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 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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PostSubject: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King   Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:23 am

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PostSubject: Re: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King   Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:25 am

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson that is based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the concluding film in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002).
As Sauron launches the final stages of his conquest of Middle-earth, Gandalf the Wizard, and Théoden King of Rohan rally their forces to help defend Gondor's capital Minas Tirith from the looming threat. Aragorn finally claims the throne of Gondor and summons an army of ghosts to help him defeat Sauron. Ultimately, even with full strength of arms, they realise they cannot win; so it comes down to the Hobbits, Frodo and Sam, to bear the burden of the Ring and deal with the treachery of Gollum. After a long journey they finally arrive in the dangerous lands of Mordor, seeking to destroy the One Ring in the place it was created, the volcanic fires of Mount Doom.
Released on 17 December 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King received rave reviews[2] and became one of the greatest critical and box-office successes of all time, becoming the highest grossing film from New Line Cinema, as well as the biggest financial success for Time Warner in general. Notably, it won all eleven Academy Awards for which it was nominated, an Oscar record (tying with Ben-Hur and Titanic). It also won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the first time a fantasy film has done so.

Plot

The film begins in a flashback with a Stoor named Sméagol killing his relative Déagol to possess the One Ring. His possession eventually transformed him into the creature Gollum. Now present day, Gollum takes Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee to Minas Morgul. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, Théoden, Gamling and Éomer meet up with Merry, Pippin and Treebeard at Isengard, now under the Ents' control, where Gandalf concludes Saruman will pose no further threat. They also recover a palantír from the ruins. The group returns to Edoras, where Théoden holds a feast in celebration of the victory at Helm's Deep. Pippin's curiosity gets the better of him, and he looks into the palantír, where he sees a vision of a dead white tree; he is seen and mentally interrogated by Sauron, though Pippin tells him nothing regarding Frodo and the Ring. From this, Gandalf deduces Sauron is planning to attack Minas Tirith, and he rides off there with Pippin. In the meantime, Arwen, on her way to the Undying Lands, has a vision of her son by Aragorn and convinces Elrond to reforge the sword Narsil that cut the Ring from Sauron's finger at the Last Alliance. Sam overhears Gollum's treacherous plans to murder them and take the Ring for himself, but Frodo does not believe him. Gollum plays on this, trying to turn Frodo and Sam against each other.
Gandalf and Pippin arrive at Minas Tirith to find the steward Denethor mourning his son Boromir, and Pippin swears loyalty to him, as Boromir had saved his life at Amon Hen. Gandalf warns Denethor that Sauron is now ready to strike and urges him to call Rohan for aid. Denethor declines, fearing Aragorn and Gandalf plan to depose him. That night, Gandalf and Pippin witness a pillar of green fire rise from Minas Morgul, where the Witch-king of Angmar sends off his army, heralding the start of the war. Frodo, Sam and Gollum begin climbing the Cirith Ungol stairway. The Morgul army, led by the Nazgûl, drives the Gondorians out of Osgiliath. Denethor orders his youngest (and least favored) son Faramir out on a suicide mission to reclaim the city. Faramir and his knights are apparently killed by the masses of Orcs waiting in the ruined city. Meanwhile, Gollum persuades Frodo that Sam wants the Ring for himself, and Frodo angrily tells Sam to go home. Back in Minas Tirith, Pippin has begun the long line of beacon signals to Edoras, where Théoden and Aragorn lead the Rohirrim to Dunharrow to prepare for battle. At Dunharrow, Legolas tells Gimli of the legend of the haunted mountain Dwimorberg, which overlooks the camp, as Éomer says, "that mountain is evil". Aragorn also meets Elrond, who informs him that Arwen is dying and her "fate is now tied to the fate of the Ring" and warns him they are outnumbered by Sauron's army. He also warns him of a fleet of Corsair Ships, that are approaching Minas Tirith secretly from the south. Elrond presents Aragorn with the newly reforged Andúril and tells him to brave the Paths of the Dead, where he may acquire the help of the cursed Army of the Dead, who owe allegiance to the Heir of Isildur. Éowyn tries to convince him not to go, confessing her love for him, but Aragorn, who already loves Arwen and knows she has sacrificed her immortality to be with him, tells her to seek love with someone else and bids her goodbye. Along with Legolas and Gimli, Aragorn ventures into the Paths of the Dead and meets the Army of the Dead at Dunharrow. Aragorn gains the loyalty of the King of the Dead and his men by brandishing the sword Andúril, proving himself as the heir of Isildur. The trio then capture the ships of the Corsairs of Umbar, who had intended to launch a surprise attack on Minas Tirith. At Dunharrow, Théoden rides off to war with over 6,000 Riders, unaware Éowyn and Merry are part of the army too.
Sauron's armies begin the siege of Minas Tirith. The Witch-king and Gothmog lead the Orcs, while Gandalf leads the defenders. The Orcs launch catapults, destroying several of the buildings. The Gondorians return fire and destroy several of Sauron's catapults and siege towers. The Nazgul arrives at the battle and destroy several of Gondor's trebuchets and also kill several Gondorian soldiers. The Orcs take heavy casualties but manage to scale the walls. A fierce battle ensues on the defensive walls. The Orcs take down the gate at night fall, and thousands of Orcs swarm through. The Gondorians fight bravely, but the attack is overwhelming, and they abandon the lower levels of the city. Denethor, meanwhile, has gone mad and prepares to burn Faramir and himself alive. Gandalf and Pippin ride to the rescue of Faramir. Just then, Theoden's army of 6,000 appears at the cracks of dawn. Theoden rallies his men, and they charge into the Orc armies. Gandalf and Pippin save Faramir, and Denethor commits suicide. The Orcs take heavy losses and are on the verge of defeat, but the Haradrim then arrives on the battlefield. The Orcs and the Haradrim charge the Rohirrim. Theoden rallies his army again, and then themselves charge. The Haradrim inflict serious losses on the Rohirrim, even though Éomer kills the leader of the Haradrim. As the battle rages, the Witch-king attacks Theoden and fatally wounds him. The Witch-king prepares to finish off Theoden, but Éowyn blocks his way. Éowyn duels with the Witch-king and kills him with Merry's help. Despite the Witch-king's death, the Rohirrim are on the verge of defeat, until Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli arrive with the Army of the Dead. In the last stages of the battle, Aragorn and Gimli kill Gothmog and the Army of the Dead annihilate Sauron's forces, ending the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in a costly Gondorian/Rohirrim victory. Theoden then dies with Éowyn at his side. Aragorn frees the Army of the Dead and their souls go to the afterlife.
Meanwhile, Frodo is betrayed by Gollum, who flees and leaves Frodo to be attacked by a giant spider named Shelob. Shelob paralyzes Frodo, but Sam saves him in the nick of time and, thinking Frodo is dead, takes the Ring from him. An Orc battalion captures Frodo and reveals that he is alive as they take him to a nearby tower. Sam rescues Frodo from the tower, mostly empty following a fight among the Orc garrison over the mithril shirt, and they begin the journey to Mount Doom. Gandalf realises that over 10,000 Orcs stand on the road between Cirith Ungol and Mount Doom, that would make Frodo's journey impossible. Aragorn leads all the men who survived the battle to the Black Gate to distract Sauron and to call out his armies. Sam carries Frodo up to Mount Doom but Gollum reappears and attacks them, just as the Men of the West furiously battle the Orcs. Frodo, at the Crack of Doom, succumbs to the Ring's power and refuses to destroy it. Gollum, who had been following them, attacks Frodo and bites off his finger, seizing the Ring for himself. Frodo attacks him to get it back, and they both fall over the cliff; Frodo grabs the ledge just in time, but Gollum falls into the lava, taking the Ring with him. Sauron is defeated once and for all, and the destruction of his form creates an immense shockwave that kills most of the Orcs; the rest perish as the whole of Mordor is wracked by intense earthquakes, leaving the Men of the West unharmed.
Frodo and Sam are stranded until Gandalf arrives with the Eagles, and they awake in Minas Tirith, finally reuniting with their friends. Aragorn is crowned King, heralding the new age of peace, and is reunited with Arwen. When Aragorn meets the Hobbits, who bow before him, he stops them and says, "You bow to no one". He and the surviving Free Peoples bow to the Hobbits in honour of their heroic deeds. The Hobbits return home to the Shire, where Sam marries his childhood sweetheart, Rosie Cotton. Frodo, however, has suffered too much in his quest to return to his old life, and leaves Middle-earth with Gandalf, Bilbo, Elrond, Celeborn and Galadriel at the Grey Havens, leaving his account of the story to Sam. Frodo bids goodbye to his friends before boarding the ship, which sets sail for the Undying Lands. The three remaining Hobbits head back to the Shire and Sam is seen greeted by Rosie and his eldest daughter, Elanor. He says the film's final line: "Well, I'm back".

Cast

Like the preceding films in the trilogy, The Return of the King has an ensemble cast,[3] and some of the cast and their respective characters include:

  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: The Hobbit who continues his quest to destroy the Ring, which continues to torture him. He is the protagonist of the film.
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the White: The Wizard who travels to aid the Men of Gondor, acting as a general at the Siege of Gondor
  • Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee: Better known as Sam, he is Frodo's loyal Hobbit companion.
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn: Aragorn must finally face his destiny as King of Gondor.
  • Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc Brandybuck: Better known as Merry, the Hobbit who becomes an esquire of Rohan.
  • Billy Boyd as Peregrin Took: Better known as Pippin, a Hobbit who looks into the palantír and later becomes an esquire of Gondor.
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas: An Elven prince and skilled archer; one of Aragorn's best friends.
  • John Rhys-Davies as Gimli: The warrior Dwarf who continues his friendly rivalry over Orc kills with Legolas. Rhys-Davies also voices Treebeard the Ent leader.
  • Andy Serkis voices and provides motion capture for Sméagol/Gollum: The treacherous creature, once one of the River-folk (a race akin to Hobbits), who guides Frodo and Sam into Mordor. His life as Sméagol is glimpsed in the beginning of the film, and how he murdered his cousin Déagol for the Ring, which then enslaved him for centuries. Serkis also plays Sméagol.
  • Liv Tyler as Arwen, daughter of Elrond, Aragorn's lover. She gives up her immortal life for Aragorn.
  • Bernard Hill as Théoden: King of Rohan. After triumphing at Helm's Deep, he is preparing his troops for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. He is the uncle of Éomer and Éowyn.
  • Miranda Otto as Éowyn: Théoden's niece, who wishes to prove herself in battle. She also starts to fall in love with Aragorn, who does not return her love. In the extended version, she finds love with Faramir when they are both residing in the Houses of Healing.
  • Karl Urban as Éomer: Éowyn's brother, and Chief Marshal of the Riders of Rohan. Nephew to King Théoden.
  • David Wenham as Faramir: The head of the Gondorian Rangers defending Osgiliath. Second-born son to Denethor, he seeks his father's love in vain.
  • John Noble as Denethor: Steward of Gondor and father to Faramir, as well as the slain Boromir. Due to grief over Boromir's death, and despair over Mordor's superior numbers, he falls into madness during the Siege of Gondor.
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond: The Elven lord of Rivendell who must convince Aragorn to take up the throne.
  • Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins: Frodo's elderly uncle, who has rapidly aged after giving away the Ring.
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: Elven lady of Lórien. She is aware the time of the Elves is at an end.
  • Marton Csokas as Lord Celeborn: Elven lord of Lórien.
  • Bruce Hopkins as Gamling: Right-hand man of Théoden and a skilled member of the Royal Guard of Rohan.
  • Paul Norell as The King of the Dead: The cursed leader of the Dead Men at Dunharrow, from whom Aragorn must seek help.
  • Lawrence Makoare plays the Witch-king of Angmar, the Lord of the Nazgûl, he leads Mordor's assault on Minas Tirith. He also plays Gothmog, an Orc commander who is voiced by Craig Parker.[4]
  • Sarah McLeod as Rosie Cotton: The girl of Sam's dreams. When Sam returns to The Shire, she marries him and has a family.
  • Thomas Robins as Déagol, Sméagol's cousin.
  • Sean Bean as Boromir: Faramir's brother, in a flashback to his death at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and in the extended cut when Denethor has a hallucination.


The following only appear in the Extended Edition

  • Christopher Lee as Saruman the White: A wizard, former Head of the White Council, now trapped by Treebeard. He is seen being killed by his servant, Gríma.
  • Brad Dourif as Gríma Wormtongue: Saruman's sycophantic, treacherous servant. He is shot by Legolas after stabbing Saruman.
  • Bruce Spence as The Mouth of Sauron: Sauron's emissary at the Black Gate.

There are also cameos from Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Gino Acevedo, Rick Porras and Andrew Lesnie on the Corsair ship, although all of them but Jackson only appear in the Extended Edition. Jackson also has another unofficial cameo, as Sam's hand stepping into view when he confronts Shelob.[5] Sean Astin's daughter played Sam's daughter Elanor in the last scene of the film. Jackson's children also cameo as Gondorian extras, while Christian Rivers played a Gondorian soldier guarding the Beacon Pippin lights, and is later seen wounded. Royd Tolkien cameos as a Ranger in Osgiliath,[6] while in the Extended Edition Howard Shore appears as a celebrating soldier at Edoras. Additionally, four of the designers of The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game are featured as Rohirrim at the Pelennor.[7] At the end of the film, during the closing credits, each cast member gets a sketched portrait by Alan Lee, an idea suggested by Ian McKellen
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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
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