Top 10 Moments From the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy
Ten years ago, Peter Jackson swept us away into a world that no one could ever forget. Middle Earth became iconic instantly. From the Shire to Mordor, audiences everywhere fell in love with the hobbits, the men, the elves, the dwarves, and the wizards and embarked on a journey that would change cinema forever. Fellowship of the Ring turns ten this year and to celebrate I have a countdown of the top ten moments from the trilogy. Ironically enough, exactly a year from today, we will return to Middle Earth with The Hobbit, which will likely give us a whole new list of moments. Until then this one will have to do.
After over an hour of hobbits being chased by Nazgul, we finally got to sit down and observe all the other cultures of Middle Earth interact and fight over what should be done with the One Ring. This scene sets up events and themes that would carry through to the end of the series. It also established the legendary fellowship that accompanied Frodo on his epic quest.
Who would have thought that after all the epic fighting at Helm’s Deep we would get another battle between Orcs and well, trees? The Ents are going to war in this brilliant sequence. Isengard is flooded and Saruman is defeated. After all the war and destruction happening to the race of men, this was a nice pick-me-up to end the second film.
Arwen is the first female hero we are introduced to in the trilogy, and it is done so with enormous style. As all nine ringwraiths chase her and Frodo down, she casts a spell on a river causing several huge horses made out of water to come crashing down towards the black riders. It is one of the best displays of power in the entire trilogy and a standout moment for the elven beauty.
The second film brought Gollum out in full force as he is coerced into showing Frodo and Sam the way to Mordor. But what is more interesting is this mad creature’s struggle with himself. About half way through the film we get a wonderful scene of dialogue between Gollum and himself. They argue and show the insanity of this character in a disturbing albeit funny manner.
All the pieces are in place. The final battles against the forces of Sauron are about to begin. What better to hear than a harrowing speech from Aragorn that rivals Mel Gibson’s in Braveheart. The speech is inspiring and had audiences cheering and ready for a fight. It was a great way to start the climax of the trilogy.
Shortly after the fellowship left the elves they went into the mines of Moria and encountered the Balrog. To save the rest of the fellowship, Gandalf stood his ground and faced the beast on his own. This phrase has become iconic as well as one of the most parodied moments from the trilogy. But nothing measures up to Gandalf’s sheer stubbornness.
I could do a top ten list all of its own of this epic battle. To mention a few that would make it, watching the Nazgul descend on Minas Tirith, Denethor’s death, Gandalf explaining the afterlife to Pippin, Rohan’s charge, Eowyn killing the Witch King, and Legolas taking down an oliphant all on his own. All together we get one of the best battles ever seen on the big screen. It can only be topped by…
As far as on screen battles go, Helm’s Deep is the king, both in terms of scale and emotion. The build up to this fight was perfect. Seeds were planted from the beginning of the second movie that pointed to this conflict. Aragorn leads the forces of Rohan against the forces of Isengard in a bloody, brutal fight to the death.
The battle at Helm’s Deep is lost. Aragorn and Theoden plan to ride out and die with glory. Enter Gandalf with a whole lot of troops to save the day. The silence as the horses charge down the hill is jaw dropping. The music as the sunlight blares into the eyes of the enemy is goosebump inducing. This is the most epic moment in the trilogy and one of the most unforgettable visuals in all of cinema.
After all the battles are won and the ring is destroyed, Middle Earth can finally become a peaceful place. What better way to start that than under the rule of Aragorn, the man destined to be king of Gondor. Surrounded by his friends, Aragorn takes up this new mantle and makes a queen out of Arwen. But who can forget his touching “thank you” to the four hobbits. Just try and keep your tear ducts together, I dare you.
There you have it folks! Any moments you think should have been on this list? Sound off in the comments section!
photo credit: http://www.mckellen.com/galleries/74.htm