SCRIPT REVIEW – Ain’t it Cool News Reviews the Script

by Aug 7, 1999Lord of the Rings (Movies)

Well, after a couple of weeks promising this, Ain’t it Cool News has posted their review of the Lord of the Rings Script. You must check this out. Here are a couple sections from the complete review to whet your appetite.

…Rest assured, the material is in the right hands. It’s obvious from the first page of the first script. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I read Frodo’s first voice-over, delivered as the opening TITLES are shown:

When we turn away from the darkness of
our past to take comfort in our peaceful
lives, we sometimes forget how dearly
that peace was bought. But there is
much worth remembering in the darkness…

Any questions I had about how seriously Jackson planned to treat the darker aspects of the material evaporated as I read of the great battles that closed out the Second Age of Middle-earth. The imagery is stark, brutal, and sad, effectively etched in just a few short pages. It was wrenching to read the intensity with which the armies of Elf and Man stand against the power of Sauron. When Isildur has the opportunity to destroy the Ring but doesn’t, it’s crushing. Then, just like that, Isildur is struck down, and as the One Ring settles to the bottom of a river, Frodo speaks again:


Thus a Third Age of Middle-earth began.
History became legend… legend became
myth. And some things that should not
have been forgotten were lost.

One of the things that has always struck me about the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy is the sense of sacrifice. Characters die. The group is split up. Friendships are tested. Every choice matters. Another thing that has always struck me is the eccentricity of Tolkien’s vision. Characters like Treebeard and the Fangorn trees are unique, and it will require real vision to make us believe in them…

…One final observation about the scripts: I’d never really thought about whose story LORD OF THE RINGS is, but I think Jackson has made the case persuasively that these stories belong, in the end, to Samwise Gamgee. He is a character of rare courage and integrity, and when all is said and done, the weight of the journey falls squarely on his stout shoulders. I was so moved by him, by his actions, that I read the last 20 pages of the story through the fish-eyed lens of tear-stained eyes. It’s just exhausting to plow through this all at once, but the final effect for me was one of exhilaration. For all the violence, all the horror, and all the pain, this is a story of simple triumph.


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