20 Lines That Could Have Dramatically Changed “The Lord of the Rings”

December 8th, 2006

  1. Gandalf: “Before you decide whether we should go through the Mines of Moria, Frodo, I should warn you that there’s a 30-foot-tall flame-spewing demon servant of the ancient god Morgoth hanging out down there. Just thought you’d want to know that.”
  2. Gandalf with a light saberPippin: “You want a song, Denethor? All right, stand back everybody — here’s a little number from NWA called ‘Fuck Tha Police.’”
  3. Sauron: “I know it’s preposterous, Witch-King. But we’ve got more than enough orcs here to wipe out Gondor. Post a thousand Uruk-hai by the lava pit on Mount Doom, just in case. Humor me.”
  4. Frodo: “You’re right, Sam. Let’s tie Gollum up and leave him here in Emyn Muir. No, wait, I’ve got a better idea — let’s torture the slimy bastard.”
  5. Merri: “No, actually, running from screeching Black Riders in the middle of the night doesn’t sound like our idea of fun. Come on, Pippin, we’re outta here. There’s a barrel of pipeweed with our names on it back in Hobbiton.”
  6. Aragorn: “You little hairy bastards are much too stupid to be trusted with that ring. Hand it over and go home. I’ll take it to Rivendell already — you’re just slowing me down.”
  7. Eowyn: “Actually, Arwen sounds kind of cute. Do Dunedain Rangers practice polyamory?”
  8. Saruman: “On second thought, betraying the gods in Valinor who sent me to Middle Earth and forsaking an eternity of immortal bliss just so I can lord it up with a second-rate evil sorcerer doesn’t sound like such a good idea. Let’s breed an army of eagles instead and get that bitch to Mount Doom pronto.”
  9. Sam: “All right, Frodo, you’re getting way too attached to that ring, and we both know it. From now on, we stick that thing in a backpack and carry it in shifts.”
  10. Gondorian beacon lighter #7: “Nah, don’t worry, baby. I’ve been stationed here for twenty years, and they’ve never asked me to light that thing. We mostly just sit around playing cards. Nobody’ll notice if I take the night off.”
  11. Butterbur: “I told those Hobbits not to make a mess in my establishment. The stupid Scottish one spilled beer all over the floor. Don’t bother going to that room, Mr. Black Rider — they’re up on the third floor with the Ranger.”
  12. Elrond: “I’m sorry, we’re not authorized to perform any Elvish medicine on this wounded Hobbit of yours until we’ve seen proof of insurance. You’ll just have to take him somewhere else.”
  13. Pippin: “Thanks for busting up Isengard, Treebeard. Don’t get too settled, though — we’re taking the ents and the huorns to Gondor next. Yes, I know it’s a long way, but they already walked to Helm’s Deep, right? Besides, they’re trees. What else do they have to do?”
  14. Elrond: “The Council made a resolution suggesting we take the ring to Mordor and cast it back into Mount Doom, but looks like we’ve been filibustered by the Gondorian delegation. Guess the bill’s going back to committee. Frickin’ Democrats.”
  15. Nazgul #4: “You know, if we stopped screeching at the top of our lungs for once, we might be able to sneak up on those little fuckers.”
  16. Galadriel: “Thanks, Frodo, that ring will go nicely in my collection. I mean, I’ve already been rebelling against the Valar for thousands of years — no reason to stop now.”
  17. Arwen: “Let me see… Another forty years with the man I love, or the rest of eternity frolicking with all my friends and family in a deathless land with the gods right next door. When you put it that way, it’s really not much of a decision, is it? Besides, Aragorn’s already got Eowyn, and I’ve got my sub love slave Figwit.”
  18. Faramir: “You know, Frodo, I’ve got about 50 men here with me. We could take you as far as Cirith Ungol and wipe out that evil giant spider demon. It’s the least I could do, considering the fate of all Middle Earth is in your hands. Denethor’s just going to send me to defend a deserted city anyway.”
  19. Rosie: “Forget it, Sam, you pretended I didn’t exist and then disappeared off to who knows where for a year. What was I supposed to do, wait around for you forever? I married Fatty Bolger instead.”
  20. Gollum: “Okay, we finally gots our ring back. Now let’s not waste time celebrating, eh, precious? Put on the ring, push nasty Hobbitses into volcano, and let’s get back to cave and nice fish. Niiiiice fish.”

39 Responses to “20 Lines That Could Have Dramatically Changed “The Lord of the Rings””

  1. Sherwood Smithon 08 Dec 2006 at 9:22 pm

    I am soooo glad I did not happen to have a cup of tea at my lips!

  2. Darcyon 08 Dec 2006 at 10:52 pm

    LOL!!!!

  3. Alasseon 09 Dec 2006 at 2:25 pm

    Yes, definitely requires a ‘do not drink when reading this’ warning!
    Especially number 12. Tsk tsk Frodo, did you not get a referral from your Primary Care Physician?

  4. Mark Tiedemannon 09 Dec 2006 at 2:33 pm

    Great examples of why we need “suspension of disbelief” so much.

  5. Mark Tiedemannon 09 Dec 2006 at 2:37 pm

    Actually, the line that would have changed everything completely:

    Elrond: “Sorry, Isuldur, we’ve spilled too much blood for you to go muck it all up with a momentary fit of self-delusion. Either that ring goes into the fire or both of you do.”

  6. [...] 20 Lines That Could Have Dramatically Changed The Lord of the Rings—“I know it’s preposterous, Witch-King. But we’ve got more than enough orcs here to wipe out Gondor. Post a thousand Uruk-hai by the lava pit on Mount Doom, just in case. Humor me.” 3:00 pm comment [...]

  7. [...] 6 – 20 Lines That Could Have Dramatically Changed The Lord of the Rings Sam: “All right, Frodo, you’re getting way too attached to that ring, and we both know it. From now on, we stick that thing in a backpack and carry it in shifts.” David Louis Edelman gets his humour on. (tags: list humour literature movie genre fantasy Rings Lord LOTR) [...]

  8. [...] 6 – 20 Lines That Could Have Dramatically Changed The Lord of the Rings Sam: “All right, Frodo, you’re getting way too attached to that ring, and we both know it. From now on, we stick that thing in a backpack and carry it in shifts.” David Louis Edelman gets his humour on. (tags: list humour literature movie genre fantasy Rings Lord LOTR) [...]

  9. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 10 Dec 2006 at 3:11 am

    Tom Bombadil: “Oh, you’ve got a cursed ring there, have you? Need to drop it in Mount Doom to destroy it? Nothing easier! Sing hey, ho, Jolly Tom, alder branch and willow, nothing up my sleeve, hey, presto! There you go! Nipped it right into Mount Doom we have! Now let’s see if the River’s Daughter has tea ready for elevenses, eh wot?”

  10. Teichon 10 Dec 2006 at 1:18 pm

    I am soooo glad I did not happen to have a cup of tea at my lips!

    Don’t ask where much of my beer is currently…!

  11. [...] Also from AA: 20 Lines That Could Have Dramatically Changed The Lord of the Rings. [...]

  12. Patty Pon 10 Dec 2006 at 11:26 pm

    My actual favorite was in the readers comments:

    Elrond: “Sorry, Isuldur, we’ve spilled too much blood for you to go muck it all up with a momentary fit of self-delusion. Either that ring goes into the fire or both of you do.”

    LOL!

  13. Sauron is in the White House!on 11 Dec 2006 at 12:21 pm

    Great, but you got the party wrong on number 14. We all know the Repubs would be all over that ring of power. A few more years of their environmental rollbacks, and the US will look like Mordor anyway.

  14. livvyon 11 Dec 2006 at 6:08 pm

    I’m in lurve!

  15. Beth Goddardon 11 Dec 2006 at 10:17 pm

    I’ve always wondered why they just stared at Gandalf hanging from the ledge as he said “fly you fools!” Why didn’t they just run over and pull him up?

  16. Joshon 11 Dec 2006 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve always wondered why they just stared at Gandalf hanging from the ledge as he said “fly you fools!” Why didn’t they just run over and pull him up?

    Because a Balrog was attached to his ankle?

  17. David Louis Edelmanon 11 Dec 2006 at 11:31 pm

    I discussed that with a friend of mine once, and his conclusion was: the bridge was collapsing, Gandalf knew that if everyone rushed onto the bridge to save him they’d all go tumbling down. Makes sense to not have Frodo rush out there and risk losing the Ring.

    Of course, it’s a nice theory, but the film doesn’t really show that the bridge was unstable. Maybe if Jackson had shown the bridge crumbling down when Gandalf fell…

  18. Ericon 12 Dec 2006 at 2:31 am

    Bilbo: I’m keeping the ring. Bye.

  19. alexon 12 Dec 2006 at 8:50 am

    Sauron

    wish I’d built some kind of redundancy into that damn ring…with the benefit of hindsight an extra £20 wasnt all that much

    Elrond to Frodo -

    here’re four tickets to the Rivendell cakefest. Glorfindel, get a couple of mates and my riding boots and meet us out front.

  20. gregon 12 Dec 2006 at 10:15 am

    I think 1, 3 and 8 would have made the most difference, I mean if Sauron knows that the ring can only be destroyed in the fires of Mount DOOM, and feeling it approach, why te fuck did he not send orcs to protect the damn mountain? And why did gandalf not send an eagle to help frodo earlier? it would have taken the eagle 2 hours to get to the fucking mountain and it took frodo about 2 months, in those two months thousands of people got killed… a lot of ppl are stupidin this movie…

  21. Gabeon 12 Dec 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Only the Valar can send eagles (and wizards for that matter).

  22. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 12 Dec 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Then use the Witch King’s spare dragons. There’s enough flying beasties.

    When your only guardians a Shelob (who can be taken out with a well-placed sword) and the lack of dining facilities (which can be gotten around with some Elven power bars or a taste for sushi), you’ve really have left yourself open. Unless there’s something like this…

    Sauron: “Forged in the fires of Mount Doom, you say? You mean you actually believed my press release? Well, to tell you the truth–not that you’ll believe me, of course–but I forged AT Mt. Doom using the dragonfire of Smaug. You know, the one I carefully maneuvered into getting killed after arranging for my ring to be picked up by whatsisname, Bilbo, wasn’t it? Anyway, if you really want to destroy me, have fun retrieving the ring from the heart of a FREAKING VOLCANO then figuring out how to resurrect a notably cranky DEAD DRAGON and find something to bribe him with while you’re at it! Ha-ha-ha!”

  23. Mark Tiedemannon 13 Dec 2006 at 10:23 am

    All this is fun, but let’s not lose sight of one of the chief lessons Tolkein was dramatizing–(A) that evil people are by and large also fairly stupid and (B) good people are often naive and trusting, which is one of the reasons they’re “good” people. Hence this list becomes a litany of all the things one could say after the fact of any confrontation between the two.

    However, Gandalf has NO excuse, having lived long enough…

    Anyway.

  24. David Louis Edelmanon 13 Dec 2006 at 10:45 am

    Agreed, Mark. I liked your original point — it’s all about suspension of disbelief. The thing that’s amazing about Tolkien is not how much implausible stuff there is in those books, but how far fans are willing to go to explain the discrepancies. One of my guilty pleasures is the Green Books column on TheOneRing.net, where “scholars” go to amusing and sometimes absurd lengths to justify the implausible elements of Tolkien’s stories. It’s good reading.

  25. Charleson 13 Dec 2006 at 11:54 am

    Mark,

    For me, one of Tolkien’s lessons in LOTR was that greed was blinding. While, after-the-fact, guarding Mt. Doom seemed the obvious thing to do, to destroy an object that could provide dominance seemed incomprehensible to Sauron and nearly everyone opposed to him.

    The leaders amongst the Elves: Elrond and Galadrial, were strong enough to accept that the ring needed to be destroyed, but too weak to trust themselves to be the ones to try and do it.

    For all that can be pointed to in the LOTR or many other major works in terms of discrepancies, in the end, it is a story of sacrifice and change. While Tolkien didn’t use the term magic, his trilogy was about Middle Earth sacrificing all of its good magic for the sake of ridding its lands of its bad magic.

    If one reads the Silmarillion, this choice by Elrond and Galadrial (and Gandalf) to leave the world to Men, to let go of their status and power in Middle Earth, is understandable.

    Frodo and Sam embody this theme of sacrifice and change. Frodo sacrifices his own health and happiness and prosperity and Sam changes and grows into the Hobbit who can carry the Shire forward – for a little while, since, they too must fade away. In a sense, the participation of the 4 hobbits sealed the decline of their own race and culture.

    While the multi-race makeup of the Fellowship has become a fantasy staple, in his trilogy each race that was sacrificing its own future (without knowing perhaps) was represented.

    Anyway, just some thoughts of mine on what Tolkien was showing.

  26. Beccaon 13 Dec 2006 at 2:33 pm

    Bilbo: No thanks, slimy little creature, I don’t want to play a riddle game with you. But if you’d be kind enough to show me the way out of this tunnel, I’ll give you this little ring I found…

  27. Hollyon 14 Dec 2006 at 4:12 pm

    So, so, so awesome.

  28. Vanceon 17 Dec 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Whispers in the Dark?….No wonder Gulom hate Baggonses!!!

  29. prosthetic foreheads « required fieldon 31 Jan 2007 at 4:43 pm

    [...] Posted in links, play, artifacts, fic at 13:40 by skg046 20 lines that could’ve changed LotR (inevitably shaded a bit by the films) [...]

  30. airehenon 08 Jun 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Elrond: “I’m sorry, we’re not authorized to perform any Elvish medicine on this wounded Hobbit of yours until we’ve seen proof of insurance. You’ll just have to take him somewhere else.”

    Hilarious.

  31. Calimacon 30 Jun 2007 at 11:00 am

    I just now found this from your “Best of the Blog” list.

    These are hilarious, but it also occurs to me that several of them show why the movie messed the story up. #1, for instance – in the book, Gandalf doesn’t dump the choice of route on the innocent Frodo, who has no facts on which to base a decision. Instead, he and Aragorn, who are well-informed about the dangers, argue it out.

    And #3 – the reason Sauron doesn’t just guard Mount Doom is because it never occurred to him that his enemies might want to destroy the Ring. To him, the lure of power is too great, and the actions of characters like Saruman and Boromir show why Sauron has a reason to think so.

    Also, Middle-earth isn’t a gameboard. It’s not like there’s a dotted line leading to the Mountain, and all you have to do is place your little plastic Nazgul on top of it and you can stop any other player who comes along.

    This isn’t a matter of “suspension of disbelief” which some of your commenters seem to be using as a condescending synonym for “I don’t buy the plot, but I’ll go along with it for the sake of the cool sfx.” This is fundamentally built into the story as Tolkien wrote it.

    And many of the others. But I’ve hammered on your cute little jokes enough already.

  32. Dreadanon 09 Jun 2008 at 6:12 pm

    In many of these instances, people are assuming that the characters can see what they see as readers/audience. However, the characters often make the right choice based on their knowledge at the time. I understand most of them are just funny, and I was rotfl, but some other comments criticized the plot. Gandalf had no idea where frodo was, or even whether he was alive. Also, If someone had mentioned Shelob while talking to Faramir, he would have no idea who you were talking about. He had never been in that tunnel! And about the apparently important issue with Sauron sensing the rig’s approach: My theory is, he was too preoccupied with attacking Gondor at the time,and sending his entire army to crush them. He probably figured that the ring would just fall int his control. Arrogant, yes, but that’s the way powerful people think, right? (just look at our president) He probably also didn’t think that his enemies even knew where it was forged. I agree with most of the comments specific to the movie; they really messed it up.

    EVERYONE READ THE BOOK!!! IT’S WAY BETTER!!! I READ IT 8 TIMES!

  33. Dreadanon 09 Jun 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Also, you shouldn’t assume you can point out mistakes by the author. He worked at that story for years, and would know a lot more about it than any of you.

    And you know what happens when you ASSUME?

    you make an ASS
    out of U
    and ME

  34. Dreadanon 09 Jun 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Gandalf: Bilbo, I want you to put that ring right back where you found it. And don’t you ever let me catch you picking anything up if you don’t know where it’s been again! And, someone could be looking for it!

    you all thought i was boring huh? =)

  35. Carolon 09 Jun 2008 at 8:12 pm

    LOL, very good!
    And good points Dreadan.
    Another point, we wouldn’t have a story if any of those things happened. And I think that THAT was the real purpose, eh?
    :)

  36. Tearoseon 24 Nov 2009 at 2:25 pm

    loved these! I can think of a few more, too!
    enjoyed reading them but of course I wouldn’t change the books…at all…
    :)

  37. Marshall David Wahlstrom Helgrenon 17 Jun 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I think that some of these lines would have been funny to hear in the movie. I love the line of Saruman and I really wish PJ had shown a second duel against Gandalf and Saruman in ROTK that would have been more interesting. Plus I think it would have been more significant if Tolkien had made the chapter Saruman’s Voice more interesting if Saruman had given up his alliance with Sauron. Especially since he had a chance of Freedom given freely. It would have been far more interesting if Let’s say Saruman pretended to be under influence but really wasn’t and instead built the army of Urk-hai then when all Urk-Hai left he went on a horse with Grima going secretly to Helm’s Deep and fought his own orcs which he made for no purpose whats so ever just to trick Sauron now that would be funny. Then it shows that saruman really wasn’t under the influence and he was just trying to get information from sauron and better the plans for the war. Also he instead would have a full force of Men of Gondor to back up the people of Rohan. Also He could have easily contacted Denathor and told him he was going to destroy Gondor or told the Steward to send reinforcements to Rohan thus it would show that he was in secretly still in service to the white council and not all that evil. So I think an army of Eagles would make more sense and I would have loved it if tolkien made Saruman a protagonist and some how involved the other wizards as well that would be interesting. Saruman could always sway the elves not to leave the middle earth and call all back from the undying lands and recruit an army of Elves and Dwarves and sway the Men of the East To Be allies with Gondor that would make a great story. I would have loved to see
    saruman ride a horse dressed in pure white hold a sword and fight. That would make one Awesome Character plus he and Gandalf would work as a team along with the other Wizards Sauron would be powerless and completely out matched

  38. Giuseppeon 26 May 2011 at 11:08 am

    I think that before anyone ever comments on the movies they would be forced to read the books and before they comment on the books they should have to read at least the Hobbit and the Silmarillion. I feel like this would reduce questions about LOTR at least one hundredfold.

    On another note really funny lines!

    Also @marshall there is a reason for saruman’s betrayal. When the wizards were asked by the Valar to go to Middle Earth to work against Sauron, Saruman was the first to go. However Gandalf was the Maiar (lesser gods and servants of the Valar) who was last to depart. Upon his arrival to Middle Earth, Cindar met him at the Grey Havens and recognized the great fire and humble power within Gandalf which is why he gave his elvish ring of fire to Gandalf. While Saruman was the “leader” of the five wizards he was always too proud to be able to combat evil (the exact same character flaw that led Morgoth and Sauron down paths of evil). Thus Saruman’s betrayal was the literary mechanic used by Tolkien to expose his character flaws and contrast him with the humble inner strength present in Gandalf necessary to defeat an evil of Sauron’s caliber.

  39. ZEEon 18 Nov 2011 at 7:48 am

    Sauron: Well, if you leave me alive i will teach you some interesting tricks about betraying the Valar and getting owned yourself…
    Ar-Pharazon: Lemme think… no. Die, black guy!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply