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.
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).
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?