Lord of the Rings - Return of the King, Part 2

(320 votes, average 4.74 out of 5)
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Comments (161)
  • junebug_nery
  • LikaLaruku
    So Sassy Gayfriend promises us bromance subtext in "The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet?"

    Sure didn't make Jessie uncomfortable...She was squeeing every second the two of them had a conversation with eachother. & on a creepy note, she memorized all of their lines. ALL of them.

    You know what the flaw in Back to the Future 3 was? A 30-40-something woman & an unattractive man in his 90s (not an exaggeration) falling in love at first sight, like they were struck with Disney fairy magic; it just doesn't happen, unless money is involved.

    Doc Brown's violation of Bros Before Hoes derailed the friendship train the series was riding on & nearly brought it to a screeching halt, & the woman was nothing more than a Relationship Sue. Sudden;y you find yourself sympathizing with kids who hate their father's new girlfriend. Telltale's B2TF game counts as the 4th movie (no seriously), & it did a MUCH better job.
  • Mutt1126
    don't forget that that romance happening in the 1800s was also unlikely with the lower average living age. he'd either have to lie about his age or admit that he's basically Methuselah.
  • junebug_nery
    Ahem, now that that inevitable Bragging of the First Commenter is out of the way… ^_^;;

    AHAHA, I see what you did there with the multiple endings, Lindsay! Nicely played. Also, I never really thought about how poignant Frodo's melancholy and having-to-leave really is. When I first saw the movie in theaters, it just seemed like, Oh brother, ANOTHER chance for Sam to cry.

    I also remember really loving Pippin's song…if I remember correctly, it seemed like his first moment of true seriousness, as opposed to his general roles of goofing off and messing things up. At that moment, it seemed like the heaviness of the situation was finally really sinking in for him, ironically at a moment when he's supposed to be entertaining Denethor.

    Again, this is coming from my memories of a movie I haven't watched in full in several years, so I could be just babbling and stuff.
  • mr.keys
    "Lord of the Rings is such a sausage fest."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, damn dude, you're so right.
  • Mischi
    Yeah, it's funny when they don't use too long words do describe stuff n shit like dat Ringlord movie. So, whenever you want to tell people in detail 'bout that gay hobbo movie be like: Yeah, it was a sausage fest! 'Cause dicks are fuuuuunnyyyyyyyyy.
  • LauraRiddle
    Excellent end to an excellent series of analysis. Thank god I'm not the only one who thought Harry's happy ending was hollow.
  • cvrpapc
    I often though that the reason why Tolken wrote Frodo that way in the end was due to the experiences of WW1 and also living though WW2 as well. As a man who spent some time in the military it isn't unthinkable that he would have been deeply marked by those experiences in a similar way.

    As for Harry Potter. I totally agree. JK Rowling fell back on the the ol' jesus complex. Unfortunately she probably couldn't think of a way to end it other than what she did. I don't think its a bad ending in its own right. But it reveals a lot issues which I didn't like in the latter books. Book 7 being the worst offender in my view. She clearly didn't want to write the books anymore. But perhaps her life experiences didn't inform on her ability to write how a traumatized male adolescent would recover from that kind of event - being killed and coming back to life and all. Having all his adult mentors and friends being killed along with many of his fellows. But I digress. Part of the strength of ROTK was the way the end was put to rest in both the book and film (extended cut). It was like real life, which rarely has a happy ending.
  • The NPC
    Spoony covered why they didn't use the eagles in the first place pretty well.
  • Furrama
    Eagles are allergic to arrows. And snake dragons. But they could have been foreshadowed better or... have them talk like they did in the books. Then they would have explained it.

    Would have helped.
  • Lyaso
    If you've read all the tertiary materials, you'd know exactly why the eagles weren't used:

    read: Manwe's a dick.
  • Furrama
    Color me intrigued! Can you give a cliff notes version? ( My googlings have turned up empty.)
  • Lightice
    I'm not the original guy, obviously, but I think I can give a bit of a run-through about the Eagles. Tolkien associated the Great Eagles with Manwë, the lord of the Valar whose power is associated with air and high places. He sees everything from his high seat in the Undying Lands that is not under the shadow of evil. The Great Eagles are his representatives and messangers in Middle-Earth.

    Now, the Valar practice a non-interference policy on Middle-Earth since after the War of Wrath when they trounced Morgoth, Sauron's old master, for good until the Apocalypse. They do this partially because they feel they've screwed up too many times to trust their own judgement with humans and partially because their interference tends to shift continents and blow up mountains. So in the Third Age they simply sent the Istari, the five Wizards, to inspire the peoples of Middle-Earth to stand on their own.

    Basically, the Eagles only act when specifically dictated by the Valar, and they won't involve themselves in this Ring-business at all, since it's a problem of the Free People's of Middle-Earth who should do things on their own and not rely on Deus ex Machina all the time. There are also purely practical issues at play; the Eagles aren't physically strong enough to carry people over continents, they can be corrupted by the One Ring as well as any other intelligent creature and they can be spotted and attacked by the servants of Sauron. But it's the non-interference policy that their erratic appearances usually relate to; they only come about once the real work has been done as a sign of support and gratitude from above.
  • Furrama
    Thank you very much. That is pretty interesting, that they basically act as angels.

    Still, it is too bad the movie never takes a moment to explain it... or write it out and come up with something else.
  • Lyaso  - Sorry this took so long
    So, the great eagles in the Tolkienverse, the ones which we are dealing with, are not simply animals. The original line starting with Thorondor were either lesser spirits, like Maiar, taking animal form or else existing creatures that were given greater life by Eru, like Ents. The eagles were essentially vassals to the head Valar on Arda, Manwe, and he used them in battle sparingly. Mostly, they were his eyes and ears.

    Though it is not known to what extent the eagles still communicated with Manwe after the sundering of Middle Earth and Valinor in the second age, what is known is that Manwe would not directly act against Sauron. Even the sending of the Istari was tertiary assistance at best, and none of the plot relevant actions taken by the eagles in both the Hobbit or LotR were direct attacks against Sauron, as taking the ring to Mordor would have been.
  • Divide By Zero
    I never had a problem with the eagles. Having them fly into Mordor before the events of the movies always seemed to me like it would have been a suicide run. I mean, they had freaking pterodactyl monsters in there.

    "... it was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned fingers; and it stank. A creature of an older world maybe it was ..."
  • lordpants
    I think that the "They are gay" shines more a light on our culture then it does on what is going on in the movie. Sharing emotions isn't manly and being gay isn't manly so if they show emotions they must be gay! Being gay and being manly much like emotions and being manly aren't mutually exclusive.
  • pomaflah
    They are not gay! Seriously, do men not hug in your part of the world? They do in mine, and they hold hands to dance, and they take care of small children. Admittedly I've never seen them kiss, but that's just a cultural thing.
    I think the reason girls get a free pass on the homosexuality thing is that they don't really have a sexual orientation. Girls' friendships are much deeper in childhood and can be pretty physical and emotional. My best friend and I love each other and we hug when we avoid danger narrowly. Girls are allowed more freedom than boys are with regard to friendship.
  • TheYetti
    Meh to say Harry's ending is hallow and that he hasn't changed isn't really correct. Mind you I'm speaking as a fan of the book series and if you just meant as someone who only saw the movies, yes the ending rings emptily. However in the books its a little different.

    Harry does change in the books, something fierce. And round about books four and five when the shit starts really hitting the fan, we see that trauma start to take effect. Harry becomes angry and at points obsessive. He's completely unable to walk away from things or to leave things alone because its more or less the key to his survival. the reason why Harry isn't effected like Frodo at the end of his story is that Harry has died. He's seen the other side and he doesn't have to worry so much about it anymore, whereas Frodo still bears the scars from his journey.

    Its just unfair to compare the stories as Frodo's begins when he is unscared and innocent and its him having to get scared and less innocent as the story moves on. Where Harry is already marked and scared and his story is learning to deal with the scars he pretty much always had.

    Harry's ending, is the affirmation and optimism that he did learn how to manage that weight of destiny and suffering. That he learned to bear his trauma and move on. And I think that's just as poignant as Frodo's tale.
  • The NPC
    If she watched the special features or researched the time that it was written then she should know Exactly what the relationship between Frodo and Sam is. Why dance around?
  • LordNifty
    The thing about sci-fi/fantasy, at least nowadays, is that if two characters can be "shipped" by fans, they will be, regardless of gender.
  • Falconfly
    @NPC: Because frankly it only makes things more confusing.

    Tolkien described Sam as defending Frodo with the same emotions as an animal defending it's mate. What the hell are we supposed to think?
  • pomaflah
    That Sam loves Frodo. Not that they're in love.
  • ManWithGoodTaste
    I know you like to hate on the HP movies, Lindsay, but... please don't hate on the books.

    At least not on camera.

    P.S. Daily (not really) reminder: Elijah Wood voiced Spyro in the reboot trilogy.
  • MavenCree
    LOL! Secret lovers!

    OMG! Rantasmo!!!! Sweet cameo!
  • Dacilriel
    Interesting point about how the different characters reacted to the situation being hopeless. One of the sources Tolkien drew from for inspiration was Norse mythology. In that tradition it was flat-out stated that defeat was inevitable; no matter how many battles were won, eventually Ragnarok would come and the gods would fall and everyone would die. The point was that true heroism was fighting on anyway and not giving up.
  • Evershear
    Very excellent Ending to a great review series.

    I think any gay sub text in the book is unintentional, I can't say for the movie.
  • The_Masked_Donut
    Damn, I was going to rush and defend my fandom of Harry Potter, but "TheYetti" kinda said everything I'd need to.

    I guess I'll reemphasize that Harry's arc took place over a period of years, and throughout it, the events that occured to him, and the traumas and friendships he's lost have had their effect on him, just not at the very end.

    I'll also add that Frodo and his three friends return to the Shire and everyone else there will never understand what they went through. Harry on the other hand, it was the whole wizarding world going at it, so once all was said and done, the survivors in the wizarding world can relate because they had lived through the crisis in some form or other, rather then The Shire being isolated somewhere.

    Also, while I find your videos fascinating, and look forward to seeing each one, I still don't like Lord of the Rings. Sorry.
  • pomaflah
    Plus Harry had Neville, which everyone seems to forget. Neville went through the same things he did, fought the same battles, and ended up with a similar life. I think Harry and Neville probably helped each other afterward.
  • MavenCree
    Actually most die hard (and I mean us crazy ones), Harry Potter fans have an expression: EWE. It stands for "Epilogue? What Epilogue?" As far as we're concerned the book ends after the battle dénouement. The friggin 19yrs later, doesn't exist.

    Hell, even JK Rowling has said that hated doing it, but she knew that if she didn't say what happened to Harry, she'd be hounded about it until the day she died.
  • Divide By Zero
    One of my all time pet peeves. The flash forward. So few films or books manage to pull it off without it seeming like a massive let down. Like they're saying "Oh.... and then they lived boringly ever after. Never did anything else. Nope. Just got old. Good for them."
  • pomaflah
    That's exactly what she meant by it. She's not writing any more, so she just ends it.
  • pomaflah
    I loved the epilogue. The happily ever after ending is emotionally satisfying for the teens who grew up with Harry (also he gets kids! yay!).
  • MavenCree
    I can't get "Secret Lovers" out of my head now. Thx.
  • Ironman44
    I am so sick of people saying that the Eagles are Deus Ex Machina. If the Fellowship and the Eagles just started flying over Mordor with Sauron's entire army there and his Ring Wraiths with their nazhgul they would have been shot out of the sky. There is a major difference with the Eagles showing up with the armies of men fighting Sauron's army at the Black Gate then in the Fellowship flying over the gate with the entire army there.
  • thatchickwithlonghair
    Eh, comparing Frodo and Harry isn't that fair.

    Frodo lived a happy, peace-filled life in the Shire with his uncle for many years. Harry's entire life was practically hell outside of Hogwarts...and eventually that turned into hell too.
    Kid deserves a break, if you ask me. XD

    "Who cares? You liked Frodo and Sam's relationship."

    DAMN STRAIGHT, YES. Be it romance or bromance, it didn't matter; it was f*cking amazing and beautiful and touching and I sobbed like a baby when they had to be separated at the end. ;_; I agree with your friend; FrodoxSam IS so much better than AragornxArwen. XD

    Yeah, TBS's "GAAAAAY!!!" LOTR commercials were totally hilarious. XD

    My favorite moment though is when Frodo collapses and Sam says "I can't carry for you but I can carry YOU". And the music for the ending song "Into The West" swells dramatically as he picks up Frodo and starts walking up that mountain. OH MY GOD.
    That has to be one of the most beautiful moments in cinema...
  • LikaLaruku
    The Sackville Baggins' were the Dursleys.
  • pomaflah
    Except that Bilbo would never let them near Frodo, and Frodo was an adult when Bilbo left.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    Why didn't they use the eagles to destroy the Ring?

    Simple: had the eagles carried the Ring to Mordor, they would have been spotted by the Nazgul fell-beasts, and Sauron would have won. The end!
  • metalmaiden
    Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the greatest movie of all time in my opinion. It has a few flaws (Sam punching Gollum is not one of them because it actually makes sense) but in the end they are completely overshadowed by the brilliance of the entire movie and its spectacle.

    The scene with Sam holding Frodo and saying, "I may not be able to carry it for you, but I can carry you" is probably one of the greatest cinematic moments of all time. The idea that they are gay goes to show that people simply don't understand. Ever had a best friend that you could tell anything to, trust with anything, and get mad at even though in the end it won't matter because you accept and understand each other? Well I have a best friend like that and that is exactly what Frodo and Sam have. I do know that some people might not get this, but you don't need to fuck someone in order to get close to them. Kissing a best friend on the cheek or head is a sign of affection and closeness...your not making out with the guy for crying out loud! Is the world population really that shallow?
  • cosmosblue772
    The Harry Potter series is more or less a children's series, and not to say that the books ended simply, but anything besides a happy ending would of just been weird and kind of depressing considering all the shit Harry had to go through. And who's to say that he hadn't changed, admittedly the last movie didn't do the greatest job in showcasing this and really comparing LOTR movies with the HP movies is really comparing a Ford with a Ferrari. They satisfy different kinds of people, but both have their merits. Really HP is what it is, and for what its worth they did a thoroughly decent job of adapting the HP books, but admittedly they skimp immensely in the end. Seriously they didn't even change Radcliffe's eye color post production. WTF?
  • venkarl
    OK, so the mission to destroy the Ring was a stealth mission, right? The whole thing hinged on Sauron not knowing about it, after all. You know what's not stealthy? Giant fucking eagles. Riding the eagles into Mordor is the absolute LAST thing they would want to do. I don't get why people keep saying that's a plot hole. It makes perfect sense if you put a tiny bit of thought into it.

    The homoerotic subtext was obviously unintentional, at least on Tolkien's part. The filmmakers might have played it up a little, not that it really hurt anything. I agree that it's nice to see a movie that's not afraid to show a bunch of guys genuinely caring about each other.

    I think the ending was exactly as long as it needed to be, and every scene was necessary to wrap up the story. That said, your little gag of it made me laugh.

    So... yeah, I guess we're done here. Thanks for reviewing these, Lindsay. I really got a kick out of it.
  • HistoricNerd
    I would argue that the story of lord of the rings is more about bonds made by men in the trenches of conflict and the inability of Veterans to return back to the societies that forced them fight. Considering that Tolkien was a World War one Veteran his relationships with his war buddies must have been seriously deep, and had to have impacted the manner in which he wrote the relationship of Sam and Frodo. Allegory of WWI and the rejection of innocence that followed.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    Not only that, but much of the imagery he employed in his books was directly inspired by the horrors of war he experienced. Like the Dead Marsh and the Barrow Wights - both inspired by sights he had seen of mangled corpses on the battlefield (or in a lake, in case of the former).
  • ReckoningReviewer
    Yes, the reviews have reached their pinnacle and I have to say nicely done. The multiple endings thing you used here is really creative.

    But please do us a favor. Never ever EVER bring back the gay guy. That was just uncomfortable as hell!
  • cosmosblue772
    Rantasmo is actually a really funny and insightful reviewer. Seriously check out his series Needs More Gay on blip, its hilarious.
  • Flaregun
    I find the ridiculously detailed behind-the-scenes stuff at best a mixed blessing. Yes, all the details are absolutely fascinating, but these films are ones I find myself wanting to go back to from time to time (actually, it's worked out to be about every other Christmas season for some reason) and knowing all the little tricks & details of what's a model & what's CG & how they did that forced perspective shot takes a lot of the magic out of it. It's hard to give in to the power & majesty of Oz once you've seen the little guy frantically pulling levers behind the curtain.
  • Mischi
    Yeah, I see that point. Having the magic spoiled isn't for everyone. I can only say, that I love the hell out of these extras. Coming from actors to miniatures and that stupid voice of Richard Taylor. I even loved the stuff about clothes and horses. But it really isn't for everyone-
  • Nykk
    I thought you were going to pull a Ferris Bueller at the very end.

    "What? The review's over. Go home."
  • leviadragon99
    Mm, yeah I don't really care either way about homoerotic subtext in the lord of the rings, if it's there it's there, if it isn't, it isn't. Doesn't really add or take away much either way.

    And that is a very good point about showing the lasting trauma from the events the characters lived through, that does give it a bit more weight.
  • Warp
    You know that picture of dolphins that are in a shape that strongly resembles a couple embracing each other? They say that children only see the dolphins while adults see the couple having sex.

    This "hobbits are gay" thing is like that to me. I swear I had never heard or thought about that in relation to this movie until I saw this review. It never even crossed my mind in any way, shape or form. And I have seen the trilogy a half dozen times. Yet I have always only seen the dolphins, nothing more.

    I think it's sad when we live in a culture where males cannot express their friendship without being immediately laughed at. (And I don't mean that there's anything wrong in being gay. I mean that it's a rather distorted way of interpreting emotions and friendship.)
  • itstheblueguy
    Very good point at the end. And yes, the Frodo and Sam relationship, whatever it was, was pretty awesome.

    Don't know if the whole "traumatized for life" thing would have worked on Harry Potter though, since his journey is a different kind. (Actually, in some ways its the exact opposite of Frodo's.) Harry is trying to belong from the start of the series through most of it, as though his parents' death has left him the odd man out to some extent no matter where he is. He's trying to call back pieces of them throughout the series, but (spoiler) when he "dies" himself, he sort of learns to accept death and see life as a both a gift and just a small part of the picture.

    Frodo is right at home at the start of the story, but then he's asked to learn to separate from that. This would be a healthy journey (as it was for Bilbo), except then he's asked to sacrifice it completely, taking the full burden of the ring upon himself in isolation, so unlike the other three, his connection to "home" has been completely warped by the end. He has to leave at the end to try and find a new one.
  • plankton
    Overall I thought 90% of the changes from the books made sense and made the movies better, but some of the remaining 10% were pretty bad. The treatment of Denethor, Faramir and Arwen's illness being some of the worst changes.

    While book Faramir might not have worked on film as is, the movie Faramir made even less sense. The thing that makes him change his mind is seeing Frodo offer the ring to a ringwraith! If anything that should have made him want to take the ring to Minas Tirith even more. The movie character made no sense whatsoever. If they wanted to make him add some forced PJ drama, they needed to come up with some valid reason for him to change his mind. If they wanted to "redeem" him in the third movie, they should have not made him out to be an asshole in the 2nd one.

    The relationship between Frodo and Sam in the books is basically the relationship between an officer and his batman, or a nobleman and his valet. Those concepts aren't really familiar us today anymore, but they would have been for Tolkien. There is some gay subtext in the movie, but who cares. The relationship between them was beautiful.

    I feel like Frodo's ending reflects Tolkien's own experiences after coming home from the war. I liked that Frodo didn't get a pure happily ever after, and that part of the multiple endings was definitely needed.
  • BB Shockwave
    Agreed. I liked the actor playing Faramir, but man, he did get stupid plots. I also hated the whole "sending him to die" plot. In the book, Faramir already arrives to Gondor injured, and Denethor actually realises he has another son due to this...

    Denethor hurt more - this madman Noble played does not inspire respect, so Pippin following him and offering his services made no sense. In the books he is stern and commanding despite his obvious madness, here he is just a bad joke - especially when Gandalf beats him around with his staff and no-one stops him? Really?

    I won't even mention small things like Aragorn killing the Mouth of Sauron when he was alone and came to parlay. Some lawful ruler he is..
  • sunnyl
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