The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition)

*Spoilers are contained in this post!

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has been a favorite film of mine since I was a child, hence the reason I had chosen to analyze the film. The adventure that one is led on through the movies is one that is unforgettable. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a story of epic battles, heroes , and sacrifice. However, out of the three movies included in the trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has held a special place in my heart for years.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was directed by Peter Jackson and was released in 2003. The film is a success in my own opinion, due to the story and how it was presented on the screen. The story had captured my attention and had allowed me to connect with characters within the story. Not only did the story transfer onto the screen beautifully, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King had won 11 Oscars, another 174 wins & 113 nominations, which in my opinion equals success.

Screenplay

The film’s screenplay was written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson. A detail of the script that I had noticed that was in the novel and included in the movie was the elvish used in the film, this was important due to the fact that there are multiple languages described or used in the film and trilogy. Another important detail of the film was the use of “slang” used within the script that fit the storyline and characters.

Camera Shot

A camera shot that was used in the film was the Crane or Boom shot. This shot can be seen in many of the battle scenes within the movie. An example of this camera shot can be seen multiple times in the scene, The Ride of the Rohirrim (1:33,2:25,2:52,4:08).

 

Scene Transitions

A transition that was used in the film was a Jump Cut and Dissolve, that was used many times throughout the movie. An example of this transition can be viewed in the scene Arwen’s vision (1:52-1:58). While many other examples of different transitions can be observed in the movie, the jump cut and dissolve transitions were a popular choice.

Éomer

Éomer is a Man of Rohan and was adopted along with his sister Éowyn by The King Théoden Rohan. Éomer was played by actor Karl Urban who portrayed this character wonderfully.  Karl Urban had given his talents to the film by bringing the ability to showcase bravely and heartbreak through the character on the screen and connect with the audience. The acting ability of Karl Urban can be seen in the scenes below, one showcasing the bravely of Éomer ( The Battle of the Pelennor Fields, 2:42) and the other heartbreak (Éomer finds Éowyn, 0:22-0:34).

 

Elven Cloaks

The symbolism in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King can not be understated. Many of the symbols that are present in all three movies of the trilogy can be tied together in the last installment of the trilogy. A major symbol that an audience member might pass over is the symbolic meaning behind the Elven Gifts from Lothlorien. The Fellowship received Elven cloaks that were given by the Lady Galadriel and the Lord Celeborn in the first installment of the trilogy,  The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The symbolic meaning behind the Elven cloaks were not the cloaks themselves but the Elven brooches that were used to fasten the cloaks. The Elven brooches can be seen on The Fellowship, they are a green leaf lined with silver. The importance behind the brooches can be seen in the trilogy, the character pippin had purposively dropped his brooch which was later found by Aragorn, another instance was when Pippin had found Mary’s cloak in the field after The Battle of the Pelennor Fields (Éomer finds Éowyn, 0:03-0:21).  The symbolic meaning behind these interactions was the fact that even apart, the Fellowship is connected by the Elven brooches.

Characteristic Sound/ Foley Artist

A characteristic sound that was manipulated by a foley artist was the Witch Kings scream (Minas Morgul, 2:32). This sound effect is has been present in all three films of the trilogy. David Farmer who was a sound designer on the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King had given an interview that had discussed the making of the Witch King scream (Minas Morgul, 2:32) in the film and how it was created.

 

Soundtrack

The music for the film was created by  Howard Shore who was the conductor/orchestrator of the film. The music was preformed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Voices, and the London Oratory School Schola. The music was originally scored for the film and trilogy. The song Use Well the Days by Annie Lennox was added onto the soundtrack for the film.

Minas Tirith

A setting of the movie that had caught my attention and had amazed me can be seen in the scene Minas Tirith. The amount of detail of Minas Tirith had caught me by surprise, the details can be seen as Pippin and Gandalf ride through Minas Tirith. The setting had made me think of the Minas Tirith as grand and beautiful. The size of the city along with the white stone had led me to the distinction of the Minas Tirith being grand. The way the city was presented in the movie brought hope to me as an audience member.

 

Character Design

An aspect of the film that had yet to be touch is the amount of detail that had gone into the hair, costumes, and makeup that was utilized in the film. An example of all three elements of the department can be seen in the elves. The hair of the elves are long and straight and appear elegant, that include a strand of hair on each side of the face the frame the individuals face. The costumes consist mainly of light colors that make the characters appear almost dreamy. The costumes consisted of long sleeves and headbands made of silver that shine in the light. While the makeup was utilized to make the characters appear youthful, not to mention the required pointy ears that are worn by all the elven characters. All these elements can be seen in Aragorn Coronation scene.

Resources:

“Howard Shore.” IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“Tolkien Gateway.” Elven Brooches. GNU Free Documentation License, 28 Aug. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Owen, Scott G. “Traditional Film Camera Techniques.” HyperGraph. N.p., 08 Feb. 2000. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Art-mus-thr200. “Introduction to Film.” ARTMUSTHR F200. N.p., 24 Apr. 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Isaza, Miguel. “David Farmer Special: The Lord of the Rings [Exclusive Interview].” Designing Sound. WordPress, 30 Sept. 2010. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Wikipedia contributors. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (soundtrack).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Sep. 2016. Web. 25 Sep. 2016.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“Éomer.” The One Wiki to Rule Them All. Commons Attribution-Share Alike, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

“Karl Urban.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

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4 thoughts on “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition)

  1. Very nice post! I’m a Lord of the Rings fan myself and I also did my blog on the LOTR movie series: The Fellowship of the Ring. You have provided wonderful detail along with motivating movie clips. The one comment that I have is that I would liked to have known exactly what the foley artist used to make the scream of the Witch Kings. Did they scrape something, like “nails on a chalk board” or did they use something else? I too, agree that this movie is unforgettable due to it’s epic battles and sacrifice. What I really admire is how all is put right at the end, just when you think all hope is lost, Good finally triumphs over Evil when the Eye of Sauron is snuffed out when Gollum falls in the magma of the volcano and the One Rind is destroyed! Your hyperlinks were awesome but I didn’t notice where you described the lighting in a scene. I have included a cool link about the Elvish language:

    http://www.arwen-undomiel.com/elvish/rotk.html

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  2. Excellent post, very well detailed and put together, and I appreciated the bevy of examples you provided, as well as the way in which they were presented. I loved that you picked the ‘witch’s scream’ for the distinct foley effect as that particular sound was always very disturbing to me, and it does an excellent job of making the mood even more dark and unnerving. The visuals in the movies were excellent, and I am with you in your admiration for the vivid and engaging ways that the characters are portrayed, and the very stylistic and beautiful ways the environments are imagined, even when they differ in some ways from the descriptions in the books. I wonder what Tolkein would feel watching his characters coming to life in this way, especially with the technology that Jackson had access to to bring them to the big screen. Tolkein was very staunch about ‘taking the magic seriously’, and he felt that stories can only be considered fantasy when they don’t question the internal logic. Jackson obviously took the role very seriously, but there are a few comedic moments peppered in the movies that I wonder what he would have thought of, or if he would have approved. Overall, wonderful portrayal, and a great choice! A very classic story portrayed in a very beautiful and accessible way. Awesome!

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  3. Oh my. Given the epicness of the LoTR/Hobbit movies, I knew there was a lot of work involved but when you really get down to the details, it is unbelievable the amount of work for any of these films. I have watched the extras on the dvds and I was in awe of the CGI work done in regards to Gollum as well as scenes with the massive amount of horses. Peter Jackson did an amazing job with all of these movies. Granted, I have my issues with things that were changed or left out but I do realize some things just wouldn;t translate over from the book. As well, if you included very detail, the movies would have been a lot longer than they were.
    If you are interested and like to read about some of this changes made, here is a neat link to read.
    Highlighted anchor text here
    (Also, for the record…there were no elves at Helm’s Deep. Sorry…it’s something I love to point out because most folks do not believe me. More than one person has read the books because of me saying that. )
    Thank you for a good and interesting post to read! I think it’s time for a Tolkien marathon for me!

    Like

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