Top 10 Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Extended Scenes
Last week marked the true finale of our adventure through Middle-earth. At long last, the extended edition of The Battle of the Five Armies was released. Not only does it add an extra twenty minutes of footage to the conclusion of Thorin and company’s adventure, it is also the first and only film in the Middle-earth saga to be rated R.
For many, the time has now come to host an epic twenty-one hour Lord of the Rings/Hobbit marathon. That’s what I’ll be doing this weekend. But with so much extra footage throughout the six films, which scenes can we look forward to the most? Let’s take a look at the top ten extended and additional scenes in the Middle-earth series.
10. Real Elvish Rope (The Two Towers)
I don’t agree with the general opinion that the Frodo and Sam scenes of The Two Towers and The Return of the King are awful. But, granted, they can be a bit heavy-handed at times. Luckily for all of us, Samwise the Brave is rarely lacking in the lightheartedness department, and on this occasion, as one of Sam’s expertly tied knots comes undone with a single tug, even Frodo has a bit of a laugh.
9. Beren and Luthien (The Fellowship of the Ring)
After crossing through the bug infested Midgewater Marshes, Aragorn and the hobbits (Merry, Pippin, Frodo, and Sam) camp for the night. Frodo is awoken from his slumber by Aragorn singing about the ancient tale of Beren and Luthien.
Aragorn’s song is short but hauntingly beautiful, and Frodo asks what the song is about. The story of the forbidden love between Beren, a man, and Luthien, an elf, surely hits home for Aragorn and he tells Frodo only that, in the end, Luthien died.
8. Young Bilbo Meets Gandalf (An Unexpected Journey)
When Gandalf first comes calling at Bilbo Baggins’ door, Bilbo remembers Gandalf because of his fireworks. And in this short scene, we get to see a very young Bilbo being enchanted by the Grey Wizard’s pyrotechnics display.
Though not significant to the plot of the movie, it is always fun to see a little extra history and backstory from our most beloved characters.
7. Wood Elves Heading West (The Fellowship of the Ring)
This is a particularly sweet moment for Sam, who all his life had dreamed of seeing the elves. Not only is this Sam’s first glimpse of the Elven race, but aside from a few short moments during Galadriel’s opening speech, it is ours as well.
There isn’t much to the scene, but the silent, mysterious, and ethereal introduction to the elves is a perfect one.
6. Sons of the Steward
This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. Just when you thought that Boromir was lost and forgotten, he shows back up in an extremely important scene. After giving a rousing victory speech to the people of Gondor, Boromir meets up with his brother, Faramir, and his father, Denethor, the Steward of Gondor.
As is to be expected, Denethor treats Faramir like a major scumbag, and tells Boromir to go to Rivendell to retrieve the Ring of Power for Gondor. Boromir tells Denethor that Faramir should go, but Denethor, being the douchebag that he is, refuses to let the younger brother go.
I love this scene for two reasons: First, because we could all use a little more Sean Bean in our lives. And second, it sets up the framework for the strained relationship between Faramir and Denethor that we see in Return of the King. Because of this scene, Faramir’s intentions with the Ring and the love lost between him and his father make much more sense.
5. A Funeral for a King (The Battle of the Five Armies)
This is a brief scene that never should have been cut from the theatrical film. In it, we witness the funeral service for Thorin Oakenshield, and his nephews, Kili and Fili. We also see Dain be crowned King of Erebor.
The funeral scene brings a bit of closure to the crushing blow of losing three fantastic characters. Few words are spoken as the rest of the dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf all pay their respects to the fallen King.
In The Lord of the Rings, only one Fellowship member dies (for good) and we get to see his funeral, as it were. Thus it is only fair that we see the funeral of three crucial characters in The Hobbit.
4. Mirkwood Forest (The Desolation of Smaug)
When I left the theater after seeing Desolation for the first time, I had very few complaints. But one major one was how short the scenes in Mirkwood were. Mirkwood is a huge portion of the novel, and I was disappointed to see if get so little attention.
The extended version of the Mirkwood scenes make everything feel so much more complete. We get to see much more of the confusion and magic from the original story, and Martin Freeman is hilarious throughout.
3. The War Chariot (The Battle of the Five Armies)
Mountain goats. Trolls. Automatic arrow guns. Exploding wards. This scene has it all.
This new scene from Five Armies might be a big over the top, but it adds a lot of extra fun and action to the battle of the five armies. Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Kili, and Fili all hop aboard a giant chariot equipped with some kind of crank gun. They mow down their enemies as they race across the battlefield, down a frozen river, and towards the mountain where Azog waits for them. In a word, this scene is just awesome.
2. Leaving Lorien (The Fellowship of the Ring)
In the theatrical version of this scene, Galadriel gives Frodo the Light of Elendil, and then the Fellowship is on their way. But in the extended edition, each member of the party receives a gift from Galadriel except for Aragorn and Boromir.
Galadriel is perfectly sweet to Frodo and his companions, and Gimli’s request for a piece of Galadriel’s hair is the highlight of the scene. Though he feigns dislike for Legolas, clearly Gimli has had an attraction to the elves for a while.
1. The Death of a Wizard (The Return of the King)
Saruman is conspicuously absent from the theatrical cut of Return of the King, but the extended edition treats the White Wizard with the respect he deserves — being stabbed in the back, falling hundreds of feet, and then impaled.
The crunch and thud of Saruman hitting the spiked water wheel is fantastically gruesome, and, as a bonus, Grima Wormtongue also gets shot in the heart by Legolas. By all accounts, this is definitely the best and most epic of all the additional scenes.
What are your favorite extended scenes from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series? Chime in below!