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Feature: The Return of the King

Everybody's Tolkien to Me


What lies in store for the Fellowship? Find out in the first of our two-part feature on the final battle for Middle-earth

Axe Lyrical
John Rhys-Davies

Warrior Dwarf Gimli may not be the most imposing member of the Fellowship, but what he lacks in stature he certainly makes up for in personality and loyalty, as actor John Rhys-Davies explains.
“There’s a great warrior side to him and that’s shown by his eagerness to accept what would appear to be a suicidal mission. In the material world he’s second-to-none in terms of his courage and the strength of his heart.”

Force of Hobbit: 1
Billy Boyd

Hobbit Pippin has come a long way on his journey from the Shire and, as actor Billy Boyd explains, is set to play a major part in The Return of the King. “In the final movie, I’m acting rather than reacting to what’s happening,” enthuses the softly-spoken Scot. “ I actually make some significant things happen, which I think is what Pippin needed. In the first movie he said he felt like luggage, but by The Return of the King he has become an active participant. There are things he does that really influence the end of the movie and, through his trust of Gandalf, he becomes an accidental hero.”

Force of Hobbit: 2
Dominic Monahan

Hobbit Merry has not seen much in the way of fighting on his personal journey but that, as Dominic Monaghan explains, is about to change!
“You’re going to see a very different Merry than you’ve seen before,” he promises. “The happy-go-lucky, witty little guy that we met back in the Shire has gone. He’s getting visibly bigger in stature because he’s joined the army of Rohan and is going to be a warrior.”

Howard Shore

As with the previous two instalments, Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore’s emotive score is of central importance to The Return of the King. He, like all of those involved, has mixed feelings about the end of the epic. “It’s a bittersweet feeling,” he admits. “Middle-earth has been a wonderful place to work and live in and we’ve all loved being there. Like all really good projects they have to drag you away from it at the end; you’re not ready to stop, but the time is up and the orchestra has gone.”

Mordor, She Wrote
Phillipa Boyens

Fundamental to the trilogy’s success was the involvement of three writers: Phillipa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. “Structure is certainly one of Fran’s strengths, but to be fair to Peter and myself I’d have to say that we all did it together, really,” says Boyens. “Peter is very open to the ideas of others. He wants the storytelling to feel as natural as possible – so we re-work the story structure over and over until it feels right.”
Each instalment came with its own set of problems, as Boyens explains. “In terms of The Two Towers our biggest problem was we never had an ending. For Return of the King, we’ve had to deal with just the opposite. We’ve got one of the great endings. In fact, The Return of the King may have too many endings!”

by Nick Joy & Laurence French

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Film Review (Dec)

Photo © New Line Cinema
Feature © Visual Imagination 2003. Not for reproduction

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Film Review (Dec), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Dec)
#638, December 2003
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