When Aragorn beheads the mouth of Sauron, his left cheek is splashed with a fair amount of black blood which drips downward. In the very next shot of Aragorn's face, the amount of blood has been reduced to a few dried spots. See more...
When Gandalf is talking about the gathering of the armies of Sauron, the next shot shows the Corsairs on a ship. Walking there from right to left is Peter Jackson in a cameo as a Corsair pirate. In the Extended DVD, at the start of Disc 2, he is actually pierced in the chest by Legolas' arrow and dramatically dies! See more...
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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - 255 questions
Directed by Peter Jackson, starring Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, John Rhys-Davies, Miranda Otto, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Dominic Monaghan, Hugo Weaving, Karl Urban, Bernard Hill, David Wenham, John Noble, Liv Tyler (add more)
The "questions" section is for any random questions that occurred to you while watching this film, or anything you didn't entirely understand, and which Google or the IMDb can't help with. Submit them as a question, and hopefully someone will answer (the bold comments in brackets) - check back regularly. If the answer is wrong, or missing information, please use the "clarify answer" option. Don't feel limited - want to know what music played in a certain scene? Whether this was the first film to use a certain effect? Here's the place to ask!
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
Question: This might be a daft question, but what exactly is Denethor's problem? From the Extended Version of "The Two Towers" to when he dies in "The Return of the King", I just get the impression that he's being an a** for no apparent reason.
Answer: Denethor is basically a grim and humourless man, largely brought on by the early death of his beloved wife, thirty years before the events of the film. In many ways an intelligent ruler, he nevertheless commanded the city under the continued stress of the threat of Mordor, a power that built throughout his reign as Steward and this took a great toll on the man. In the books, Denethor repeatedly used a palantir to gather knowledge from afar; this allowed Sauron to tap into his psyche and sap his will, casting him deeper into a state of fear and paranoia. Ultimately the loss of his beloved son and heir, Boromir, sent him over the edge, leaving him as the bitter and rather twisted man that we see during the events of "The Return of the King".
Question: This applies to all three movies. Why didn't they just release the Extended Versions in the theatre as opposed to releasing what was released in the theatre? Some things would have made a lot more sense (i.e. the breaking of the Evanstar in the theatrical release makes more sense in the Extended Version), and they are far truer to the books.
Answer: Longer films aren't as marketable or profitable as shorter ones. Studios have the final word on how long a movie is, often overriding the director's artistic intention. A movie's running time is determined by a number of factors including how long it's believed an audience is willing to sit through it, and the maximum number of showings possible per day in a theater. The more showings, the more tickets sold. With LotR, each movie was already quite long, and it's doubtful theater audiences would have been willing to sit through an even longer version. Also, with epic films like LotR, it is typical for the theatrical version to be released on DVD first. Much later, the "extended" version is offered, basically repackaging and reselling the movie to the same audience who bought the first DVD, further increasing the profits.
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: The elves were too strong-willed for Sauron to easily control and, 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. 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: Can someone please explain to me the whole Rohan/Gondor relationship? I keep hearing that what is now Rohan was given to those who are now the Rohirrim by the king of Gondor.
Answer: That's true. The rohirrim were a tribe of Northmen that had more or less settled just outside of Gondor. During an invasion by orcs and Easterlings in 2509, the king of Gondor sent word to them and asked for help. Their leader, Eorl the Young, led the rohirrim to the Fields of Celebrant, where they completely destroyed the orc army. In gratitude, the king of Gondor gave them a large area of land as their own kingdom, that had more or less been depopulated by plague and the latest war. So Rohan and Gondor have had close ties and been aliies ever since.
Question: When both Rohan and Gondor are at the Black Gate, there is a deleted scene where Aragorn fights with Sauron. How would this be possible seeing that Sauron can only come into physical form once Mordor have taken the ring?
Answer: He fights an emissary of Sauron's who's called "The Mouth of Sauron," not Sauron himself.
Question: Extended Edition: Why do the Army of the Dead try to crush Aragorn and others with the skull avalanche? They try to kill him, and then decide to help him. I don't get it.
Answer: They kill everyone that enters their domain. After Aragorn reveals himself as Isildur's heir they realize he can lift the curse, so they agree to help him in exchange for being released.
Question: Gandalf doesn't need his staff to do magic, or does he?
Answer: This is difficult to answer. Tolkien, in the books, appears to tie the use of magic to the staff. There are several times that staffs are lost or broken and it is inferred that the Maia (the race, if you will, of wizards) is lessened by it. However, Gandalf is able to defeat the Balrog after he lost his staff at the chasm in Khazad Dhun. To do that, he needed his powers although he died in the process. So it doesn't seem that he absolutely needs his staff to do magic, but it certainly helps.