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Jeruba's avatar

LOTR fans, one more Q: which scene is just a complete dud?

Asked by Jeruba (41856 points ) September 27th, 2010

This is the fourth in a short series of questions intended for fans of the Peter Jackson film trilogy. (Here are the first, second, and third.)

If you don’t like the movies, that’s just fine. In that case please don’t feel compelled to answer.

Which scenes or moments in the films do you regard as entirely worthless or forgettable—either because of the way they were done or because they didn’t need to be there at all?

If you single out a moment that was poorly done, how should it have been done better?

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22 Answers

downtide's avatar

To me, the last half hour of ROTK (the movie, not the book). After they’d destroyed the ring it was a series of “ooh here’s the end” followed by the disappointment that there was yet another scene added on. It just felt like it dragged out too much.

Lve's avatar

The part in The Two Towers where Aragorn gets dragged over the cliff by one of the wargs and is thought to be dead. Totally ridiculous and unnecessary imo.

downtide's avatar

@Lve although the bit about him getting kissed by his horse is funny…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

The scenes with the fighting dead (skeletons) were irritating because it just looked too CGI and is a perfect example of why I don’t watch many movies with “special” effects.

filmfann's avatar

This is worth a watch.

Seek's avatar

My number one pet peeve – they replaced Glorfindel with Arwen, in the whole “Frodo gets stabbed by the morgul blade” scene. Even gave her his horse, Asfaloth. No respect for the guards of Imladris. None at all. Bah!

And it was Elrond who called the waters of the Bruinen. Not Arwen. Stupid Arwen. What a worthless waste of screen time.

Trillian's avatar

I was less than satisfied with the Ent Moot. SUch as it was. Not near enough detail to suit me.

robmandu's avatar

Another vote for the final scene of ROTK.

I was disappointed that they didn’t show the scene where the hobbits return to the Shire to find Saruman and Wormtongue have made a right mess of things.

To me, character development is a crucial item in good storytelling. And the entire LOTR trilogy chronicles how these particular hobbits have had to take on challenges so far beyond their means. Gandalf makes the point in The Hobbit and in LOTR that hobbits are made of sterner stuff than most people would guess at.

So when Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin get back to the Shire, it’s important to show that they’ve grown substantially in character and experience. They’re not cowed by Saruman and Wormtongue. They don’t panic in the face of what their peers believe to be superior strength. They take decisive action—something they never could’ve done before the entire adventure with the One Ring.

Without that meaningful bit of character conclusion, I was left sputtering at the very end of ROTK. I literally was checking my watch wondering how many more minutes of tears and hugs they were going subject us to. I couldn’t enjoy that nearly interminable scene at all and even now find myself reconstructing the final Shire showdown in my head.

Jeruba's avatar

I have to agree with the comments about what’s been left out or misconstructed with respect to the books, but that’s not this question. That was in another question. Here, it’s about the scenes that are there in the movies, as they are.

To me the biggest dud by far is the scene of Arwen’s vision of the future, with that completely random husky little kid (the child of some cast or crew member, as I recall) who doesn’t look like he could possibly belong to either one of them or live in any time but the present. Every time I come to that scene, it completely breaks the spell and just shouts “mistake.” Slipping Peter Jackson’s young offspring in as cute kids in each of the three movies is one thing; featuring this miscast child in a pivotal moment is quite another.

The maddening slowness of the Ents’ scenes does more than enough to convince me of what Ents are like. I think it’s too much by at least a factor of 2, even in the theatrical release version and not the extended.

And the blowing of Boromir’s horn is a pitiful little toot when it should be a moment with real dramatic power.

Seek's avatar

Well, if complaining about Arwen being granted a shit-ton of parts that weren’t hers is out of the bounds of the question, we can just say “Every scene that contains Arwen, save the coronation of Aragorn.”

Since Arwen was literally nothing but three pages of Appendix A at the end of Return of the King, I honestly feel that forcing a romantic interest in a story that didn’t need one to be captivating was just bad form. Yes, I do know a lot of people that won’t watch a movie unless there’s a love story involved, but the Arwen/Aragorn relationship was nothing more than a distraction from the plot. It’s just not what the story is about. It would be like throwing a romantic interest into Watership Down.

Jeruba's avatar

I totally agree with you, @Seek_Kolinahr. The book does offer tiny hints at an understanding between Aragorn and Elrond’s daughter, if you look carefully at the early mentions of Aragorn and Rivendell, but there is no love story.

What’s more, in the movie it isn’t even a love story. Right from the beginning we see only Arwen’s pledge to Aragorn and not the least sign that he is interested in her. She says she’s chosen him, and it’s like he doesn’t even get a say in the matter. He tries to let her down easy by returning the token, and she forces it on him. There’s many times more chemistry between him and Eowyn. He seems truly regretful to be stuck with an elven princess’s millstone around his neck.

Whenever I watch this with my son. he hits fast forward the moment Liv Tyler appears onscreen (except in the coronation scene, which she spoils by being ridiculous, if he hasn’t just spoiled it by giving that inane speech again—this being the part of the movie where the competent writers took the day off), and we spend the FF time trashing her.

But that is all outside the bounds of this question as conceived.

YARNLADY's avatar

I didn’t like several overly long scenery shots, such as the water scene passing between the two giant statues, and much of the journey stuff. I think we can get the idea. I fall asleep during those scenes.

cockswain's avatar

Those trees.

weeveeship's avatar

Much of the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring. It was rather boring and I really just wanted the hobbits to get on with the journey already.

Trillian's avatar

Hehehehe. The noble horn of the White City, Gondor. (ahem) ...toot, toot….
Too funny.

Jeruba's avatar

I found my lost link to the cameos. Quite a few indulgences in nepotism here. Ah, well, if I were filming an epic I’d probably pass out a few such plums myself, as long as they didn’t spoil the effect.

downtide's avatar

@Trillian One of the funniest lines for me was when Boromir was examining the Sword of Isildur, and it cut his hand. He winced and said “Still sharp!” That made me laugh, because Sean Bean also played Sharpe in the very well known (in the UK) TV series. To most Brits, he will always be Sharpe, not Boromir.

lloydbird's avatar

The orcs with cockney accents! What was that about?

downtide's avatar

@lloydbird if Boromir sounds like a Sheffield steel-worker, why not?

lloydbird's avatar

@downtide I’d buy a phone off him? :-)

Jeruba's avatar

@downtide, do you suppose that was an intentional wink to the Brits? I knew nothing about Sharpe, so I just thought it was an inane line of dialogue, but maybe you just uncovered the purpose.

Speaking of ridiculous lines of dialogue, besides every word spoken by Arwen, I think the funniest is Theoden’s “Make safe the city!” I wait for it every time—gee, what were we doing until you said that?—and cheer when it comes.

downtide's avatar

@Jeruba I think the “Still Sharp” line was intentional.

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