Ha! Knew it!

Per a letter from Peter Jackson (available here), they either don’t have the Scouring of the Shire in ROTK, or if they do, it’s not the coda that it is in the book, but moved into the main narrative (this does not preculde the notion that it might have been filmed, of course, for the inevitable box set with even more extras than before). This, as regular readers may remember, leaves me wondering if the Mount Doom part of the book will go unchanged, as it’s not a dreadfully Hollywood ending.

It also leaves me feeling slightly smug, as I’ve said all along that they’d never end with that sequence, disconnected as it is from the main thrust of the work, and everyone else has been telling me that, no, of course he would, because it’s a major part of the last book. They’re right – it’s the part that shows how the hobbits, and the world, have changed, but there’s just no way you could stick a sequence that long onto the end of the film, after all the climactic moments that will run before it – it’d look like Jackson had been making the films for so long that he’d forgotten how to stop.

6 Comments

  1. I noticed in the papers today that Christopher Lee is in a strop with the producers because he’s been cut entirely from the film for “artistic” reasons.
    Now, I never actually read the third book, but this does seem a bit odd.

  2. I heard they had made three seperate endings, a la Planet of the Apes, so that nobody will know how it ends until it is released. Rumor has it that in one of the ending Frodo sells the ring and retires to Barbados where he sits on a porch all day smoking pipeweed.

    In other news, Saruman has been cut from the final film leaving Christopher Lee a little bit peeved, especially as he found out initially through internet sources!

  3. Oh, I’m sure they’ll end the film with scenes in Hobbiton, just to show them coming how to their little pastoral idyll, but there’s just not the space for a half hour sequence there, especially without strong connection to the main narrative.

  4. Jackson’s letter explains the cut, and I think he makes sense. Shitty that Lee had to find out about it on the jungle drums, but if you don’t do the scouring, Saruman’s part ends at Isengard…

  5. Jackson’s always said that the Scouring wouldn’t be in the film. He says in one of the FOTR commentaries that the bit with the mill Frodo sees in Galadriel’s Mirror is his ‘homage’ to the Scouring.

    As far as I understand it, ROTK ends with Frodo leaving the Shire. Which is, of course, where the book ends as well.

    The AICN story was that they’ve also cut Saruman being cast from the order and chucked out of Orthanc, because it detracts from the thrust of the plot (with Sauron as the villain of the piece rather than Saruman). Jackson said it meant there was 20 minutes before Gandalf & Pippin got moving towards Minas Tirith and that was too long for a cinema cut — the audience would just assume that Saruman was no longer a threat after the Ents destroyed his workings at Isengard. That scene will be restored for the extended cut DVD, though.

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