Fun with Franchises: The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King (2003), Part IV — “America”

Today we continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Part V.

In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.

And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.

And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Lord of the Rings franchise, and today is the fourth part of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - Title Card

We begin Part IV in Mordor. Finally.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1262

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1263

Pretty sure this is where the book actually begins, so this brought back memories.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1264

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1265

There’s something you don’t see more than like, every other day.

Colin:

Look at his little outie!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1266

If I were him, I’d just be laying there like, “I just got stabbed by a giant spider. How am I not bleeding internally? Is there still a hole in my stomach? What is this shit on my face? It feels like Spider-Man jizzed all over me. Which is funny, since people confuse me with Tobey Maguire all the time. And we both wanted to bang Kirsten Dunst in separate movies that year. That’s funny. Though technically that year won’t be til next year. Is this a bowline knot? I think I have ADD. Do you guys smell toast? Who am I talking to? I wonder how big my dick is compared to other races. Maybe that’s what “hung like a hobbit” means.

But that’s just me.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1267

And they’re just looting his shit.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1268

“You think this is my size?”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1269

And now they’re fighting over it.

Colin:

Bitches do love a shiny shirt.

I love that this orc has gray hair. He’s the Tim Gunn of Mordor.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1270

Spider’s caught itself a couple of flies.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1271

Now that’s a shiv.

What if you took that out and threatened somebody with it? You think they’d be more inclined to listen to you or less inclined?

Also, look at the cool/warm contrast going on here. I guess the orc is cool because he lives in darkness and rocks, and the uruk is warm because he was birthed from a mud cocoon.

Colin:

That’s cool, I never noticed that. It’s nice when they give you that extra touch.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1272

The great thing about this scene that they don’t really explain in the movie is that the reason they’re fighting is because these are two different kinds of orcs, and there’s a weird discrimination that happens between the different tribes or whatever. It’s almost like a Do the Right Thing or something, between orcs.

(Now there’s an idea.)

I remember reading that part in the book and going, “Wow, that’s such a great bit of detail,” since that’s what would happen. Infighting and shit. It’s like Blazing Saddles – “All right, we’ll save some land for the niggers and chinks, but we don’t want the Irish!”

The race relations in this universe are interesting as hell, more so than I think all others.

Colin:

That’s the problem with orcs, though, isn’t it? They have no discipline and fight amongst themselves too much. And this little squabble is actually sort of a racial thing — the little one is a Morgul orc, coming from the Morgul Vale where the Witch King lives. The bigger one is an uruk-hai and doesn’t report to the same people. He’s a stronger sort of orc and seems to resent the Morgul orcs. The good guys don’t even really have this problem, but the orcs are prone to infighting, as we’re about to see.

Don’t you hate those Morgul Valley girls?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1273

I like how he is just listening to all of this. They’re fighting over a fucking shirt.

(And probably who gets to rape him.)

Also, isn’t the notion that he’s here because someone’s gonna interrogate him? Or do they just figure they have a prisoner, and they’ll take his shit and kill him? Either way, really. I’m just curious, because I forget.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1274

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1275

Nice save. That would be a badass move in a Jackie Chan scene. He falls like that and propels himself back up and sort of bowstrings back and forth while also fighting guys.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1276

“This is MORDOR!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1277

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1278

That’s pretty great, to be able to kick someone like that. Stomping someone in a movie is always pretty entertaining.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1279

I really like this shot.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1280

Does Mordor have hospitals?

Because he’s gonna need one.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1281

And now everyone’s like, “What the fuck was that?”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1282

You didn’t think this plan through very well at all.

Either that or I bet he still thinks he can take them all. Since they’re just pussy little Morgul Vale orcs.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1283

This is great. Now they’re all fighting – I completely buy all of this.

Colin:

This is also great, when something goes down and everyone immediately knows who’s on whose side as they start the fight. Shit just erupts into instant chaos. If you haven’t seen the 1939 Errol Flynn movie Dodge City, it has one of the greatest chaotic fight scenes ever.

(Something they sort of borrowed for Tokyo Drifter, too. The general idea, anyway.)

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1284

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1285

Drop kick!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1286

Drop kick out a fucking window.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1287

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1288

And now even more people are in on it.

Colin:

This is totally like Dodge City, cause these two dudes started a fight and now everyone else that’s related to them are fighting against each other. Nice to know someone’s got your back.

Said Buffalo Bill’s third victim.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1289

RACE RIOT!

It’s a Race Riot, Charlie Brown!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1290

Meanwhile…

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1291

Here comes Sam, waltzing right up.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1292

Shouldn’t that blade be glowing right now?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1293

Colin:

Is it weird that I really want to live in a place like this? Like, dark, stony, all that. And I swear, I’m not emo — I actively dislike emo people. It’s just appealing to me because it’s dark and looks like a chill place to hang out.

It’s a shithole, though. I think that’s where I draw the line. I like the general design, but I see this place and think, “Damn shame what they did to that dog.” And then, Edoras — the people are peasants, but the rooms are nice. And they all have meat and beer parties all the time, so it’s really just peasant clothing. Maybe introduce them to some Ralph Lorien and some showers — we’re good. So as much as I want to like this place, I don’t think I’d ever want to live there. Too “crackhouse” for me.

My door would never be locked in a place like this. Even if it was.

Colin:

Oh, no — I’d sweep the place out and wash it or whatever. And once you did that and threw up torches everywhere and stuff, I bet it’d be sick.

Torches are cool. But then you’re basically making a hood version of Gondor.

WHY DOESN’T MIDDLE EARTH HAVE PROJECTS?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1294

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1295

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1296

Though that is a way to keep the neighbors away.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1297

He just waltzes through the front door.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1298

It’s nice seeing the random confluence of events that led to him being able to do this.

But what do you think he’s thinking right now?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1299

Colin:

Look at this place. That’s awesome. I would make this such a sweet bachelor pad. Get me some wireless internet and I’m good.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1300

All of our first apartments were like this.

Colin:

Aren’t we still in our first apartments? I’m in mine, anyway. And it’s Japan, so there are no dead bodies. Just tentacles.

I picture tentacles coming out of the wall like in Resident Evil 2, at the police station.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1301

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1302

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1303

I like how he just knows Frodo is there.

Either that or he just wants to kill some fucking orcs.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1304

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1305

This looks like the fat dancer from Return of the Jedi is charging.

Colin:

I’m astounded by how spot-on that observation was. Ladies and gentlemen, join me in being floored at how perfect that fits.

If only they let me put all my skills on my resume.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1306

All of their faces are incredible.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1307

There are little cubby holes everywhere.

I will say, though — if I could make my walls look like this, I would. But not rock. That gets too cold. Juts make the walls look like stone with cracks and shit just like this. I’d go for that.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1308

There’s imagery here, isn’t there?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1309

I like how they’re all scared for a moment but then are like, “Wait, that’s it?”

Colin:

Well, he started out with the right idea, but they stood their ground, and now you look like an asshole.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1310

“That’s for Frodo!”

If there’s one request I could ask of all of you, it’s that, one day, you dedicate a shiv to me.

I want someone to dedicate a shiv to me.

Colin:

You’d have to let the person live, though, cause the whole point of dedicating something (like a tree) to someone else is that they can then go see it. So they’d let him live, tell you, “Okay, he’s a big guy named Twan. Lives on East 118th. He’s got a limp. Now.” And you’d go, find him, and go, “Twan? Twan! Remember when you got shivved? Well I’M MIKE!”

The nicest thing I got dedicated to me was a bench in my hometown. During college, a friend was working for the city over the summer, so he had a plaque engraved with “The Colin [my last name] Memorial Bench,” and put it on a bench outside the Town Hall. People walking by think I’m dead, and it’s caused confusion with some friends’ parents. I love it.

I wonder what (else) I’d want dedicated to me. I wouldn’t want a bench or a street or something. It would probably have to be something booze related. Or one of those things no one would ever think to have dedicated to them. That’s what I’d do. Find the most random shit and have them dedicate it to me.

Like those random bars in certain toilet stalls (not always handicapped), for getting up? I’d want one of those dedicated to me. That’s the kind of shit I’m into.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1311

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1312

“And for the Shire!”

Colin:

It’s pretty amazing how all of a sudden he can defeat battle-hardened orcs in single combat without much difficulty. You’d think they’d just destroy him.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1313

“And that’s for my old Gaffer!”

Colin:

Which is basically just Sam’s “YAHH BITCH!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1314

Weird how no one else was left alive in this place.

Colin:

That’s a pretty high tower. You’d be kinda winded by by the time you got to the top.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1315

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1316

Aww… just like a princess.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1317

There’s a shot.

Colin:

Just like a princess.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1318

“I’m gonna bleed you like a stuck pig.”

Just like…

Colin:

Is that the original orc who got pushed down through the hole? He’s the only one left alive? How is that possible?

Because everyone assumed he was already dead. And I think he only fell down a few levels. Since that guy who got knocked out of the window, he went all the way down. I think he was more like — from the 26th floor to the 23d floor. And maybe down some steps. That’s not so bad. And I bet everyone figured he was dead, so he was ignored.

PCP. The real answer is PCP.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1319

Bill Nighy, though. Right?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1320

Is that the, “Wait, somebody got stabbed other than me?” face?

Colin:

Oooh, Mr. Frodo’s showing a little more skin than we’re used to in this franchise. Other than Gollum. But now that I think of it, this has to be one of the most clothed franchises out there. Harry Potter might be a close second, but not quite like this.

There’s gonna be another really clothed franchise coming up soon. Three of them, actually.

Actually, most of these franchises are pretty clothed.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1321

Colin:

The way he gets stabbed and tenses up will always remind me of Go Go Yubari and her would-be lover boy. Which is so great. Especially if you get it without subtitles, cause it’s just that little bit more direct and perverted. I love Chiaki Kuriyama.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1322

“Not if I stick you first.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1323

What’s that lampshade?

There’s always one of these in an action movie, it seems. The moment someone comes out of nowhere to save someone else.

The problem with this one, though, is that we know Sam is alive and is coming up for Frodo. So you’re not cheering or anything. You’re just sort of expected to go along with the moment, even though it’s not particularly surprising in any way.

Now, in the book, I feel like we haven’t kept any tabs on Sam until this point. I feel like we start with Frodo here, coming out of his spider coma, realizing he’s in Mordor and these orcs are rooting around his shit. And then he tries to not let them know he’s awake, because they’ll kill him, and then they start fighting and all that, and then the one guy comes up and Sam kills him, and you’re like, “Yeah, Sam!”

Colin:

Why is Sting all shiny and clean after going through that orc?

It’s been lacquered.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1324

“It’s too late. It’s over. They’ve taken it.”

Colin:

I like that they did the makeup for his nasty scar from being stabbed on Weathertop. Sometimes movies will forget this shit and it becomes a continuity error to be picked up on my people like Mike and myself who are either too observant or have too much free time (or both) for our own good.

This is why I’ll be great at movies. Because I think about continuity like this, so I’ll be able to keep all this shit in my head.

I’m the person who gets annoyed when we have a master shot, shot/reverse shot dialogue scene, and they cut from one person doing their close-up to the wide shot, and it clearly doesn’t match the action that was going on. Like, they’ll be really expressive in the close-up, and then it’ll be the over the shoulder on them and the other person’s close up and they’ll just be sitting there because it’s not their turn to talk. I can’t stand that.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1325

“Begging your pardon but they haven’t.”

Colin:

The “Beggin’ your pardon, but…” is glorious. I want to use this more. But like, in a douchier way.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1326

Colin:

This is why Sam’s awesome. Only, you have to wonder how Frodo didn’t realize that whole time that he didn’t have it. I guess after he sent Sam home, he was distraught about that, and before long he was distracted by Shelob and then Gollum and then unconscious.

The real question is — remember how Gollum was awake the whole time and keeping an eye on everything even as Sam was starting to fall asleep? When did Sam swipe the ring and how was he able to do so without Frodo OR Gollum catching him in the act? It’s impressive.

Hobbit sounds remarkably similar to pickpocket, and somehow I can’t find a way to combine the two words without diluting either of them.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1327

I like the red.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1328

“I thought I’d lost you. So I took it.”

I want to see the shot of him reaching under the spider cocoon and taking it out.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1329

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1331

“Give it to me.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1330

Colin:

This is brilliant. They put the heartbeat pulsing sound effect back in and immediately you’re brought back to the Smeagol vs. Deagol fight. That’s what this is supposed to be, or so you think. I love it that all it took was a gripping sound effect for them to drive home exactly what’s at stake during this moment. It’s such a simple thing, but it sends the tension through the roof.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1332

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1333

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1334

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1335

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1336

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1337

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1338

“You must understand. The ring is my burden.”

Just like Harry. What is that shit?

I get if you’re gonna say, “The ring is my burden because I don’t want to make anyone else go through this. Plus, the more people that wear it, the more fucked we are, because the more people are gonna be affected by it. So let me do it, and if something happens, kill me and get rid of the fucking thing.” That, I get. But the whole, “No, I must be the one who suffers silently!” thing. We said it in Order of the Phoenix. It’s complete horse shit.

Colin:

I do hate that. It’s why Harry must die.

What about Romeo?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1339

Colin:

Seriously though…I never really thought about it until now and never really wanted to think this way, but Sam is the one that keeps it together the whole time and makes sure shit goes right. Everyone owes him big time.

Plus he fucks the hot town midget.

Complete 180 from Ron.

Plus he has a soul.

Colin:

Yeah, but I think we can agree that Harry Potter was far-fetched to begin with. I mean, a ginger with TWO friends? Yeah, sure!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1340

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1341

Colin:

Now they’re dressed as orcs. This reminds me of Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, where you infiltrate the Radio Tower by getting a Team Rocket uniform and disguising yourself. This didn’t happen in the original Gold, Silver and Crystal games. The best part was that in the remakes, the first Pokemon in your party followed you as you walked around, so when I was in my all-black Team Rocket outfit, I’d put my red Gyarados at the front of my party and go around being scary looking. It was pretty awesome. Mostly the highlight of that whole generation of Pokemon. Remakes are great.

We seriously need to do Pokémon articles like this. Imagine the amount of shit we’d have to talk about. Pretty sure our riffing and random discussions would go on for pages with that.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1342

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1343

“We did it, Mr. Frodo. We made it to Mordor.”

Colin:

That’s…a fuck ton of orcs. Why aren’t any of those orcs being sent to fuck up Gondor? Seems like Gondor and Rohan are pretty much the only places that need fucking up before you can take almost complete control of Middle-Earth…Rohan’s at the battle for Gondor, so why not send this huge force to go fuck them all up in one swift stroke (as Peter Cushing would say)?

It does seem weird that he’d keep all these reserves here. But maybe it’s cause he senses the ring is coming to him and wants all available people there to intercept whoever has it.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1344

It’s funny to me that no one ever questions orc midgets.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1345

That color and those clouds look like they came out of one of the Matrix or later Potter title cards.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1346

“Frodo has passed beyond my sight.”

And yet you had to ask Faramir if he was still alive?

What exactly can you see at this range?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1347

This is a strange conversation. Gandalf says it’s only a matter of time before Sauron has the ring. Which is pretty defeatist. And the way Aragorn says, “If Sauron had the ring, we would know it,” makes it seem like he’s annoyed with Gandalf’s attitude.

“Ten thousand orcs now stand between Frodo and Mount Doom.”

Colin:

Wait, that’s only 10,000? The film version of the battle that just took place had like 200,000 orcs and other bad guys on top of that. This is a puny force compared to what just got defeated. Of course, you shouldn’t have released your ghost dudes from their oath, but I don’t want to beat a dead army.

But seriously. Those ghosts could have wiped out Mordor in like, five minutes, and then Sauron would have had to sit there and watch his ring get destroyed.

He should have altered the deal. “You do one fight. Your souls get to rest. You do one more battle, and you’ll be honored as heroes forever more, and you get extra ghost pussy in the afterlife.”

Colin:

Ooh, a package deal! I like package deals. They should have done that.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1348

“I’ve sent him to his death.”

Not Sam, though, right? Sam doesn’t matter.

Also, wasn’t this the initial feeling you had when he said he would go? Where was this sentiment a movie and a half ago?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1349

Aragorn says there’s still hope. They just need time. And they can give them that.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1350

They’re gonna get everyone and march on the Black Gate.

Colin:

It’s weird that Aragorn should come up with this plan when Gandalf is left with no ideas.

I think it’s because Gandalf isn’t one to march people to their deaths and Aragorn is like, “Fuck it, this is what has to be done.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1351

Smoketake.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1352

They won’t survive, but they can give Frodo a chance if Sauron is watching them and nothing else.

Colin:

The best part of this is Gimli sitting in the bitch ass steward’s chair. The guy’s dead, so fuck it.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1353

“A diversion.”

HA HA HA HA HA. That’s all he does.

Colin:

Thanks for that two word summary, Legolas. Seriously, when you’re fighting, I like you. Any other time…how worthless can a character get?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1354

“Sauron will expect a trap. He will not take the bait.”

But then he does.

So… what’s that about?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1355

“Certainty of death, small chance of success… what are we waiting for?”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1356

I love Gimli.

Colin:

Gimli’s that guy who just accepts that he’s gonna get shit on. Mr. Eh What the Hell.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1357

Colin:

Aragorn’s got Gondor armor on now. Well well well.

I like that the zipper goes up the middle of the tree.

Colin:

That sounds like a weird addition to emo kids’ cutting rules. Down the road, not across the street, and the zipper goes up the middle of the tree.

I love it when they say they’re cutting “to feel something.” Slam their hand in a car door ten times. They’ll feel something.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1358

Their work here is done.

Colin:

Where are all the corpses? They’re burning the siege towers and stuff, but this whole place should be riddled with corpses.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1359

What are they eating?

Colin:

Where do all these orcs get their food? Cause…nothing grows here. That’s almost guaranteed.

One of those looks like Dobby.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1360

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1361

That’s… a lot of orcs.

And they just have to stand there every day, fighting for food.

This is Soviet Russia, isn’t it?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1362

And they’re all marching out.

I like that they have torches at the ready.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1363

“You see, Mr. Frodo. Some luck at last.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1364

That is cool, though. I want to walk through a field of giant rocks.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1365

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1366

Cool shot.

I like different camera angles like this.

Colin:

RockVision.

Roc-a-Vision.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1367

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1368

See? This is why you could have just killed Gollum the minute he brought you to those stairs. Since — up the stairs, through the tunnel, in Mordor, walk to the volcano. It’s weird that you needed directions to begin with, when this entire place is built on maps.

Colin:

Plus, for like 2/3 of the franchise, we’ve been able to see Mordor somewhere on the horizon. The dark place that glows red.

Just like Lana Turner.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1369

For a second, I thought Pippin was just laying over the side of that horse.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1370

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1371

Double take.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1372

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1373

The Black Gate.

You have to love that this place is so feared that they don’t even bother putting people out front.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1374

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1375

If there’s no water anywhere, how do any of the orcs survive?

Also, isn’t there a line in the books that says they drank the Mordor water, knowing it was probably poisoned? I feel like that was something they said. “I wouldn’t drink that, it’s poisoned.” And then Sam drank it and was like, “Fuck, that tastes horrible.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1376

Colin:

See? Sam’s still got water left and everything. He’s totally better than Frodo, although I think it’s more that he’s better at being a servant or helper than Frodo is at being whatever he is. Sam can be trusted to come through with shit. It’s weird how I always thought of him as mostly worthless, cause I’ve changed my opinion of him completely.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1377

Colin:

I SAW DROPS FALLING OUT THAT DIDN’T GO IN YOUR MOUTH WASTER OF WATER

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1378

“There will be none left for the return journey.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1379

“I don’t think there will be a return journey, Mr. Frodo.”

Colin:

Oh no, now even Sam’s given in. Now it’s gotta be done.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1380

Colin:

How are there still 53 minutes left of this movie?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1381

Well, you’re here. Now what?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1382

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1383

I guess they gotta ride up.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1384

Wouldn’t it be funny if Sauron just stonewalled them and didn’t do anything?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1385

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1386

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1387

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1388

“What you swattin’ at?”

Colin:

Uh oh. Frodo’s doing the Maximus groping. Did Joaquin Phoenix stab him in the side?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1389

Colin:

Do you guys remember Gladiator? That movie was the shit. That movie came out when I was ten and a half, and between that and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I couldn’t imagine how life could get any better. Remember when those movies were new? Aw, man.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1390

Does the Eye feel the ring or is it just scanning because that’s what it does?

Idea: The Great Escape, but in Mordor.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1391

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1392

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1393

These three shots are AMAZING.

Frodo looking sideways at the eye. The eye going, “What the fuck are you looking at?” and then this face.

This would make a great meme.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1394

Colin:

Jeez. He fell funny.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1395

His faces in these movies are incredible.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1396

WHY IS YOUR FUCKING HEAD UP SAM?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1397

So, does he not see them because of the rocks or is he just supposed to see two bodies? It’s not at all, right? Since, if they just dropped and the rocks weren’t there, then he’d just see two little midget bodies and send people over to investigate.

Because if I saw two midget bodies — I’m going to check that shit out.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1398

Doesn’t it look like Gandalf has a tail?

Colin:

Does he not?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1399

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1400

Like this shot too.

Peter Jackson is better when he doesn’t move the camera and doesn’t load his frame with special effects.

Colin:

The first two movies annoyed me with the camera movement. This one’s doing better.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1401

Seriously, though. This is how I picture North Korea.

You think I’m making a joke, but I’m not.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1402

“Can Sauron come out?”

Colin:

Wouldn’t any orcs on top of this gate fire arrows down at them and fuck up the leaders all at once? Orcs aren’t honorable. That’s a legit concern. But apparently nothing happens. Even though we saw the Black Gate in the last film, and it was covered with orcs who had bows.

Also, moments like these always makes me think of The Warriors, which then makes me think of the Flava in Ya Ear Remix, which then makes me think of the Chappelle’s Show Making the Band sketch. So I’m watching them ride up to the North Korean wall, and I’m saying, “Breaaaast milllllk! You made my day-ay!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1403

Colin:

Wait, didn’t they take Frodo’s clothes? Wasn’t that the whole reason they put on the orc clothes? Now both of them are in Shire shirts (Shirets?) again.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1404

“Let the lord of the black land come forth. Let justice be done upon him.”

I don’t like the idea of justice being done “upon” someone.

Reminds me too much of a bunch of frat guys jerking off over a sleeping girl.

(Or… supreme court justices.)

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1405

This is a really cool gate, though.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1406

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1407

The eye is distracted.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1408

All you need is some entrance music, and you guys are set.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1409

Yo, orcs… shoot them.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1410

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1411

So why did they ride up there? To parlay or something?

Presumably, yes, since originally, there was that whole other moment I’m going to talk about in a second. Here it just seems weird. You’d think the army marching to your gate would get your attention, and not, “Yo, come out and meet justice.”

Colin:

So, this whole time…has it just been Sauron’s spirit? Is the eye his spirit? Does he have a body and he’s just controlling that eye? How does he command his people to do shit? Is it telepathy? Isn’t he at the stage where he can be on the back of Quirrell’s head yet?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1412

“Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.”

… if I weren’t a badass. Is the rest of that sentence that you don’t hear.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1413

“A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.”

NOT ON THIS DAY!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1414

I like how Gandalf is just chilling on a horse. “Fuck it. I did my general-ing. It’s this motherfucker’s turn.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1415

“An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight!”

Wolves?

Also, you’ve been fighting like, every day.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1416

“For all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”

Well, that part makes sense.

Colin:

Decent pep talk. Much better than Theoden’s from earlier. The only problem is that he’s talking to the guys in the first three rows. Pretty much everyone else is kind of terrified cause they couldn’t hear you.

But yes, Men of the West. Fuck the Soviets.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1417

Why is Mordor just standing there. Put a fucking arrow in him. Why would you let him stand there and make a speech? Why would you respect the rules of warfare?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1418

Eww.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1419

Man, they got to Mount Doom quickly.

Colin:

Obi Wan and Anakin are fighting just over there.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1420

I love this shot. They’re just walking all the fuck around them.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1421

Reactions.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1422

See, if this is me, I’m not too dead to do this. I see that I’m so close and get extra energy. Because I know, when I’m done, I ain’t gotta do shit no more.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1423

Cool shot.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1424

Colin:

Hey, listen. That pipe flute bullshit is back.

All it took to muster strength was the “Concerning Hobbits” leitmotif?

Thanks, piccolos!

Piccolo You're Welcome

No, not…

Forget it.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1425

I was gonna chastise Sam for not being able to move anymore, but you know what? He gave Frodo his last drops of water. So… he has an excuse.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1426

Well that didn’t last very long.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1427

Colin:

Oh. Y’all are surrounded. Had to be said.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1428

“Never thought I’d die fighting side by side with an elf.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1429

“What about side by side with a friend?”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1430

“Aye. I can do that.”

Colin:

Aw, are we gonna get some elf on dwarf? Always wondered what a dwelf would look like. Still, you realize that the only reason that Legolas and Gimli are such good buddies is that they’ve been constantly surrounded by men, and so they’re pretty consistently the only two ‘ethnics’ of whatever group they’re in.

I want to be referred to as an “ethnic” once. With quotes. It only works with quotes.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1431

“Mister Frodo, stop eating dirt.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1432

Colin:

Frodo and Sam suck at climbing and being conscious.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1433

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo?”

Does anybody remember laughter?

What the fuck do you mean, “Do you remember the Shire?” You’re fucking FROM the Shire. You’ve lived there for 50 years! (Reminder, Frodo was 50 when he set out to Bree.)

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1434

“It’ll be spring soon.”

This is like Tom Hanks talking to Wilson.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1435

“The orchards will be in blossom.”

You can take the boy out of the garden…

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1436

“And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket.”

This sounds like code. This sounds like something you tell your boys at a bar. “The birds are nesting in the hazel thicket.”

Colin:

His bird’s gonna be nesting in Rosie’s hazel thicket in about six months.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1437

“And we’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields.”

That sounds like code, too. “Sowing the summer barley in the lower fields.”

Colin:

He’ll be sowing the summer barley in Rosie’s lower fields in about six months.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1438

“And eating the first summer strawberries with cream.”

Colin:

He’ll be eating the first summer… no, I lost it.

Why the fuck are the strawberries something you look forward to? Why is liquor not a part of it?

Though we do love strawberries. Don’t we, Shiho?

Colin:

Strawberries with cream. I do love strawberries. Mmm. I only hope he isn’t referring to a sex act with Ron Weasley.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1439

“Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

No, but I could eat a peach for hours.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1440

“No, Sam. I can’t recall the taste of food.”

That’s the most sensible thing I’ve heard in a while. “No, motherfucker. I can’t remember strawberries. All we’ve had to eat for a year is elf bread and water.”

“Nor the sound of water.”

That seems like a weird thing to forget.

“Or the touch of grass.”

All right, I can go with that.

“I’m naked in the dark.”

That sounds like a sext.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1441

And then Frodo says some shit about being able to see Sauron, and Sam’s like, “Well let’s fucking get rid of this thing, then.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1442

“Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1443

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1444

INTO THE WEST LEITMOTIF!

Colin:

So Sam has already been a ring-bearer for a short period of time; now he’s the first ever ring-bearer bearer.

How come Middle Earth doesn’t have bears?

Colin:

But let’s not beat around the bush. This is awesome because it’s a midget carrying a midget.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1445

What if they got hit by a car right now?

(Scary Movie 9.)

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1446

Volcanos are cool.

Colin:

No they’re not.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1447

You should just charge straight ahead, all of you, wipe out the group right by the gate, run inside and then open this shit up.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1448

Look at Legolas’s face.

Colin:

Legolas is looking with his head tilted. That’s funny.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1449

Gandalf looks exactly like Dumbledore after he drank the pain potion.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1450

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1451

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1452

Might as well, right? If you’re gonna die, die fighting.

Colin:

He meant ‘fucking.’

Wouldn’t that be a fun way to march on the Black Gate.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1453

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1454

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1455

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1456

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1457

“For Frodo.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1458

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1459

This is a beautiful moment. Kind of works better when you don’t cut out what came immediately before it, which is the dude coming out and being like, “Hey, guess what? They’re already dead,” and tossing Frodo’s shit (mithril and whatever) on the ground, and everyone being sad, and Aragorn going, “Fuck it, I’m going anyway.” But you know, whatever.

Colin:

I don’t know how to feel about this. I guess it’s pretty awesome. I like how there’s almost zero warning. He just steps out, turns and smiles, says the line and peaces. If it were me, I’d have been like, “Okay, so on ‘three,’ right? One…two…hang on, are the archers set? I’m not going unless they can provide cover. Okay, One…two…I’m serious, we’re going on ‘three!’ One…two…”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1460

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1461

I also like how the rest of them are like, “Shit, the hobbits ran before we did? YAHHH!!!”

Colin:

Nice that the hobbits are the first ones to follow him before anyone else gets what’s up. Cause Merry and Pippin are DTF, if nothing else.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1462

Good thing the first people to run are faster than everyone behind them, right?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1463

Because y’all motherfuckers are gonna get trampled.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1464

Let’s make a giant photo album of people’s faces as they charge forward with swords.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1465

I love how Legolas just has to pull out the bow.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1466

And the orcs are just standing there, waiting to be fucked.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1467

Colin:

That’s a weird way to hold another person.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1468

Colin:

The volcano is spewing bits of stuff…why isn’t it coming out there? Why aren’t they getting pummeled with little bits?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1469

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1470

“Look, Mr. Frodo, we’re almost there.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1471

Colin:

Oh SHIT it’s Gollum, bitches!!!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1472

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1473

“Clever hobbits, to climb so high.”

Isn’t this where we came in?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1474

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1475

Colin:

He’s got Frodo around the neck in such a way that you know either hard love or soft rape is coming. One or the other.

Hard Love or Soft Rape

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1476

Surprisingly really nice shot. It’s weird that we just sort of buy Gollum, as far as CGI goes.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1477

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1478

I love how often people get hit with rocks in Middle Earth.

Colin:

That was a big rock hurled pretty hard. That would probably crack your skull. At the very least you’d be knocked out. Gollum should be on the ground dancing to Sandstorm right now.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1479

He must be concussed as shit right now.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1480

I like how he’s up before Frodo is.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1481

YEAH TACKLE THAT MOTHERFUCKER!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1482

I like how the shot delineates where the good guys are in relation to the orcs. You can still see that inner ring.

Colin:

The Nazgul sure do know how to roll up on a party.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1483

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1484

Sam’s head should be cracked open.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1485

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1486

That would be worse if he had more teeth.

Colin:

Gollum fights viciously. The head smashing and the biting are pretty gratuitous. The bite might be the single most disturbing thing he does, cause you know he eats stuff like them. He tried to eat Bilbo all those years ago, after all. But there’s something off-putting about a bite.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1487

This is like wrestling. Getting pummeled in the turnbuckle, throw the guy into it and start wailing on him.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1488

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1489

SWORD SLASH!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1490

That should have disemboweled him.

Colin:

It’s awesome when the slash is the same motion as taking out the blade. Comes right out of the sheath and slashes you up REAL good.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1491

I like how the ring is making him want to keep it, and yet he’s still running up to destroy it.

Colin:

For someone who was being carried on someone else’s back a few seconds ago, you sure are running up this mountain.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1492

Gandalf’s ready to fuck up some Nazgul.

Colin:

They’re still fighting in a huge circle, which means that the dudes on the outside are getting tired while the guys on the inside are probably playing PSP.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1493

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1494

“Well I guess I’m fighting you next.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1495

But wait a minute…

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1496

Colin:

The moth’s back! We know him! He’s cool peoples. And Gandalf’s like, “Oh shit, you came? Got my BBM?”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1497

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1498

SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKER!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1499

The eagles picked a side?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1500

Colin:

AMERICA

I love the eagles, but they really come off too much like a deux ex machina in this franchise. (And if you don’t believe me, see The Hobbit.)

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1501

Colin:

Best part of the franchise. One, cause it’s America. Two, because that eagle did a fucking BARREL ROLL into fucking up a Nazgul!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1502

Colin:

Frodo running here is very CGI. Which feels a lot rarer for this franchise than it did for Star Wars. Obviously.

But… remember what I’ve said all the way from the Potter articles? These wide shots always look the worst.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1503

Oh man, this is my shit. I fucking love this shot and this angle.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1504

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1505

This is like a Gustave Dore painting.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1506

Colin:

That’s a great image. Him standing at the edge, looking down.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1508

“Frodo!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1507

“I’m here, Sam!”

Well fucking really, Legolas.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1509

Seems like a dangerous place to build a walkway.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1510

“Destroy it!”

Colin:

This makes Sam the Elrond of this scenario.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1511

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1512

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1513

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1514

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1515

Just great shot choices all around here.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1516

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1517

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1518

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1519

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1520

But uh oh. Hassa hassa, baby.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1521

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1522

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1523

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1524

“The ring is mine.”

Colin:

He sure was ready to get there, but I guess being faced with the task itself was too much for him. Was this the ring knowing it was fucked and giving that little extra push?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1525

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1526

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1527

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1528

I like how he always has to put it on so slowly.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1529

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1530

Colin:

That’s a look I reserve for nice cars and fine women.

And Swiss watches.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1531

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1532

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1533

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1534

Every franchise has one.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1535

Colin:

And then Sam was all, “NO!” and then Sauron was all, “WHAT?!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1536

Weird how he gets to watch himself get killed.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1537

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1538

How are you gonna get a Nazgul into a fucking volcano?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1539

Colin:

Gandalf looks like he had his nose in something’s ass.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1540

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1541

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1542

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1543

This is one of the creepiest shots in all of cinema.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1544

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1545

Colin:

“Shhhhh.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1546

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1547

“Ain’t nobody saw that.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1548

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1549

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1550

Oh he’s ready to knock this motherfucker out.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1551

That’s good timing. Because if it’s not Frodo, then your ass is in the lava.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1552

This looks hilarious out of context.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1553

Colin:

Personal preference, but I’m iffy on riding things I can’t see. Frodo, thestrals…mostly those. So don’t expect me to hop on either of those anytime soon.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1554

Can he just sense that a troll is behind him?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1555

Troll fight!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1556

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1557

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1558

It looks like they’re pulling the Eowyn move here.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1559

Colin:

Boss fight! Aragorn’s working on a troll by himself. How crazy would that be, to see your king-to-be (HE’S YOUR — KINNNNNGGG TO-OO BE!) going head to head with a troll? You would do anything he said for the rest of time. Other guys, you might call them out for only saying shit cause they’re king. This guy can back up his words. Cause goddamn.

I don’t know why he’s doing this.

They’re only worth five points.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1560

HA HA. Look at Sam’s body just laying there.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1561

“I’m the king of the world!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1562

Holy shit, look at this.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1563

Best out of context shot in the franchise.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1564

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1565

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1566

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1567

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1568

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1569

Out of context screenshots.

Give it to us raw and wriggling indeed.

Colin:

Gollum sure found that hand and bit through it. I’m guessing he could feel the ring on his lips or whatever, so he knew which finger to bite. But is it that easy to bite through a finger? I’ve bitten my own fingers, but I’ve obviously never applied anywhere NEAR the amount of pressure you’d need to bite it off. How hard would it be? Dude’s only got like three teeth, too. So it’s questionable how he doesn’t just drive one tooth deep into the finger and have to bite a lot more times to get the whole thing off. But I’m talking about a weird little monster biting off a midget’s finger in a volcano. We can just move on.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1570

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1571

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1572

Oh that’s awesome. Just takes the finger out so he can get the ring.

Colin:

I love how Gollum drops the severed finger and it makes the softest little splat sound when it hits the ground. And that sound is completely what that was, too — someone could play you just that audio, and you’d go, “Hm. Sounds like someone dropping a finger in some sand.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1573

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1574

Wouldn’t you like to celebrate while your enemy holds the remains of his disfigured hand?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1575

Oh please, it’s just a finger. Not even a big part of one.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1576

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1577

It’s finally his.

(Nice shot, too.)

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1578

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1579

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1580

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1581

“YESSSS!!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1582

Colin:

Aragorn’s down! But you know he gets up, cause it’s Aragorn.

He’s also a member of Chumbawamba.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1583

Colin:

Legolas is doing pretty well to make it through this crowd. Where’s Gimli during all this? Probably laughing and murdering things. It’s actually kinda messed up when you consider how they’re all sort of sociopaths.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1584

It actually is just for lookin’ through, isn’t it?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1585

“KING KONG AIN’T GOT SHIT ON ME!!”

“Who da man? Who the man?”

“Who’s house?” Gollum’s house!”

Colin:

I like his little C-section wound that Sam gave him a few minutes ago.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1586

It’s not gonna come back if you keep staring at it.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1587

“YESSS!!!”

Colin:

The sad thing is that I’ve seen kids react this way to getting new video games.

I’ve seen people react this way to getting Episode I tickets.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1588

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1589

This is like wrestling. Sam is the referee who’s been knocked out.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1590

Colin:

I can’t take your dramatic walk over there seriously because of those knickerbockers you’re wearing. I might buy it if you were off to dramatically dig for clams.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1591

I like how he’s just jumping around and doesn’t give a fuck where Frodo is.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1592

STRUGGLE OVER A VOLCANO!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1593

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1594

If you can build a story to this moment, and there’s still tension, you’ve done good.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1595

Colin:

Shit, now that was a kick. That thing’s foot is just meat.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1596

Stabbing things is fun.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1597

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1598

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1599

Well that was bound to happen.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1600

It’s always smart to shoot it like this. Never go close.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1601

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1602

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1603

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1604

This is a nice moment. He’s just happy he has the Precious, even though he’s about to die a fiery death.

In a way, he’s a hero. Only, like, not, at all.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1605

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1606

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1607

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1608

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1609

Colin:

Isn’t that not how lava works? I thought you’d completely disintegrate or melt or whatever on impact. He seems to be intact under the lava. Like, the muscles that are holding up the hand that’s holding up the ring are under the lava and should be GONE. And his eyes should be on fire.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1610

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1611

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1612

Is he trying to save the ring or is this his “Why have you forsaken me?” face?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1613

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1614

Colin:

He didn’t even get to go out with a thumbs up.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1615

Colin:

I have a thing about heat — I hate it. This is why, even though I’m relatively okay with a lot of ways to die, I always hope, “Just not lava.” And until recently, I was totally safe from that, but then I moved to Japan, which is littered with volcanoes around the edge of a geological pattern called the Ring of Fire. So….

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1616

Colin:

Lucky ring, getting to float on top of Gollum’s…residue, or whatever that is.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1617

So I guess that’s the whole thing here? He didn’t care enough about the ring to not hold on, while Gollum wanted the ring above all else?

Colin:

Yeah, it looks like as he’s falling, he’s just so smitten with the ring that he doesn’t notice what’s going on. And then when he hits the lava, it’s like, “Wait, WHAT?”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1618

But now, you’re pretty much fucked, so…

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1619

And you know it.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1620

There’s Sam, right on time, as per usual.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1621

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1622

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1623

These closeups are nice.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1624

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1625

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1626

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1627

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1628

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1629

Colin:

You can’t pull him up like that. His hand’s all bloody and slippery.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1630

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1631

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1632

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1633

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1634

“Don’t you let go.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1635

Colin:

That’s good, how Sam sees it in his face and tells him not to let go. Some things can be left unsaid, and it’s okay.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1636

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1637

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1638

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1639

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1640

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1641

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1642

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1643

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1644

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1645

So the ring was a horcrux, right?

Colin:

That eye just blew the fuck up! Someone must have farted in its pillow.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1646

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1647

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1648

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1649

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1650

That troll is awesome. He knows what that means. He’s breakin’ out.

Colin:

This troll is strangely the smartest thing around. He knows what’s up, so he peaces. The rest of this army is going to fall into the earth and die, and anyone who doesn’t will be killed. This orc’s going off to start a farm somewhere. Settle down. Raise a family. Yeah!

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1651

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1652

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1653

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1654

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1655

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1656

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1657

Too bad he doesn’t have an organ sac that can go up in flames.

Colin:

That’s what you said about Margaret Thatcher. And Gandolfini. And Cory Monteith.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1658

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1659

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1660

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1661

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1662

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1663

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1664

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1665

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1666

Colin:

Aw, man! Why’d the tower have to crack and break and fall apart? They could have made that place into a theme park or something! And now it’s all Barad-done, Or-thank you.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1667

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1668

Colin:

The eye explodes like a nuclear bomb. But it’s not worth if if there’s no mushroom cloud.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1669

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1670

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1671

“Frodo!”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1672

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1673

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1674

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1675

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1676

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1677

I love these two orcs’ faces.

Colin:

That has to be Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1678

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1679

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1680

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1681

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1682

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1683