I watched the Lord of the Rings movies for the first time last week. I knew it was going to be good, but I was stunned at how amazing it really was. At the end of The Return of the King, I cried through the last three-ish scenes and the whole credits song. I know that sounds childish, but – it was so amazing!
I honestly cannot imagine anyone else playing these characters now.I remember clearly my first reactions to pictures of Ian Mckellen as Gandalf. I wasn’t impressed. The tall, pointy gray hat I think was what really did me off. I didn’t like him. Oh, how wrong I was. Mckellen did a masterful, absolutely masterful job as Gandalf. Of course, I saw him in The Hobbit, first, and that was what really won me over. I’ll admit, I liked him best as Gandalf the White. I cannot think of Gandalf now without thinking of Ian Mckellen, and I think that is the true mark of an excellent performance.Again, when I first saw photos of Elijah Wood as Frodo, I was appalled. Wasn’t Frodo supposed to be older than that? But you know what, as I read the books, I couldn’t get the photos of him out of my head. What does that tell me? Wood was the right choice for Frodo, and all you have to do is watch the movies to see that. He’s amazing. The moment I saw Sean Astin, on the other hand, I knew that he was the perfect Sam. Yes, that is the word, perfect. Here, as in practically every other place, the director nailed it!Aragorn was another one whom I was slightly skeptical about when I first saw the pictures. It didn’t help that I had seen Viggo Mortensen on a movie I wasn’t fond of before I’d watched LOtR. But leave it to a staunch Sherlock Holmes fan to imagine a lank, shady, pipe-smoking ranger to be pale and clean shaven. It wasn’t long before I was won over even before I watched the movies, and once I did, Mortensen will forever be Aragorn to me.I had very little preconceived idea of the physical characteristics of Merry and Pippin, save that I thought Merry had dark hair, and I thought both Dominic Monaghan as Merry and Billy Boyd as Pippin were wonderful, not to mention extremely sweet and amusing!I had a fairly definite idea of what Legolas and Gimli looked like, and both John Rhys-Davis and Orlando Bloom were exactly it. I love how they sort of seem to be the comic relief of the films, and of course the “odd couple” thing is very cute and sweet. I also now understand the Orlando Bloom kick that went on for a while. He is quite handsome.When I first saw Hugh Dickson as Elrond in The Hobbit, I’ll admit, I wasn’t impressed. But gol-ly, was he exactly right in these three films. I felt very bad for him as he had to watch his beloved daughter sink into mortality, but I loved the little smile he gave when Arwen kissed Aragorn at the end. Proud-daddy-Elrond is SO cute!Christopher Lee as Saruman was just amazing – exactly like I’d imagined him in the book! I could go on and on, but every compliment I could come up with has already been said.Andy Serkis’s portrayal as Gollum was really unbelievable. When I first heard the voice of Serkis as Screwtape on Focus on the Family’s Radio Theater The Screwtape Letters, I was convinced that he would be amazing, but now I know it. The scarciest part of it all though, is that some of Gollum’s facial expresions remind me of Andy.
There were many other more minor characters which I found very well done, like Theodin, Boromir, Wormtongue, Farimir, and the like, though I am afraid I wasn’t a huge fan of Arwen and Eowyn, but if the worst I can possibly say about these films is that Merry had the wrong hair color, and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with those two ladies, I’d say the Lord of the Rings moves were winners. 99.9999999% perfect!