The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Revealing mistake: At Edoras, Merry and Pippin sing the song about the Green Dragon while dancing on the table. When Merry kicks Gamling's mug of ale off the table, Merry's foot gets thinner and partially disappears in this shot as does Pippin's foot in the next shot as he kicks up. (00:13:55)

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Deliberate mistake: In the scene at the Black Gate when Sauron is assumed talking to Aragorn, when he turns around you can tell that Gimli is the scale double, Brett. (02:39:40)

Factual error: Gollum's body wouldn't sink into the lava if he fell in it as shown in the movie. Rather his body would burst into flames, and turn to ash. Falling in lava isn't like falling into a lake. Lava is more than three times denser than water, which prevents a human shaped body from sinking in.

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Suggested correction: Gollum isn't human.

It doesn't matter if Gollum isn't human. Gollum is still a life form with skin organs and bones. Any life form with skin organs and bones would burst into flames and turn to ash if it fell in lava whether it was human or not.


You're talking about the properties of magical metal in a magical volcano in a fantasy movie. Who knows how it will behave?

Jason Hoffman

It says lava's density prevents a human shaped body from sinking in. It doesn't say it's lava's density prevents a human from sinking in. Gollum's body is the same shape as a human body.

Continuity mistake: As Gandalf et al. ride toward Isengard, Merry stands up on the stone wall and to his right the sword is leaning upright against the stone. In the second shot of Merry and Pippin, the sword is leaning down, over to the left. Then in the third shot of them, the sword is upright again. (00:10:00)

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Continuity mistake: When Gandalf, Theoden, et al arrive at Orthanc, they stop when they're greeted by Treebeard and then are confronted with Saruman. The positions of the huge spiked wheel in front of Orthanc, Treebeard, the riders, etc., from the time they ride in, as well as the amount or even existence of debris in the water, changes drastically in consecutive close-ups, overhead and wide shots. (Extended Edition) (00:11:20)

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Continuity mistake: At Isengard, Pippin reaches for the palantir in the water. In the first shot underwater, he clutches the palantir tightly with both hands and the lines in the palantir are vertical. In the next consecutive shot as he brings it up out of the water, still clutching it tightly, the lines are now horizontal in the Palantir. He did not shift the seeing-stone in his tight grip, it was just simply shot at different times. (These palantir's lines permanently encompass the circumference of the surface of the sphere, they do not change.) (00:11:35)

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Deliberate mistake: When Pippin and Gandalf see the White Tree of Gondor, it goes to an aerial shot of the two actors, and Pippin looks like the scale double.

Continuity mistake: After the Hobbits return to the Shire it cuts to the Green Dragon Inn. In the first shot, Frodo nearly bumps into the huge pumpkin while he's holding the handles of four mugs, two in each hand. In this first shot the two mugs with white interiors are between the two with dark interiors, but in the next shot while the mugs are still in Frodo's hands, the four mugs have suddenly switched to opposite positions.

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Continuity mistake: The fray, size and shape of the rip on Frodo's knickers at his left knee changes throughout the film. For example it goes from large to small to large again, and so forth.

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Continuity mistake: When Frodo is lying in bed at the end, in one shot only for a second, right when he begins to sit up, you can see Frodo's undamaged finger folded up and wrapped in white.

Sol Parker

Continuity mistake: At Rivendell, the shards of Narsil shown lying on the cloth include the hilt, four small shards and the long pointy tip. In Fellowship, there are also two shots with two different versions of the shards, within the same scene with Boromir and Aragorn, also mentioned in Mistakes. In RotK, when the two Elves are reforging the blade, in one shot the pointy tip of the blade is shown with the tip broken. Though, in all three of the shards' shots in FotR and RotK the pointy tip is unbroken. Also, the long tip shown in the first shot lying on the cloth is much longer than the tip being shown while being reforged. This has nothing to do with camera angles. (00:29:55)

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Revealing mistake: At the end of the movie when the hobbits leave the Shire, there's a shot of a lake with trees in the background. The reflections of the trees don't match their actual shape.


Continuity mistake: When Deagol comes out of the water, the shot opens as he is submerged in water below his arms. As he crawls up there is quite an obvious difference in wetness of the overalls that were submerged for the take and the area above it, including the overall straps. Also, as Smeagol goes after the Ring, there's a close-up of Deagol's backside and there are patches on Deagol's pants that are completely dry. Then Smeagol begins to choke Deagol and as he goes down to the ground, his backside is completely wet again. (00:01:55 - 00:03:15)

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Revealing mistake: When Sam carries Frodo on his shoulders and struggles to carry him up to the entrance of Mount Doom, just before he says, "Look Mr. Frodo. A doorway," you can see Sam's right latex Hobbit foot slightly peeled off from his skin near his toes, as he steps up onto the step. (02:35:25)

Deliberate mistake: After entering Minas Tirith with Faramir and his men, Faramir stares at Pippin who sits in front of Gandalf. In Pippin's close-up, one of Gandalf's hands hold his staff and the other is on Pippin. These are not Ian McKellan's (Gandalf) hands and this occurs quite a few times throughout the film, as when Gandalf yells, "Fool of a Took" and places his hand on Merry's shoulder. McKellan's hands are seen many times in the film and among the differences; he has age spots (the actor is currently in his sixties) on his hands. (00:55:25)

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Continuity mistake: After Pippin looks at the Palantir, and Gandalf is holding his face, when the shot is on Pip, his face is sweaty and flushed. When the shot is on Gandalf, Pippin's face is pale. (00:31:45)

Revealing mistake: Pippin's height reaches the circular carvings on the wall near the front door and behind Gandalf's cot, when he walks towards Gandalf to steal the palantir. However, after Pip's contact with Sauron, the heights of Aragorn, Legolas and Gandalf are now about the same as Pippin's in the previous shots, when standing near the same carvings! When Gandalf pushes Merry out of the way in the wide shot, this short Merry would barely reach the height of the shelf behind Gimli which is way below the carvings. (00:19:45 - 00:21:25)

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King mistake picture

Continuity mistake: At Edoras, Aragorn's sword leans against the wall, significantly lower than the circular carving above it, as Pippin walks toward Gandalf. However, when Merry asks, "What are you mad?" the hilt now reaches near the top of the circular pattern. Then when Gandalf grabs the blanket to cover the palantir, the sword's height is the same as in the first shot. (00:19:45)

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Continuity mistake: During Arwen's vision of Eldarion (her future son), you see a close-up shot of Arwen, just before she meets his glance and in this shot the folds in her velvet hood are broad and the pattern lies a certain way. In the next shot of her the fabric folds are smaller and the pattern differs, which stays consistent through Elrond's line. After her vision disappears, the scene cuts back to her (just before her escort says his first line) and her hood returns to the way it was in the first shot. (00:27:30)

Deliberate mistake: At the end of the film in the shot from behind as Bilbo is walking towards Elrond and then up the boat ramp, we see the head of the "little person" playing the small version of him. His head is actually in a different proportion compared to the previous shots. The top of his head is considerably larger than before. (02:04:15)


[After Legolas single-handedly takes out an Oliphant and its drivers.]
Gimli: That still only counts as one.

More quotes from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King mistake picture

Trivia: When Gandalf is talking about the gathering of the armies of Sauron, the next shot shows the Corsairs on a ship. Walking from right to left is Peter Jackson in a cameo as a Corsair pirate. In the extended version he is pierced in the chest by Legolas' arrow and dramatically dies. (00:38:30)

More trivia for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Question: Where were the other Wizards during the fight for Middle-Earth?

Answer: There are only five wizards. Saruman and Gandalf are heavily involved, as we see. Radagast, while not mentioned in the film, has a particular affinity with the birds and animals - it is he who sends the Eagles to the last battle, and to rescue Gandalf from Isengard. The final two, Alatar and Pallando, known as the Blue Wizards, went into the far eastern regions of Middle-Earth and never returned. Tolkien felt that they would ultimately have fallen from grace, much as Saruman did.

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