While Gothmog (played by Lawrence Makoare) is the only Orc identified in the film, here are the names of those un-named, who appear in the films: 1) Gorbag: the Orc (played by Stephen Ure) that argues over the mithril shirt and then fights with the Uruk in the Tower at Cirith Ungol, and later Sam stabs in the Tower when rescuing Frodo; 2) Shagrat: the large Uruk (played by Peter Tait) that argues with Gorbag over the mithril shirt; 3) Snaga: is Grishnákh's lieutenant in The Two Towers (he's played by Jed Brophy). He is the Orc who argues over food - Merry and Pippin - and tries to sneak up behind the Hobbits, but is killed by Uglúk.
It always seemed illogical that when Faramir and his men were under attack by the Nazgul and retreating to Minas Tirith, Gandalf galloped out of the city to rescue them with Pippen astride. Why carry the extra burden of a Hobbit and put him in danger? Billy Boyd (Pippen) cleared up this inconsistency on the Extended DVD commentary. The scene was originally written so that Gandalf and Pippen are actually just arriving at Minas Tirith as the soldiers fall under attack, but this was later rewritten.
The Cirith Ungol stair ledge was built as a wet weather set on the squash court in a hotel in Queenstown. In November of 1999, Sean Astin's (Sam) close-ups were shot in the taping of the first RotK shots, and as a side note Andy Serkis (Gollum) had not been cast yet. The set remained standing on the squash court and as things would go, it wasn't until a year later on November 30th, 2000, that Elijah Wood's (Frodo) first close-ups were actually shot on that ledge.
Originally, Frodo was to push Gollum into the lava in Mt. Doom, but director Peter Jackson was against it because it made Frodo into a murderer and was out of character.
Another "Wilhelm" scream can be heard when Legolas is climbing the Oliphaunt and throws one of the Haradrim off.
According to the commentary, Peter Jackson said that he shortened the scene of Smeagol strangling Deagol for the theaterical version because if he had not, it would not have given the film its PG-13 rating. The full strangling scene appeared in the Extended Edition.
The great grandson of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has landed a spot in the final movie, Return of the King. 34-year-old Royd Tolkien was asked by director Peter Jackson to play a Gondorian Ranger in the final movie.
A bit of trivia for those who haven't read the books. In the Grey Havens scene, the three Elven Rings can be seen upon the hands of their bearers: Vilya, mightiest of the Three, is worn by Elrond; Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, is still borne by Galadriel; and Narya the Great is seen on Gandalf's hand.
The scenes at the Black Gate were shot at the army munitions training ground because of its wide, flat, desert type landscape. Before the shoot, the land had forty years worth of demolitions, land mines, mortars, grenades, etc., lying all over. The government asked the army to clear and dispose the ammunition for the filmmakers, but due to the soft ground many could've remained undetected. When the crew arrived for the shoot, an army officer lectured them and showed them different types of munitions to warn them of the possibility of finding more on the site, as dirt was kicked up during battle sequences. There were bomb disposal people surrounding them and sure enough shooting halted as things were discovered and cleared. The cast and crew were told that if they strayed from the designated areas and lost limbs, the army was not responsible.
The song 'Into the West' played at the end of the movie is inspired by a young New Zealand film maker named Cameron Duncan who died from cancer in 2003 at the age of 17. The song's first public performance was at his funeral.
In the Extended Edition the Gondorian soldier who was shot by an Orc in Osgliath was a cameo appearance by film's stunt cordinator, according to director Peter Jackson on the director/writer audio commentary.
The famous "Wilhelm" scream makes a reappearance during the scene where Faramir's men are fleeing from Osgiliath across the Pelennor Fields. Just after the people of Minas Tirith call out, "The White Rider" a Nazgul swoops down and snatches up one of Faramir's men. The "Wilhelm" is heard as he falls.
The last shot of this film was shot after already winning the Academy award for best picture. (In the DVD extended cut, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh joke about it saying, "We already won the Academy Award for this film so we don't need to get all funny about it, do we?"(The last shot filmed is a skeleton head hitting the ground before the chamber of the dead falls down).