So, maybe a year ago, a friend asked my sister and I to write up a Lord of The Rings Movie Guide, complete with plot descriptions, character lists, background info, etc. etc. I just found that guide on my computer while backing up some files, and I figured I’d throw it up here. Consider it a Christmas gift. Sure, it may be nothing you asked for or needed, but it’s the spirit that counts, right? Right?
Snark and spoilers follow.
*Just to clarify. This is only about the Lord of the Rings films. I know little about the books, and I don’t care to know anymore about the books. Please don’t tell me about any book inaccuracies. I do not care. Also, spoilers for all of the films, like, massive, massive spoilers. This isn’t really a guide for people who haven’t seen the film, more for people who don’t remember exactly what happened, got a few characters confused, or just like to read my sarcastic commentary. I’ll just have to assume that last bit applies to all of you, since sarcastic commentary is pretty much what this blog is all about.*
Everything You Need to Know About LORD OF THE RINGS
The Short Short Version:
Frodo must destroy THE ONE RING to save the world.
Sauron is a dick, and he wants to rule Middle Earth (ie, the world.) He has a shiny gold Ring that gives him uber power over all the other races (men, dwarves, elves, etc.) These other races are less than pleased with this power, so they join forces and go to war. Sauron gets his hand cut off, thereby losing the Ring, and is supposedly defeated . . . only to later become a massive eye in the sky over the land of Mordor.
Isildor, Aragorn’s great great great GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT grandaddy and the King of Men, does not destroy the ring in Mount Doom like everybody agreed. He keeps it for himself, until it abandons him like the fickle bitch that it is. Much MUCH Later, Gollum, an emaciated, CGI psycho, finds The Ring, but eventually loses it to Bilbo, a nice little hobbit who is also Frodo’s uncle.
VERY BASIC MOVIE BREAKDOWN:
The Fellowship of The Ring:
Frodo gets The One Ring from Bilbo and is immediately in danger. The Fellowship is formed to destroy The Ring. The Ring tempts them all, especially Boromir. The Fellowship breaks down. Gandalf is killed. Boromir is killed. Merry and Pippin are captured. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli go off to rescue them. Sam nearly drowns. Frodo more or less professes his love. (It’s in subtext, but it’s totally there.) Frodo and Sam go off together to destroy The Ring.
The Two Towers:
Treebeard rescues Merry and Pippin. They team up with the other Ents and stomp Isengard to the ground.
Gandalf is resurrected and meets up with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. Gandalf rescues Theoden, King of Rohan. Eowyn flutters her eyelashes at Aragorn. Arwen decides to leave for the Undying Lands. The Rohan people (plus Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas) all flee to Helm’s Deep (stupid decision). They are attacked by a shitload of bad guys, but ultimately win the day with big assists from the elves and Eomer’s people.
Frodo and Sam team up with Gollum to sneak into Mordor. Sam is not happy about this. Frodo is slowly turning to the darkside. They get captured by Faramir and are eventually released. Gollum believes Frodo has betrayed him and sets them on the path to Shelob.
Return of the King:
Arwen has vision of her child with Aragorn and decides to stay behind in Middle Earth.
Pippin is an inquisitive dumbass and peeks at Saruman’s orb, making Sauron think that Pippin has The Ring. Pippin and Gandalf go to Gondor and fight at the Battle of Minas Tirath.
Merry and Eowyn sneak into Rohan’s army (also fighting the Battle of Minas Tirath). Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas sneak off to find some more troops for the battle. Cursed, undead troops, which are clearly the best kind.
During the battle: The Witchking kills Theoden and Eowyn kills the Witchking. A bunch of oliphants die, much to the unhappiness of PETA. Denethor tries to make smores. He doesn’t do so well and dies himself. Aragorn brings his ghostly fleet to the party and wins the day. They go off to Mordor’s Gates and more or less wait to be slaughtered.
MEANWHILE Frodo shuns Sam in favor of Gollum and almost becomes spider food. Sam saves Frodo’s fool self and hauls his ass up to Mount Doom. Frodo succumbs to The Ring at the last possible moment AND IS ABOUT TO WALK AWAY AFTER ALL THE BULLSHIT THEY WENT THROUGH TO GET HERE when Gollum, previously assumed dead, comes back to bite off Frodo’s finger, get the ring for himself, and gleefully fall into Mount Doom. (Hate when I accidentally jump for joy into a volcano.) Sauron’s Big Ass Eye looks around frantically and then winks out of existence. Mordor’s armies go running for the hills.
Then there are about five different endings. ONE: Sam and Frodo are at the end of all things. TWO: Giant eagles save Frodo and Sam from the end of all things. THREE: The hobbits all reunite in Rivendell. FOUR: Aragorn is crowned king and the hobbits are honored and Arwen returns. FIVE: Frodo can’t readjust to happy hobbit world and LEAVES SAM BEHIND to go with Gandalf and Bilbo and some elves to the Undying Lands (ie, Death). Sam gets a family, which I guess sort of makes it okay, but not really. THE BROMANCE IS DEAD.
Frodo Baggins- The Ring Bearer. Inherits The Ring from Bilbo and accepts the quest to destroy The Ring in Mount Doom. Like any good naive hero, he starts off bored, hoping for adventure, and spends the rest of the three movies pining to get back home. Does near death scenes A LOT and says things like, “I wish this had never happened,” and “Oh, Sam.” Also likes to open his hand and reveal The Ring in his palm at any given opportunity. Somewhat (very) irritating in the third movie.
Samwise Gamgee- Frodo’s loyal best friend/gardener. Goes with Frodo to Mordor when the Fellowship fails. Mostly comic relief until third movie, when he suddenly and inexplicably starts to KICK ASS. Inspired bromances everywhere.
Pippin and Merry- The other hobbit bromance. Merry is the slightly more serious hobbit. These two get into a lot of trouble, but each help to save the day as much as they help to screw it up.
Gandalf the Grey- Wise and cranky wizard who leads the Fellowship of the Ring until his untimely yet totally predictable demise at the hands of the Balrog. Also, Frodo’s mentor. Has mad blowing smoke ring skills.
Gandalf the White- Gandalf the Grey reborn. Pretty much the same guy but more powerful and with a few memory gaps hinted at once.
Aragorn- Also known as Strider. Heir to the throne of Gondor, which doesn’t particularly interest him. Worries that he will be weak like great great great grandaddy Isildor. Loves Arwen, the Elf Princess. Suddenly becomes less hot in the third movie when he becomes king-like and changes his hair. His name is probably pronounced properly as ara-GORN, but many people say it ara-GON.
Legolas- Also known as The Hotness. A hot-tempered elf prone to saying inscrutable things like, “There is a foul voice upon the wind,” and “A shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind.” Has a never-ending supply of arrows and competes with Gimli on how many bad guys they kill.
Gimli- Dwarf, and mostly comic relief. Has a bix axe. Is not fond of marathons or being tossed.
Boromir- The elder and favorite son of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor. Wants to protect his kingdom but ends up being snippy with Aragorn and lusting after The Ring. Tries to save Merry and Pippin’s lives before being shot by about twenty arrows and dying the way one would expect if one had followed Sean Bean’s career.
Gollum- Used to be a hobbit named Smeagol. Now: a not-so-subtle mirror as to what Frodo could become if The Ring takes hold of him. Has a split personality, dresses in a loin cloth, and eats raw food including hobbit fingers.
Faramir- The younger brother of Boromir, who becomes infinitely less annoying once you find out what a fucked up father he has. Wants to impress Daddy and save Gondor. Ultimately hooks up with Eowyn (they share a five second smile, so you know it’s going to happen.)
Denethor- The Steward of Gondor (which is like King but not). Spends most of his time making Boromir, Faramir, and Pippin miserable. Wishes Faramir had died instead of Boromir. Sends Faramir on a suicide run and has the gall to look upset when Faramir appears to be dead. Tries to burn Faramir alive, but ends up burning alive himself and wins the LOTR Guinness Book of World Records for Longest Distance Run While Engulfed in Flames.
Saruman- Once Gandalf’s mentor and a good white wizard. Now a bad white wizard who decides to side with Sauron. Saying Sauron and Saruman in a single sentence is hard to do, but just remember: the wizard’s name has more syllables. Ultimately thwarted by two hobbits and a shitload of trees. His fate is more permanently resolved by Wormtongue in the deleted scenes.
Arwen- Elven princess and honey to Aragorn. She must choose between marrying Aragorn and giving up her immortality, or following her people to the Undying Lands. Also, her fate inexplicably becomes tied to the ring. No one really understands this.
Eowyn- Niece of Theodon, the King of Rohan. Also in love with Aragorn, and wants to serve her country in war. Sneaks into a battle with Merry and awesomely kills The Witchking.
Eomer- Eowyn’s brother. Is temporarily banished from Rohan when he accuses Wormtongue of treason. Not a bad looking guy, even with his ridiculous helmet. Will later become Bones in Star Trek.
Theoden- King of Rohan. Saruman casts a spell on him so that he can control Theoden’s throne, but Gandalf saves him. Theoden is understandably upset to find out that his son died while he was all mentally checked out, but he also makes some poor battle decisions and is eventually killed by the Witch King.
Wormtongue- Saruman’s lackey and advisor to Theoden. If the name was too subtle of an indicator, one can also tell that Wormtongue’s a bad guy due to his ghostly pale complexion, oily black hair, slithery manner, and how he creepily hits on Eowyn. Aragorn spares his life, which is clearly a stupid move.
Galadriel- Uber powerful Elf ruler. Basically is there to look cool and tell Frodo that he needs to finish his quest to destroy The Ring alone. Not someone you want to give a Ring of Power to.
Elrond- Arwen’s daddy. Looks down on the race of men. Kind of has good reason to. Wants Arwen to go to the Undying Lands.
Treebeard- An Ent, which is a big walking, talking tree. Saves Merry and Pippin from an Orc. May be slow to decide things, but is not someone you want to piss off. He will step on you.
Other Bad Guys:
(And yes, I got lazy. No more pictures for you. Sorry.)
Ring Wraiths- Also known as the Naz Ghul. Look a lot like Dementors. Were once men who were turned evil by the Rings of Power. Can find The Ring if you’re stupid enough to actually wear it.
The Witch King- Leader of the Ring Wraiths. No man can kill him.
Orcs- Nasty looking goblin like things.
Uruk-hai- Orcs on steroids.
Cave Troll- Big troll that lives in cave. Shocking, I know.
Shelob- Scary ass giant spider that lives near Mordor and paralyzes her victims so that she might have her way with them. Take that as you will.
Oliphants- Like elephants but pronounced cooler.
Balrog- Big demon thing.
The Shire- Land of Milk and Honey. Representative of childhood, innocence, simple living. Oh, and the hobbits hang there too.
Rivendell- Land of the Elves. Perty.
Gondor- One of the lands of men. Close to Mordor. Big city: Minas Tirath, also known as The White City.
Rohan- Otherwise known as the Riddermark and the other land of men. Home to the Horse Lords. More obviously Celtic than the rest of Middle Earth.
Mordor- The perpetual land of doom and gloom and no rainbows. Where you don’t want to build a summer home.
Isengard- Saruman’s pad.
FINALLY, SOME SUPER AWESOME QUOTES THAT LOSE SOMETHING OUT OF CONTEXT:
“You will suffer me” – Aragorn
“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you” – Sam
“You shall not pass!” -Gandalf
“I am no man!” -Eowyn
“All shall love me and despair!” -Galadriel
“The way is shut. It was made by those who were dead, and the dead keep it.” -Legolas