So, I have a confession to make. Again. Honestly, this blog is slowly turning into a confession booth for pop culture Catholicism. You now know that I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction, but did you know that, for reasons unclear even to me, I have never seen The Lord of the Rings films?
I know. I know, okay? I’ll give you a moment to recover.
So instead of doing the reasonable thing, and just watching the films over a few days, I have decided to drive to my brother Harry’s flat, with my brother Jack in tow, and we will watch all three extended edition DVDs in a row. And, because explaining my reactions to things everybody else was talking about ages ago is kind of a theme now, I will also liveblog my reactions.
I have no idea if this will be worth reading, but remember I know very little about these films other than stock characters and the most famous lines. So at the very least it might occasionally be quite funny to laugh at me.
So, time is pressing on, it’s already half-past eleven and these are some really long films. So let’s go.
11.28 It begins. We have pressed play. I am kind of excited, but also anticipating roughly 500 hours of people with swords hitting each other. And also some hobbits being adorable. That is my only concept of Lord of the Rings. I am a terrible person. Oh, also Gollum!
11.29 The sponsors are up! Now there is a creepy voiceover talking about smelling things. And now some rings.
11.30 “Fires of mount doom”. Subtle. Also “One ring to rule them all”. I’ve totally heard of that before!
11.31 Is it just me or does putting all the power of a single country in the hands of some fashion accessories seem a little stupid?
11.32 He beat that guy by chopping his hand off with a broken sword? That seems …. kinda easy considering the giant war that just happened. And why would you WEAR that ring in battle if it was so easy to chop your hand off anyway? NOTHING MAKES SENSE.
11.34 YEAH GOLLUM’S SHOWED UP ALREADY, AWESOME.
11.35 Bilbo Baggins arrives! If only it was already Martin Freeman in a cute jumper.
11.37 Okay Baggins is already pretty damn cute and he’s not even Martin Freeman yet.
11.38 “Share a love for things that grow”? That’s what she said. *Ruins Lord of the Rings for everyone*
11.39 Elijah Wood, you are also adorable when you’re tiny, and BFFs with Ian McKellin and his beard.
11.44 “No admittance unless on party business”. I want that sign on my door at all times.
11.47 Harry: Are you going to giggle every time they talk about weed?
11.48 Sam is the cutest hobbit so far. OMG OTHER THAN THESE ADORABLE HOBBIT CHILDREN.
11.49 Charlie from Lost plays one of the hobbits too? YOU’VE COME BACK TO ME, CHARLIE. I missed you! Also he apparently plays one of the Weasley twins? Sweet.
11.53 And the ring also turns you invisible! Is this basically Harry Potter now? Oh, and turns you evil and crazy until Gandalf turns out the lights and then gives you a hug. I am sure this will only go well. What if Gandalf is not always around for hugs? WHAT THEN?
12.00 We have switched scene and suddenly explosions are happening, then Gandalf is reading things.
12.02 So Bilbo has disappeared, and Frodo celebrates his uncle’s leaving and implied death with a party? Fair enough. “Don’t worry Sam, Rosie knows an idiot when she sees one.” HA. Sam is my fave. Also Gandalf has apparently gone a bit cray cray.
12.06 So the ring is a horcrux and Sauron is Voldemort? Got it.
12.11 Leaving it in the hands of adorable ruffians who have no idea how to fight and have never left home before seems like just the best plan ever.
12.15 Geez, what is this other wizard’s deal? I am willing to bet he turns out to be evil. He totally has Evil Beard.
12.17 Wizard fight! Which apparently is just making Gandalf breakdance for Evil Beard’s amusement.
12.19 Charlie from Lost/George Weasley is back! Oh, but so are the dementors. Boo.
12.23 At least they are apparently defeated by water.
12.26 “It comes in pints? I’m getting one!” The “hobbits are short lol” jokes are just going to go on forever, aren’t they?
12.27 Is it wrong that “Strider” makes me think of the Tinchy variety? I really hope he turns out to be a grime hip-hop artist too. (Also the ring fell on Frodo’s finger because physics, and there’s fire and stuff.)
12.30 No collaborations with N-Dubz from Stryder just yet, but I can still hope.
12.32 So they are trusting Stryder because he looks kind of grotty and mysteriously knows about the evil ring and it’s evil power. “We have no choice but to trust him.” Uh, Frodo? That is probably not true.
12.35 Evil Beard also has Evil Fingernails and some really ugly servants and their plan is Evil Deforestation.
12.37 Meanwhile, Stryder is kind of hot you guys. But why are Fred and George still with them? All they seem to do is make things super difficult for everyone then give away the position. I assume the only possible explanation is comic relief.
12.45 So Frodo is turning into one of the dementors? But spooky elf lady is here to help! And she brings sexual tension with Stryder with her! That seems like it will solve EVERYTHING.
12.49 In true Prometheus style, the dementors are defeated by NOT RUNNING SIDEWAYS from the approaching threat. I mean, not that I want Bad Guys to win, but someone should really point out that basic premise during Bad Guys school or whatever.
12.52 This Elf King seems totally evil.
12.53 BAGGINS ISN’T DEAD? He just looks a bit like my grandma now! Sweet.
12.55 Frodo wants to go home. Oh yeah, that’s totally going to work out. The next two and a half films are just you, Sam and the Weasley twins in a pub.
12.57 Harry: (On the plan to find a new king of men) Because an autocratic monarchy with the divine right of kings always works out for everybody.
12.58 Sean Bean/Ned Stark is here! He will fix everything!
13.00 I don’t really understand this Stryder/Elf Lady/King plot, so with Ned’s arrival I’m just going to pretend it’s Game of Thrones now. So that Elvish is Dothraki, and Elf Lady is Daenerys, and they are talking about the King in the North. (KING IN THE NORTH!)
13.02 “It is mine to give to whom I will … LIKE MY HEART.” Oh God, here we go.
13.04 Every time I see Orlando Bloom I giggle a bit.
13.05 Okay, Ned Stark is only 67% as awesome in this universe.
13.07 So all these guys hate each other and everybody is basically just a little bit racist? Avenue Q was right all along!
13.08 Frodo will take the ring. Even though everybody knows that was going to happen, it is still the stupidest plan ever.
13.10 Oh, and let’s bring Fred and George along too, why not? “You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring”. Name of the movie in the movie!
13.11 “The story continues on disc 2.” Well that is an excuse for lunch if I ever heard one.
13.17 We have millions of foodstuffs, and we’re now on disc 2! Stryder (whose real name I refuse to use now I have this whole joke going) is talking to a statue, blah blah, where’s my sandwich?
13.20 Disappointed by the lack of ladies in the fellowship. Where dem girls at, you know?
13.22 “No, I will not go through these ominous sounding mines without any other choice.” Yeah, that’s not gonna turn out to be the case.
13.24 Now heading into snow, which I assume is North of the Wall, so I am just waiting for wildlings to show up.
13.27 Yep. No other choice. Ominous sounding mines. All of five minutes.
13.31 “Speak friend and enter” So … say “friend”? “Friend” is the password?
13.32 That is a stupid door.
13.33 Oh look, Fred and/or George caused them to be attacked by a giant octopus. Totally profesh.
13.37 Creepy mines, blah blah, everybody is lost already. And Gollum is back! And lecture about not being too quick to judge people, etc etc. Someone pass the crisps.
13.40 Jack: Can’t Gandalf just cast a spell to tell him the right way? Isn’t he a wizard?
Jack raises an excellent point.
13.44 One of the Weasleys threw something down a well and now everybody was apparently also in the mines with them at the same time, and is attacking them. Because the Weasleys are totally contributing members of the group.
13.45 TROLL IN THE DUNGEONS.
13.48 And Frodo has been stabbed again. Good job everybody.
13.51 Gandalf’s solution to every problem basically just seems to be “leg it!”
13.52 That bridge does not look like it will pass safety regulations. I mean, just sayin’. Also, why did you leave throwing Frodo across until last? Why did you throw the useless Weasleys over before the most important member? This is could so easily have been avoided.
13.56 Now that he is fighting Satan, Gandalf is finally displaying some of the actual magic he apparently had all along, as opposed to just running away/getting beat up. Wouldn’t this have helped out earlier with Evil Beard?
13.57 “You shall not pass”/Gandalf dies/everybody is sad.
14.02 I’m not sure what’s happening any more, but Legolas seems to have found all his similarly blond haired bros, and everybody hates the dwarves. Also, it is day, then night, then day, then night again, so it was either a very long walk, or everything is stupid.
14.05 No wonder the film is so long. The elves speak SO. SLOWLY.
14.06 Shut up, Legolas, nobody cares about your stupid hair.
14.07 Harry: Middle Earth poetry slam now.
14.08 Bonding time for Stryder and Ned. (Whey.)
14.10 Not sure what blonde lady’s deal is, but she does not seem entirely trustworthy to me. “I will show you pictures of your friends being enslaved and then the water will try to eat you.” Seems legit.
14.12 Frodo, stop giving the ring away to everyone you meet!
14.13 For some reason, blonde lady going all evil and then yelling “ALL WILL LOVE ME” is hilarious and terrifying.
14.14 “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” Ooh, low blow. (GET IT?)
14.16 Apparently the orcs used to be elves? That is … interesting. Things have gone a little downhill for them.
14.18 Everyone gets cool gifts, and Sam gets rope. So he can tie some evil-fighting knots? Secure an evil-fighting boat?
14.20 But Frodo just gets a bottle of perfume or something, so these gifts just get lamer and lamer.
14.23 Oh Sam and Frodo, just make out already.
14.27 Everybody has set up camp for the night and Frodo has wandered off on his own AGAIN. (Harry: They should just put a bell on him.) Then he meets Ned Stark in the woods and they have some kind of creepy battle of wits.
Ned: So what if … I had the ring?
Frodo: Um. No?
14.32 Wait, what? Apparently Frodo is running away because he is completely capable of doing this by himself when he doesn’t even know the way and then suddenly ORCS EVERYWHERE.
14.34 Aw, Fred and George create a diversion and actually do something useful! Well that’s nice. Until they get captured.
13.36 Then Ned Stark is killed, and for some reason this surprises people. Sad. Kudos to him for still fighting with about eight arrows sticking out of his chest though.
14.42 Then we’re back to Frodo looking sad.
Me: Is it not over yet?
Harry: No. Apparently Frodo is now trying to give the boat the ring too.
14.43 Sam and Frodo are so useless and adorable. “I’m going alone even though I can barely even row this tiny boat myself.” “I’m coming with you!” “You can’t swim!” *Sam immediately drowns*
14.43 And now Frodo is crying AGAIN and Stryder marks Ned’s death by looting all his fancy jewellery and pushing him off the waterfall. Touching stuff.
14.46 Okay, so Fred and George are cute and everything, but why are the others going after them and not Frodo and Sam who clearly can’t cope by themselves and are way more important? THIS IS SO STUPID.
14.47 And some dramatic sweeping shots of Mordor, which apparently they made it to unscathed, with the comment “Well, I hope the others find a safer road”. Which means they somehow survived a really dangerous road all by themselves and we didn’t even get to see it? THIS IS SO STUPID.
Final thoughts: Despite all the caps-lock and confusion of the above commentary, I actually enjoyed this! The world is obviously very cool, and I like how cute and funny the hobbits are, because it means you genuinely care about them. Even though everybody continually makes stupid and illogical decisions. All the time. Over and over again.
Hopes for the next film: adventures and road trip-style bonding! (Whey.) And then by the end, what’s left of the fellowship will all be back together and ready for the showdown of the final movie. Also another big death to keep us on our toes. Also more Gollum.