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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
***ROTK EE Discussion - Abandoned Concept, Aragorn Battles Sauron***


Apr 18 2011, 4:27pm

Post #1 of 17 (7929 views)
***ROTK EE Discussion - Abandoned Concept, Aragorn Battles Sauron*** Can't Post

Greetings Programs! Oh what an occasion we have here before us! The Return of the King EE Discussion! Evil

The early draft of the script featured a one-on-one battle between Aragorn and Sauron at the Black Gate. Ultimately this idea was abandoned and Sauron was replaced with a troll.

It starts with Gandalf, Gimli, and Aragorn fighting and then Sauron makes his appearance. He gets closer and closer.

We get to see the reactions of each character.

Then we INTERCUT to Frodo and Sam as they run into Mout Doom and Sam calls for Frodo. The fire cloud sheilds him from Sam's vision until a gust of wind blows it away. "I'm here Sam."

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sauron comes in contact with Aragorn.

I have to say this pictures reminds me of something straight out of the Sil. It would be stunning if it were a painting, don't you think?

The sequence that follows would have been a great movie moment. But, in the end I am glad they took it out for book reasons. How do you feel about it? Would you have preferred this or do you like the troll better?

The Ring is tempting Frodo very strongly now.

This moment in the film is amazing. I like how long they focus on The Ring. You almost feel like "No, don't throw it in! It's so pretty!"Tongue For me anyway. One thing I noticed while listening to the audio with ear buds is that the sound seems to switch from one ear to the other very quickly. (Not sure what that's called in techy terms but, whatever.) It almost seems like it's swirling around you. Very cool IMHO. Any comments on this section?

In the storyboard version Frodo says "I will not destroy it. The Ring is mine."

I think the dialogue is much better in the final cut. It's simple yet haunting, "The Ring is mine." "I will not destroy it" seems kinda obvious so, I think it was a good choice to take it out. Do you agree? Any other thoughts?

BTW, who is glad that those voice actors didn't actually work in the final cut? Laugh I think Elijah and Sean did a MUCH better job. Tehehehe...

Now we come back to Aragorn and Sauron. As Frodo puts The Ring on in Mount Doom the Nazgul turn to fly there. Aragorn wounds Sauron in the gut and the favor is returned by being thrown into the crowd.

"MR. FROOODDDOOOO!!!" Foot steps come colser to Sam and *SMACK!*

*Gollum grunts* The fighting of the invisible foe. Then the crunch of the carrot stick.Angelic

This follows the final cut almost exactly. But, where it continues in the final cut it breaks back to Aragorn and Sauron in the storyboard. Sauron makes his way to Aragorn and slams his foot on to his chest. Raises his blade into the air with both hands and prepares for the final stab. The Nazgul keep flying towards Mount Doom.

Gollum pulls The Ring off the finger (or carrot stick). And the eyeball through The Ring shot is the same. Frodo turns and gets up determined to take care of Gollum. Frodo pushes Gollum all the way to teh edge and they both fall off. Screams. The. Whole. Way.

I'm thankful to Andy for making Gollum believable. I think this is a good example of how bad *shudders* Gollum could have been.Evil Anyone else think so?

Gollum falls to the "ABYSS!" and dies along with The Ring.

With this version The Ring melts straight away with intercuting. Do you like the intercuting one or the right away melt down?

Sauron is about to finish his final stab when, suddenly...

Sam runs to the edge looking for Frodo. There he is, hanging on with ONE HAND.

"That is totally unrealistic." Evil

"Take my hand!"

In the storyboard version they don't have the "Don't you let go! REACH!" I love this part in the final cut so, I'm glad they added that. What are some of your favorite moments in this part?

Sauron melts and then bursts.

The Orcs are frightened. The Teeth of Mordor begin to crumble and fall to the ground. Then the ground caves in on itself.

"The Ring is destroyed! The realm of Sauron is ended."

So, the whole Sauron bit was taken out and at the end we see Barad-Dur fall. I think this has more dramatic power. It's interesting that throughout the entire trilogy we never see Sauron in "human form" (well except for the Prologue but, that's different, in my humble opinion.) He's only mentioned and we get to see his Eye. Then at the end Barad-Dur falls but, we still never really see him. So it's almost like that because everyone did their job and it worked out no one saw him because he was never able to come out in his full power. I see it as a kind of symbol I guess. Do you think it was better that they cut Sauron's visible presence out or would you have liked it better with?

End of Line.

(Okay so I know I've got a lot of other movie quotes in here but, they worked! Bonus if you can tell me where they're from and who said 'em!Evil)

Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing the evidently prefer.

I'm a user. I'll improvise. -Sam Flynn, TRON: Legacy

(This post was edited by Gimli'sBox on Apr 18 2011, 4:32pm)


Apr 18 2011, 5:08pm

Post #2 of 17 (5406 views)
It's a shame we didn't see the whole thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Aside from this storyboard reel. I was curious as to what dialogue Annatar would have with Aragorn and Gandalf: I loved that concept art on the DVD of the Eye of Sauron replicated in Annatar's eyes. Perhaps that line the Mouth had in the novel about offering the Men clemency if they submitted to Sauron, and Gandalf mentioning this was the form Sauron took when he tricked the Elves.

One thing I'm curious about this is why Sauron shows no concern when Frodo puts on the Ring, he should've hopped onto the nearest Fell beast. In any case, while I disagree with PJ's statement that having Sauron fight Aragorn detracted from Frodo (on the contrary, I'd be anxious for the Ring to melt before Sauron crushed Aragorn's ribs), I wouldn't have the final film's climax be any different.

Tol Eressea

Apr 18 2011, 6:19pm

Post #3 of 17 (5362 views)
Here's the relevant page from the script [In reply to] Can't Post

This excerpt was shown briefly in one of the videos in the Appendices:

Tol Eressea

Apr 18 2011, 6:26pm

Post #4 of 17 (5441 views)
Sauron the Fair / Annatar concept art [In reply to] Can't Post

I love that piece too.

This gives us a clue as to how Annatar might have looked if the special effects in that scene had been finished. I think it's especially great how they managed to give him two Eyes of Sauron without making it look cheesy.


Apr 18 2011, 6:28pm

Post #5 of 17 (5355 views)
I have to say [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I think that the right choice was made to abandon the idea. Looking at the video, for me, Sauron is trivialised. Indeed, I think even the witch king carries more weight in the final film. I'm glad they saw sense and stuck to the book more honestly.

Mawr yw ein braint i berthyn i'r gwm Llynfi

Grey Havens

Apr 18 2011, 6:29pm

Post #6 of 17 (5344 views)
Definitely agree with you there [In reply to] Can't Post

The concept art is beautiful. Even though it wasn't included in the final film, I really appreciate that they took the time to explore the inclusion of a corporeal Sauron/Annatar.


Apr 18 2011, 7:12pm

Post #7 of 17 (5346 views)
How cool is it that the video of this surfaced on the Home Page today? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you plan that, GB??? Smile

Check the home page for more -- then come back here to talk about it here!

I couldn't figure out how to link to the home page story, but here's a direct link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5x2qan5SVg

I'm out of time for now, but will be back!



Apr 18 2011, 7:44pm

Post #8 of 17 (5287 views)
..and here's the link to the whole story... [In reply to] Can't Post

home page story on this battle...

The nice folks on feedback helped me figure out how to do this -- it was VERY hard! I had to *gasp!* Click on the headline!! Crazy Ah well, I learn so much around here!



Apr 18 2011, 8:24pm

Post #9 of 17 (5241 views)
Hmm.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I may be one of a few book-firsters who really would have liked to see this non-book addition actually make the cut. When I first read about it on the boards, I was in the "definitely not" camp for sure, but after I saw the appendices, the script page exerpt and heard what PJ had to say about it, I was actually sad that it got left out.

I don't think it would have lessened the impact of the Mount Doom scenes. I'm with the other poster who said that it would have ratched up the tension because I would have been MUCH more concerned for Aragorn if he had been fighting Sauron rather than a mere troll.

I find it remarkable that the screenwriters should find such a Tolkien-ish way of introducing Annatar, the poem about the Kings of the West, and so forth... that alone almost makes me love the idea without having seen any of the actual filmed scenes.

I have always thought it would be cool if we HAD seen more of Sauron along the way... we would not have needed to see a face particularly, but wouldn't it have been cool to see "The Dark Lord sitting on his Dark Thone". I always thought, too, that the closer the Ring got to Mordor, the weaker Frodo became in his relationship with it, and the more powerful Sauron got via his exploits, that we would see him "materializing" little by little... perhaps just seeing his "hand" resting on the throne's arm... less one finger, of course... and each time we see the Ring take more control, the more "visible" Sauron would become.

I still think we would have needed to see the demise of Barad Dur. We had already seen Sauron "implode" during the Prologue of FOTR, so if he did that again, it would help the watcher to know that total destruction of his spirit had occurred by following that up with the collapse of the Teeth, the land around the enemies AND Barad Dur.

I sure hope we get treated to these cut scenes in the Ultimate Box Set. (PLEASE!)


Apr 18 2011, 9:19pm

Post #10 of 17 (5245 views)
MMMUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! *rubs hands together evilly* Why of course I did! [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Did you plan that, GB??? Smile

Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing the evidently prefer.

I'm a user. I'll improvise. -Sam Flynn, TRON: Legacy


Apr 18 2011, 10:11pm

Post #11 of 17 (5199 views)
It would have been cool to see Sauron's soul getting sucked into the vortex [In reply to] Can't Post

that also caused the shockwave, just to nudge it closer towards the book's image of Sauron's arm stretching out.

Luthien Tinuvel
Registered User

Apr 19 2011, 4:08am

Post #12 of 17 (5127 views)
Abandoned [In reply to] Can't Post

I am so glad they did NOT put this in the movie. If they had... It would destry so much I think. I am a fan of being faithful to the books, definitely! And I hope they dont take to much freedom filming the hobbit. I love the Lotr films, but there are a couple of scenes thats really annoying me. Arwen f.eks. She shouldn`t have such a big role just because they got Liv Tyler to do the part.

Registered User

Apr 19 2011, 8:01am

Post #13 of 17 (5155 views)
Sauron vs Aragorn. [In reply to] Can't Post

Cutting out the Sauron/Aragorn fight scene was the right move because if the scene was included, people would be fearing for Aragorn's life and they'll be thinking "come on frodo, get a move on and destroy that ring already! Aragorn's dying here!". And this would have detracted from the sacrifice and difficulty that frodo had to go through at that moment on Mount Doom.

The 3 most important characters in lotr are frodo, gollum and the one ring. The absence of saurons return allowed all three to be the star which is crucial to the tying up of this movie.


Apr 19 2011, 12:13pm

Post #14 of 17 (5078 views)
Yeah I'd tend to agree, I think the Palantir would have worked better... [In reply to] Can't Post

In the context of the prolog Sauron having a physical form worked due to the "distance" and the shear power he displays with the Ring but it would have lessened his importance in the battle at the Black Gate IMHO. Personally I thought the eye atop Barad Dur shining over the advancing orc army was a brilliant image but if they'd wanted to push it further I think they should have gone for Tolkiens "great shadow" a little earlier rather than just at the point of the rings destruction.

The time to show Sauron in a more physical form would IMHO have been Aragorn's confrontation with him over the Palantir. That wouldnt just have avoided the plot hole of him suddenly being able to take a physical form since it would just be a vision but I think he could have been more threatening in that context. Sauron appearing in a more human Annatar like form at that point trying to sway Aragorn in a more dreamlike setting before revealing his true form when refused could have been a great scene IMHO.


Apr 19 2011, 12:22pm

Post #15 of 17 (5106 views)
From the very beginning [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ had expressed his belief, that there should be a Sauron reveal ,because all expect to see the main villain in such movies, giving the example of Darth Vader in Star Wars.

Well, like many said, the concept of Aragorn battling Sauron looks intriguing,but in the end the film wouldn't feel right if this was included.

Though, I must agree in a way with PJ that there should have been a glimpse/reveal of what Sauron looked like in the end of ROTK. When Frodo puts on the ring at Sammath Naur,I would have liked to see him entering the wraith world once more and having a final mini confrontation with Sauron himself this time...A mind confrontation. Sauron reveals himself to Frodo,is ready to grasp victory waiting for the wraiths to come...and then Gollum interrupts,claims the ring and the rest is as it is...

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.


Apr 19 2011, 1:53pm

Post #16 of 17 (5049 views)
a welcome is in order I think! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you are new(er) -- welcome! Make yourself at home!

I rather liked the video as a stand alone piece -- but it doesn't intercut with Frodo's story in the same way the film does. I agree that if you added the Frodo storyline in, the two would have competed with each other, and dilluted the effect at best, or at worst, took the focus off of Frodo too much.



Apr 19 2011, 2:24pm

Post #17 of 17 (5095 views)
Thanks for this graphic novel version of this scene! [In reply to] Can't Post

The feature moves pretty fast when you watch it on video -- I liked the way you broke it out here for us, to show the different storyboard images and sequence, and to draw attention to what is going on in each part. Very helpful!

I agree with you that the shot of Aragorn and Sauron with their swords poised like that would have been a great visual image. But in way, it's like the second Death Star battle in the original Star Wars trilogy -- once you've seen the first one, the second one is just repetitive. If they really wanted to finally show us Sauron here, I almost think they would have needed to take another approach to the Prologue and not show him there. So this would be the big reveal at the end, rather than an echo of what we saw at the beginning.

Interesting observation on your part about the sound going back and forth. I get so caught up in things at this point I don't pick up details like that. I do remember at one theater showing, though, where we sat in the back row by the speakers, that when the Nazgul came shrieking down on Minas Tirith, they had the sound go from the back to the front of the theater, and that this made me actually duck at that part, even when I knew it was coming. So yes, sound can really impact the way you take in a scene, and I suspect works on us in very subtle ways that we don't even realize.

Agree with you on Frodo's dialogue -- less is more, here, I think..though it might have been cool to have him use the exact book lines here -- "I do not choose now to do what I set out to do". Kind of a mouthful, so I can see why they dropped it. But it would have been a nice parallel to Gandalf's earlier advice about "all you have to decide is what to do with the time given to you."

The voices on the appendices are pretty funny, aren't they? Though they sort of work with the picture book kind of images here -- sort of the children's book version of Tolkien, maybe...

It's interesting to me that while the dialogue changes a lot from these storyboards, the images we got on screen really follow this early visualization to a great degree. It's a special talent to be able to visualize a scene in your head like that, and to then be able to communicate it in a way that everyone else can see it the same way...most of us, I suspect, can only see a scene after someone else has seen it first...(ok, say that 3 times fast..Crazy)

Sauron fighting with that sword in his gut is kind of interesting...but kind of glad I never actually had to see that on a big screen. Though symbolically, it works. We get all those shots of Narsil being broken, to have Anduril now "break" Sauron is kind of cool.

I do think the editing on this part is great, and what really sells the whole sequence. I don't mind the over-the-top bit with Frodo hanging off the cliff, since everything else is so over-the-top already, it sort of blends in. And the pay off, with the reaching and don't you let go etc. really makes it worth it, to me.

Jackson is accused at times of going too far with things -- I suspect Sauron showing up here, on screen, would have led to that kind of reaction from some, no matter how well they pulled it off. This is one case where they erred on the side of less being better...and they set the stage for it well by having Aragorn dedicating the final battle "For Frodo". That puts this battle where it should be, secondary to Frodo's struggle on Mt. Doom.

And I don't think you needed to go to the full extreme to show how dire things were here for the good guys. My husband, who's never read the books, said the thing that really got him in this last part was not the Troll, but how desperate Legolas was at this point. The whole time he had been this super cool elf who never flinched in battle, so when he was upset, you knew it had to be really, really bad!

Ok, and now I really need to get some work done. But this was just too tasty of a discussion not to dive into. Thanks for leading us and the time and effort you put into this!



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