Trilogy Thursday: The Lord of the Rings
Max: Frodo Baggins lives an insular life. While he loves the adventures of his Uncle Bilbo and the wizard Gandolf, he never imagines that adventure would find him in the shire. Then one day his uncle’s prized procession, his golden ring, gets passed to Frodo and begins a tireless journey to secure the safety of the entire world. Fellowship of the Ring is the beginning of one of the best trilogies of all time and it helps that this chapter is the strongest. It’s able to focus on a single storyline since the characters are in a fellowship for most of the film. There’s also the dramatic death of one of the fellowship that had me shocked. I had never read the books, so everything was new to me.
I only decided to see the film on opening night due to the buzz. I had been disappointed by too many fantasy movies in the past. This film changed all that and proved that fantasy could be done right if it was the hands of a capable and loving director. I’m not certain any other director could’ve brought this vision to the big screen other than Peter Jackson. He put everything into this trilogy and shows because the work before it and after it hasn’t come close to approaching this story.
Claire: The opening of Fellowship invited you into the glorious world of Middle-earth, which is home to all manner of fantastic races, from wizards to elves and hobbits to ents. From a rather gentle beginning where we are introduced to the world of the hobbits, the pace picks up and soon we’re accompanying the Fellowship on their quest to destroy the ring of power, a corrupt weapon created by Sauron.
After watching Fellowship I immediately started reading the books as I was dying to know what happened next. In fact, I skipped ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ and went straight to ‘The Two Towers’! Fellowship was an excellent introduction to the The Lord of the Rings universe and I was completely hooked. The scenery took my breath away – I’ve been saving for a ticket to New Zealand ever since.
Max: Frodo and Sam continue their journey to destroy the one ring in the heart of Mount Doom. Now joined by one of the most impressive CG companions in Gollum, their bond will be called into question as the perilous quest continues. The fellowship has disbanded and the other hobbits, humans, elves, and dwarfs must unite to fight the enemy. The Two Towers has the unfortunate task of being the middle chapter. While some trilogies have proven that the second film can be the strongest, it was already determined that The Two Towers would neither have a beginning nor an end.
What I remember most from The Two Towers is of course the siege on Helm’s Deep. The scope of the battle had never been seen before as thousands of computer generated characters raided the stronghold. It also features the return of a character that was thought to be loss from the earlier chapter. Two Towers was amazingly able to replicate the strong storytelling and pace of the original, without sacrificing much.
Claire: The Two Towers picks up right where Fellowship left off, and the split story telling really comes into its own. The Fellowship has become separated and we now see the quest through several people’s eyes. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are together and on the hunt for the kidnapped hobbits, Merry and Pippin, while Frodo and Sam edge ever closer to Mordor.
As we are introduced to more characters, namely King Théoden, Éomer, Éoywn and Faramir, I became even more in awe of JRR Tolkien’s rich Middle-earth and Peter Jackson’s fantastic interpretation. After reading the books I knew what would happen, but seeing it on screen was every bit as awesome as I expected. I don’t use the term ‘awesome’ lightly either – the battle of Helm’s Deep is one of the finest battle sequences ever captured on screen, and a shiver runs over me whenever I watch it or hear the music played during the scenes.