Since I've recently seen The Hobbit I found myself missing the first trilogy taking place in the magical Middle-earth. I must have seen every of The Lord of the Rings movies at least 5 times, including the lovely extended editions. I really love these films - they show the beauty of friendship, courage and love. They are filled with amazing performances and they are extremely well made. As I rewatched the trilogy in the last few days, I finally managed to put together the list of my ten favorite moments:
10. I will take the Ring to Mordor! (The Fellowship of the Ring)
During the council in Rivendell, Frodo sees how everyone is quarrelling over the Ring. Overwhelmed and scared by the effect it has on others, seeing how Sauron is becoming even more powerful when the men, elves and dwarves fight, Frodo stands up and says he will be the one to carry the Ring to Mordor. Then Aragorn tells him "You have my sword", Legolas adds "and my bow" and Gimli proudly says "and my axe". I love how when confronted with Frodo's courage everyone steps up and offers their help to the tiny, innocent Hobbit.
9. I choose a mortal life (The Fellowship of the Ring)
In one of the very first romantic scenes between Aragorn and Arwen they talk about Arwen's promise - she gave Aragorn the Evenstar necklace that symbolizes her love and her giving up her immortal life so she could be with him. Aragorn doesn't want her to forsake her gift of immortality. Arwen responds with one of the most beautiful lines in the whole trilogy - "I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. I choose a mortal life". She tells Aragorn her heart is his and the two kiss.
8. Aragorn leads the charge (The Two Towers)
The battle of Helm's Deep is the most epic battle I've ever seen, followed only by Braveheart's battle scenes and the final battle in The Return of the King. It's full of excitement, suspense and incredible moments. After the wall explodes and the breach is created, Aragorn leads the charge on the enemy - it's a short moment but it's extremely memorable and it's one the most heroic and moving scenes of the whole battle sequence.
7. Aragorn returns (The Two Towers)
At one point of The Two Towers Aragorn is believed to be dead. He manages to come back to Helm's Deep with the help of Elven magic sent to him by Arwen and the help of his horse Brego. When he shows at Helm's Deep he is greeted by Gimli and Legolas who gives him back the necklace Arwen gave him. Eowyn, who is in love with Aragorn, sees his return and she is overwhelmed with happiness. But the best moment of the scene is when Aragorn triumphantly opens the door to the room King Theoden is in - it is a scene that shows that hope is still there.
6. Arwen's vision (The Return of the King)
5. Gandalf comes to the rescue (The Two Towers)
After the whole night of the battle, the enemy's advantage is overwhelming, yet those who are alive still fight. Aragorn remembers that Gandalf said he will be back and he sees him on the hill, with Eomer and the army of Rohirrms. They ride downhill on Saruman's army with Gandalf leading the attack. The image of the army cascading to triumph is simply breathtaking and it's one of the most epic scenes I've ever seen in movie theatre.
4. Gandalf falls (The Fellowship of the Ring)
3. The Tales that Really Matter (The Two Towers)
The Two Towers' culminating moment happens right after Sam saves Frodo from the Nazgul King. He prevents him from putting on the Ring and Frodo, momentarily consumed with rage, takes out his sword and intends to kill Sam. Sam brings him back by telling him he is his Sam, his friend. Frodo falls on the ground, devastated and tired and Sam starts his beautiful monologue during which we see the Ents defeating Saruman and the victory in the battle of Helm's Deep as well as relieved Eowyn hugging Aragorn, who made it through the battle unharmed.
- It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something
- What are we holding onto, Sam?
- That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.2. My friends. You bow to no one. (The Return of the King)
The most beautiful moment in the whole trilogy happens in its pivotal moments. When Sam is carrying dying Frodo to the mountain to destroy the ring, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and the army gather before the gates of Mordor. They plan to attack, so that the eye of Sauron would focus on them, giving Frodo a chance to finish his quest. It's a suicide mission, they are outnumbered and they know they will meet sure death. Sauron's eye fixes on Aragorn and speaks to him. He takes few steps forward. We see Gandalf and Legolas worried if Sauron didn't break him. Then Aragorn turns around, looks at them and with tears in his eyes simply says "For Frodo" and they begin their charge. For me, the character of Aragorn was always at the centre of the trilogy - truly noble, honorable and brave man who you keep rooting for. Viggo Mortensen's performance was brilliant in all three films but this is one of the moments that was a truly a highlight of his work. I still cannot believe he didn't even get Academy Award nomination for his unforgettable performance.