The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Question: How old is Aragorn when he dies?

Chosen answer: Aragorn is 210 years old when he dies. Some of the early texts give his age at death as 190, but Tolkien eventually confirmed that 210 is the correct age.

Tailkinker

Question: What's the difference between an oliphant, seen in The Two Towers, and the mumakil in The Return of the King?

Chosen answer: No difference at all - Oliphaunts and Mumakil are simply what the creatures are called in different languages - Oliphaunt being the term used in the western lands of Middle-Earth, while Mumakil is from the language of the Haradrim from the southern reaches. As a note, Mumakil is plural - an individual creature is a Mumak.

Tailkinker

Question: Why must Frodo go with Gandalf and the elves, at the end of RotK?

Chosen 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.

Tailkinker

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.

Chosen 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.

wizard_of_gore

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

Chosen 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.

Tailkinker

Question: Is Gandalf really as powerful as everyone claims? He's supposed to be a great wizard yet he barely uses any power and is always doubting everything, even himself.

Chosen answer: Gandalf is extremely powerful, as are all the five Wizards. They were sent to Middle-Earth to aid the inhabitants in the fight against Sauron, but they were only sent to help - they were placed under a specific instruction that they were only to assist, not to lead - the battle ultimately had to be fought by the races of Middle-Earth. As such, they were forbidden from using the full extents of their magics, lest they become tempted to rule rather than advise. Saruman ultimately fell to this very temptation, and Tolkien felt that two of the other wizards (neither mentioned in the films) did likewise in lands far to the east, with only Gandalf and Radagast staying true to their mission.

Tailkinker

Question: If Gondor's royal line of succession was broken, how was it re-established from Isildur to Aragorn?

Chosen answer: This'll be a complex answer - sorry in advance. When Elendil, Isildur and co returned to Middle-Earth after the Fall of Numenor, they set up two kingdoms, Arnor in the north, ruled directly by Elendil (as High King of both kingdoms) and Gondor in the south (ruled jointly by Isildur and his brother Anarion in their father's name). Elendil and Anarion both died in the War of the Last Alliance, and Isildur fell shortly after, leaving Isildur's youngest son Valandil (his other sons died with Isildur) ruling Arnor and Anarion's son Meneldil ruling Gondor. Valandil, as the direct heir of Elendil, should have been proclaimed High King over both kingdoms, but Meneldil refused to recognise his authority over Gondor - the two kingdoms effectively became entirely seperate at this point. Meneldil's line ruled Gondor for two thousand years before the last King, answering a challenge from the Witch-King, entered Minas Morgul, never to be seen again, leaving the Stewards in control of Gondor. Arnor, in the meantime, lasted nine hundred years before splitting into three kingdoms, each ruled by one of the three sons of the last king of Arnor. The land of Arthedain, ruled by the eldest son, lasted slightly more than one thousand years before falling to the forces of Angmar - the people vanished into the wilderness, becoming the Dunedain rangers, with the son of the last king becoming their chieftain, a role that was handed down from father to son until, another thousand years later, Aragorn was given the position. So Aragorn can trace his ancestry directly back to Elendil, the last High King of the two Kingdoms, allowing him to legitimately claim the throne of Gondor. Phew...

Tailkinker

Question: Frodo, Bilbo, and eventually Sam and Gimli, travel to the Undying Lands in the West. Do they become immortal once they are there?

Chosen answer: No. Tolkien was very specific about this - mortals who travel to the Undying Lands remain mortal and will live out their normal lifespan.

Tailkinker

Question: Why didn't the Dwarves help in the fight for Middle-Earth?

Chosen answer: Due to the overwhelming size of his forces, Sauron was able to fight the War of the Ring on several fronts. In addition to the main attack on Gondor, there were numerous other assaults - Galadriel's realm of Lorien was attacked, for example, as was the kingdom of the Wood-Elves, Legolas' people. The dwarf-kingdom of Erebor also came under attack, so the dwarves ended up fighting to defend their homeland. None of these battles were shown in the film, as it would have taken even more time, and would have taken the focus from the major characters.

Tailkinker

Question: In the scene where Aragon, Gimli and Legolas managed to escape the mountain after the Army of the Dead tried to crush them with sculls and Aragon sees the Corsairs marauding the lands, before the King of the dead appears again, what piece of the soundtrack is played in the background? I can't seem to find it on the official soundtrack, neither as a separate piece nor as part of a larger piece. Can anyone help?

Chosen answer: That cue is only on the 4 CD "Complete Recordings" version of The Return Of The King, released in 2007.

Question: In the theatrical trailer, we see a scene of Eomer grieving for a dead person, presumably during or after the battle for Minas Tirith. This scene is not in the theatrical version of the movie. Will it be in the extended version? And who is the dead person? Theoden (Eomer's uncle)? Or some other fallen warrior that Eomer was very fond of? Thanks.

Chosen answer: This scene found its way into the extended edition of Return of the King. The scene shows Eomer discovering his sister Eowyn on the battlefield, presumably grievously wounded.

Question: Can someone tell me who the elf/actor is who stands next to Elrond in the scene were Aragorn just become king and sees Arwen? They kiss and then you'll see them clapping. I can't find it anywhere.

Allisa van der Lande

Chosen answer: This appears to be an unnamed character played by an un-credited actor. He's basically an extra who is part of Elrond's group.

raywest

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?

Chosen answer: When the Rings were created, the elves became aware of the creation of the One Ring, and removed their rings. Only when the One Ring was removed from the hand of Sauron were even those rings safe to use. It should be pointed out that the elven rings were crafted by the elven smiths themselves for their own purposes and did not have the same corrupting influence by default as the Seven and the Nine. 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 and only while the One Ring remained lost to Sauron (as it was for the entire time since the last war, up to and including the time of LotR). 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: Gollum had lots of chances to kill Sam and Frodo so why didn't he take them?

xx:xx:xx

Arwen

Chosen answer: He feared them, for one thing, but also felt loyalty to Frodo, who showed him kindness. Gollum, torn between his good and evil nature, was eventually overpowered by his desire for the ring.

raywest

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.

Chosen 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".

Tailkinker

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.

Chosen 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

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?

Chosen 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

Question: Why don't they get one or more orcs to guard the crack of mount doom? Surely they could have spared a couple of orcs just in case someone managed to get through?

Chosen answer: Guard it from who? One of the premises of the whole plot is that Sauron simply cannot believe that someone would want to destroy the ring rather than use it themself. That's why the plan succeeded, and that's the only reason it succeeded. The loss of the ring forced Sauron to make his move early (i.e. sending out his armies sooner than he would have wanted) to stop whoever was using the ring (the only possibility in his mind) from gaining too much power. So who would want to go into Mt. Doom? Besides the fact they'd have to get INTO Mordor first (something which Sauron would have laughed at anyway) they could do nothing there anyway, unless they were there to destroy the ring, which is something Sauron didn't even consider. It'd just be an utter waste of man (orc?)power.

Gary O'Reilly

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

Question: Is Gimli the last dwarf?

Chosen 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

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

Chosen 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

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

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?

Chosen 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.

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

Super Grover

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: 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?

Chosen 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

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

Question: This is very absurd but some of my friends strongly think that Sam is a closet homosexual, and that his relationship with Frodo is more than loyality and friendship. They claim that Sam speaks of Rose Cotton as a way to "keep up with appearances." Can anyone tell me that Sam is not a homosexual?

megamii

Chosen answer: Sam ultimately marries Rosie and has thirteen children. Unless your friends still regard that as "keeping up appearances", in which case it's the most heroic case ever recorded, they're wrong. His love for Frodo is merely great loyalty and friendship, nothing more.

Tailkinker

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

Chosen 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

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

Chosen 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?

Chosen 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?

Chosen 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: Why doesn't Sauron sense the Ring when Frodo is in Mordor, especially when the Eye sees him?

Chosen answer: Frodo is not wearing the ring on his finger, so the Eye does not see him in particular. The Eye is busy concentrating on the war.

Super Grover

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?

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

Captain Defenestrator

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?

Chosen 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

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

Question: Why don't the Ents help the heroes in the siege of Gondor?

Chosen answer: The Ents dont like to meddle in the affairs of others. The only reason they fought Saruman is because he was destroying their forest to fuel his war.

RJR99SS

Question: After the coronation, what does Aragorn say to Legolas in elvish and what does it mean?

Alison Sleigh

Chosen answer: It sounds like "Hannon le," which means "Thank you."

cullothiel

Question: Why doesn't Gandalf want Pippin to touch the crystal ball, whatever it's called? Does it give Sauron the ability to read minds?

Answer: In a word, yes. The palantír (as it is called) forms a mental link between itself and others like it, and a strong mind (such as Sauron) can manipulate weaker ones (as he did with Saruman and Denethor).

Question: Is the Witch King more powerful than Saruman? Considering he did break the staff of Gandalf, which Saruman couldn't do.

DFirst1

Chosen answer: By this point the witch king is indeed stronger than Saruman. However Saruman's power had been declining ever since he chose to follow Sauron.

lionhead

Question: Why did the scourging of the Shire never take place in the film?

DFirst1

Chosen answer: The film was already quite long and the plot was complicated with many characters. Adding the Shire scourge would be nearly impossible to incorporate without completely bogging down the story and the pacing. It was implied in one scene as a shadowy premonition that this could happen to the Shire if Sauron wasn't defeated.

raywest

Question: Who is the 2nd in command of Sauron? Is it the Witch King or the Mouth of Sauron?

DFirst1

Chosen answer: The Witch-king of Angmar is Sauron's second in command. The Mouth of Sauron serves more as an ambassador and messenger to Sauron.

Casual Person

Question: Did Shelob die when she got stabbed by Sam?

DFirst1

Chosen answer: It is unknown whether Shelob survived. In the film she is severely wounded and flees the battle, never to be mentioned again. The description in the book is identical, she is said to have never been heard from again after that moment.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: When the armies of Gondor and Rohan approached the black gate, why didn't the orcs who are in charge of opening the gate and watching it not fire at them?

Chosen answer: They were probably ordered not to as it was a last suicidal attempt to challenge them and Sauron was amused by this. Therefore he sent the mouth of Sauron rather than attack them.

lionhead

Question: How did Trebuchets work and how did the soldiers even move it for ammunition? They were pretty much firing something the size of a whole room.

Chosen answer: Trebuchets are just elaborate catapults, but the additional rope at the end of the arm gives it extra leverage, and thus the ability to throw something extra far. As to maneuverability, that wasn't really a problem for the soldiers of Gondor, as they were fixed in place, solely to be used for defending the city when necessary.

Friso94

Question: Why did Gandalf not want Pippin to offer his service to Denathor?

Chosen answer: He knows that Denethor is unhinged and depressed over Boromir's death, and prone to making bad decisions (or not taking action at all when needed), which could put Pippin in danger.

Serious B

Question: Inside the volcano, how the heck didn't Frodo spot Smeagol sneaking behind Sam before turning invisible, if he was looking in Sam's direction?

Roman Curiel

Chosen answer: Frodo is not completely in his right mind. He's been affected by the ring and the extreme physical and mental toll on him. He could very well have not seen Smeagol.

raywest

Question: Tolkien has made it clear in his letters that sailing to the Undying Lands does not make a mortal immortal. But this is what I'm curious about: is it possible to give up immortality in the Undying Lands? For instance, if Arwen had remained immortal and sailed there, would she still be able to choose a mortal life? (Not that she would do that, I'm just using her as an example).

Chosen answer: Arwen could have, yes, but only because she specifically has the race of Men in her ancestral lineage.

Phixius

Question: When Aragorn confronts the King of the Dead with Anduril (the reforged sword), The King of the Dead says, "That *something* was broken!" I am almost sure he says, "Blade" (referring to the reforged sword), but the subtitles on my Region 4 disc say, "Line" (presumably referring to Aragorn's ancestry). What does he really say? Do the subtitles on discs of a different region say otherwise?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: The King of the Dead says, "That line was broken." Aragorn replies, "It has been remade." Their comments are referring to Aragorn's royal lineage that was believed to have died out. The reforged sword symboilizes Aragorn's return as king. There is a video clip of this scene on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfh9Ypgfp7Q.

raywest

Question: After Pippin touches the Palantir and he is lying on the ground, is he dead then brought to life by Gandalf? I was under the impression he was dead at first because he is lying with his eyes open then Gandalf closes his eyes with his hand. Why is he lying with his eyes open? Why does Gandalf put his hand over his eyes?

mir92

Chosen answer: He wasn't dead, only stunned. It happened so fast, that his eyes remained opened when he was knocked unconscious. Gandalf is just closing his eyes to protect them. Leaving eyes exposed could cause permanent damage,.

raywest

Question: Are there any places where I can find deleted scenes of this movie that never made it into the Theatrical or Extended releases?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: Sadly, there has been no release of scenes that did not feature on the extended or theatrical film. Some scenes that didn't make it into films can be glimpsed in the behind-the-scenes footage included with the DVDs or blu-ray.

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?

Mueller

Chosen 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?

roboc

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?

Chosen 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

Gavin Jackson

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?

goodgood990

Chosen answer: Physically, there's no body inside that robe. They could have been stashed in there with room to spare.

Phixius

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.

padfootrocksmysocks

Chosen 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.

CCARNI

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.

Chosen 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.

Tailkinker

Question: Are the Valar ever mentioned in any sort of way in the trilogy?

Chosen answer: In The Two Towers, when Aragorn is floating in the water after the Warg attack, Arwen appears above him and says "May the grace of the Valar protect you." That's pretty much it.

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.

Chosen 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.

Chosen 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.

Tailkinker

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.

Blibbetyblip

Chosen 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.'

Phixius

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.

Chosen 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 steward 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 steward 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 allies ever since.

Twotall

Question: Why doesn't Frodo get a girlfriend? He's cute enough.

Chosen answer: He's weary of the world from his journey and giving up the ring, so he never seeks love in The Shire, instead going into The West with the Elves.

Captain Defenestrator

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?

Chosen answer: He fights an emissary of Sauron's who's called "The Mouth of Sauron," not Sauron himself.

Captain Defenestrator

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.

Blibbetyblip

Chosen 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.

Phixius

Question: Gandalf doesn't need his staff to do magic, or does he?

Chosen 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.

Zwn Annwn

Question: I recently bought the Extended DVD of this movie and sold the Theatrical version to a friend. While watching the Extended DVD I couldn't help noticing that the jug that Pippin replaces the Palantir with (while Gandalf is sleeping with his eyes open) did not seem like the same jug as the one in the Theatrical version. Are they the same jug?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: There is absolutely no reason to believe it is not the same, the costs to change this would be prohibitive and there is no reasonable need to have done so.

OneHappyHusky

Question: What would happen if Aragorn stabbed one of the Dead soldiers with Anduril?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: Instead of passing on they would cease to exist.

Phixius

Question: Does the Mouth of Sauron actually have Sauron's mouth, or is that just a name given to him because he is Sauron's messenger?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: The latter; it's just his title.

Tailkinker

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

Question: Why could Eowyn and Merry defeat the Witch King when it seemed that no-one else could? It seems as though Eowyn can kill him because she is a woman but why does it make any difference?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: It was prophesied centuries earlier that no man could slay the Witch King. Since then, the Nazgul's power and martial ability have ensured that to be the case, however, it's also built up his arrogance and sense of invulnerability. As such, he fails to pay enough attention to his surroundings in battle, bragging to Eowyn about his supposed inability to be killed. This leaves him wide open for Merry, who he either simply didn't notice or never considered to be a threat, to take him down, then Eowyn to slay him. It's not so much that a man could not have slain him, more that a far-seeing elf looked into the Witch King's future and saw that it would not be a man who finally did.

Tailkinker

Question: When Aragorn looks into the Palantir (Extended DVD) he sees Sauron (in bodily form) holding the other Palantir. Are we to assume that Sauron has regained physical form?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: No. Sauron's trying to psych Aragorn out, show him what he's up against. Appearing as the formidable warrior that he was before he lost the Ring is part of that.

Tailkinker

Question: When Rohan arrives at the Pellenor fields, how come they are able to scare the orcs off so easily and force them back to the river (just before the Mumakil arrive)? In the overhead shot of the Rohirrim charging down upon the orcs, the orc army seems to outnumber them at least 5 to 1.

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: It's not just about numbers. Sure, the Orcs may outnumber the Rohirrim, but think of it from the point of view of the individual Orc. Bearing down on them, at high speed, are several thousand heavily armed and fired-up warriors, each of whom is riding a warhorse that weighs more than several orcs put together and gives their rider a serious height advantage. Psychologically speaking, the Rohirrim have a phenomenal advantage. Hardly a surprise that the Orcs would break under that sort of pressure.

Tailkinker

Question: Why release the Army of the Dead at the Pellenor Fields? Why not send them all into Mordor to destroy Sauron's entire army? Furthermore (this doesn't really count because it is about the book) why does, in the book, Aragorn just use the Army of the Dead to defeat the Corsairs and not even bring them to the Pellenor Fields?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: Purely and simply, Aragorn gave his word. The Dead would be held to their oath, nothing more. They came to the aid of Gondor, thus fulfilling their oath. Aragorn had no real choice but to release them; if he tried to keep them past the terms of their oath, he'd just have had a lot of annoyed Dead warriors to deal with. He can't compel them to continue to fight and he gave his word to release them once they'd fought to defend Gondor, fulfilling their oath. With that done, at Pelargir in the books, at Minas Tirith in the films, their oath is done. Aragorn had no choice but to release them.

Tailkinker

Question: Extended Edition: Why do Faramir and his men expect an attack on Osgiliath from the North? Minas Morgul, the place where the orcs would come from, is South East of Osgiliath- wouldn't they expect an attack from there, especially after seeing the green beacon in the sky coming from there?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: Additional forces left Mordor via the Black Gate, marching to attack the elves in Lorien and the dwarven kingdom in the north. It would make a great deal of sense to send a group across the river at a crossing point to the north, then south towards Osgiliath to avoid the necessity of crossing the river under fire. With the main force attacking from across the river and the subsidiary force attacking from the north, Osgiliath would swiftly fall. Knowing that Mordor's armies are on the march, Faramir would be able to anticipate the likelihood of a northern attack.

Tailkinker

Question: When Gandalf tells Pippin about the 'fair green country' is he referring to the Undying Lands (where Frodo goes in the end) or somewhere else? If he is talking about the Undying Lands, does that mean that normal people also go there once they physically die?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: In terms of the specifics, Gandalf may well be referring to the Undying Lands in order to boost Pippin's morale, but, no, non-Elves do not end up there without special dispensation. The younger races have their own destination after death, which Tolkien doesn't elaborate on to any great degree.

Tailkinker

Question: When Gandalf finds out that Denethor is going to burn Faramir alive, why does he leave the battle just to save Faramir? Surely he could do much more good and save more than one life by staying in the battle.

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: It's a morale thing. Denethor's already nearly ruined the defence of the city by telling everybody to flee; were it to become known that Denethor was not only dead, but had taken Faramir with him, thus destroying the line of Stewards and leaving the city with no ruler, the morale of the troops would be destroyed. Gandalf can only do so much to rally the troops; the city still needs a leader, even an incapacitated one. As such, he needs to make sure that Faramir survives.

Tailkinker

Question: Is there any word about a new special edition of this movie with some deleted scenes on it? I would quite like to see the fight between Aragorn and Sauron at the Black Gate (which has reportedly been filmed).

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: It's highly unlikely that that scene would ever see the light of day, as much of it was cannibalised to use in the fight between Aragorn and the Troll. Plus there would be substantial effects work required to present the scene in any decent way and it would be highly unlikely that the filmmakers would choose to do any more effects work at this point, just for a deleted scene. With three separate DVD releases of the film already in existence (theatrical, extended and the "special limited edition", which contains both the theatrical and extended cuts), it's highly unlikely that a fourth release would be under consideration any time in the near future.

Tailkinker

Question: Does Sam's reluctance to give the ring back to Frodo in Cirith Ungol mean that Sam too feels the pull of the ring and wants it for himself, or is he simply reluctant to give it back because he thinks Frodo cannot cope?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: Probably a bit of both. Even with his utter loyalty to Frodo, Sam isn't immune to the lure of the Ring. It still affects him, even if only a little, enough to cause a brief hesitation. However, it's also fair to say that he realises what effect the Ring has on Frodo and hates to see that happen to him, which would also give him pause in returning the Ring to his master.

Tailkinker

Question: What happens to Arwen in the end? Does she die like a human, remain in Middle Earth forever (as Elrond predicted she would) or travel to the Undying Lands after the other elves?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: She dies as a human. In order to marry Aragorn, she had to give up her immortality. In "Fellowship," she tells Aragorn that she would rather live a mortal life with him than live forever without him.

Cubs Fan

Question: Denethor, while not a king, sees himself the ruler of Gondor. Why then, is he not sitting on the marble throne of Gondor, but on a small much less elegant chair set upon the stairs leading to the throne?

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: The Stewards see themselves as the rulers of Gondor, with some justification, as it has been many generations since a King sat on the throne. However, while they are in charge, they must still answer to tradition, and tradition states that the throne is held in trust for the King of Gondor, with the Stewards ruling from the lesser throne. If Denethor were to decide to sit in the King's chair, he would be effectively promoting himself to that rank, which would not go down well with the Gondorian population.

Tailkinker

Question: At the end when Frodo sails off, this means he is dead. I just want to know when did he die? Was it when he was stabbed in the shoulder by the Dark Rider?

Chosen answer: No, it doesn't mean that he's dead. He's leaving with the elves to live with them in their original homelands, allowed special dispensation to go because of his actions during the War of the Ring. When he's there, the magical nature of the place will mean that he won't suffer the after-effects of his wound from the Witch King; doesn't mean that he was killed by that wound, though.

Tailkinker

Question: Something I didn't quite understand about the locations of the places in Middle Earth. In FOTR when the group is trapped on the mountain Boromir suggests that they turn around and take the road to Gondor but Aragorn says it will take them too close to Isengard. In this film however we only see that Mordor is (also?)close to Gondor (Minas Tirith). I don't remember that Isengard was close to Mordor. If all this is true could that mean that Saruman knew that the group was either going to take the road to Gondor OR go through the Mines of Moria, knowing that he could catch them if they went through Gondor?

Chosen answer: Isengard isn't particularly close to Gondor, but it is very close to the road that leads there. If the Fellowship abandon their attempt to cross the Misty Mountains and head south, then the only option that they have to reach Gondor is to pass through the Gap of Rohan, a narrow opening between the Misty Mountains to the north and the White Mountains to the south, then head eastwards all the way through Rohan until they finally enter Gondor. Isengard was originally constructed to guard the Gap, so any attempt to travel that way will take them straight past Saruman's front door, which is far too much of a risk. Saruman knows full well that the Fellowship only have a few options regarding their route, so he's keeping an eye on the possible routes.

Tailkinker

Question: In the extended edition Gandalf and Pippin talk about the hobbit's new place as guard of the citadel. Gandalf begins to cough and Pippin pours him some water. During the shot of Pippin with the carafe Gandalf can be heard muttering something which seems to begin with "ridiculous". What is he saying?

Chosen answer: He says "Ridiculous hobbit".

Andreas[DK]

Question: There are a few shots where Merry and Pippin can be seen on a horse together with a human, both visible in the same shot. Merry's face can sometimes be seen on-screen at the same time as Éowyn's when they are riding and at Isengard the camera in one shot pans from Aragorn's face to Pippin sitting behind him on the horse. How were these shots done? Forced perspective can hardly be used on a horse, especially with Merry who sat in front of Éowyn

Chosen answer: Most of the time, they would use small actors playing the hobbits (usually in long shots), or specially-built enlarged models of Aragorn or Éowyn sitting next to the regular actor. In some cases, hobbit-sized puppets were also used. The WETA team would then impose Dominic Monaghan's and Billy Boyd's face over the faces of the scale doubles or puppets in post-production.

Twotall

Question: When he stabs the Witch King Merry seems to be breaking his arm. Later when Pippin finds him he is close to unconscious. Éowyn on the other hand seems to be doing quite alright. Yet in the extended edition Éowyn is brought to a hospital and appears to be ill while Merry is fit to get back into battle the next day. Is this a mistake, or am I missing something

Chosen answer: Merry doesn't actually break his arm - it's more that the foul energy that surrounds up the Witch King affects Merry when he makes the stab. The energies have a detrimental effect of those exposed to it - Eowyn is close to the Witch King for longer, plus she's the one who makes the killing blow, so she gets a more potent dose. Also, her arm is severely damaged physically during the fight, making it necessary for her to receive greater care than Merry does. In the books, both are taken to the hospital and neither goes to the fight at the Black Gate - it was presumably considered better for a cinematic audience that Merry should go, rather than sidelining one of the Fellowship during the climax of the film.

Tailkinker

Question: In the Extended Edition, the scene with Saruman, why is Merry sitting on the back of Éomer's horse? The two had not met earlier and Gandalf has room for a hobbit on Shadowfax.

Chosen answer: Most likely, because Gandalf suspected that Saruman would put up a fight and concentrate his magic on him. Placing Merry with Éomer got him out of the direct line of fire, so to speak, and left Gandalf free to concentrate on Saruman.

Twotall

Question: The appendix mentions Merry having a son, but no name is given in the family tree. Why is his son not included in the family tree when he is mentioned elsewhere in the text, and what was his name? Did Merry have any other children as well?

Chosen answer: Tolkien never gives the name of Merry's son, which is probably why he's not on the family tree, nor does he tell us whether he had any other children. As to why he doesn't mention this, why should he? It's not as if they're important characters. There's a lot of information that Tolkien doesn't provide - understandable, given that he's produced a history of a fictional world that covers many thousands of years, that he wouldn't be able to include everything. Minor details, like the names of people who never actually appear in any of the stories (Merry's son, Aragorn and Arwen's daughters, Legolas' mother and so forth), were simply left out in favour of more important items.

Tailkinker

Question: As Denethor has the funeral pyre prepared, he refers to the "heathen" kings of old. What sort of religion does Gondor have now that older kings could be "heathens"?

scwilliam

Chosen answer: In Denethor's time, Gondor follows the Vala, the good "gods" of the world, in the manner of the Elves, although religion really is not much of a point in Middle-Earth. The "heathen kings" Denethor speaks of were before Elendil founded Gondor, when descendants of Númenoreans lived in small fiefdoms as little kings in this area. Many of them worshipped Sauron and followed him, and may have used burning as a funeral rite.

Twotall

Question: Has New Zealand ever taken advantage (by way of tourism) of the huge success of these films? I mean slogans like "Come to Middle Earth, come to New Zealand" just keep clicking into my mind.

Chosen answer: They did indeed, even going so far as to unofficially appoint a minister, dubbed, inevitably, the Minister for Middle-Earth, to keep tabs on the effects on the economy caused by the increase in business and tourism.

Tailkinker

Question: Just before Frodo leaves middle earth, he tells Sam about why he must leave, what does he mean when he says 'the shire has not been saved for me, Sam'?

Chosen answer: He means that the memory of the Shire (as his home) was always what he clung to, his motivation for doing what he did. However, in the end his experiences had changed him so much that he did not feel at home there anymore, and could not fit in among all the people who had no concept of what he had gone through and what he had sacrificed. Essentially, because his outlook on the Shire is lost, he feels almost as if it really was gone and another had taken it's place.

Twotall

Question: I heard that Boromir, although he died in the first movie, appears in one of the scenes of the movie. If he is, can someone tell me which one of them he is seen?

Chosen answer: In the theatrical version, I think he only appears extremely briefly (about a second) in a flash-back to his last battle. In the extended cut, a scene has been added where Denethor berates Faramir for letting Frodo leave with the Ring - in that scene, he hallucinates Boromir standing behind his brother.

Tailkinker

Question: This is more of a book question really. According to the Tale of Years Pippin and Merry left their offices in the Shire to their sons when they left for Gondor and Rohan for good. Pippin's son Faramir is in his family tree, but looking at the Brandybuck family tree Merry does not even have a wife. Is there some other text by Tolkien which gives more details on this, was the child perhaps left out of the family tree because it was a "bastard" child? Is his son, or the mother, mentioned by name anywhere?

Chosen answer: The discrepancy lies with Tolkien's late addition of information on Meriadoc's wife. She was Estella Bolger, sister to "Fatty" Bolger. Tolkien did not add her into the family tree until after the first edition, so it has taken years for the name to get into all versions.

scwilliam

Question: When Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were on the pirate ship, heading to Minas Tirith, the two-headed Orc commander said "Come on you sea-rats, get off your ships, there's knife work here needs doing." and then they jump off, he readies his scythe like he's going to attack. But if the pirates were on his team, why would he attack the three of them?

Chosen answer: He sees that the three who jump ashore are NOT Corsairs as he expected, but a Ranger (evidenced by Aragorn's clothing and weapons), a Dwarf and an Elf. All of these are enemies of Sauron and the Orcs, so the Orcs' instinct would be to attack them on sight. At this point the commander has not realized that if those three were on board, then the rest of the fleet probably is not Corsairs either...

Twotall

Question: When the Ring is destroyed and all the bad guys fall into the earth, but the good army does not, how do they get on to other land when all around them the ground has collapsed? I'm guessing that the eagles pick them up, one by one, but I'm not sure.

Chosen answer: After Barad-dûr, Sauron's Dark Tower, crumbles, the Black Gate falls into ruin and the area around it quakes and opens up. The Men of the West are surrounded by Sauron's army on all sides, but it is only the ground between the Men and the Black Gate that collapses, taking with it many in Sauron's army, but not all. The ground behind the Men of the West is still intact.

Super Grover

Question: I think this might be a mistake, but before I list it as that, I should ask first. In the extended edition Aragorn and Gimli save the day by hacking Gothmog to death, then he yells "Legolas." and Legolas jumps up on the oliphaunt and after over a minute of the oliphaunt riding, he then kills it. Gimli is now somehow in front of Legolas when he says "That still only counts as one." How did he get from the Gothmog battle, to when Legolas finishes with the oliphaunt? It's probably well over a mile that the oliphaunt marched, so Gimli couldn't have caught up, and it couldn't be that he said that later on when they were together, because Legolas turns his head as in "Look what I just did" right after he rides off the trunk.

Chosen answer: When Legolas is riding the Oliphaunt, it changes direction (turns around) and heads back the way it came. You can tell by the "direction" the the ghost army is moving.

XIII

Question: Where did Merry learn to fight? In the extended addition he was killing orcs very well. Yet in the books it says the hobbits never had any war (Not in Merry's time) so they wouldn't need combat practice.

Chosen answer: Hobbits are naturally very fast and agile, which plays very much in their favour in battle despite their lack of combat experience. Their small stature causes foes to underestimate them, or even miss them completely, which gives them an edge. The hobbits also travelled for many days with several highly experienced fighters - we see Boromir teaching them; it's likely that Aragorn and the others passed on some training as well.

Tailkinker

Question: Near the end of the film when they are coming into the Shire, the old hobbit shakes his head at the 4 of them, he's also seen in the first movie. Does he have a name in the books or anything?

Chosen answer: The grumpy old hobbit was named Odo Proudfoot in the books, but was renamed Everard Proudfoot in the movies.

Sierra1

Question: What is an Ellesar?

Chosen answer: Elessar means 'Elfstone' and is a name given to Aragorn by Galadriel as part of a prophecy - she also gives him a green stone set in a brooch (unseen in the films) as a mark of this name. When Aragorn assumed the throne, he chose to use Elessar as his kingly name.

Tailkinker

Question: How was the Witch King able to destroy Gandalf's staff? He was a powerful wizard, it doesn't make sense to me that a Nazgul could do that.

Chosen answer: The "Witch King" is just that: A Witch King. Before he became a Nazgul, he was still a mightly wizard in his own right, and a feared King in his own time (note that the only reason Merry's sword hurts him is because, when it was made, it was made specifically to attack him, showing that at some point people had feared him enough to put magic into weapons against him). As a Nazgul, his powers can only have increased. As a side note, in the books, Gandalf and the cheif nazgul never actually meet in combat, they see each other and prepare for it, but the Nazgul is driven off when the Rohan charge without them actually fighting.

Gary O'Reilly

Question: In the extended edition, they talk to Saruman in his tower, why was this cut out from the theatrical release? It's such a necessary scene.

Chosen answer: Because it disrupted the flow of events. Saruman's the enemy from film 2 - spending several minutes at the beginning of film 3 dealing with him accomplishes nothing. He provides no critical information and we don't need to see his death scene - the Ents have him contained at the end of film 2 and that's it for him. Ultimately, while it's a good scene, it's not required for the overall plot and takes up time that could be better used.

Tailkinker

Question: Faramir and the Rangers captured Frodo, Sam, and Gollum in Ithilien. They marched overland to the outskirts of Osgiliath."Osgiliath burns." There they were freed by Faramir after the Nazgul attack. But when Faramir spoke with Gandalf and Pippen in Minas Tirith, he said he saw Frodo and Sam in Ithilien not two days hence. Weren't they just in Osgiliath?

scwilliam

Chosen answer: Yes, but as Osgiliath is on the border to Ithilien and Frodo & co. went in that direction, it would be natural for Faramir to give that answer to Gandalf when Gandalf wanted to know where they were. Faramir also knew that it would take them more than two days to cross Ithilien, so that is where they would be at the time he spoke to Gandalf.

Twotall

Question: When Aragorn is giving his speech at the Black Gate, just after he says, "This day we fight!", it zooms up a little bit on someone who looks ALOT like Gamling. But I've been told multiple times that Gamling dies at Pellenor fields, so why is he at the Black Gate, assuming it's him? In addition to this, who is Grimbold? And where's a good shot of his face?

Chosen answer: Well, the simple answer to the first part is that it's not Gamling - there is a resemblance, but it's somebody different. Grimbold is one of Theoden's captains, leading one of the Rohirrim groups during their charge at the Pelennor Fields. He hails from the Westfold, and can be seen at the gathering at Dunharrow, he can be seen there, informing Theoden that he has brought around 500 men. He's not particularly clear in that shot, but it's the best one I've found that's definitely identifiable as him.

Tailkinker

Question: At Minas Tirith when the Witch-King destroyed Gandalf's staff and was then distracted by the Rohan army. Why didn't he just quickly kill Gandalf before going off.

Chosen answer: Even without his staff, Gandalf is not going to be a pushover - the Witch-King isn't going to be able to simply take Gandalf out by snapping his fingers. Better to simply inconvenience Gandalf by taking his staff out, then return to the battle, rather than taking on the risk of a serious one-on-one fight while the main battle below is still undecided, particularly as his opponents have just had some substantial reinforcements show up.

Tailkinker

Question: I have heard that in ROTK Extended, there will be a scene with Ghan-buri-Ghan, chief of the Woses, helping the Riders Of Rohan reach Pelennor through the Druadan Forest - as noted in the book. I have also heard that Ghan will be played by New Zealand entertainer Wi Kuki Kaa - who also had a small part in the Worzel Gummidge Down Under TV special. Is any of this true?

Chosen answer: There is no such scene in the extended version of RotK, and as such, Wi Kuki Kaa does not appear in the film.

Super Grover

Question: At the Last Alliance battle, how did the Men and Elves get into Mordor?

Chosen answer: The Black Gates across Cirith Gorgol had been destroyed and repaired at several times in the 2nd and 3rd Ages. The Army of Men and Elves (and other creatures) marched past the Gates into Mordor and beseiged Sauron at Barad-dur.

scwilliam

Question: I understand that most living Elves are really old by human standards and are immortal, but I have a few questions about the elf "life-cycle." First, ARWEN is the last Elf born but how old is she? Second, how do Elves reproduce and how often? Given their ages, wouldn't an elf child be a super-incredibly rare event such that most humans would never live long enough to see one? Third, when ARWEN weds ARAGORN, she has presumably given up her immortality. How does that work? Is it a biological change or a decision made by the gods - the ones who created the Undying Lands for the Elves? Fourth, would ARAGORN and ARWEN's son have merely human-like mortality or would he be somewhat superhuman - perhaps live longer? I am reminded of the half-god heroes of Greek mythology. I know Tolkien was fascinated by Norse mythology (dead Rohan Kings go to "their father's" like Vikings). Does Tolkien ever explain the elf life-cycle and the logistical problems associated with immortality?

Chosen answer: Hmm, lot of questions. Okay, here goes. (1) Arwen was born in T.A. 241, making her 2778 years old at the time of the War of the Ring. However, there is no evidence in any of Tolkien's writings that she was the last Elf born in Middle-earth. (2) Tolkien never really goes into Elven reproduction, but there's no indication that the basic mechanisms aren't pretty much the same as humans (after all, elves and humans have bred successfully on several occasions in the history of Middle-Earth, so it's fair to say that the plumbing presumably interconnects). Elves don't reproduce terribly often - in 2401 years of marriage, Elrond and his wife Celebrian only had three children. Celeborn and Galadriel only had the one child in at least six thousand years of marriage. Arwen is only six generations removed from the first elves who awoke at Cuivienen, eleven thousand years before the events of the films. So, yes, it's fair to say that elven children would be pretty rare, enough so that most humans would never have encountered one. (3) Arwen's family are not pure elves - without going into complex lineages, her father, Elrond, is roughly half-elven. Elrond's father and all his descendants were given the option by the Valar to choose whether to be counted among men or elves - Elrond chose elvendom, his brother, Elros, chose to be counted amongst men, founding a bloodline that would eventually lead to Aragorn. So, basically, it's a mystical thing. (4) Eldarion, Aragorn and Arwen's son, will have a normal lifespan for a human of his bloodline (i.e. About two hundred years). His mother's former status as an elf shouldn't have any effect. The elven lifecycle is basically the same as humans, just very, very elongated - despite the prevailing view to the contrary, elves are not actually immortal. While they live long enough that humans think of them that way, Tolkien stated that they do age, just incredibly slowly, making a natural death an eventual possibility for an elf (after tens of thousands of years). Plus, of course, they can be killed in combat or accidents, being arguably less resilient than a human in that respect. So, between that and the very slow population increase, there's no real problem with overpopulation or anything like that.

Tailkinker

Question: In the Return of the King movie, after Arwen has a vision of her unborn son, she rides back to Rivendell to ask her father whether he saw a son in her future. He explains that he saw death. She argues that that is not a certainty and then asks him to reforge Narsil (Isildur's Sword) for Aragorn. She then sits down and drops the book she was holding. What book was she holding and what is its significance?

Chosen answer: The book contained the exact information about the legend that she was pointing out to Elrond. When he balked, she sat dejectedly and let the book fall from weakened fingers.

scwilliam

Question: At the Academy Awards, LOTR won for Best Visual Effects for each of the 3 films. One of these recipients was Joe Letteri. Can someone please tell me what is he credited for? (e.g. Jim Rygiel was visual effects supervisor).

Chosen answer: Joe Letteri is also credited for visual effects supervisor.

angelus tumultuor

Question: Who were the Army of the Dead and why do they hate everyone?

Chosen answer: During the War of the Last Alliance (the battle against Sauron shown in the prologue), the men who inhabited the White Mountains (those between Gondor and Rohan) swore an oath of allegiance to Isildur. When he called on them to fight, they refused, so Isildur cursed them to walk the paths of the Dead until they redeemed themselves. In time, they all died, but their spirits remained - they were unable to move on to whatever awaits men after their deaths. At the time of the War of the Ring, they've been in this state for three thousand years, which has left them with a deep hatred for the living. Only when Aragorn, Isildur's heir, comes to them and calls upon them to finally fulfil their original oath, are they finally able to move on.

Tailkinker

Question: Did Frodo ever tell Gandalf and the others that it was really Gollum who (accidentally) destroyed the Ring?

Chosen answer: He certainly would have told Gandalf about it. Whether he told the other members of the Fellowship is unclear, but the book details a meeting between them where they discuss their various adventures - it seems highly likely that he would have told them then, or allowed Sam to tell the tale for them both. Certainly his love for his compatriots would mean that he wouldn't lie to them about what happened.

Tailkinker

Question: How does Gandalf break Saruman's staff? He just says 'Your staff is broken' and it shatters. Saruman is head wizard of the Istari, therefore more powerful than Gandalf.

Chosen answer: All the power of the wizards come from the Valar, and it is they who take it away from Saruman, working through Gandalf. Besides, it was never clearly defined who was the most powerful of the two. Saruman was the leader, yes, but Gandalf had Narya (the Ring of Fire) from the start and was perceived by Cirdan as the wisest and truest. When Gandalf dies and returns as Gandalf the White he is given far more power than Saruman ever had, since his quest is nearing the end and he had been the only one to see it through.

Twotall

Question: I was startled by the authentic-appearing emotion on Hugo Weaving's face at the coronation scene when he told Arwen to "Go to him." Is he that good an actor, was there a real emotion running through the scene, or was he simply exhausted by the whole thing?

scwilliam

Chosen answer: According to commentary, they reshot this part of the scene and these particular shots were done in pickups, long after the shoot in New Zealand ended, so exhaustion had nothing to do with it. Hugo Weaving is simply a good actor, receiving direction from a good director.

Super Grover

Question: Where can i find a website showing the map of Middle Earth, and preferably one that shows the path of all the fellowship thoughout the movies?

Chosen answer: The most popular and complete site I've seen is theonering.net. It contains detailed information about the books and films, and includes extensive material on Middle Earth. It also happens to be Peter Jackson's favorite fansite for the films.

Question: Why did Mordor attack Middle Earth at this specific time? .Why did the battles and fighting all start at a certain time in middle earth. Since their world has been going on for thousands of years you'd think that something specific happened to make them fight.

Chosen answer: Sauron has been probing for weaknesses for hundreds of years. But Denethor's emotional unbalance, the addition of Saruman as an ally, the distraction of Theoden of Rohan, and the increase in the number of Mordor orcs seemed to be a winning combination.

scwilliam

Question: What exactly is a Witch King - where did it come from and why is it there?

Chosen answer: The Witch-King is a name given to the Lord of the Nazgul, leader of the kings corrupted by the Nine Rings. The title "Witch-King of Angmar" refers to a time in the middle of the Third Age, around 1500 years before the War of the Ring, when he founded the northern kingdom of Angmar to oppose the kingdoms of the north, which were populated by Aragorn's ancestors. The specific title "Witch-King" alludes to the fact that the Nazgul leader was a powerful sorceror - whether he was before he fell to darkness, or whether he learned his skills from Sauron is unclear. What his mortal name was is unknown.

Tailkinker

Question: When Gandalf is resurrected he says "I had been sent back, until my task is completed". What is this 'task'?

Chosen answer: To advise and guide the races of Middle-Earth in their fight against the powers of evil.

Tailkinker

Question: Who built the 'winding stair' and why would they build it?

Chosen answer: Tolkien never addresses the question of who built it - one candidate would be the Gondorians, who were responsible for the construction of both the Tower of Cirith Ungol and Minas Morgul (then named Minas Ithil). The stair could have been used as a stealthy method of moving between the two, although the presence of Shelob, who was present before either was built, would complicate matters. Probably the most likely candidate would be Sauron's forces, at some point during the Second Age, as a method of moving between the two passes through the mountains.

Tailkinker

Question: What did Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli plan to do when they got to Isengard? Did they know Merry and Pippin were there? Did they even know Isengard was in ruins?

Chosen answer: As seen in the Extended Edition, their primary reason is to talk to Saruman and to find out what he knows. While they would know by that point that the Ents are up to something - the appearance of the Huorns at Helm's Deep (Two Towers Extended) would tell them that - it's not likely that they'd actually know that the Ents had attacked Isengard. They might strongly suspect that something had happened there, but it's not likely that they actually knew for certain.

Tailkinker

Question: In the Fellowship it shows Isildur dead in the water from some arrows and then the Ring falling into the water. In the RotK it shows Deagol picking up the Ring in the water. Where exactly is this?

Chosen answer: This takes place in an area referred to as the Gladden Fields, which is where the Gladden River meets the Great River Anduin (the river that the Fellowship travel on by boat), some distance to the north of Galadriel's realm of Lorien.

Tailkinker

Question: Why didn't the elves let everyone go to the undying lands? That way no one would die from Mordor's armies. In fact everyone would be happy there.

Chosen answer: The Elves had no say in the matter. The Undying Lands were created for the Elves by the gods, who decided who was allowed in; the only non-Elves allowed were Bilbo, Frodo and Sam (as Ringbearers) and Gimli (due to his participation in the Fellowship and friendship with Legolas).

Xofer

Question: Where did Saruman get all of his orcs?

Chosen answer: He grew them himself, and used the trees around Orthanc as fuel in the process. In addition, he probably recruited Orcs from the Misty Mountains, in the same way that you can see him recruiting the Wild Men from Dunland.

Twotall

Question: In the UK Extended DVD, Aragorn's rousing speech at the black gate seems to finish a little differently. The line, 'This day we fight' sounds different to me from what I remember from the cinema and as I don't own the theatrical version I can't check. Can anyone confirm my suspicions and if so, why did they change it?

Chosen answer: It's not different from the theatrical cut, but a significantly different take on the line was used in the trailer.

Nick N.

Question: Why do we never see Gandalf praise Merry and Pippin for their taking part in the destruction of Isengard? He just doesn't seem to act very grateful.

Chosen answer: When they initially arrive at Isengard, he's rather more concerned with his upcoming confrontation with Saruman. He presumably talked to them about it later, off camera.

Tailkinker

Question: In the ending credits, the name Cameron Duncan is mentioned. What is so significant about this now-deceased filmmaker?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: Cameron was a highly promising young filmmaker, who won several awards for advertisements that he directed - this brought him to the attention of Peter Jackson. He spent time with the cast and crew of the films, where he gained their respect and affection, to the extent that two of his short films are included on the extended edition DVD. Jackson spoke at his funeral and the song "Into the West" was inspired by him and is dedicated to his memory.

Tailkinker

Question: In the Extended Edition, who are the Seven Kings that Saruman mentions during the parley? The only thing I can think of is the Seven Lords of the West, but I'm not sure.

Chosen answer: There's no group specifically referred to as the Seven Kings in Tolkien's works - your surmise that this refers to the seven male members of the Valar, the fourteen Powers of the world, may well be correct. The only other possibility that leaps to mind is that Saruman could be referring to the leaders of the seven dwarven clans.

Tailkinker

Question: I don't know if it's been said in the book or movie, but does Gamling die? If so when is it? I've been told it's at the Pelennor fields, however isn't he seen at the Black Gate battle when Aragorn gives his speech?

Chosen answer: It was certainly stated before the release of the Extended Edition that we would see his demise at the Pelennor Fields, but it seems that that scene didn't make the final version of the film. With the death of Theoden, Merry and Eowyn's wounding and all the other action going on, it was presumably decided that to break off from the action for the death of a minor character would disrupt the flow too much.

Tailkinker

Question: Can someone please tell me why Peter Jackson cut out the chapter in the book about the hobbits rebelling against "Sharkey". I can understand it in the theatrical version (time restrictions) but he had all the time in the world for the extended version and he still didn't put it in. I thought the Hobbit rebellion was the best part of all the 3 books.

Chosen answer: The climax of the tale, from the film-making point of view, is the destruction of the Ring and the fall of Sauron. Having the movie go on for at least another hour after that (which would be required for the Scouring of the Shire) simply wouldn't work. Practically all the scenes that have been added into the Extended Cut are scenes that were cut from the theatrical film - i.e. they were filmed with their inclusion in the theatrical release in mind. Given the amount of work that they had to do, to then film a long, complex sequence (which would require a lot of effects work, as it features multiple battles between men and hobbits) purely to be included in the Extended Edition would not have been possible.

Tailkinker

Question: In the Extended Edition, Eomer found Eówyn lying after the battle of Pelenor Fields and believed she is dead. What injuries did she suffered that required her to be sent to the House of Healing?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: When Éowyn (as well as Merry) stabs the Witch-king of Angmar, a serious and deadly malady described in the book as, "The Black Shadow, for it came from the Nazgûl." begins to afflict them. Those who are stricken are taken to the Houses of Healing. Old Gondorian lore states, "The hands of the king are the hands of healer." Aragorn, as the rightful king, has the power to heal Éowyn and Merry with the aid of the plant athelas which is also known as kingsfoil.

Super Grover

Question: How did Gollum survive his fall outside of Shelob's Cave?

Chosen answer: He fell onto a grassy knoll a little way underneath the mouth of the cave. How he managed to get into Mount Doom is another matter, but bearing in mind the Hobbits took AGES to get through Mordor, he must have beaten them to it. If you look closely at him inside Mount Doom you can see he has bruises, cuts etc., probably inflicted by his fall.

The Doctor

Question: Is Merry in love with Éowyn? In the Extended Edition, the first scene with Merry and Éowyn on Disc 2, the things he says and how embarassed he seems to get, make it seem that way

Chosen answer: I think it's more that he's embarassed to be speaking so frankly and personally with a royal lady than anything else.

Krista

Question: I've seen ROTK Extended and the disappearing horses at the Black Gates still has no logical explanation. Does anyone have a good explanation as to how or why the Host Of The West dismount?

Chosen answer: Cavalry are most effective in situations where there's plenty of room to manoeuvre - in close combat, where the horses can't move too well, the riders can be pulled off their mounts relatively easily, which would put them at a enormous disadvantage until they could regain their feet (enough so that there would be an extremely high probability that they would be killed before they could manage this). Given the vast numerical superiority of the opposing forces and the fact that they were clearly going to be surrounded, it would make sense to dismount before the battle started. As to where the horses went, obviously the Host wouldn't want a lot of panicked horses getting in the way - they'd be extremely dangerous - so they would simply have designated a couple of riders to lead the riderless horses out of the combat zone before the army was surrounded.

Tailkinker

Question: What exactly is the Mouth of Sauron?

Chosen answer: In the books, a man, in the films, not particularly obvious, he holds a position of great power and importance in the land of Mordor, being the spokesperson of Sauron himself. Had Sauron defeated the forces of Middle-Earth, the Mouth (also known as the Leftenant of the Tower of Barad-Dur) would have ruled the western lands (in his master's name) from a reconstructed Isengard.

Tailkinker

Question: Who is Shaggroth? I have heard his name mentioned, however he is not in the films, at least not that I recall.

Chosen answer: In the film, the Uruk's name is Shagrat and he is played by Peter Tait. He and Gorbag, an Orc, fight for Frodo's mithril shirt up in the tower at Cirith Ungol.

Super Grover

Question: In the Extended Edition, Aragorn is looking into the Palantir and you see Arwen in it. Then the Evenstar on Aragorn smashes on the ground, does this really happen?

Chosen answer: No, the Evenstar does not break. Aragorn wears it in later scenes, such as at the Black Gate. Sauron uses the Palantir to try to manipulate and scare Aragorn with the vision of Arwen dying. When the Evenstar, which represents Arwen UndÓmiel who is the Evenstar of her people, shatters, it adds to the emotional impact on Aragorn.

Super Grover

Question: At the end of the battle at Pellenor fields in the Extended Edition, you see Eomer weeping and holding someone dead. Who is it?

Chosen answer: He holds Eowyn, his sister, who he believes to be dead, but she is not. Later, at the House of Healing Aragorn heals her, while Eomer sits nearby.

Super Grover

Question: What is the name of the song sung in the background, in the Extended DVD, at the houses of healing while Eowyn is being healed?

Chosen answer: It's called Arwen's Song, Liv Tyler sings it. Here are the words: "With a sigh you turn away. With a deepening heart no more words to say. You will find that the world has changed forever. The trees are now turning from green to gold. The sun is now fading, I wish I could hold you closer."

Super Grover

Question: How come the Mouth of Sauron was never sent into battle?

Chosen answer: He's not a warrior - he's Sauron's spokesman. The attacks on Gondor and Rohan are intended to wipe those societies out - Sauron's not interesting in accepting any sort of surrender, so there's no point in sending his spokesman in with the troops.

Tailkinker

Question: In the "Fan Credits" section, I noticed that Sean Astin's (Samwise Gamgee) name appear on it. Are there other actors whose names appear on the fan credits?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: Yes, there are quite a lot of them, but I wouldn't want to deny you the pleasure of looking for them yourself. I'll give you Dominic Monaghan, Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee - see how many others you can spot.

Tailkinker

Question: In the Extended Edition after Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli escaped from the falling skulls, they saw an outside scene of Corsair ships and two burning towns on a river. Aragorn saw this and became very sad. Is he sad because of the burning towns, or is the fact that he was unable to get the Army of Dead to fight for him? Also, what is the importance of the burning towns on the river?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: Aragorn believes that he's failed - Elrond told him that he needs the Army of the Dead in order to defeat Sauron's forces, and, at that moment, he thinks that they're not going to join him. The burning towns are Gondorian settlements that the Corsairs have already attacked on their way up the river - probably intended to represent the haven of Pelargir, an important Gondorian port. In the book, the Dead helped Aragorn to defeat the Corsairs at Pelargir and were given their freedom there - they never came to Minas Tirith. The ships were then crewed by a party of Rangers (who did not appear in the films) on their run upriver to relieve the besieged Gondor forces.

Tailkinker

Question: What happened to Gothmog, the orc lieutenant, at the Battle Of Pelennor? I am aware that he fights Eowyn in ROTK Extended but there is also footage of him being hacked to death by Aragorn and Gimli simultaneously.

Chosen answer: In the extended cut we see that after Eówyn defeats the witch king she struggles away. Gothmog notices this and starts to chase her. Just before Gothmog gets to an unarmed Eówyn Aragorn, Legolas & Gimli save the day hacking Gothmog without a fight.

Question: This may be a stupid question, but is it just me that thinks the Gondorian soldiers are poorly-trained to fight or in poorly defensive formation against the Orcs and trolls? Also, are the soldiers of Gondor conscripts, as it seems that there is no able-bodied male civilian in Minas Tirith, and those who are able-bodied are soldiers?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: That's because they were under the rule of Denethor who was very foolish and didn't care about the consequences.

Question: In the next few months, the Extended Edition version will be released. Why did Peter Jackson remove about fifty minutes of footage (which will appear in the Extended Edition) for the theatrical release?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: The movie was already 3 hours long and he removed footage not strictly necessary to make it that length. Movies are shown to test audiences for things like length, proper ending etc. His said that while good, it was just too long.

Grumpy Scot

Question: Why does Sam refer to his old gaffer while killing the orcs guarding Frodo?

Chosen answer: Sam's fighting to protect those that he loves - Frodo (directly, through his rescue attempt) and the Shire in general and his father (indirectly, through their whole quest to destroy the Ring). The whole "that's for so-and-so" thing seems quite in keeping with his mood at the time.

Tailkinker

Question: Why aren't the four hobbits given a hero's welcome when they return to the Shire? The fellow who greets them seems less than impressed that they just saved Middle-Earth. Do the Shire folk not know about what went on? Do they ever learn of it?

Chosen answer: Few hobbits have ever ventured outside of the Shire and tend to regard Bilbo and Frodo with a certain amount of suspicion for having left for so long. In the novel, the Shire is attacked and therefore they would know about it, but since it is apparently unharmed in the movie they wouldn't care very much about what was going on in the rest of Middle Earth.

Shay

Question: This may be a bit stupid, but when Pippin is singing to Denethor while he's eating, is him eating supposed to mean anything symbolically?

Chosen answer: Well, the fact that Denethor IS eating in the first place during such a highly emotionally charged dire moment, coupled with the fact that he actually asks Pippin to sing serves to demonstrate his heartlessness. As we hear Pippin's stirring voice, the spurting red tomato is used to add a shocking visual as it represents the blood of the many men who are riding to Osgiliath to their death.

Super Grover

Question: With the Eomer crying question, the answer says that he could be grieving for Gamling. Why would Eomer be so emotional of his uncle's right-hand man?

Chosen answer: After the deaths of their parents when they were very young, Eomer and Eowyn were taken in by Theoden, and grew up in his house. As such, it's quite likely that Eomer has known Gamling for many years and regards him as a close friend, possibly even a brother.

Tailkinker

Question: Where in the movie is the song called " Use Well the Days" sung by Annie Lennox?

Chosen answer: It's not in the movie at all and is only included on the deluxe edition of the soundtrack as an extra.

Myridon

Question: Is it true that Cirdan the Shipwright can be seen near the end of the movie? If so, which actor plays Cirdan?

Chosen answer: It's true, yes, you can see him, standing on the dock at the Grey Havens, behind Galadriel, Elrond and Celeborn. He's also seen in the prologue to the Fellowship of the Ring - he's the elder of the two male elves who possess Rings (the other being Gil-galad). Cirdan was played by Michael Elsworth.

Tailkinker

Question: Who is the guy that plays one of the Gondorian Soldiers by the Black Gate? I forgot the timecode, but there's a close-up of him right before Aragorn begins his speech.

Chosen answer: Who knows - he's just an extra.

Tailkinker

Question: In the trivia section, it is said that the movie editors made a video clip of Elijah Wood and Sean Astin to the song "I Got You". Can anyone please tell me where I could find this?

Emily

Chosen answer: The song on the video montage is "I got you babe." Just as the rest of the main cast received personal gifts, this was a personal meaningful gift to Sean and Elijah, at the wrap of the films and it is not for the general public.

Super Grover

Question: Tolkien never gave any age for Legolas but Peter Jackson did (I think it's 2100 years or so). Where did he get the idea for Legolas' age? Was it just arbitrary or was it based on other evidence (like that Legolas is obviously a younger elf- younger than, say, Elrond or Arwen)?

Chosen answer: We know he must be older than Arwen as she is the last elf born in Middle Earth. She is around 1657 at the beginning of the War of the Rings.

Myridon

Question: After the Ring has been destroyed we see the reactions from the Fellowship members. Pippin is kneeling on the ground, sobbing Frodo's name. Is he crying out of joy because Frodo succeeded or is he crying because he thinks Frodo died in the process?

Chosen answer: Probably both. It's something he would have very mixed emotions about.

Krista

Question: I would really like to know - is this picture of Saruman definitely his final fate?(http://www.councilofelrond.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=My_eGallery&file=index&do=showpic&pid=5639&orderby=hitsD). I thought that Wormtongue was going to stab Saruman on Orthanc in the extended ROTK and does it not seem a bit graphic for a LOTR film?

Chosen answer: A bit graphic? We've had heads and limbs lopped off and fingers bitten off - doesn't seem like this is significantly worse. Until the Extended Edition comes out, there's no way to tell (unless you're on here, Mr Jackson) whether this is the real deal or not - that being said, what we see here doesn't actually preclude Grima doing his bit. As I understand it, during the final confrontation between Gandalf and Saruman, Saruman is standing on the peak of Orthanc - and presumably, in order to converse with Gandalf down below, Saruman will be standing pretty much at the edge. It's not an implausible sequence of events that Grima stabs Saruman, leading to the wizard falling from the tower, to be ultimately impaled on his own devices (as we see in the image).

Tailkinker

Question: What was the title of the score that was played after Theoden says "And Rohan will answer" in response to the Beacons of Minas Tirith until the part where the Rohirrim leave Edoras for Gondor? It's a Rohan theme and it seems that it is not in the soundtrack.

Chosen answer: The movie is 201 minutes long, the soundtrack album is at most 74 minutes long. Other than what's on the soundtrack we are not privy to the score to even know if the individual bits have titles.

Myridon

Question: If Sauron's forces did get the Ring, how are they supposed to give it to Sauron? Do they throw it in the eye or something?

Chosen answer: I would imagine that simple proximity would do it - when the Ring was close enough, Sauron would be able to tap into the magical power stored within, which would give him the power required to take physical form. At which point, they just give it to him.

Tailkinker

Question: I don't know where I can find the music track that was played right after Theoden said "And Rohan will answer", until the moment the Rohirrim left Edoras. It's a Rohan theme and it seems that it is not in the soundtrack.

Chosen answer: Well, the movie is roughly three hours long and the soundtrack is around 80 minutes. Almost half of the music is not on the soundtrack. You'll have to wait until they release the complete soundtrack which runs almost as long as the film itself.

Question: Does it take hundreds and hundreds of years for elven children to grow into adult elves or do they grow into an adult fast and then age slowly? We don't see many little elves in the movie.

Chosen answer: Tolkien doesn't discuss it - the most likely path would seem to be a relatively quick growth to adulthood (probably still slower than human children, though) followed by the very slow aging process of the adult elf. This would account for the apparent absence of little elves, although it should be said that elves are not prolific breeders at the best of times - they're also a reasonably private race and might deliberately keep their young away from non-elves.

Tailkinker

Question: I've been reading a lot of spoilers of what will be in the Special Edition release. However one thing from the theatrical trailer which I've found nothing about is the shot of Pippin holding a weeping Merry. I was hoping SE spoilers would help me figure out where this shot belongs but I've had no luck. At first I thought it was Pelennor, but since Pippin is wearing his helmet it can't be then. Then I thought it was Cornmallen after the Ring has been destroyed and they seem to think Frodo is dead, but that doesn't add up either since people are fighting behind them. Does anyone know where this shot is from? I really want to know, I love this shot since it's a reverse from the shot in FotR where Merry held a weeping Pippin.

Chosen answer: I've been through the theatrical trailers for this film, but I can't actually find the shot you're referring to. Logically, though, it has to either be at the Pelennor Fields or at the Morannon. If there are people visible fighting behind them, that seems to rule out the Pelennor Fields, as Merry and Pippin aren't reunited until some time after the fighting has ended, so the battle at the Black Gate seems like the only option. The flow of events there will change in the Extended Edition - the Mouth of Sauron sequence will be going in there, for example - so the reason for continued fighting in the shot may become clear.

Tailkinker

Question: I know about Peter Jackson's kids appearing as extras several times in the films, but there are other people who are used as extras several times. Like the old woman in the caves at Helm's Deep and in the streets of Minas Tirith. Since a lot of the extras are crew members or relatives of people involved in the films, I was wondering if anyone knows who the recurring extras are.

Chosen answer: There are far too many crew and family members appearing in the three films to list here. A few examples - and this really is only a few - include conceptual artist Alan Lee, who played one of the nine kings of men as seen in the prologue of FOTR (second king from the right if I remember correctly) and who also appeared as a Rohirrim peasant in TTT, when swords are being handed out in Helm's Deep. Right next to Alan Lee in that same scene is supervising art director Dan Hennah. Liv Tyler's riding double, Jane Abbott, appears as an elf during the wedding scene at the end of ROTK. Viggo Mortensen's son Henry appeared in TTT, standing behind the boy Haleth whose sword Aragorn examines. And of course, Peter Jackson himself appeared in all three films: in FOTR as a dirty Breelander the hobbits pass on their way to the Prancing Pony; in TTT as a Rohirrim soldier who throws a spear at the invading orcs from above the top of the ramp to Helm's Deep; and in ROTK as a Corsair of Umbar, seen standing on one of the black ships. There are many, many, many other cameos as well.

Question: This is actually to do with the book. When Sam finds that Frodo is dead he says: 'Gilthoniel A Elbereth. A Elbereth Gilthoniel o menel palan-diriel, le nallon sí di'nguruthos. A tiro nin, Fanuilos'. What does this mean?

Chosen answer: O Elbereth Star-kindler, from heaven gazing afar, to thee I cry now in the shadow of death! O watch over me, Everwhite!

Myridon

Question: I doubt whether if this is a movie mistake or not so I better ask this question first: Where does the "lightning effect" come from in the Mount Doom sequence? Is this just a filmmaking technique to make the scene scary and climactic? As you can notice from other movies like Titanic where Jack and Rose where running along the flooded corridors of the ship and saving a child, there are broken electric wires that create this effect (lights flashing on and off continuously). In horror movies, there are always thunderstorm to justify that the "lightning effect" come from a real lightning. And now in ROTK, especially when Frodo is having his last look on the Ring before he says 'The Ring is mine.', there are "lightning effects." I don't think it's from the lava nor a thunderstorm and not certainly from a broken electric wire.

Chosen answer: It's a big volcano jam-packed full of Sauron's wild magical power flashing around, also the volcano must have some sort of magic power in and of itself if it can be used to forge/unforge magical rings.

Myridon

Question: On the balcony of Minas Tirith, Gandalf told Pippin that "no living man can kill" the Witch King of Angmar. Does that mean that the Dead or The King of the Dead can kill the Witch King now that he is not anymore 'living'?

Chosen answer: It's a prophecy and as such it doesn't always mean what it seems to say on the surface. Eowyn kills him because she's not a man, she's a woman. The same would probably apply to anyone dead as well.

Myridon

Question: Kind of random, in the MTV Movie Awards 2004, when they announced Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King as best film a song was played for a few seconds, does anyone knows what song it was?

Chosen answer: The song was 'Bright Lights' by Matchbox Twenty.

Question: In the song "Into the West," what is silver glass?

Chosen answer: The surface of the water colored by "the pale moon..."

scwilliam

Question: Could anyone tell me who the big pig-like orc is who leads Sauron's armies against Minas-Tirith? I've read somewhere that he's a kind of incarnation of Sauron, but I'm not too sure.

Chosen answer: His name is Gothmog and, no, he's not an incarnation of Sauron. He officially holds the title of Lieutenant of Morgul, a position of considerable power within Mordor, and acts as the second-in-command to the Witch King of Angmar. He's mentioned precisely once in the books and Tolkien doesn't even mention what race he's from - it was the filmmakers choice to make him an orc.

Tailkinker

Question: How much time passes between the first time the fellowship leaves Rivendell and Aragorn's coronation?

Chosen answer: They leave Rivendell December 25, 3018 and Aragorn's coronation is May 1, 3019, so a little over 4 months, assuming the films are the same as the books.

Question: This question is more about the book, but I'll ask it here anyway. Are Elladan and Elrohir, the Sons of Elrond, men or elves? The timeline in the appendix of the book says they were born at the beginning of the Third Age, 3000 years before the Ring was destroyed, and yet they fought in the war. However, the book implied that Legolas was the only elf to travel the Paths of the Dead with Aragorn and the Grey Company, which the Sons of Elrond were a part of.

Chosen answer: Elladan and Elrohir were twins, and half-elven like their father. They returned to Rivendell after the War of the Rings, and were given the choice of going into the west or staying and becoming mortal. It is not known which choice they made.

scwilliam

Answer: Since Elrond had chosen to be of Elven kind when given the choice by the Valar, his children were of Elven kind too. But they were given the choice of either and leaving Middle-earth with him, or remaining and becoming mortal. "Elladan and Elrohir remained in Imladris well into the Fourth Age, and since they did not accompany Elrond over Sea they seem to have chosen to become Mortal." Robert Foster, "Complete Guide to Middle-Earth" (2nd edition p. 144).

Question: Did Denethor in the original book suffer from some form of mental illness?

megamii

Chosen answer: Not exactly. While this isn't stated in the film (unless it appears in the Extended Cut), Denethor has access to a palantir, like the one Saruman possessed that Pippin ultimately looks in. Denethor has used this palantir to follow events in Middle-Earth, but, just as Pippin did, he has encountered Sauron. The Dark Lord used this opportunity to mess with Denethor's mind, bringing him to the point of terrible despair, where he simply cannot conceive of anything other than defeat at Sauron's hands. This affects Denethor's judgement horribly, leading him to first send out Faramir's suicide mission, and then to break completely when he sees the Mordor forces arrayed against him.

Tailkinker

Question: The ring of Barahir that Aragorn wears - what is 'Barahir' ? A person or place?

Chosen answer: Barahir was a human warrior in the First Age, who was given the ring that bears his name by an elf whose life he saved in the great battles of that Age. The ring has been passed down through many generations to his distant descendant, Aragorn.

Tailkinker

Question: This question is sort of across the whole trilogy: If the elves are immortal (or, as I think someone pointed out, they just age very very slowly) but they still have children, (various elf family trees confirm this), how is it that Middle Earth isn't overrun by them?

Chosen answer: Elves aren't prone to churning out the kids - they breed very infrequently. Elrond, who's been around for six thousand years, has only had three children in that time period. Galadriel and Celeborn, whose marriage dates back even further than that, have only had one (Celebrian, Elrond's wife). While elf lifespans are sufficiently long that they can be considered effectively immortal, they do die in accidents or wars. Plus others (including the aforementioned Celebrian) have gone into the West. Put all that together, and it does a good job of keeping the elven population of Middle-Earth down to reasonable levels.

Tailkinker

Question: What does Eowyn say to Aragorn as she hands him the cup in Meduseld near the beginning of the film?

Chosen answer: She says in the language of the Rohirrim: 'Westu Aragorn hál', which means 'Be thou Aragorn well'.

Question: This applies to all three films: does anyone have a link to a website showing Peter Jacksons different cameo appearances throughout the three films?

Chosen answer: IMDb.com lists all the cameos in the trivia sections for each film.

STP

Question: Is there any indication that we will see Sam put the Ring on to hide at Cirith Ungol, as he does in the book, in the extended version?

Chosen answer: It would appear to be unlikely. The way that they dealt with Sam taking the ring it would appear that they wanted to let the audience think that the orcs actually had taken the ring from Frodo, not that Sam had it. If they were to show Sam using the ring, that whole thing would be undermined.

Garlonuss

Question: What is Sauron's army chanting as they approach Minas Tirith? Not the Grond bit, earlier than that. It sounds like four syllables being repeated.

Chosen answer: It is just an orc war chant. I'm not sure that anybody knows quite what it means.

Question: Is there a reason that Gollum's fingers-per hand constantly appears to change from six to five? I know that I am not seeing things, but one of the corrections says that this would never happen.

Chosen answer: Given how Gollum was created, his fingers certainly should remain consistent throughout the films, and it's highly implausible that the SFX people would arbitrarily introduce another finger for certain scenes - it could serve no possible purpose and would detract from the reality of the character. The most likely conclusion is that the apparent change is illusionary - you yourself say that it 'appears to change', which lends itself strongly towards illusion as a possible reason. That being said, errors in rendering the character could result in such an error occuring, although it's an awfully specific thing to happen - rendering errors are usually much more random in nature - and it's surprising, considering the attention to detail required for such an important character, that nobody in the SFX department picked up on it, particularly if it happens on several occasions.

Tailkinker

Question: When Frodo, Sam and Gollum reach Minas Morgul (The dead city), a massive green and white tower of light comes out of the city. (It frightens Gandalf, Pippin and the Gondorians back at Minas Tirith). What is it for exactly?

Chosen answer: In the book, this happens in response to a similar signal (albeit red) from deep within Mordor (probably from Barad-Dur) - it seems to be a rather dramatic signal for the armies of Mordor to advance. In the book, Sauron's forces make multiple assaults - both Lothlorien and the dwarven kingdom of Erebor (in the north) come under attack - so a powerful signal, visible for great distances, would be required to ensure a simultaneous assault. Although the Barad-Dur signal is not seen in the film, the Morgul flare can still serve the same purpose of signalling the advance on Gondor. Plus, as you observe, it has the handy side-effect of scaring the hell out of the Gondorian forces - Sauron is a master of manipulation and psychology, so it's exactly the sort of thing he'd do.

Tailkinker

Question: At the moment of Theoden's death, the last thing he says to Eowyn is 'I go to my fathers, in whose mighty company I shall now not feel ashamed. Eowyn...' What exactly is he ashamed of?

Chosen answer: He's ashamed of the way he fell under Saruman's influence. It also appears, from his conversation with Eowyn earlier, that he feels a certain amount of shame that he did not lead the victory at Helm's Deep.

Tailkinker

Question: Is there evidence that Peter Jackson was influenced by the 1996 PC game "Warcraft II" in how the soldiers of Gondor and the Orcs dress? The armored uniforms of the Gondorians resembled those of the humans in Warcraft.

megamii

Chosen answer: For practical armouring, there are only so many possibilities that you can go with - inevitably some of these will resemble each other. The Gondorian armour is described to a reasonable degree within the books - the designs would have been based on those descriptions, rather than any non-Tolkien influences.

Tailkinker

Question: Are there any Easter Eggs on the normal (not extended) DVDs of any of the three films?

Chosen answer: No. All of the easter eggs are on the extended edition of the films.

Question: I know the first film had dialogue references to chapters of the book, such as "A Shortcut to Mushrooms" and "A Long Expected Party". Did this film have any such references?

Chosen answer: Nothing so precise. Like the Two Towers, the chapter headings in the Return of the King tend more to the simple, like "The Siege of Gondor", "Minas Tirith", or "Mount Doom". These do come up in dialogue, obviously, but can't really be considered as references to the chapter titles in the same way as with the Fellowship of the Ring.

Tailkinker

Question: When Sam rips open the web on Frodo's face that Shelob made, what are those little black spots on Frodo's face?

Chosen answer: Dirt. You try crawling through swamps, up mountains and through a spider's cave and not get dirty.

Question: Lord Denethor is not the king of Gondor, but a steward, a caretaker of the throne according to Gandalf. Does this means that he is acting as a regent?

megamii

Chosen answer: Effectively, yes - the Stewards rule in the absence of the rightful King of Gondor. That being said, the Stewards have now ruled Gondor for 26 generations of their family and believe the bloodline of the King to be destroyed, so, as we see with Denethor, they pretty much consider themselves to be the true rulers of the kingdom these days. As such, while they are technically fulfilling the role of regent, they might not actually consider that to be the case any more.

Tailkinker

Question: Is there any more significance about the tree of Gondor other than what Pippin saw in a vision?

megamii

Chosen answer: Quite a lot of significance, yes. Okay, deep breath, here goes. Back before the First Age, there was a time referred to as "The Years of the Trees". At this time, before the sun and the moon, the domain of the Valar (local godlikes) was lit by the radiance of two revered and mystical trees. The elder tree, called Telperion, was known as the White Tree. Destroyed by Melkor, the first Dark Lord, shortly before the beginning of the First Age, its image was preserved by the Valar in a second tree, Galathilion, in the elven city of Tirion (and Telpirion's last flower was set in the sky, the light now known as the moon). Seedlings of Galathilion was the source of many trees throughout the kingdoms of men and elves. One of the most famous of these was the tree Nimloth that grew in the royal courts in the prosperous human kingdom of Numenor. Sauron's influence ultimately allowed him to take control of Numenor's government, and he had Nimloth burnt, seeing it as a link to the Valar, his enemies. However, Isildur saved one of the fruits of the tree and took it with him to Middle-Earth after the fall of Numenor. He planted it there, in the Gondorian citadel of Minas Ithil (later to fall to the Nazgul and become Minas Morgul). Seedlings from that tree was planted in Minas Tirith, and, since that time, a White Tree has always grown there. So the Gondorians see the tree as a link to their founders, to the fabled kingdom of Numenor and ultimately to the Valar themselves.

Tailkinker

Question: What is the difference from Hobbiton and The Shire? Is The Shire a village, and Hobbiton the region where the Hobbits live?

megamii

Chosen answer: Actually, it's the other way around. The region is called Shire, the village Hobbiton. There are several other villages in the Shire, for example Buckland.

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Question: Why didn't Gandalf get Gwaihir the wind lord (The giant eagle) to ride Frodo to Mount Doom? It would have saved the heroes from fighting, saved some of them from dying, and would have especially saved Rohan and Gondor from the near destruction they suffered.

Chosen answer: They had to do this in secret. If they were to just fly into mordor on a giant eagle, they would attract the full attention of sauron, the nazgul, and all of sauron's army.

RJR99SS

Question: During The Ride of the Rohirrim, after Gothmog (Pink Orc Captain) shouts "Fire at will", you can see a black haired and black bearded rider wearing a suit of chainmail with a long axe in the front of the shot (only for a second or so) I think this is Peter Jackson but I am not sure, does anybody know?

Chosen answer: I can see who you mean, but I'm pretty certain that it's not Peter Jackson - the resemblance isn't really that close. Besides, I strongly suspect that the studio would be dead set against anything that put their director (scriptwriter/producer/etc) on a horse in the middle of a charge - I've never read anything to indicate that Jackson is an experienced rider, and there are risks in what's being portrayed in that scene.

Tailkinker

Question: Do the head orc with the skin over his eyes and the orc with the skulls pile on top of his head have names?

Chosen answer: The lead orc is Gothmog, a briefly mentioned character in the books (mentioned precisely once) - it's not even clear in the books which race he belongs to. The second orc, with the skulls, doesn't seem to have a name.

Tailkinker

Question: I understand that Faramir and Aragorn are both Rangers, but what is a Ranger as depicted in the "Rings" trilogy?

megamii

Chosen answer: Not as simple a question as it sounds, as, while Faramir and Aragorn are both described as Rangers, they're actually different types of Ranger. Faramir is one of the Rangers of Ithilien, a Gondorian group who specialise in using guerrilla tactics against the forces of Sauron in the land of Ithilien, between the Anduin river (which runs through Osgiliath) and the Mountains of Shadow that form the western border of Mordor. Aragorn is the current chieftain of the Rangers of the North, who came into being after the fall of the northern kingdom of Arthedain, ruled over by Isildur's descendants. After the loss of Arthedain, the people survived in the wild as the loose-knit organisation known as the Rangers. The two groups are related - both originate from the Dunedain, the long-lived descendants of the survivors of Numenor - but have been seperated for around 3000 years.

Tailkinker

Question: How does Smeagol over time becomes the hideous-looking Gollum? Did the One Ring radically changed his appearance? Also, what kind of Hobbit was Smeagol?

megamii

Chosen answer: Smeagol was believed to have been a Stoor, a branch of the hobbits known for being quite large and strong (by hobbit standards). His mutation is because of the Ring - precise reason unclear, but almost certainly related to the fact that it has prolonged his life far beyond a normal hobbit span (Gollum is around 580 years old when he dies, easily five times the normal lifespan)- note that Bilbo, who, while old, is still within a normal hobbit lifespan, looks physically normal. Smeagol, through use of the Ring, has been influenced by the wraithworld, in exactly the same manner that the kings of men who were given the nine rings ultimately became the Nazgul - in time, he would presumably have become a wraith-like being like them. Gollum's current appearance may be some intermediate stage.

Tailkinker

Question: In theaters, some film reels have subtitles for the scene where Elrond gives Anduril to Aragorn and they say a couple elvish lines - "Onen i-Estel Edain. U-chebin estel anim." - and other film reels do not have subtitles for the elvish. I am wondering what the reason for this would be.

Chosen answer: I encountered this when I saw FOTR the first time in theaters. What happened is that the projector was aimed down too far on the screeen, effectively cutting off the subtitles. They are there on all of the prints, but due to bad projector setup in some theaters, many people didn't get to see these.

Question: This actually applies on all three films. I'd like to know the font used in the the title sequences at the beginning of each movies which is the one used in "New Line Cinema presents...." and "The Lord of the Rings". (I'm not referring to the one used in the official logo which is "Ring bearer" or "Tolkien".)

Chosen answer: The font used is a variation of the Elvish writing style, in English. Thus it is not available and was probable just made for the production. A good elvish font, if you want that style, is called Tengwar.

Question: I just want to know where can I download the video of the parody of Best Picture nominees (mostly ROTK) in the recent Oscar Awards that was shown at the introduction of the awards show.

Chosen answer: http://www.theonering.net/staticnews/1054890864.html

Question: Is there a romantic relationship between Galadriel and Gimli? Also, it seems foolish, but is it true that Galadriel seems to have some sort of infatuation with Frodo? She seems pleased (by her come-hither looks) that Frodo is coming with her to the Undying Lands in the Grey Havens scene.

megamii

Chosen answer: Galadriel and Gimli? Bizarre mental image. Um, no, there's nothing going on there. Gimli does fall for her beauty, true, and she's flattered, but there's nothing else there. Do bear in mind that Celeborn, her husband, is around as well. No, she doesn't have an infatuation with Frodo either - her initial rapport with him would be down to them both being Ringbearers. Come-hither looks at the Grey Havens? I don't really see those - what I see is that she's excited about returning to Valinor, the land where she was born, and that she hasn't seen for seven thousand years. Nothing to do with Frodo going along, or any desire for hobbit lurve...

Tailkinker

Question: I have yet to read the book, but what are the Corsairs?

megamii

Chosen answer: The Corsairs of Umbar are a piratical group, originally of Gondorian origin, whose founder, Castamir, was ousted as ruler of that land (he usurped the throne and had a vicious and cruel reign lasting ten years) some 1500 years before the events of the film. Since that time, they've held a great hatred for Gondor, fighting against them as much as possible. As a trivia note, forty years prior to the films, the Corsair fleets were all but destroyed by a devastating Gondorian attack led by a man named Thorongil. Thorongil was, in fact, Aragorn - he used this alias during his early life and his service to the lords of both Gondor and Rohan (as mentioned in the extended Two Towers film).

Tailkinker

Question: I know about Peter Jackson's cameo on the Corsair ship, but does he do another cameo in the film? I thought I spotted him for a second in the charge on the Pelennor Fields.

Chosen answer: He's been very quiet about it if this is true, and he's generally open about his cameo appearances. It's unlikely, I think, Jackson didn't really have the time to throw himself in all over the place - he seems to have stuck to one cameo per film. There was at least one false report of an additional cameo in the Two Towers, which would imply an actor who bears a resemblance to the director - maybe the same actor was used in the Pelennor Fields shot that you saw.

Tailkinker

Question: In the first movie (Fellowship), Galadriel says that she will 'diminish' and go to the west. What happens to the elves after they reach the Undying Lands. Do they lose their super-natural powers?

Chosen answer: In Valinor, the elves will live with the Valar, their 'gods', in peace and tranquility. Elves don't really have supernatural powers - they have abilities appropriate to their species, which are strange to us, but not actually supernatural - these should remain the same. Galadriel will lose some of her abilities, yes, but this isn't because of relocating to Valinor, it's mostly down to the power of her Ring being lost. Whether those elves with magical abilities (spell-casting and so forth) will keep them is unclear - it's fairly questionable that they'd need them.

Tailkinker

Question: In the trivia section it says that the whole movie was dubbed due to bad weather conditions. Surely this cannot be correct: why would bad weather affect sound equipment when they are filming inside, e.g. at Edoras?

Chosen answer: Any kind of rain on the roof or howling winds, etc. can affect sound, especially if it's a specially built structure and not on a sound stage. (Things like planes, trucks, and motorcycles cause problems, too.)

Krista

Question: Does anyone know why they decided to call Aragorn's horse Brego? In the books Aragorn rides two horses: Hasufell and Roheryn. Brego is actually the name of a former king of Rohan. It's strange that the film-makers don't use one of the "real" names when they are mentioned in the books.

Chosen answer: Aragorn does ride Hasufel - just as in the books, he is lent to Aragorn by Eomer when they meet on the plains and Aragorn rides him until they reach Edoras. As for Roheryn - in the books, this is Aragorn's own horse, brought to him by a group of Rangers who join him for the fight. As this doesn't happen in the film, an alternative horse was needed. Choosing to use the "kingly-named" Brego, former steed of the late Theodred, the heir to the kingdom of Rohan provides a subtle reinforcement of Aragorn's gradual ascendancy towards the kingship.

Tailkinker

Question: Who is Arwen's mother and where is she? Is she alive?

Chosen answer: Arwen's mother is Celebrian, daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. Around III 2510, about five hundred years prior to the events of the film, she was captured by orcs in the Redhorn Pass (the pass of Caradhras that the Fellowship fail to cross) and tortured. Rescued by her sons, Elladan and Elrohir, and healed by her husband, she chose to sail into the West.

Tailkinker

Question: In Shelob's tunnel, right before Frodo lights Earendil, he says something in Elvish. What did he say? The only word I caught was Earendil.

Chosen answer: He says, "Aiya Earendil elenion ancalima" which translates into, "Hail, Earendil, Brightest of the stars."

cullothiel

Question: I was just wondering why Aragorn didn't claim his throne in Gondor earlier? we know he went of to be a ranger but why didn't he become king? is it because he was afraid he would turn evil?

Chosen answer: It's not so much becoming evil that he fears, but that Isildur's weakness may run in his bloodline, leading him to fail at a critical moment. He questions his worthiness to lead the world of men.

Tailkinker

Question: Could someone give me the following statistics about the Battle Of Pelennor Fields? How many Orcs were present? How many Gondorian soldiers were guarding Minas Tirith? How many Rohirrim came to Gondor's aid? How many Mumakil flanked the Rohirrim? How many Oathbreakers emerged from the Corsairs' ships?

Chosen answer: There are no particularly precise figures anywhere - all that's available would be educated guesses based on watching the films, and you'd be just as qualified to do that as anybody.

Tailkinker

Question: Exactly why has the time of the elves come to an end? They are smarter and physically superior to humans. Is this ever explained in the books?

Chosen answer: The elves were not supposed to be in Middle-Earth at all. While they awoke there, many thousands of years before the War of the Ring, the Valar (local deity equivalents) summoned them to Valinor, the Undying Lands, and the vast majority went willingly. When Melkor, the first Dark Lord, fled to Middle-Earth, taking the Silmarils (great jewels crafted by the elves) with him, a great host of the Elves returned to Middle-Earth in pursuit, against the wishes of the Valar. After the fall of Melkor, the elves remained in Middle-Earth, considered themselves in exile, although the Valar were content to allow them to return if they so wished. They also remained as a buffer against the return of evil - Sauron, Melkor's chief lieutenant, was still out there, as were many of Melkor's other allies - the Valar ensured that the elven magicks remained strong with this in mind. With the rise of humanity and the fall of Sauron, the elves are finally being called home by the Valar, going back to where they were always supposed to be, and leaving the lands of Middle-Earth to the younger races, as the Valar intended.

Tailkinker

Question: Is Sauron is just a spirit in Barad-Dur? Can he not become a physical entity unless he regains the Ring?

Chosen answer: Yep, basically.

RJR99SS

Question: Did Eowyn and Farimir end up together at the end of the film?

Chosen answer: Tolkien had both Eowyn and Faramir affected by their contact with Sauron's evil. Aragorn healed both, and while recovering, they fell in love. They married eventually and were second only to Aragorn in Gondor.

scwilliam

Question: In the book Tolkien intended for Minas Tirith and Osgiliath to be 15-20 miles apart. Faramir and his men seemed to make two journeys (to and fro) within a couple of minutes screen time. Did Peter Jackson intend for the two cities to be closer in the film?

Chosen answer: No, they're still the same distance apart - it's a standard film technique to compress time for travelling and so forth. It's intercut with Pippin singing for dramatic effect, not to imply that it only takes the length of the song to travel the distance.

Tailkinker

Question: Is there going to be some collection-dvd with all three LoTR movies? Will it have all the extra-material from all the movies?

Chosen answer: There is already a boxset available of the three theatrical cuts. There will undoubtedly also be a boxset of the Extended Editions, which will no doubt come out in November, when the final Extended Cut is due for release.

Tailkinker

Question: Did anyone else notice that Christopher Lee wasn't in the end credits of the film, even though Sean Bean who also wasn't in The Return of the King was? Is this because of the row he had with Peter Jackson over being cut out of the film?

Chosen answer: Sean Bean does show up, for about a second, in a flashback - this was enough to give him a credit.

Tailkinker

Question: When Sauron spots Frodo on the plains of Gorgoroth, Sam screams 'Frodo. Get down.' and Frodo falls limp on the ground. Then Sauron just turns his eye away to the north (the black gate attack). Seeing as he knows the Ring is in the hands of a hobbit, and he has just seen two hobbits in his land, why doesn't he stop them (for example, call for the winged Nazgul)?

Chosen answer: One of the reasons that Aragorn decided to charge the Black Gate (which is not really mentioned in the movie but is in the book) is because he intended Sauron to believe that he had the ring. Sauron would undoubtedly assume that nobody would attack Mordor with such a small army unless they had the ring themselves.

Garlonuss

Question: In the trivia section it says that Tolkein's great-grandson has a cameo appearance in the film as a Gondorian ranger. Where abouts in the film is this?

Chosen answer: Royd Tolkien is seen during the Osgiliath sequence - he says that he's visible handing out spears. A picture of him, with friend and business partner Justin Nicholls, both in costume, can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northeast/guides/halloffame/showbiz/royd_tolkien.shtml. As his role was created at the last minute, Royd is actually wearing Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn wig.

Tailkinker

Question: I am just wondering where we can find a list of added scenes for the extended version that isn't just gossip. Has anyone actually seen a shotlist/etc.?

Chosen answer: Most of the lists doing the rounds are rather more than gossip - most are based on statements by Peter Jackson and others involved closely with the production, so they should be taken as correct. No definitive list of changes has been issued, however, nor, I suspect, is there likely to be - lists that appeared for the previous Extended Editions all proved to be incomplete when that version was released.

Tailkinker

Question: Does anyone know what that cave thing is that Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are resting in at the beginning of the movie is?

Chosen answer: There are plenty of ruins throughout Middle-Earth, and the area known as Ithilien, where Frodo and co are at that point, is no exception. Once a populous region, it has been deserted for around 1000 years, since the fall of Minas Ithil (now Minas Morgul) and the return of the Nazgul. What Frodo and Sam are resting is no doubt some ruined structure left over from Ithilien's populated days.

Tailkinker

Question: Was Minas Morgul (originally Minas Ithil by the Gondorians and sister city of Minas Tirith) reclaimed by the Gondorians after the war?

Chosen answer: It's never stated. Assuming that it survived the turmoil of Sauron's destruction, the Gondorians would have taken control. Whether they would allow such a place of evil to continue to stand is an open question.

Tailkinker

Question: After the fall of Sauron, Barad-Dur and Mordor as a whole, what was Mordor used as? Did it serve any purpose after the war? For example, did the survivors build a city/buildings?

Chosen answer: It's never stated. It's certainly unlikely that there were any survivors on the plain of Gorgoroth, the north-west part of Mordor where Mount Doom and the fortress of Barad-dur were located. The remainder of Mordor, the more-fertile lowland area called Nurn, where slave-farms produced food for Sauron's armies, probably fared much better, but precisely what happened after Sauron's fall is never mentioned.

Tailkinker

Question: After King Elessar (Aragorn) dies in 120 FA, what exactly happens to Arwen?

Chosen answer: Arwen leaves Gondor after Aragorn's death, now ruled by Eldarion, their son. She travels north, to the now-deserted remains of Lorien, to Cerin Amroth, a grassy mound at the very heart of the realm where she and Aragorn first pledged their love to each other. She passes away there in 121 FA.

Tailkinker

Question: What happens to Osgiliath after the war? Is the city rebuilt?

Chosen answer: It's not clear what happens. Minas Tirith continues to be the capital of Gondor. It seems likely that Osgiliath would be rebuilt to some extent, but it probably never regained its full glory.

Tailkinker

Question: In the extended version, The Mouth of Sauron tells the heroes that Frodo is dead and the Ring is on it's way to Barad-Dur. The heroes give up hope but continue to fight in honour of what Frodo has tried to do. But when the Great Eye glows brighter at the Rings destruction, the heroes all look up at it before it explodes and Barad-Dur collapses. Do they think Sauron has reclaimed the Ring or he has been defeated?

Chosen answer: You can't really say what a character is thinking, unless there's a voiceover or something, but, given that they believe that the Ring has been captured, it seems likely that most may well believe that Sauron has reclaimed the Ring. Whatever they actually think, it's clear that something must be happening, hence their attention being drawn. If there is an exception to this, it would be Gandalf - given that he's of the same race as Sauron (lesser Ainur, known as Maiar), and both have powerful magical abilities, it seems possible that Gandalf might be able to sense what has really happened before any actual physical signs became apparent.

Tailkinker

Question: I'm kinda unclear on this - why exactly does the ground cave in and swallow the orcs and other evil creatures when Sauron's defeated (when the ring is destroyed)? I did notice that it got most of the bad guys and didn't come too near aragon and the gondor/rohan army.

Chosen answer: Sauron's power affects Mordor - it's his power, for example, that prevents the forging chamber in Mount Doom from filling with lava. With the defeat of Sauron, Mordor is badly affected - the uncontrolled eruption of Mount Doom, the fall of the Black Gate and so forth. Aragorn's forces are outside the Black Gate, so the destruction doesn't quite reach them, but many of the Mordor forces are within that area, between the Gondor/Rohan troops and the Gate itself. The others simply run away when it becomes apparent that their master has fallen.

Tailkinker

Question: As none of the evil armies knew that the Rohirrim were coming for a surprise attack on the Pelennor Fields, why did they have the Mumakil, as they wouldn't really be able to attack Minas Tirith apart from damaging a few walls, they would have just got stuck behind the hordes of orcs (who wouldn't have run away towards Osgiliath) So why have them?

Chosen answer: Sauron's forces are attacking Gondor, their primary foe in that part of Middle-Earth - this is not a time for holding anything back; they're going to throw everything that they've got into the mix. Anyway, they may well have suspected that the Rohirrim were going to get involved - it seems highly likely that Sauron's agents would have noticed the lighting of the beacons calling the Rohirrim to battle.

Tailkinker

Question: Was Legolas at the Battle of the Last Alliance with Elrond and Co? He is old enough, and a good enough fighter.

Chosen answer: No one actually knows how old Legolas is, but if he is as old as Peter Jackson says (2,963 yrs I think) then that would mean Legolas would have been born in the beginning of the Third Age; years after the Last Alliance took place. His father, Thranduil, however, did fight in that battle.

cullothiel

Question: Does anybody know how old Shelob is, is she older than Sauron?

Chosen answer: Shelob's date of birth is not recorded, but is believed to be sometime in the First Age, which would make her at most seven thousand years old. Sauron is much older, having been around since the creation of the world.

Tailkinker

Question: The scene in the movie with everything about Saruman is not true to the book, and even though there will be more scenes in the extended version, all this is not correct. Saruman's palantir and staff are actually taken by Gandalf, and Saruman is let out by Treebeard. Saruman later dies in the Shire, after the fellowship sees him on their way back home. Why is all this info being changed, couldn't they have put all this in the extended version? If all this was not filmed for the movie, why wasn't it?

Chosen answer: The entire Scouring of the Shire sequence was never filmed. This was a deliberate choice by the film-makers to prevent the ending of the film from becoming overlong - the climax to the tale is, really, the destruction of the Ring and the fall of Sauron. The theatrical release of the film goes on for at least half an hour after that - to include all the necessary scenes would lengthen the ending of the film to probably around the hour and a half mark - the Scouring is a complex sequence - which is untenable in cinematic terms, even for an extended version. As such, in their version, Saruman dies at Isengard (apparently still at Wormtongue's hands) - this will be seen in the extended cut.

Tailkinker

Question: When Gandalf is talking Pippin to Minas Tirith, he says it is 'three day's ride, as the Nazgul flies', but how did he know that the Nazgul are now flying using the Fell Beasts to find the ring?

Chosen answer: After Gandalf's resurrection, or whatever the right term is, according to the books, he was rescued from the mountain peak where he fought the Balrog by Gwaihir, the Eagle who helped him escape Isengard (and who subsequently shows up at the battle at Black Gate). Gwaihir is Lord of the Air and is going to be pretty well informed about anything that occurs in his realm. It seems extremely unlikely that he wouldn't know about the Fell Beasts, and, as it's a pretty significant piece of tactical knowledge, he would undoubtedly have informed Gandalf of this new development.

Tailkinker

Question: What happened to Frodo's Mithril vest? After the orcs remove it at the borders of Mordor we never see it again. Surely Frodo would not leave something behind that is 'worth more than all the Shire', as Gandalf said in Fellowship.

Chosen answer: In the Extended cut, we see what happens to it. It is taken by the orcs and paraded in front of Aragorn's forces at the Black Gate by a character known as the Mouth of Sauron (effectively a spokesperson), taunting them that Frodo has failed in his mission. It was retrieved after the battle and returned to Frodo after his rescue from Mordor.

Tailkinker

Question: Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't it take Gandalf and Pippin a three day ride to Minas-Tirith? Because when Gandalf saves Faramir from the winged Nazgul, Faramir says he last saw Frodo and Sam in Ithilien 'not two days ago' (at the end of The Two Towers), so shouldn't he have last seen them at least FOUR days ago?

Chosen answer: Faramir saw Frodo and Sam 2 days before, and yes, it took Gandalf and Pippin 3 days to ride to Minas Tirith. However, the exact timescale of each story line is independent from the others, so the day Faramir last saw Frodo isn't the same day Gandalf and Pippin set off.

angi

Question: Frodo is pricked by Shelob in the torso. However he is at the time wearing a mithril coat which are supposed to impervious. How is he stabbed then?

Chosen answer: The stinger actually comes in quite high, presumably above the rather low neckline of the mithril coat. An injury can be seen high up on his chest later in the film, presumably the stinger wound.

Tailkinker

Question: Do we know who the guy holding the flag is when our main characters ride up to the Black Gates?

Chosen answer: It's more than likely he's just a higher ranked soldier representing Gondor, as Faramir couldn't go.

cullothiel

Question: Why couldn't The Eye Of Sauron move around like a light house as it does in this film, in The Two Towers?

Chosen answer: Who's to say it couldn't? Just because we didn't see it do it doesn't mean it couldn't. In the Two Towers, the eye of Sauron was focusing on events that were days away by horse. At that distance, it didn't need to swivel to see what it wanted to see. As its target drew nearer, however, it became more important to look around and get as much of the picture as possible.

Garlonuss

Question: In the extended version out later this year,will we see The Houses of Healing, The Mouth Of Sauron, Sam wearing the Ring at Cirith Ungol and Faramir and Eowyn falling in love? After reading the book, I really hope I eventually see this added to the film.

Chosen answer: We will see: The Witch King taking Gandalf's staff. Saruman dying at Orthanc. Merry swearing allegiance to Theoden. Gamling dying on the Pelennor Fields. House of Healing, with Aragorn, Merry, Eowyn and Faramir. Frodo and Sam marching with Orcs, while wearing the armour. Mouth of Sauron deceiving Aragorn with the Mithril shirt.

Super Grover

Question: In the sequence when the beacons are being lit across Middle Earth, who is living at the top of the high snowy mountains to light those beacons and pass on the message?

Chosen answer: First of all, the beacons are only across the border between Rohan and Gondor, not across all of Middle-earth. Secondly, the few people living near each beacon are only there because that is their job, just like sentries along any other border.

Super Grover

Question: Does anyone know if there is a deleted scene (to be included on the Ext. DVD) involving the Mouth Of The Sauron fight at the Black Gate, which is featured in the book and video game.

Chosen answer: Yes, there will be the Mouth of Sauron scene, (played by Bruce Spence, I believe), in the Extended DVD. They will be greeted by the Mouth of Sauron, and he will show the heroes Frodo's mithril shirt that was taken off by the Orcs at Cirith Ungol. He will tell them that Frodo is dead and the Ring is on its way to Sauron. Aragorn and the rest believe him, and the heroes thus have no hope and believe they will surely die in this last stand against Mordor's army. Aragorn says, "For Frodo" because of his sacrifice, not for 'buying time'.

Super Grover

Question: At the end, when Frodo attacks Gollum in the fires of Mount Doom, does he attack him so he can get the ring back or so he can push him over the edge, hence destroying him and the ring? This doesn't actually happen in the book, Gollum just falls, and I was just curious.

Chosen answer: He's just trying to get the ring back, not destroy it. The filmmakers just made this scene a little more intense by adding the struggle.

Jack's Revenge

Question: Did I miss Arwen's return to Rivendell in Two Towers? Elrond talked her into leaving; she walks off to the ships with other elves, looking back at Elrond. In Return of the King, she is back at Rivendell, and is again persuaded to leave, and rides off on a horse in a parade going to Gray Havens.

scwilliam

Chosen answer: She does not walk off to the ships in The Two Towers. She and the other Elves start walking to leave on their journey to the Grey Havens. In Return of the King, she is on horseback, during the Elves journey towards the Grey Havens, when she sees a vision of her son, wearing the Evenstar and of Aragorn. She then changes her mind and decides to ride back to Rivendell and confront her father, who has the gift of foresight, about her future life with Aragorn.

Super Grover

Question: I've heard 2 main explanations from friends as to why Frodo, Gandalf and the elves go to the undying lands at the end of the film and I've read another post which explains it a bit but I'm still confused. One is that it is because Frodo dies and cannot stay where he is and that it's like going to heaven but the other is that he's just going on an adventure or something like that. I think the first explanation makes more sense but I'd appreciate if someone could explain it to me properly because I'm still confused.

Chosen answer: The bearers of the three Great Rings, Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf (who was given his ring by Cirdan the Shipwright), all pass to the West to the Undying Lands, for their time is ending. The Elves do so because their time in Middle-earth is ending too, and it is the time for men. Frodo, just like Bilbo, and when the time comes, Sam too, were all Ring bearers, and they all go to the Undying Lands with the blessings of the Valar. Frodo who leaves with Bilbo because the burden and pain were so deep for him, goes to the Undying Lands where the Valar will not only heal Frodo's physical wounds but emotional ones as well.

Super Grover

Question: At some points in the movie there are red dots near the middle of the screen; I know that they are supposed to help with the respect of copyrights, but how are they supposed to help?

Chosen answer: If a copy is made then when it is reported they can match the red dots to the specific movie screen because each theatre gets a different version of the red dots.

shortdanzr

Question: It is something like 3000 years between Isildur's death and Aragorn's coronation. Why didn't someone else of Isildur's heirs (ex. his son) return to Minas Tirith to reclaim the throne?

Chosen answer: After the war of the Ring, Isildur and his family went back to Arnor in the far North where they originated. Arnor was later conquered by the Nazgul and so that was the end of that line. Gondor had been left to be ruled by Anarion - Isildur's brother - but that line of the family simply died out leaving Gondor in the care of the Stewards.

jle

Question: We know that Saruman and his tower remain standing, despite the flood... so how did the Palantir end up in the water? Did Saruman throw it out of the tower?

rabid anarchist

Chosen answer: Saruman did throw the palantiri. It's a missing scene that will, hopefully, be edited back in for the Extended Edition.

cullothiel

Question: What is the little thing that flies in front of Gandalf's face right before the eagles come to the Black Gate?

Chosen answer: It's a moth, the same (or of the same kind) as the one he sent from Orthanc to get the eagle to rescue him in the "Fellowship".

Ioreth

Question: What are the Eagles' purpose and where did they come from?

Chosen answer: The Eagles live in Middle-Earth, generally in the high mountains. They act as the emissaries of Manwe, leader of the Valar (the local deity equivalents), and will intercede in events at his behest, or at the request of one of the Maiar (a race of spirits that includes Gandalf, Saruman and Sauron among their number).

Tailkinker

Question: What exactly is "Middle Earth"? Does it refer to a specific area of land/continent, or a period in time, such as the Middle Ages (but obviously thousands of years earlier), or to something completely different?

Chosen answer: Middle-earth is usually represented as a single continent, but Tolkien's writings (and more specifically his Letters) suggest that Middle-earth is typically defined as that part of the world inhabited by mortal beings. This would mean that it includes the lands of Arda except for Aman and, perhaps the Empty Lands. The name does not refer to a specific time period, although some scholars have argued that Middle-earth represents "our" Earth from a period long ago.

Phil C.

Question: I know that when you are near the One Ring you are tempted and once you put it on then you become addicted/obsessed with it. Once you put the Ring on, as you move closer to Mordor and Mt. Doom then the temptation to have it becomes stronger, is this true?

Chosen answer: It's not entirely the case - the Ring begins to work on you from the moment you start to possess it, and the temptation increases with the passage of time, until it becomes impossible to give up the Ring - it's notable that Bilbo is the only person ever to voluntarily give it up after owning it. Proximity to Mordor probably has only a minor effect - time, and probably the relative power of Sauron, are more relevant.

Tailkinker

Question: Why was Arwen dying? I know that Elrond said that the Evenstar was being overcome with the darkness, but why wouldn't other Elves, that were linked to Sauron or were closer to Mordor, be affected?

Chosen answer: It's because she's chosen to become a mortal - her fate is now tied directly to the fate of humanity, and, in her case, due to her heritage, it manifests in a physical manner. If humanity falls, she dies.

Tailkinker

Question: Why exactly must Arwen become 'mortal' when she chooses to be with Aragorn? It's not because she didn't leave with the other elves, because Legolas didn't leave until after Aragorn died. Does it have anything to do with the necklace she gives him, as in the necklace was a source of her 'immortality', or was that just a symbol of her love?

Chosen answer: The necklace is only a symbol of her love. She has the choice to make because she's partly human. Elrond, her father, is half-elven, and was therefore given the choice whether to be counted among the 'immortal' elves, or to be counted among mortal humans. He chose elvendom, but all his descendants ultimately have to make the same choice. Arwen loves Aragorn, a mortal, and chooses to live out a mortal lifespan at his side for that reason. Strictly speaking, there's nothing to say that she absolutely has to become mortal, but chooses to so that they will grow old together, which is a part of love, and so that she will not be left to live an elven lifespan without him after his death. Additionally, as a mortal she will experience the same afterlife as a man, instead of returning to Valinor like the elves. This will allow her to stay with Aragon even after death, while splitting her from her father and the elves.

Tailkinker

Question: Where can I find the music track in the trailer where Aragorn is saying "I see in your eyes the same fear" up to "This day, we fight"? Is it on the soundtrack?

Chosen answer: Unfortunately, it's not on the soundtrack. The music in the latter half of the trailer was composed by Howard Shore and two collaborators (Simone Benyacar and Craig Stuart Garfinkle) specifically for that trailer. It's based on a track called "Epicalypse", which, in turn, is based on Howard Shore's "Gondor" theme.

Tailkinker

Question: I still don't know this but why EXACTLY are the elves leaving Middle Earth?

Chosen answer: For various reasons. Because with the distruction of the One Ring the protective powers of the Three Rings of the Elves diminished, because their fate is not bound with that of Middle-Earth's which means they can take the straight road to the Undying Lands instead of having to remain in Middle-Earth until its end. Also, if they remained in Middle-Earth they would eventually diminish, so they left for the Undying Lands where they would be immortal (Elves are not immortal in Middle-Earth, they just age *very* slowly, but in any case slowly enough to be considered immortal by the race of Men).

Jester

Question: When the Witch King and the main orc are looking at Minas Tirith from Osgiliath, the Witch King says, "Do not stop the attack until the city is taken..." and so on, but I couldn't catch what the orc said after that, followed by the Witch King saying, "I will break him." What does he say?

Chosen answer: He says "What of the white wizard?".

Azureth

Question: During the battle at Minas Tirith, what are those red dots that flash in the center of the screen? They appear when one of Gondor's catapults is fired, then when a couple of the orc's catapults are fired, also when the tower door is lowered for the orcs that attack Gandalf & Pippin.

Chosen answer: The red dots you see are part of a really stupid scheme to foil internet piracy of movies. They are known as the CAPS code and were developed by Kodak. Lately they have been showing up more and more often in films. A good discussion can be seen at http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=162471 if you are interested in learning more.

Phil C.

Question: When Frodo and Sam are on the side of Mount Doom and Frodo can't walk anymore, Sam says something like, "I can't carry the ring, but I can carry you," and then picks Frodo up and starts carrying him. But really, why can't Sam just grab the ring and run into the mountain with it? It's only a short distance at that point. I understand about how Frodo was meant to be the ring bearer and all that, but Sam was the ring bearer while Frodo was captured, so why not again?

Krista

Chosen answer: Sam only managed to get the ring away from Frodo last time because Frodo was unconscious. While Frodo is exhausted, he's still going to fight back should Sam try to take the ring away, so it's just easier to let him keep the ring and carry him up the mountain.

Tailkinker

Question: I hear that elves live forever - if this is true how do they actually AGE? For example, Elrond is obviously older than legolas, but if they live forever how do they get older?

Chosen answer: Elves do not live forever - it's a misconception that they're immortal. To quote Tolkien, "The Elves were sufficiently longeval to be called by Man 'immortal'. But they were not unageing or unwearying" (taken from his Letters, dated 1963). They do age, just extremely slowly, hence the appearance of older Elves, like Elrond, or the oldest Elf seen on screen, Cirdan the Shipwright, who appears receiving a ring in the Fellowship prologue, and leaves on the ship with the other Ringbearers.

Tailkinker

Question: When Aragorn is crowned at the ceremony, he sings a hymn in what I beleive is Elvish. What are the lyrics? I am currently reading The Lord of the Rings but it will be a while before I get to that part of the story.

furious1116

Chosen answer: The Elvish text is: "Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta." This translates as: "Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world." It is a Gondorian tradition, echoing the words of Aragorn's ancestor Elendil on his first arrival in Middle-earth, and shows that Aragorn has fully accepted his heritage and is at last willing to claim the kingship.

Ioreth

Question: The Witch King says "No man can kill me", and Eowyn replies "No man am I" when she kills him. Is the Witch King actually somehow protected against the attacks of males (or male humans, since a male hobbit hit him just fine) but not females, or was he just trash talking and she scored the payoff line? (With reference to the book if necessary).

Moose

Chosen answer: It was prophesied that no man would kill him. And seeing how prophecies often are very literal, no male being could strike him down. Merry managed to do so because his blade was Numenoréan, and forged in the early fights against the Witch-King and his kingdom in Angmar.

Twotall

Question: At one point in the movie, Pippin has to sing for Denethor. I've heard that while the music was composed by Billy Boyd, the lyrics were actually from the book. Does anybody know which song in the book they were taken from?

kendra jack