Lord of the Rings Miniseries: The Return of the King

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Brief Synopsis:
My goal was to make a miniseries edit that didn't simply feel like a chopped up version of the movies. Overall this worked surprisingly well without too much editing, though the Return of the King had to have some extra reordering of scenes to make it work.

The vast majority of each movie is retained, though I changed a handful of things that I thought weren't so well done in the movies (Bridge collapse leaning, Frodo and Sam "rock" cloak at the Black Gate, etc). I cut a few other scenes that were from the extended editions that I felt did not add to the movies at all (extra Gimli humor, Merry and Pippin drinking water to get taller, etc). And lastly, I rearranged some scenes to help the pacing of each episode. With the new format this was needed, mainly in the Return of the King. I added chapter titles to every episode and they appear within the first 10 minutes matching how the original movies did it, I kept the short 45 second intro credits and "Lord of the Rings" Title sequence for each episode, and then added a shortened 60 second credit sequence for each episode.
I've had this idea for a while now and was recently inspired again to work on it after seeing a post from Stromboli Bones about his own miniseries edit. I think I prefer these as movies still, but this was a fun experiment and a nice choice to have if I don't have a ton of time to commit to the movies. Also, my favorite edit of the Hobbit is Stromboli's 5 part edit, and having the Lord of the Rings available in similar length episodes makes watching the whole series like this more cohesive. The episode format works better than I expected too with each part having a solid story arc rather than feeling like a chopped up movie.
Other Sources:
My sources for the movies are Dwalin's color corrected Fellowship of the Ring from OriginalTrilogy forums, and then the blurays for both The Two Towers and Return of the King. I also took one small change from TriggeredPuppy's Less Extended Edition for adding a quick shot of Martin Freeman's Bilbo for the intro of FOTR. And lastly ArtisDead for the beautiful cover art!
Special Thanks:
Dwalin (OriginalTrilogy)
ArtisDead for the wonderful artwork!
Release Information:
Editing Details:
I didn't want to majorly change anything in these movies. The only bigger cuts I made were a handful of scenes that I thought were poorly done in the movies (like the leaning on the pillar while escaping Moria, or the rock cloak for Frodo), and then some of the extended scenes that I thought detracted from the movies rather than added to them (extra Gimli humor, and extra Merry and Pippin antics). I tried to retain as much as I could from the movies while putting it into this new format
Cuts and Additions:
E7 - Minas Tirith - 60min
Aragorn's group finishes Saruman and then splits apart. Aragorn stays with the Rohirrim while Gandalf and Pippin go to Minas Tirith.
Frodo's group makes it to the stairs and the orc army marches out.

* Cut Saruman's fireball right before his staff breaks
* Cropped the flashback of Boromir getting hit with arrows so you don't see the Hobbits holding stones
* End at the start of the stair climb on a long shot of them with the orc army below that I slighty extended

E8 - Shelob's Lair - 67min
Aragorn's group rides to the aid of Minas Tirith, then split from them to go enlist the Dead Army.
Frodo's group climbs the stairs and escapes Shelob, up to the point where Sam realizes that Frodo is still alive.

* Rearranged the scene with Gandalf telling Pippin to light to fire so that the episode starts with the orcs silently crossing the water
* Moved the shot of Sam threatening Gollum to just after Gandalf asks Faramir to tell him what happened with Sam and Frodo. This transitions nicely and helps space out the Frodo/Sam scenes more evenly
* Pulled the scenes of Frodo and Sam fighting Shelob to be earlier so that this ends the episode, and then I pushed the gathering of the Rohirrim and Orc armies to the next episode for pacing
* End on Sam realizing that Frodo isn't dead

E9 - The Ride of the Rohirrim - 59min
Aragorn's group talks to the Dead Army before going to help win the fight at Minas Tirith
Frodo's group reunites and continues on into Mordor

* Cut the shot of the Dead king saying he'll fight for Aragorn and them attacking the ship so it's a surprise
* Moved the scenes of the two armies getting ready for the battle up to this point
* Darkened a transition scene of the Rohan army so it looks later in the day so the timelines match better
* Cut a small set of shots of Merry killing a bunch of orcs. He only helps kill the Witch King now
* End as Aragorn says that Sauron will take the bait just before he goes to use the palantir

E10 - Mount Doom - 77min
Aragorn's group goes to battle at the gate to give Frodo time
Frodo's group continues on to destroy the ring.

* Rearranged a few scenes in the beginning so this episodes starts with Frodo and Sam and follows them up until they get away from the orcs and see the mountain. From there it goes back to Aragorn holding the palantir and plays out as normal
* Trimmed Frodo flapping his arms out as he falls when the eye is looking at him. Also cut one extra scene of the eye looking at Frodo as he is laying on the ground
* Cut another tiny set of shots of the hobbits killing orcs in the final battle
* Trimmed the reunion scene so there is less laughing, bed jumping, and awkward looks
* End on the original ending with full extended credits

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