When Peter Jackson brought part One of his “Lord of the Rings” saga in the theaters, the film was celebrated by audiences worldwide, received several awards and reached 7th place in the list of most successful movies ever. However, many viewers criticized that the film was too short and too hasty despite its 3 hour duration. Also, many fans missed scenes which they already saw in trailers: for example, the gift scene in Lórien. Many rumours mentioned the ominous “PJ Dreamcut” which was delivered to New Line Cinema originally and which was supposedly 4,5 hours long.
The expectations of the fans were fulfilled when New Line announced an additional, longer cut of “The Fellowship of the Ring” during its theatrical DVD release in August 2002. The Special Extended Version was announced on four DVDs and was supposed to be longer by half an hour.
This extended version takes more time for exposition and characterization, especially considering the character of Aragorn. Also, there are some scenes in the SEE which make events from Film Two, “The Two Towers”, more comprehensive: for instance, in the scene where Gandalf mentions Gollum’s real name. Last but not least, PJ reinstated some violent scenes which he removed from the theatrical version for the sake of the PG-13 rating (strangely enough, the SEE is also rated PG-13).
In the following comparison only scenes are mentioned which run longer, than in the theatrical version. Some of them are just slightly longer than in the theatrical cut, others are contained only there. The discs used for this comparison are in PAL norm, so they differ from NTSC by 4% faster runtime.
The second DVD of the Extended Version contains approximately 17 Minutes of new scenes compared to the Theatrical Version. Ca. 30 Seconds of footage are missing from the Extended Version.
0.00.10 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.29.52 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Aragorn wipes the dirt off a marble statue of a woman. Elrond comes up and speaks to him in Elvish. From his narration we find out that the statue is of Aragorn’s mother. She hid him because she knew that he would be hunted. Also, Elrond mentions that the Elves know how to reforge the „Sword of Kings“ (Isildur’s sword), however, only Aragorn has the power to wield it. Aragorn answers that he does not want that power and that he never did. Elrond tells him that he is the last of his bloodline and that there would be no other.
This scene is interesting in the context of Isildur’s sword. In the book the sword is reforged before the Fellowship leaves Rivendell and given to Aragorn. It is a shame that this scene was cut from the theatrical version.
0.02.50 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.31.30 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
After the scene in which Bilbo gives Frodo the mithril shirt and his Elvish sword Sting, we have a chance to see the departure from Rivendell:
Elrond makes a speech and tells that the Ringbearer will now set out for Mount Doom. Nobody of the Company would have to go any further than he wills. Gandalf says that the Company is waiting for the Ringbearer, and Frodo heads out of the gate. At the gate, Frodo asks Gandalf silently, if Mordor lies to the left or to the right. Gandalf kindly gives him direction. This scene shows how insecure Frodo is in his new role as the Ringbearer.
Also, Aragorn and Arwen interchange some emotional glances.
0.05.58 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.33.23 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Merry and Pippin who brought Boromir to fall, also kick Aragorn off his feet as he tries to stop their game. He falls backwards on the ground.
0.11.21 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.38.40 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
When Gandalf says that the Ringbearer has to decide if the Fellowship will go through Moria or through Rohan, Boromir yells to him that they cannot stay longer – it’d be the death of the hobbits.
0.11.43 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.38.58 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
After the Fellowship reaches Moria, a bit of the dialogue between Gandalf and Frodo is missing:
Gandalf asks Frodo to help an old man, than asks him about the state of his shoulder wound. Frodo says that it got a bit better. Gandalf asks him about the Ring. Frodo looks frightened. Gandalf tells Frodo that the power of the Ring will be growing and that he feels it as well as Frodo. He also warns him about the powers of evil, and that it could approach him not only from outside of the Fellowship, but also from the inside. Just in this moment someone (presumably Boromir) walks by, and the two give him a mistrusting look. Frodo asks Gandalf whom he can trust and Gandalf answers that he can only trust himself. Frodo does not understand, and Gandalf says that there are many powers, both good and evil. Some of them are stronger than Gandalf, and by some of the others he hasn’t been tested yet.
The last part is an allusion to the upcoming confrontation with the Balrog.
0.12.31 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.38.58 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The following scene is cut slightly different. Gimli raises the hand and says “The walls of Moria.” In the theatrical version his last words are heard as the Fellowship is shown in front of Moria. In the Extended Version there is a shot of Gandalf and Frodo added; only then we see the wide shot of Moria.
0.12.40 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.39.04 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Before Frodo steps into the water, there is a scene in the Extended Version where the Fellowship is looking for the entrance into Moria. Gimli tells that the doors of the dwarves are invisible when they are shut. Gandalf adds that even their masters can’t find them. Legolas says mockingly that it does not surprise him. Gimli is grumbling, but doesn’t start a fight.
0.13.35 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.39.50 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
As Gandalf tries to open the gate of Moria with a magic spell, different material is used in both versions:
Theatrical version: Gandalf is shown from the front; he still holds his staff against the door, with Frodo next to him. Cut to Gimli.
Extended Version: Merry and Pippin are watching Gandalf as the camera pans from left to right.
No difference in time
0.13.43 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.39.57 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
As the spell doesn’t work, both versions are cut differently. All the scenes of the theatrical cut are also contained in the extended version, but the entire scene is longer:
Gandalf tries another spell which also doesn’t help. Legolas looks at Merry who says that it doesn’t work. Gandalf, slightly embarrassed, tries to push the door open. The pushing is longer in the extended version.
Gandalf mumbles that he used to know every spell by man, Elf or orc. Pippin asks impatiently what they are going to do next. Gandalf is angry and threatens to knock on the door with Pippin’s head, so that he would have peace from foolish questions and try to find the secret word.
Length of the scene in Theatrical version: 12 Sec.
Length of the scene in Extended version: 42 Sec.
Difference: 30 Sec.
0.18.33 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.44.15 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The wandering through the Mines of Moria is extended:
The Fellowship walks past a glittering mithril lode. Gandalf explains that the wealth of Moria did not come from gold or gems, but from mithril. With his staff he makes some light in a deep abyss. Then he tells the Company that Bilbo was given a mithril coat by Thorin, the dwarf king. As if he knew that Frodo has it now, Gandalf mentions that it is worth more than the whole Shire. Frodo looks alarmed.
0.19.49 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.44.17 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The next scene is cut slightly differently:
The Fellowship walks up a steep staircase. We see it from a wide shot as well as from a close shot. The wide shot is shown at different occasions:
In the extended version it is shown before one of the hobbits crawls by a skeleton; in the theatrical version it is shown before one of the hobbits stumbles and slides a bit down.
No difference in time
0.21.11 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.45.37 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The talk about Gollum is longer, and the dialogue is also edited slightly differently:
Gandalf tells Frodo that Gollum used to be called Sméagol, until he was found by the Ring and got mad.
It is irritating why this scene was cut from the Theatrical version: it is very important for the plot. In the book we find out much earlier that Gollum used to be called Sméagol. Also, it is important for the second film, “The Two Towers”, because Frodo manages to bring up Gollum’s inner conflict between good and evil by mentioning his forgotten name.
0.28.40 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.52.49 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The fight in Moria at Balin’s grave is slightly cut:
After Sam closely evades the troll’s club, the troll turns and goes after Sam as he crawls away. Just before he can hit him, Boromir and Aragorn help Sam by pulling the troll away on his chain.
The troll then attacks Aragorn and Boromir. The latter is thrown a couple of yards away by the force of the chain. As he is lying unconscious, he is attacked by an orc. Aragorn kills the orc by throwing his sword at him and gives a nod to Boromir. Then we see Gimli throw his axe at the troll (also contained in the theatrical cut).
0.29.10 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
1.52.49 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The scene here the three hobbits hide from the troll behind a pillar is at a different place in the both versions.
In the Extended version, it is just after Gimli throws his axe at the troll, and in the theatrical cut it is shown after the troll tries to kill Sam with the club.
No difference in time
0.43.39 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.07.23 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The woods of Lothlórien:
In both versions, different footage was used. The Extended version is considerably longer. But also the theatrical cut contains a scene which is missing from the Extended cut.
The following scene is contained in the Theatrical Version only:
After the Fellowship of the Ring is surrounded by the Elves, Aragorn greets their leader in Elvish and asks for protection. Gimli asks Aragorn anxiously to turn back, as the woods are perilous. The Elf leader says that they cannot turn back now, as they entered the realm of the Lady of the Forest. Than he gives Frodo a long glance and asks them to come, as she is waiting.
27 Sekunden cut in Extended Version
In the Extended Version the scene goes on differently after the Company was surrouned by the elves:
The scene changes. The Fellowship is on a platform on a tree (a “flet”) at night. They introduce themselves to the Elves, in Elvish. Gimli is very upset about that. He complains about the hospitality of the Elves who are refusing to talk any language except for their own. Haldir, the Elvish leader, says that the Elves don’t deal with the Dwarves since the dark times. Gimli grunts a dwarvish curse at him. Aragorn interferes. Then, Haldir turns to Frodo, in whom he sees a great evil. He says that the Fellowship cannot go any further. Aragorn tries to convince the Elves; meanwhile the rest of the Company looks tired and bored. Boromir tries to comfort Frodo by telling him that his burden is heavy enough without the additional burdens of the dead. Eventually, Haldir reappears and asks them to come along. A short wandering in the woods begins. On a mountain side they make halt and see an astonishing view, a hill covered with giant trees. Haldir explains that this is the heart of the Elvendom on Earth.
126 Sekunden cut in the Theatrical version
0.46.23 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.08.27 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The way through the Elvish town lasts slightly longer.
0.47.01 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.08.51 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The meeting with the Lady of the Forest (Galadriel) is slightly longer:
Celeborn, her husband, says that the enemy knows that the Fellowship entered this realm and that their hope to remain unrecognized is futile.
0.47.23 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.09.01 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Another little piece of the meeting:
Celeborn asks about Gandalf, as he cannot feel him from afar, as he says. Galadriel reads Aragorn’s thoughts; cut to Legolas who seems to notice it. Galadriel’s voice says that Gandalf did not pass the borders of this realm. Only than she explains that he has fallen into the shadow.
0.47.35 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.09.10 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Still the meeting:
Legolas tells the Elves what happened to Gandalf. Then he adds that it was because they went needlessly into the Mines of Moria. Galadriel says that none of Gandalf’s deeds was needless, and that it is just not always clear what he had in mind. Then she consoles Gimli with some warm words. Boromir cannot stand the Lady’s glance, as she notices his weakness for the Ring. The glance at Boromir is at a different time in the theatrical version, as is her “monologue”. However, the meaning of the scene remains the same.
Some short trims from this scene are also shown during the theatrical version.
ca 70 Sec
0.49.00 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.09.32 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
The rest of the meeting was cut slightly differently, with alternative shots of the participants – not really important.
No difference in time
0.49.41 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.10.17 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Lament for Gandalf
The scene was cut slightly differently, and extended quite a bit:
In the Theatrical version we see Frodo and someone asks off camera, what the Elves sing about Gandalf. Legolas answers that he has not the heart to tell it. Then he is in the frame and says that the grief is too near yet.
In the Extended Version we first see Aragorn sharpening his sword. Then Merry is shown asking what the Elves sing about Gandalf. As Legolas (like in the theatrical cut) says that his grief is too near yet, he is shown during his entire speech (unlike the theatrical cut). Only then we see Frodo.
Length of the scene in the Extended Version: 15 Sec.
Length of the scene in the Theatrical cut: 8 Sec.
0.50.01 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.10.26 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
In the Extended version, the Lament scene is yet longer:
Sam says that the Elves wouldn’t mention Gandalf’s fireworks in their songs. He supposes that this matter deserves an own verse. Then he stands up and proclaims a crude verse, and then sits down again, embarrassed.
0.57.10 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.16.58 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
After telling Frodo that a Ringbearer is doomed to be alone, she shows her own Ring, and tells him that she also is a Ringbearer.
This scene makes the movie closer to the book. There, Frodo discovers a Ring on Lady Galadriel’s finger in the same scene.
0.59.26 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.19.06 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
After the Uruk-Hai left Isengard, the Extended version shows the famous Gift scene which is also essential for the plot:
Some pieces of it are also contained in the theatrical cut, but only the gift to Frodo is shown in its entirety.
On the length of the scene in both versions:
The time is measured just after the scene change, as the Uruk-Hai left Isengard. The time was stopped as we see the scene where the Fellowship reaches a river curve (which we see from above – see the reference picture). When we consider this as the beginning and the end of the gift giving scene, it has the following length:
In the Extended Version it runs 310 Seconds = 5 Min. 10 Sec. .
In the Theatrical version the scene runs 50 Seconds.
The Extended Version is thus longer by 260 Seconds = 4 Min. 20 Sec.
Now to the most important moments of the new scene:
Everybody from the Fellowship gets an Elven coat with a brooch. These coats can hide those who wear them. Celeborn also tells that this is the first time that strangers receive Elvish garb.
This scene is quite important, because Frodo and Sam use the Elven coat to hide from two guards in “The Two Towers”. Also, Merry or Pippin leave one of their brooches on the road, so Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas can follow their trail. This scene is also contained in the book.
The Fellowship packs some belongings in the boats. Legolas takes a piece of bread from a bag and takes a small bite. He explains to Merry and Pippin that the bread is “Lembas”, and that a little bite keeps a man’s stomach full for a day. The lembas bread plays a big part in the book, as it becomes the only food for the Fellowship (especially for Frodo and Sam). In the book, Lembas has the same attributes as in the movie.
After Legolas is gone, Merry asks Pippin quietly, how many of the Lembas he ate. Pippin answers: “four” and looks quite full. ;)
Celeborn talks to Aragorn and explains the situation: the Orcs are guarding the borders and the river banks, some of these orcs seem to be special: they are moving in daylight. Then he gives a dagger to Aragorn and warns him about them being pursued. He recommends using the boats to outrun the enemy and reach the Falls of Rauros.
The Fellowship gets in the boats and starts rowing down the river. The most shots in this scene are also contained in the theatrical cut.
As the Fellowship sails down the river, Legolas is shown (this scene is missing from the theatrical cut):
He looks quite content and remembers a gift from Galadriel: a Galadhrim bow, equal to a bow of the wood Elves.
Galadriel turns away from Legolas and the two hobbits remember:
Each of them gets a nice dagger. The daggers were supposedly used in battle before. Galadriel gives some extra words of hope to Pippin.
It continues with Sam:
He gets an Elven rope, which is told to be especially strong. This is the very rope which Frodo and Sam use in Part Two to tie Gollum. Because it’s an Elven rope, it causes much pain to Gollum.
Sam thanks the Lady, but asks her if she also has a shiny knife for him, like for his friends. He seems not to know what to do with a rope in a serious situation. Galadriel just smiles and walks on.
Now it’s Gimli’s turn:
Galadriel asks what gift a dwarf would wish from an Elf. He answers that he would have none. He adds that it was enough for him to see the Lady of the Forest, as she is fairer than anything else. Galadriel laughs joyfully. Gimli is just about to turn away, as he has an idea what he would wish from her. However, he is in doubt if he can dare to make such a request. Just before we find out what it is, the scene changes to a dreaming Gimli sitting in the boat.
Galadriel says that she has nothing to give to him except what he already bears. She touches the pendant was given to Aragorn by Arwen. They continue in Elvish. Aragorn says that he would let Arwen go from this world, so that she can stay with her people. However, Galadriel tells Aragorn that it is him who has to make a decision: to rise above his forefathers or to fall with his kin.
Now we see the gift-giving scene for Frodo in the Extended version. As it is contained in the Theatrical cut, we don’t describe it any further.
The three boats are shown on a quiet river. Gimli’s voice is heard from the off, then he is shown. He tells that this parting was the hardest that he ever had, as he has seen a woman most beautiful than anything in the world. He says that he would not call anything fair anymore, except for Galadriel’s gift to him. Legolas asks what she gave him. Now we find out that Gimli asked her for one of her golden hairs – and that she gave him three instead.
1.05.58 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.21.18 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
In the Extended Version the Fellowship makes a night’s rest during their journey on the river:
Boromir sees something moving behind a floating tree log. Aragorn, who is behind him, tells him that it is Gollum who followed the company from Moria.
Then we see Frodo and Sam. Sam is concerned that Frodo does not eat or sleep and tries to cheer him up. He tells him that he is keeping the promise that he gave to Gandalf. Frodo is aggravated and says that nobody can help him.
Back to Aragorn and Faramir again. Boromir advises Aragorn to go to Minas Tirith, the safer path. There the Fellowship would gather new strength and go to Mordor. Aragorn is not excited by this idea. Boromir tries to convince him by telling that his people not only have weaknesses, but also strength. Then he becomes angry and insults Aragorn by telling him that he is just hiding himself like he always did. Aragorn replies that he would not let the Ring within 100 leagues from Gondor and walks away.
Now the river journey continues in the Extended Version – however, it begins slightly earlier, as we see an added shot of Boromir looking grimly at Aragorn.
1.18.08 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.31.28 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Here is the largest chunk of the cuts, most of them for violence.
Legolas kills quickly several orcs with bow and arrows. In the theatrical version he only kills three, in the Extended version six orcs.
1.18.47 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.32.01 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
After Boromir blows the Horn of Gondor for the first time, a piece of action is missing:
Aragorn jumps over a tree trunk, slays an orc and kills another one with a swift stroke. With the third orc he has a short skirmish, but eventually brings him fall on his knees and cuts his throat.
Then we see Boromir again who is trying to blow his horn once more. An orc attacks him. Boromir blocks his stroke and cuts off the orc’s arm. As the orc goes down, Merry and Pippin attack him; meanwhile Boromir quickly slays another orc. Merry and Pippin hit the orc further in the face and chest.
1.19.09 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.32.06 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Instead of the shot where Merry and Pippin look back one more time, as Boromir told them to run away, the both hobbits help him in the Extended Version. They start throwing rocks at the orcs. As several orcs get hit on the head, they fall. Meanwhile Boromir kills another couple of orcs with his sword.
1.19.22 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.32.13 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
More shots of rock-throwing hobbits and Boromir fighting in front of them.
(Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
(Time index of the Theatrical version)
As Boromir is hit by the first arrow, a different shot of the horrified hobbits is used. In the Extended version Pippin holds a stone which he was about to throw, then he looks at Boromir, frightened. In the Theatrical version we see a slightly longer shot of the frightened hobbits, but without stones.
1.22.07 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.34.54 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
Aragorn fights Lurtz, the leader of the Uruk-hai
As the Uruk-hai pulls Aragorn’s knife out of his knee, in the Extended Version we see bleeding Aragorn once more, then a shot where the Uruk-hai licks his blood off the blade.
1.24.51 (Time index of the Extended Version DVD 2)
2.37.36 (Time index of the Theatrical version)
As Boromir dies, Aragorn says in the Extended Version: “They will look for his coming from the White Tower. But he will not return.”
After the credits, the SEE contains a long Fan Credits section with the names of the members of the Official Lord of the Rings Fanclub. This is not accounted here.