If this instalment of The Return of the King was an episode of Friends it would be called 'The One With All The Endings'. There's an awful lot of them in here. This is the very end of the trilogy. There will be tears.
In the last part of this review the battle in Gondor ended, so Aragorn and the gang headed to the Gates of Mordor to challenge the big boss himself. Oh and Sam rescued Frodo from the orcs and they headed up towards Mount Doom for the final bit of the quest.
Here's what happens next.
307. Oh look. Gollum didn't die after all. He decided to just head straight to the Cracks of Doom to wait for Frodo and get the Ring back there.
308. And there's another battle going on outside the gates. It's like the whole of Middle-earth is fighting about one thing or another.
309. I love that the moth shows up right in front of Gandalf and then the Eagles show up. It's a nice little call back to the first film (and to the end of the first Hobbit film now as well).
310. It's Elrond and Isildur all over again!
311. Frodo's just like, 'nah, actually I think I'm going to keep it'.
312. That chain is not very strong if he can just snap if off the Ring. They should maybe have tried something a little bit sturdier considering how important it was not to lose the Ring.
313. Gollum's got a good sense of direction, he was able to locate Frodo and his hand in order to bite off the finger with the Ring on it.
314. Okay, I do feel kind of sorry for Gollum at this next bit. He's waited so long to get the Ring back and then he just gets a bit carried away with the gloating and celebration.
315. I like that the Ring sits on that little bit of solid lava for a moment before it finally sinks into it and breaks up.
316. It's kind of funny how the Ring is destroyed and all the orcs and other creatures just kind of run away.
317. Also, it makes me laugh how the Eye of Sauron kind of looks from side to side as the tower topples over.
318. And then that moment where everyone cheers and celebrates before realising that actually that probably means Frodo has died because Mordor is sort of destroying itself and the massive volcano the Hobbit was in is erupting.
319. Frodo seems to be feeling a little bit more like his old self again at least. Even if they didn't get off that slope, at least he'd be able to suffer alongside Sam in the end.
320. Sam's face just looks like he's thinking 'Oh, now you can see the Shire.'
321. 'I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things.' Love that line too.
322. The Return of the King Fade to Black Ending #1.
323. Frodo and Sam have now passed out, presumably because of the heat and fumes.
324. I like that Gandalf went with three Eagles to pick them up. I like to think that the third one was in case Gollum had survived too.
325. I also like the way that the background turns into Frodo's pillow in the Houses of Healing. That's just a neat transition.
326. This bit is all sort of dreamlike with the bright light and the weird slow motion talking and laughing. Also, I know you're all pleased to see one another but just what is so funny guys?
327. You know this is a special occasion because Legolas finally has a different outfit.
328. I want to know just what Merry was demonstrating there when he leaps over on Frodo's legs. Perhaps he was showing how they brought down the Oliphaunt.
329. The Return of the King Fade to Black Ending #2.
330. The King has returned. Officially now.
331. He's got the politician way of speaking down anyway. Though the little singsong isn't so political.
332. Legolas is so coy when he looks back over his shoulder.
333. Elrond's like 'Happy Coronation, Man. Here, have my daughter.'
334. I love Arwen's headdress thing.
335. Hehe, the big snog is not so refined and kingly, but even Elrond seems to approve. And Arwen seems very happy. Then again, I'd be giggling if I'd just kissed Viggo Mortensen like that.
336. 'My friends, you bow to no one.' I love how the Hobbits look all confused and surprised and awkward at everyone bowing to them. It's cute.
337. I love how they skip over the return journey by just covering the route over the map.
338. I do sometimes wish they'd done The Scouring of the Shire, but I think that would've stretched this trilogy of films out to a quadrology and that would've meant the story was a little bit thin. I'd rather they leave some stuff out than not have enough to bulk up the story.
339. Go on, Sam. Go for it. I like that he has a quick sip of whatever the Middle-earth equivalent is of Dutch Courage.
340. Oh look, Jackson kid cameo again. They're a bit older there than at Bilbo's party at the beginning, so we know a couple of years have passed since the beginning.
341. This bit is just like the very beginning of the first film, except this time it's Frodo sitting in the study writing, instead of Bilbo. It's a nice way to bookend the story.
342. I like that framed picture on the wall in the background. It's a tree and I imagine it could have the Baggins family line written on it.
343. I've got a funny feeling that this bit might have been filmed quite early on in filming the trilogy because Elijah Wood looks really young compared to some of the scenes we just saw.
344. Bilbo's really aging now. He's really, really wrinkly. He kind of looks like a Podling from The Dark Crystal.
345. Actually, he's a bit Gollum-ish as well. It's the baldy head and sticky out ears I guess.
346. I just want to give Merry and Pippin a hug. They're so sad and upset.
347. 'I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.' Love that line.
348. It's a little bit mean of Frodo not to tell his friends that he was planning to leave.
349. Also, why is he talking in slow motion here.
350. Oh and now I want to hug Sam as well.
351. It's okay, Frodo's hugging them all for me.
352. And Sam even gets a kiss. Lucky Sam.
353. I like that Frodo smiles again when he gets on the boat. That makes this seem less sad and more hopeful of an ending.
354. And that's them off at last. I love this music.
355. And now for a change, let's have a Fade to White Ending.
356. The kids in this scene are the actor's real children as well. I love that this such a family film, that the people making it got their family members involved with it.
357. And it's so perfect that the last words of the film are the same as the in the book. It couldn't have ended more perfectly.
358. I love the end credits here though they go on for around twenty minutes.
359. The sketches are a lovely touch. I've got the 'Art of' books for each of the films and I like to look at the pictures John Howe and Alan Lee drew for the production.
360. 'Into the West' always makes me think of funerals, but it's a beautiful song and the perfect way to end the trilogy.