the Lord of the Rings is considered by many to be one of the greatest trilogies of all time, and The Return of the King, the final installment in this trio of books-turned-movies is one of the most awarded films in history. (tied with Titanic and Ben-Hur for 11 Academy Awards.) The ending of the film has Frodo, Gandalf, and the remainder of the elves leaving Middle Earth for the Undying Lands in that epic shot you see up above. But, because we're fans, and there's an amazing contest going on here at Moviepilot...I'm going to imagine a post-credits scene for this film. Without further ado, I present my post-credits scene from The Return of the King:
A time-lapse shot of the White Tree of Gondor is shown, indicating the many years of King Aragorn's reign. And, while the seasons and area surrounding the trees changes, it does not. Its white leaves remaining over the decades. The tree which bloomed again after the fall of the Dark Lord remains. After watching the years pass, we see Aragorn, an old and haggard man, walk up to the tree. He puts his hand on its trunk, and watches a single leaf break off in the breeze, and we see a shot of the leaf as it falls to the ground. As the scene fades to black, we hear the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves and the soft crying of a king whose kingdom is fading.
Okay, so...for those of you not familiar enough with the books/movies to be sad at this point, let me explain the importance of what this would mean. First up, let's talk about the White Tree:
This tree has been a relic of sorts to the people of Gondor for centuries before The Lord of the Rings ever took place. It was one of the only surviving items from the city-state of Numenor (the Tolkien version of Atlantis, if you will), rescued by Isildur, of certain infamy. It acted as a symbol for the people, and as a coat of arms for the royal house, and the army. Now, there were technically four White Trees, but, since we are talking movies and not books, that's a little irrelevant. So, basically, at the time of The Return of the King, the tree is dead, and, according to Gandalf, would not bloom again until: "...a king will come and this city will be as it once was before it fell into decay." Now, we see the tree bloom again in these two pictures
So, we see that the tree has returned to full health, symbolizing the prosperity and healing that the nation of Gondor has, and will receive with King Aragorn on the throne. It shows that with the defeat of Darkness, all was returning to right in Middle Earth. Why is my scene so sad? If you've not already deduced it, then here's the explanation:
The White Tree is essentially the heart of the kingdom. When Gondor is thriving, the tree will thrive. When it is dying, the tree begins to whither. So, we see an old Aragorn watch his tree, and in turn his kingdom, fade away. And we hear the king weep for his people. Now, I know that this is super sad, and with the somewhat joyful ending of the Grey Havens, why on earth would I want to have this in the film? Well, because it shows the decline of Middle Earth, even after the defeat of Sauron. Nearly all the Elves leave or have left, and the Dwarves begin to disappear. The magic (or spiritual presence) begins to leave Middle Earth, and we see an over-all decline. This scene would encompass that idea of the earth waning in the days after the Ring.
Did you enjoy this idea? I certainly hope so! I'd like to thank my father for helping me with this idea. This certainly sparked some good conversations, and I hope that it will do the same on here. If you have a comment, feel free to leave it!