Because when you come here, this is what you get: analyses of movies you watched a decade ago

Internet! It has been so long since last we met! In this capacity, anyway. I’ve still been on Twitter. And Facebook. And IM. I’ve even been doing that texting thing the kids are talking about these days. Have you heard of this? I highly recommend it.

ANYHOW. I’ve recently had some assigned writing, and if there is anything that makes you dust off the blog you write on for funsies, it’s needing some way to procrastinate, am I right? And, yeah, I have kids to watch and dishes to do, but typing words in a box for free? WHAT BEATS THAT?

Now, I have a reason why I want to talk to you today, and the reason I want to talk to you today is that I recently re-watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And when I say I re-watched the trilogy, I don’t want you getting any ideas like I sat down and watched it properly, all the way through. Or even sat down and watched a single one of the movies properly, all the way through. I think it took us 7 (seven) nights to get all the way through. What with the aforementioned children and wanting to sleep. WHILE I was watching the movies, I was live-texting Ian, as one does, with several questions and observations, because he knows everything and it’s my duty to make sure he feels really useful and full of knowledge. I’m doing him a FAVOR, guys. And FINE, I’m sure none of these are new observations, and there were blogs a decade ago, so this has probably all been said, up in your brains or otherwise, but just HUMOR ME because I HAVE QUESTIONS.

So, okay, these movies. You’ve seen them, yes? You have. Here’s the thing: none of this ever had to happen! Do you REALIZE that? Am I the only one who screams at Elrond every single time he just lets Isildur walk out of Mount Doom all proudly clutching his precious? YOU ARE A MAGICAL ELF AND YOU HAD HIM RIGHT THERE. Just, come ON, Elrond, throw the dude in the fire. THROW HIM IN THE FIRE. I think pretty much he knew the next 3000+ years of living might get a little dull if there weren’t evil in the world, so he just let that crap go.


Another thing that confuses me is these guys are wandering the open countryside, running into people left and right, and EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYBODY. Is there some sort of Middle Earth Facebook that Tolkien never mentions? They know each other BY NAME. All, oh, yeah, you! You’re Isildur’s heir, right? That dude who died 3000 years ago and we somehow kept an eye on that bloodline through ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY generations. It’s like that part in The Emperor’s New Groove where the kid is jumping rope and tells Yzma she’s so old, she’s more like his great, great, great, great … great, great, great GREAT GREAT AUNT.

A hundred and fifty greats, guys.

And, okay, orcs. Those are some nasty nasties, right? Here is what I want to know, and maybe you know and this will be obvious to you, but I do not know and when I had the thought it blew my mind, but here it is:


Like, back in OrcVille or wherever, waiting for their handsome and doting husbands to return from their noble war? These things are pretty much grown in pits in the ground, right? Or are those just the ones that Saruman harvests?

And are there FRIENDLY orcs? Meek orcs? Kindly orc neighbors who are all, “Hey, I had some extra maggots, so I baked you this pie! I hope you like it!” And then what can you even DO? You have to say THANK YOU and possibly even eat the pie, because yeah sure THIS orc is a nice orc, but he probably KNOWS people, you know? He’s got a cousin who knows a guy who knows a guy from Isengard.

Yeah. Just eat the pie.


Oh, right. Gandalf! First of all, this dude is a war-monger. He is just going from place to place–I am TELLING YOU, watch the movies with this in your head and you will see–from place to place telling people, oh yeah, you gotta fight. You’re gonna need to rally your troops and fight. And every single person is all, NAAAAAH, I don’t feel like fighting, and sometimes it is the SAME PERSON, MULTIPLE TIMES, saying naaaah, I have fought enough. And then he’s got his staff which sometimes is like this magical glowstick of making those creepy Nazgul dragons fly away and other times he just hits people with it. If it can be a magical glowstick, Gandalf, please do use it in that capacity AT ALL TIMES.

So he’s Gandalf the Grey, and then Gandalf the White, and SINCERELY I want to know, was he Gandalf the Black at some point? Do they all start at grey? Is there something in between? Gandalf the Charcoal? Did he get to skip over Gandalf the Heather Grey? Like, you take out a balrog, you get your white glowstick no questions asked?

I think one of my favorite parts is the battle for Helm’s Deep, when they put the pile of bombs under the wall, and one orc is running toward it with his torch, and Aragorn is all, “LEGOLAS SHOOT THE GUY WITH THE TORCH!” As though if he takes him out, the other few thousand orcs will be all, “Damn! I was SO sure that would work. OH WELL. Ladders it is!”


Take it from someone who currently lives in a 3-story townhouse: Minas Tirith looks an exhausting place to live.

Theoden’s beard is green, and it gets greener as the movie goes on.

I mentioned this on Twitter, but, you guys, I can’t tell Boromir and Faramir apart. When Faramir shows up in Two Towers, every single time I’m like HEY DIDN’T HE DIE OH RIGHT THIS IS THE OTHER ONE. Now, I fully admit I have never looked up both actors and seen their pictures side-by-side, and probably that would make it OBVIOUS that they are not the same person, but inside of my head, they are exactly the same person. I do this with a lot of people. Like, when I picture Phil Collins? Bob Newhart. Every time. I don’t know WHY, I don’t think they look alike, I just assign celebrity faces to other celebrities. IT IS JUST MORE EFFICIENT, OKAY?

Speaking of the -mir twins, we all know about one of them saying how one does not simply walk into Mordor, right?


He just waltzes on in there, no problem, I’ll just wander up the tower to exactly where they are keeping Frodo. I GOT THIS, GUYS.

And now the ring. The ring is IN Mordor. Allll this time Sauron has been sensing it approaching, and now it is IN HIS LANDS and he’s TOTES UNAWARE?


Speaking of Sauron, is there anything more unintentionally hilarious than his lighthouse eye looking all over the place as his tower crumbles?

And then we come to the end. Well, the sort of end. This movie acts like it is ending a good five times before it actually ends, which just makes the actual ending so sad because every time I watch it I forget which ending is REALLY the end and so I’m hoping there’s still one more ending, preferably with Aragorn and Legolas bromancing it up, but WHATEVER, anyway, the first end, and Sam and Frodo are all floating on the lava equivalent of an iceberg, and then Gandalf swoops in on an eagle, and I finally FINALLY figured out how he knew they were still alive!


Reception in Mordor remained surprisingly good, even after the tower fell. Apparently.

Anyway. Lady orcs. THINK ABOUT IT.


Filed under Not even kidding

11 responses to “Because when you come here, this is what you get: analyses of movies you watched a decade ago

  1. I was live-texting Ian, as one does, with several questions and observations, because he knows everything and it’s my duty to make sure he feels really useful and full of knowledge. I’m doing him a FAVOR, guys.

    That’s not even a joke, dude. Just true.

    Oh, and the drawn-out ending? They cut out a WHOLE lot between the destruction of Mordor and all the elves and Frodo and Bilbo sailing off for the afterlife/the Americas. I’d say it’s probably the single biggest excision in the trilogy. There’s a whole mini-adventure where the hobbits return to the Shire and discover that it’s basically undergone the Industrial Revolution. So they of course decide this just won’t do, and raise a little hobbit army to overthrow the overseers of the new ways and return the Shire back to its traditional, pastoral existence, so that its people can be happy again. And if anyone ever tells you that Tolkien WASN’T saying that the modern world and city life are evil and we were all much better off when England was a country of tenant farmers working their idyllic little Downton Abbey farms and leaving all the important decisions to their betters up at the big house, well, they need to re-read the Scouring of the Shire.

    But yeah, when you read The Return of the King, the story basically finishes about two thirds of the way through, and you’re left holding the last third of the book between your thumb and forefinger thinking, What on Earth can be left to fill up THIS MUCH? And then you find out.

  2. Herein is where I geek out….so forgive me…

    Tolkien never specifically mentioned orc females but did mention that they “bred” a lot, so we can somehow assume that there are, in some fashion, orc females. They’re either just so unimportant or unimpressive that they’re never mentioned. Uruk-hai, such as you saw in the pits in Saruman’s lair, were constructed of orcs + magic, so those are a bit different.

    Gandalf was The Grey ever since he came to Middle Earth (he is Maia, what would be an angel-come-to-earth in Tolkien’s world) as befit his place in the order (Saruman was The White), second in command, if you will. There was also Radagast the Brown, and Alatar and Pallando, the Blue Wizards, of which we know almost nothing as they occupied southern realms.

    After Gandalf defeated the Balrog, he died, but his spirit was sent back to his body to complete the task he had been sent to do (which was to help Men and Elves defeat the shadow of Sauron). At that point, and because Saruman had turned to evil, he was granted the color White as the top of the order.

    Sauron’s attention seems to be typical of most men — one-tracked. While his eye is trained upon the war at hand, he misses the hobbits. At least, the books has it that way.

    And Gandalf never did learn to text worth a damn.

  3. I’m sorry, all I can think about now is Bob Newhart singing “In the Air Tonight.”

  4. GANDALF THE HEATHER GRAY. This post is teeming with astute observations. I love it.

  5. campenette

    I honestly could not love you more.

    My question: why couldn’t the eagles drop the ring in Mount Doom hmmm? AND! Like Sam and Frodo wouldn’t have suffocated to death from the sulfur when they are surrounded by lava. Or had their skin melt off. But WHATEVER.

    Why didn’t Galadrial know how it was going to turn out?

    Why didn’t the Black Riders feel the ring when he put it on at his birthday party? Frodo SO got the shaft.

    Sam and Frodo should have used their invisibility cloaks A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN JUST THAT ONE TIME I’M JUST SAYING.

    • The eagles couldn’t drop the ring into Mount Doom because the eagles can’t carry the ring; it’s Frodo who is the ringbearer, and it would appear that it’s impossible for anyone else to become the ringbearer without the ring’s consent. Now, as to why the eagles couldn’t fly Frodo into Mount Doom so he could drop the ring in? Um … because it would have fatally undermined the story’s dramatic effect? I guess?

      (Though it occurs to me that part of the reason the ring accepted Frodo as its bearer could have been because it knew that when it came to it, Frodo wouldn’t be able to destroy it. Gollum: true hero of The Lord of the Rings.)

      As for the other objections … yeah, I got nothing.

  6. campenette

    Did my comment go through?

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. I have not watched these movies, despite much cajoling by my husband, but still enjoyed the hell out of this. I’d totally watch them if I could do it with you offering observations throughout.

  8. Now I feel that I should watch these all again. I also used to have them as books on tape and I listened to them in my car a lot (until they wore out, they were actually on tape and didn’t last more than like five years which was maybe five listenings) and I don’t know any of your answers. I have clearly not studied enough!

  9. Seriously. Where are the Lady Orcs?

    Nice to see you back in these parts! 🙂