|Peter Jackson Director||previously directed The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers|
The final installment in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Frodo must destroy the Ring of Power while Aragorn rallies the armies of Minas Tirith, and Rohan in a last ditch effort against the Dark Lord's army.
Andy Serkis was not the film-makers' first choice to play the real Smeagol at the beginning of the film. However, once they started considering other actors, they realized that Serkis was the natural choice.17 More Trivia
RETURN OF THE KING is a sequel to THE TWO TOWERS.3 More Movie References
24 More Quotes
[After Legolas single-handedly takes down an Oliphant] That still only counts as one!
|Elijah Wood||Frodo Baggins|
|Sean Astin||Samwise Gamgee|
|Orlando Bloom||Legolas Greenleaf|
|See Full Credits|
The story continues the plot of the first two Lord of the Rings movies but it starts out with how the creature Gollum first came into possesion of the Ring. In a flashback we see his friend Déagol finding the Ring on a river bed while fishing, Gollum (then called Smeagol) demanded the Ring as his birthday present. When Déagol refused, Gollum killed him and hid the body, taking the Ring for himself. From here we are brought back to present time and where the story concentrates on 3 different strands; Frodo and Sam, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, and Gandalf.
In the Return of the King, Frodo and Sam are continuing the quest of destorying the Ring. They
are led by their guide Gollum through Minas Morgul on the way to Mt. Doom while Gollum trys to force Frodo and Sam apart so he can have his 'precious; again. He plays them off each other until he eventually convinces Frodo that Sam wants the ring for himself. Frodo sends Sam back home as he believes he can't trust him and continues with Gollum to Mount Doom. Now that Gollum finally has Frodo alone and has won his trust he leads Frodo to Shelobs lair. On his way home Sam finds bread that Gollom threw away and caused and arguement between himself and Frodo, realising that Gollom had been tricking them the whole time Sam raced back the way he came to fight off Shelob and find what he thought was a dead Frodo. He took the Ring to finish the mission and quickly scatters after hearing the voices of nearby Orcs.
The Orcs declare that Frodo has only been poisened by Shelob and carry him away to their Tower at Cirith Ungol. Here Sam rescues Frodo, restoring both his sword, Sting, and the Ring to him. They disguise themselves in Orc armour and begin the final leg of the journey to Mount Doom, while being secretly followed by Gollum. After finally reaching the mountain, Frodo passes out
with exhuastion and Sam carries him up to Sammath Naur, or the Crack of Doom to destory the Ring. As Frodo is about to throw the Ring into the Lava it finally consumes him and he can't destory it. Instead he puts it on and claims it for himself.Horrified at his his 'precious' being claimed by another person, Gollum leaps at Frodo biting his finger off and getting the Ring, after a struggle both Frodo and Gollum fall over the ledge. Frodo manages to grab the ledge and is rescued by Sam while Gollum and the Ring fall into the lava which destorys both of them. At the destruction of the Ring Mount Doom erupts, the Dark collapses and Sauron fades away to nothing. Meanwhile Frodo and Sam are rescued by Gandalf and the Great Eagles.
When we first meet out heroes they are traveling with Gandalf to Isengard to meet with the now imprisoned Saruman.
Here they learn that the Dark Lord Sauron is readying his army for their final strike. After they travel to Edoras, the capital ciity of Rohan, for a feast in celebration of the victory at Helm's Deep. It is here that Aragorn meets Éowyn, the niece of King Théoden and a love interest of Aragorn. Éomer volunteers Legolas and Gimli into a drinking game which Legolas duly wins after Gimli passes out. Outside the hall Legolas is joined by Aragorn as he is gazing out across the land, knowing that the Eye of Suaron is moving to its next target as they speak. Later when Aragorn spies the lit beacons signiling Gondor's cry for help, Kinf Théoden decides that the Rohirrim are to gather at Dunharrow, where they will prepare for war. At the camp Elrond informs Aragorn that Arwin has choosen a mortal life with him over an immortal life with the Elves. He also gives him the reforged Narsil under the name Andúri and tells him that he must venture into the Paths of the Dead in order to gain the help of the cursed Army of the Dead. At the camp Éowyn professes her love for Aragorn and tries to convince him to bot to go but Aragorn refuses, knowing what Arwin has done and heads into the mountains with Legolas and Gimli.
As the 3 head into the mountains Gimli becomes increasingly uneasy at the idea of what they are about to do. Inside the mountains the hunters are attack by a group of The Army of the Dead, Aragorn deflects an attack from the King of the Dead with Andúri. The King realises that Aragorn is a heir of Isildur and Aragorn calls upon them to repay the debt they own after abandoning Isidur in the Last War to the Alliance. They then capture the ships of the Corsairs of Umbar, men allied to Sauron, who were supposed to launch a suprise attack on Minas Tirith. They quickly sail to Minas Tirith where Saurons forces are trying to capture the City. They help launch a surprise counter attack, joining the Rohirrim and the Gondorians, and the Army of the Dead quickly help win the battle. After the battle Gimli suggests keeping the Army of the Dead and not lifting their curse but Aragorn holds the Army's debt repaid and frees them from Isidur's curse. Gandalf realises that the rest of Sauron's forces are on the path between Cirith Ungol and Mount Doom, the path that Frodo needs to cross in order to destroy the Ring, so Aragorn leads all the remainiing men to the Black Gate to engage Sauron's forces and distract Sauron's eye atop the Dark Tower and allow Frodo to slip by unnoticed. The men face an impossible task as they are vastly outnumbered by Sauron's forces but fight on nonetheless. As the Ring falls into the lava at Mount Doom and the Ring is destroyed the Dark Tower and the ground around the Men of the West which the Orcs are standing on falls into a gaping chasm, kiiling the rest of Sauron's army.
the control of the Ents, to meet with Saruman. After Gandalf breaks Saruman's staff in a fight and the confrontation ends with Wormtongue, Saruman's spy in Edoras, fatally stabs Saruman and he falls from the top of his tower. After he is dead Pippin finds the Palantír, a communication device that Saruman used to spy on the Fellowship, but Gandalf takes it off him to keep in safe care. Gandalf then returns to Edoras with the rest of the group to for the celebration feast for the victory at Helm's Deep. Pippin, who had become fasinated with the Palant ír since he first found, steals it from Gandalf while he sleeps. He gazes into the ball and is spied by the Eye of Sauron and is pyschically interogated. After being freed from its grasp by Gandalf and Aragorn, he is forced to tell them what he revealed to Sauron about Frodo and the Ring. Through the pyschic link, Pippin says he say a white tree burning in a courtyard which Gandalf declares to be evidence of Sauron's plans to attack Gondor. It is decided in the morning that Sauron will try and come after Pippin, so to protect him and warn Gondor of the oncoming attack, Gandalf rides with Pippin to Minas Trith. Before he leaves he tell King Théoden and Aragorn to be ready for war if they see the beacons of Gondor alight. Merry is angry at Pippen for being so foolish as to take the Palantír from Gandalf but he is ultimately heartbroken as he sees his best friend ride away on Shadowfax. After arriving in Minas Trith we see Gandalf and Pippin ride up its 7 levels to where the throne room is.
On the 7th level Pippen sees the white tree from his vision and Gandalf tells him that Gondorians believe that it will flower once again when the King of Gondor returns. Gandalf tries to convince Denethor, the steward of Gondor, to call to Théoden and the Riders of
Rohan for help but he refuses. While Pippen pledges his loyalty to Gondor for the heroic actions of Boromir, Denethor's son, at Amon Hem which saved Merry's and Pippen's lives. That night as Pippen prepares his armour, Gandalf tells him of the impeding evil, how Sauron will not only send Orcs but also great beasts and monsters and also his greatest servant - the Witch King of Angmar, Nazgûl and leader of the Ringwraiths who stabbed Frodo atop Weathertop. Gandalf then secretly tells Pippen ot light the beacon of Gondor to call for help from the Riders of Rohan. After an attack on the Orcs Faramir, another of Denethor's sons, falls unconsious and is captured by the Orcs. After his body has been recovered Denethor believes in is dead and begins to cremate his body. Pippin realises that Faramir is still alive after checking his wounds and warns Gandalf of this. After saving Faramirs life, Gandalf assumes the role of general and tells the city to ready for battle as the Sauron's forces begins to attack the city. As the battle wears on Sauron's army breach the city's walls and. the outcome is looking dour for the Gondorians until at sunrise Théoden and the Riders of Rohan arrive. Then Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli arrive with the Army of the Dead and win the battle for the Men of the West. After the battle Gandalf realises that for Frodo to succeed they will need to distract the Eye of Sauron and the remaining forces in Mordor. Gandalf joins Aragorn as he marches with the remaining forces to Mordor for the final confrontation.
After Frodo destoyed the Ring and Sauron was defeated, Frodo and Sam are rescued by Frodo and the Great Eagles. They wake up in Minas Trith where Aragorn is coronated as King of Gondor and is reunited with his true love Arwin. Everntually the Hobbits return to The Shire,
where Sam marries Rosie and has a baby boy they name Frodo. Frodo who can not return to normal life after the psychological damage, that his journey has caused him, leaves Middle - Earth with Biblo, Gandalf, Elrond, Celeborn and Galadriel at Grey Havens sailing to a new life in the Undying Lands.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King employed similar special effects and techniques introduced in the first two films.
To portray the difference in size between the Hobbits and Dwarves in comparison with the Humans, Elves and other taller races, the filmmakers employed several different techniques. Firstly, they created two different scales of sets for some locations - such as Bag End - and shot the scenes with taller characters in the smaller set to make them appear bigger while separately filming the Hobbits in the bigger set, making them seem smaller. They also used a technique called "forced perspective," making the Hobbits kneel down or stand or sit further from the camera to make them seem smaller.
The creators also had a miniature team in order to construct 1:4 miniature models of certain sets that were used for grand-scale shots. In total, 72 models were produced including models of Helm's Deep, Minas Trith, the Dark Tower and the Black Gate.
Animation was also used throughout the movie to create the various beasts. Beasts created included the Great Eagles, Shelob, Wargs and Olephaunts. Animation played a key part in the creation of Gollum throughout the entire series. Two shots were taken of every scene in which he is featured. In one, Andy Serkis played Gollum when filming while in another he wasn't portrayed in the scene. Then he was motion captured to create the basis for the Gollum character. Often due to the other actor's better performances in the scenes with Serkis portraying Gollum on set, Jackson chose those scene and had the technical team remove him from the scene and put the animated CG Gollum in his place.
The Return of the King currently stands 6th in the list of the highest grossing films of all time, though these numbers are definitely skewed by inflation. It became the second film, after Titanic, to break the $1 billion mark. Its earnings helped make The Lord of the Rings the most successful trilogy of all time, earning just under $3 billion. This put it ahead of other famous trilogies such as the original Star Wars and Godfather trilogies.
The Return of the King is one of the most succesful movies of all time in the Academy Awards. It was nominated for 11 awards - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Song, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Desgin, Best Make-up, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. It won all 11 awards putting it equal with Ben Hur and Titanic for most Academy Awards won for a single movie. It is also the only film, of those three, to win an Oscar for its screenplay.
While the film as a whole was an astounding success at the Oscars, none of the cast earned a nomination. This was the first time in eight years that the Best Picture winner didn't receive an acting nomination.
The movie didn't only enjoy success at the Academy Awards, it recieved worldwide recognition, winning 4 Golden Globes, 5 BAFTAs, 2 MTV Movie Awards, 2 Grammys, 9 Saturn Awards among others. Worldwide, it won 117 awards and recieved 68 other nominations, making it the most successful fantasy movie ever.
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|Name||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|
|US Release||Dec. 17, 2003|
|UK Release||Dec. 17, 2003|
|AUS Release||Dec. 26, 2003|
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|Alias(es)||Lord of the Rings 3
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|The Lord of the Rings|
|The Return of the King|
|The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring|
|The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers|
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