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Preview: The Lord of the Rings:
The Return of the King

posted 12/22/02 -- updated 5/18/03
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Updates on this page: The E3 con screen caps have reappeared at Herr der Ringe (the ones from AICN) and (the TORN caps). What's the difference? There are more TORN caps, and they seem to be of (slightly) better quality, but each group has different shots. Both are worth looking at, and both sets have been integrated into the page below. Twenty-five new shots from the official site have also been integrated into this page and the previous page.
Minas Tirith

<< Of course, you've already seen it briefly in FOTR, but you're going to be seeing a
great deal of it in ROTK. Galleries: Numenoreen; Herr der Ringe; Elbakin; Tolkien Online
>> Top: two Howes and a Lee. Bottom: bigature and two real-life sets.
<< A "guard" at the FOTR Cannes screening. Do the city guards look like this?

>> Gandalf and Pippin arrive (E3).

<< Gandalf muses on the city's defense.

<< Denethor: Alan Lee's depiction (Rolozo Tolkien).
>> Calendar shot (note Faramir in upper corner);
Denethor and Pippin from official site (hover cursor for descriptions).

Boromir: Someone is going to have flash-backs, although we don't know who (his father? Faramir? Aragorn? Frodo? Pippin, for that matter?).
>> More Denethor.

The Siege of Minas Tirith

>> Gandalf inside the city.
<< Gandalf with his staff, although the image probably comes later in the sequence.

>> Things blow up real good.

Grond: A battering ram used at Minas Tirith; the second image is E3 footage.

<< Note the trolls wielding it.

>> Far right: The siege of Minas Tirith as illustrated by John Howe.

>> Doors open on a courtyard, and Faramir looks on in dismay.

Pelennor Fields

Just as a quick refresher note, the fields are just outside Minas Tirith.

Soldiers of Gondor: Yeah, people got all het up because "there's no plate armor in Middle Earth!" Well, suck it up, folks: there is now. Galleries: War of the Ring;

Faramir: The general consensus on the web the last couple of days is that the guy on the right is also Faramir.

>> Is Faramir leading the charge?

<< Aragorn's in there somewhere. In charge of tents, it looks like.

>> Theoden rallies the troops.

Folks we can't definitively place at Pelennor or the Black Gates:

>> Eomer...

>> Gimli...

>> Legolas (see the Black Gates for another scene these pictures could be from)

Eowyn and the Witch King

Alan Lee (Rolozo Tolkien): the battlefield on the left, and the aftermath on the right
(complete with burnt-out Nazgul steed

<< Some people say this is a dead Nazgul steed. Others say it's just a dead oli-phaunt. We present it for your perusal either way.
>> Action figure of

>> John Howe's "Eowyn and the Nazgul." <<Jackson has decided to reshoot this sequence because the Witch King "looked too much like Sauron" in the original footage (see helmet at left).

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Alan Lee. Gandalf and Pippin meet Denethor.
John Howe. Rolozo Tolkien. Eowyn and the Nazgul.
John Howe. Rolozo Tolkien. Minas Tirith guards.
John Howe. Rolozo Tolkien. Minas Tirith and the white tower of Ecthelion.
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. Within Minas Tirith.
John Howe. Rolozo Tolkien. Siege of Minas Tirith.
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. Pelennor Fields, Minas Tirith in background.
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John Howe. Rolozo Tolkien. Eowyn and the Nazgul.
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. Pelennor Fields, Minas Tirith in background.
TORN E3 footage
TORN E3 footage "Gandalf (Ian McKellen) must decide how to best defend Minas Tirith, the chief city of Gondor" "Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, (John Noble) is bitter over the death of his son Boromir" "Pippin (Billy Boyd) tries to explain Boromir's death to his father Denethor, the Steward of Gondor"
TORN/E3 "Theoden (Bernard Hill) rallies his Rohan soldiers to battle at Pelennor Fields" "To please his father Denethor, Faramir (David Wenham) valiantly fights in battle" "Legolas (Orlando Bloom) joins with Rohan warriors to fight against Sauron" "Legolas (Orlando Bloom) joins with Rohan warriors to fight against Sauron"
Maxim scan from
Disclaimer: Regarding the E3 footage below, I'm only working on context clues here--for example, if the movie stays true to these characters' fates, the Faramir and Theoden pictures will have to come from the siege. Otherwise, I'm having a hard time telling which go with Pelennor and which go with the Black Gates, and I can't really group them into any sort of chronology--just by subject or natural progression. Also: Anyone who sends me pictures of Eowyn in battle gets a statue built in his/her honor (extra tall if she's with the Witch King or Faramir).