Everyone who knows me knows that my favorite movie series of all time is the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson and that’s why I’ll take every chance to talk about it. I’ve written down some things that I would’ve liked to see in Middle-Earth in some form or another, which didn’t make it into the early 2000’s films. This (mostly) focuses on the movies so don’t get mad because I didn’t include every detail from the books, that list would be way too long anyway.
This is truly something that would make an incredible stand-alone movie within the Tolkien universe. The Dúnedain are protectors from the North and I guess you could definitely draw a parallel to the Night’s Watch here – they’re a dying community. Long gone are their days of glory and power and the knowledge about their existence has faded. And yet they are proud and honorable, facing each day with fierce determination and acting where no one can see. I believe many people would like to see Aragorn’s origin story and how he grew up in Imladris. While that is very intriguing, I do think that the whole Arwen situtation would be at least as creepy as the Padmé-Anakin situation. Also, let’s have other people share their stories, Aragorn definitely isn’t the only one worth investigating. If you do want to see more of his life though: The Hunt for Gollum is a 2009 fanmade short which tells the story of Aragorn hunting down Gollum after he escaped Mirkwood and I highly recommend you check it out! It also features really cool side characters which I WANT TO SEE.
One of the first things that came to my mind: Gollum aka Sméagol. We know that he had a rough life. Driven into exile and solitude and exposed to his own corrupted mind, the once not-so-different-from-a-Hobbit Sméagol slowly transformed into his alter ego Gollum after getting a grasp of the one ring while fishing with his friend Déagol. While these are the most important milestones, I would like to see more. What has he been up to before they found it? A simple and quiet life, perhaps, just like the one Bilbo had before his adventure. Or maybe we spice it up a little and give Déagol a more significant role. What I want is a full-on love story between the two, a heated relationship with constant confrontations due to their different nature and the pressure of living in a small, judgmental community. Thereby, Déagol being murdered by his lover’s hands is even more tragic and Sméagol slowly decents into his own madness upon which the ring keeps feeding. We keep Andy Serkis of course.
Faramir & Boromir
Ah, just look at their faces. If those aren’t the two most handsome gingers in Middle-Earth! Just a little side note: Faramir is my all-time favorite character, both in the movies and the books. It therefore comes naturally to me to request more screen time for him. I am interested in seeing his childhood, living in his brother’s shadow who tries to protect him against their abusive father but secretly likes all the attention. Boromir is Denethor’s everything and we have seen in Return of the King that this is not the case for Faramir. Denethor sends his own son into his death just to remind him once more that (in his shitty opinion) the mighty Boromir would’ve handled everything a million times better. Faramir is not the big, loud, openly heroic guy. He is noble, kind, intelligent and beloved by all the citizens of Minas Tirith. I want to see how he won over everyone’s heart and his late-night reading sessions down in the cellars which created the most wonderful daydreams in his head. How he tried to fit in and become the son his father idealized but never actually managed to do so. More so, the little glimpse of Boromir’s and Faramir’s dynamic in Return of the King (the extended edition) made me thirsty for some Minas Tirith Stewards galore.
Howard Shore cameo
I have listened to the Lord of the Rings score so many times, in 9/10 cases I can tell you exactly what scene the current part is playing to. Howard Shore is a master of film music (The Fly, The Departed, The Aviator, Gangs of New York, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) and with this project, he has created something that lives on its own and perfectly captures the spirit of Middle-Earth. I once shook his hand *geeking out*. I saw a live rendition of his most iconic pieces – London Philharmonic Orchestra, original choir and everything. The young soloist Edward Ross (featured in “In Dreams”) was a little champ and his voice still makes my skin tingle. For fans of film music living in Vienna: do check out the annual Hollywood in Vienna gala which invites different composers from all over the world and is just a bliss. I was there in 2010 when Shore received the Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award and the audience gave him a good 15-minute standing ovation, and oh boy did he deserve it. He definitely also deserved a cameo as a Hobbit or Elve, playing music in the background. Although a Middle-Earth casting show in the likes of Shrek 2 – Far Far Away Idol with him as a judge would also be rad. Imagine Gimli singing about great feasts in Moria, Legolas about the strong roots of Mirkwood or Pippin about a drunken night in the Green Dragon. Yes, please!
Saruman’s real ending
In Return of the King, Saruman is shown defeated and powerless against Gandalf, stuck in his Orthanc tower. When our protagonists confront him, his former servant Gríma, now finally regaining his right mind, turns on him and in a feeble attempt to save Saruman (in order to get some important info from him), Legolas shoots Gríma but our favorite bowman was a little too late. Saruman then falls to his death, pierced by his own terrible machinery. While that is a worthy ending for sure, I do believe the one in the books is way better. Here, Saruman is not killed or captured, he wanders through Middle-Earth as an old beggar, powerless, useless, voiceless. He tries to make people listen but no one pays attention to him and that is how we know that he has lost his powers and manipulative strength. He became “common folk” and not the envisioned ruler over Middle-Earth. I think this ending is way more powerful and reflective of all the themes surrounding Saruman both in the movies and books: industrialization, man playing God, corruption of power etc. This is very similar to the cinematic death of Voldemort who has an epic showdown with Harry in the last instalment (Deathly Hallows – Part 2) and then dissolves like burning paper.
Sure, it looks cool but in the books, before he dies, Voldemort becomes Tom Riddle again. He is nothing more than a mortal, a muggle, a human – the worst thing he could imagine. The loss of what Saruman and Voldemort thought made them powerful, superior, god-like and more valuable than others is simply more poetic and compelling. So I believe both character arcs would have profited from the original ending. There are stories of the late great Christopher Lee arguing with Peter Jackson about Saruman’s death scene and how he also didn’t approve. Christopher Lee was the definition of a badass btw. Just look at his bio and listen to his brilliant #grandpametal. Incredible.
This list could go on and on (seriously!) but before I’m starting to post whole fanfictions here, I’ll just add some honorary mentions for now. Maybe I’ll elaborate on them some time in the future!
- The fight over the Shire & Merry being a military boss
- Dwarf empires and cities in their prime: Moria, The Misty Mountains, The Blue Mountains, The Iron Mountains. Their beautiful halls and giant tunnels, their mastery in producing armor and jewelry & dwarf ladies ffs!! (Yes, we get some of this in the Hobbit trilogy but I’d like to see more)
- Gimli keeping his promise, visiting Legolas at home. 100% hilarious.
- A single Hobbit movie.
- Tom Bombadil and the boys’ adventure in the barrow-downs.
- Éowyn on her throne in Meduseld, ruling over Rohan. And I wouldn’t mind more of Éomer either.
- The remaining 2 Istari.
- The thrilling search for Entwives/Ent-women, starring John Rhys-Davies without having to put on his beloved dwarf mask. It would probably take about 120 hours. But an animated short could totally work.
So there we go! My list of things I would’ve liked to see either incorporated in the existing trilogy or as stand-alone projects. But let’s be honest, I would LOVE a 100+ hour HBO show with ALL THE DETAILS any day.
What would you like to see more of? I’d love to read about your plot lines and story developments you thought were missing!