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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Best Opening Sequence
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Feb 26 2013, 6:19am

Post #1 of 26 (823 views)
Best Opening Sequence Can't Post

My friends and I were discussing this earlier. So I figured I'd posit the question to you fine folk.

Which opening scene was the best: The Prologue in FOTR, Foundations of Stone in TTT, or Smeagol finding the ring in ROTK?

I think it's TTT opening scene hands down. But that's just me.

The Grey Pilgrim, they once called me. Three hundred lives of men I walked this earth, and now I have no time...

(This post was edited by Elutherian on Feb 26 2013, 6:20am)


Feb 26 2013, 9:16am

Post #2 of 26 (606 views)
I find it very hard to choose between [In reply to] Can't Post

FOTR and TTT, but if you force me to choose, I think it would be TTT by a nose. Those mountain shots, the revisitng of Gandalf's fall, and that amazing wide shot of the balrog and Gandalf falling in a ball of flame, with the accompanying vocals and music all makes for a stunning start.
The prologue in ROTK is my least favourite. I find it overlong and not very convincing.


Feb 26 2013, 9:38am

Post #3 of 26 (593 views)
I've always thought ... [In reply to] Can't Post

That the opening of ROTK would have been better placed in it's original place (i.e. a flashback in TTT). It's a nice start, don't get me wrong, but I also struggle to come up with something that could've replaced this scene. There could be many possibilities.

My favourite has to be FOTR (now closely followed by AUJ).


Feb 26 2013, 9:39am

Post #4 of 26 (588 views)
TTT [In reply to] Can't Post

To show the Balrog fight and to show it there... starting with the voices coming out of the mountain: One of the best freedoms PJ allowed himself with the material.

Writing about it is enough to get my inner-cinema going :)

As for RotK: I always loved how one knew that two epic prologues of FotR and TTT and then suddenly - a worm. I think that actually works very nicely. But I agree with other that the flashback in TTT would have been good for Gollum as a character.

I wonder though what they could have done as the RotK prologue instead...

(This post was edited by Arannir on Feb 26 2013, 9:42am)

Aragalen the Green

Feb 26 2013, 1:43pm

Post #5 of 26 (575 views)
Fall of Angels [In reply to] Can't Post

The opening sequence to TTT is my favorite. Gandalf and the Balrog falling together, Glamdring "singing" as Gandalf grabs it from mid-air as he falls, the view over the underground lake as the light appears, Gandalf and the Balrog approaching the lake's surface in a ball of flame...

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'

The Prancing Pony

Feb 26 2013, 3:00pm

Post #6 of 26 (585 views)
For me it is [In reply to] Can't Post

FOTR. I love how at first we only see the black screen and hear Galadriel's voice. It is such a great introduction into the history of Middle-Earth.

ROTK prologue is my second favourite, Sméagol's transformation into Gollum is not only really creepy, but also shows that his life was once quite similar to that of a hobbit (apart from the whole "water is dangerous" thing).

TTT comes last for me. Though the view of the mountains is stunning.

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."


Feb 26 2013, 5:15pm

Post #7 of 26 (548 views)
Fotr [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, it is a great opening to the whole world . In fact it was my introduction to Tolkiens world and I was hooked within a few seconds of the start of FOTR prologue. I have subsequently gained such joy from these books and movies, that I think this will always be my favourite

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Feb 26 2013, 6:08pm

Post #8 of 26 (540 views)
oooooh, tough choice [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, it's FOTR, but just by a hair. It has more impact for me because it was my first visual introduction into Middle Earth. That will always be special to me.

TTT is a very close second for me, however. I like hearing Gandalf's voice first, as the visual approaches the mountain, then through it, and THEN we see him on the bridge being brave. And, of course, the classic wide-angle shot of GandRog (Gandalf + Balrog - just made that up :) ) falling from the mountain into the lake below. I think that image is etched into our minds forever.

Thanks Elutherian,


Grey Havens

Feb 26 2013, 6:19pm

Post #9 of 26 (541 views)
FotR [In reply to] Can't Post

For me there is no comparison. (But I will be fair to the openings of all other PJ Middle Earth movies, and admit its being the first likely plays a role!) The movie opens with a dark screen and that haunting music, and then a woman's voice speaks in Elvish. (!) I'd been a fan of the books for some 25 years by then, and I could not believe I was watching a mainstream movie of LotR that started so perfectly. As if it were a historical movie and started with a narration in the native language of a character in it... And of course, it only got better as it gave a quick synopsis of the history of Sauron and the Ring, with eye-popping visuals and amazing production values. It's not just my favorite of the series, it is my favorite ever.


Feb 26 2013, 8:50pm

Post #10 of 26 (530 views)
The Two Towers. [In reply to] Can't Post

Though, I've always been at the edge of my seat when it comes to all of Peter's Middle-Earth Opening scene (see The Hobbit one for details). Smile

......"Since the first time I met you,
..I couldn't seem to forget you.
.......And lately I seem to find,
..That you're always on my mind.
.......Whenever I see you smile,
..It makes my life so very worthwhile.
......And ever since the very start,
..You have always been there in my heart.
..Then I heard that you felt the same way,
....................................................................And those words were so easy to say."


Feb 26 2013, 9:31pm

Post #11 of 26 (535 views)
Fellowship, no contest [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, it's all personal taste, but in my mind the FOTR prologue is so far above the other two that I was surprised to see the other two openings have such followings. Just a testament to how wide and varied tastes may be Smile

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


Feb 26 2013, 9:44pm

Post #12 of 26 (528 views)
For me, it's ROTK [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember, in theaters, watching Gollum plan his treachery at the end of TTT. Then waiting the longest year ever, seeing him open ROTK with such a disturbing scene really did it for me. In my seat, I thought: Well if the first five minutes were that incredible, I know the rest will make it my favorite film ever.

It didn't disappoint.


Feb 26 2013, 9:50pm

Post #13 of 26 (527 views)
Tough choice [In reply to] Can't Post

I like them all for various reasons, but if had to choose then I'd say TTT. All of them are beaten by the AUJ prologue, though. Wink

There's no party like a Dwaven party. Believe it.


Feb 27 2013, 1:06am

Post #14 of 26 (511 views)
No Contest [In reply to] Can't Post

It is the TT. But I remember very well not wanting to leave the theater after FOTR because I was convinced there were orcs in the theater lobby. That opening sequence was amazing. But the TT opening was compelling and that is why I chose it.


Feb 27 2013, 6:47pm

Post #15 of 26 (480 views)
Opening scene would be... [In reply to] Can't Post

FOTR because I remember watching it the first time and thinking when it shows Sauron holding his hand up with the Ring on it, that someday I would know these movies by heart and now 9 years later, I do!


Feb 27 2013, 8:05pm

Post #16 of 26 (490 views)
PJ has a skill for creating wonderful opening scenes [In reply to] Can't Post


I love them all, but TT is stunning. It had to be difficult to figure out how to refresh the audience without being redundant, and also pick up where the story left off all seamlessly.

FoTR is a very close second. It is beautiful and does a good job of presenting a lot of information quickly. I love the connection with mountains fading into the map and the female Elvish over a black screen is perfect.

AUJ is less artful/stunning, but it's great for connecting in the LOTR, telling the history, and pleasing the audience. It does seem a little forced, but it works.

RoTK- It's needed info and well made. It just seems cut and pasted into the movie.

"Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?" -Samwise

Tol Eressea

Feb 28 2013, 3:39am

Post #17 of 26 (455 views)
Considering what it needed to do in a short time [In reply to] Can't Post

I think FOTR's opening was a brilliant piece of film making in itself. It shows the viewers what they need to know as succinctly as possible, without bogging things down, and without seeming tacked on. It succeeds beautifully. It's like an epic mini-film.

TTT is visually stunning and also serves a purpose, but to me, the task of creating the opening for FOTR was much more difficult. So, as in judging diving competitions, I'm factoring in the level of difficulty. Laugh

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime

Tol Eressea

Feb 28 2013, 3:42am

Post #18 of 26 (473 views)
I agree...and BTW, Welcome back, DanielLB! :) // [In reply to] Can't Post


"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


Feb 28 2013, 4:09pm

Post #19 of 26 (449 views)
Has to be TTT for me. [In reply to] Can't Post

Really enjoyed the way they led into Gandalf's battle with the Balrog. I'd put FOTR number 2.


Feb 28 2013, 5:27pm

Post #20 of 26 (438 views)
sequence [In reply to] Can't Post


FOTR prologue is amongst my favourite parts of all four movies.


Mar 1 2013, 6:36am

Post #21 of 26 (418 views)
Yes it is [In reply to] Can't Post

like an epic mini film. I like that description.
I find it really hard to choose between the FOTR and TTT openings, and you make a good point with your 'degree of difficulty' comment.


Mar 1 2013, 8:49pm

Post #22 of 26 (396 views)
FOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

That prologue was one of the most brilliant things in film, encapsulating a huge amount of information that is VITAL to understanding the story. The other sequences were also very cool. This is why LOTR is such a standout; there was so much good work.


Mar 1 2013, 9:51pm

Post #23 of 26 (412 views)
If They hadn't changed so much of the structure [In reply to] Can't Post

It's hard to decide, I've only seen AUJ once I have to wath it's prologue many mor etimes before I can compare. But for LOTR the opening could have been different for TTT and ROTK I've always had this image of the first shot of TTT being Boromirs funeral boat sailing down the river like an arial close up with haunting music then switching to The three hunters running across Rohan. And with ROTK it could have been the Beacons Of Gondor scene


Mar 5 2013, 9:47am

Post #24 of 26 (394 views)
they are all great... [In reply to] Can't Post

But TTT is my favourite by a country mile.when I first saw that in the cinema it just blew be away,that's the kind of thing cinema was invented for.the brooding score,the new line logo,the shots of the mountains as the viewer is thinking,where are we and what's about to happen? Then when you hear gandalfs voice it starts to dawn on you.pure cinematic magic and movie making genius.its my favourite opening to a movie ever.awesome!

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Mar 5 2013, 5:34pm

Post #25 of 26 (351 views)
I personally love [In reply to] Can't Post

FOTR the most and the opening of ROTK the least. The music gives me a headache its so pounding.

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