From the Mines of Moria to the end of days, this franchise has so much to offer when discussing iconic scenes. As hard as it was to pick only six, here they are, two from each of the three films.
The Fellowship of the Ring
1. The Mines of Moria
When the Fellowship, at the choice of young Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), enters the Mines of Moria in order to escape the dreadful weather and the clutches of Saruman, they encounter a beast much more dreadful than Orcs.
While the group are exploring the mines that were once full of dwarves and their cheer, they discover death and graves instead.
In the midst of the sadness felt by the group, especially Gimli (John Rhys-Davis) the dwarf, one of the four hobbits Pippin (Billy Boyd) creates a massive disturbance that catches the attention of none other than the Balrog.
The gargantuan beast made out of fire and flame scares away the goblins that surround the Fellowship and chase them out of the mines.
The creature resembles the devil, and is absolutely magnificent – with eyes that blaze- this scene with the Balrog is a phenomenal moment as the majesty of the creature is beyond amazing.
2. The death of Boromir
Boromir (Sean Bean) is an odd one among the Fellowship, showing traits of greed and naivety quite unlike the others. He is the only man among them, and it seems that this is the reason for his greed and arrogance, so think some members of the Fellowship.
In order to buy them some more time, Boromir risks his life to save all four hobbits and restore his honour, after trying to take the Ring from Frodo a few minutes earlier.
Boromir shows that even though some people can be perhaps rude and selfish, that you shouldn’t judge them too harshly. Boromir falls in the forest with Orcs surrounding him and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) trying their best to defend their falling friend.
Boromir’s death is noble, but long and saddening as he is struck again and again by Orcish arrows. The scene is rather beautiful, as Boromir dies with Aragorn by his side and clutching his sword for a proper and worthy death.
The Two Towers
1. The Battle of Helms Deep
In the dark of night, under the flooding of rain, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, along with King Theoden (Bernard Hill), prepare to face an army of Orcs, marching towards them ten thousand strong.
The group stare off into the distance and wonder what might become of them, and what may become of the hundreds of men and young boys rallied to help even the odds as best they can.
The deep feeling of dread is not just felt by the characters, but by the audience too. The beautiful pitch-black background giving off a blue hue sets in the feeling of sorrow and melancholy, and the wonder of what horrors will occur once the Enemy reaches our heroes.
This scene is phenomenal because it lacks music and speech - as it does not need it. All that is needed is all we see- the enemy ahead by just a few lights in the distance coming from their torches is truly a masterpiece of cinematography.
2. The Ents attack Isengard
Perhaps one of the most overlooked scenes in the franchise, as the heroes of the scene possibly don’t get enough credit: Merry and Pippin.
Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin spend much time with the Ents, better known as the talking trees of the forest, and trying to decide whether they should return to The Shire (their home) or carry on with the quest despite being separated from the rest of the Fellowship.
The hobbits finally conjure up enough courage to tell Treebeard that they will fight, and that they can help instead of running back home.
The scene that follows is so heart-warming and filled with bravery, as the hobbits march towards Saruman and his army with the Ents, and literally obliterate Isengard. The Ents then flood the whole area by destroying a damn, destroying the mines below and killing every Orc in the area.
This scene is so iconic as two of the (quite literally) smallest people made one of the biggest choices and followed through. Merry and Pippin deserve much more credit for this mesmerising defeat of Saruman.
Return of the King
1. Aragon’s speech at the Black Gate
While near the end of their journey, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Gandalf, and the thousands of brave men behind them once again prepare for battle. Throughout all three films, we have seen Aragorn doubt himself again and again in regard to whether he should take his place as King.
This scene shows that he is more than ready, if no other scene does. Aragorn faces the thousands of valiant souls following him and his friends as he begs for them to not be afraid, and you can see that everything Aragorn says, he says for Frodo.
Aragorn’s speech sends shivers down your spine as he states that “The day may come when the courage of men fails, but it is not this day!” He invokes bravery and courage, and as the camera shows the gravity of this battle, Aragorn’s voice can still be heard spurring the men on to be the best that they can be, “For Frodo.”.
The scene shows what marvellous work was done with these films, the scale of this scene followed by Viggo's outstanding and moving performance is just one of many, many reasons why these films are held in such high stead.
2. “… but I can carry you!”
At the end of it all, at the end of everything, two hobbits make their way to Mount Doom to destroy the one Ring to rule them all. A ringbearer and his best friend dream of The Shire, their home, as they look towards the towering inferno that symbolises their death.
As Frodo and Sam (Sean Austin) reach the middle of the slope up to Mount Doom, Frodo exclaims to Sam that he cannot do it, he cannot carry on up this path towards death.
And now, for what makes this scene so iconic and so perfectly brilliant, Sam cries out to Frodo that “I can’t carry it for you… but I can carry you!” as he hauls the miserable and tired hobbit over his shoulders and proceeds up the fiery mountain.
With chapped lips, weak legs and a heavy heart, Samwise Gamgee still carries his friend towards the end of the line. Through fire, flame and all Sam will not rest, nor has he ever rested, until Frodo has done what they set out to do from the beginning.
The bond between these two hobbits has and always will be unbreakable.
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
Tagged in Ian McKellen