THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
The Abridged Script
IAN MCKELLEN, VIGGO MORTENSEN, ORLANDO BLOOM, JOHN RHYS DAVIES, and BERNARD HILL meet back up with BILLY BOYD and DOMINIC MONAGHAN.
Good to see you both again. I see you've found a goddamn talking tree.
GODDAMN TALKING TREE
Yeah, this is my last scene in the trilogy, don't worry.
Hey, I found a strange glowing ball. Despite the fact that I live in a world with talking trees and cloaked villains with no faces, I will trustingly pick up this object, as though it wasn't some awful thing that could destroy me immediately.
It doesn't do anything to him.
Give me that, stupid.
Pathetically moronic halfling dipshit.
ELIJAH WOOD, SEAN ASTIN, and GOLLUM walk through some more mountains. GOLLUM talks about killing them, SEAN gets angry at GOLLUM, ELIJAH defends him because he sympathizes. Same old shit.
BILLY picks up the SHINY BALL, which, this time, DOES immediately screw with him.
You completely worthless boob! What did you tell him?
I told him about the time I broke my mothers favorite vase and blamed it on the dog. And I told him about the time I snuck into the girl's shower and played with myself. And I told him that sometimes when nobody is around I like to pull the wings off of bugs and pretend I'm a giant and I make them beg for--
That's enough, you twit. Did you see anything?
I saw a deleted scene off the DVD where some white tree is burning.
That's no deleted scene! To Minas Tirith! Everyone, gather as many soldiers as you can! The battle for Middle Earth begins!
IAN and BILLY ride to MINAS TIRITH to speak with JOHN NOBLE.
Once we're inside, Billy, make sure not to speak, lest you allow your mind-boggling stupidity to unravel the very fabric of space-time.
Dude, you turn into kind of an asshole when you get some actual screen time.
He's not as bad as me. I am a totally despicable person. I wish my other son had died. I will eat my food in as disgusting a manner as possible as my other son is sent off to his death. Har har har!
It's a good thing I'm such a loathsome individual, otherwise the eventual rise of Viggo Mortensen to the throne would be complicated for the audience.
EXT. SOME OTHER CITY
HUGO WEAVING comes and talks to VIGGO.
Viggo, my daughter has chosen to become mortal so she can marry you and have a child named Link.
Oh, hmm, ouch. Awkward. See, I kinda have my eye on Bernard Hill's daughter now. Besides, shouldn't she have waited to give up immortality for me until after this war is over, to make sure I come out of it alive?
Well, I can help you live through it. Here is the Ridiculously Phallic Sword of the King.
Holy shit! It's too bad our army is so small that we'll all die anyway.
Not if you use your new status as a king to convince an enormous army of invincible ghosts to fight with you.
Army of ghosts? We just can't make this story stupid enough for people to dislike it, can we?
GOLLUM leads ELIJAH and SEAN to a GREEN FORTRESS and takes them up a mountainside. Inside the green fortress, the WITCH KING, a mostly NEW VILLAIN, is preparing for battle. He rarely speaks and we know almost nothing of his character background, but it is communicated to the AUDIENCE that he is EVIL by giving him a devil-like face with horns and raspy, angry-sounding voice.
But this is nothing like Darth Maul, who sucks! Boo!
MEANWHILE, at the top of the mountain, ELIJAH gets ATTACKED BY A GIANT SPIDER! He gets STABBED.
Ulp! At least I went one whole movie without getting stabbed!
Some ORCS who aren't BUSY WAGING THE BATTLE ON MIDDLE EARTH come by, steal him, and take him into MORDOR.
Because we are bad guys, we will now engage in infighting which will allow a good guy to move about unnoticed.
Yarr! Why do henchmen in movies always do this at the worst times?
They FIGHT, and SEAN ASTIN arrives to kick some ASS. He and ELIJAH head toward MOUNT DOOM.
EXT. MINAS TIRITH
The EVIL HORDES battle the HEROS. Thousands die violently in the BATTLE FOR MIDDLE EARTH BUT MOSTLY FOR THIS CITY THAT LOOKS LIKE A WEDDING CAKE. The WITCH KING kills the old and wise BERNARD HILL. MIRANDA OTTO and DOMINIC kill him quickly in response.
Oh no, I have been dispatched with anti-climactic ease after a great deal of build up for my character's power. Truly, I deserved this end for behaving arrogantly to the young person still alive after killing their mentor! Again, this is nothing at all like Darth Maul, because Lord of the Rings is cinematic brilliance!
Eventually, VIGGO MORTENSEN shows up with his SILLY ARMY OF THE DEAD. They effortlessly slaughter the EVIL FORCES.
Ha! I finally did something right!
Sort of. Had you gotten here sooner, we could have killed all of the Orcs without sustaining any casualties of our own, and my father would be alive.
So, you know what I just realized? I can't believe I didn't think of this in the first movie. Even if Elijah and Sean get into Mordor, there will be thousands of Orcs there to stop them from destroying the ring. How silly of me not to see this glaringly obvious problem sooner.
Wait. What if we went to Mordor's gate and fought? We'd draw them all out! Then instead of being inside Mordor, standing between Elijah and Mount Doom, they'd all be at the gate, killing us!
Thank you, Orlando Obviousleaf, son of Duh.
They go to MORDOR to GET KILLED. Instead of sending an appropriate number of TROOPS, SAURON sends about ten times as many as needed, emptying out the interior of MORDOR so that ELIJAH and SEAN can pass safely.
I can't go on, Sean. I am but a broken shell of the joyful Hobbit I once was, now overcome with an infinite melancholy that cannot be understood by anyone who has not bore the burden of this ring! My incessantly melodramatic acting has petrified me where I lay.
Then I will carry you!
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
They go throw the RING into the fire. SAURON'S TOWERS fall to the ground and all of his underlings are defeated.
IAN MCKELLEN picks up ELIJAH and SEAN on a GIANT EAGLE and flies them to safety.
VIGGO is crowned the new king, and everyone bows before the HOBBITS. Even BILLY BOYD, who didn't really do anything.
The HOBBITS return to their village, where they are treated like normal people, which is kind of disappointing, so ELIJAH gets the hell out of there and writes a book.
SEAN ASTIN marries some GIRL WE NEVER MET AND DON'T CARE ABOUT
My scene is only here so that the film can end with the same words as the book! Isn't that worth the movie not ending on the feel-good image of everyone bowing down to all of us?
Rod has been an author at The Editing Room for 17 years. You can support Rod and the rest of the site on Patreon.
Rod is the founder of The Editing Room, having started the web site in 1998 after seeing "Godzilla" and being compelled to express his hatred. He's written the bulk of Abridged Scripts on the site, many of which have appeared in Total Film magazine and Cracked.com