- "Where is the horse, and the rider? Where is the horn that was blown? They have passed like rain on the mountains, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the west, behind the hills... into shadow. How did it come to this?"
- Gimli has one at Helm's Deep, too. Dwarf lands on bridge; circular axe-sized swath appears in enemy troops within two seconds. In another classic Gimli moment during the same battle, leaping off of a 20 foot wall onto a sea of orcs and narrowly avoiding impalement on their enormous spears in the process, only to crash down on top of an orc and then nearly drown in knee-deep water. What a card, eh?
- Gimli's moment during the warg attack while marching to Helm's Deep. He's pinned by the carcass of a warg and an orc comes in, thinking it will get an easy kill. Gimli just reaches up, grabs the orc's head, and snaps its neck! Proving that a dwarf doesn't need to be flashy to be awesome.
- Gimli has another great one after Helm's Deep in the extended version, he and Legolas are discussing their kill count competition:Legolas: Final count, forty-two.Gimli: Forty-two? Oh, that's not bad for a pointy-eared elvish princeling. Hmph! I myself am sitting pretty on forty-THREE.Legolas: [takes out an arrow, and shoots the Uruk Gimli is sitting on in the stomach] Forty-three.Gimli: He was already dead!Legolas: He was twitching.Gimli: He was twitching because he's got my axe EMBEDDED IN HIS NERVOUS SYSTEM![rattles the handle of his axe; the Uruk's arms and legs twitch]
- Also pretty amusing how a medieval society knows enough about life science to use the phrase "nervous system."
- And remember that Legolas had a very unfair advantage of a ranged weapon, having racked up 17 kills by the time Gimli got his first two. Even a tie would have been impressive, and he still won!
- Though he did even the odd with the whole Causeway Back-to-Back Badasses with Aragorn quite a bit. I'd say it was a fair fight. No less awesome though.
- While Aragorn and Gimli's Back-to-Back Badasses moment on the causeway is buying time to shore up the main door to the keep, the manage to get some more ladders up, guided by ropes to prevent them being knocked down. Legolas snipes the support rope on one before it can be landed on the wall, and the ladder's landing looks to have squashed about forty orcs right there. Perhaps Legolas was only counting the ones he killed directly?
- Considering an entire Mûmakil "still only counts as one"...
- The scene at Helm's Deep where the Rohirrim charge down hill and into the horde, riding down everyone on the slope only to find Gandalf has arrived with reinforcements is made of pure win. Topped off with Sam's declaration that "There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for!" The only way Jackson could have made it better is if he went back to his early work and had Aragorn and Gimli charge down the slope with lawnmowers raised..."Fell deeds awake. Now for wrath! Now for ruin! And the red dawn!"
- On a similar note, Aragorn's utter refusal to let despair stop him where it's stopped Theoden and his desperate attempts to save as many as he can, to slow the Uruk-hai for as long as possible.Theoden: "So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?"Aragorn: "Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them."Theoden: "For death and glory?"Aragorn: "For Rohan. For your people."
- More than one battle in history was won by a numerically and tactically inferior force overwhelming and routing their enemies with nothing more than epic rage. Gandalf kinda helped a little there too.
- The Patrick Stewart Speech, the odds, the courage, the music... THEN The Cavalry shows up? This scene is the crowning moment of awesome of crowning moments of awesome.
- For a real-life cavalry force, the Rohirrim's charge at the end - downhill off a steep slope, into braced heavy infantry with pikes - could have ended in total disaster. The Rohirrim, though? They make it work. Not one horse falls during the charge. When they hit the pike line, they scatter the Uruk-Hai, and as the later Battle of Pelennor Fields shows, the Rohirrim didn't need Gandalf to break the pike lines with the sunlight; they could have shattered that formation on their own. They don't call the Rohirrim the "Horse-Lords" for nothing.
- "That is no orc horn!" The elves arrive at a woefully undermanned Helm's Deep, just before the Orcs get there, in gleaming armor, marching with military precision. And you can tell from the expressions on the Rohirrim's faces that this was the hope they desperately needed.
- Even more awesome given that Elrond sent them, since he seemed ready to all but give up on the race of Men not long before (justifiably given his experiences with Isildur, but still). A crowning moment for Elrond, Haldir, and the race of Elves in general.
- What's more, it's implied that the Elves there were all volunteers. The Elves had decided to evacuate Middle-Earth but knew Men could not stand alone, so Elrond could have asked his people if they wanted to either stay and fight or leave. Take a good at look how many Elves went to Helm's Deep.
- In the Extended Edition, we see Faramir remembering his brother, Boromir. This time, we see Boromir as he truly was: not as a doubt-filled man, near-driven mad by the Ring's corruption, but instead Gondor's finest warrior. Her protector and her champion.Boromir: This city was once the jewel of our kingdom. A place of light, and beauty, and music. And so it shall be once more! ...Let the armies of Mordor know this: Never again will the land of my people fall into enemy hands! ...The city of Osgiliath has been reclaimed. For Gondor!Soldiers: For Gondor!Boromir: For Gondor!Soldiers: For Gondor!Boromir: For Gondor!Soldiers: FOR GONDOR!
- Faramir has a rather understated one when he lets Frodo and Sam go, simultaneously rejecting the Ring and successfully doing what his older brother couldn't.Madril: You know the laws of our country, the laws of your father. If you let them go, your life will be forfeit.Faramir: Then it is forfeit.
- The last march of the Ents. Saruman's forces were taken out by walking trees.
- If you look carefully one of the Ents is using a CAVE TROLL to swat Orcs with.
- Also, Treebeard's roar as he finds the forest destroyed. It has the perfect mix of pain and anger, where you completely understand what's going on in his mind. And all the other Ents coming out of the forest just tells you Saruman messed with the wrong species.
- It had already been established that Ents take a long time to speak about anything, so being able to rally a normally pacifistic race to war just by roaring speaks volumes of how united the Ents are.
- Gandalf's exorcism of Saurman from King Theoden at Meduseld.Gandalf: I release you from the spell. (raises hand and holds it towards the Saruman-possessed Théoden)Théoden: (starts to laugh) You have no power here, Gandalf the Grey. (continues laughing, then exclaims in pain as Gandalf throws off his cloak, fully exposing his power)Gandalf: I will draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound! (presses harder, Théoden yells again)Saruman: If I go, Théoden dies!Gandalf: (presses even harder) You did not kill me. You will not kill him!Saruman: Rohan is mine!Gandalf: (even harder push) Begone![Saruman is BLASTED out of Theoden and is blown to the floor right in his tower of Isengard]
"Be silent! Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a witless worm!" OH SNAP.
- Barely a moment before, when Grima tried to stop him from getting to Théoden, Gandalf cuts him off with this line, in the most contemptuous tone ever:
Gandalf: Your fingers would remember their old strength better... if they grasped your sword.
- When Saruman's hold over Theoden is lifted, Theoden's transformation effect is, bar none, one of the most stunningly impressive piece of visual effects of all time. In five seconds he goes from an ancient, dead-eyed, white haired, hunchbacked, butt-ugly albino to a hale and hearty badass.note
- One for Theoden also. When he gets up from his chair, he's still weakened and needs support. Gandalf then brings him his sword, and as Theoden draws it the music swells magnificently and gives an indication of Theoden returning to his old strength.
- The Freefall Fight between Gandalf and the Balrog. It was only hinted at in the novel, but the film managed to portray exactly what you might expect a sword-wielding wizard and a giant fire demon beating the stuffing out of each other while falling into the bowels of the earth to look like.
Gandalf: ... until at last I threw down my Enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside.
- If there's any competition for crowing moment of cinematography, it's that simple-yet-chilling distance shot of the two of them falling, where the twisting gap opens up into this enormous cave with a lake below. The music probably had something to do with it as well.
- Followed later by this line, as Gandalf recounts the battle after his resurrection:
- That fight is technically a fight between a demon and an angel. It is exactly what you'd expect of that context.
- Pippin gets a minor one in having the presence of mind to drop his cloak clasp for the others to find.
- Merry and Pippin fulfill Gandalf's declaration of being small stones that signal the start of an avalanche by arriving in Fangorn when Merry becomes instrumental in gathering the Ents together and Pippin's quick thinking to divert Treebeard towards Isengard to finally convinces the Ents to actually fight.
- The last charge of Helm's Deep's defenders is rushing from the gates into the Uruk-Hai army, and even though they're all being Badass, it still looks like they're lost, and this is a suicide charge. Then Gandalf's words get echoed, the sun rises... and Gandalf and Éomer appear on the ridge. They proceed to have the following exchange:Gandalf: Théoden King stands alone.
- Cue the arrival of The Cavalry as Éomer's Riders of Rohan charge down the hill towards the Uruk-Hai, the sun shining brightly behind them as they proceed to absolutely crush the Uruk-Hai.
- During Sam's "World of Cardboard" Speech, when the film cuts to different good-guy victories, backing up his point, we see the Uruk-hai army sprinting away from Helm's Deep as quickly as they possibly can along with the Ents' curb stomping of the forces of Isengard.
- And the Uruk-hai flee straight into Fangorn Forest. Which wasn't there when the battle started. And appear to be eaten by the forest.
- Sméagol gets one when he tells Gollum, who's been mocking him constantly, to buzz off. Gathering strength and courage and telling him to leave and never come back. It doesn't last, but it shows that Sméagol still exists and remembers what his life was like before he encountered the Ring and was genuinely happy.
- A minor (and anonymous) moment of awesome for the Rohirrim who, when Eomer's forces attack the Orcs holding Merry and Pippin captive, takes the time to notch arrow to bow and turns backwards to shoot an Orc. While on horse, of course. Sagittarius, meet your Middle-Earth counterpart...
- Meta-example, when Aragorn kicks the helmet and screams about Merry and Pippin's apparent deaths, Viggo Mortensen broke two of his toes with that kick. Him managing to stay in character and work the pain of that into his performance produced the best take they had and it was used in the final film.
Awesome / The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers