Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring [2001]

The connection between National Geographic and The Lord of the Rings may seem tentative, but this illuminating TV special proves otherwise. While incorporating cast and crew interviews and film clips from director Peter Jackson's 2001 blockbuster The Fellowship of the Ring, this hourlong documentary transcends timely opportunism to explore the myriad inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy classic, beginning with the influence of Tolkien's idyllic childhood in rural England, which served as the model for Tolkien's threatened Hobbit paradise. Equally fascinating are the influence of Tolkien's experience in World War I, the "evil" of industrial development, and especially the influence of Anglo-Saxon poetry (notably Beowulf) and the mythology of the Finnish Kalevala, which formed the basis of Tolkien's elfish culture. Tolkien's passion for nature conservancy and cultural preservation is what ultimately serves the National Geographic agenda, but eloquent testimonials by archaeologists, anthropologists, and filmmakers make this a most agreeable hour of justified propaganda. --Jeff Shannon

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Elrond:
His strength returns.

Gandalf:
That wound will never fully heal. He will carry it the rest of his life.

Elrond:
And yet, to have come so far, still bearing the Ring, the hobbit has shown extraordinary resilience to its evil.

Gandalf:
It is a burden he should never have had to bear. We can ask no more of Frodo.

Elrond:
Gandalf, the enemy is moving. Sauron's forces are massing in the east, his eye is fixed on Rivendell. And Saruman, you tell me, has betrayed us. Our list of allies grows thin.

Gandalf:
His treachery runs deeper than you know. By foul craft, Saruman has crossed Orcs with goblin men. He's breeding an army in the caverns of Isengard. An army that can move in sunlight and cover a great distance at speed. Saruman is coming for the Ring.

Elrond:
This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves. We do not have the strength to withstand both Mordor and Isengard. Gandalf, the Ring cannot stay here. This evil belongs to all of Middle-Earth. They must decide now how to end it. The time of the Elves is over, my people are leaving these shores. Who will you look to when we've gone? The Dwarves? They toil away in caverns, seeking riches. They care nothing for the troubles of others.

Gandalf:
It is in Men that we must place our hope.

Elrond:
Men? Men are weak. The Blood of Numenor is all but spent, its pride and dignity forgotten. It is because of Men the Ring survives. I was there, Gandalf. I was there three thousand years ago. I was there the day the strength of Men failed. I led Isildur deep into the fires of Mount Doom, the one place it could be destroyed. Isildur kept the Ring. It should have ended that day, but evil was allowed to endure. There's no strength left in the world of Men. They're scattered, divided, leaderless.

Gandalf:
There is one who could unite them. One who could reclaim the throne of Gondor.

Elrond:
He turned from that path a long time ago. He has chosen exile.

Elrond:
Strangers from distant lands, friends of old you have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle Earth stands upon the brink of destruction, none can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. We are all bound to this one fate, this one doom. Bring forth the ring Frodo.

Boromir:
It is a gift. A gift to the foes of Mordor. Why not use this ring? Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him.

Aragorn:
You cannot wield it. None of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master.

Boromir:
And what would a Ranger know of this matter?

Legolas:
This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.

Aragorn:
Haavan Da, Legolas.

Boromir:
Gondor has no King, Gondor needs no King.

Gandalf:
Aragorn is right. We cannot use it.

Elrond:
You have only one choice. The ring must be destroyed.

Gimli:
Then what are we waiting for.

Elrond:
The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft that we here possess. The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came. One of you must do this.

Boromir:
One does not simply walk into Mordor. It's Black Gates are gaurded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland riddled with fire, ash, and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand could you do this. It is folley.

Legolas:
Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed.

Gimli:
And I suppose you think your the one to do it?

Boromir:
And if we fail, what then? What happens when Sauron takes back what is his?

Gimli:
I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an Elf. Never trust and Elf!

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