10 Best The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Moments

2. Gollum Finally Gets What He Wants

Like Isildur before him, Frodo has made it to the heart of Mount Doom, and like the men who failed before, the ring finally has him.

Sam is crumpled, he has just carried Frodo up a mountain for god’s sake. His friend is lost to the darkness and slips the ring on. Sauron knows it. Gandalf knows it. Nine hours of film for this sad ending is a lot to accept for the unwitting viewer.

But what’s this? Gollum leaps from the shadows and bites the ring off Frodo’s finger.

In his jubilance he tumbles over the side and plummets towards the lava.

Yes, Gollum is technically a baddie but in a film of uncompromising good and evil, he is a little conflicted grey area. He is likeable despite his terrible decisions. And in the safety of the knowledge that the ring is going to be destroyed and his elation is going to be short-lived, we can feel happy for him.

For one fleeting moment Sméagol is reunited with his precious.

1. I Am No Man

There aren’t many women in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so at least three of them are rock stars.

After an annoying Two Towers, in which Éowyn’s (Miranda Otto) main purpose is to fawn over Aragorn and moan that she can’t fight, Éowyn and Merry take it upon themselves to join the fight on the Pellenor Fields. Pig sick of being derided for being too little or too feeble, they take arms.

The battle is overwhelming for them, because they are both smaller and more feeble than the Rohirrim who have trained for this their whole lives. The Witch-King of Angmar has just slain Théoden, and Éowyn steps up. The Witch-king is brimming with the confidence of all the best villains…

“You fool. No man can kill me.”

Joke’s on you, buddy.

It’s a move derivative of Macbeth, but classics are classics for a reason. With a roar of grief, Éowyn thrusts the sword deep into the Witch-King and changes the course of the rest of the battle.

Not bad for a girl.

Recommended for you: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Movies Ranked

Such a classic and beloved film like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is certain to provide many a memorable moment not included in this list. Which moments do you remember the most? Let everyone know in the comments below, and be sure to follow @thefilmagazine on Facebook and X (Twitter) for more insightful movie lists.

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