Top Ten Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings Moments

Peter Jackson finally brought his middle-earth journey to an end with ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’. After 3 very successful LOTR films and three Hobbit films which got a more mixed reaction, i thought to celebrate their ‘last goodbye’ i could pick out some of my favourite moments from the two trilogies. I picked 5 moments from each trilogy.

Warning: Major spoilers (seriously how have some people not seen these films by now…?).

Anyway here’s my top ten…

10: Riddles in the Dark – Just when you were ready to give up on an unexpected journey after the fiasco which is the goblin tunnels – Gollum appears to engage Bilbo in a game of riddles – unaware Bilbo has stolen his precious ring… – the tensest, darkest part of AUJ and one of it’s redeeming features that make the previous two hours of filler seem almost worthwhile…

9: Sauron Revealed – The Desolation of Smaug’s final hour is arguably the finest hour in any Peter Jackson film – the sense of foreboding is overwhelming (yet ebbs away in 5 armies after 10 minutes!). Here we see Gandalf confronting the Necromancer of Dol Guldur and his servant Azog, only to discover the Necromancer is Sauron himself, who defeats Gandalf with ease…

8: The Death of Boromir – Well it was Sean Bean. He was never going to survive. A downbeat note to end the 1st LOTR film on but a very poigniant one – Boromir’s ultimately futile last stand and his touching farewell with Aragorn makes it a very memorable ending.

7: Shelob – Between this, the Hobbit films, HP and the Chamber of Secrets, how do some people still like spiders!? The only part of the 3rd LOTR film which scared me as a kid – Frodo, alone, having sent Sam away and been abandoned by Gollum, cornered by a giant spider in her cavern… absolutely terrifying!

6: The Forest River sequence – Hilarious but action packed, the dwarves escaping the elves by river in barrels while an Orc Horde attacks make this the moment you realised DOS was a cut above AUJ. Cinemasins famously just said ‘everything about this sequence’ when they tore into this film on Youtube. Guilty pleasure? Maybe, but i still love this part of the film.

5: Forth Eorlingas – The Battle of Helm’s deep was such good cinema it meant neither the Siege of Minas Tirith nor the Battle of the Five Armies seemed as epic by comparison. It was that great. But if i had to pick one standout moment from the awesome battle, it would be it’s ending when Gandalf and the riders of Rohan rode forth to smash the Orc army attacking Helm’s deep. Simply Epic…

4: Bilbo meets Smaug – Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant. As if Sherlock, Alan Turing, Khan etc. weren’t enough, he brought Smaug to life in a way Andy Serkis would have been proud of. Smaug is easily the best villain in any of the Peter Jackson films, and his confrontation with Bilbo is a highlight of DOS in terms of character, dialogue and tension.

3: ‘That still only counts as one!’ This is dedicated to Legolas (ah a time when Orlando Bloom wasn’t constantly playing irritating pricks in films…) and Gimli, and their on screen bromance. After Legolas fells a Elephant and all it’s riders single handed Gimli is immediately on hand to diminish his achievement – the funniest one-liner in any of the films!

2: Smaug destroys Laketown – In my review of the final film, i said the opening 10 mins were it’s best. I stand by that – Smaug’s fury being unleashed on Laketown combined with a pulsating emotive soundtrack (‘Fire and Water’) from Howard Shore led to the best opening scene i can remember from any film. Epic in any sense of the word – but still not as epic as…

1: Gandalf vs. the Balrog – Iconic. With a famous line that is constantly spoofed or stolen and another brilliant piece of music from Howard Shore, Gandalf and the fellowship fleeing the Mines of Moria, only to be chased by the fearsome Balrog (with pretty impressive CGI for 2001). Then when Gandalf turns to face it and seemingly conquers the beast… only to be dragged down with it… if people don’t appreciate Fellowship after watching this scene then there is something very, very wrong with them!

You can probably tell which films are my favourites now. Not that i dislike any of them – all would get at least 4 out of 5 – (ok – maybe not an unexpected journey – but it would get a valiant 3.5). Think i overlooked anything? Feel free to comment any of your own favourite moments!

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