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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
What is your favourite 'big moment' in each LOTR movie?
Poll: What is your favourite 'big moment' in each LOTR movie?
FOTR - The War of the Last Alliance
FOTR - Bilbo arguing with Gandalf about the Ring
FOTR - Saruman revealed as a traitor
FOTR - Frodo putting on the Ring in the Prancing Pony
FOTR - the battle at Weathertop
FOTR - the flight to the ford
FOTR - the Council of Elrond
FOTR - the Watcher in the Water
FOTR - Gandalf vs the Balrog
FOTR - the battle at Amon Hen
FOTR - other - please tell us below
TTT - Gandalf falling with the Balrog
TTT - the chase of the three hunters
TTT - Gandalf the White revealing himself
TTT - Frodo and Sam capture Gollum
TTT - Gandalf exorcising Theoden
TTT - Frodo, Sam and Gollum at the Black Gates
TTT - the warg attack
TTT - the Battle of Helm's Deep
TTT - the ents attacking Isengard
TTT - Frodo offering the Ring to the Ringwraith at Osgiliath
TTT - Sam's speech at Osgiliath
TTT - Gandalf arriving at Helm's Deep with Eomer
TTT - other - please tell us below
ROTK - Gandalf and company confronting Saruman at Isengard
ROTK - Pippin looking into the Palantir
ROTK - Minas Morgul signalling the start of war
ROTK - the lighting of the beacons
ROTK - Aragorn confronting the King of the Dead
ROTK - Frodo vs Shelob/Sam vs Shelob
ROTK - the charge of the Rohirrim onto the Pelennor
ROTK - Rohirrim vs Oliphaunts
ROTK - Frodo inside Mount Doom, claiming the Ring for his own
ROTK - "For Frodo"
ROTK - "My friends, you bow to no-one."
ROTK - the Grey Havens
ROTK - other - tell us below
View Results (81 votes)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 26 2023, 10:03pm

Post #1 of 9 (8381 views)
What is your favourite 'big moment' in each LOTR movie? Can't Post

It had been years since I'd last seen the films so I decided to have a binge over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and I was struck by how incredible and moving the big set pieces are - even 20 or more years later. So I wondered, what are people's favourite big scenes from each movie?

Please pick one or two scenes from each film from the list above, or write in your favourite if I've missed it. Let's see where people's hearts are at! Smile

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Dec 27 2023, 6:06am)


Dec 26 2023, 11:36pm

Post #2 of 9 (8354 views)
Great poll and tough to narrow down choices [In reply to] Can't Post

My favorites for emotional impact are:
  • Flight to the Ford: yes, I know there's no real peril because I know the spoilers, but bravo to the movie for making me feel like there's very real danger in that chase.
  • Gandalf vs the Balrog: every thrilling, scary, and heroic detail that I wanted it to be. Even the wings. Cool
  • Helm's Deep
  • Lighting the Beacons. Just put that on loop for an hour or two. You can hit pause when I've quit crying tears of joy and awe and tension and whatever else. Smile
  • Charge of the Rohirrim. Is it really out of the question to ask Sauron to restage his attack again the next 3 or 4 days so we can keep repeating that exciting charge? It doesn't get old.


Dec 27 2023, 1:03am

Post #3 of 9 (8350 views)
A lovely poll! [In reply to] Can't Post

And having now submitted my answers, I think I already forgot what I chose lol. An important caveat here is that I think all of these moments "pop" even more if one's lucky enough to watch the movies again in theaters.

Let's see: for FOTR I chose the Fellowship vs. the Watcher in the Water (it's the Fellowship's first big/scary moment against a physical, non-snow enemy) and Gandalf vs. Balrog. Both contain an incredible sense of danger, even to the viewer who knows what's about to happen.

For TTT, I went with F&S capturing Gollum, as this was the formative moment that scared the %#@$ out of young me and hooked me into the fantastical, strange world of Middle-earth. It'll always make me feel like a kid again, watching that scene in particular. And I went with Gandalf & the Rohirrim's arrival at Helm's Deep, which always feels like it's too little, too late - but it isn't.

And for ROTK, I went with the Ride of the Rohirrim, which makes me cry more now as an adult as it did when I was younger. Same for "For Frodo," which is a sequence in the movie that has masterful editing in the way it's cross-cut between the battle and Mount Doom - gives me chills every time, especially as the operatic score hits its climax.

Sounds like you had a fun 3 days, finally rewatching them yourself! Funny, I think I'm due for it as well, so that may be in store for us soon too - my girlfriend has never seen the EEs and always begs to watch them despite my preference for the theatrical editions - so I expect to be watching the EEs in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for the poll! I think we're due for diving back into the movies agian more, as many of us probably don't think about them as frequently as we did 20ish years ago and would have fresh thoughts now that we're older (read: wiser). Sly

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 27 2023, 3:18am

Post #4 of 9 (8341 views)
I definitely had forgotten some shots [In reply to] Can't Post

- just small moments within scenes - which were refreshing to come across, but I certainly remembered the dialogue! Laugh

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 27 2023, 3:19am

Post #5 of 9 (8342 views)
The charge of the Rohirrim [In reply to] Can't Post

will make me tear-up until the end of my days, I'm sure.

Tol Eressea

Dec 27 2023, 5:17am

Post #6 of 9 (8332 views)
Hard to say, of course... [In reply to] Can't Post

...especially with Return of the King, which, although I find it uneven places, really has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to iconic moments. But I voted for:

FOTR - Chamber of Mazarbul (write-in): I know the showdown between Gandalf and the Balrog is the climax of the Moria sequence, and I do love it, but I have a soft spot for the fight with the goblins and the troll in the Chamber of Mazarbul. That's chiefly because I'm a video-game-firster and this fight was the basis for one of the levels in EA's The Two Towers (which adapted the events of the first two films). I have lots of good memories of that game (and its sequel), on top of them being my gateway to Middle-earth in general.

FOTR - Amon Hen: Back in 2015, I watched the trilogy for the first time in about four years,* and I have a vivid memory of getting to the end of Fellowship and being blown away all over again at how good it was. Unambiguously my favorite of the trilogy, and the entire Amon Hen sequence (not just the battle) ties everything together perfectly.

TTT - Helm's Deep: 'Nuff said.

ROTK - Minas Morgul signal: I probably wouldn't have mentioned this as a highlight when I was younger and the films were newer to me, but it stands out in my memory as a great moment of dread and tension as well as anticipation. But not too much dread and tension; the Shelob sequence is also a standout in that arena, but as someone with a phobia of bugs, I can't really call it a personal favorite. :P

ROTK - Charge of the Rohirrim: 'Nuff said.


* It's currently going on 7.5 years since I last saw the trilogy (in summer 2016, when I finally watched all three EEs in one day). I'll get back to it eventually, but setting aside the time for even one of the films feels like a bigger deal than it used to, even though I can easily get absorbed in other things for three or four hours or more without blinking. I think it's because reading or watching a TV show has natural breaks between chapters/episodes, and feeling that I could stop at any of them makes a mental difference.

(This post was edited by Eldy on Dec 27 2023, 5:19am)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 27 2023, 6:10am

Post #7 of 9 (8324 views)
Whoops! [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
ROTK - Minas Morgul signal

Shows how long I've been away from the story - I called the tower by the wrong name! Fixed it now. Blush

I didn't realise you were a game-firster; what a cool way to be introduced to Middle-earth. How long were you playing it before you saw the FOTR movie?

Tol Eressea

Dec 27 2023, 6:29am

Post #8 of 9 (8320 views)
To the best of my memory... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I didn't realise you were a game-firster; what a cool way to be introduced to Middle-earth. How long were you playing it before you saw the FOTR movie?

...probably something like six months, but I read the books in the interim. My dad's been a casual LOTR book fan since he was in high school, and he'd bought me a box set of them months earlier, but it took the video games to spark my interest. Angelic I had lots of questions of the setting and lore, one of which was "what are orcs?" A kid I knew told me they were "men made from mud," which I found unsatisfyingly vague, so I decided to read the books to find out more. I watched the movies afterwards, but my parents had a thing about PG-13 films at the time, so they made me skip all of TTT and a couple portions of ROTK for ostensibly being too violent. I didn't properly watch the whole trilogy until about three years later, once PG-13 films were no longer off-limits.

(In retrospect, I don't necessarily think my parents were wrong to have reservations about me watching the films; movie!Gollum freaked me out pretty bad when I was 9yo. Laugh But their main objection was the violence, on account of being Quakers.)

I've not met many other game-firsters (though Charlie Vickers is apparently one!), but I enjoyed my weird trajectory into Tolkien fandom. It probably influenced my mixed stance on the films of disliking changes but loving so much else about them, which felt uncommon when I first dipped my toes into online arguments about LOTR. Though there's undoubtedly selection bias at play there, and I might have met more people with stances like mine if I hadn't enjoyed arguing so much. Cool

(This post was edited by Eldy on Dec 27 2023, 6:37am)


May 17, 2:40pm

Post #9 of 9 (7108 views)
So much of the Fellowship gets me [In reply to] Can't Post

While Flight to the Ford still gives me chills with the different shots of the riders and the river, most of the 2nd half of the Fellowship (I still refer to them as parts due to the cuts in the Extended Editions) stays in my mind.

One of my favorite shots in the entire Middle-earth franchise, (the OG trilogy, the Hobbit & ROP) is Saruman calling the storm down on Caradhras. Chills every single time.


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