In the wake of last night’s 84th Academy Awards show, it occurred to me that since 2003, there hasn’t been a film nearly as good as The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King. On the night of February 29th, 2004, RoTK came away with all eleven of the Oscars that it was nominated for, including Best Picture.
Every so often, I’ll sit with either my wife, my son or my daughter, (or all three!) and do the “LoTR Marathon” thing, where we watch all three of the boxed set, extended versions of the films. Once in a while, I’ll even cue up the “Appendices” documentaries. It was during the latest round of viewings, that something occurred to me…
In the scene immediately following Frodo’s defeat of Gollum / Smeagol and destruction of the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom, Frodo and Sam have just beat a hasty exit from within the volcano as it begins to erupt around them. After diving onto a rock outcropping, Frodo looks around, begins to smile, sighs and tells Samwise, “It’s gone, Sam!” It is at this moment that Samwise Gamgee gives Frodo a “look.” Maybe you know the look I’m referring to, but just in case you don’t, here it is in full high-def color:
If we could slow down time and read Sam’s mind in that split-second before he says, “Yes Mr. Frodo, it’s over now,” what would we hear? Given everything that Samwise had endured up to that point, I have a pretty good idea. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Samwise’s Rant:
(Frodo) “It’s gone, Sam!”
(Samwise) “Really? Are you (expletive) serious? After everything we just went through, now you want to get all smiles and blissful? Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but we’re sitting on the side of an erupting volcano! The only one in all of Middle (expletive) Earth, might I add, mister “the ring is mine”! Oh, and by the way, thanks a whole hell of a lot for dragging that scraggly, puke-smelling wretch with us the whole way! I tried telling you that guy was bad news, but oh no, Mister “Buh…buh….but we need a guide!” You just had to have your pet frogman, didn’t you? Let him drag our sorry (expletives) all over hell and gone, climb this mountain, slog through that swamp, only to have him conk me over the (expletive) head with a rock! Drag my sorry (expletive) hundreds of miles away from my comfy Hobbit hole, just for you to go all “Charlie Manson” on me right at the end and want to keep that accursed (expletive) piece of demonic “bling”! I could be back in the Shire, making some serious (expletive) time with Rosie Cotton right now! But no! I’m about to get my (expletive) burned off by hot, boiling lava. Thanks a lot, mister “muahaha! the ring is mine”! (I can’t actually believe I wanted to come on this trip with you! I swear, if by some miracle we get out of this mess, next time we find a ring, I’ll hock that (expletive) piece of jewelry, use the money to go to Disney-(expletive)-land and leave your (expletive) back home in Bag-End! Let you trim your own Ficus plants! I can’t believe I let that old pointy-hatted, grey-bearded (expletive) talk me into this!) Sheesh!”