The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is an Academy Award record holder, and in 2003, it took the box office and world by storm. Return of the King is considered to be the best of the trilogy, and it wrapped up the narrative in the best possible way. The film is a perfect amalgamation of emotion, drama, action, and all the elements required to tell a promising tale. Peter Jackson is a man of stories and has proved it through his work. Peter Jackson has created history not just by breaking the box office records but also by being appreciated by critics for his ability to make his dreams a success. He has been recognised universally during the times when the majority goes gaga over superhero films.
Hey, guys, welcome back to Watch Tank. Today we are counting down top 10 surprising things you didn’t know about the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
10. Army of soldiers on the set of The Lord of the Rings
At the end of the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, a huge team, was required to shoot the Battle at the Black Gate. To your utter disbelief, the armed forces of New Zealand were called for the Scene. As strange as it may sound, the armed forces were very excited for their role in a massive film like that. Their excitement hit different heights when they started using the props given to them for their respective scenes. The battle scene was shot in the desert of New Zealand where the army is trained. The field was full of mines and other bomb blasts, which had to be cleared with metal detectors for the safety of all the cast and crew.
9. The Scariest Scene
The film has some fantastic moments, but one stands out as the scariest. In The Return of the King, there’s a moment when Frodo enters Shelob’s lair. The giant spider looked so realistic that one can’t helping being scared of its appearance. It has scared many views, especially the ones with spider phobia. Apart from the crowd, Peter Jackson himself has a phobia with spiders. Despite his fear, he used the best of elements to make the spider appear scary, and he has done a great job in eliciting fear. Plastic toys, the shriek of a Tasmanian Devil, and scary steam hisses were all incorporated to make the fearsome scene.
8. High score achieved with winning all awards
The Return of the King won a perfect score at the Academy Awards. This means they took home every award they were nominated for. They won all 11 awards out of the 11 nominations. Except for Best Supporting Actor, the film succeeded in every single category they were nominated for.
7. Pippin the Musical
Screenwriter Philippa Boyens went to a bar with few of the cast and was impressed by the quality of Boyd’s voice. So the scene in which Billy Boyd (Pippin) sings came into being. She remembered that Denethor requested Pippin to sing him a song in the books, and Boyd was given the lyrics from the novel. Thus, he was given the task of finally coming up with a supporting melody.
6. Hinting through the subtitles
There are some hidden and minute details in the trilogy using subtitles. When you carefully watch the movie, the subtitles appear as a spoken line. If you missed it, now is the right time to rewatch it and appreciate it. The subtitles are used to make the audience understand why they have been used that way. In the first film, Fellowship of the Ring is referred to the group by Elrond in the council scene in The Two Towers, Saruman can be heard over the voice-over mentioning The Two Towers, and lastly, in Return of the King, Gandalf tells the steward of Gondor about The Return of the King.
Have you noticed this already or will you have to rewatch it just to see it? Comment down below and let us know
5. History Made
History has been made as the third movie in a franchise was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Return of the King marks the second time this happened right after The Godfather Part III, and it is the only time a third movie has won the Best Picture Oscar.
4. The Best by City Council
The City Council funded an all-night party at the City of Wellington when The Return of the King was premiered. The council provided $400,000 as an estimate budget. It was like a festival. They had street performers and giant mock-up outdoor screenings to celebrate the completion of the film. There were 100,000 people present in the film’s premiere on the streets of Wellington. That is a quarter of the city’s population, approximately.
3. Beowulf and inspiration for Gollum
Gollum’s character is said to be influenced by Grendel from Beowulf. Beowulf is said to have lived in the Middle East. His brother killed Grendel, though he was the direct descendant of his clan. Smeagol, Grendel’s cousin, was killed by his cousin to acquire the ring. Gradually Grendel’s body became like Smeagol, monstrous over time. Grendel was also granted a lengthy lifespan. Tolkien published a translation of Beowulf in May 2014.
Also, on a closer glimpse, Gollum doesn’t have a left ear lobe. This was a deliberate detail by Peter Jackson. The makeup team also agreed to it since it made it look as if it was a battle wound that must have taken place in Gollum’s past adventures.
Did you know about the origins of Gollum’s character? Let us know in the comments below.
2. Opening Scene
The opening scene of The Return of the King is one of the best and most fascinating in the film. Fran Walsh directed the opening scene. The Scene showcases the downfall of Smeagol. Thomas Robins blinded after this scene by accident, but Peter Jackson froze the eyes because he loved the scene so much. The WETA Digital crew did the necessary edits.
Another thing was that Smeagol’s fall upon the rocks had to take place before Gollum’s entrance. This is because Andy Serkis’ legs appeared to be too muscular. This scene was initially planned to be a part of The Two Towers right after Gollum’s name was revealed.
Before we take you to our top 1 pick, here are some honourable mentions:
- Andy Serkis and Elijah Wood were given a ring each after the official shooting of the trilogy was over. However, each of them thought they were the only ones to receive it.
- Each of the cast members was given a gift after the shooting was over. Each of the gifts was a prop or something related to their role in the film like Miranda Otto was gifted one of Eowyn’s dresses and her sword. Liv Tyler got Arwen’s dying dress, and Orlando Bloom got one of Legolas’ bows.
- The makeup department made John Rhys throw his Gimli mask into the fire on the last day of the shoot because of the fact that it had caused him a lot of rashes. · Along with Ben-Hur and Titanic, The Return of the King also holds the record for the most significant number of Academy Awards won.
1. You may not have witnessed this masterpiece
Return of the King was said to be successful only because The Fellowship of the Ring had hit a success score. And Viggo Mortensen revealed that they would have to skip the theatrical release if the previous film didn’t worked out for them. Mortensen said, “Officially, [Jackson] could say that he was finished in December 2000—he’d shot all three films in the trilogy—but the second and third ones were a mess. It was very sloppy—it just wasn’t done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year. But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn’t been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video”.
Aren’t we all blessed to have experienced this piece of art on the big screen? If not, OTT platforms are there to the rescue. Have you watched the film yet? Comment down below and let us know.