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Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2/2)

original title: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The


  • Theatrical version
  • Special Extended Edition (Disc 2)
Release: Aug 20, 2009 - Author: TheHutt - Translator: TheHutt - external link: IMDB
Remarks on the comparison
If nothing else is stated, the text refers to the SEE version. If both versions have different footage, the text about the SEE is listed first under SEE:, the text about the theatrical version is listed under Theatrical version:. Further remarks are listed in italics. (Brackets) mark the scenes preceeding or following the cut.

The SEE (Disc 2) is 0:18:18 Minuten longer (PAL time).
In total the SEE is 0:47:12 Minutes longer than the Theatrical Version (without the credits).

In case of slight re-editing, the nature of the recuts is mentioned in the context of the entire scene.
Cut 1 Violence
00:00:00 Min. (SEE time index)
01:33:24 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: A new scene. The corsairs of Umbar sail past the Three Hunters standing on the river bank. Aragorn calls to them and forbids to enter any further. The captain asks who they are to refuse them entry to Gondor. Aragorn says to Legolas to give a warning shot just next to his ear. Gimli however pulls Legolas’ bow with his axe, so that the arrow hits a pirate (cameo by the director Peter Jackson!). Gimli cries to get ready for boarding. The pirates laugh: by what army are they supposed to be boarded? Aragorn says: “this army” – and the host of the Dead attack the pirates.
This scene might look cool because the director Peter Jackson is killed here in a cameo (also starring: WETA boss Richard Taylor, lead prosthetics makeup artist Gino Acevedo, Director of Photography Andrew Lesnie and the producer Rick Porras) – however, it looks rather trashy and redundant, because it takes away the surprise from the Pelennor battle.

Difference: 00:58 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 2
00:09:44 Min. (SEE time index)
01:42:10 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: New scene. The Rohirrim are resting. The scouts report to Théoden that Minas Tirith is under siege. Théoden orders to ride through the night. Meanwhile Merry is talking to Éowyn. He tells her that he knows he can’t do much – however, he wants to help his friends nevertheless. With new courage the two put on their helmets and prepare for battle.

Difference: 01:46 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 3
00:12:05 Min. (SEE time index)
01:42:45 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: The city is burning. Pippin stands at the bow of the palace square and sees the procession of Denethor coming out. Denethor says that he is the last of the Stewards – and that he will sleep now.

Difference: 00:21 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 4
00:12:30 Min. (SEE time index)
01:42:49 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: The procession moves along almost like in the theatrical version – however, the White Tree is seen in the foreground, and a white flower is seen blooming, a sign of the Return of the King. Denethor talks on, and says that Gondor is lost. A pan reveals that the procession goes over a bridge at the backside of the city. Denethor asks himself why the fools run away – they would die anyway. Pippin follows the procession secretly.
Theatrical version: Denethor walks silently at the avant-garde of the procession, the guards carry Faramir behind him. Closeup to the guards.

Difference: 00:35 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 5
00:22:30 Min. (SEE time index)
01:52:14 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
Theatrical version: Gandalf turns around as he hears the horns of Rohan.
SEE: Pippin calls for Gandalf and says that Denethor has lost his mind, wanting to burn Faramir alive (in the Theatrival version this scene comes up later). Gandalf takes him up on his horse – however, their way is barred by the Witch-king on his fell beast. Gandalf threatens him and orders him to go to the abyss along with his master. The Witch-king takes out his sword and says that the old fool is too stupid to see his own end. His sword turns into a flame, and Gandalf’s staff breaks. Gandalf falls from his horse. The Witch-king says that Gandalf has failed. In the last moment, the horns of Rohan sound, and the Witch-king flies away.
The Witch-king scene was also in the theatrical trailer. The scene shows that Gandalf is not invulnerable.

Difference: 01:13 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 6
00:27:34 Min. (SEE time index)
01:56:05 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
Theatrical version: Here comes the scene which appeared in the SEE earlier (Cut 5). Pippin runs up to Gandalf and says that Denethor has lost his mind, wanting to burn Faramir alive. Gandalf takes him up on his horse.

Difference: 00:12 Sec (KV länger)

Cut 7
00:28:29 Min. (SEE time index)
01:57:12 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Denethor says to Gandalf that he might have won on the battlefield – however, there is no victory against the force rising in the East.

Difference: 00:11 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 8
00:31:33 Min. (SEE time index)
02:00:05 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Another shot of the Oliphaunt row coming for the riders.

Difference: 00:03 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 9 Violence
00:32:17 Min. (SEE time index)
02:00:45 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: An Oliphaunt rams a rider with the XXX from the side, taking him up in the air together with his horse.
Theatrical version: missing, however it has 7 frames more of the next shot.

Difference: 00:01 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 10 Violence
00:32:21 Min. (SEE time index)
02:00:48 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Gamling rides along with two other riders between the oliphaunt’s legs. The oliphaunt first steps on the rider to the left of him, than the on the one to the right. Gamling shoots an arrow at his belly from down below.

Difference: 00:07 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 11 Violence
00:33:47 Min. (SEE time index)
02:02:07 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: King Théoden is surrounded by several orcs. Éowyn comes to the rescue and kills many of them. Théoden looks surprised, as if he recognized her – then he rides away. Merry crawls from under one of the oliphaunts (in the Theatrical version this scene is at a different place) and is attacked by a couple of Haradhrim – two of whom he kills. Éowyn struggles on and kills three more attacking orcs. Merry kills another Haradhrim. As an orc picks im up, he cuts his throat. Éowyn kills another orc and starts fighting with Gothmog. As he blocks her punch, she beats him in the face and injures him at the leg. Gothmog falls to the ground.

Difference: 00:49 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 12
00:38:35 Min. (SEE time index)
02:06:05 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
Theatrical version: Merry crawls from under an oliphaunt (in the SEE it was in Cut 11)
In the chapter list, this chapter is not marked as “extended”.

Difference: 00:07 Sec (KV länger)

Cut 13
00:39:27 Min. (SEE time index)
02:07:04 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Éowyn is crowling on the ground, looking for Merry. Gothmog who lies just a couple of feet behind her, sees her and starts pursuing her.

Difference: 00:13 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 14 Violence
00:39:42 Min. (SEE time index)
02:07:07 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Aragorn has an orc on his blade and kicks him off it. Éowyn sees a sword and tries to reach it before Gothmog can get to her.

Difference: 00:10 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 15 Violence
00:39:59 Min. (SEE time index)
02:07:15 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Gothmog prepares to strike at Éowyn. She tries to reach out for the sword, but it slides away. Just as Gothmog is about to strike, Aragorn chops his arm off. Gimli hits him with an axe in the chast, and Aragorn kills him from behind with the sword. As Aragorn and Gimli pull their weapons out of Gothmog’s body, they kill two more orcs.

Difference: 00:11 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 16
00:44:49 Min. (SEE time index)
02:11:53 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
Theatrical version: Pippin walks over the battlefield, looking for Merry. Suddenly he discovers him next to an oliphaunt. They start talking, and Pippin promises to take care of Merry.
SEE: The survivors walk over the battlefield, looking for the wounded. Pippin walks over the battlefield (same shot, but mirrored) and discovers Merry’s elven cloakg with the brooch. Meanwhile Éomer finds his sister who is severely wounded. She is brought to the Houses of the Healing where she is healed by Aragorn. Later in the night Éowyn stands up from her bed and sees Faramir who is also wounded.
Pippin goes on looking for Merry until the night. This is the same scene like in the Theatrical version – but it is digitally graded as a night scene! The sky has also been changed.

Difference: 02:15 Sec (SEE longer)

Sky comparison Theatrical Version – SEE:

Cut 17 Violence
00:49:13 Min. (SEE time index)
02:14:02 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: The orc who fell down lands on a small roof. A skirmish begins. An orc takes a big piece of ham and beats another orc unconscious with it. Another orc kills him with a sword for that. A third orc is taken up someone’s shoulders and is twirled around.

Difference: 00:15 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 18 Violence
00:49:34 Min. (SEE time index)
02:14:09 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: the beating continues. One orc is killed, another is thrown on a stairs and slain with a hammer. A third orc stumbles, and a big orc kills him with a big round stone.

Difference: 00:06 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 19
00:50:54 Min. (SEE time index)
02:15:21 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Sam runs up the stairs – meanwhile an orc comes around the corner with Frodo’s mithril coat in the hand. The orc escapes.

Difference: 00:07 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 20
00:55:46 Min. (SEE time index)
02:20:07 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Here the lines of Gandalf and Gimli are swapped. Gimli says, certainty of death and small chance of success – what are they waiting for. Gandalf is in doubt, he would not take the bait. Aragorn is sure that he would. Throne room at night. Aragorn puts the Palantir on the step and picks it up. He says, that Sauron has hunted him long enough and that it’s over now. He shows Sauron’s eye in the Palantir the sword of Elendil. Sauron shows him something in return - a vision of the lifeless body of Arwen. Aragorn looks desperate, he drops the Palantir. His Evenstar pendant falls on the floor and breaks into thousand pieces. Following a fade to riding Aragorn over white.
Theatrical version: Gandalf says Sauron wouldn’t take the bait. Gimli says, certainty of death and small chance of success – what are they waiting for.

Difference: 01:15 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 21
00:57:31 Min. (SEE time index)
02:20:35 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Faramir and Éowyn are watching the host marching out of Minas Tirith. Éowyn says that the sun has no warmth anymore. Faramir comforts her, telling that it’s just a mist of a spring rain, and that the darkness will not endure. Éowyn takes him by the hand, and Faramir embraces her.
Theatrical version: A shot of marching orcs. One of them yells “To the gate, you slugs”. This scene occurs in the SEE later.

Difference: 00:39 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 22
00:58:34 Min. (SEE time index)
02:20:59 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Frodo & Sam are surprised by a platoon of orcs. They sit down at a roadside, but an orc lieutenant discovers them and forces them with a whip to march along. They march to the gate (this shot occurred in the Theatrical version earlier). Meanwhile we see Aragorn’s host marching. Suddenly the orc platoon stops, and the leader proclaims it’s an inspection. A large bulky orc walks past the platoon and inspects the troops. As he sees Frodo and Sam he feels something is wrong. To divert attention, Frodo asks Sam to start a fight. Sam beats Frodo and insults him; the crowd of orcs around them hinders the inspector to come through. As Frodo and Sam are driven apart by the orc lieutenant, they hide in a tent and flee.

Difference: 03:18 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 23
01:02:21 Min. (SEE time index)
02:21:30 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Frodo and Sam climb over some rocks. Frodo stumbles and says that he can’t go any further. Sam says that they will go to Mount Doom directly and should leave everything behind. They throw away the heavy orc uniforms and Sam’s cooking pots into a crevice.
Later that night they sit in the cold wind. Suddenly Sam sees a star shining through the clouds of Mordor. He tries to cheer up Frodo (“There is light and beauty up there that no shadow can touch.”)

Difference: 01:32 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 24 Violence
01:06:55 Min. (SEE time index)
02:24:32 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Out of the gate a lonely horseman comes out – it’s Sauron’s herold, called “Mouth of Sauron”. He welcomes the party and asks sardonically if anyone has authority to treat with him. Gandalf says that they have not come to treat with Sauron and requests Sauron to leave Middle-Earth. Mouth of Sauron mocks Gandalf and says that he has a token to show to him. He shows him Frodo’s mithril coat. The hobbits are terrified by Frodo’s fate, Gandalf tries to comfort them, and Sauron’s Mouth describes how the hobbit had suffered. Aragorn rides up to him and chops his head off. He says that he won’t believe it.

Difference: 02:06 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 25
01:09:07 Min. (SEE time index)
02:24:38 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: The Gates of Mordor open up wider.

Difference: 00:03 Sec (SEE longer)

Cut 26
01:15:04 Min. (SEE time index)
02:30:32 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Gandalf looks at Aragorn and shows him the mithril coat.
Theatrical version: Gandalf looks at Aragorn.

Difference: 00:00 Sec (Kein Unterschied)

Cut 27 Violence
01:16:09 Min. (SEE time index)
02:31:37 Min. (Theatrical version time index)
SEE: Sméagol is strangling Frodo, and repeats that Frodo must not go up and hurt the Precious. Frodo reminds him of the promise he gave to Frodo. Smeagol says mockingly: “Sméagol lied”. Then he continues strangling Frodo.

Difference: 00:07 Sec (SEE longer)

In the credits, the portraits of Christopher Lee (Saruman) and Brad Dourif (Gríma) are added. This is not counted as a cut.

After the regular credits, the SEE contains a Fan Credits section with the names of the members of the official Lord of the Rings fan club. This is not counted as a cut.