Lord of the Rings, The: Book V – The War of the Ring
- NTSC DVD-5
- “Book V – The War of the Ring” title added over the final shot of the ride through Minas Tirith.
- Cut to Gandalf riding with Pippin to Minas Tirith. We follow their storyline until otherwise noted.
- Pippin does not recognize the White Tree, since he never saw it in the Palantir.
- Cut Gandalf telling Pippin not to tell Denethor anything about Boromir, Aragorn, Frodo or anything at all. Parts of this was in the book, but I feel it works better without any of it.
- Parts of the audience with Denethor has been rearranged to match the book. Pippin pledging service to Denethor now comes a bit later, and thus feels less like a spur-of-the-moment-decision. Some closeups have been cut or rearranged.
- Some small cuts made to Denethor’s and Gandalf’s dialogue. Gandalf does not ask where Gondor’s armies are, since Denethor is fully aware of the danger in this edit, having already lit the beacons.
- Cut Pippin’s “Well… Minas Tirith. Very impressive. So, where are we off to next?” and Gandalf’s reply.
- Gandalf does not start coughing when smoking on the balcony. Sure, smoking is bad for your health, but LotR is not the right place to point that out.
- The flashback to Weathertop has been cut.
- The lighting of the Minas Morgul beacon has been reworked so that we only see it from the gondorians’ point of view. Some of the dialogue preceding it has also been rearranged.
- Cut to Aragorn spotting the beacon. We now follow his storyline.
- The orcs march into Osgiliath, and we cut to Aragorn spotting the beacon. We now follow his storyline.
- Theoden does not hesitate when hearing that Gondor calls for aid, he replies immediately that “Rohan will answer”.
- Cut Theoden’s VO as the Rohirrim prepare to leave Edoras.
- Cut Gimli interrupting Aragorn’s vision of the King of the Dead.
- Removed any mention of Arwen dying. That subplot never made any sense.
- Changed the elvish subtitles to the translation used by Tolkien: “I gave hope to the DÃ�nedain, I have kept no hope for myself”.
- Cut Aragorn and co. sneaking off in the middle of the night.
- Cut Legolas claiming that Isildur was “the last king of Gondor”. He wasn’t.
- No Gimli goofiness in the Paths of the Dead
- The Paths of the Dead sequence has been recut to make the army of the dead less threatening. The sequence ends like in the theatrical version, with Aragorn’s “What say you?”
- Cut to the Rohirrim riding off to war.
- Cut to Osgiliath. We follow the Gondor storyline.
- The orc army crossing the river is only seen from the gondorians’ POV.
- Gothmog’s speech about the age of the orcs being at hand has been cut. I hate Gothmog as portrayed in the films.
- Cut Gandalf’s line “Foreseen, and done nothing.” In this edit, Denethor lit the beacons.
- Tried to lessen Denethor’s craziness when meeting with Faramir. Denethor doesn’t see a vision of Boromir, and doesn’t stumble down the stairs.
- Cut Pippin fumbling the words when swearing allegiance to Denethor.
- Cut Pippin kissing Denethor’s ring.
- The Witchking telling Gothmog to “Send forth all legions” has been moved to a later point. It now comes after Faramir’s charge, and is followed by all the shots of the orc army marching towards the city.
- Gothmog’s presence during the siege has been lessened. In this edit, he only appears during the Grond sequence, and has a small appearance later during the charge of the Rohirriom. All other appearances have been cut.
- Gandalf does not knock down Denethor at the siege. Why does PJ’s version of Gandalf has to be such a violent brute?
- Cut Pippin’s apperance in the siege until the “Pyre of Denethor”-storyline.
- Cut the archers firing at the towers before Gandalf tells them not to.
- The Siege of Gondor has been rearranged. After Grond is brought forth, we exclusively follow Pippin’s storyline until Denethor locks him out, after which we return to Gandalf at the gate.
- Gandalf vs. the Witch-king has been altered. The WK does not break Gandalf’s staff, and Gandalf does not fall from his horse. As in the book, they never get the chance to square off. Also, the fact that the WK defeats Gandalf the White is completely ludicrous – remember that Aragorn fought off both the Witch-king and several other Ringwraiths back in FotR.
- As the WK hears the horns of Rohan and flies off, we cut to Merry and Eowyn at the Rohirrim camp.
- Removed intercutting of orcs preparing for battle with Theoden’s speech. It makes no sense for the Rohirrim to reveal themselves to the orcs and give them lots of time to prepare for the cavalry charge, so in this edit, we do not see the orcs responding until the Rohirrim are already charging.
- Some over-the-top stuff has been cut from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, which plays in its entirety without cutting back to Minas Tirith.
- The character of the Black Serpent, leader of the Haradrim, has been cut. Yes, he was in the book, but I didn’t really like him, and I felt the Pelennor battle had to be shortened slightly, so out he went.
- Cut the Witchkings’ “Diiiieeeee…… Noooooooow…..”. Merry now stabs him immediately after his line “No man can kill me.”
- Eowyn says farewell to Theoden immediately after slaying the WK, after which Aragorn and co. arrive.
- Legolas vs. oliphaunt has been cut.
- The battle of the Pelennor Fields is won, and we cut to Denethor pouring oil over himself and Faramir. Again, a strange timeline change, but true to the book.
- Gandalf does not employ violence against Denethor, who stays on the pyre for the entire scene (he does not run across the length of Minas Tirith just to get a visually pleasing death scene). “Thus passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion” – and we see the sun shine on Minas Tirith once more.
- Gimli does not suggest that they keep the dead around for a while longer.
- I used the theatrical version of Pippin finding Merry, which now occurs before Eomer finds Eowyn.
- Several cuts have been made to the Last Debate. Gandalf does not say that Frodo has passed from his sight (as he earlier claimed that he had “no news of Frodo”), and all of Gimli’s and Legolas’ lines have been cut.
- When Aragorn challenges Sauron in the Palantir, he does not see the floating eyeball on top of Barad-Dur, but the armored Sauron holding a Palantir (taken from later on in the scene).
- I always felt that Aragorn should win the challenge, so it ends with him presenting Anduril, backed by the Gondor theme. No visions of Arwen dying, no shattered Evenstar pendant.
- Some cuts made to the Mouth of Sauron to make him less nasty.
- Some cuts made to the pre-battle sequence – the orcs do not completely surround our heroes.
- Cut Aragorn being tempted by Sauron.
- We see the battle in front of the Black Gate without cutting to Frodo and Sam. “The eagles are coming!” shouts Pippin, and we fade out: “End of Book V”.
“To battle!” they say, and we cut to the Rohirrim arriving at Pelennor. This timeline change might seem odd, but I’m going by the book, where the beginning of Chapter 5 – The Ride of the Rohirrim takes places before the horns are heard at the end of Chapter 6. We now follow the Rohirrim without cutting back to what’s going on inside the city (which will come later, like in the book).
changes for the DVD:
– Cut Pippin’s smile on the balcony
– The Paths of the Dead sequence has been extended slightly
– Cut Faramir and co. letting some of the orcs run past them
– The transition between the two parts of the Osgiliath battle has been changed
– Shortened Gothmog’s dialogue before Grond is brought forth
– Cut shots of women and children after the city has been breached
– Removed the Merry/Eowyn scene before the Rohirrim’s arrival
– The Battle of the Pelennor Fields has been recut
– Cut the King of the Dead’s line “Release us!”
Splendid and meticulous editing, as usual. The entire cut list seems reasonable and nothing felt missing. As close to the book as it gets, with the material available. Masterful works, these book edits.
I loved these. Not to much to say about it that hasn't been said by other reviewers, but if you're a Lord of the Rings fan, check these edits out.
(Watched this a couple years and forgot to review.)