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View Full Version : Was there ever a different conclusion to the mount doom scene in return of the king?



Erikjust
04-04-2012, 06:41
I remember many years ago listening to the Lord of the Rings on audiobook and i remember it was mostly listening to it out of one ear, years later (after watching the movie) i re-listened to the series and one thing struck me as odd one scene in the third book return of the king was different from how i remember it all those years ago.

The scene in the movie and in the book we know Frodo is in the end corrupted by the ring and instead of destroying it he takes it for his own, only to lose it when Gollum bits Frodos finger off, only for Gollum himself in his joy of finally being reunited with his ring falls into the lava and dies along the ring screaming Pressures as he falls down.

Now the scene i remembered played out a little different Frodo arrives at Mount Doom and stands over the pit, but when the time comes for throwing in the ring he hesitates. At this moment Sauron appears in front of Frodo in his Annatar form or something like that.
Sauron though still spectral in his form reaches out a hand towards Frodo, kinda like he is asking Frodo to give him his ring, this gives Frodo the strength to throw the ring into the volcano then the entire thing begins to erupt.
Frodo noticing Gollum reaches a hand out towards Gollum, Gollum however jumps into the Vulcano after the ring screaming Pressures as he does so.

Now my Question is was this ever an Ending in the Book maybe in a previous edition or something like that or did i just not hear it correctly in the first time around?
I remember when i first listened to it it was recorded on tapes so it might have been an old version.

And if this is indeed an older version i remember any idea on why it was changed?

Peregrin
04-04-2012, 10:54
I'm not aware of a book version with the ending you mention.

librerian_samae
04-04-2012, 19:08
Not in any of the 5 or 6 editions (all but one of which are 1980's and older) of the book Iv'e read or in the old cartoon movie version or the brian syblie audio drama Iv'e got on cassette.

ForgottenLore
04-04-2012, 19:33
For a while the films were going to end with Sauron coming out and challenging Aragorn directly at the battle of the black gate. That is mentioned on the special features on the DVDs. Closest I can think of to what your saying.

Is it possible there is some early version in one of the books Christopher put together that you may have read? Unfinished Tales or History of Middle Earth?

Peregrin
05-04-2012, 10:59
Yeah... sounds like something that Christopher T. would have mentioned. Maybe an old version he found in a file cabinet but that JRR T. rewrote and never included in anything he officially published.

The bearded one
13-04-2012, 00:32
For a while the films were going to end with Sauron coming out and challenging Aragorn directly at the battle of the black gate. That is mentioned on the special features on the DVDs. Closest I can think of to what your saying.

This is the closest to what you are describing. There is actual footage of this, with Sauron as Annatar looking as though he is seducing Aragorn ( in the return of the king where the eye of sauron sort of flares out from his tower directly at Aragorn, and the guys behind Aragorn are sort of pinching their eyes together because of the brightness of the light, righ before Aragorn turns around, says "for Frodo" and charges, all that footage apart from the 'for Frodo' and charge, are all from that abandoned Anatar scene) and then changing into Sauron.

Peregrin
13-04-2012, 14:51
Yeah... they replaced Sauron/Anatar with a digital troll.

Liber
21-04-2012, 08:49
No, no there was not.

Jim Bowen
21-05-2012, 15:48
I have read LOTR a few times and the films ending at Mount Doom is faithful to them I just wish we could have had an extra half hour to do the cleansing of the Shire rather than the mawkish goodbye scenes

GodlessM
25-05-2012, 01:33
I have read LOTR a few times and the films ending at Mount Doom is faithful to them I just wish we could have had an extra half hour to do the cleansing of the Shire rather than the mawkish goodbye scenes

Scouring of the Shire is fine in a book, but would have been awful in the movie. And you couldn't have done it in half and hour; it is a story in itself even if only one chapter, which is why it made no sense for the movie; the movie was over, so all that was left was to give the characters their send-off.

Rtifs
11-06-2012, 20:24
I believe that a fan once sent Tolkien a letter asking what would’ve happened if Gollum had not taken the ring and fallen into the fire. Tolkien answered the letter, and since I haven’t read it, be aware that what is coming next is hearsay. The Nazgul would have come to Frodo on Mt Doom and would have feigned subservience to the new Lord of the Rings. They would have delayed him there till Sauron could come himself from Barad-Dur. Then game over for Frodo and the free peoples. Could this be the origin of your alternate ending?

Karak Norn Clansman
14-06-2012, 20:59
Scouring of the Shire is fine in a book, but would have been awful in the movie. And you couldn't have done it in half and hour; it is a story in itself even if only one chapter, which is why it made no sense for the movie; the movie was over, so all that was left was to give the characters their send-off.

Exactly. It is also fully understandable why Peter Jackson left out Tom Bombadill, though he was Tolkien's favourite character, whom many readers found silly or even to have "destroyed the book for them". You have to work along the lines that make movies effective, because movies are expensive to produce and thus this form of medium have to appeal to a large audience in order to sell well. Jackson and Weta Workshop succeeded in carrying through the right spirit of Tolkien's Middle-Earth to the screen, although there of course are moments and bits a lot of us might dislike, such as the Legolas surfing scenes.

The lack of reinforcements to Minas Tirith from all across Gondor, equipped in different uniforms, with different weaponry and their respective fief leaders, is however as bad as the leaving out of Easterlings, Haradrim cavalry, Khand men and the likes on Pelennor Fields. It was primarily matter of costumes in the background and hardly not at all a matter of screen time. If nothing more, the dull Minas Tirith uniforms and armour could have been broken up with better looking equipment. I wouldn't have minded the Grey Company or a truer version of the battle of Pelargir either, however a scant shard of a glimpse it would have been. The Return of the King was a gorgeous book, easily the best of Tolkien's work including Bilbo and the Fall of Gondolin. The multitude of forces that made up the two enemy sides made for an epic scope to the conflict, and the leaving out of this was the only big mistake on the moviemakers' part. Otherwise they did a brilliant job.


I believe that a fan once sent Tolkien a letter asking what would’ve happened if Gollum had not taken the ring and fallen into the fire. Tolkien answered the letter, and since I haven’t read it, be aware that what is coming next is hearsay. The Nazgul would have come to Frodo on Mt Doom and would have feigned subservience to the new Lord of the Rings. They would have delayed him there till Sauron could come himself from Barad-Dur. Then game over for Frodo and the free peoples. Could this be the origin of your alternate ending?

Jolly good of Tolkien to give such an answer, if this is correct. :)

I certainly wouldn't have thought the Nazgűls to feign subservience if they reached Mount Doom in time. Of course, that might have stopped Frodo from tossing the Ring at first sight of Black Riders.

Poncho160
17-06-2012, 12:25
This might interest you:

http://www.squidoo.com/ending-of-lord-of-the-rings

Summary of the above link

In J.R.R. Tolkien's manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, Sam's return to Bag-end and his family is not the ending of Return of the King. Nor is the true ending found in the Appendices, although the heart-wrenching "Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" carries forward the events of the saga even further.

Immediately after the words, "Well, I'm back," is a scene set seventeen years later. Sam, Rosie and their children have just celebrated the fifteenth birthday of Elanor, Sam's firstborn child named by Frodo shortly before he left Middle-earth. Sam answers his children's eager questions about what happened to all his old friends, and has a brief heart-to-heart talk with Elanor. The story ends with Sam and his wife together in the doorway of Bag-End, discussing that faithful day when Frodo cast the Ring into the fire, and both Rosie and Sam were thinking of each other in their darkest hour.

Tolkien dropped the ending on the firm advice of friends and editor shortly before The Lord of the Rings went to press. He regretted leaving out the scene, but he understood that multiple endings would be a sputtering finish. As a storyteller, he knew the scene in Bag-End was basically a package to deliver "In case you'd like to know" information, not really serving the dramatic structure of the whole saga as a powerful "Finis."

The bearded one
27-06-2012, 21:26
The lack of reinforcements to Minas Tirith from all across Gondor, equipped in different uniforms, with different weaponry and their respective fief leaders, is however as bad as the leaving out of Easterlings,

There are easterlings in the background during the assault on minas tirith. They can be seen during the fight on the square after the gate is broken.


Haradrim cavalry, Khand men and the likes on Pelennor Fields. It was primarily matter of costumes in the background and hardly not at all a matter of screen time. If nothing more, the dull Minas Tirith uniforms and armour could have been broken up with better looking equipment. I wouldn't have minded the Grey Company or a truer version of the battle of Pelargir either, however a scant shard of a glimpse it would have been. The Return of the King was a gorgeous book, easily the best of Tolkien's work including Bilbo and the Fall of Gondolin. The multitude of forces that made up the two enemy sides made for an epic scope to the conflict, and the leaving out of this was the only big mistake on the moviemakers' part. Otherwise they did a brilliant job.

While I guess it's a bit of a shame we didn't see them, the haradrim cavalry (and their battle standard bearer that theoden slew) in particular, and the knights of dol amroth as well, the battle of pelennor fields turned out so epically, I can easily forgive them ;) I guess you need a bit of simplification for the greater part of the audience who is unfamiliar with the world, as you already had plenty of different armies mucking about, and it might be a budget and screentime reason too. When adding the fiefdoms of gondor, or the knights of dol amroth in particular, you'll need some screentime to explain where they come from, or at what point they join our heroes. You couldn't have the movie exactly as it is now but with 2000 men jumping out the corsair boats as well in addition to the army of the dead and the heroes. You'd just confuse the audience. "who the freck are those people?!" Including the knights of dol amroth would've been cool, but they need a lot of time on the screen and another main actor to play prince Imrahil.

Who knows, maybe we'll see a remake of this "classic" in several decades, which includes them.

Peregrin
30-06-2012, 13:10
They should make a spinoff story of Prince Imrahil or one of the other secondaries, his background, events that led to the battle at Pellenor Fields from his perspective, etc. Tolkien, after all, intended his world to be a framework mythology for others to expand on.