Episode 1: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

This image shows the cast of The Fellowship of the Rings.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • Welcome to the first episode of Screening the Shire!
  • LOTR is kind of like going to Six Flags: you know you’re going to enjoy it, but you also know that it’s going to take all day, you really have to prepare in advance, and then it becomes a whole thing, so you don’t do it. Every few years, though, you make time and make it happen. Now is that time.
  • Each episode of Screening the Shire will be based on the four-hour long “Special Extended Editions” of each film because my father did not raise a quitter.

Post-Screening Snippets

  • As soon as that dreary, Lana Del Rey-influencing music starts playing, you know it’s time for Middle-Earth
  • “A wizard is never late…he arrives precisely when he means to” – Gandalf and I have the same mantra
  • Speaking of my similarities to Gandalf, if you ever want to know what my daily existence is like, watch the scene of him trying to navigate the little hobbit homes, bumping his head on everything in the house
  • Even in the 240-minute version, Sam’s crush has exactly 0 lines
  • I don’t know if there will ever be another fantasy movie that feels so real #blessyouNewZealand
  • The Middle-Earth dementors are the shriekiest things since me at the Coach Outlet
  • Fun fact about the incredible wand-force fight between Gandalf and Count Dooku: it used to give one my close friends nightmares (she has since become a therapist to resolve these feelings)
  • I’m getting closer to understanding the thirst all middle-aged moms had for Aragorn, but we’re still not quite there
  • “What about second breakfast? And Elevensies?” – See, the hobbits just get it
  • I can’t help but imagine Jeff Bezos watching this movie and getting big ideas to build an orc army of workers – you can’t say they aren’t productive little chaps
  • I will now be entering all rooms with the same ethereal grace of Arwen
  • One of my favorite magic powers in this series is Gandalf’s ability to turn any room into the Rainforest Café during thunder time
  • Be right back, going to put up all my old Legolas posters, wallpapers, and screensavers
  • Oh, this is the movie that initiated my walking stick obsession when I was younger, got it, got it
  • Has any fantasy role been more perfectly cast than Ian McKellen as Gandalf?
  • I have mad respect for Gandalf for falling from a cliff while simultaneously insulting everyone he’s with
  • Why do I cry at the end of this movie like I haven’t seen it before?

The Final Pint

The Fellowship of the Haircuts is unquestionably one of the best fantasy films of all time. The rich production design and careful attention to world-building make the film more of an experience than a movie. If you’re anything like me, it will also inspire you: to take up a fascination in walking sticks, to grow your hair out, and to DM Orlando Bloom.

GRADE: A+

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