Journeying through Middle Earth again

The imminent arrival of the new Hobbit movie (part 1) to our cinemas has me indulging in yet another viewing of the movies that started it all: Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I love these movies.

lotr-Argonath

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Fellowship of the Ring. I went a couple of days after it came out, expecting it to be terrible. I was determined to see it, though, because it’s, well, fantasy and iconic fantasy at that. It absolutely blew me away, and I sat with a grin stretched from ear to ear. And saw it another three times in the cinema.

The entire trilogy is a masterpiece. How marvellous are the costumes, the props, the fantasy settings? How fantastic an interpretation of the story — all the stupid bits weeded out and the plot made slick?

These days I watch the special extended editions on DVD — I couldn’t count how many times. They never fail to uplift me. It’s classic epic fantasy at its absolute best.

I think Fellowship is my favourite of the three — I can’t go past the wonder I always feel on watching that movie. It’s more intimate than the others, and I enjoy the trials and tribulations of the fellowship. (On this most recent viewing I even gained a new perspective: some of those skirmishes are very like D&D battles!)

My favourite scene, however, comes from Return of the King. It’s the lighting of the beacons — when Pippin lights the beacon of Gondor and then, far off in the distance, another one is lit . . . and another . . . and another . . . until they get the message in Edoras. And, although I think it’s rather unlikely you’d have a couple of blokes shivering high up in the wind on the snowy mountain top, just in case they had to light a fire, this scene never fails to move me to tears.

Here it is.

There are other scenes I find inspiring too, including:

  • When Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf ride across the plains of Rohan towards Edoras after summoning Shadowfax (the combination of scenery and score is magnificent).
  • When the fellowship passes by the Argonath on their way down the river Anduril (the frequent reminders of an ancient civilisation gives the world of Middle Earth so much depth).
  • When Sam slings Frodo over his shoulder and carries him towards the mouth of Mount Doom (I think Sam is the true hero of LOTR!).
  • Pretty much any scene with Aragorn or Legolas in it (hehe).

lotr-rohan

I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of these movies. I really hope the Hobbit lives up to them, although I’m very skeptical about making such a small, simple book into three movies. Ah well, I’ll be of to see the Hobbit — An Unexpected Journey soon after it’s out, of that I’m sure!

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is my inspiration of the week. Any kindred spirits out there? What do you love about them, and what’s your favourite scene?

 

8 comments

  1. The 12 year old and I just finished reading The Hobbit together and plan to go see it tomorrow night. We’re sooo excited. I, too, am a little skeptical of turning it into three movies, but with Martin Freeman as Bilbo I think it’ll be amazing. (And, a certain classy British actor plays Smaug in the upcoming movies so, you know, there’s THAT to look forward to…) 😉

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  2. Fellowship is probably my favorite of the movies as well, simply for the immersion I experienced when I saw it. I completely lost track of time and story, and it came as a complete shock when the it ended and I had to leave the cinema.

    Favorite scene is the whole Helm’s Deep siege.

    Re-reading the Hobbit atm, and I’m starting to remember things that I had completely forgotten about, so I can see how they might be able to fill out three movies, but seems like a bit of a stretch. But hey, more fantasy movies can’t be a bad thing, right?

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    1. Right! The more fantasy – and the more seriously it’s taken – the better!
      Helms Deep, huh? Great stuff! Oh, it’s all brilliant 🙂
      I’m sure I’ll go back and read the Hobbit after seeing the first movie… Won’t be able to help myself.

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  3. I was SO skeptical when Fellowship first came out. Wouldn’t see it in the theater, but rented it one night and OMG it blew my mind. The moment on the bridge outside Moira where Gandalf says, “Fly, you fools. Fly,” was so different than I’d always heard it in my head while reading it, but so absolutely right, that I just lay on my living room floor with tears running down my face. Amazing!
    My fave of the three movies is actually The Two Towers – ironic b/c it’s my least favorite book. And am looking forward to seeing Fili and Kili, um, The Hobbit, very soon.
    Thanks for the memories, Ellen!

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  4. I’m cautiously excited about The Hobbit. On one hand, Richard Armitage! Sherlock-Smaug! On the other hand, THREE movies? Really? I’m afraid they’ve either added in a lot of material or the pacing is really going to lag.

    We watched The Two Towers–the Helm’s Deep cut last night. Epic fight scenes, how I love you!

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