Monday, December 22, 2003

Gray ships pass into the west

I saw Return of the King on thursday.

It was both good, and bad. Good, because it captured some of the core of the book, and had some spectacular battle scenes, and bad, because at the same time it missed out some of the best and most important bits. Gandalf does not confront the Witch-King at the gate. Hope does not fail before the Black Gate. Gollum is pushed - pushed! - rather than dying by his own failings. But underlying it all is a sense of melancholy - that this is it, The End, that there is no more Lord of the Rings to look forward to. While there will be an extended cut (containing most of those important scenes, from the looks of it), it will be an epilogue, an afterthought. The story is told, the path has been trodden, and all that is left is repetition.