HoLOTR Marathon Part 4

June 15, 2022 at 9:51 pm (Uncategorized)

The Hobbit trilogy: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Opening voiceover by Galadriel, with epic battles.

It’s 9:30am on Wednesday, and I’m finally watching the Lord of the Rings.

Also, moving furniture today: a table, a couch, a big chair, and two fridges. Another task not entirely suited to someone with a disability, but it’s not like disabled people can afford to pay others to do stuff like this.

Huh. It’s amazing to see Ian Holm as young Bilbo, with a tiny section of the cave scene with Gollum, after seeing the full scene with Martin Freeman so recently.

And then Bilbo’s home, which is oh so familiar, and feels just the same even though the whole set had to be rebuilt for the Hobbit films.

Such a contrast from the ‘true’ opening, with Bilbo’s narration which is fantastic. It’s incredibly warm and lovely and funny.

The battle scene opening is grand, and gives much-needed perspective. But it’s the hobbits that win your heart.

These movies do fit together beautifully. “The incident with the dragon” indeed! That line is even better than it was before, which is a mighty feat. And Bilbo telling the story of the trolls—not quite accurate, but Bilbo’s obviously told this story so many times he knows exactly how it works best. And we care so deeply for Bilbo after the Hobbit trilogies that everything he does and says has a deeper impact.

Oh my goodness, little Elijah Wood and his giant blue eyes. He really is a bush baby. He was 17 for a good chunk of these movies, so I won’t talk about the crush I had on him any more (he’s a year older than me in real life so naturally as a teen I was obsessed with him, and I maintain an ongoing crush for the actor since he remains both incredibly pretty and incredibly talented). I expect Lizzie will fall for bush baby Frodo once she’s old enough to actually see these films.

So glad the extended version includes the hobbits getting drunk and singing on tables.

Gandalf definitely sent Sam with Frodo to be Frodo’s Bilbo—to be the antidote to the corruption of the ring. And a good thing too.

Oh, that scenery. Worth the price of admission all on its own.

Saruman’s part is also deeper because of the Hobbit trilogy. To see this great good turned evil hurts much more than meeting him pre-evilled. Speaking of pain, the wizard vs wizard fight really hurts to watch. The squeak of bare skin scraped along a polished floor…. *shudder*

Those ring-wraiths scared me so much the first few times I saw this.

Hello, Peter Jackson cameo. And a buuurp to you too.

Nice to see the (presumably) descendant of the same black bar-cat as in the Hobbit.

Hello, Aragorn. My teenage self will fall for your stubbly, unwashed, stinking-of-horse self soon enough. And with every rewatch my affection for you will grow. Including this one. Another actor with extraordinary subtleties of facial expression that I most definitely did not pick up at nineteen.

Love the inclusion of the bog/bugs/Aragorn hunting and singing scene.

I love that Saruman has to wrap up warmly after speaking to his eyeball friend.

This scene of the ring-wraiths attacking the hobbits on the tower is exquisite. And Aragorn takes an already-brilliant scene up a notch.

And I’m genuinely stressed out about Frodo’s safety right now. And so is Aragorn.

Aw, uruk-hai being born! Sweet little murder-babies.

Hello again stone trolls!

Elf flirting is highly dangerous. (But totally worth it. Just ask Aragorn.)

FINALLY a romantic couple in a movie who don’t waste time chatting each other up in the middle of an action scene—but we can still see their affection easily enough.

Oh my goodness. The horse chase scene is excellent too.

Hello, excellent moment at the river. Or three excellent moments, if you count them like so:


-Ta-ta for now, ring-wraiths!

-“What grace I have, let it pass to him.”

Oh, I just realised I know exactly where this disc ends: with the freshly-formed fellowship.

Hello again Bilbo. I too would quite like a writers’ retreat in Rivendell, although I imagine with all the water features I’d have to go to the bathroom every three seconds. Worth it.

Elrond: “Nine companions… you shall be the fellowship of the ring.”

Pippin: “Where are we going?”

*end disc 1*

Hello again, Sting. Chris owns a replica. I’ll post a photo sometime in this marathon.

SCARY BILBO! After watching the Hobbit trilogy, this moment of terror breaks your heart.

As the fellowship departs Rivendell, Arwen looks pissed and sulky. I’d be pissed too if I’d FINALLY managed to get my 80 year-old boy toy to get together with me and then he ran off to go and probably get himself killed.

Men! Amirite?!

Hello, Fellowship of the Ring musical theme. You will never fail to make my heart leap.

Good to see Boromir teaching the Hobbits to sword-fight.

Hello, tentacle monster.

Oh, that subtle moment when the monster shoves aside the other hobbits and takes Frodo—because we don’t attack Frodo just because he’s the main character of this film; we attack him because he has the ring. Clever writing.

“It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand.” Yes, the exact moment when invisible, armed Bilbo chose not to kill Gollum was played out in the Hobbit films. Another moment that makes the world better because of its existence.

Other than the many one-liners, this advice by Gandalf to choose what one does with the time given to them is the most-quoted part of the whole film series. It shows up on facebook a lot.

But it’s not the most inspiring part, to me. The most inspiring part of both trilogies is that, over and over again, when there is no hope of either success or survival, the heroes of these films keep going.

As a clinically depressed person (and unlikely to ever recover fully) that means a great deal. Hope, even false or fatalistic hope, is extremely valuable. Or the afterglow of watching these films, which typically lasts a few days.

And hello, dead Balin. We grieve for you now along with Gimli, because we know you.

From grief and horror to Pippin’s accidental dumping of a body down a well oh so noisily, to a fantastic action scene, to the bridge of Khazad-Dûm, to the balrog and then a fresher, deeper grief. Every moment is perfection:

Gandalf: “Fool of a Took!”

Boromir: “They have a cave troll.”

Gimli: “Let them come! There is one dwarf in Moria who still draws breath.”

Hello again, mithril shirt.

And finally: “Give them a moment, for pity’s sake!”

I’m really not getting much of anything done today. This film is so good. Hopefully later, between moving fridges *sigh*.

Ah, somewhat creepy Galadriel. I fell in love with Cate Blanchett because of this film, even though I think she is much better in other films (not her fault! Just the nature of the part. Never speak against Cate Blanchett).

And here in her magic water we get the only glimpse we ever see of the scouring of the Shire. I do like the film ending better, with the strange sensation of heroes returning to a place that barely notices they left at all. Sorry Tolkien. Both endings are powerful in their own way.

Gifts from Galadriel and the elves; thank you extended version.

Hello, giant Argonath statues. You are cool.

Boromir’s madness is done well, I think. And Frodo’s full bush baby look is gone forever.

From this moment on, everything is perfect. Aragorn’s faithfulness; Aragorn’s fight; Pippin and Merry’s courage; Legolas and Gimli and Aragorn fighting; Boromir saving Pippin and Merry—nearly; Boromir fighting on when he should be dead; the ancient statue behind him; the hobbits’ faces…..

Aaaand I need to go pick up the kids from school.

It’s 9:30pm, and I finally get to watch the last little bit.

Boromir is dying. I do love the man-on-man, often very physical, affection shown throughout all these films. It is a beautiful thing.

Frodo, at the water’s edge.

Sam, running to catch up to him.

That moment that drags on just a little too long for hope to endure, as Frodo lets Sam drown—and then reaches down for him, and drags him coughing and choking into the boat.

I only just realised that it’s Boromir’s love for his city and his people that finally gets Aragorn to face becoming king. And he is immediately changed for the better.

“Let’s go hunt some orc.”


And the final line of the movie:

“I’m glad you’re with me Sam.”

You guys, this film is SO GOOD.


  1. HoLOTR Marathon Part 5 | Felicity Banks said,

    […] Lord of the Rings Part 1 […]

  2. HoLOTR Marathon Part 6 | Felicity Banks said,

    […] Trilogy Part 1 Part […]

  3. Nigel said,

    I remain curious to know what a Stuart Townsend Aragorn would have been like, but I doubt it could have been better than the surprise one we got. I’d never heard of Viggo Mortensen until the announcement that he was picking up the role… and he became a revelation.

    Speaking of facial expressions, Boromir’s one with “They have a Cave Troll” line is glorious and hilarious. One of Sean Bean’s finest acting moments.

    I do think Galadriel and the offer of the Ring was a bit hammy. Not entirely sure how I think it *should* be depicted but that version… did not work for me. The Mirror itself though was very neatly done, as was the rest of the time in Lothlorien.

    Speaking of locations, I did love both Weathertop and Moria. The stair sequence in Moria was a bit unnecessary (and then repeated with goblins and ladders under the Misty Moutains) but the whine and smack of arrows was worth the hyperbole. But it’s the architecture and environments that did it for me at least as much as the action. That monolithic work of Men or Dwarves weathering ages. The aesthetics. The sense of space. And then our first glimpse of Durin’s Bane.

    And I totally agree with you in how they depict relationships between men.

  4. Felicity Banks said,

    I agree on all counts. Viggo Mortenson was a revelation; “They have a cave troll” is a perfect piece of acting, annoyed but not afraid; some things didn’t seem quite right; and the way they made the world feel already ancient and huge was truly excellent.

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