Who else participated in a Lord of the Rings marathon this week to prepare themselves for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? Not only did I do it to get further fired-up for returning to Middle-earth in 's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Re-watching the series, it's impossible to keep count of how many wonderful moments there are, both big and small. However, there were a few which stood out more than others.
Here are my list of 5 greatest moments from The Lord of the Rings:
Gollum Has a Word or Two with Gollum (The Two Towers)
This is a defining moment for Gollum. You hate the pathetic creature's guts for 99% of the series, but, for this one scene, we can finally empathize with the little guy. We see Gollum's pain, the good man he used to be, and how he wants to fight this evil within him. Of course, he can't, but at least Gollum gave it a try before trying to kill a few Hobbitses for his infamous Precious.
"You Shall Not Pass!" (The Fellowship of the Ring)
This is where Gandalf went from old, light-hearted fatherly figure, to completely badass wizard. There are many one-liners in The Lord of The Rings, but no one says them better than the pure gravitas that is Sir . What Tolkien-loving friends of yours never stopped quoting that signature line when Gandalf stares down the terrifying Balrog? All of mine, that's for sure. This moment has faced its fair share of parody, but even those who poke fun would never deny how wonderful it is seeing this defining moment.
Gollum's Origin (The Return of the King)
I remember seeing this moment in theaters for the first time so vividly. Since I was unfamiliar with the books at the time, I had no idea what to expect. At first my thoughts were, "Oh, isn't this sweet? Finally, the series is back to good 'ol harmless Hobbit fun!" I was wrong. What started off as a nice moment between two best friends turned into something truly ugly...and then it became that much darker. Smeagol's transformation into Gollum felt like something out of David Cronenberg's worst nightmares. It was genuinely one of the most chilling scenes in the trilogy.
The Battle of Helms Deep (The Two Towers)
The first major battle of the series. No kill, money shot, or sense of adrenaline is spared. The Fellowship of the Ring, when it came to action, was limited. That film was far more focused on suspense and horror. The Two Towers took the action up several hundred notches. Peter Jackson showed he could do more than have a few characters running around the woods shooting arrows at each other. The Battle of Helms Deep remains one of the most cinematic, epic battles to date. If anything about this battle can be criticized, it's the kill count game between Legolas and Gimli. Doesn't it seem slightly inappropriate to play this game while your fellow soldiers are dying by the second? Still, it paints them as the hardened warriors that they really are.
The Spider's Hungry (The Return of the King)
The sound design, 's whimpering, the disgusting webs, and Howard Shore's score -- horrifying. Keep in mind, all of that is before the gigantic spider finally appears on screen. When it does, the build up is completely earned. Shelob is what nightmares are made of. By the end of the sequence, you'd rather be stuck fighting in the final battle for Gondor than dealing with this wily eight-legged freak. Not only does it work on a pure-thrill level, it's a great moment for Frodo. We finally see him battle, swing a few punches at Gollum, and remind himself what must be done with the ring. It doesn't end there though, as Sam shows up declaring, "Let him go you, filth!" A lovely moment.
That's my list, but let us know what your favorite moments in the trilogy were in the comment section below.