Episode 3: The Return of the King (2003)

Pre-Screening Sips

  • The consensus is that ROTK is the best of the three LOTR films—I’ve always been partial to Fellowship, so let’s see if time has changed that perspective (and I do mean time, literally, because the extended edition is over four hours long)

Post-Screening Snippets

  • The Sméagol prologue is a great example of why it is so important to have a birthday gift for your friends
  • Saruman has one of the most gnarly death scenes in the series, and he is the first of about five “falling from a great height” death scenes in this movie alone
  • The series of resolutions at the beginning of ROTK do point out that Two Towers does not do the best job of resolving all its own conflicts
  • My new baby nephew can also pull a Gandalf and sleep with his eyes open
  • Listen, Arwen is straight up dumb. Like, yes, her romance with Aragorn is convincing and it’s moving when they reunite and blah blah blah, but she ditches an immortal life for a greasy-haired king—Ladies, always choose eternity over men
  • Gandalf’s “he’s a fool, but an honest fool” proves he’s the queen of supportive shade
  • “The Witch King” is actually a really badass nickname, and I do ask you to please refer to me in that manner from now on
  • Everyone focuses on Gollum being evil because he’s all murdery, but he is also a big-time fat-shamer—let Samwise eat his bread in peace!
  • Denethor is an atrocious steward and father, yes, but he does eat a solo buffet while all his kingdom does actual work, and honestly, that’s a goal of mine
  • When I watched these when I was younger, I always thought that Éowyn was kind of a bummer; I’m now wiser and understand she is the QUEEN of the battlefield
  • Every second of Gimli in the valley of the green ghost army is sheer genius
  • The orcs might be monsters, but you must respect their craftsmanship
  • ROTK features the best use of “you and whose army” of all time
  • Every moment of the Battle of Gondor is a cheer worthy moment, especially when Legolas climbs the elephant, and I say that not just because I want Legolas to climb me like an elephant
  • Everyone always complains about how many endings there are in this movie, but honestly, I would take twelve more endings to stay in this Middle Earth a little bit longer
  • Someone get me Liv Tyler’s agent because homegirl is in about 10 minutes of this 250-minute movie and she is billed third

The Final Pint

There’s a reason that Éowyn is My King won every Oscar it was nominated for—it truly is the peak of fantasy cinema, and there will never be another film like it. It is now officially my favorite of the series.

GRADE: A+

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