The Moment: Bilbo opens the trilogy with a brief explanation of hobbiting ways, their likes and dislikes, and what makes them so special.
The Awesome: The extended version offers a welcome vision of bucolic loveliness, taking the time to explain just what is at stake for Frodo and friends, and stressing how remarkable it is that such quiet-loving creatures could be the ones to save Middle-earth.
The Green Dragon
The Moment: The hobbits return to the Green Dragon pub after their long adventure, only to find life pretty much unchanged, the residents of Hobbiton oblivious to their exploits. Just as they like it.
The Awesome: Okay, so there are too many endings, but even accepting that criticism, it’s still nice to see the story brought full circle. And Sam gets the girl as well!
The story continues
The Moment: The trailer for The Hobbit looks set to continue the brilliance of the original trilogy, with Martin Freeman stepping into Ian Holm’s shoes as Bilbo Baggins.
The Awesome: The trailer fills us with a wonderful sense of nostalgia for the Shire, and Middle-earth as a whole. 14 December can’t come soon enough…
The Moment: Saruman amasses his forces and sends them to Helm’s deep with the following words: “A new power is rising… its victory is at hand. This night, the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan. March to Helm’s Deep… leave none alive.”
The Awesome: The solitary tear that rolls down Wormtongue’s cheek is a nice touch, as he realises the full extent of Saruman’s evil.
The Moment: As the trilogy closes, the end credits roll, with each member of the cast’s name accompanied by a beautiful sketch of their character. A brilliant touch.
The Awesome: It’s a wonderfully celebratory way to close the series. We particularly like the fact that fallen hero Boromir also gets his due here.
The Moment: Aragorn dashes into the quarters of King Theoden to inform him that the beacons of Minas Tirith have been lit. “Gondor calls for aid,” he cries. Considering for just a moment, Thedon grits his teeth and replies, “and Rohan will answer.”
The Awesome: The petty quarrels of men are finally put aside, as Rohan and Gondor unite to take on Sauron.
The Moment: Legolas defies the laws of physics to mount Gimli’s horse in spectacular style. The boy has got some moves…
The Awesome: We know it’s a bit silly, but Legolas’s flash-harry antics never fail to raise a smile. Gimli can only dream of such showboating skills!
The Moment: Sam encourages Frodo to keep going at the end of The Two Towers , with the following spine-tingling monologue: “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. That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”
The Awesome: Sam is the heart and soul of the trilogy, and this little speech sums up his stout-hearted bravery. Good man.
The Moment: In the extended cut of Fellowship, the hobbits come across the petrified statues of the trolls encountered by Bilbo on his adventure. Hopefully we’ll see them up and about in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey .
The Awesome: It’s a throwaway moment, but a nice call-back to the prequel story. One that Peter Jackson will now be able to revisit in more detail…
The Prancing Pony
The Moment: The Ringwraiths smash their way into the village of Bree, head to the Prancing Pony, and plunge their blades into four hobbit-shaped beds. Fortunately, Aragorn has formulated a cunning plan…
The Awesome: It’s a deft little switcheroo from Aragorn, and one that serves to alleviate a not inconsiderable degree of tension. Phew!