Lord of the Rings, The: Book I - The Return of the Shadow

Lord of the Rings, The: Book I - The Return of the Shadow

 
9.2 (39)
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Lord of the Rings, The: Book I - The Return of the Shadow
Faneditor Name:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2001
Original Running Time:
208
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
65
Time Cut:
144
Time Added:
4
Brief Synopsis:
The first of a six-part edit made to bring Peter Jackson’s adaptations of “The Lord of the Rings” as close as possible to the original book by J.R.R. Tolkien, this covers the first half of “The Fellowship of the Ring”.
Intention:
To separate Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy into six parts that adhere as closely as possible to the six books of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. This is done by both restructuring the films to match the narrative structure found in Tolkien’s book, and by removing as much as possible of the material that has no basis in Tolkien’s vision of Middle-Earth. For Book I, that chiefly involved removing the prologue and the Saruman subplot, as well as to end the edit at the fords of Bruinen.
Additional Notes:
This fanedit primarily intended for fans of Tolkien’s work. Its intention is not to improve the films in and of themselves, and viewers unfamiliar with the book will probably be left confused and unsatisfied, and would be better off watching the originals.
Release Information
  • NTSC DVD-5
  • AVI/MKV
Special Features
- “The Finding of the Ring”: A 7-minute short that retells the events of “The Hobbit”, featuring footage from the animated “The Hobbit” (1977) and narration from the LotR audio books by Robert Inglis
- “The Prancing Pony” Color Comparison: A side-by-side comparison showing the color change
Cuts and Additions:
- There is no prologue. Like in the book, this edit begins on a less serious note (Bilbo’s party etc.), and only later do we learn the importance of the Ring. Parts of the prologue have been inserted elsewhere, which I’ll point out when we get there.
- New title sequence. Just to give the edit a unique feel, really. Before the company credits and film title (which has been changed to “J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings”), Christopher Lee recites the Ring Verse.
- “Book I : The Return of the Shadow” title added over Frodo reading in the forest.
- Gandalf’s ride through Hobbiton has been reworked to remove Bilbo’s narration and include some shots from the theatrical version. Just because I preferred the theatrical version — it gives a better introduction to both Gandalf and Frodo, and Bilbo’s narration that replaced those scenes in the EE is really quite pointless. In order to make this work, a continuity issue arises: After they ride over the bridge, they are seen riding through the fields (which replaces a shot from the theatrical that was used in an earlier scene in the EE), then in the next shot they are riding through the marketplace seen to be on the other side of the bridge. I don’t consider it that big a deal, though, since the continuity of that sequence was rather murky to begin with.
- Bilbo is not seen panicking over having “lost” the ring. As in the book, the importance of the ring is not emphasized until after the party.
- As Gandalf reads Isildur’s account, the Battle of the Last Alliance from the prologue is seen, unnarrated. In order to remove the narration, the sequence has been shortened slightly.
- Removed the shot of the Black Rider on the hilltop after Frodo and Sam see the wood-elves. Frodo and Sam don’t know as of yet that they are being hunted. In order to follow the book, neither should the audience.
- Removed all the Isengard sequences. As in the book, that encounter is retold in Book II, and we have no idea of what’s happened to Gandalf until then.
- Merry doesn’t distract the Black Rider with the bag of vegetables. Both because it’s not in the book, and (mostly) because I find it silly.
- The Hobbits do not encounter a Black Rider on their way to the ferry. The Riders are heard, but not seen until one comes chasing after Frodo as he runs to the ferry. To make the Black Riders more frightening and less incompetent. Also, not in the book.
- Shots of “scary” inhabitants of Bree have been cut. Peter Jackson seems to think that Bree should be a frightening place, but it wasn’t in the book, so I’ve tried to make it a bit less ominous.
- The Inn of the Prancing Pony has been recolored. Originally, it was tinted with a sickly yellow. I’ve made it a bit warmer to make the inn seem more pleasant.
- Shots of “scary” people at the inn have been cut. Again, to make Bree a little less ominous.
- Cut Sauron’s line “I see you!”. Not in the book. In fact, in the book, the Eye is not even aware of Frodo until Amon Hen, and doesn’t “see” him until he claims the ring at the Cracks of Doom. In PJ’s movies, it seems that Sauron discovers Frodo all the time, which undermines his role as a villain. So in this edit, he just says to Frodo that he “cannot hide”, but without discovering his exact location.
- Removed shots of sleeping Hobbits that were intercut with the Black Riders. A cheap and unnecessary way to heighten tension.
- Arwen doesn’t catch Aragorn off his guard. To lessen Arwen’s importance and make her seem lees like Xena the Warrior Princess and more like the elf maiden she’s supposed to be.
- Added subtitles for “Frodo fir” (“Frodo is dying.”) and “Be iest lin” (“As you wish”).
- Cut Sam’s lines “What are you doing!? Those wraiths are still out there!”. To quote faneditforum-member spelledaren, “Why is Sam so stupid?”
- Cut the Witch-King’s “Give up the Halfling, she-elf!” and Arwen’s “If you want him, come and claim him!”. Again, I feel it makes Arwen too much of an action-heroine.
- Arwen doesn’t summon the flood at the ford. Both to lessen Arwen’s importance, and because it’s not in the book where it was Elrond and Gandalf who summoned the flood.
- Cut Arwen’s line “What grace is given me, let it pass to him”. Both to lessen her importance, and because I haven’t the slightest clue what it’s supposed to mean.
- As Arwen cradles the unconscious Frodo in her arms, we fade to “End of Book I”. Like the book, this edit ends with Frodo falling unconscious at the fords of Bruinen.

The new version of Book I is finished and uploaded. The following changes have been made from the first DVD release:

- The title sequence has been changed to match the style used for Books V and VI
- Gandalf’s line about the “long-expected party” has been cut to allow for a smoother audio transition
- Cut some of Bilbo’s speech, going directly from “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and like less than half of you half as well as you deserve” (or however that line goes…) to “I regret to announce this is the end”, without the mumbling in-between
- The Last Alliance flashback has been extended to include the establishing shot of the marching armies and a shot of Elendil wielding Narsil
- Shots of the Wood Elves have been flipped to fix a continuity error
- Cut Pippin’s “Oh, that was close” and Merry’s bit with the carrot after their stumble down the cliff
- Cut Frodo seeing the Eye at the inn
- Cut Aragorn throwing his torch at a Ringwraith
- Cut Sam’s line “Look Frodo, it’s Mr. Bilbo’s trolls!”
- The flight to the ford has been shortened somewhat
- Also, this release has a higher video bitrate than the first one, and the audio work has been improved throughout
Cover art by Kerr (label by AvP) (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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double disc cover art by Kerr (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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cover art by boon23 (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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cover art by AvP (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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cover art by AvP (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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cover art by AvP (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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User reviews

39 reviews

 
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1-3 stars
 
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Overall rating 
 
9.2
 
9.0  (4)
 
9.8  (4)
 
9.5  (4)
 
9.3  (4)
 
9.0  (39)
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(Updated: July 28, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality 
 
8.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

I've always enjoyed the Lord of the Rings films. The first time I noticed something was wrong with them was when I watched the first Hobbit movie. Even though I read the books, I admired the "old" movies Peter Jackson gave us. Now that my disappointment in this moviefranchise has grown, I'm really thankful there are people like kerr that take something they love and transform it into something even better.

This edit is not perfect but it's as true to Tolkien's vision as it gets. The pacing is much better than in the original trilogy, conversations aren't as redundant as they used to be and one can feel the love that was put in this project every minute. Especially movies 2 and 3 are a large improvement over PJ's version - there's less goofyness, more focus and stronger characters overall (especially gimli and theoden).

Since I'm used to blurays I have to say that the imagequality isn't that great, but overall I highly recommend this edit to every Tolkienfan and will watch it from now on, everytime I'm in the mood for Lord of the Rings. This is easily the best fanedit I've seen so far.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: April 06, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

Finally something closer to Tolkien's epic. Kerr finally found a way for die hard Tolkien fans to tolerate Jackson's take on LotR. Finally a leaner version of Jackson's epic, which sometimes proves to be dull or slow (or both), and doesn't need 11h plus to tell (the fragments it takes from) the tale. Finally Pippin and Merry and Gimli aren't that stupid, and other characters such as Frodo, Aragorn and Frodo really know what they're doing, instead of going on just because the script says so.
Strong storytelling, especially because of the right lines from the novel (which Jackson randomly quotes throughout the movies) and of the suspense Jackson tried to create with his poor tricks.

Kerr, we want you for the Hobbit too: there's even more need of you, if it's going to be what it seemed in part 1. Please, save us!!!
PS. This is about the whole series, not just part 1 - the Retun of the Shadow.
PPS. Nice touch, to use Tolkien's suggested book-titles (i.e.: the six book of which LotR is made up) for the movie parts (excepted part 4, which Tolkien named "the Ring goes East").

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
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DVD
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: September 16, 2012)
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Review by steelio2006 — June 21, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

*This rating was given before reviews were required*

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(Updated: September 16, 2012)
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10.0

Review by BigDamnHero — April 11, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

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(Updated: September 16, 2012)
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Review by TelboyD — September 2, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

*This rating was given before reviews were required*

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