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Old 12-21-2006, 04:46 PM   #1
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LotR3-RotK-Seq17

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up -- for you the flag is flung -- for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths -- for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
- O Captain! My Captain by Walt Whitman


The riverfront park of Minas Tirith is held by but a few of Sauron’s armies. With the massive numbers of beings on the Pelennor Fields - orcs, humans, mûmakil, Fell Beasties, Nazgûl, Rohirrim, hobbits, trolls - by contrast there’s a lot of elbowroom near the docks. Ships pull up, and we know what awaits inside each, though preferably I would have liked to have seen freed Gondorian slaves manning the ships with the green ghosts along as well - and this would make Aragorn’s decision later to dismiss them more logical, but…anyway, the harbormaster, known by the hat (or head) upon his head, notes that the Black Fleet is not on schedule, as always.

“A pirate is never late…”

A shock to everyone is that Aragorn leaps from the ship along with Gimli and Legolas. The sight of these three - and more likely the realization that there are no pirates aboard, and so something fishy is nigh - change the expressions of the landlubbers from derision to fear. Aragorn gives them the stare, Gimli starts with the usual “let’s keep a count” and off they go to the races. Immediately behind follow the Army of the Dead, who, seemingly are not only great fighters, but sailors as well. And even more interesting is that all of the green ghosties could not fit aboard one ship.

Help has arrived.

Back on the fields, Éowyn remains in the grip of the Witch-King. The Lord of the Nazgûl brags and sets up Eowyn’s one liner. He makes the mistake of all baddies, letting the need to confabulate get the best of him. Why does he take so much time with this no-name warrior? He intends to kill Éowyn and not fly her away to the house of pain and lamentation, so why all of the fuss? No wonder he left the scene when he had Gandalf on the mat. To destroy the White Wizard, he would have needed to expound about something for at least a half hour, and there just was no time - or he actually didn’t have anything prepared for the occasion, and that’s the real reason that he flew off at the sound of the horns.

“Them Rohirrim He-Riders don’t expect poetry, unlike one who has seen Aman. Think that uhh I’ll go after them.”

But before he can finish his speech “Die in vain…” he’s struck from behind by the He-Hobbit Merry. The hobbit’s blade bites deep, and in PJ’s world it’s not because Merry is armed with a dagger specifically designed for killing the Lord of Angmar, but because Merry is a Hobbit - not man. I’ve posted in other threads why I know that Merry’s blade isn’t magical.

Regardless, the Worm that Bit is in too much agony to see his blade disappear like so much smoke on a windy day. Merry falls prey to the Black Breath. Éowyn, seeing her foe know on his knees, becomes, at that moment, a true action figure by making a remark right before (or after, as appropriate) slaying the Witch-King.

“I am no man!” Éowyn says (purportedly to much applause) before she sticks her sword right through were the Witch-King’s head should be. The blade actually goes out the back of the helmet, and so you can see that Mordor armor is just for show. Her sword is forcibly ejected, both out of her hand and his head, and the Witch-King, Lord of Angmar dies as prophesied long ago by imploding in on himself. Every time I see his helm crush itself, I cannot but think about a soda can doing the same.

“How much can I get for this lot?” Éowyn asks, wheeling what looks like crumpled armor into the Minas Tirith Recycling department.


The Three Slayers continue to gain ground. The Army of the Dead are behind, and subsume/absorb all of Sauron’s forces that fall into its green misty hands. Why Aragorn doesn’t just stand off and watch is amazing to me, but I guess that he feels that he has to slay a hundred or two of the hundreds of thousands to be a real king. The Appendices note that one the first orcs that Aragorn cuts down is played by none other than his own son who was the impetus for getting Viggo to sign on in the first place.

Éowyn, last seen standing, is now crawling on the ground looking for Merry. Madam, he is small, but not that small. Her hair is tussled, and it seems that something has happened to her in the few seconds that the camera was elsewhere. Just when you thought is was safe to continue watching, guess who reappears? That’s right, the orc that never dies - Gothmog. He already, by his figure, seems to have had an ill-fated life, then he’s almost pancaked by a big rock, followed by an encounter with the Rohirrim and Éowyn.

And yet he still hangs on to make that silly growling noise another time. Laaaa!

Éowyn hears Gothmog’s approach, and she is terrified - this shieldmaiden that felled not only a Fell Beast but the biggest baddie of the movie, second to none but Sauron himself - and so flees as best she might. As I cannot see her being afraid, nor even being wounded enough to have to crawl, I can then only assume that Miranda Otto is trying to dodge the cameras in order not to be seen with the Gimpy Gothmog yet again.

Oh please…don’t let people associate me and he for all time! Cut! Cut the scene!”

She looks over her shoulder and he’s still in pursuit. You wonder if he’s some sort of stalker. And note that her insistence on flight is going to create yet another inconsistency, as seen in the next sequence. Éowyn reaches desperately for a sword - maybe one is real - and it’s then I noticed that her shield arm is hurt. Gothmog, regaining his feet, grabs a spiky club and closes in on the shieldmaiden. Unknown to him is that Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas close in as well.

Tension high, Éowyn grabs for but cannot hold a sword and at the same moment Gothmog raises his club to strike. Luckily Aragorn just happens to be there to disarm the gimpy one. Gimli assists Aragorn with the attack, and the two dispatch the orc to wherever they go when dead.

Can anyone tell me why we had to have Aragorn save Éowyn from Gothmog, the same woman who just slew the Witch-King? And, if Gothmog were close enough to strike Éowyn, why don’t the three heroes of the day see her and stop but a moment to see if there’s anything that she might need?

But a fully-loaded oliphaunt approaches, and so Legolas decides to take the mûmakil by the horns. He deftly scales the creature and seems more agile than Spiderman. Reaching the top, he continues the attack and also is sure-footed enough to shoot and keep score at the same time. I watched in the Appendices the green screen shooting of this part of the scene, and it was educational.

The Elf of Endless Arrows swings to the side of the creature and draws his knife. He cuts the belt that holds the carriage atop the oliphaunt, and as it plummets to the ground, he rides back up to the top of the beast. He shoots three arrows into the head of the oliphaunt, and it dies almost immediately. Even so cool, the elf prince rides the trunk to the ground as if on a skateboard, jumping off right in front of his companion, Gimli - lucky that. Gimli quips that Legolas’s ordeal still only counts as one, and the first time it was actually funny.

As Aragorn mops up a bit, the green ghost wave overtakes the remainder of Sauron’s forces. They pass up through the city, sorting the good from the bad.

The Battle of Minas Tirith is won, but at what price? And is Sauron done? We’ll find out next week.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
[i]A shock to everyone is that Aragorn leaps from the ship along with Gimli and Legolas.
One of my wife's favourite bits of the movies that close up shot of Aragorn's face. I hear her sigh under her breath every time she watches LOL


Quote:
But before he can finish his speech “Die in vain…” he’s struck from behind by the He-Hobbit Merry. The hobbit’s blade bites deep, and in PJ’s world it’s not because Merry is armed with a dagger specifically designed for killing the Lord of Angmar, but because Merry is a Hobbit - not man. I’ve posted in other threads why I know that Merry’s blade isn’t magical.
I can't remember your point from before on why you don;t think it's a magical blade? I don't think it's the sword he was 'knighted' with by theoden as Merry holds it like a dagger. I see it as the Numenorean (I think) dagger that Galadriel gave him at Lothlorien. I think that's PJs nod to the Barrow and why I see it as a magical sword.....


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“I am no man!” Éowyn says (purportedly to much applause)
One of the best lines in the movie, and as it's (kind of) taken from the book I'll allow the slight change (I had ot just recheck to remember exactly what book Eowyn said and when she said it)


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Éowyn hears Gothmog’s approach, and she is terrified
She does look EXTREMLEY terrifed. Great acting.


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Can anyone tell me why we had to have Aragorn save Éowyn from Gothmog, the same woman who just slew the Witch-King? And, if Gothmog were close enough to strike Éowyn, why don’t the three heroes of the day see her and stop but a moment to see if there’s anything that she might need?
No and No.


Quote:
Even so cool, the elf prince rides the trunk to the ground as if on a skateboard, jumping off right in front of his companion, Gimli - lucky that. Gimli quips that Legolas’s ordeal still only counts as one, and the first time it was actually funny.
yep, up there with the 'very dangerous at short distances' line from TT


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As Aragorn mops up a bit, the green ghost wave overtakes the remainder of Sauron’s forces. They pass up through the city, sorting the good from the bad.
Ok, my take on why we had the Dead at Minas Tirith. We needed a grand, surprise entrance from Aragorn. And we need to show the Dead fighting, otherwise what's the point of having them in the fil? So PJ to follow it to the book would have to either show a big battle at Pellagir, at the same time having a big fight at Minas Tirith which to my mind would not have worked (and perhaps also why it's not shown in the narrative of the book itself)

Or we have no ghosts in the fight of the Pellenor just like the book. But then we would have loads of non book readers moaning and wondering why the Dead were in the movie in the first place.

So he had the green slime 'mop up' the forces of darkness after they had been routed by the Men of the West
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:05 PM   #3
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Yep, right on, no question the Dead had to be at Minas Tirith. Non-negotiable. Unfortunately, the result is that it makes all the previous fighting by the Rohirrim seem inconsequential. The question is, is it in fact inconsequential? One might argue that the city would have been completely taken and razed before 'Gorn and the Dead showed up, had Rohan not been there. But do you guys buy that?
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:01 AM   #4
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well.......movie wise without the the rohirrim we wouldn't have:

1/ no 'fight' between WK and Gandalf
2/ WK dead

which would have made a vast difference to the rest of the story!

Also, yes it could be that the city would have been ransacked and aragorn and co would have been there just to stop the orcs "spoiling" the dead bodies of the Men of Gondor. Much like what the book herald said to Theoden when told how long it might take the Rohirrim to get down to Minas Tirith (you know, that guy with the arrow)
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Elladan and Elrohir
Yep, right on, no question the Dead had to be at Minas Tirith. Non-negotiable. Unfortunately, the result is that it makes all the previous fighting by the Rohirrim seem inconsequential. The question is, is it in fact inconsequential? One might argue that the city would have been completely taken and razed before 'Gorn and the Dead showed up, had Rohan not been there. But do you guys buy that?
What I don't like (here we go again...) is that at least in the books I can see a reason that the Army of the Dead not being effective in Mordor. Caught between the ghosts and Sauron, the orcs would still attack the Lords of the West. In the movies, there seems to be nothing that can stop the AotD, and so why Aragorn dispels them before cleaning Middle Earth of ALL enemies is beyond me.

If we saw rowers in chains on the pirate ships - PJ in character could even lash them once or twice - we could continue the seen as viewed, then later, when the Black Ships reach Minas Tirith, not only could the AotD de-boat, but others besides our three heroes could join the fight as well. This would show that Aragorn is a leader of men. The Dead could scare the orcs into making stupid decisions - shooting each other, driving mumakil into siege towers, etc - and the newly arrived Rohirrim and heroes/rowers could catch the enemy between hammer and anvil. To simplify things, this could happen as the Witch-King was about to ride into the City. He, of course, could turn back to help with the newcomers, and a few assorted orcs and trolls could enter just to make PJ's point. A clever writer still could give us a rollercoaster ride with the same end, yet have the Dead play less of a part.

From my keyboard to Eru's ear.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:57 PM   #6
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I believe that, in the book, the Dead were bound by their oath only to fight one battle and so Aragron was bound to discharge them after that battle, so the film followed the book in this regard save that the Dead's battle was at Pelennor rather than Pelargir.

And what difference does it make whether the battle is won by men led by Aragorn or the Dead Army brought by Aragorn by virtue of his line? Either way, it is Aragorn's arrival which saves the day. there is enough elsewhere in the film to show him as a leader of men.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:04 PM   #7
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I believe that, in the book, the Dead were bound by their oath only to fight one battle and so Aragron was bound to discharge them after that battle, so the film followed the book in this regard save that the Dead's battle was at Pelennor rather than Pelargir.
Don't remember that, but that's not saying much. Did Aragorn dispel them because he needed them only to gain a human army and to defeat the Pirates of Pelargir, and saw no use for them afterwards - as the idea of riding out to Mordor wasn't yet in his head?


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And what difference does it make whether the battle is won by men led by Aragorn or the Dead Army brought by Aragorn by virtue of his line? Either way, it is Aragorn's arrival which saves the day. there is enough elsewhere in the film to show him as a leader of men.
Sorry, but I cannot be so blasé about a change that could tear apart the very fabric of space-time itself. Concurrent with the release of RotK, in which the green slime save the day, I noted these two events. Coincidence? Methinks not. Surely 'who wins the battle' is a personal preference. I would note that the elves help at Helm's Deep but do not win the battle for Men. They play their part, Eloi to the Uruks' Morlocks, but it's Aragorn and Theoden and that other guy who we see for about 5 minutes that turn the battle. Even Treebeard's trees only provide recycling services.

The Dead in the movie make the battle too clean and convenient. I still wonder why Aragorn even bothers; in the books he has to fight just like everyone else.

Quibble.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:41 PM   #8
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I think releasing the Dead is the honorable thing to do; maybe not the most strategic, but the most honorable. In the book, it never specifically says that they agreed to fight for Isildur in only one battle, but it does seem to me to be implied that that was their commitment.

I understand your point, alatar, that the Dead aren't as powerful in the book and thus they wouldn't be as much of a guarantee of success, but does this really make a difference? Doubtless they would have at the least helped at Pelennor Fields, or at Morannon.

Of course, I think one of the reasons Aragorn dismissed the Dead at Pelargir was that he couldn't transport both them and the living up Anduin in the ships of the Corsairs; for the Dead breed terror among the good guys as much as the bad. And even though their terror isn't emphasized in the film, isn't this a valid point that might also make it disadvantageous to keep them around?

Ultimately, as the King of the Dead points out, "You gave us your word." And he did. It was merely to "fight for us," but they fulfilled their oath nonetheless and deserved to be set free.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:38 AM   #9
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and to add to this, as I've said before, to be 'pure' to the books (actually no not even that) we'd need the Dead to fight at Pelagir - and therefore have another 15 mins added on with a fight scene and 15 minutes cut off the film elsewhere.

What I mean by staying pure to the books is that we'd have to have a flashback after the battle explaining to us what happened at Pelagir. This would not work movie wise either

so all in all I can put up with the "green slime" mopping up the baddies throughout the city, and also taking a mumakil or two down.
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Elladan and Elrohir
I think releasing the Dead is the honorable thing to do; maybe not the most strategic, but the most honorable. In the book, it never specifically says that they agreed to fight for Isildur in only one battle, but it does seem to me to be implied that that was their commitment.
I'm with you, but then again, the King of the Dead did mess with Aragorn a bit - all of those skulls - and so a little turnabout...and remember, this is the same Aragorn that kills the Mouth of Sauron. In PJ's world, from what I remember, there's no statement as to the Dead's commitment. Was that the point of the Stone of Erech, in the books, to hammer out the contractual details?


Quote:
Of course, I think one of the reasons Aragorn dismissed the Dead at Pelargir was that he couldn't transport both them and the living up Anduin in the ships of the Corsairs; for the Dead breed terror among the good guys as much as the bad. And even though their terror isn't emphasized in the film, isn't this a valid point that might also make it disadvantageous to keep them around?
The Dead were able to follow regardless of terrain or the speed at which Aragorn and company traveled. I assume that they would have been able to follow up the Anduin as well, with boats or not, as they were able to terrorize the sailors on said boats without the use of smaller boats to get there. I do understand that the Dead scare everyone, and so there's a reason to dismiss them sooner than later. In the movie, when are they sent away? Is this after the night when Pip looks for Merry and Aragorn heals those that he can? Can't remember.


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Ultimately, as the King of the Dead points out, "You gave us your word." And he did. It was merely to "fight for us," but they fulfilled their oath nonetheless and deserved to be set free.
See reference to dead MoS above.
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:33 AM   #11
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we will be arguing about the Mouth of Sauron very shortly. Suffice to say that no word or bond, im my point of view, was broken. movie MoS was not an emissary and neither did he ask for parly. but lets wait until the proper thread!
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:23 AM   #12
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It's taken some time, but I think that I've finally put my finger on what irks me about Peter Jackson's Army of the Dead. In the film, the other warriors, after the AotD arrive, are completely unnecessary. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and the Rohirrim could have all sat down behind the slime and had tea (made from athelas, of course) and sang Kumbaya.

They become superfluous. The glory at the end of the day should all go to the King of the Dead and his hordes, but he and they are dismissed, and so our momentary heroes are sent packing in the film.

And, yes, I know that Aragorn 'braved' the passage/Path of the Dead to enlist this army, but from what I can see on the film, as noted, it's his shiny sword and nothing else that gets the slime to come out and play.
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:21 PM   #13
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Well, and I think you've hit the nail on the head there, alatar. The "heroes" do become perfectly pointless as the Dead rampage. Perhaps PJ could have made the Dead a bit smaller (as an army, I mean) and more like the Nazgul -- primarily wielding terror rather than physical power. Then they could have run off a section of Sauron's forces, leaving the main force still to deal with, thus calling for the continued heroics of Rohirrim, Aragorn, pretty elf-boy and belching dwarf, etc.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:21 AM   #14
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I think that's a good point to raise, alatar - and perfectly true. However, having just seen the battle again (beats 300 any day ), despite the invincible Dead forces, the remaining Orcs and Haradrim were still fighting and killing the Rohirrim and also inside the city, so it was important to kill all of the enemy forces as quickly as possible to minimize the damage, so the trio were fighting to increase the speed at which the Orcs were wiped out.

Also, they're warriors and it wouldn't look very honourable if they sat at the back whilst the slime did all the work.
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