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Old 10-18-2006, 06:33 PM   #1
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LotR3-RotK-Seq09

Damosel, said Arthur, what sword is that, that yonder the arm holdeth above the water? I would it were mine, for I have no sword. Sir Arthur, king, said the damosel, that sword is mine, and if ye will give me a gift when I ask it you, ye shall have it. By my faith, said Arthur, I will give you what gift ye will ask. Well! said the damosel, go ye into yonder barge, and row yourself to the sword, and take it and the scabbard with you, and I will ask my gift when I see my time. So Sir Arthur and Merlin alighted and tied their horses to two trees, and so they went into the ship, and when they came to the sword that the hand held, Sir Arthur took it up by the handles, and took it with him, and the arm and the hand went under the water. - Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory


Sam tries to keep watch on the snoozing Gollum, but Sam’s eyelids are heavy with sleep. Finally, he succumbs to the Sandman and quits his sentinel duty. Gollum immediately awakens and begins his mischievous plan.

Any else think that Sam is nuts for sleeping on the edge of a cliff, regardless of his Uncle Andy’s exploits? Also, wouldn’t have been a great plan for some small group of Gondorians to push rocks over the side of the cliff where Sam sleeps? From that height, the rocks would devastate the city, making craters like those in the moon for which it was originally named.

Anyway, as our two free climbing hobbits sleep (the steepness of this path has gone beyond silly - does anyone even see steps on the outcropping on which they lay - and soon I figure we’ll see Sam bringing out the hammer and pitons), Gollum opens a pack and gathers up some lembas. He sprinkles a few crumbs on the fat one and throws the rest over the side. A wonderfully devious plan for PJ to hand to poor Sméagol, who would have been better served - and been more in character - to send the fat one over the edge and then deal with being the only servant for Frodo. But a small creature going over a cliff, to return later, as Sam surely must for the story to remain somewhat like the books, is a gotcha that PJ will save for later.

Sam awakens, as the sound of food falling in the sky is music to his ears. He immediately accuses Gollum, who then whines that he’s always being false accused. His performance (and that of Andy Serkis) is so convincing that Sam regrets his words and even apologizes. Gollum turns Sam’s less harsh words right back on him. Sam goes and rouses Frodo, as the quest must continue regardless of any sneaking. Sam opens his pack to find that the cupboard is bare! He panics and then accuses Sméagol of the crime. Frodo, of course, states that Gollum does not eat said bread, and so therefore concludes that the creature could not have taken it. That’s pretty stupid, as, as we know, Gollum could have taken it and destroyed it. But that kind of logic wouldn’t keep the scene rolling, and so we’ll just let it pass. Gollum, after establishing his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, turns prosecutor and accuses Sam. CSI: Ephel Dúath shows the evidence on Sam’s jacket, and the crumbs fall as low as his heart soon will. Sam snaps when his continual sacrifices for his master all seem for not. When called a liar, he grabs and pummels poor Sméagol, who plays the beating for maximal sympathy. Sam finally stops and returns to his concern for his master. The conversation turns to the Ring, and Sam falls again into another trap laid for him by the cunning Gollum. This is the one thing that would turn Frodo from Sam.

Frodo decides the case, and sends Sam packing. Sam sobs, and I do as well as I just can’t see Frodo ever turning away Sam’s help. I also don’t see why Sam would not follow. I still can’t see Sam walking back down the cliff through Minas Morgul then west back to the Shire - was that what he intends? And can’t figure out how they did all of that wrestling around/sleeping on the side of a cliff. And I won’t even mention anything anymore about being stealthy.

Back in Minas Tirith, people smile as the dead ride out to retake Osgiliath. Not sure if the people are just trying to be positive, or they are laughing at ill-fitting pot atop Faramir’s head. Sure, most of the onlookers’ faces are downcast, but if you look closely, you’ll see one happy older woman. Flowers are cast on the road, and they should all be lilies. Suddenly, out of the crowd, a voice is heard and it’s Gandalf. He calls for Faramir, and tells him not to throw his life away in a mad dash. The wizard tells his former pupil that Denethor loves his second son, and will remember it before the end. Faramir hears little of Gandalf’s words, and seems a bit mad himself, intent on riding off to his death.

The mounted Gondorian knights ride out through the gates and across the Pelennor Fields. They form a line (or double line) and ride towards Osgiliath. Can’t get a firm number, but do we have about 200 soldiers riding east?

An orc, looking more orangutan than elf, looks out and sees the approaching army. Gothmog sees them as well; well, as well as he can see anything. More and more heads pop up like gophers from the ruins. So are we to believe that the learned Faramir, not as brash as his older and now dead brother, is leading an attack, on horse, on an enemy entrenched in difficult terrain in the light of day? Again I’m siding again with Denethor when he thinking that his second son is witless.

While the charge is taking place, Denethor, obviously a glutton (why else would he continually eat? ), asks Pippin to sing. Haven’t we been punished enough?!? Pip digs out a fitting song, well sung, while Denethor slobs away at his board and while about 10 billion orcs make ready to shoot at Faramir and his men. The insanity gets even better as we see Faramir draw his sword.

Note that this attack on Osgiliath would have had a better chance of working if (1) the horses on which the soldiers rode could fly like Pegasus, (2) Faramir’s ride was actually a feint to keep the orcs’ attentions while the real army came down from the north, or (3) the attack took place at night. With ninjas. With lasers…

Anyone else see Longstreet's Grand Assault here? You might have heard of that, but by another name.

When the arrows are finally loosed, red blood, or something that seems to be, runs from the Steward’s mouth. The juxtaposition of the song, the ride and Denethor work well in this scene, as we do not need to see all of the failed assault to know what is happening. Pippin’s heartbreak, at the end of his song, tells us all that we need to know. PJ was more subtle here than usual, and I like it. Gandalf, sitting like an old fisherman by the sea, knows the fate of the soldiers as well. Bells toll off in the distance, for whom we know.

Meanwhile, after that little interruption, back on Highway 1 trolls experience the first known instance of traffic in Middle Earth. They push siege engines across the East-West Osgiliath bridge, which, amazingly, has been not only rebuilt (yes, I know that in the last sequence that the bridge drops down as the river assault happens, but is this the same bridge?) but can hold the weight that sits upon it.

And Faramir feared that Sauron would come from the north…

More people get ready for battle. In Dunharrow, the Rohirrim camp and await orders from King Théoden. Riding through the camp, Théoden gets a count of the spears that are at his command. 6000. Hopefully that will be enough.

By the way, what’s with RotK and cliffs? Beacons and hobbits and now Kings all are thousands of feet in the air on an edge of a ledge.

Aragorn tells that ‘other king’ that 6000 won’t be enough, and that they cannot wait until more come. The other king agrees not to wait. The horses and men are quieted or not by the shadow of the mountain under which they now walk. Éomer explains the issue to Legolas and Gimli, who learn of the Paths of the Dead. Aragorn himself gets a chill when he looks at the narrow way through the White mountains. Gimli, who thankfully hasn’t made a joke in the last minute, returns Aragorn to the present.

Éowyn plays dress up with her new toy, and amidst the uncertainty of war, the recent death of her cousin, the dismissal of her love, she seems downright perky. She arrays her Merry action figure as an esquire of Rohan, and he almost slices her sideways when drawing his sword. Reminds me of a funny story that I might tell later. Anyway, is this the same Merry that learned swordplay from Boromir in Eregion? The one that fought orcs and a cave troll in Moria, that fought Uruks at Parth Galen? Merry then explains that his sword is dull - do magical swords get dull, or is this sword not magical? (note that Sting and the Shards of Narsil, both magical swords, remained sharp). An interesting question considering who feels the hobbit’s blade later in the movie. Finally, Merry leaves the tent swing his sword like a three year old (trust me, I know what I’m talking about) and makes for the human smithy to get his nonmagical weapon sharpened. Éomer chides his sister for encouraging the little toy that she’s found, and she asks why Merry has to be left behind. We know that Éowyn makes the case not just for the new esquire, but for herself as well. Éomer states that war is not pretty, a dress up play, and should only be engaged by men. His argument is shallow, hollow, as Merry is a ‘man,’ and though at times acts like a child, has seen battle before (see above). A better case is that he would be a hindrance, and that he’d either get in the way or, if he could not keep up, would slow the army down as they would not want to leave him behind. We’re left with the eyes of Éowyn that do not cool at her brother’s words.

Note that I did not see any Púkel-men on the path turning points in the far night shot of Dunharrow, but see something statue-like when a dark hooded figure rides a pale horse up the path. Is the stone ‘thing’ a weathered wose/ Drúedain? Anyway, how this stranger gains access to the top brass is interesting, and I assume that whomever it is uses the ‘force,’ as Aragorn’s sleep is disturbed by the newcomer. In his dream Aragorn sees Arwen speaking the words of Sam (about Rosie or the Gaffer?) and the Evenstar shattering on the ground. He awakes violently with knife in hand.

King Théoden asks for Aragorn to join him. When Aragorn enters that other king’s tent, the older man leaves, leaving Aragorn alone with the hooded figure. Oooh scary! Who knows what lies beneath? Why it’s Elrond, traveling from Rivendell, presumably alone, without more elven soldiers (what a waste they were) to aid Théoden’s and Aragorn’s plight. Elrond explains that Arwen is dying and that only a special potion, or a dragon’s tooth, or some other impossible cure, found only atop Mount Olympus or in the netherworld can keep fair Arwen alive…or something like that. Aragorn learns that Sauron must die for Arwen to live - no pressure there to put on a future son-in-law. Elrond knows that Aragorn will (now, unlike before) join the war against the Eye, but that his chances of succeeding are slim to none.

Not only are armies pouring across the Anduin, but they’re sailing up it as well. No need for a palantir to tell us; we have Lord Elrond to increase the gloom. Outnumbered, Elrond tells Aragorn that he needs to recruit more. No elves this time (and we realize why), but there are fertile grounds in the White mountains where men are just dying to take part in some epic battle with the Heir of Isildur. Aragorn gets a vision of the Dead King, and let’s us know that these dead warriors are not only “traitors” but also “murderers” and tax collectors . Aragorn loathes to have these men fight under his banner, though without them he loses Arwen, his life and most if not all of Middle Earth.

“But they dun murder before!”

Aragorn’s second round of excuses is that the dead will not follow him. Elrond counters that a shiny bit of sword will do just the trick. Andúril, Narsil reforged, is brought forth. Me wonders that if that didn’t get Aragorn going what else Elrond could pull out of his sleeve. Durin’s Axe… Thranduil’s Bow…the Gaffer’s best taters…

“Yours for only four easy payments.”

Aragorn now accepts the sword and his destiny and the task of recruiting the dead. Nice to see his and Elrond’s hands on Andúril at the same time - something is being passed from one generation to the next. Aragorn then says that Sauron surely will remember the blade that cut off his fingers, and that the blade will go to Minas Tirith. Elrond gets a little too excited, stating that the person that can wield the sword can summon an army greater than any that now walk the (middle) Earth. Is this an Arthurian Excalibur thing? Can another get ‘the power’ by holding the sword? To me it seems that the sword is key, not the wielder.

Aragorn must sense this as well, as he quickly loses hope. Nice to hear Gilraen’s words spoken in Elvish, though Estel saying that he has no hope? Is there anyone remaining in Middle Earth with any hope?
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:48 AM   #2
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Ah yes, the infamous charge of the Gondorians. One of the most contrived parts of the film. Makes the Charge of the Light Brigade look like a brilliant masterstroke (at least the brits made it to the Russian guns and gave some great slaughter before being overwhelmed).

Cavalry + entrenched enemy + unsuitable terrain = PJ's vision of tragic glory.

Stupidity more like it. Poor Faramir's character got really really butchered here. Instead of being the gentle, highly intelligent but tragic hero that girls love and boys emulate, he comes across in the movies as a reckless crybaby who threw common sense and tactics into the winds because daddy didn't love him. As you can tell by my bitterness, Faramir was one of my favourite characters.

But I did like Mckellan's Gandalf during the procession of the dead through the streets of Minas Tirith.

"Your father loves you... Don't throw away your life so recklessly."

The earnest plead, the tremor in the voice and that pleading look. Now that was the Gandalf of the books as I always imagined him to be.
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:23 AM   #3
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The Gollum treachuary scene is filmed well. He looks so lifelike. I know we are deviating here from the Path but I think I know WHY they did it (not that I agree with it)

2 things.

They wanted Frodo to talk to Gollum one more time to explain what he was doing with the Ring and how it would save Gollum. This one scene for me really shows Frodo's compassion for Gollum and his belief that he could Change very well. They couldn't do this with Sam around. We needed some quality 'alone' time with Frodo and Gollum.

The other thing is that Sam saves the day, like a modern day 'Action hero'. Frodo lying there about to be dragged away and feasted on and the shot changes to our Hero standing there with Sting ready to fight.

Again, I'm not saying I agree with this, I'm just saying why I think they did it like this

The Charge of the light brigade scene works well for me too. Pippins lament, as they charge, and denethor stuffing his face with the blood red tomato juice dripping out of his mouth are a masterstoke of filming.

Why not have a charge to their deaths? They were pretty much going off to die as they knew it. They knew they didn't have a chance to survive really. So why not go out with a bang?

I'm sure they were Pukel men as we see Elrond climb the path to Dunharrow

And the Arwen 'tied to the Ring' twist on the story. I view it as Arwen would die if the Rng wasn't destroyed and Sauron regained it. As she has pledged herself to Aragorn already (she becomes 'cold' to the touch as the life of the valar leaves her) so she is now mortal. If Sauron retains the ring, Aragorn will surely die, and therefore she will have no reason to go on living and will then die too (as she actually does book wise after Aragorn dies anyway.....)
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Essex
They wanted Frodo to talk to Gollum one more time to explain what he was doing with the Ring and how it would save Gollum. This one scene for me really shows Frodo's compassion for Gollum and his belief that he could Change very well. They couldn't do this with Sam around. We needed some quality 'alone' time with Frodo and Gollum.
Are you saying that PJ may have added the whole "Go home Sam!" part just to have Frodo and Gollum alone? Couldn't the fat one just have been left sleeping for the scene?


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The other thing is that Sam saves the day, like a modern day 'Action hero'. Frodo lying there about to be dragged away and feasted on and the shot changes to our Hero standing there with Sting ready to fight.
Just another 'Gotcha!' PJism where we're to be surprised that Sam shows up. Anyone not know, or at least in the back of one's mind, think that Sam wasn't going to show up to save the day?


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Why not have a charge to their deaths? They were pretty much going off to die as they knew it. They knew they didn't have a chance to survive really. So why not go out with a bang?
Again, I like the scene as the way PJ overlapped the charge, Pip and Denethor was great. It's cool to see someone express a thought/idea without having to heavy-handedly show it. Maybe I'm thinking of that word 'subtle' again...

And it just irks me that Faramir, though suicidal, is shown to be a non-thinking Steward fanatic, not taking any consideration of the enemy. Why did he and his men even bother getting on the horses? For what they accomplish with 'the charge,' they could have been more useful falling on their swords in front of the Gate. At least their bodies would have made a speed bump.


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And the Arwen 'tied to the Ring' twist on the story. I view it as Arwen would die if the Ring wasn't destroyed and Sauron regained it. As she has pledged herself to Aragorn already (she becomes 'cold' to the touch as the life of the valar leaves her) so she is now mortal. If Sauron retains the ring, Aragorn will surely die, and therefore she will have no reason to go on living and will then die too (as she actually does book wise after Aragorn dies anyway.....)
I get your point, but to me (and maybe other viewers who know not the Valar) it could be viewed that Arwen, from kissing a mortal, caught the mortality bug, keeping her from ocean travel. She's now stuck on these eastern shores, and so Daddy Elrond has to do what he can to keep the place civil, and so that means he has to give the sword (Excalibur?) to Aragorn. Does that mean that if Arwen didn't fall for Aragorn that Elrond would not have remade Narsil, dooming all life in Middle Earth to the slavery of Sauron?
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:22 PM   #5
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Just another 'Gotcha!' PJism where we're to be surprised that Sam shows up. Anyone not know, or at least in the back of one's mind, think that Sam wasn't going to show up to save the day?
not only that, but we wouldn't have had the superb, creepy, tense moment of Shelob creeping up on Frodo. Perhaps a 'good' Change that could be added to Fordim's thread? It was an amazing piece of filming.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:59 AM   #6
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Any else think that Sam is nuts for sleeping on the edge of a cliff, regardless of his Uncle Andy’s exploits?
What choice did they have? Where else was there to sleep?

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Anyway, as our two free climbing hobbits sleep (the steepness of this path has gone beyond silly - does anyone even see steps on the outcropping on which they lay - and soon I figure we’ll see Sam bringing out the hammer and pitons), Gollum opens a pack and gathers up some lembas. He sprinkles a few crumbs on the fat one and throws the rest over the side.
Wonderfully evil.

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A wonderfully devious plan for PJ to hand to poor Sméagol, who would have been better served - and been more in character - to send the fat one over the edge and then deal with being the only servant for Frodo.
Wouldn't killing Sam just immediately drive Frodo to kill Gollum himself?

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Sam awakens, as the sound of food falling in the sky is music to his ears. He immediately accuses Gollum, who then whines that he’s always being false accused. His performance (and that of Andy Serkis) is so convincing that Sam regrets his words and even apologizes. Gollum turns Sam’s less harsh words right back on him.
I like this bit as it amplifies the tragedy of the scene - the one time Sam starts being fair to Gollum is once he's started trying to kill Frodo. Too little, too late.

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Sam goes and rouses Frodo, as the quest must continue regardless of any sneaking. Sam opens his pack to find that the cupboard is bare! He panics and then accuses Sméagol of the crime. Frodo, of course, states that Gollum does not eat said bread, and so therefore concludes that the creature could not have taken it.
This bit is quite well acted.

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That’s pretty stupid, as, as we know, Gollum could have taken it and destroyed it. But that kind of logic wouldn’t keep the scene rolling, and so we’ll just let it pass.
It's to do with the terms used - Sam accuses him of 'taking' it (allowing for its possible destroying) whilst Frodo says he doesn't eat it. Frodo is jumping to conclusions. Sam doesn't correct him and this assumption that Sam must be stupid contributes to his downfall.

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Gollum, after establishing his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, turns prosecutor and accuses Sam. CSI: Ephel Dúath shows the evidence on Sam’s jacket, and the crumbs fall as low as his heart soon will.
Notice that the crumbs only seem to appear once Gollum points them out.

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Sam snaps when his continual sacrifices for his master all seem for not. When called a liar, he grabs and pummels poor Sméagol, who plays the beating for maximal sympathy.
Notice how this beating reflects Faramir's abuse in The Two Towers - only this time, it is Gollum that instigates it and Frodo who suffers for it; a reversal of how things used to be.

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The conversation turns to the Ring, and Sam falls again into another trap laid for him by the cunning Gollum. This is the one thing that would turn Frodo from Sam.
Sam is too honest and kind to understand Gollum's devious mind-games - but then, later on, it is this same strength of Sam's that Gollum lacks which will ultimately win through.

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Frodo decides the case, and sends Sam packing. Sam sobs, and I do as well as I just can’t see Frodo ever turning away Sam’s help.
It was a strange and rather unwanted scene - but this does allow Frodo to enter Shelob's lair alone, thus making it a far more dramatic and involving scene.

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I still can’t see Sam walking back down the cliff through Minas Morgul then west back to the Shire - was that what he intends?
I don't he intended to do anything - his whole purpose in life had just been taken from him and he was aimlessly wandering. When he finds the Lembas, he realizes his purpose still exists, he just let go of it. He refocuses and he has somewhere to go again.

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And I won’t even mention anything anymore about being stealthy.
Well, they were sleeping under the Elvish cloaks.

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Back in Minas Tirith, people smile as the dead ride out to retake Osgiliath. Not sure if the people are just trying to be positive, or they are laughing at ill-fitting pot atop Faramir’s head. Sure, most of the onlookers’ faces are downcast, but if you look closely, you’ll see one happy older woman.
Are you sure? I can't see anyone smiling.

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Flowers are cast on the road, and they should all be lilies.
I like this touch - it's almost like a funeral march.

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Suddenly, out of the crowd, a voice is heard and it’s Gandalf. He calls for Faramir, and tells him not to throw his life away in a mad dash. The wizard tells his former pupil that Denethor loves his second son, and will remember it before the end.
Gandalf stands out in this scene as he is the sole figure who is thinking outside the box - he is the only one not bound by duty and so this allows him to speak. Unfortunately...

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Faramir hears little of Gandalf’s words, and seems a bit mad himself, intent on riding off to his death.
I think his decision to ride to his death was a bit like Eowyn - he was in a state of depression. His brother was dead and his father couldn't care less about him and so he (mistakenly) believed that his life was worthless, and that death was the only escape.

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The mounted Gondorian knights ride out through the gates and across the Pelennor Fields. They form a line (or double line) and ride towards Osgiliath. Can’t get a firm number, but do we have about 200 soldiers riding east?
I love how the knights ride - it's so graceful and noble; they are ready for what is coming. Very poetic.

Note the sad version of the Gondor music playing here.

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So are we to believe that the learned Faramir, not as brash as his older and now dead brother, is leading an attack, on horse, on an enemy entrenched in difficult terrain in the light of day?
And yet, isn't this rather similar to the charge of the Rohirrim?

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While the charge is taking place, Denethor, obviously a glutton (why else would he continually eat? ), asks Pippin to sing. Haven’t we been punished enough?!? Pip digs out a fitting song, well sung,
Pippin sums up the whole tragedy and eerie feel of the attack in one haunting song. Brilliant.

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about 10 billion orcs make ready to shoot at Faramir and his men. The insanity gets even better as we see Faramir draw his sword.
Notice how this 'death' reflects Boromir's end - both times, it is the futile fight of noble swords against deadly bows - a foregone conclusion, but both of the sons go forth with the same valour.

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Anyone else see Longstreet's Grand Assault here?
Hmmm...I see the charge of the Light Brigade more. Maybe the differing choices of history is to do with which country you come from *shrugs*.

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When the arrows are finally loosed, red blood, or something that seems to be, runs from the Steward’s mouth. The juxtaposition of the song, the ride and Denethor work well in this scene, as we do not need to see all of the failed assault to know what is happening. Pippin’s heartbreak, at the end of his song, tells us all that we need to know.
The best emotional power is self-generated.

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PJ was more subtle here than usual, and I like it. Gandalf, sitting like an old fisherman by the sea, knows the fate of the soldiers as well. Bells toll off in the distance, for whom we know.
Subtle filming is harder to do than just showing it on screen - but if done right, it's far more rewarding.

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More people get ready for battle. In Dunharrow, the Rohirrim camp and await orders from King Théoden. Riding through the camp, Théoden gets a count of the spears that are at his command. 6000. Hopefully that will be enough.
Note the contrast between the quiet, still feel of Gondor with the active, practical feel of Rohan.

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By the way, what’s with RotK and cliffs? Beacons and hobbits and now Kings all are thousands of feet in the air on an edge of a ledge.
Maybe it's an obscure way of showing how the stakes are getting higher.

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Aragorn tells that ‘other king’ that 6000 won’t be enough, and that they cannot wait until more come. The other king agrees not to wait.
The tension builds...

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The horses and men are quieted or not by the shadow of the mountain under which they now walk. Éomer explains the issue to Legolas and Gimli, who learn of the Paths of the Dead.
I like the slightly creepy feel, but Legolas telling us that "the men are quiet" was irritating - I think we can tell that for ourselves.

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Aragorn himself gets a chill when he looks at the narrow way through the White mountains. Gimli, who thankfully hasn’t made a joke in the last minute, returns Aragorn to the present.
I like the little vision - clever foreshading for the scene where Aragorn will have to face the ghost for real (sounds contradictory, doesn't it?).

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Éowyn plays dress up with her new toy, and amidst the uncertainty of war, the recent death of her cousin, the dismissal of her love, she seems downright perky.
When has her love dismissed? That's yet to come.

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She arrays her Merry action figure as an esquire of Rohan, and he almost slices her sideways when drawing his sword. Reminds me of a funny story that I might tell later.
Oooh, do tell us.

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Anyway, is this the same Merry that learned swordplay from Boromir in Eregion? The one that fought orcs and a cave troll in Moria, that fought Uruks at Parth Galen? Merry then explains that his sword is dull - do magical swords get dull, or is this sword not magical? (note that Sting and the Shards of Narsil, both magical swords, remained sharp). An interesting question considering who feels the hobbit’s blade later in the movie.
This is left hanging as a bit of a plot hole. Once again, it's the Tolkien-domino effect - by removing Tom Bombadil, we lose the reason for Merry's importance, and his role is decreased. But I'm jumping ahead here.

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Éomer chides his sister for encouraging the little toy that she’s found, and she asks why Merry has to be left behind. We know that Éowyn makes the case not just for the new esquire, but for herself as well. Éomer states that war is not pretty, a dress up play, and should only be engaged by men. His argument is shallow, hollow, as Merry is a ‘man,’ and though at times acts like a child, has seen battle before (see above). A better case is that he would be a hindrance, and that he’d either get in the way or, if he could not keep up, would slow the army down as they would not want to leave him behind. We’re left with the eyes of Éowyn that do not cool at her brother’s words.
I don't really like this scene as it seems rather mean to Eowyn and makes Eomer look downright ignorant.

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Note that I did not see any Púkel-men on the path turning points in the far night shot of Dunharrow, but see something statue-like when a dark hooded figure rides a pale horse up the path. Is the stone ‘thing’ a weathered wose/ Drúedain?
A gem for the book readers.

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In his dream Aragorn sees Arwen speaking the words of Sam (about Rosie or the Gaffer?) and the Evenstar shattering on the ground. He awakes violently with knife in hand.
This dream seems silly - it touches on the issue of Arwen's invented 'death'. However, I did like Aragorn drawing Celeborn's dagger.

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Why it’s Elrond, traveling from Rivendell, presumably alone, without more elven soldiers (what a waste they were) to aid Théoden’s and Aragorn’s plight.
Notice something here - once again Aragorn receives Elvish aid, but this time it's only the support of a sword - Aragorn must do this task himself.

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Elrond explains that Arwen is dying and that only a special potion, or a dragon’s tooth, or some other impossible cure, found only atop Mount Olympus or in the netherworld can keep fair Arwen alive…or something like that. Aragorn learns that Sauron must die for Arwen to live - no pressure there to put on a future son-in-law. Elrond knows that Aragorn will (now, unlike before) join the war against the Eye, but that his chances of succeeding are slim to none.
This is so silly and unneeded I won't even comment on it.

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Aragorn’s second round of excuses is that the dead will not follow him. Elrond counters that a shiny bit of sword will do just the trick. Andúril, Narsil reforged, is brought forth. Me wonders that if that didn’t get Aragorn going what else Elrond could pull out of his sleeve. Durin’s Axe… Thranduil’s Bow…the Gaffer’s best taters…
I love the mood swing here - it's dark and depressing as Elrond puts Aragorn down, and then suddenly Anduril turns it all around and the feeling's more hopeful. As usual, the music words great.

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Nice to see his and Elrond’s hands on Andúril at the same time - something is being passed from one generation to the next.
I'm reminded vaguely of the prologue scene, with Elendil dropping Narsil and Isildur taking it up again.

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Elrond gets a little too excited, stating that the person that can wield the sword can summon an army greater than any that now walk the (middle) Earth. Is this an Arthurian Excalibur thing? Can another get ‘the power’ by holding the sword? To me it seems that the sword is key, not the wielder.
The man is the key - only one man in Middle Earth can now wield Anduril. It was forged for him only.

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Nice to hear Gilraen’s words spoken in Elvish, though Estel saying that he has no hope? Is there anyone remaining in Middle Earth with any hope?
He's just being humble - he doesn't want any glory; he's there to help other people. Like he says at the end, it doesn't belong to him but to all.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:00 PM   #7
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Sorry that it's taken so long to reply.


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Originally Posted by Sir Kohran
What choice did they have? Where else was there to sleep?
Sam is just so at ease on the edge that it seems unnatural.


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Wouldn't killing Sam just immediately drive Frodo to kill Gollum himself?
Frodo is ready to continue on after dismissing Sam. If Sam were to 'fall' along the way, like Gandalf and Boromir, well, the Ring still must go into the Fire.


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Sam is too honest and kind to understand Gollum's devious mind-games - but then, later on, it is this same strength of Sam's that Gollum lacks which will ultimately win through.
Nice insight.


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It was a strange and rather unwanted scene - but this does allow Frodo to enter Shelob's lair alone, thus making it a far more dramatic and involving scene.
Sam, as stated, could be seen to fall, then somehow survive and catch up with his Master. Frodo could even weep a bit at the loss. We, the audience, could then be so surprised when Sam shows up to save the day, as no main character has yet to fall off a cliff/bridge then reappear, so PJ would really catch us with that one .


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Are you sure? I can't see anyone smiling.
Please see attached picture. And I won't mind if you tell me to 'get a life.'


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I think his decision to ride to his death was a bit like Eowyn - he was in a state of depression. His brother was dead and his father couldn't care less about him and so he (mistakenly) believed that his life was worthless, and that death was the only escape.
Another great insight. Both are 'unloved' and lonely, and so seek death on the battlefield, then, interesting, find healing together. My issue (one of many) is that the book Faramir goes to slow/stop the crossing of the Anduin, and fights a rearguard action to permit all those that can escape to do so. It's only until he is overwhelmed by the Black Breath and his own darkness (and that dart) that he finally succumbs. I never got the feeling that he didn't have his wits about him when he rode/walked to Osgiliath, whereas in the movie he seems suicidal - homicidal if you consider the men that follow him, unless they too despair.


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And yet, isn't this rather similar to the charge of the Rohirrim?
They both rode horses, yet one was attacking infantry in the open (where horses would be an advantage) while the other attacked the same folk in difficult terrain where the horses would not help 'ride down' the enemy.


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Hmmm...I see the charge of the Light Brigade more. Maybe the differing choices of history is to do with which country you come from *shrugs*.
The Light Brigade reference was so obvious that I went for something a little more obscure. History lessons in the SbS - what's not to like?


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When has her love dismissed? That's yet to come.
I was referring to one of the hundred times that Aragorn blows her off, like before he leaves for the Paths.


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Oooh, do tell us.
Be careful indulging me...Anyway, in our version of LotR, the Balrog has Tinuvial tied up upon an altar. Me, as Gandalf, go to rescue her. I use my razor-sharp dagger to cut the rope that binds her wrists, and, instead of cutting down and away from her, I cut up. As the knife slashes through the rope, it continues up toward her nose, just missing it. We both acknowledge the near miss with gasps and sighs on film. Nipping her nose would not have improved my relationship with my co-star, and who knows how her life would have changed, as she made a life being 'on camera.' (Thankfully I gave up acting as, well, I have absolutely no talent there whatsoever, even at the molecular level.)

Now aren't you glad you asked?

Thanks for your posting.
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:04 PM   #8
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I've just been listening to RotK on the CD and Pippin's song...I have to say how much I agree with this:
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Pippin’s heartbreak, at the end of his song, tells us all that we need to know. PJ was more subtle here than usual, and I like it. Gandalf, sitting like an old fisherman by the sea, knows the fate of the soldiers as well. Bells toll off in the distance, for whom we know.
Reading further through this thread, which I hadn't before...the whole Merry/Eowyn/Dernhelm thing, which I had SO been looking forward to, was really spoilt for me. The stern, fey, steely young Dernhelm, with his/her hint of empathy and sorrow...become, as you say, a flushed girlie dressing up her dolly.
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