at this point was almost pointless. There were so many people crowded into that place it reminded one more of Fangorn Forest than a party. One of the first people I met in all that Middle Earth chaos was Barrie Osbourne, complete with his now famous red necktie. I showed him the picture we had taken with him, my mom, and myself two years ago at the London World Premiere of Fellowship of the Ring, and he remembered me and asked after my family. A nice chap, and quite friendly considering the amount of sound that was being generated in there.

After meeting Barrie I met Howard Shore for the second time (my guardian and I had stepped into the elevator of the Duxton Hotel after getting our tickets and he stepped on with us!). I got his autograph but didn't ask for a picture considering he seemed mighty distracted. He's also a very quiet fellow. After this I decided to rest my hobbit feet, and sat down at last at a table that had a good view of the room in case I saw someone I wanted to meet.

This vantage point turned out rather nicely considering I had adopted a temporary wallflower like state. A fellow sitting next to me withought any prompting at all introduced himself as Duncan (the Kiwis are very different than the rest of the world in that they like to get to know knew people--they certainly possess that strange curiosity that is common in many hobbits) and said he worked at Three Foot Six!

To my amazement a friend of his sat down on my left and as it turns out she worked for Weta Digital! It was quite fascinating to sit between them I tell you, and Duncan was quite the talker. He told me the sad news that Three Foot Six would fold up after Return of the King (what about the Hobbit!?) since the company only came into being for these films. After a while these two got up and I noticed that Sean Astin was sitting at the table next to me. So I hop over in my hobbit like manner, and with all my Tookish boldness greet him and tell him how wonderful he was in the film.

Since this was my second time meeting him I showed him a photograph of when my mother and I had met him two years ago. He smiled happily and kindly obliged when I asked if I could get another photo with him. At some point in the evening Hilary and her dad crossed my path and I got to meet my good friend in person for the first time (oh joy!). She goes under the nickname of PippinTook, yet another Pip I have metin my lifetime.

Later on I met another hobbit, Andy Serkis, who despite the madness of the scene was very warm, and remembering me from two years ago asked how I was doing. I very boldy told him that they were making movies of the Chronicles of Narnia and I said I thought he'd make an excellent Mr. Tumnus to which he replied "Oh yeah, that's a good part." I have had this conviction for some time so here was my chance to tell the man himself and I did. Here begins the official "Andy Serkis as Mr. Tumnus Campaign". :)

I met a number of other actors despite the fact that a lot of them left early because of the immense crowd there. I got to meet David Wenham, Bernard Hill, Sala Baker (for the fifth time mind you :) ), and Laurence Makoare who despite his playing the meanest, nastiest of characters in these movies is actually the sweetest, nicest guy you could ever hope to meet.

One of the last people I met that night was John Noble, who had just finished talking with my friend Hilary and her dad. I stepped right up to him and told him I thought he had done a wonderful performance as Denethor, that it was a very Shakespearean role, and he acted it wonderfully. He was very touched by this and gave me a hug, after which I continued to express my opinion of how good he was. He then wiped his eyes and said "Your making cry." A very sweet and kind man he is, and I got his autograph as well as a photo with him.

Not many people knew him yet or said how wonderful he was in Return of the King and I was glad (especially as a fellow actor) to be able to cheer him up and encourage him. We left the party at about 3:30 in the morning (the party endured until about 6:00 am). Long will the memory of its grandeur, the last of all the Premieres for one of the greatest films of this decade burn in the halls of memory. At long last, the end of the Trilogy of these beloved films has come and great was its glory, like the setting of the ancient dying sun in the high halls of the immortal sky. Love and thanks to all who made this trip and this dream possible. Hobbit hugs to Mom and Dad. :)

Submissions Open for Tolfilm Fanfilm Exhibition
Tookish @ 3:41 pm EST

The Northwest Tolkien Society is pleased to announce the addition of the TolFilm FanFilm Exhibition to TolCon, a convention dedicated to Tolkien, his works, his worlds and his fans, to be held May 14-16th, 2004 in Seattle, Washington.

We will accept submissions of all kinds, as long as the films relate to the Tolkien universe. Any of Tolkien’s books, languages, landscapes, even his environmental views are fair game. If it's a music video, parody, comedy, documentary, animation, a humorous look at waiting in line for tickets to LOTR, we wants it, precious! Submissions are open now until April 16th, 2004. For submission guidelines or more information on TolCon, visit http://www.tolcon.org/.

Lord of the Rings Research Project
Tookish @ 1:22 pm EST

We thought you would want to know about a major research project that is accompanying the release of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. In twenty countries across the world, researchers are collaborating in a study of audience responses to the film. We will be finding out about people’s enjoyment of it and, in particular, we will be exploring what this ‘fantasy story’ means to whole generations of film-goers and readers of the books. Where is Middle-earth? What does it mean to people today?

We ourselves admire The Lord of the Rings. We know the books, and like many other people we were excited when we heard that they were being made into a trilogy of films. For many, it has been a remarkable set of films. But … in what way remarkable? What is so powerful about it, for you? From reading reviews, seeing discussions, hearing conversations, we know that people have some pretty different ideas. Some people have loved all three movies and some have had reservations. We want to understand why.

This will be the biggest audience study ever undertaken, and is a unique opportunity for lovers of the books and the films to get their views heard. At its centre is a web questionnaire, available in thirteen different languages (English, Russian, Norwegian, German, Greek, Turkish, Slovenian, Spanish, Italian, Danish, French, Chinese and Welsh) that anyone can fill in. We are expecting over 100,000 responses from across the world. Here’s the web address:


The questionnaire is now online, and we very much hope that you will pay the site a visit and give us your views. Be there, to be counted! And, if you can, let others know too!

With many thanks,

Martin Barker
Director, Lord of the Rings research project
University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.

12-23-03 Latest News

Concerning Trees
Xoanon @ 2:10 pm EST

Kevin Hand, Campaigns Director for The Tree Council writes: You might be interested to know that UK conservation charity The Tree Council obtained special permission from New Line Cinema to use a Treebeard photo from The Two Towers on posters promoting Seed Gathering Sunday, their campaign to encourage the collection of tree seeds by families and schools and others, to grow new trees for the future. The image can be seen on their website www.treecouncil.org.uk, on the Seed Gathering Sunday pages. We have some posters left over; if anyone would like one send a SAE (with enough postage if outside Uk) to me at The Tree Council, Great Eastern House, Tenison Rd, Cambridge, CB1 2DU.

There were also two competitions - one to win exclusive goody bags from the film to use at Seed Gathering events, which has now finished, and another to win a signed full size movie poster, signed by Billy Boyd (pic attached).

The person who won the poster, James Bisset in Hereford, UK, wants to sell or auction it and donate the funds raised to the Tree Council for their work on promoting trees. I wonder if there is any way we might use your website to help us do this? Let me know if you think you can help, or if you need more information - it is for a good cause!

It is very appropriate, as the Ents have given a new postive image of trees to many people through the book and the film, and Tolkien himself was very fond of trees and nature - thinking about it, we also have an article about him and the trees he grew up with by Tony Tyler, author of The Tolkien Companion, in our magazine Tree News, which could be ordered from the same address for UK£2.99 (UK post free.)

The poster is 40 x 30", rolled, no fold marks, and has never been used.

RotK EE Rumored "longer than 4 hours and 50 min"
Tookish @ 12:36 pm EST

Editor's Note: I cannot confirm the accuracy of this report!

Nothing clear yet on the release date, let alone the disc specs for the third installment of The Lord of the Rings, however since both previous films had Extended Editions released on DVD it is fair to assume this will happen again, especially after it is rumoured Peter Jackson said the following at the Copenhagen premiere. Basically he commented that the first cut of Return of the King had a running time of four hours and fifty minutes. When asked why this was too long for theatres but acceptable for DVD, he said:

"It is different with the DVD version. People watch it at home. They can lay on the couch or spread the experience over two or three nights. That is the amazing thing with DVD. It gives a whole new dynamic and I can assure you that the DVD version of Return of the King will be longer than 4 hours and 50 min."

Unless any of our Danish readers have can confirm this then it is still rumour, however if true, this really is interesting news.

My note: Also note that Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) appeared on Jonathan Ross Friday night, and he said that the Extended Edition would be over five hours long.


[Source: DVDAnswers.com]

LA's Fashion Institute to Feature RotK Costumes
Tookish @ 12:21 pm EST

The Fashion Institute in Los Angeles will exhibit actual RotK costumes this spring. Exhibits of LotR costumes the last two years have been spectacular, with no glass to prevent you from seeing all the magnificent details. Here are the details from their site:

12th Annual Exhibition

The FIDM Museum Galleries Present “The Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” Exhibition

Saluting Year 2003 Costumes Designed For Film

Presentation Internationally Exclusive

Los Angeles, California: The Museum Galleries at The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM will open their 12th annual exhibition saluting “ The Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” on Monday, February 2, 2004.

This annual, major exhibition pays homage to the creativity of the costume designer for film with a museum show of outstanding costumes and Oscar nominated designs. On view will be year 2003 actual costumes from outstanding motion pictures.
The 2004 Exhibition will feature over 100 costumes from 25 plus films from 2003. Some of the films represented will be: The Last Samurai, Seabiscuit, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, The Missing and many more.

Free Exhibition: Public Dates/Times
Opens to Public: Monday, February 2, 2004 ends Thursday, April 8, 2004
Gallery Hours: 10-4 p.m. daily, including Saturday.
Closed Sundays

Location: The FIDM Museum Galleries On The Park, 1st Level,
The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM,
919 South Grand Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Corner of Grand Avenue & 9th Street)
Parking: Under college building. Entrance on 9th Street
Admission: Free. Group tours can be
Arranged–213-624-1200, ext. 2225
Public Information: 213-624-1200, Ext. 2224

Letterman's Top 10 Dumb Guy Complaints about LOTR
Tookish @ 11:42 am EST

Thanks to Ringer Summer for sending us the list!

Tonight Letterman did the Top 10 Dumb Guy Complaints about LOTR, which I shorthand wrote down as he said them (whew), and here they are:

10. I expected something a little more, you know, hobbity.
9. Middle-earth is clearly shot in Regular Earth.
8. It was too long, and it wasn't a cartoon.
7. I spilled butter on my Twizzlers!
6. My name is Stu- Why can't there be a hobbit named Stu?
5. Where the hell is Chewbacca?
4. If there's magic, why isn't there a rapping kangaroo?
3. I couldn't focus on the movie- I was still mad about losing money on the Giants.
2. Frodo ignored me- He thinks he's All That.
1. I haven't seen it yet, I was too busy governing California.

For more LotR-themed Top Ten lists, check out our humor section in Green Books, [Tookish's Ticklers] (oh and insert cheap plug HERE).

12-21-03 Latest News

Elijah Wood on Good Morning America
Xoanon @ 9:18 pm EST

Another BIG thank you to Cyloran for sending this in!

Elijah Wood on Good Morning America

GMA: It is the cinematic finale that everybody's talking about, the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the last installment in the epic trilogy that opens today. Actually, it already has opened in some places. Being talked about as a leading contender for the Best Picture Oscar time, with us this morning is the man, or I should say, the hobbit at the center of it all, Frodo himself is here, Elijah Wood. It is a pleasure to have you here.

EW: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

GMA: This has been quite an adventure! Not only on the screen but what you've gone through all this time.

EW: The last four years of our lives have been a complete journey making these movies. It's wild to see it come to an end.

GMA: Alright, it's all over. The thing's done. Who got to keep the Ring?

EW: I did, actually.

GMA: You did?

EW: I have the Ring at home. I have it in a small little box that I've got sort of tucked away.

GMA: How many Rings were there?

EW: There were quite a lot. There wasn't just the single one. Andy Serkis got the Ring as well because he plays Gollum, so the two Ringbearers most appropriately were given the Ring.

GMA: Does it fit?

EW: It does. It does fit. But I don't put it on. It would be a bad omen.

GMA: I was about to say, that would be a little strange. Are you sad it's over?

EW: I am. I mean, it's been such an incredible journey getting to know these people, living in New Zealand, making these films. It's a bit surreal. I don't think we all anticipated it coming to an end. It sort of felt like it would just carry on for the rest of our lives.

GMA: I was curious how you end something like this, because you are so close for so long, and I asked Liv Tyler how it all ended yesterday and she said, we had to come back for pickups in June.

EW: That's right.

GMA: She said that was the last time we all saw each other.

EW: Yes.

GMA: But I understand there was really a very touching way that it all ended after each of you did your last scene.

EW: Yeah. They gave each actor a farewell, a little party, where they showed about two minutes of footage of that particular actor with bloopers and sort of funny music, Peter Jackson gave a speech to everyone about that particular actor, our producer Barry gave a speech, and then we were called on to give a speech, which was very difficult. I mean, it was very difficult to imagine that it had come to an end, so it was incredibly emotional and we were also each given our sword. I was given Sting, which was wonderful, and the last clappers from the last take of the last shot, so it was very emotional, and a very appropriate way to say goodbye to the actors, and very gracious of them.

GMA: A very nice thing for a director to do, tho.

EW: Indeed.

GMA: A very nice way to make it, and that really does, and it becomes sort of family, anyway.

EW: Oh, yeah!

GMA: Now! Was it really the last time? This is so successful . . . now, Tolkien only wrote a trilogy, but could there be a . . . I mean, the world has been saved and Middle Earth is okay and all that, but -

EW: That's right.

GMA: Could you put it together again?

EW: My God, I would love it. I know that they're thinking of doing The Hobbit. Frodo doesn't exist in The Hobbit, so that possibly might happen. But Frodo has gone to the Undying Lands, so Frodo is sort of dead, essentially, at the end of this film.

GMA: It's so hard to pick a clip because there's really no moment sort of representative, but let's take a look. Here's a moment where Frodo has to make a very difficult decision.

(Show Frodo, Sam, Gollum clip)

GMA: True that a group of you got a tattoo as a commemoration of all of this?

EW: Yes, very true.

GMA: Including Ian McKellan?

EW: That's right.

GMA: All in the same place?

EW: All in the same place.

GMA: I'm not going to make you show the tattoo, which I know you wouldn't do anyway.

EW: Thank you very much for respecting that.

GMA: Want to tell me where it is?

EW: I have mine on my waist.

GMA: We can each pick a different body part, can we?

EW: We all kind of, well, that was sort of nice. We all sort of picked different spots which I think made the same tattoo individual to each individual, so that was nice.

GMA: Well it is wonderful. Congratulations. A long four years but well worth the effort, I'm sure. Thanks every so much.

EW: Well, thank you.

GMA: Frodo. The movie opens today.

Bloom & Tyler Talk To The Herald-Sun
Xoanon @ 9:00 pm EST

samwise cheesegrater writes: I thought you guys at TORN might like this.

Lord of the rings elves, Liv Tyler and Orlando Bloom talk marriage, sex symbols and liberation with Nui Te Koha in the Herald-Sun.

Liv Tyler: Orlando just ate a cricket lollipop. A lollipop with a cricket inside!

Orlando Bloom: I'll do anything, man. Im an adrenalin junkie. In New Zealand, they throw themselves off bridges with rope attached. When I saw that, I thought "Fuck it, I'll give that a go."

Nui Te Koha: Were you as adventurous when you were in Australia making New Kelly?

OB: did you see Ned Kelly? Did you like it?

Nui Te Koha: Ummm...

OB: (smiling) Oh, you didn't like it.

LT: I didn't see it. I love heath ledger.

Nui Te Koha: You can probably pick it up in the specials bin at wal-mart.

LT: really?

Nui Te Koha: How is married life, Liv (to singer royston landon)?

LT: at first, when we got married and moved into our new house that we've been rebuilding for two years, I had spent so much time being really excited about it. Then it became a bit overwhelming for me. I had a bit of an identity crisis for a minute, like: 'I'm grown up. I'm married. I have this huge house and I don't know what to do'. But we've been living there for a few months and I love it. We have a puppy. We feel so lucky.

Nui Te Koha: You sound maternal.

LT: I feel good. I feel like I'm in a nice calm place in my life because I really went through a moment there where I was like 'Aaaaargh!!' I have come out the other side feeling good.

Nui Te Koha: There is a scene in ROTK where you see your future children. Do you see that in real life too?

LT: Not exactly. I have always wanted to be a mother. I was the only child of my mom and dad. I have a lot of half-brother and sisters. From a young age, I always thought I'd like to have a big family because I'm really mothering to everyone.

Nui Te Koha: Orlando, you are a sex symbol now.

OB: All that attention from beautiful women is very flattering, but I'm all about the work man, getting that done. That is what floats my boat at the moment. I trained for three years to be an actor, and got that done. The rest is...I never really signed on for it. Liv always gave me really good advice on how to conduct myself. Listen, we had to fight them off with a stick when we had Liv around. Nobody knew who we were. We were just actors on a film here. Liv Tyler was the hot chick in all the hot movies.

LT: It's all changed now. Now I'm beating them off with a stick!

Nui Te Koha: What was the best thing about playing an elf?

LT: I found it funny playing an elf. I used to laugh at us all the time.

OB: They are immortal, ageless, angelic spirits. They kick ass! They represent everything that JRR Tolkein thought the world should be. The elves inhabit the world in a way where they don't take from it. They give back.

Nui Te Koha: Orlando, do you still have to campaign for film roles?

OB: I have auditioned for every role I've ever had. I am about to work on a ridley scott film, Kingdom and Heaven, and I was screen tested for that. It was really intense: nine hours. I audition for everything and I feel good about that. It feels like I've earned the role.

Nui Te Koha: You've just finished Troy with Eric Bana.

OB: He is so brilliant. He is the funniest guy you'll ever meet and the sweetest as well. He militantly hold on to being a guy doing his job. He is a great family man and a great example.

Nui Te Koha: Liv, are you disappointed your character Arwen, does not have much screentime across the trilogy?

LT: No. peter was saying the original idea of arwen was - its going to sound really bad saying this - a marketing thing to get studios interested. They knew they needed some kind of money: obviously if there was a female character played by a big actress, that would add to it.

Nui Te Koha: Originally, Jackson wrote a bigger part for Arwen?

LT: Yes. When I first came down here, that is what I had seen. I hadn't read the book yet. I was just starting to get into that whole world and found it very difficult. I felt like there was something wrong with me. I was depressed, I couldn't find the character. I was doing everything I could to connect with her. that's all I know how to do. Im not trained. Its an internal thing for me.

Nui Te Koha: Then Jackson scrapped a lot of Arwen's lines and back story?

LT: From that moment, I was so liberated and excited and fell in love with her and who she was. At times it was hard because it wasn't a big role any more. I didn't have that much to do. I mean, how do we connect these two characters (Arwen and Aragorn) who are on the opposite side of the world from each other? How do we make them emotionally invested in their love relationship? I think peter found a very good way of doing that through flashback.

Nui Te Koha: thanks a lot!!

Monaghan Surprises Fans at Cinerama Dome in Hollywood
Xoanon @ 8:39 pm EST

Alison writes: I love your site, and thought you'd like to know that Dominic Monaghan made a surprise appearance before the 11 a.m. show of ROTK at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. He said he'd been planning to go to Amoeba Music (record store next door), but that it didn't open till 11 a.m. on Sundays, so he wandered over to the theater to check out the displays & then came in to say hi to us all (and received an enthusiastic welcome!).

He warned us not to drink too much lemonade (so we wouldn't miss any part of the show), and that we might cry towards the end of the movie. He said that when his dad saw it, it made him cry, and that it was only the second time he'd ever seen his father cry.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me, but I saw several people taking photos.

This was my first viewing of ROTK, and Dominic made it extra special!

A Brandybuck Pops up in LA!
Tookish @ 8:30 pm EST


I love your site, and thought you'd like to know that Dominic Monaghan made a surprise appearance before the 11 a.m. show of ROTK at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. He said he'd been planning to go to Amoeba Music (record store next door), but that it didn't
open till 11 a.m. on Sundays, so he wandered over to the theater to check out the displays & then came in to say hi to us all (and received an enthusiastic welcome!).

He warned us not to drink too much lemonade (so we wouldn't miss any part of the show), and that we might cry towards the end of the movie. He said that when his dad saw it, it made him cry, and that it was only the second time he'd ever seen his father cry.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me, but I saw several people taking photos.

This was my first viewing of ROTK, and Dominic made it extra special!


Alison B

Germany's Focus Magazine Interview
Xoanon @ 4:42 pm EST

Marion writes: There was an interview with Elijah Wood in the latest issue of "Focus" magazine, a German magazine, dated 15th December 2003.

Focus (F): You have just appeared in the German show "Wetten dass...?" for the first time. Did you like the show?

Elijah (E): Yes, it was great fun. My God, what a long show...

F: Does anything like that exist in the US, too?

E: Not that I know of - live, with so many guests and these bets...

F: When you went to New Zealand in 1999, to start with work for "The Lord of the Rings", you left home only for the second time. Can you name the countries that you've been to since then?

E: I could name five or six, it weren't that many. The promotion tours mainly took us to the most important countries.

F: Let's do a small test. Where's the Matterhorn?

E: Hang on, that's in Switzerland, isn't it?

F: Yes. But I meant a different Matterhorn...

E: Oh yes, you meant the bar with that name in Wellington. It was our second home, we always drank and partied there, just now again, after the world premier of Return of the King.

F: In the end titles of Return of the King it says, in large print, "The End". Have you already finished the Lord of the Rings Experience?

E: I am more like in the middle of it still. We are still on tour with the film and after that there'll be the DVDs. There are still some things that we have to do for that. But the experience of being together for such a long time, that gives us the feeling that we never really have to say goodbye, that it's only for a certain amount of time.

F: So you don't have to worry about a christmas time depression?

E: No, honestly not. The people, as well as in New Zealand as the actors, they've become such an important part of my life, it's really a sort of family.

F: You've grown up without a father. Has Peter Jackson become a sort of replacement for that?

E: Rather some kind of uncle, a crazy, good mooded chum, who has led us through this insanity.

F: But with authority?

E: Yes, everyone accepted him as a leader,without him having to somehow stress that. We all believed in him and we all did what he demanded of us. But all of that happens in a warmhearted, friendly atmosphere. Everyone, from the team to the actors, always felt involved in everything.

F: And your three co-hobbits, did they become a sort of brothers to you.

E: Totally, we did a lot together, and we still meet to this day. We were the youngest on set, so we found together immediately. Working on Lord of the Rings started with us from day one.

F: You haven't done many other films in those four and a half years?

E: There have been a few, yeah. But with all the pickups, the sound work and the promotion tours there wasn't much time left.

F: One film that you did was Try Seventeen. Did that actually ever make it to the screens?

E: Oh, let's rather not talk about that. That was re-named to "All I Want" and went directly to video sales.

F: Franka Potente was in that film, too. You were given the original ring from The Lord of the Rings, and you keep it in some box at your appartment. But on your right hand you wear another one.

E: Yes, that's Franka's ring. She gave it to me.

F: Are you still in touch?

E: Yes, of course, we spent some time together in LA this summer.
She's a wonderful, beautiful and very sweet woman. We wanted to meet again, but she's in London right now.

F: Aren't you a bit jealous that Orlando Bloom has landed another box office hit with "Pirates of the Carribbean"?

E: Not at all, we are very proud of him.

F: In the Return of the King he's got a very daring stunt scene, in which he surfs down a battle elephant. It looks like an Hommage to "Pirates"...

E: Yes, that's really funny, that's what many people have said. But that scene was in there before Pirates.

F: Right at the beginning, you have done a video in costume, hopping around the woods, just to get the part of Frodo Baggins. Weren't you scared to look ridiculous?

E: Not really. Normally, with screenings, you sit in front of a white wall and say your text. I wanted to show my passion for the part and the film, I really wanted to be part of that, and at the start they said that they wanted to cast the hobbits with British actors only.

F: Is this video tape on the DVDs?

E: Not yet, but it has been asked for. I think they want to use it for the Trilogy-DVD, which is planned to come out in a year and half.

F: You are one of the child actors who has made it to adult age without having had a breakdown, going to prison or sue his mother. Are you the nice American Boy from Next Door?

E: it seems so. I am just me. I was just lucky to get to where I am. I do feel that it's a blessing.

F: But it is very difficult to imagine that it's possible to enact such a long sequence of this hard, depressing path of suffering to Mount Doom without having made the experience of depression, horrors or other sorts of human disasters?

E: Well, nonetheless I can't say that I've had these experiences. I don't think that you have to experience all that you are portraying.

F: But there have to be some emotions that you can relate to?

E: Yes, but it's enough if you can just relate to and understand the temptation, this addiction, with which Frodo is confronted.

F: During the Promo-Tour for the second film it was feared that The Two Towers might be seen as propaganda for the war in Iraq.

E: Well, that was put forward by the journalists mainly, because there were certain parallels. We were a bit scared that you might see a message supporting the war in it, but that fear disappeared after the start of the film. The film just treats universal themes, and ironically the story was looked at as a message of peace by the Hippie-culture. The heart of the story beats for nature, environment and peace.

F: You've lived in Los Angeles until recently, but you've kept your distance to the showbiz...

E: I never really meant to do that, but it has to do with the fact that most of my friends aren't stars.

F: But you starred in "The Ice Storm" with Tobey Maguire. Hasn't he introduced you to the famous-infamous clique with Leonardo die Caprio and others?

E: He was just around 20 at that time, and I was a teenager. And as you know, at that age, you don't really want to have anything to do with younger ones. Apart from that I don't really do the hangouts and clubs in LA. I prefer a good, well cooled bear in some bar.

F: So you're doing better in your new hometown of New York City?

E: Absolutely, the bar culture there is just wonderful. Alone all these little English and Irish pubs in my part of town, along with the jukeboxes and pool-billiards are great. In this atmosphere I feel a thousand times more relaxed comfortable than in the exlusive in-bars of LA.

Ian McKellen Invades American TV
Xoanon @ 2:05 pm EST

Ian McKellen is crossing the pond in a big way. He's slated to be a guest on the following shows December 22nd and 23rd.

December 22nd, 2003:

Good Morning America, ABC 8am
The View, ABC
CNN with Paula Zahn, CNN
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC

December 23rd, 2003:

CBS Early Show, CBS
The Charlie Rose Show, PBS

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