So, in case you are unsure what is happening, up until a couple of days ago, I was probably the last person on earth to have never seen Lord of the Rings before. So naturally, my response to this problem was to marathon all of the extended versions in one go, then liveblog my reactions (including some additional comments from my brothers, Harry and Jack). At this point, you are joining me at around 3pm, after a short break following the end of Film One. I am still relatively sane.
15.06 Okay, Film Two, let’s go. Sweeping mountains! Where is the Night Watch? King in the North! (Getting all my Game of Thrones references out of the way now.)
15.07 Gandalf is back! We have returned to about halfway through the last film, apparently just in case we forgot what happened. Come on, it was only an hour ago, guys.
15.08 No wait, now Gandalf’s fighting the fiery demon thing! Could he have survived all along?
15.09 No, never mind, just a nightmare. But like, Gandalf is probably still alive.
15.10 So we’re back with Sam and Frodo (Sodo) and they are doing some rock climbing with Sam’s magic rope and they’re basically still both useless. Also Mordor seems to get further away the more they try to find it. Come on, just walks TOWARDS the fire mountain of death, it’s not hard.
15.13 Frodo saying patronising things about “nothing ever dampens your spirits, does it Sam?” leads to rainpour. That seems like it was probably his fault.
15.15 Gollum is here! He’s kind of cute in an angry baby rat child way, writhing around in the dirt.
15.19 Make that angry baby rat child with a personality disorder. I’m with Sam, this is not the best plan.
15.21 Back with the comedy Weasley twins substitutes. Why exactly have they been captured instead of killed? They’re even getting piggy backs!
15.23 Now Stryder the grime hip-hop artist, Orlando Bloom and the dwarf are here. Everyone yells at the dwarf for being slow. My brother Jack points out that he is the only one who is actually wearing heavy armour.
15.25 Meanwhile Evil Beard is teaming up with the giant eye made of fire. I’m sure that will only end well for him. I hear giant eyes made of fire ALWAYS keep their promises.
15.26 Now he is directing some peasants to attack other peasants and also trees? This is all happening very quickly.
15.29 Suddenly there are lots of new human-type characters I am supposed to care about. Severus Snape shows up to insist that actually fighting Evil Beard will not be a good plan, and he is TOTALLY NOT EVIL (apparently no one has noticed until now that he is quite clearly evil).
15.33 The orcs arguing about what to have for dinner makes them considerably less scary. But apparently the reason the Weasley twins are not dead is that everybody assumes THEY have the ring, so at least that clears that up. I’d make some sarcastic comment, but with the quality of the plans in this series so far, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they HAD given it to these two.
15.36 Legolas can tell that blood has been shed because the sky is red. Shut up Legolas. There’s a war happening. What do you expect?
15.39 Then the new people turn up just to say “Oh yeah we probs killed your friends, have some horses to make up for it?”
15.41 Harry: Fun fact! Aragorn’s scream of manly rage is actually because he broke his toe kicking that helmet.
15.44 The tree is totally alive and rescues Fred and George, then laments about how nobody likes trees any more and he’s never heard of hobbits anyway. I like the tree.
15.46 Once again, Sodo have travelled seemingly for days, but I swear they are still getting further away from Mordor. Gollum continues to be weird and adorable and overdramatic. Apparently there is some sort of Sam/Frodo/Gollum love triangle, and I would love it if the rest of the film actually turned out that way.
15.50 Despite everyone telling him not to, Frodo falls face-first into the lake full of evil dead bodies, and how has he survived this long again?
15.54 The dementors show up on dragons (Harry: It makes you wonder why they bothered with horses in the first place) and everybody hides while Frodo has some sort of incapacitating trauma flashback, rendering him useless. Again.
15.57 Then Gandalf is back! And looking more like Dumbledore than ever! Yeah! But apparently he remembers everything except his own name. (“Gandalf? Oh yeah, THAT’S what they used to call me. Yeah, that’s still my name I guess.”)
16.00 “The coming of Merry and Pippin …” Too easy.
16.01 New Gandalf comes with all sorts of fancy new powers, such as whistling a slow motion white horse into existence. Seriously guys, this is the coolest horse ever. JUST LOOK AT THIS HORSE.
16.02 The talking trees sure can talk. Middle Earth poetry slam part two is apparently no fun for anybody, and the hobbits just want to go to sleep.
16.04 The tree leaves the twins asleep (ha! Leaves) saying “I have business in the forest” and we all know what that means. #awkward
16.06 Gandalf totally ships Sodo, and apparently STILL has no worries about them being left to destroy the ring alone when there is really no evidence so far that they are even remotely capable of doing that.
16.08 After seemingly walking AWAY from Mordor for last hour, Sodo and Gollum are suddenly at its gate! And their “Let’s just walk through it no one will mind” plan goes just swimmingly. If falling down a cliff was their plan. Gollum points out that walking through the gate is a STUPID IDEA, and amazingly is the only one who is actually talking sense.
16.13 Back with the Weasley twins, who first start turning into trees, then get eaten by one.
16.15 After rescuing the idiots, the tree explains that all the tree wives and tree kids have gone missing, and he can’t even remember what they look like, which is kind of sad.
16.17 Now we’re back with the new human characters and Creepy Old King has died, while Snape continues to be super evil and not have any eyebrows. Still not really sure who these people are or why I’m supposed to care about them.
16.22 Wait, Creepy Old King isn’t dead after all? He’s just possessed by Evil Beard? That’s … good … I guess?
16.24 Creepy Old King is no longer Creepy or particularly Old. They decide to spare Snape’s life for reasons that completely escape me. I mean, seriously, you’re just letting him go? Not even holding him prisoner? Sure. Fine. Whatever.
16.33 Stryder goes all horse whisperer on us, proving that he is once again fabulous and good at everything. Also already sensing another love triangle between Stryder/New Girl/Elf Girl From The Last Film.
16.35 Snape is ALREADY by Evil Beard’s side. Like, come on guys, what else did you expect? If one of you dies later because of this, I’m not even going to feel bad.
16.37 New Girl is pretty handy with a sword, and actually seems kind of cool, so that’s nice I guess. Not sure how Elf Girl From The Last Film is going to take this, if she ever shows up again.
16.39 Sodo are having a domestic over Gollum, and then the ring. But even more interesting is Gollum’s domestic with himself, which I have seen parodied so many times that it’s actually kind of familiar. Also, happy Gollum is kind of cute, with his weird leaping about and stealing rabbits for Frodo. Although if Sam and Gollum don’t have their own buddy movie moment by the end of this, I will be extremely sad.
16.45 Wait, elephants?
16.47 More new characters! I’m calling this one Robin Hood. End of Part 1. Coffee break.
16.55 Disc 2 opens with the dwarf (Gimley?) talking about bearded dwarf women, and everybody having a nice time, including Stryder and New Girl making eyes at each other.
16.56 New Girl makes a terrible stew (Harry: Strong Women cannot cook! Cooking is for ladies, not Strong Women!) and Stryder reveals that he was actually 87 all along, because royals live longer. Wut? Oh, and Elf Girl From The Last Film shows up for sexy times in his dream. Awk.
17.01 Wait, maybe it’s not a dream? It’s actually happening? Or a flashback? And the two female characters have the same name? Really, Tolkein? Whatever, I don’t care any more, bring back Sodo and Gollum, they’re the only love triangle I care about.
17.05 An army of orcs has appeared out of nowhere, and then Legolas does something fancy with a horse (whey) and everything is slow mo!
17.06 While the fighting is happening and it’s all just swords and hilarious battle/sex faces, I will take a moment to reflect that considering these films are kind of old now, they haven’t really aged too much at all. Other than having a bit too much a thing for slow motion. I’m kind of impressed.
17.08 Hang on, Stryder died? That can’t be true. He’s far too fabulous to die, and he has that whole love triangle to resolve. I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU, ORC WHO CANNOT BE TRUSTED ANYWAY.
17.12 Meanwhile, Snape somehow missed that there was an entire army outside his window, then looked comically surprised.
17.13 Back with the tree and the twins for basically another dick joke: “He no longer cares for growing things”.
17.14 Stryder’s alive! I am so good at this. And Elf Girl From The Last Film is still sitting around waiting for him, blah blah blah, nobody cares.
17.20 Then Blonde Elf Lady recaps what’s been happening, because let’s be honest, nobody remembers any more, and predicts that Frodo will probably die on this quest. Well sure, if everybody keeps IGNORING him when he is on this obviously insane mission which he is COMPLETELY UNPREPARED FOR. Seriously, why is everyone just assuming that he’ll be able to complete this highly dangerous and impossible task without anybody’s help?
17.23 Oh, no, they have Robin Hood’s help now. Forgot about that. Apparently he is also Ned Stark’s brother, which just seems super convenient if you ask me, but fine. I got all excited when Ned showed up again, but then my brothers told me it was a flashback, so I’m not actually sure what the point is, other than to be all “everybody has daddy issues!”
17.28 I’ve been doing this for six hours now.
17.32 Robin Hood captures and beats up Gollum which seems kind of unfair. Don’t hurt Gollum! He’s just singing and beating a fish against the wall, he won’t hurt anyone. This is probably why your dad loved Ned more, Robin.
17.34 Frodo is becoming more and more cray cray, which we all could have seen coming, and Robin Hood is more and more of a douche. But basically nothing is happening and I’m getting kind of bored.
17.38 Except now Stryder is home! And Gimley is happy to see him, which is cute. Ooh, and so is Legolas, and there is a weird awkward tension between them. KISS! KISS! MAKE OUT! DO IT NOW!
13.42 Aw, now there are LOADS of tree people! They can all read their tree poetry together with the Weasley twins and live happily ever after! Yeah!
17.44 New Girl wants to “ride next to you in battle” and we all know what THAT means. #awkward
17.45 Legolas points out that an army of 300 old people and children against 10,000 orcs is probably a bad idea, and for once speaks more sense than Stryder because, yeah, that seems like a fair assessment to me. But apparently Stryder no longer cares, because he is BROODY NOW. We all love a good broody hero sending innocent people to their death for no reason.
17.50 KISS, STRYDER AND LEGOLAS, KISS!
17.52 The elves are here to help! I am sure that will make just ALL the difference. Also, Gimley is still short for comic effect, and also pathetic fallacy.
17.57 Arrows! Fighting! Ladders!
18.03 Legolas uses a shield as a skateboard. Show off.
18.04 The Weasley twins get annoyed with the trees for basically not doing anything, then have a rousing heart-to-heart, and meanwhile one of the elves dies. The sad music makes me assume I’m supposed to be upset, but honestly I don’t even remember him showing up before now.
18.10 Everyone suddenly seems to realise that the battle is never going to be won, and decides to retreat. No shit, army of Sherlocks who are mostly all dead now.
18.11 TREE LOGIC: Those words you just said made no sense. But then, you are tiny, so you’re probably right. (WHAT?)
18.17 Back with Sodo. Their plot this film is basically just Get Captured While Stryder Does Cool Stuff Elsewhere. Seems kind of like the bad end of the stick.
18.19 So the two armies of men are uniting and is this movie over yet?
18.20 Gandalf arrives to show off his fabulous horse, reminding me only of this.
18.22 Also the trees and the Weasley twins are here and Evil Beard is pissed and it feels like this movie will be over soon! The whole “environment is good, love the trees” metaphor is getting a little heavy-handed though.
18.25 “It’s me. It’s your Sam.” KISS!
18.27 Sad/inspirational speech from Sam. “What are we holding on to Sam?” SAY EACH OTHER. SAY EACH OTHER. I CAN MAKE SUCH GOOD DICK JOKES.
18.28 “Hope”. Boo.
18.32 The Weasley twins find the holy grail of all weed to smoke and hilarity ensues.
18.33 Robin Hood is not such a dick after all and releases Sodo, but that basically leaves them in the same position as the start of the film. So has anything really been achieved here?
18.35 “I wonder if we’ll ever be in songs and tales?” Oh you’re so meta, Lord of the Rings. I see what you’re doing there.
18.36 “Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam.” THAT’S WHAT HE SAID. KISS.
18.38 Oh look, Gollum is totally planning to kill them and take the ring, no one could have possibly seen that twist coming. AND NOW IT’S FINALLY OVER.
Final thoughts: I don’t really see what the point of this film was, other than to introduce even more characters before we finally get to the big showdown. Other than that, everyone seems to be in exactly the same position as the end of the last film. No one even died! In fact, Gandalf came back, so that’s like MINUS a death. It is basically just suffering from part-two-of-a-trilogy syndrome. Bad.
Hopes for the next movie: I really want Gollum to turn out good in the end, maybe sacrifice himself for Sodo’s mission to destroy the ring. Also some cool deaths in the final battle scenes. I would love it if Stryder died, tragic hero that he is, but I am predicting it will be Legolas and Gimley instead. Also if Stryder does not reveal his hip-hop side soon, this whole joke is NOT GOING TO BE WORTH IT. Oh, and Gandalf’s a goner.