The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Question: Maybe I missed something, but why didn't Gandalf notice that Sam was not there? He acts surprised when Aragorn says that Frodo didn't go to Mordor alone, Sam went with him. Yet, he has already seen Merry and Pippin, and Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn are with him, and he knows that Frodo went on alone, so where does he think Sam is? Please excuse me if I missed something.

Chosen answer: The movie makes it clear that Gandalf has lost some of his memory and his personality has changed. Gandalf actually did die and pass over to the "other side", as it were but was sent back to complete his task. However, he was sent back as a similar, but different entity. Gandalf the White does not have all the memories of Gandalf the Grey, at least at first. He doesn't even remember that he used to be called Gandalf the Grey until someone points this out to him. It is implied that Gandalf doesn't even remember Sam until Aragorn mentions him. Gandalf then searches his memories and remembers who Sam is and his eventual importance to Frodo's quest. When he finally remembers this, he is pleased that Sam went with Frodo, as he will play a crucial role near the end of the journey.

Question: When Saruman declares war, why does Grima cry? He's a bad guy siding with Saruman.

Chosen answer: The tear rolling down his cheek is the result of his overwhelming awe at the sheer size of Saruman's army.

Phixius

Answer: He's a experiencing a moment of guilt, realizing that he has helped unleash a genocidal war machine on his own people.

Jukka Nurmi

Question: When Pippin and Merry are with the orcs (or uruk-hai or whatever they're called) one of the orcs keeps insisting on eating them. What does he mean when he says, "Do they give good sport?" And then he does this weird thing with his tongue to which Merry looks at him oddly. I don't know what he meant by that.

xx:xx:xx

Zinka17

Chosen answer: "Do they give good sport" is simply a way of asking whether they're being kept alive to provide later entertainment; could they be used in some sort of organised hunt, could they serve as gladiatorial fodder in an arena fight, that sort of thing. The weird thing with the tongue really just seems to be a sort of odd tic, designed to emphasise his rather disgusting nature.

Tailkinker

Question: I'm just curious, but at Helm's Deep, when Legolas says to Gimli "Shall I get you a box to stand on?" or words to that effect, was that line improvised by Orlando Bloom or was it in the script?

Chosen answer: There's nothing to indicate that it wasn't in the script. It seems in line with much of the humour displayed throughout the trilogy, so was likely there from the start.

Tailkinker

Question: What was the point of bringing the Elves to the Battle of Helm's Deep? I don't mean in terms of the action of the film - I mean, why would the filmmakers add in something that is completely off the book? Legolas and Gimli frequently comment in the books that they wish their kinsmen would come to help them. Legolas then says that war is raging on their lands, and they will not come. Why have them come in the film?

padfootrocksmysocks

Chosen answer: It's to show that the other races aren't just sitting back and letting the race of Men fight the battles. They could, of course, simply have had Legolas and Gimli saying that their people are fighting elsewhere, much as the books do, but it's more interesting and emphatic to actually show that the elves are participating in the battle against evil, even if it represents a change.

Tailkinker

Question: Who or what is Helm and what is its deep?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: Helm Hammerhand was the ninth King of Rohan who used the caves and their accompanying fortifications (built many centuries earlier by the Gondorians) as refuge during a war against the Dunlendings. The caves, and the valley leading to them, were named Helm's Deep as a tribute.

Tailkinker

Question: In the opening scene, Frodo is dreaming about Gandalf's fall in Moria. So later on, when Gandalf is explaining to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, how does he suddenly get from a water-filled cave miles below the surface of the earth (seen in Frodo's dream) to the top of a tower in the mountains (where he killed the Balrog once and for all)? I won't accept the explanation that Frodo's dream was inaccurate to real events or that he doesn't know what really happened, as I'm sure Peter Jackson used the dream as a way to partially explain what really happened to Gandalf in the books.

Chosen answer: Nope, Frodo's dream is spot-on - no need to use that excuse. Gandalf and the Balrog obviously both survive the fall, and Gandalf spends the next eight days chasing the Balrog through the deep caverns under Khazad-dum. Ultimately, the pair reach the Endless Stair, which connects the deep halls to the ruins of Durin's Tower on the peak of Zirakzigil, a mountain high above Moria. They head up the stair to the mountaintop where they fight their final battle, which lasts another two days before Gandalf finally triumphs.

Tailkinker

Question: This is an odd question, but have any historians commented on the battle scenes? Aside from the heroes' fights (such as Legolas, Gimili and Aragorn defeating hundreds of orcs by themselves), how true to life are the battles compared to real medieval sieges / battles?

Gary O'Reilly

Chosen answer: The LOTR is a heavy interpolation of different times, civilizations, religions, and cultures. Mainly, strict European and no Greek or Roman influence. There are bits and pieces of Medieval era, but then it can shoot to pre-Rome eras, and then shoot to strict religious material. It bounces back and forth all over the place, between pieces based on historical fact. For example, based on the armor, aspects, weapons, and fighting styles, the Elves would be the Gauls and Britonnic, around the time of Julius Caesar. The Dwarves are the Goths (Germany, Austria), but they also are the Nordic tribes ("vikings"). The Orcs bear strong similarity to the Vandals and Khazars, and the Mumakil are the Mauretanians (Moors). The Hobbits, Elves, Ents, Gandalf, are strong nods to the Druidism religion (Gandalf, the Elves, and Saruman are Druid priests, the Ents are supernatural beings). The Dwarves, dragons, trolls, giant spiders, orcs and Sauron show heavy nods to Asatru (Odin, Thor, Freya faith). Man seems somewhere in the middle, with more Medieval Christian hints here and there every so often, but very rarely. Besides the giant wolves, eagles, and such obvious fiction, the battles can go from very realistic to utter fiction. But they keep close enough to real history to be identifiable with who they are based on. The elves seem to follow a Gaul and Britonnic style, copper and gold armor, momentum-based swordplay, and a single-man fighting style. Many of the elves ring close to the Britonnic "kluddargos", high class swordsmen. The trolls seem similar to the very early Goths and Brits, as well as the Nordic "sky-clad" warriors who did at times use clubs and maces while stark naked and whipped up into a powerful "mind-over-body" state. The orcs show some resemblance to the Vandal forces, as well as the Thracians and many Celtic tribes (orcs are based off African American miners by J.R.R. Initially, and the whole story has rings of racism mixed with Christian elements, but take it for what it is. It mostly is a story copied from various myths, lore, and some events of Europe before Rome conquered the tribes Game of Thrones is closer to historical facts, and is not really racist at all, but also bounces around with interpolation as bad as LOTR). The Rohirrim bear strong resemblance to the Iberian horsemen who fought alongside Hannibal against Rome, as well as Viriatus; they were Celtic-like natives of Portugal (before Rome took it over and dominated the ethnic look of the region). The orc warg riders are akin to Nordic and Vandal horsemen, Dwarf combat is very close to actual Nordic and Gothic combat, lots of momentum, speed, heavy blows, and strength. The Elves have some resemblance to Gaulish and Britonnic high class warrior combat, but at swordplay and shields. The archery, on the other hand, is copied from Roman archers, Greek archers, and Sudanese (Nubian) archers (who could quickly whip from bow to sword in combat). The trolls use a style somewhere between fiction, but also with the real religion-hyped warriors of the Pechts, Vandals, Goths, viking tribes and Gauls: naked men armed who jumped into battle in a frenzy. The Uruk-hai berserker bears more resemblance to the Asatru religion "Úlfhéðnar", or Norse berserker. The Uruk-hai show resemblance to Goths mixed with European tribal warriors who sided with Byzantine. The Dunedain are very medieval Europeans, primarily England. So, to answer your question. Are the fights factual? sometimes, and not always the entire fight. Are they medieval fights? Again, sometimes, but usually they are mimicry of pieces of history or tribes and states during the Roman era. The closest to mimicking facts, even more than so-called fact based movies, is the game Skyrim. Skyrim can be very close to mimicking historical facts.

Question: The whole line of events leading to Gollum's capture by Faramir seems a bit out of place. 1. Where was Gollum when the hobbits were captured? 2. Wouldn't he be wondering where they are instead of fishing and singing carelessly? Did he know what had happened to them? 3. When Frodo finally appears, Gollum - suddenly - becomes suspicious. How so?

Chosen answer: 1. Gollum ran off as soon as he heard the Rangers coming. He did not want to get caught, as he figured the Rangers would kill him. 2. Gollum was certainly curious, but he still has to eat. He wouldn't pass up a pool full of fish. He also suspected that the Rangers had taken them. 3. Gollum is suspicious of Frodo showing up randomly. He didn't expect him to be there, and he found it strange that Frodo would want them to leave right at that moment.

Question: I am confused as to an event when the Rangers are in Osgiliath. Why one of the Nazgul (possibly the Witch King himself) would be within a few feet of the One Ring, and allow himself to be driven off by an arrow shot into the Fell Beast. After seeing the One Ring, he flew off....I doubt that Sauron would have understood.

scwilliam

Chosen answer: Well, for one thing, he's most likely having a hard time controlling the arrow-shot Fell Beast. Secondly, there's no evidence that he positively identified the Ring. He saw a hobbit, which he knows are of interest, but, as Sam intercepts Frodo before he puts the Ring on, has no way of knowing that he actually held the Ring itself. Given the level of resistance on the ground, it doesn't make good tactical sense to try and land the annoyed Fell Beast to chase after a hobbit.

Tailkinker

Question: What is the real name of the flower used as Simbelmyne?

Chosen answer: According to Peter Jackson's commentary on the EE, they actually made the Simbelmyna at Weta.

Ioreth

Question: After Gimli finds Merry's knife sheath among the dead orcs, Legolas bows and says a few words in Elvish. What are they and what do they mean?

Chosen answer: "Hiro hyn hîdh ab 'wanath." ("May they find peace in death").

Sierra1

Question: Okay, so here is something that always bothered me, although I really like the Elves at Helm's Deep: how in Arda did they get there so quickly? Elrond and Galadriel decide to send the Elven army to the Hornburg during the telepathic conversation-scene, in which there's also footage of the Uruk-hai marching towards Helm's Deep, because, indeed, they have already departed. The Elves that Elrond and Galadriel send are from Lothlórien, they are Galadhrim, and they arrive at Helm's Deep quite some time before the Uruks do, despite a) Lothlórien being significantly further away from Helm's Deep than Isengard, and b) leaving after the Isengard army did. Just, how? I am not buying some random Galadhrim army just happened to be nearby, as it doesn't make any sense for them to be, especially considering the fact that Sauron was attacking Lórien at the time, so you'd think they'd be needed there. I am also not buying Galadriel teleported them or something, because if she could do that, she could have just teleported Frodo to Mount Doom. I know this is probably just something the film makers didn't think through, but can someone think of a plausible excuse?

Answer: Well the Galadhrim have horses, which they send away after arriving at Helm's deep so you don't see them. They didn't come walking like the Uruk army.

lionhead

Question: After the healing of Theoden from the spell of Saruman, Why didn't Aragorn Let Theoden kill Grima?

DFirst1

Chosen answer: Théoden was intent on killing Grima out of revenge for what he had done. Since Aragorn is a very noble man, he would have felt that Théoden killing Grima for that reason would not have been a noble decision, especially for a king, to make.

Casual Person

Question: When it first shows the orcs carrying Pippin and Merry, Pippin shows evident concern for Merry and asks, "What about your heart?" To which Merry replies, "It was just an act. See? Fooled you too." I'm just curious as to what makes Pippin think that anything is wrong with Merry's heart. It never stated or showed anything about Pippin or Merry until this scene, and the last we see of them in FOTR is of them being carried away by the orcs, completely conscious and unharmed. However, while I have the extended version of TTT and ROTK, I only have the theatrical version of FOTR, so I was wondering if this was ever mentioned in a scene during it.

Zinka17

Chosen answer: You misheard, I'm afraid. Pippin says "You're hurt" not "Your heart".

Tailkinker

Question: When Frodo first calls Gollum "Smeagol", what is it that Gollum says in between Frodo's lines? They sound like riddles, or are they possibly pieces of songs from the books? If so, what songs are they and where are they found within the books?

Chosen answer: "Cold be heart and hand and bone/Cold be travellers far from home/They do not see what lies ahead/When sun has failed and moon is dead." I believe it is based on a spell cast on the four hobbits by the Barrow-Wight, in the book "The Fellowship of the Ring."

Question: Gandalf explains in this movie how he survives fighting that fire creature from the 1st movie. But I am confused here. They show in flashbacks him and the fire creature falling down the crevice and landing in a pool of water. Next scene they are on the top of the mountain fighting in snow. How did they get from the pool of water to the mountain of snow?

SAZOO1975

Chosen answer: It was a long fight lasting many days, after they fell, the Balrog climbed all the way to the peaks of the mountains, and Gandalf followed it.

pross79

Question: After Aragorn goes over the cliff during the warg attack, why don't Gimli and Legolas go down to look for him? Even if they thought it would be impossible for him to have survived, how could they live with not having made sure? Yes, more wargs would be coming soon, but surely these two brave warriors would not allow that to prevent them from possibly saving Aragorn's life.

Chosen answer: They simply don't think he could have survived. Even if he did, they could hardly take the time to search for what could be miles downriver. Aragorn would want to make sure that the people of Rohan reached safety, so that's what they do, accompany the column to Helm's Deep, rather than abandon them in the face of possible further attacks. Also, King Theoden had given orders to leave the dead, and assuming that Aragon could not have survived such a fall, they were being ordered to leave him.

Tailkinker

Question: When Legolas says "Aragorn, something's out there!" Why does he speak in Elvish? Gimli cannot speak Elvish and there is no reason for Legolas to not want Gimli to hear what he is saying.

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: Legolas was speaking in Elvish so that the whoever or whatever was out there would not understand. It is more likely "it" would understand if Legolas were to speak in english and therefore make their surprise counter-attack void.

XIII

Question: What is the reason for Aragorn falling off the cliff? Most people who see this movie would at least know that the next installment is called "Return of the King" so they would know that Aragorn cannot die until the third movie. I wondered whether it was just a plot device so that Aragorn could see the army of Uruk-Hai later and report their numbers to Theoden.

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: You're quite right in that, no, I doubt anybody seriously would have thought that Aragorn was going to die, but the scene functions as a way of showing the peril that the characters are facing, plus, as you say, it allowed Aragorn to report on the approaching enemy force, putting the main characters in the thick of the action rather than having a nameless scout character make the report. Plus it also allows them to reunite Aragorn with Brego the horse.

Tailkinker

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Quotes

Sam: It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.

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Mistakes

Gimli is lying with his face under the water, after jumping off the Deeping Wall and landing on the Uruk-hai. In the close-up, the right arm that grabs Gimli's shoulder to help him out of the water is Legolas' right arm. Yet, in the wide shot, suddenly it is Aragorn helping Gimli to his feet, not Legolas.

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Trivia

John Rhys-Davies is missing the end of his middle finger on his left hand due to a farming accident as a child. The make-up artists made artificial, gelatin fingertips for him to wear in the movies. Davies one day, cut the tip in half, put 'blood' in it and closed it up. He went over to Peter Jackson (unaware of the gelatin tip) and said, "Boss, I've had an accident, look what happened". Jackson saw a small cut, but Davies bent the tip back and it split open, gushing. Nice.

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