Fun with Franchises: The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King (2003), Part V — “Ugh. Peasants Clapping.”

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 fifth and final 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 V after what should have been the end of the movie, before like four other “what should have been the end of the movie”s:

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Do they say how much time has passed here? Not much, right. It had to be like, five minutes, tops.

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The Eagles.

Colin:

Once again, America saves the day.

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Colin:

I bet these eagles eat caribou or some shit.

Just like Lana Turner.

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I like that they just pick them up with a single talon. This ain’t shit to them.

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What do the eagles do when they’re not showing up for Gandalf?

And how did Gandalf get so friendly with them?

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That must be awesome and creepy at the same time. Because you’re like, “What the fuck is this thing and why is it carrying me?”

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We’ve seen this before.

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He knows where he is this time.

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And again, the old man is sitting over him, watching.

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“Gandalf!”

Colin:

Oh, right. Frodo still didn’t know Gandalf was alive this whole time. If you’re barely alive one minute, and then when you wake up the first person you see is supposed to have been killed a long time ago, you think, Well, that’s that. I’m dead.”

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Colin:

Midget pig-pile! TICKLE FIGHT!

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Colin:

Has anyone ever taken this scene and dubbed evil music over it? Cause the cuts back to McKellen laughing could just as easily be evil, with the right music. In fact, he even looks a little evil with the happy music.

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Considering all he’s been through, wouldn’t he be screaming like, “OWW, MOTHERFUCKERS!”? His body must be sore as shit from all that walking and sleeping on rocks and getting HIT WITH ROCKS.

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Colin:

Gimli does a rather ethnic clapping of the hands.

I didn’t get a shot of that, but I did get that one up there instead.

I think I’d prefer that one.

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“Gimli!”

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Isn’t it ironic that in a scene with Frodo saying everyone’s name in a completely pointless show of exposition, the one name he doesn’t say is Legolas’s?

Colin:

Legolas only gets a bit of a smile, because you don’t shout out an elf’s name.

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“Aragorn!”

See? Legolas ain’t got no pappy, and doesn’t get any respect.

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That’s the king of Gondor, and he’s happy to see you.

You did good.

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Colin:

Hahahahaha you guys, remember how Boromir died?

And Merry does this weird flop on the bed thing here, too. Was he like, “Dude, you should have seen it! I killed an orc! And he was like ‘BLEGH!’”

Why is Gimli tearing up?

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Why is everyone watching while these hobbits play in bed together?

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Colin:

I think they actually went out of their way to make this a little more gay than usual.

That also reminds me – they cut out another cliffhanger from the books, which is, between part I and part II of “Return of the King,” a fucking troll drops on Merry. Or Pippin. One of them. And you think they just died. And it’s sad as shit. And then they completely cut away from it and go to Frodo and Sam in Mordor. Completely forgot that got cut out here.

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It’s nice that they don’t have to say anything.

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But it’s also super gay.

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And that probably should have been the end of the movie.

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But we have to see Gondor again.

Which is acceptable.

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Colin:

They sure fixed this place right up. I wonder how much later it is.

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Who had to pick up Denethor?

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This is the definition of standing room only.

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Colin:

Hah. All those people are standing where the bitch ass steward ran by in flames before jumping to his death. Is that not funny to you? That’s funny to me. I hope he left some ashy footprints or something.

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I like the arch thing they have going on above that door.

This place is so well designed. Architecture-wise, this is the best place in Middle Earth. Rivendell wins for best views and best looking place, Rohan wins for most fun place, and I think the Shire might win for best place to live.

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Colin:

I’m digging the crown. Gold is a bit too gaudy. It’s good that Gondor has the silver and white motif going, cause that’s a good pairing.

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Colin:

So is Gandalf Middle Earth’s Archbishop of Canterbury?

Gandalf performs gay weddings in Bree on the regular.

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I see he washed his hair for this.

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“Now come the days of the king. May they be blessed.”

Is Gimli the ring bearer?

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Colin:

That’s a nice view, man. New Zealand looks GOOD. I’d probably move there if it wasn’t so far from everything and didn’t not matter.

Pretty sure that’s not New Zealand. Pretty sure that one’s a computer.

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They should never cut from CG crowd shots to real people. It’s so fucking obvious.

Colin:

Ugh. Peasants clapping. They do it so emphatically, too. You get the feeling these are the film’s producers or guys from the crew or something.

Subtitle: “Ugh. Peasants Clapping.”

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“This day does not belong to one man, but to all. Let us together rebuild this world, that we may share in the days of peace.”

Colin:

Oh, Aragorn’s going to say a few words. Just remember, Your Majesty — ‘a-peoples.’

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Colin:

Gimli has beard braids. Part of me wants to make fun of that, but the rest of me has to stop and appreciate that he has a beard that CAN be braided. You know what? You have a magnificent beard, so you get a pass.

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Oh… right.

I forgot they get together.

Faramir – Gondor’s sloppy seconds.

Colin:

Oh, get it? Faramir and Eowyn are together now. How’s that taste, Eowyn? Taste like ‘next best thing?’

I thought there was an extra shot in this movie that showed them getting together.

Maybe I’m just thinking about the book again.

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And then he starts singing. Because why not?

Colin:

Oh. Guys. He’s singing. Why is he singing? This is weird, make it stop. You like him, but it’s a little weird.

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Clearly not singing in this wide shot, though.

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It’s funny that Denethor would have still been royalty anyway.

Ha ha.

Fuck him.

(Or, does she not take over Rohan? Apparently she does it. They just give it to Eomer instead. That’s fucked up. I mean, appropriate, and all, but still… he basically told her to take over before he died.)

(Still, though — Denethor… what a bitch ass steward.)

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Colin:

Karl Urban can’t NOT make that look. He’s constantly got a furrowed brow. He needs a furrow-ectomy, or whatever. They could probably fix that. I think the only time we see him smile in the whole franchise is when he’s making fun of how short Merry’s arms are. Cause who can resist a crack at the ridiculousness of midget limbs?

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The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1797

Colin:

Legolas is back as a prince, being the son of the Elvenking of Mirkwood. We’ll meet his pappy in the Hobbit movies coming up.

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“You’re late, motherfucker.”

Colin:

Look at Legolas from behind and tell me that isn’t a chick.

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“You look terrible.”

He should have said that.

Apparently elves like showing up late to things.

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They kept her on the sidelines for a long ass time, didn’t they?

Colin:

I love it when Hugo Weaving tries to hide a smile, and the corners of his mouth just curl down until the muscles won’t stretch anymore.

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Look at Hugo Weaving. Not even the focus of the shot and he’s acting his ass off. That look is amazing.

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Colin:

How do the people feel about their new king who showed up out of nowhere and is fucking a foreign chick? I guess he’s proved himself to the point where nobody’s gonna say nothin’ bout nothin’.

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Colin:

It’s awesome how Elrond doesn’t clap until everyone else has been for a second or so, and his whole entourage follows suit. The same thing happens at the end of Patton, when the Americans and Russians are having a party together, and the Russians do a dance. All the Russian generals are clapping, but the American side doesn’t start clapping until George C. Scott does. It’s pretty great.

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Never understood the hug. It always feel like they ran out of things to do. This is one of my movie pet peeves.

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Oh, this is the part that makes me weep every time I see it. No joke. I know it’s coming and it still happens.

Colin:

Yeah! Bow down to a true pimp, bitch!

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“My friends…”

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“You bow to no one.”

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If this moment weren’t always so emotional for me, I’d make an “Aragorn’s about to suck their dicks” joke.

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Colin:

Eh. I think Merry and Pippin should still bow.

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Colin:

They’re all overwhelmed at everyone bowing to them, except Pippin, who’s like, “Yeah! I got a big ole dick!”

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And this is where the movie really should have ended.

Also, what happened to Gandalf?

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Colin:

We like maps.

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“And thus it was, the fourth age of Middle Earth began. And the fellowship of the ring, though eternally bound by friendship and love, was ended.”

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“Thirteen months to the day since Gandalf sent us on our long journey, we found ourselves looking upon a familiar site…”

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“We were home.”

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And wouldn’t it suck… “Oh, sorry… we pawned all your shit months ago. Some of it’s in storage. You really should have called.”

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Colin:

Fucking adventurers.

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Isn’t that what we all want, though? To do adventurous shit, then come back and drink with our friends?

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These shots are basically the order of importance in the characters, aren’t they?

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Let’s all look forlorn because we’ve emotionally grown from this way of living and then drink.

My favorite.

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I like how these motherfuckers have seen war, and that asshole in the back is like, “Look at my pumpkin!”

I bet people come for miles just to see that pumpkin.

Colin:

That looks like the guy who played Deagol, but it’s a different guy. Why does he have a pumpkin? Actually, that question is stupid. Why wouldn’t you have a pumpkin?

Yeah, he’s gonna polish the shit out of that pumpkin. That comment was for the off chance that someone out there is into midgets handling produce. And hey, there’s more than seven billion people in the world.

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The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1868

Colin:

Rosie. She dat pub ho dat err’body know. Most good franchises have one.

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There you go. A little liquid “fuck it.” (It’s not courage. The courage is there. You just need to stuff to make you say, “Fuck it,” and just do it.)

(Like with fat chicks.)

Colin:

Correct. There’s nothing to be said. When you open your mouths, booze goes in them.

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Did he start fucking her or something? What’s with these faces?

Colin:

And they laugh, because he did something awkward? Maybe I’m just too far past that stage where you laughed about stuff like, “Heh, our friend is going to talk to a GIRL!”

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Holy shit, I guess he did.

Why didn’t you put that scene in the movie?

Who the fuck needed Faramir if you had that?

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Colin:

Hobbit weddings are great because they’re so short.

Fuck. That might be too good to not be the subtitle.

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Look at that old fuck.

That’s an old William H. Macy hobbit.

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I bet those are all the kids who doubled the hobbits in wide shots.

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Oh yeah, Pippin.

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Colin:

Of course it’s Pippin. He’s ridiculous. But LOOK AT HIM GIVE THIS CHICK THE EYE! YEAH!

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It’s weird that she didn’t bang anybody for all those years.

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The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1881

Aww… he’s celibate.

Colin:

This is like in Brokeback when Heath Ledger gets married.

They cut out the last scene when Sam finds one of Frodo’s shirts in the closet and goes all Brokeback.

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“How do you pick up the threads of an old life?”

Uhh… easily. Bilbo did that shit for years. Just go places and do shit. Motherfucker, you can go anywhere and be treated like fucking royalty.

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It’s not bad, honestly. He saved the world, and all he lost was half a finger and has a wound in his shoulder that hurts from time to time. That’s not that bad.

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Colin:

You see on the last page that he’s writing that Sam was elected mayor of Hobbiton.

I voted for the pumpkin.

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Colin:

In terms of scale, Lord of the Rings blows The Hobbit out of the water. But I also really like the story of The Hobbit. It’s the one I read first.

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The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1891

I like how he’s just there. The timing is just impeccable.

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Four years to the day since Weathertop. Impeccable.

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It’s almost finished.

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Bilbo’s being allowed to travel on the last ship to leave Middle Earth.

There’s always a “last ship,” isn’t there?

Remember how there was a last ship that Arwen didn’t go on and how this is the last ship, and how there will be another ship because Sam and Gimli and Legolas get to go too?

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Which is also weird, that Bilbo is the one going, since Frodo has done more than he did.

But I guess Bilbo has a great relationship with the blacks elves.

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Bilbo also asks about the ring. And Frodo’s like, “Oh, yeah… I lost that shit years ago.”

Colin:

Bilbo looks like the Crypt Keeper.

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It’s amazing how easily we lie to old people.

Colin:

He’s sort of senile, but still sharp. When Frodo tells him he lost the ring, Bilbo’s head jerks. “The FUCK you say?”

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That’ll be me one day. They’re gonna be stealing my shit and I’m gonna go, “Isn’t that my laptop?” and they’re gonna go, “No, grandpa, that’s someone else’s,” and I’m just gonna nod off.

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This is a pretty complex harbor.

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It’s pretty fucked up that they’re only letting him go now. There was a ship that left four years ago. (Wasn’t that the last ship to leave? Or was that because they expected the world to end at that point? That was pretty pessimistic of them.) If they let Bilbo leave sooner, he’d have been younger. Does he now have to go to the undying lands looking like this? That sucks.

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Colin:

There’s something hilarious about an old person walking a long way without realizing where they are and then gasping when they look up. I’m gonna do this sort of thing when I’m old. I wanna be the old person that young people don’t know whether to pity or laugh at.

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I love the random guy that’s also there. Motherfucker, we don’t know who you are. Stop pretending like you matter.

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Apparently men are now taking shit over.

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This place is off the fucking chain. I love this place. Just set a fucking movie here and it’ll be interesting as shit.

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“I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.”

Colin:

His nod as Elrond spreads his arms is like, “Yes…you’re an elf.”

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I love that awkward look. “Are y’all looking at me? I’ll be going now…”

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The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1917

“Farewell, my brave hobbits. My work is now finished.”

What work? What took you four years to wrap up?

Colin:

Why would Gandalf be leaving? The wizards have all been there thousands of years during peacetime…what’s different now?

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“Here, at last, on the shores of the sea, comes the end of our friendship.”

Colin:

The end of our friendship? I thought we’d be friends forever!

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“I will not say do not weep. For not all tears are an evil.”

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“It is time, Frodo.”

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I’m curious as hell about this moment. Now – does Frodo know? Does he not know? Because either way, someone is being a dick right now. Either it’s Gandalf for springing it on him at the very last moment. Because you saw that insert of Frodo a second ago. That look could have been him like, “Oh, so you’re not gonna invite me too?” looking sad and all. Or did Frodo know and not tell anyone else? And is he being the dick and is Gandalf like, “Come on, you have to tell them.” Since that insert could have been Frodo waiting for Gandalf to break the news.

I’m really curious about this, because I have no fucking clue which way it is. Why wouldn’t you tell Frodo sooner? Why would you make him wait like that? Tell him on the way, tell him when Bilbo goes. Why does Gandalf get his goodbye and then go, “Oh, by the way… Frodo, you can come too, if you want?

Someone’s being a dick here, and I really want to know who.

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“What does he mean?”

Colin:

Oh. He didn’t know.

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“We set out to save the Shire, Sam. And it has been saved. But not for me.”

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“You don’t mean that. You can’t leave.”

So, is Frodo being the dick? Or is he just continuing along because he knows this is just what it is? I still can’t tell. It seems like Frodo’s being a dick and that he knew all along, but on the other hand, he could just be going, “We know this is how it should be. I can’t live in this place anymore. I’ve seen too much shit.”

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Oh, never mind… he knew.

Wow… Frodo is a dick.

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“The last pages are for you, Sam.”

Colin:

He’s saved the last pages for Sam? The first two stories are epic! Sam’s part is gonna be a stupid diary. “Fourth Age 12, April 20: Smoked up like crazy. Fucked Rosie silly. Made some eggs.”

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Colin:

Hugging and kissing that goes on forever.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1937

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1938

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1939

Look at Sam, crying like a bitch in the background.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1940

Wait, where the fuck did everyone else go? Is the boat that big that the rest of them can just fit on there without being seen?

Is this boat a metaphor?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1941

What the fuck is that scarf?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1942

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1943

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1944

Holy shit, this place is amazing. This might be my new favorite place in Middle Earth.

Colin:

What is THIS city, though? Can I live here? Here or Rivendell. Or the orc tower from before.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1945

Top three – in no order – Edoras, the Shire, this place. And we’ll put Minas Tirith and Rivendell to round out the top five. Won’t rank them, since who needs to make such rigid definitions? But those are clearly the best five places.

Pretty sure Colin would have the same list except maybe with that orc tower instead of Edoras. So we got that going for us.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1946

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1947

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1948

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1949

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1950

Clearly not the ending of the movie because if you went this far, you’re going to have the last line of the book.

Colin:

Well, the movie just ended AGAIN. But not.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1951

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1952

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1953

So what happens with Frodo’s house?

Colin:

Sam is supposed to have moved into Bag End.

He looks like he’s still in a starter apartment.

With all those kids?

How do they get by on a gardener’s salary and from bartending tips?

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1954

Colin:

Ew. His little daughter has furry feet. That’s Sean Astin’s actual daughter, too.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1955

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1956

Colin:

Looks like they’ve been gettin’ BIZZAY. They actually have 13 kids eventually, before Sam leaves to join Frodo in the Undying Lands.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1957

“Well… I’m back.”

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1958

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1959

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1960

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1961

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1962

Colin:

Wow, so that was the Lord of the Rings. There was quite a bit to cover.

The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King - 1963

Colin:

There and Back Again: A Drunkard’s Tale by Mike DiPrisco.

We might need to make that the subtitle of The Hobbit Part I when we do those films.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow are our favorite images, Sunday is final thoughts, then… new franchise.

(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)

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