The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Trivia: Sam's line at the end of the film ("Well, I'm back") is also the last line of the novel.

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

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

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

Trivia: Towards the end of the film, when Aragorn was crowned and Arwen appears, there was a brief shot of Eowyn and Faramir looking at each other and smiling. This is a reference to the book. In the book, Eowyn and Faramir fell in love when they met in Gondor.

Trivia: The New Zealand army was used as extras for Aragorn's Rohirrim/Gondorian army. Though its presence was appreciatedly efficient, its fighting was overly enthusiastic, and did not lean towards pretend fighting. Quite a few injuries were incurred as a result of the army's fierce fighting with the stunt doubles, and WETA weapons were often destroyed in the melee.

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Trivia: Author J.R.R. Tolkien wanted this book to be titled "the War of the Ring." He felt that "The Return of the King" gave away the ending.

Trivia: Billy Boyd (Pippin) isn't the only composer in the movie; Viggo Mortensen wrote the melody for the song he sings at Aragorn's coronation (the lyrics are from the book).

Trivia: In later years (according to the book), after he is about 100 years old, Sam also sails into the West to be with Frodo. There is a reference to this in the line from Annie Lennox's song 'Into the West': 'Don't say, we have come now to the end, white shores are calling - you and I will meet again.' Sam is allowed to sail because he also bore the burden of the One Ring to the Tower at Cirith Ungol, on their way to Mt. Doom.

Trivia: (Extended Edition)The song sung in the Houses of Healing scene is sung by Liv Tyler.

Trivia: In the extended version when Grima Wormtounge stabs Saruman in the back on top of the tower, Christopher Lee corrected the crew on the fact that when a person is stabbed in the back of the chest, they do not scream (as the film crew wanted), in fact the air is pushed out of their lungs and they "groan" with an exhalation of air, very quietly, as their lungs have been punctured. From Peter Jackson's DVD commentary: "When I was shooting the stabbing shot with Christopher, as a director would I was explaining to him what he should do...And he says, 'Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?' And I said, 'Um, no.' And he says 'Well, I have, and I know what to do.'" The crew said that they knew Christopher Lee had been in the British Royal Air Force Intelligence Service in World War Two, and they didn't really push him for more information about how he knew in such detail exactly what noise a person makes when this is done to them.

Trivia: Bruce Spence's mouth is enhanced with a cut laden prosthetic as the Mouth of Sauron, to represent the evil he has spoken for Sauron. During editing, the CG specialists toyed with the idea of having the mouth lie vertically on his face. Though the mouth chosen is horizontal, it's digitally enlarged by about 50% for this scene to fill the only opening within the helmet, creating the very disturbing unsettling image. (Extended Edition). (01:10:00)

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Trivia: The quarry that Minas Tirith was built in was also the location that Helm's Deep was constructed in.

Trivia: Among other cameos in this last film is Howard Shore, at the 'drinking game', and as Pirates on the Corsair ship when Aragorn confronts them are: Rick Porras, co-producer; Andrew Lesnie, director of photography; Richard Taylor, WETA creative supervisor and Gino Acevedo, WETA prosthetics supervisor. After arriving on the Corsair ship, the first Orc that Aragorn kills on Pelennor fields, is Viggo's son Henry, who was a young boy in TTT. In pickups for RotK, 3-4 yrs later, he had since grown to be taller than his father and was given the Orc suit for a cameo. (Extended Edition)

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Trivia: Peter Jackson originally filmed Aragorn fighting Sauron outside of the Black Gates during the final battle. When the filmmakers decided against this, they asked the CG animators to digitally insert a cave troll over the actor who played Sauron.

Trivia: Dominic Monaghan (Merry) said in an interview that he and Billy Boyd (Pippin) were teamed up right from the start and did most of the training (fencing, canoeing, etc) together as well as the acting. Then they were separated for "Return of the King," to make the sadness Merry and Pippin feel when separated more genuine. According to Monaghan, neither he nor Boyd appreciated being separated for the third film, so the trick worked.

Trivia: In the scene of Aragorn's coronation, after he and Arwen are reunited, they walk along to stand before the hobbits. The dark-haired elf maiden standing in the background (who can be seen between Aragorn and Arwen) is none other than Jane Abbott, Liv Tyler's (Arwen) and Miranda Otto's (Eowyn) riding-double. (03:00:00)

Trivia: For the original shoot, Weta Workshop designed 169 orc costumes, and the actors who wore them were trained to move in what Peter Jackson dubbed the "Full-Diaper Walk". This bothered him so much that for pick-ups 2003, he requested a complete redesign of the orcs including armour, make-up and movement, meaning that large portions of the invasion of Osgiliath, Siege of Minas Tirith, Battle of Pelennor Fields and Siege of the Black Gate had to be reshot. The new orcs (including Gothmog and the other orc captains, who weren't in the original script) are wearing matching plate steel armour with red tunics.

Trivia: While Gothmog (played by Lawrence Makoare) is the only Orc identified in the film, here are the names of those un-named, who appear in the films: 1) Gorbag: the Orc (played by Stephen Ure) that argues over the mithril shirt and then fights with the Uruk in the Tower at Cirith Ungol, and later Sam stabs in the Tower when rescuing Frodo; 2) Shagrat: the large Uruk (played by Peter Tait) that argues with Gorbag over the mithril shirt; 3) Snaga: is Grishnákh's lieutenant in The Two Towers (he's played by Jed Brophy). He is the Orc who argues over food - Merry and Pippin - and tries to sneak up behind the Hobbits, but is killed by Uglúk.


Trivia: Apparently Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Sean Astin (Sam) portrayed the special relationship between Frodo and Sam so touchingly that the editors of the movie made a video clip of footage of the two characters together and set it to the song "I Got You" by Sonny and Cher.

Trivia: It always seemed illogical that when Faramir and his men were under attack by the Nazgul and retreating to Minas Tirith, Gandalf galloped out of the city to rescue them with Pippen astride. Why carry the extra burden of a Hobbit and put him in danger? Billy Boyd (Pippen) cleared up this inconsistency on the Extended DVD commentary. The scene was originally written so that Gandalf and Pippen are actually just arriving at Minas Tirith as the soldiers fall under attack, but this was later rewritten.

Trivia: The field outside of the Mines of Moria in "The Fellowship of the Ring" is the same place that the Paths of the Dead leads out to.

Trivia: The Cirith Ungol stair ledge was built as a wet weather set on the squash court in a hotel in Queenstown. In November of 1999, Sean Astin's (Sam) close-ups were shot in the taping of the first RotK shots, and as a side note Andy Serkis (Gollum) had not been cast yet. The set remained standing on the squash court and as things would go, it wasn't until a year later on November 30th, 2000, that Elijah Wood's (Frodo) first close-ups were actually shot on that ledge.

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Trivia: Another "Wilhelm" scream can be heard when Legolas is climbing the Oliphaunt and throws one of the Haradrim off.


Trivia: Originally, Frodo was to push Gollum into the lava in Mt. Doom, but director Peter Jackson was against it because it made Frodo into a murderer and was out of character.


Trivia: Billy Boyd wrote the tune as well as sang Pippin's song to the steward of Gondor. The words were taken from the "Walking Song" found in chapter three of the first book of Lord of the Rings.

Trivia: The scenes at the Black Gate were shot at the army munitions training ground because of its wide, flat, desert type landscape. Before the shoot, the land had forty years worth of demolitions, land mines, mortars, grenades, etc., lying all over. The government asked the army to clear and dispose the ammunition for the filmmakers, but due to the soft ground many could've remained undetected. When the crew arrived for the shoot, an army officer lectured them and showed them different types of munitions to warn them of the possibility of finding more on the site, as dirt was kicked up during battle sequences. There were bomb disposal people surrounding them and sure enough shooting halted as things were discovered and cleared. The cast and crew were told that if they strayed from the designated areas and lost limbs, the army was not responsible.

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Trivia: Andy Serkis, in one of his interviews said that the sound Smeagol makes, when it sounds like he is choking the word "Gollum," comes from watching and listening to the sounds that cats make, when coughing up a hairball.

Trivia: When Pippin tries to light the first beacon fire, one of the guards on duty is Christian Rivers, visual effects art director for Weta Digital.

Trivia: There were actually seven "One Rings" for the movie. There was one for Gollum, one on the chain, one in Elvish, one for Frodo's finger, etc.

Trivia: As in the other two films, Peter Jackson's children also have cameos. They are standing in front of a woman as Faramir and his men leave Minas Tirith to make their suicide raid against the Orcs at Osgiliath. They are also standing with Rosie and Sam at their wedding ceremony.

Trivia: The great grandson of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has landed a spot in the final movie, Return of the King. 34-year-old Royd Tolkien was asked by director Peter Jackson to play a Gondorian Ranger in the final movie.


Trivia: According to the commentary, Peter Jackson said that he shortened the scene of Smeagol strangling Deagol for the theaterical version because if he had not, it would not have given the film its PG-13 rating. The full strangling scene appeared in the Extended Edition.


Trivia: When Pippin finds Merry after the battle, the prop of the dead Oliphaunt in the background was (and possibly still is) the biggest prop ever made for a film. From the cast commentary.

Trivia: A bit of trivia for those who haven't read the books. In the Grey Havens scene, the three Elven Rings can be seen upon the hands of their bearers: Vilya, mightiest of the Three, is worn by Elrond; Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, is still borne by Galadriel; and Narya the Great is seen on Gandalf's hand.

Phil C.

Trivia: In the Extended Edition the Gondorian soldier who was shot by an Orc in Osgliath was a cameo appearance by film's stunt cordinator, according to director Peter Jackson on the director/writer audio commentary.


Trivia: In Tolkien's original text, Pippin died at the Battle of the Black Gates. C.S. Lewis then pleaded with him to let Pippin live, and Tolkien had Gimli save him. It was a rather unpleasant death he gave Pippin, who was crushed underneath a troll. According to some interviews, the scene in the first film where Pippin is thrown off the cave troll is a reference to this.

Trivia: The famous "Wilhelm" scream makes a reappearance during the scene where Faramir's men are fleeing from Osgiliath across the Pelennor Fields. Just after the people of Minas Tirith call out, "The White Rider" a Nazgul swoops down and snatches up one of Faramir's men. The "Wilhelm" is heard as he falls.

Phil C.

Trivia: According to Ian McKellen's (Gandalf) comments in a television interview, as well as other cast and crew member's statements, that due to weather conditions and indoor/outdoor set locations, ie the airport, whilst filming, most of the entire movie is dubbed.

Trivia: This is the first fantasy film ever to win a Best Picture Oscar. It also tied records set by Ben-Hur and Titanic in winning all 11 Oscar awards for which it was nominated.

Jean G

Trivia: The last shot of this film was shot after already winning the Academy award for best picture. (In the DVD extended cut, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh joke about it saying, "We already won the Academy Award for this film so we don't need to get all funny about it, do we?"(The last shot filmed is a skeleton head hitting the ground before the chamber of the dead falls down).

Trivia: When King Théoden rallies his men before the first charge into the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, he rides along the first rank of his army brushing their lances with his sword. This scene was apparently inspired by the Japanese historic drama Kagemusha (1980), where the titular character performs a similar feat before he unceremoniously falls off his horse.


Trivia: The song 'Into the West' played at the end of the movie is inspired by a young New Zealand film maker named Cameron Duncan who died from cancer in 2003 at the age of 17. The song's first public performance was at his funeral.


Trivia: This was the last film until The Dark Knight in 2008 to remain number #1 at the American box office for four consecutive weeks.

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