The Lord of the Rings: 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.

raywest Premium member

Question: Does Legolas marry after the battle ends, and where were his kin throughout the battle? Does Gimli marry, and where were the other Dwarfs?

Answer: Sauron's assault on Middle-Earth took place on many fronts; it wasn't limited to the assault on Minas Tirith. The elven kingdom of Lorien came under attack, as did the dwarven realm of Erebor; the elves and dwarves were busy fighting their own battles. Tolkien never mentions whether Gimli or Legolas later marry, although both settled with their kin after the fall of Sauron, Legolas in Ithilien and Gimli in the Glittering Caves of Helm's Deep, so both had the opportunity to have done so before sailing into the West together after Aragorn's death in the year 120 of the Fourth Age.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: What exactly is shown in the Palantir when Saruman says, "An evil festers in the heart of Middle-Earth"?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: There doesn't seem to be anything in particular shown. You can see Saruman's reflection and those of the spires at the top of Orthanc; there don't appear to be any concrete images actually within the palantir itself.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: When Gimli, Legolas, and Aragorn are leaving the troops to go summon that ghost army in the mountain, all of the troops and even Eowyn think he is abandoning them. Why does he not explain where he is going? If he would have told them that he was going to summon a great army to help it would have done a lot for their morale. What does the book say about this?

rstill

Chosen answer: The Dead who live under the mountain are feared and hated by pretty much everyone - note Aragorn's reaction when Elrond first suggests recruiting them. The Rohirrim will be well aware of all the tales - if Aragorn were to tell them what his mission was, they'd likely consider him to be insane. Better for them to think that one of their leaders has to go on some unspecified mission than for them to think that he's actually nuts. Besides, Aragorn has no idea whether the Dead will actually choose to fight - he seems reasonably convinced at first that they won't, and he's not likely to be alone in that opinion - most of the Rohirrim would probably consider him to be a fool for even contemplating it - also not exactly great for morale.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Is Gimli the last dwarf?

Answer: Gimli is simply the only one in the fellowship. The dwarves at Moria were slaughtered, but that was only a colonizing group sent out from the dwarves at the Lonely Mountain to reclaim Moria after it had been abandoned. Gimli, after all, was only one of the three dwarves that was sent to Rivendell for Elrond's council, so we have visual proof of two more, but there is a thriving society still out there. Elrond even mentions that they only care for their mining, with no mention that they are all dead.

Garlonuss Premium member

Question: This is for ALL THREE movies, how many of Arwen's scenes actually happen in the books?

Answer: Practically none of them. Arwen appears in about two scenes in the Fellowship of the Ring and is mentioned in a third - she has no dialogue at all. She is never mentioned in The Two Towers. She shows up at the end of the Return of the King to marry Aragorn. She then has one scene (the only one where she says anything), where she tells Frodo that he would be allowed to go in the West if he so desires and also gives him the jewel that, in the film, she gives to Aragorn. When the filmmakers said that they beefed her role up a bit, they really weren't kidding. One of the appendices to the book does contain a section called "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen", which goes into those parts of their relationship that occur both before and after the events of the main storyline. For obvious reasons, she shows up in that rather a lot.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: In the Extended Edition of "The Two Towers," it obvious that Denethor has a liking of his now-deceased older son Boromir and a disliking of his younger son Faramir. This is more evident when Denethor boldly said to Faramir in the throne room that he wished that Faramir and Boromir had switched places so that the former dies and the latter live. Is there a reason in the original novel why Denethor has an unfavorable opinion towards Faramir, his younger son?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: No, no really. Denethor's wife, Finduilas died early, and the grief turned him into a grim and humourless man - one suggestion is that Faramir takes heavily after his mother, and Denethor dislikes him for that reminder; another suggestion is that it's actually Boromir who takes after the mother, and that Denethor favours him for that reason. Whatever the issue is, it seems likely that it started early on - Boromir translates to "Faithful Jewel", whereas Faramir seems to translate to something like "Adequate Jewel". As even their names appear to reflect the prejudice against Faramir, whatever the problem is, it goes back a long way. Maybe, once Boromir was born, giving Denethor an heir, he really wanted a daughter and was disappointed by the arrival of another son. Compounded by the death of his beloved wife (making a daughter impossible), that disappointment could easily grow into the dislike that he shows in the film. There's also the point that, although unseen in the film (unless the Extended Cut touches on it), Denethor has been using a palantir, which has allowed Sauron to affect his mind - it's not unreasonable to think that Sauron could have determined that Faramir was actually the stronger-willed of the brothers, and had deliberately influenced Denethor's mind against him to hamper the younger man's efforts against Mordor.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Can anyone tell me why some of the subtitles change font, such as during one of Legolas' lines while the Rohirrim are being gathered?

Answer: It is in one font when they are just speaking (those are the ones you can turn on and off) and a different, fancier font when they are speaking Elvish.

Question: As with the other two films, did Viggo Mortensen have to grow in his facial hair? To me, it looked just full enough to be natural.

Answer: It is Viggo's own facial hair that appears in all three films.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: At the end of ROTK, when Frodo is at his desk writing in the book and Sam walks up, and says "You've finished it?" and Frodo looks at Sam knowingly, and says "there's room for a little more..." Is this a hint from the director that there is going to be more related films of some sort to these Lord of the Rings movies?

rstill

Chosen answer: No. Frodo knows he's leaving Middle Earth and is going to pass the book on to Sam, who will finish it, talking about what happens to the rest of the Fellowship in the future.

Krista

Question: Why did Pippin decide to be in the service of Lord Denethor?

megamii

Chosen answer: He says it specifically - he's offering his service in payment of what he sees as a debt to Denethor, in that Boromir gave his life to protect Pippin and Merry.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Could someone please tell me what happened to all the remaining members of the fellowship after the film ends?

Answer: Aragorn rules until 210 FA, then passes away, leaving the kingdom to his son, Eldarion. Sam becomes Mayor of the Shire, seven times, and has thirteen children with Rose. After her death in 61 FA, he leaves the Shire and takes a ship into the West to be reunited with Frodo - allowed to do so because he too was a Ringbearer. Merry and Pippin become the heads of their respective families. In old age, they leave the Shire together and travel back to Rohan, then on to Gondor. They live out the remainder of their lives there and are buried in the tomb that will eventually house Aragorn's body as well. Legolas settles in Ithilien with other elves from his realm. After Aragorn's death, Legolas builds a ship and sails into the West. Gimli sets up a dwarven colony in the caves behind Helm's Deep. He stays in close contact with Aragorn and Legolas. After the death of the former, he accompanies Legolas in the West, the only dwarf ever to be allowed to do so. Precisely why he's allowed is unclear - it's most likely to do with his unprecedented friendship with Legolas, but another theory is that Galadriel remembered his pure love for her and obtained permission for him.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: What is the 'wheel of fire' that Frodo is talking about on the slopes of Mount Doom?

Answer: Sauron's eye.

Xofer

Question: I have heard many people say this film had over 10 endings in the theater. What is this supposed to mean? For me, 10 endings means that the ending changes each time; like the ending in Clue, where each new one means the others didn't happen in that strain. In ROTK, there are several scenes after the climax of the trilogy happens at Mount Doom. Is the 10 ending note just supposed to mean there is a long epilogue?

Answer: Basically, yes. The point is that there is a scene which finishes dramatically and you think 'ah, this is the end' but then there is another scene which also finishes dramatically and you think 'oh, this is the end' but, no, there is yet another scene. When people are saying it has 10 endings they mean that the filmmakers could have ended the film much sooner than they did. They are over exaggerating when they say 10 endings, because they are just trying to make the point.

KingofallSamurai

Question: It's established that the Elves are leaving Middle Earth to go across the sea, into the West. What/where exactly are they going? Is it to another continent that's just across the sea that maybe only Elves know how to get to, or to some otherworldly place?

Answer: They're going to a place called Valinor (which means "home of the vala". The Vala are sort of manifestations of some of the gods) - it is a real continent that is across the sea. There is, however, magic at work because only the elven boats can get there.

jle

Question: If all the Elves were leaving Middle Earth, does that mean that Legolas was leaving also? Was this addressed in the book?

Valentina Robles

Chosen answer: In the appendix of the RotK it does briefly talk about Legolas' leaving. It is said he waited until Aragorn died then built himself a boat and him and Gimli left Middle Earth and were the last of the fellowship to leave.

bessytheevilcow

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?

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

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Question: The events of the trilogy take place during the end of the third age of Middle-Earth, but how long does an 'age' actually last?

Answer: It varies, as the ages are marked by significant events, rather than lasting any specific time period. The First Age, which began with the return of the elves to Middle-Earth and the awakening of man and finished with the defeat and banishment of Melkor (a.k.a. Morgoth), the first Dark Lord, lasted 583 years. The Second Age carries on from that point until the defeat of Sauron by the forces of the Last Alliance, as seen in the prologue to the films - this age lasted 3441 years. The Third Age, which runs up to the events of the War of the Ring and ends with the departure of the Ringbearers into the West, lasted 3021 years.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: In the book it mentions that Gothmog, Lieutenant of Minas Morgul, assumed control of Sauron's army after the Witch-King was vanquished. Shouldn't Khamul, the second-in-command of the Nazgul, have assumed control of the army?

Answer: Not necessarily - the precise command hierarchy isn't established in the books and we don't know where the various Nazgul stand. Gothmog is the Witch-King's leftenant, so it would make sense that he would be second-in-command of any army led by his master.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Are there hidden allegories (Christian, political, social, etc.) behind the stories of the Ring trilogy?

megamii

Chosen answer: None whatsoever. To quote Tolkien "As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none". He was strongly opposed to those who tried to read deeper meaning into the books.

Tailkinker Premium member
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King mistake picture

Continuity mistake: 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.) (00:16:35)

Super Grover Premium member
More mistakes in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Gimli: Certainty of death; small chance of success...what are we waiting for?

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

Trivia: At the end of the film, young Elanor Gamgee is played by none other than Sean Astin's own daughter in a cameo. Not only that, but Frodo Gamgee (the baby) is played by Maisie McLeod-Riera, the daughter of Sarah McLeod, who plays Sam's wife, Rosie.

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

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