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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Question: Gandalf would not give the ring to a powerful character for safekeeping, because the character was apt to forget to protect it or misplace it. The character was supposed to so powerful even Gandalf was leery of him. What was that character's name, please?

New this month Answer: Tom Bombadil, who is not named because he's not in the films.

Question: When Aragorn confronts the King of the Dead with Anduril (the reforged sword), The King of the Dead says, "That *something* was broken!" I am almost sure he says, "Blade" (referring to the reforged sword), but the subtitles on my Region 4 disc say, "Line" (presumably referring to Aragorn's ancestry). What does he really say? Do the subtitles on discs of a different region say otherwise?

Answer: The King of the Dead says, "That line was broken." Aragorn replies, "It has been remade." Their comments are referring to Aragorn's royal lineage that was believed to have died out. The reforged sword symboilizes Aragorn's return as king. There is a video clip of this scene on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfh9Ypgfp7Q.

raywest

Question: After Pippin touches the Palantir and he is lying on the ground, is he dead then brought to life by Gandalf? I was under the impression he was dead at first because he is lying with his eyes open then Gandalf closes his eyes with his hand. Why is he lying with his eyes open? Why does Gandalf put his hand over his eyes?

Answer: He wasn't dead, only stunned. It happened so fast, that his eyes remained opened when he was knocked unconscious. Gandalf is just closing his eyes to protect them. Leaving eyes exposed could cause permanent damage,.

raywest

Question: In the scene where Aragon, Gimli and Legolas managed to escape the mountain after the Army of the Dead tried to crush them with sculls and Aragon sees the Corsairs marauding the lands, before the King of the dead appears again, what piece of the soundtrack is played in the background? I can't seem to find it on the official soundtrack, neither as a separate piece nor as part of a larger piece. Can anyone help?

Answer: That cue is only on the 4 CD "Complete Recordings" version of The Return Of The King, released in 2007.

Question: In the theatrical trailer, we see a scene of Eomer grieving for a dead person, presumably during or after the battle for Minas Tirith. This scene is not in the theatrical version of the movie. Will it be in the extended version? And who is the dead person? Theoden (Eomer's uncle)? Or some other fallen warrior that Eomer was very fond of? Thanks.

Answer: This scene found its way into the extended edition of Return of the King. The scene shows Eomer discovering his sister Eowyn on the battlefield, presumably grievously wounded.

Question: Are there any places where I can find deleted scenes of this movie that never made it into the Theatrical or Extended releases?

Answer: Sadly, there has been no release of scenes that did not feature on the extended or theatrical film. Some scenes that didn't make it into films can be glimpsed in the behind-the-scenes footage included with the DVDs or blu-ray.

Question: Can someone tell me who the elf/actor is who stands next to Elrond in the scene were Aragorn just become king and sees Arwen? They kiss and then you'll see them clapping. I can't find it anywhere.

Answer: This appears to be an unnamed character played by an un-credited actor. He's basically an extra who is part of Elrond's group.

raywest

Question: When the rings were forged, nine were given to the Kings of Man and they became the Ringwraiths. How is it that the three elves had no trouble, as they are all there and smiling in the Grey Havens scene? Also, what happened to the dwarfen rings?

Answer: When the Rings were created, the elves became aware of the creation of the One Ring, and removed their rings. Only when the One Ring was removed from the hand of Sauron were even those rings safe to use. It should be pointed out that the elven rings were crafted by the elven smiths themselves for their own purposes and did not have the same corrupting influence by default as the Seven and the Nine. While their rings were subject to the power of the One Ring, the elven ringbearers remained untouched by his power, tapping into the powers of their rings only sparingly to maintain their realms and only while the One Ring remained lost to Sauron (as it was for the entire time since the last war, up to and including the time of LotR). As for the dwarves, they also proved to be too hardy for Sauron to dominate and the rings merely increased their innate desire for gold. Sauron ultimately reclaimed three of the dwarven rings, which were presumably lost in the fall of Barad-dur, with the other four being consumed by dragons.

Question: Why is Gollum surprised when Frodo reveals to him that he intends to destroy the Ring? Didn't he know that since he was leading Frodo and Sam to Mordor that that was their goal?

Answer: Actually no, he didn't. He had no idea what they were planning to do in Mordor, and he didn't really care. Gollum is obsessed with one thing and one thing only, getting the ring back. He agrees to lead Frodo, partly because he's scared of the ring and is compelled to obey its current owner, but mostly because he's waiting for a chance to get it back. Maybe a sane person would have questioned Frodo's motives and realised his intention, but Gollum is hardly sane, is he?

roboc

Question: Gollum had lots of chances to kill Sam and Frodo so why didn't he take them?

Answer: He feared them, for one thing, but also felt loyalty to Frodo, who showed him kindness. Gollum, torn between his good and evil nature, was eventually overpowered by his desire for the ring.

raywest

Question: This question pertains to all the films, particularly the extended edition of this film. It might seem odd to ask, but how exactly does Saruman get on top of the Orthanc? We see him there in FOTR a couple times then in ROTK (extended). Also, in ROTK extended when Gandalf and co are talking to him, the Orthanc is a tall structure so how can they all hear each other so well?

Answer: For the first question, the most likely answer is there must have been some kind of staircase that lead up there although the exit wasn't clearly visible. Remember that grima wormtongue had no trouble getting up there in the extended edition. For the second question, since Saruman is a wizard, he is clearly able to project his voice down to them and have no trouble hearing them

Gavin Jackson

Question: When Eowyn kills the witch-king's big flying thing, he visibly has no swords or a mace on his person, but when he gets up to confront her he has both weapons. Where does he get the weapons from?

Answer: Physically, there's no body inside that robe. They could have been stashed in there with room to spare.

Phixius

Question: I'm trying to find a specific part of a scene. All I can remember is the background is a forest-type set with possibly ruins or stairs. The four hobbits are there, but they're in their normal street attire. Any help would be appreciated as to which scene this shot is located.

Answer: It sounds like a scene in "Return of the King" in the extended version, but it was the TWO hobbits (Merry and Pippin). Frodo & Samwise are still in Mordor trying to destroy the ring. The scene I think you're imagining is where Gandalf and gang come upon the destroyed Two Towers and find Pippin and Merry smoking pipes while sitting on a destroyed tower next to the forest. Hope that helps.

CCARNI

Question: Is the Mouth of Sauron capable of seeing through his helmet? The design visibly does not incorporate eye holes, yet he nevertheless is able to accurately throw Frodo's mithril shirt at Gandalf and then recognizes Aragorn even though Aragorn does nothing to give away his identity, both conceivably would not be possible without keen eyesight.

Answer: We know very little about the Mouth of Sauron as he's portrayed in the film. While he's human in the book, his cinematic incarnation is of indeterminate species, so it's hard to say what he might or might not be capable of. The book version of the character is described as being a powerful sorceror - if the same holds true of the film Mouth, then possession of such strong magic could readily explain his ability to identify those around him and operate easily without eyesight.

Tailkinker

Question: Why must Frodo go with Gandalf and the elves, at the end of RotK?

Answer: He doesn't have to, but he wants to. His adventures have left considerable scars on him, both physically and mentally. He could stay in the Shire, but he'd continue to suffer for the rest of his life. By going into the West with Gandalf and the Elves, he'll be able to live out his days peacefully, free from pain.

Tailkinker

Question: Are the Valar ever mentioned in any sort of way in the trilogy?

Answer: In The Two Towers, when Aragorn is floating in the water after the Warg attack, Arwen appears above him and says "May the grace of the Valar protect you." That's pretty much it.

Question: I am resubmitting my question because the posted answer is incomplete and/or irrelevant. In FOTR, Bilbo says something like "There has always been a Baggins living at Bag End, and there always will be." Presumably he thinks Frodo, and Frodo's descendants, will always live there, but Frodo goes to the Undying Lands, leaving no heirs behind. In the book, Sam and Rosie move into Bag End, but this does not happen in the movie - at the end of ROTK, you can see that the hobbit hole Sam goes home to is not Bag End. My question is, why did the filmmakers change these 2 things? In other words, if Bilbo's line is included to make it important who ends up in Bag End, why not show who does end up there in ROTK? If it is not important who lives there (thus explaining why Sam and Rosie don't appear there), then why have Bilbo make a fuss over it in FOTR? Someone answered that "Bilbo is simply stating the way things have always been", but this is not what I'm asking. I'm not asking "why would Bilbo say this?", I'm asking "why did Peter Jackson think it was important to have this line in the movie?" Why make a scene about who Bilbo thinks will end up in Bag End, and then not show who does end up in Bag End? I want to know what dramatic or story-telling purpose the juxtaposition of these 2 scenes (Bilbo's line and showing that Sam and Rosie do not move into Bag End) serves.

Answer: I think the point is that, at the time he speak the line, Bilbo has NO WAY to know the events that are to come. Clearly, he thinks that the Baggins' will always live at Bag End. How can he possibly know the way things will turn out? Even in the book, at the beginning of the story, Bilbo has no way to know that Sam and Rosie will move into Bag End and that Frodo will not. Also, you might be attaching far too much significance to this one line. We cannot assume that the line was included for the express purpose of "making it important who ends up in Bag End". All that matters is Bilbo is making an assumption that Baggins' will always live there.

wizard_of_gore

Question: In FOTR, Bilbo says something like "There has always been a Baggins living at Bag End, and there always will be." Presumably he thinks Frodo, and Frodo's descendants, will always live there, but Frodo goes to the Undying Lands, leaving no heirs behind. In the book, Sam and Rosie move into Bag End, but this does not happen in the movie - at the end of ROTK, you can see that the hobbit hole Sam goes home to is not Bag End. My question is, why did the filmmakers change these 2 things? In other words, if Bilbo's line is supposed to make it important who ends up in Bag End, why not show who does end up there in ROTK? If it is not important who lives there (thus explaining why Sam and Rosie don't appear there), then why have Bilbo make a fuss over it in FOTR? I just don't understand what the point is.

Answer: Bilbo is simply stating the way things have always been. At that point, he has no reason to believe that Frodo and his descendants will not live in Bag End. As to Sam returning to 3 Bagshot Row instead of Bag End, having him go to Bag End would have caused some extra time to be added to the film. The film is long enough, and explaining that Frodo left Bag End to Sam and his family would've added too much unnecessary time.

Question: When this question was originally asked it was not clear enough, because the answer that was given is wrong and has nothing to do with the "emissary of Sauron's who's called "The Mouth of Sauron". Here is a more precise version of the question, so if anyone can please offer a response, it would be much appreciated. This question refers to the scene that Peter Jackson edited/chopped, when both Rohan and Gondor are at the Black Gate, and Aragorn is battling the Troll. Before the scene was edited, the Troll was originally the physical form of Sauron that Aragorn is fighting. How would this even be possible seeing that Sauron can only come into physical form once he has possession of the Ring? Likely the question answers itself, as that may be the reason why Jackson edited the scene and changed Sauron into a Troll, but am very interested in anyone else's thoughts about it.

Answer: Sauron's power is referred to as "growing" throughout the trilogy, so the initial rationale may have been that Sauron was ultimately able to gain enough power to reform his body, even though he still lacked the full power provided by the Ring. This would tie in to the books where, although Sauron never appears directly, there are a number of references that suggest that, in the book version of the tale, he possesses a physical form throughout. There's also the likelihood that it was originally felt that, dramatically speaking, a direct confrontation between the leaders of the two factions would be more satisfying to the casual viewer. Ultimately Jackson chose to revert to a story angle closer to that of the books, where Sauron remains a distant presence, plus, as you so rightly point out, it goes against statements made earlier in the film that Sauron requires the Ring to attain his power. As such, the fight against Sauron was reedited to pit Aragorn against a powerful troll instead.

Tailkinker

Question: Extended Edition: What is the point of the avalanche of skulls that the Army of the Dead throw down upon Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli? Surely the AOTD would want to keep Aragorn alive; he was the only way that they could break their curse. Or was the avalanche of skulls something that the AOTD were not responsible for? PS: I don't want any answers like "Peter Jackson put it there because it looked cool", I want answers that fit within the context of the film.

Answer: With the last of the line of Isildur dead, there would be no one left to hold them to their oath and they'd be free to 'pass on.'

Phixius

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Quotes

Aragorn: Stand your ground, stand your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes, the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come, when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends, and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves, and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! For all that you hold dear, on this good earth, I bit you stand, men of the west!

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Mistakes

Legolas sends an arrow directly to Grima atop Orthanc, and as Grima starts to fall back the arrow is quite visibly well below the coat's fur. However, when Grima actually hits the ground, the arrow is now higher up, protruding from the fur. (Extended Edition.)

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Trivia

Sam's line at the end of the film ("Well, I'm back") is also the last line of the "King" novel.

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