Often considered as one of the greatest trilogies in film history (alongside The Godfather, Original Star Wars Trilogy, and The Dark Knight Trilogy), Lord of the Rings wasn’t even at its peak during its theatrical run. Little did die-hard Lord of the Rings fans know that he had more in store for them. Released a year after the theatrical DVD release, Peter Jackson took audiences back into this magical realm to show them something even more special than they had already seen.
So let’s head back into Middle-Earth and take a look at some of the best additional scenes between The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. For those who have managed to take the 11.5-hour journey to destroy the one ring, you are commended.
Aragorn visits his Mother (The Fellowship of the Ring)
In a short but sweet scene, Aragorn visits the grave of his mother. Elrond approaches Aragorn and provides insight for the audience of who exactly Aragorn is. Explaining that his mother brought him to Rivendell as a child to be raised by Elves, so he may be safe from the prosecutions of others. Since he is the next of kin to take the throne of Gondor but has always refused to take any part of claiming the throne and leaving Gondor without a King. Elrond pleads to Aragorn to become who he is meant to be, but Aragorn explains how he has never wanted to be King. Giving us a better look behind the man Aragorn is.
Gifts from Galadriel (The Fellowship of the Ring)
Much is added to this scene for the sake of explanation, including the use of Lembas bread and its ability to fill a man with a small bite. Of course, Pippin manages to eat 4. But what really gives this scene depth are the gifts given by the Fellowship by Galadriel. As she gives Legolas the Bow of Galadriel, Merry and Pippin the Blades of Noldorin, Sam gets the Elven rope, but what would an elf have to offer a dwarf? Considering the rivalry between elves and dwarfs, it is somewhat reassembled as Gimli basks in Galadriel’s beauty and asks for a single strand of her hair but instead gives him three. Thankfully the gifts are explored more throughout the other two films extended editions.
Faramir’s Story Arc (The Two Towers)
In The Return of the King, we watch as Faramir struggles to gain the acceptance of his father who currently rules of Gondor, as he favors his deceased son Boromir. However, it is in The Two Towers that we see the tension established. In a flashback, we watch as Faramir and Boromir regain control of Osgiliath. Their father arrives and explains the meeting of the Fellowship in Rivendell and picks his firstborn Boromir to join the council and attempt to return the Ring back to him. Here we get a look at Denethor’s cruelty towards Faramir and the quest for acceptance from his father that is shown in the following film.
Legolas and Gimli’s Death Count (The Two Towers)
One of the most likable relationships is in the one between Gimli and Legolas, during the climactic battle of Helm’s Deep we watch as the Elf and Dwarf make their desperate battle into a game. In the theatrical cut, we watch as the two tallies up their kills, but in the extended edition we finally get to know who won. As Gimli sits upon a dead Uruk, he proudly claims a victory of 43 kills, only for Legolas to fire one more arrow in the Uruk Gimli sits upon and attempts to claim the dead Uruk was still moving because of his ax embedded in his nervous system. Gimli is the winner, but this still makes for a great bonding moment between elves and dwarves.
Saruman’s Death (Return of the King)
One of the strange occurrences in the theatrical trilogy is the disappearance of Saruman. As an important enemy to the story in the first two films, he just happened to not show up in the third. However, in the extended edition we finally get some finality to Saruman’s story. Saruman attempts to make a final attack on Gandalf, only to fail. Theoden then pleads to Wormtongue to rejoin Rohan, but Saruman keeps Wormtongue in his place. Wormtongue betrays Saruman and stabs him, sending the white wizard to plummet down to his death. Finally giving us a proper ending to Saruman.
Eowyn’s Death and Resurrection (Return of the King)
A surprisingly underrated character is given a proper scene of redemption and peace. As Eowyn joins in the battle for Gondor, she tries tending to her father who has been brought down in battle. However, the Witch King makes his appearance and attempts to kill Theoden. Eowyn manages to kill the Witch-King but is also killed in the process. However, Aragorn manages to bring her back and leaves her to rest with Faramir inside Gondor. There a relationship begins to take shape between Faramir and Eowyn, giving the Princess of Rohan a proper conclusion to her story, along with Faramir’s.
Gandalf Meets the Witch King (Return of the King)
During the invasion of Gondor, Gandalf attempts to hold up the spirits of the Gondorian soldiers and protect the city. However, when Denethor tries to burn his son alive, Gandalf answers the call to save him. But is stopped when he comes face to face with The Witch King. A meeting that has been hyped since the moment the Witch King said he would destroy the White Wizard. As the two have a brief exchange, The Witch King retreats as he responds to the coming Rohidans as they come to assist Gondor. Despite there not being a larger battle between the two, it still sets up a much more satisfying death when he is destroyed by Eowyn.
Aragorn Speaks to Sauron (Return of the King)
After the battle for Gondor is won, Aragorn goes to the Palantir so he may challenge the dark lord Sauron. As he picks up the Palantir, Aragon reveals the evil ruler the sword that once defeated him as been reforged and is in the hands of the heir of Isildur. However, Sauron also challenges the King as he shows Aragorn a vision of his beloved Arwen at her death. This scene further sets up Aragorn’s motivation to create a diversion at the Black Gate to give Frodo a chance to destroy the ring, even if it means risking his own life.
Frodo and Sam Dress as Orcs (Return of the King)
As Sam and Frodo make their final push towards Mount Doom to destroy the ring, we are given an additional scene to show the dangers of moving through Mordor. The hobbits dress up as Orcs and are pulled into a gathering of Orcs as they make their move towards the Black Gate. During the inspection, they are almost spotted but start a small fight in the crowd so they can sneak away. The scene helps build tension and keeps us on the edge of our seats in hope that Fordo and Sam can complete their difficult task.
The Mouth of Sauron (Return of the King)
The final and probably most important addition scene in the trilogy is when our heroes meet The Mouth of Sauron at the Black Gate. Before the final epic battle, Aragorn and the others meet Sauron’s follower at the gate. The Mouth of Sauron explains that there is no hope left for them to have, as he reveals Frodo’s white armor given to him in the first film. The evil follower explains how they tortured the hobbits, but the heroes call his bluff and continue to hold strong against Sauron’s forces. The depth this scene gives, allows us to watch as our heroes continue to fight on and not lose hope in Frodo’s journey despite the circumstances. They believe in Frodo’s will to finally destroy the ring.