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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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HERE BE SPOILERS! TURN BACK IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOKS!

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Updates on this page: The E3 con screen caps have reappeared at Herr der Ringe (the ones from AICN) and Elflady.com (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.
The Black Gates

<< This is
not the Mouth of Sauron. (Click for the full explanation--scroll down to fourth question.) That is. (We think.) >>

>> Notice the White Tree on Aragorn's new armor. Also: Effects shot of the Gates. (LA Times, Quintessential, HDO)



>> The gang's all here: this is why I'm not sure where the Legolas pictures go.

<< A calendar shot of Gandalf as well.


>> The Rohirrim and Gondorians together at the Gates: Ironically, these are some of the earliest images released.  Far right: banners from way back in the day at the official site. Left: Effects shot of the gates.

>> Yes, I know that's practically a duplicate image of the armies. The top one has an official site caption, whereas the lower one is larger. Far right: Alan Lee artwork. Left: Barad-dr?

>> More battle pictures. (Note the Elvish armor.) Sauron will appear in the flesh, says Jackson. Pure conjecture, but it seems likely that the they'll will come up with a different embodiment than the one in the FOTR prologue--you know, some snazzy new armor or something.

INCREDIBLY HUGE SPOILERS: TORN claims that this is a reliable source, so swipe for Sauron's climactic appearance: "Men of Gondor surround [Sauron and Aragorn] both and Legolas shouts "Aragorn!" as a warning, then Aragorn with Anduril in hand rushes the Dark Lord who looked like he was in different armor than when we saw him in the prologue. It is not an even fight and Aragorn is nearly knocked to death as the countdown to the destruction of the ring begins. I guess the goal is to make the audience wonder if the ring will be destroyed before Aragorn is smeared all over Mordor!"



Coronation

<< If this is the shield of Gondor, it stands to reason that we now know what Ara-gorn's crown looks like.
>> Arwen's wedding/coronation dress. (Tolkien Online/Lovely Liv Tyler)

<< Alan Lee's illustration of the White Tree. There's no word as to whether the "new seedling" plot point will show up in the movie.




Loose ends

>> I have no idea what any of these are or where they go.








The Grey Havens

<<
The Scouring of the Shire: Ain't gonna be one. It seems like the scene in Gala-driel's mirror (left), in homage, was the closest we're gonna get.

<< Frodo finishes Bilbo's book before he leaves.


<< Calendar shot of Galadriel.

>> Art from John Howe and Alan Lee.




<< From
Elfenomeno--do these screen caps from an official site video show Grey Havens miniatures?




<<
"Well, I'm back": Elanor is played by Sean Astin's daughter Alexandra (awwww!) (Quintessential LOTR)




In a rundown of potential ending details/  spoilers,
TORN notes that 1) Galadriel is the last to speak (suggesting that either
A) her last line may be a voiceover/ epi-logue as Sam returns home or that B) the film cuts back to a final shot of the departing ship) and that 2) Liv Tyler has recorded a song that will likely play over the credits, much as "May It Be" and "Gollum's Song" did in the previous movies.


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Quintessential LOTR
Tolkien Online
Elbakin (disregard the name of the jpg file)
Numenoreen
Quintessential Lord of the Rings
Scroll down to the fourth question.
all LOTR features at the Digest
Numenoreen.com
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. The battle of Pelennor Fields.
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. The white tree of Minas Tirith.
John Howe. Rolozo Tolkien. Grey Havens.
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. Grey Havens.
War of the Ring
War of the Ring
War of the Ring/HDO
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All Daily Digest Lord of the Rings affiliates
TheOneRing.net
Lovely Liv Tyler
Quintessential Lord of the Rings
Quintessential Lord of the Rings
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. The white tree of Minas Tirith.
Alan Lee. Rolozo Tolkien. The white tree of Minas Tirith.
TheOneRing.net
TheOneRing.net
TheOneRing.net
possible screen caps of Grey Havens miniatures
AICN/E3
LOTR.net: "Gondorian and Rohan soldiers unite to save Middle-earth"
LOTR.net: "Peter Jackson (left) reviews an upcoming scene with Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)"
LOTR.net: "Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) readies to face Sauron's forces of evil"
LOTR.net: "Legolas (Orlando Bloom) joins with Rohan warriors to fight against Sauron"
Update: Astute reader Arafel notes, "The unknown pic prevrotkunsure02.gif  in your ROTK preview is actually a shot of the priest of Dahak from the Xena episode 'Sacrifice.'" Which is bizarre, because we've seen both of those Blue Hat Guy pictures on more than one LOTR fansite. It's almost as bad as the guy who claimed to have "taken a photograph" of a final battle of Aragorn and Sauron that turned out to be a still from... Willow.