Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Fellowship of the Ring EE Review

Yesterday I finally watched the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring!  I was able to borrow a copy from my friend Anna who owns it but has never watched it.  Thank you, Anna!
I have seen a lot of the extended scenes on YouTube, but never all compiled together into one continuous film.  The first thing I was struck by was the beautiful case!  It comes with a gorgeous little guide and Alan Lee artwork on the back of the slipcase.

Once the film actually started, I right away picked up on the different musical queues.  In the guide I remember it saying that Howard Shore rerecorded the entire score for the Extended Edition.  I originally thought this movie would just be the regular movie with little inserted scenes throughout, but it truly was like watching a new film.  Even in scenes I recognized from the originals there were little lines put in which really added a lot.  Take this scene for example:

In the original movie, Boromir's cry "it will be the death of the Hobbits" was omitted.  I really liked it in this extended scene because it showed that Boromir really cared about the Hobbits and also Frodo's decision to go through the Mines actually was founded.

Speaking about Boromir, there were a lot of little tidbits put back in here that added a lot to his character.  I've seen Boromir's death so many times it doesn't often make me tear up, but after all these new scenes with him, I really did get a bit misty (okay one or two tear drops may have spilled out).  Boromir seems much more relatable and I truly felt bad for him after he chased Frodo away and then was crying out an apology.  It stung my heart to really grasp that Frodo never saw Boromir again after he attacked him--never received his apology.

It was so fun to watch this movie--every time something new came up or a new scene was introduced I got so excited!

My mom who has a good knowledge of the story, but that is only based on the movies and my detailed explanations, also really liked the Extended Edition.  I thought it might be geared more toward book-readers and less explanatory and for those reasons I guessed she would get confused.  On the contrary, however.  She said she really enjoyed them and felt that they explained certain aspects even better, such as the Uruk-hai.

The Concerning Hobbits scene did a very good job of describing the lifestyle of Hobbits.  I can understand why the filmmakers cut it from the theatrical version as there is little conflict within this scene and probably wouldn't be that interesting to anyone who isn't acquainted with the story.

My favorite part of this addition was that it created a better relationship with Bilbo and let us learn a bit more about him--that he enjoys writing, cares a lot about Frodo, and enjoys adventures.  

The music in this scene was wonderful as well!

I adored this scene!  I absolutely loved Pippin and Merry's song at the Green Dragon.  It added fun to the movie which was nice to have at the beginning of the film which demonstrated the nature of Hobbits as care-free and happy.

I distinctly remember the conversation between Sam, Ted Sandyman, and the Gaffer at the Ivy Bush inn from the very first chapter of The Fellowship, and it was a joy to have that little detail showing the inquisitive nature of Hobbits back in the film.  Five stars!

I got very excited when I saw the Passing of the Elves scene which set up the Elves passing into the West very well and made the episode with Arwen more understandable.  I was disappointed not to see Gildor Inglorion, but I understood that it would be complicated to introduce a new character for only one scene.

The Midgewater Marshes scene showed that the passage to Rivendell was not very easy, which I think is very important.  Also, Aragorn singing the Lay of Leithien perfectly foreshadowed the Arwen story to come.

Gilraen's memorial was almost a touching scene, but it was marred by a conversation between Aragorn and Elrond about how Aragorn didn't want to be the king.  I suppose this whole Aragorn-inner-conflict was put into the film just to add more drama, but it really changes a lot of aspects of Aragorn's character, and not necessarily for the better.  In the original films it bothered me, but it was expanded upon greatly in this extended edition.  I guess one more scene with Viggo Mortensen and Hugo Weaving isn't the worst thing that could happen though ;)

Also, the departure of the fellowship was so amazing!  First off, the looks between Aragorn and Arwen were heart stinging, and my absolute favorite part: "Mordor, Gandalf; is it left or right?" by Frodo.  Melted.  My.  Heart.  The proof that Frodo is taking on this challenge with little to no knowledge of what is happening, but is brave enough to go through with it makes his character and the whole venture that much more touching.

As for the Moria scenes, there was more Pippin bashing (almost literally) on the part of Gandalf, who, exasperated with all of Pippin's questions about the doors of Moria sarcastically ordered him to bang his head against the stone.  I said to my sister, "Gandalf must be insecure if he feels the need to rip on Pippin so much."  I understand completely that Gandalf has to be stern to teach Pippin, but it still bothers me every time.  There was a greatly expanded fight with the cave troll.  Generally I am not a huge fan of fight sequences, especially since I know the outcome, but it was kind of nice to get better acquainted with everyone's fighting style, and everyone was helping each other out.

The scenes with Haldir and Aragorn trying to get into Lothlorien, honestly seemed a wee bit unnecessary.  When I saw a new scene coming on, I was hoping we would get to watch them cross the Nimrodel on the ropes.  That may have made Lothlorien seem even more magical and special.  Instead we got a scene which went a long way to establish the racism between Elves and Dwarves, which was okay I suppose, but overall I felt that that could have been shown more subtly throughout the stay in Lothlorien.

I did really enjoy the gift-giving scene, though I have already watched it several times.

I am really excited to check out all the extra behind-the-scenes videos in this series and watching the Extended Edition of The Two Towers.  What did you think of the Extended Edition?  Did you think it was better than the original film?


  1. I love the extended editions! I far prefer them over the original movies. I saw the extended version of the Fellowship first, because we own it, then later watched the others when my uncle loaned them to us. The covers are beautiful, yes- and even better the content inside.
    When I was about thirteen (I think) The extended trilogy is about all I would watch when I was by myself. After I pretty much knew that by heart, I got started on the 'making-of' material, and watched that obsessively too! It's a wonder my family could put up with me, really, once I started spouting all those behind the scenes facts.

    I'm very glad you got the opportunity to watch this! And I hope you can get your hands on the extended editions of the rest of the trilogy too. :D

    1. That's fantastic!

      Thank you--I have the Two Towers EE on tap but have let to locate The Return of the King; wish me luck :D

  2. Oh, man, you've made me want to watch it now! I found it on VHS at a library book sale(it was on two VHS's because it's so long!), but I haven't got around to seeing it yet.

    The Extended Return of the King is also pretty great. I've seen that one twice.

    1. Very nice! Ooh, lucky :D

      Love your new profile picture, by the way!

    2. Thanks! It's not of me, unfortunately, I found it on google images, but it's very pretty, if I do say so myself. :D

  3. I know I originally watched the non-extended version but I've basically only ever watched the extended version so normally I don't remember which seasons are extended or not.
    It frustrates me a lot that they put such hesitancy in Aragorn. It diminishes his character for me.

    1. Oh, that's a very different experience from mine.
      I agree--it makes him seem weak and insecure.