The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King  (2003)

8.9 / 10

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Country United States

Genre Drama, Fantasy, Adventure

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Trivia

Billy Boyd's singing scene largely came about because Philippa Boyens went for a night out at a karaoke bar with the younger male cast members and she was very struck by the quality of his voice. Remembering that Denethor asks Pippin to sing him a song when Faramir heads off to war, she resurrected the lyrics from the novel and Boyd himself came up with the tune for it.

Since John Rhys-Davies suffered constant rashes from wearing the Gimli make-up, the make-up department gave him the opportunity to throw his Gimli mask into the fire on his last day of pick-up photography. He didn't hesitate a moment to grab and burn it.

Great caution was taken for the scene where Faramir is dragged back to Minas Tirith on his horse. The filmmakers were afraid that the horse might suddenly start to run, dragging David Wenham behind it so a release system was built into the saddle. Wenham held a handle in his right hand, and if the horse started to run, he could simply pull it and be released from the stirrup. Fortunately, they ended up not needing it.

The dead oliphaunt carcass used in this film is reportedly the largest prop ever built for a motion picture. According to members of the prop department, director Peter Jackson still thought it could have been bigger.

Andy Serkis and Elijah Wood were each given prop rings by director Peter Jackson used in the movie. They both thought they had the only one.

The movie made a 1408% profit for New Line Studios on their initial outlay.

In the scene when Denethor attempts to burn Faramir on the pyre, the pyre could not truly be on fire because Gandalf's horse would not go near it. To solve this, the crew reflected a real fire onto a pane of glass in front of the camera so that it looks as though the pyre is burning.

Peter Jackson is arachnophobic and based the Shelob design on the types of spiders he feared the most.

To get enough extras for the Battle at the Black Gate, a few hundred members of the New Zealand army were brought in. They apparently were so enthusiastic during the battle scenes that they kept breaking the wooden swords and spears they were given.

Each of the cast members was given a gift on their last day of shooting, usually a prop that was significant to their roles. Miranda Otto received one of Eowyn's dresses and her sword, Liv Tyler received Arwen's "dying dress", Orlando Bloom got one of Legolas' bows.

Quotes

Sam: [Both are overcome by exhaustion]
Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?
Frodo: No, Sam. I can't recall the taste of food... nor the sound of water... nor the touch of grass. I'm... naked in the dark, with nothing, no veil... between me... and the wheel of fire! I can see him... with my waking eyes!
Sam: Then let us be rid of it... once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!

Galadriel: The power of the Three Rings is ended. The time has come... for the dominion of Men.
Elrond: [in Elvish]
The Sea calls us home.
Bilbo: [smiling]
I think I'm... quite ready for another adventure!
[Bilbo climbs on board with Elrond. Galadriel follows with Celeborn]

Gandalf: Farewell, my brave Hobbits. My work is now finished. Here at last, on the shores of the sea... comes the end of our Fellowship. I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.
[Heads to the ship, then turns around, waiting]

Gandalf: It is time, Frodo.
Sam: What does he mean?
Frodo: We set out to save the Shire, Sam. And it has been saved... But not for me.
Sam: [weeping]
You don't mean that. You can't leave.
Frodo: [hands Sam the Red Book]
The last pages are for you, Sam.

Aragorn: Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!*

[after Legolas single-handedly takes out an Oliphant and its drivers]

Gimli: That still only counts as one.

Gimli: Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an Elf.
Legolas: What about side by side with a friend?
Gimli: Aye. I could do that.

Gimli: Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?

Gandalf: I will not say "Do not weep", for not all tears are an evil.

Aragorn: [to Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry]
My friends. You bow to no one.
[He kneels, and the entire kingdom follows suit, kneeling to the Hobbits]

Frodo: [voiceover]
And thus it was. A fourth age of middle-earth began. And the fellowship of the ring... though eternally bound by friendship and love... was ended. Thirteen months to the day since Gandalf sent us on our long journey... we found ourselves looking upon a familiar sight. We were home. How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on... when in your heart you begin to understand... there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend... some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold. Bilbo once told me his part in this tale would end... that each of us must come and go in the telling. Bilbo's story was now over. There would be no more journeys for him... save one. My dear Sam. You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be and to do. Your part in the story will go on.

Pippin: I didn't think it would end this way.
Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... And then you see it.
Pippin: What? Gandalf?... See what?
Gandalf: White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
Pippin: [smiling]
Well, that isn't so bad.
Gandalf: [softly]
No... No it isn't.

Tech Specs

Languages: Old English, English, Quenya, Sindarin

Release Date: 03 Dec 2003 (United States) See more

Also Known As: AR See more

Filming Locations: Camperdown Studios, Camperdown Road, Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand See more