The Lord of the Rings -The Return of the King – Movie Review

The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King

Sméagol and Déagol are fishing. Déagol hooks a very big fish. It drags him into the river. On the river bed, he finds a ring. Taking it ashore, it begins to possess both young men. It’s Sméagol’s birthday and he wants the ring. They fight over it. Sméagol, the stronger of the two, strangles Déagol until he dies. Taking the ring. “My precious.” He puts the ring on. Cursed. Driven away.

Smeagol mutating

Smeagol slowly mutating in the cave

Overtime, he mutates into a loathsome creature while living in a cave and feeding on live catfish. All while clinging to the ring.

Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins are asleep in a cave. Sméagol wakes them. Frodo has the ring. They are on a journey to Mordor.

At Isengard, Saruman is locked in his tower. His powers are gone. Treebeard stands guard.

Pereprin Took finds a sphere in the water. Gandalf covers it quickly in his tunic, a palantir.

Sméagol has a plan to lead Frodo and Sam to the Winding Stair. Up the stairs to the tunnel. Once in, no coming out. Purpose; to kill them and take the ring.

Frodo doesn’t believe Sam. Sam knows about the plan.

Sauron the wizard

Sauron the wizard, locked in his tower

While Gandalf is sleeping, Pippin takes the palantir. He saw a glimpse of Sauron’s plan. To strike the city of Minas Tirith. His defeat at Helm’s Deep taught him men are not as weak as he thought. Also, the heir of Elendil came forth.

If people of Middle-Earth unite under one banner Sauron will be defeated again.

Gandalf, Pippin, and Merry begin the walk to the stables. Sauron thinks Pip has the ring. For the safety of the villager’s,  he must go. Three days ride to Minas Tirith, as the Nazgṻl flies. At the stable, Pip and Gandalf climb aboard Shadowfax, his white stallion. “Show us the meaning of haste.” They ride swiftly toward Minas Tirith, as Merry remains behind.


Lady Arwen

Lady Arwen pleads with Lord Elrond to re-forge the sword.

Gandalf and Pippin pass into the realm of Gondor. Minas Tirith is over the bluff. City of kings.

They speak to Lord Denethor, not a king. A caretaker of the throne. Lord Denethor was Boromir’s father. Pippin is told not to speak.

“Boromir died to save us,” Pip said, then pledges his loyalties as payment.

Gangalf tells Denethor of the impending war with Sauron. “Send word to King Théoden of Rohan. Light the beacons.”

Gandalf and Pippin stand before Lord Denethor

Lord Denethor eats as Gandalf warns him of impending war

Denethor knows of Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Ranger from the north, the king. He refuses Gandalf’s request. He’s not sending for help. He’s the only king.

Sauron’s deadliest servant who led Mordor’s army, a soldier no living man can kill. The Witch-king of Angmar.

Orcs, men, legions of Haradrim from the south, meŕceraries from the coast. All answer Mordor’s call. The Witch-king of Angmar will lead Mordor’s army.

He stabbed Frodo on Weathertop.

The lord of the Nazgṻl, Minas Morgul is his lair.

Frodo, Sam, and Sméagol at the Sectet Stairs

Frodo, Smeagol, and Sam at the Secret Stairs to Mordor

The Dead City, Sam, Frodo, and Sméagol are there. They find the secret stairs to Mordor. Climb!

The attack on Minas Tirith begins, Orcs attack.

Pip lights the beacon. The beacons of Amon Din are lit. The message is sent across the mountain range by burning beacons.

“The beacons of Minas Tirith are lit! Gondor calls for aid. Rohan will answer. Muster the Rohirrim,” King Théoden orders.

Faramir saw Frodo and Sam in Ithilien, two days ago, taking the road to Morgul vale. And then the pass of Cirith Ungol.

The Witch-king of Angmar-2

The Witch-king

The Witch-king of Angmar commands, “Send forth all legions.” He wants everyone in Minas Tirith killed. He will kill the white wizard, Gandalf, break him…

Frodo and Sam bicker over Elven bread and the ring. Frodo sends Sam back home.

Lord Denethor is Boromir and Faramir’s father, Boromir is dead. Faramir leaves for war with his soldiers. His father wishes it was he that was dead.

King Théoden

King Theoden

King Théoden of Rohan is gathering troops. 500 men from Westfold. 300 men from Fenmarch. No riders from Snowbourn? 6000 spears. He hoped for twice that many. Not enough to break the lines of Mordor.  They ride at dawn.

They see the road to the Dimholt, door under the mountain, no one ever returns. The mountain is evil. Aragorn is drawn to the road.

Lord Elrond is there. Arwen is dying due to the evil spreading from Mordor. The light of the Evenstar is failing. As Sauron’s power grows, her power wanes. Arwen’s life is now tied to the fate of the ring, he tells Aragorn.


Lord Elrond

Elrond suggests Aragorn call upon the mountain dwellers, murderers, and traitors. They will answer to the King of Gondor.

Elrond has the re-forged sword. Andǘril, the Flame of the West, forged from the Shards of Narsil.

The Sword of Elendil. Sauron will remember the sword. Aragorn has the weapon.

“Take the Dimholt road,” Elrond says to Aragorn.

Lord Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas take Dimholt road.

King Théoden leaves Ẽowynin in charge in his stead

King Theoden places Eowynin in charge

Théoden leaves Ẽowynin in charge in his stead. Take his seat in the Golden Hall. Defend Edoras.

Lady Ẽdwyn Arnen takes Merry into battle with her, aboard her stallion.

Aragorn confronts a Dead Soul, in their dwelling place, made by those who are dead. Only the King of Gondor may command them. Aragorn wields the Sword of Elendil. “Fight for us…and regain your honor. What say you?” He is Isildur’s heir. “Fight for me…and I will hold your oath’s fulfilled…What say you?”

Faramir is drug to Minas Tirith by his horse. He is dead. Shot by two arrows. His entire army is dead.


Orc army

The Orcs attack Minas Tirith. Lord Denethor orders, “Retreat!” He’s a coward.

Gandalf assumes command. Everyone fights! Except Lord Denethor.

Sméagol led Frodo into a giant spider’s nest and web. He uses the light of Eärendil, their most beloved star. A light in dark places, when all other lights go out. The giant spider tries to drink his blood. He defends himself with the light and escapes.

He and Sméagol fight over the ring. Sméagol falls over the cliff.


Galadriel, Lady of Lothlorien

Galadriel, Lady of Lothlórien, appears to Frodo in a vision. “This task was appointed to you, Frodo of the Shire. If you do not find a way, No one will…”

Lord Denethor sees to Faramir’s burial, cremation.

The Orcs invade the city.

The great spider finds and stings Frodo. Sam is back and fights the spider. Frodo is under the venom.  He will wake in a few hours. Orcs capture and take him to the tower. Sam follows.

King Théoden and his army arrive at Minas Tirith. Their army is small. The king shouts his orders.  “Death! Forth Eorlingas!” They charge the Orc army.

The Orc army is huge!

Faramir is alive. Lord Denethor burns himself to death by mistake as Gandalf and Merry intercede. “So passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion.”

The Giant Elephants Attack

Giant Elephants carrying troops attack

Giant elephants arrive carrying fighters and attack.

The Witch-king arrives flying on his Nazgǘl. He attacks King Théoden. As the king lies on the ground wounded, Lady Ẽdwyn stands between the king and the Nazgǘl. She chopped off the flying beast’s head. The Witch-king of Angmar, leader of Sauron’s army is mad. He attacks her, Ẽdwyn.

Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas arrive with the Dead people and join the battle.

The Witch-king of Angmar

The Witch-king of Angmar

The Witch-king has a secret. No man can kill him. Ẽdwyn takes off her helmet. “I’m not a man!” She shoves her sword through his face killing him. He dies and withers.

As always, Gimli and Legolas have their contest as to who can kill the most enemy.

King Théoden dies as Ẽowyn comforts him.

The battle is over. The orcs are dead.

Aragorn releases the Dead people. Their oath’s are fulfilled. They are at peace. They all fade away.

Sauron's Tower-1

Sauron’s tower with his EYE and Mount Doom, the volcano, in the background

Pippin is back. He finds Merry.

In the tower, Frodo awakes. The structure is teaming with Orcs. Sam fights his way into the tower. He rescues Mr. Frodo.

They’re in Mordor.  Sauron’s Eye is at the top of the tower, high above Mordor.  Frodo must get to Mount Doom.

Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas make a plan

Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli make a plan

Gandalf and Aragorn have a plan. 10,000 Orcs stand in Frodo’s way. He needs safe passage across the plains of Gorgoroth. Aragorn’s plan, draw out Sauron’s armies. Empty his lands. They march on the Black Gate. Keep Sauron’s Eye fixed on them.

“Certainty of death, small chance of success,” Gimli says. “I’m in.”  They ride with a small army.

Sauron moves his Orc army toward the Gate as Frodo and Sam move toward Mount doom. Sam tells Frodo this is a one-way journey.

At the Black gate, Aragorn calls, “Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Let justice be done upon him!”

Aragorn and his men attack the Orc army

Aragorn and his army attack the army of Orcs

The enormous gate opens. A vast Orc army is there and marches toward them.

The Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, brothers, Men of the West, they are grossly out numbered and quickly surrounded.  The battle begins. They fight the Orc army.

Gandalf sends for the giant eagles to battle the Nazgǘls.

Frodo and Sam climb Mount Doom as it slowly erupts. Emaciated nearly to the point of death. Frodo too weak to walk, Sam carries him up the mountain.

Sméagol waits for them. He attacks.

Frodo and Smegil fight inside Mount Doom

Frodo and Smeagol fight over the ring inside Mount Doom

Everyone makes their way inside the volcano. Frodo cannot throw the ring into the lava below, the ring won’t let him. Instead, he puts it on. Sméagol attacks again. They fight. Sméagol bites off his finger and takes the ring. As they fight, both fall over the edge. Sméagol falls into the lava, dropping the ring into the molten rock.

The RingFrodo clings to the cliff.

The ring melts.

Sauron’s Eye is destroyed. Mount Doom erupts.

Frodo and Sam are trapped in the lava flow, on a high rock. They believe they are going to perish, they talk about the Shire. Sam remembers Rosie Cotton, the girl he wishes he had married. They pass out from the exhaustion, heat, and starvation.

Gandalf arrives riding on the back of a giant eagle, with two eagles at his side. Sam and Frodo are rescued in the eagle’s huge talons.

Later, Frodo wakes. Gandalf is there. His friends are there. All laughing.

Aragorn receives his crown. Gandalf is the presenter. Under King Aragorn, a time of peace.

King Aragorn and Arwen at the corination

King Aragorn and Arwen

Elrond and Arwen are there. Arwen is healed now that Sauron has been destroyed. They kiss.

King Aragorn and his kingdom bows to the hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin.

A Fourth Age of Middle-earth began. And the Fellowship of the Ring…though eternally bound by friendship and love… was ended. Thirteen months to the day since Gandalf sent us on our long journey…We found ourselves looking upon a familiar sight.

They are back at the Shire.

Rosie and Sam are married

Rosie and Sam are married

Sam wasted no time in marrying Rosie Cotton.

there and Back again…

a hobbit’s tale, By

Bilbo Baggins

Frodo’s wound has never really healed since Weathertop. Four years to the day.

the Lord of the Rings, By Frodo Baggins

The ship the sail on at the end

The ship they sail on

The Power of the Three Rings is ended. The time has come for the dominion of Men. Bilbo Baggins is escorted aboard the ship by Elrond and Galadriel.

Gandalf and Frodo join them aboard the vessel. They sail away.

It will be Sam’s job to add to the story. He and Rosie have children, and are happy in the Shire.

The Lord of the Rings- The Return of the King-2

Goodbye Lord of the Rings. I  miss you. 🙂

The End.

This has been an amazing story. An end to an epic adventure.

It saddens me to say goodbye to such a great saga.

Maybe, if we are lucky, Sam will add to the timeless tale. I hope so.

My rating: 5 stars

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland


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