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192. Twenty Years Ago, How Did ‘Return of the King’ Rule the Movies? | with Rilian of NarniaWeb

From the city of Minas Tirith to Sam versus Shelob to the Rohirrim’s charge, we recall our epic experience with The Lord of the Rings films.
Fantastical Truth on Dec 19, 2023 · Series: · No comments

Twenty years ago, the world was watching one fantasy film trilogy to rule them all. Its final installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King arrived into American theaters on Dec. 17, 2003. From the beacons lighting of Minas Tirith, to Frodo’s and Sam’s desperate fights against Shelob, to the ear-tingling charge of the Rohirrim onto the Fields of Pelennor, how did we first experience this grand finale to The Lord of the Rings film series?

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Talking Beasts: The Narnia PodcastIntroducing guest “Rilian” of NarniaWeb

The fan code-named “Rilian” is a Tolkien geek who keeps a watch on Narnia. A longtime member of the fan community, Rilian started his original podcast back in the mid-2000s. Now he’s the co-host of Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast along with “GlumPuddle” and “GymFan,” exploring Narnia books and films, interviewing Lewis scholars and film actors. This is the fourth episode of his Fantastical Truth “trilogy.”

@‌Prince_Rilian on Twitter

Concession stand

  • We may critique the avalanche of skulls and other odd movie moments.
  • We probably won’t critique the “multiple endings,” still a silly criticism.
  • This one’s a pre-Christmas chance to celebrate an epic, formative story.

Quotes and notes

We made a promise to ourselves at the beginning of the process that we weren’t going to put any of our own politics, our own messages or our own themes into these movies. What we were trying to do was to analyze what was important to Tolkien and to try to honor that. In a way, we were trying to make these films for him, not for ourselves.

—Peter Jackson

1. In 2003, how did we anticipate Return of the King?

2. What did we feel after seeing the trilogy’s end?

3. How have The Lord of the Rings films aged since?

Com station

  1. Did you see The Return of the King in theaters?
  2. What did you think about the fantastic finale back then?
  3. How do The Lord of the Rings films teach fans and movies today?

Re. our update about a second Lawhead adaptation, Brooks Kirsch wrote:

The first book “Hood” has a very cinematic “Batman Begins” feel to it. I’d love to see it on screen. From there, the subsequent books change their focus to other characters, which might not work for a film trilogy. It might need some restructuring.

Frank Lattimore also commented:

It’s taken far too long for Lawhead’s books to reach deeper into the entertainment industry. I’ve read everything he’s written (after I finish the Eirlandia series), starting back in the 1980s and enjoyed them all. (Well, his Bright Empires series had an awful conclusion. It started dying in book 2.)

Mission update

Next on Fantastical Truth

We’re on break for Christmas! No new episode on Tuesday, Dec. 26. In early January, we’ll return for our 2024 season. Expect great conversations about story “allergies,” video games, how fantastical novels get made, and beyond.

Fantastical Truth
Fantastical Truth

Lorehaven explores fantastical stories for God's glory: fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond.

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    In the Fantastical Truth podcast from Lorehaven, hosts E. Stephen Burnett and Zackary Russell explore fantastical stories for God's glory and apply their wonders to the real world Jesus calls us to serve.

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