open/close all folders
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
The Fellowship of the Ring
- Even starting in the (second edition) foreword: "Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works."
- Also from the foreword: "The most critical reader of all, myself, now finds many defects, minor and major, but being fortunately under no obligation either to review the book or to write it again, he will pass over these in silence, except one that has been noted by others: the book is too short."
- Bilbo at his 111st birthday party: "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve", followed by the audience pausing as they try to work out whether this comes out to a compliment or not.
- For those having trouble translating it, it's mostly a compliment. Bilbo's saying that half of the people present he would love to know better, and less than half of them are people he doesn't know well but he thinks that they deserve to be known better. That, of course, leaves an unknown percentage of those present who he would like to know a lot less.
- Bilbo gives out presents to all and sundry. "Sundry" in this case means people who snuck out the back way and came in a second time specifically to get another present.
- Lobelia Sackville-Baggins' reaction to Bilbo's will:
- Among the numerous pointedly ironic gifts for his family and neighbors, Bilbo leaves a package of spoons for Lobelia, after she stole a bunch of his when everyone thought he was dead.She took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.
- All of Bilbo's will gifts are a subtle insult in some way. To a young hobbit with a bit of a narcissist streak, he gives a mirror. To an older cousin who's known to write letters with advice, he gives a waste basket ("Dear cousin. Your advice is trash"), and to a guy who's known to borrow books but not give them back, he gives an empty bookshelf ("From a contributor").
- Then she tries to get more things off of Frodo after she is furious that he inherited Bag End. Before she left, Frodo checked her and discovered that she was hiding "several small but valuable" items in her umbrella. After she leaves, he tells Merry to lock the door and not let anyone in "even if they bring a battering ram." Later, Frodo assumes that she's returned and is knocking at the door and ignores it, only for Gandalf to shout to be let in or he'll knock the door in so hard it will go flying though the entire house and crash out the other end.Frodo: I thought you were Lobelia come back!
Gandalf: Then I forgive you. I passed her in town, and she had a look upon her face that would have curdled new milk.
- Another Lobelia moment: after taking the spoons and being caught trying to take other items, she's terribly fed up with Frodo and is trying to come up with a sufficiently devastating insult to leave on. The best she can do is tell Frodo "You're not a Baggins at all, you're a...Brandybuck!" Frodo turns to Merry (Brandybuck) and asks Merry what he thought of that insult. Merry's response is "It was a compliment. And so, of course, not true."
- Among the numerous pointedly ironic gifts for his family and neighbors, Bilbo leaves a package of spoons for Lobelia, after she stole a bunch of his when everyone thought he was dead.
- Frodo and his friends eat one last meal before leaving Bag-End and then leave the dirty dishes for Lobelia.
- On that note, Sam 'saying goodbye' to the beer barrel in the cellar.
- Sam wearing a bag on his head and calling it a hat.
- Pippin's song "Sing hey for the bath at the end of the day", and him proceeding to flood the bathroom at Crickhollow.There was a terrific splash, and a shout of "Whoa" from Frodo. It appeared that a lot of Pippin's bath had imitated a fountain and leaped on high.Merry went to the door. "What about supper and beer in the throat?" he called. A minute later, Frodo came out of the bathroom drying his hair. "There's so much water in the air that I'm coming into the kitchen to finish."
- This exchange:Frodo: And now leave me in peace for a bit! I don't want to answer a string of questions while I am eating. I want to think!Pippin: Good heavens! At breakfast?
- The Gaffer mentions that a creepy man in a black cloak came to Bag End looking for "Baggins" and that he sent him off just before Frodo and Sam came back. Unfinished Tales reveals that the cloaked man was Khamûl of the Nazgûl, the Witch-King of Angmar's right hand. An elderly Hobbit got away with telling one of the most powerful evil supernatural beings in Middle-Earth to go screw himself.
- According to the Gaffer, Khamûl made a sound like laughter after he was told to leave. The Second of the Ringwraiths apparently found this old man's gall Actually Pretty Funny.
- The chapter in which the conspiracy for the other hobbits to follow Frodo was revealed has several.Frodo: I shall never believe you are sleeping again, even if you snore, and I shall kick you hard to make sure.
- Frodo expects a "masked and sinister figure," and it turns out to be Sam. (He looks around expecting the "masked and sinister figure" to appear out of a cupboard, no less.)
- Frodo asks Gildor (an elf) about Gandalf failing to meet up when he said he would:Gildor: I do not like this news. That Gandalf should be late, it does not bode well. But it is said: Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. The choice is yours: to go or to wait.
Frodo: It is also said: Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.
Gildor: (laughing) Is it indeed?
- This exchange is funnier to a reader in bright daylight than it must have been to Frodo at the time:Frodo: What are the Black Riders?
Gildor: Has Gandalf told you nothing?
Frodo: Nothing about such creatures.
Gildor: Then I think it is not for me to say more, lest terror should keep you from your journey.
- At the "Prancing Pony," Frodo's attempts to go incognito quickly go awry. First, his chosen pseudonym of a "Mr. Underhill" researching for a book on Bree-hobbits attracts lots of attention as the actual Underhill family has many members in Bree and want to discuss genealogy, so that if Frodo actually wanted to write a book he had more material than he could ever possibly use. Then Pippin starts getting overtalkative at the bar, so Frodo diverts everyone's attention by pretending to be drunk and dancing on a table with a proto-version of "The Cat and the Fiddle".
- "You have put your foot in it. Or, should I say, your finger!"
- Aragorn demonstrates his rather wicked sense of humor for the first time when, after Sam says he might have just killed the real "Strider" and stolen the letter by Gandalf telling the hobbits to trust him, Strider agrees that it's quite plausible. And that if he killed the real Strider, he could kill them, and might have done already rather than all this talking. "If I was after the Ring, I could have it - NOW!"
- Another Aragorn moment from their first meeting, Frodo says he's inclined to trust Aragorn, because, as he puts it "I think a servant of the Enemy would look fairer, but feel fouler." Aragorn dryly responds "And I look foul but feel fair, I suppose?"
- Bill Ferny's a real jerk. First he rats on the hobbits to the Black Riders, then he capitalizes on the subsequent loss of transportation by selling them a near-useless pony for three times its worth. (When Frodo asks whether this is a trick and maybe the pony will run back to Ferny with all their stuff, Aragorn responds: "I wonder. But I cannot imagine any animal running home to him, once it got away.") And then, when Frodo & Co. are leaving town, he's got the gall to insult them all in public. Bad move, buddy. When he gets to Sam, Sam insults him right back, and then beans him with an apple."Waste of a good apple," said Sam regretfully, and strode on.
- And in Ferny's final appearance, when his abused former pony gets his revenge."Good job, Bill," said Sam (meaning the pony).
- And in Ferny's final appearance, when his abused former pony gets his revenge.
- When Saruman is boasting about having become more powerful, he claims that he is no longer Saruman the White; he is Saruman of many colours. Gandalf replies, in typical blunt fashion,
- After reaching Rivendell and telling Bilbo all about his adventures, Bilbo is singularly unimpressed to learn that Bag End is now in the hands of the Sackville-Bagginses. And that Frodo closed the sale on their birthday, no less. Bilbo rather frostily says that it wasn't the way he would have chosen to have the date celebrated.
- Rather Hilarious in Hindsight (most read The Silmarillion after The Lord of the Rings), but Bilbo is composing a song about Earendil to perform in Rivendell and asks for Aragorn's help. Aragorn obliges in that he says Bilbo should include a green stone, but comments that it's rather cheeky of Bilbo to write verses about Earendil in the House of Elrond. Earendil happens to be Elrond's father, a fact stated later, but knowing the whole story about him and his family just makes Aragorn's warning funnier.
- Even better: Bilbo, himself a learned scholar of Elvish lore and of history, should know full well who Elrond's father is.
- Another bit adding to the hilarity is that Aragorn himself is a descendant of Earendil. This is the point where the reader should start to wonder if Bilbo is doing this deliberately.
- During the Council, Legolas explains how Gollum escaped the Mirkwood elves when they took pity on his wretchedness and gave him a little parole outside. Gloin is quite indignant; that little courtesy was not extended to him during his own stay there.
- Gimli objects to the Lórien elves' insistence on having him blindfolded, and Legolas says "A plague on dwarves and their stiff necks!" When Aragorn suggests they all go blindfolded, so Gimli won't feel so singled out, Legolas complains, at which point Aragorn demonstrates that Can't Argue with Elves was thankfully not a trope yet:"Now may we cry 'A plague on the stiff necks of elves!"
- To be fair, Legolas's complaint was actually from Gimli's alternative suggestion, that only Legolas share his fate (which would be a case of being singled out). Aragorn quietly insists on his original suggestion, in order to keep peace in the fellowship.
- While they are stuck in the mountains, Aragorn discusses the fact that they'll likely find no better shelter from the weather than the cliff-wall they happen to be under, to which Sam has this zinger:Sam: If this is shelter, then one wall and no roof make a house.
- Frodo's "The Man in the Moon Stayed up too Late" isn't the only song worth listing here; Sam's "Stone Troll" song also counts. (Tolkien was thinking of an actual folk song when he wrote the latter; it's meant to be sung to the tune of "The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night.")
- Gandalf recounting his visit to the innkeeper of the Prancing Pony, Barliman Butterbur, after Frodo and crew left, Gandalf saying Strider's name in joy and Butterbur mistaking his joy for fear, and Gandalf's response:"Ass! Fool! Thrice worthy and beloved Barliman! It's the best news I have had since midsummer: it's worth a gold piece at the least. May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!"
- Not to mention Barliman Butterbur's call back, saying to Gandalf:"[My beer] has been uncommon good, since you put a good word on it."
- And that, several years later when Saruman has been at work in the Shire, the beer is the only thing in Bree that hasn't gone to hell. Considering what Gandalf is, Barliman's beer was literally blessed by an angel.
- Not to mention Barliman Butterbur's call back, saying to Gandalf:
- The Fellowship tries repeatedly and without much success to start a fire on Caradhras, until Gandalf gets impatient and starts one by magic. He then says: "Well, now I at least am revealed to the enemy. I have written 'Gandalf is here!' in signs that all can read from Rivendell to the mouths of Anduin."
- During the crossing of Caradhras, Frodo ends up dozing buried in a snowstorm. He dreams that Bilbo is critiquing his account of his adventure by saying there's too much about the snow.
- Gandalf putting up with Pippin, abusively funny or dismissive.[I'll] Knock on the doors with your head, and if that doesn't shatter them and I am allowed a little peace from foolish questions, I will seek for the opening words.Merry, of all people, was on the right track.Fool of a Took! This is not a hobbit walking-party. Throw yourself in next time, and trouble us no more!
- The fact that Tolkien basically invented the "forgot your password" helpful hint ("speak friend and enter") is pretty funny, as is the fact that Gandalf spent hours trying to figure out the spell.
- Gimli enjoying the lembas so much he finishes one piece immediately, much to the elves' amusement.
- When the Company must carry their boats round some falls, Gimli boasts that Dwarves can outlast men. Afterwards as they're sitting around a fire Boromir observes that they are all too tired to continue today 'Except no doubt for our sturdy Dwarf.' Gimli did not answer; he was nodding as he sat.
The Two Towers
- Legolas's exasperated rant when trying to figure out just what happened to Merry and Pippin:"Well, here is the strangest riddle that we have yet found!" exclaimed Legolas. "A bound prisoner escapes both from the Orcs and from the surrounding horsemen. He then stops, while still in the open, and cuts his bonds with an orc-knife. But how and why? For if his legs were tied, how did he walk? And if his arms were tied, how did he use the knife? And if neither were tied, why did he cut the cords at all? Being pleased with his skill, he then sat down and quietly ate some waybread! That at least is enough to show that he was a hobbit, without the mallorn-leaf. After that, I suppose, he turned his arms into wings and flew away singing into the trees. It should be easy to find him: we only need wings ourselves!!
- Éomer's response to Gimli's quarrel about his words of Lady Galadriel is pretty hilarious. Keep in mind, the poor Third Marshal had just encountered or heard of numerous people and events that seemed to be straight out of a fairy tale:"The matter of the Lady Galadriel lies still between us. I have yet to teach you gentle speech.""We shall see," said Éomer. "So many strange things have chanced that to learn the praise of a fair lady under the loving strokes of a Dwarfs axe will seem no great wonder. Farewell!"
- Gandalf after his reincarnation - he gets a bit spaced out: "I have remembered much I had forgotten and forgotten much I had remembered."
- Gandalf's deadpan understatement after being insulted at Edoras.The courtesy of your hall is somewhat lessened of late, Théoden son of Thengel.
- When Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf arrive at Edoras, they are told to leave behind their weapons. After Aragorn gets incredibly possessive over Anduril, he finally consents to lay it down with the others. Gandalf puts down his sword as well, and Hama, the door warden, tells him to leave behind his wizard's staff. Gandalf clutches it tightly, leans over, and says surely Hama wouldn't be cruel enough to part an old man from his walking stick, would he? He threatens that if Theoden will be rude enough to take away his stick, he'll just sit outside and wait until Theoden decides to hobble out and talk to him. Hama is skeptical but allows it.
- When Gandalf meets up again with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, he gives the first two an ominous prophecy from Galadriel apiece. Gimli is sad that Galadriel sent no word to him. Legolas points out that these messages weren't exactly comforting or easy to understand; Gimli doesn't care. Legolas asks, "What then? Would you have her speak openly to you of your death?" and Gimli's response is, essentially, "Well, yeah, if there was nothing else."
- However, it turns out that Galadriel did give Gandalf a message for Gimli (and less ominous than the other two). This makes Gimli so happy that, upon hearing it, this stern gruff dwarf breaks into song and capers.
- Bregalad/Quickbeam the Ent, who said yes to an elder before he had finished his question. The closest thing to a "hasty" Ent in existence.
- When Gimli is puzzled by Gandalf calling Treebeard a friend and also dangerous, Gandalf ripostes that he, Gandalf, is probably the most dangerous person Gimli will ever meet apart from Sauron, and Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. "You are beset with danger, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion."
- After the Battle of Helm's Deep, Legolas is fascinated by the Huorns (a whole forest of walking trees that have just slaughtered a large portion of the Uruk-Hai), which everyone else is terrified of. After they're obliged to ride right through the forest, Legolas notices there are eyes among the trees, at which point he wants to go back to see them better. Gimli (who is sharing his horse) is less enthusiastic:Gimli: No, no! Do as you like in your madness, but first let me get down off this horse!
- Pippin indignantly tells Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli about the reunion he and Merry had with Gandalf - the first time, indeed, that they had seen Gandalf since he fell in Moria. Naturally, Pippin was too stunned to say anything more than "Gandalf!" Perhaps equally as naturally, Gandalf's reply was "Get up, you tom-fool of a Took!"
- After the Sack of Isengard, the Three Hunters encounter Merry and Pippin at the gates of Isengard (Pippin being asleep). Good-natured outrage at how they come to be happily sitting there with all earthly comforts instead of being prisoners ensues:'And what about your companions? What about Legolas and me?' cried Gimli, unable to contain himself longer. 'You rascals, you woolly-footed and wool-pated truants! A fine hunt you have led us! Two hundred leagues, through fen and forest, battle and death, to rescue you! And here we find you feasting and idling - and smoking! Smoking! Where did you come by the weed, you villains? Hammer and tongs! I am so torn between rage and joy, that if I do not burst, it will be a marvel!''You speak for me, Gimli,' laughed Legolas. 'Though I would sooner learn how they came by the wine.''One thing you have not found in your hunting, and that's brighter wits,' said Pippin, opening an eye. 'Here you find us sitting on a field of victory, amid the plunder of armies, and you wonder how we came by a few well-earned comforts!' (LotR III ch. 8)
- Meanwhile the Rohirrim find the whole exchange hilarious and would undoubtedly be passing around the popcorn if such a thing existed in Middle-earth.
- After Merry and Pippin tell their story over a quiet smoke amid the wreck of Isengard, we get this gem from Legolas, the only non-smoker in the group:I think the mist is clearing, or it would be if you strange people didn't keep wreathing yourself in smoke.
- Théoden is astonished to see hobbits guarding Isengard and comments that his folk do have stories about the "Holbytla" who live in holes dug in sand, but none of them say that they smoke. Merry instantly begins telling the history of pipeweed cultivation, which only started a few generations ago, and how Old Toby came by the plant and then Gandalf interrupts.You do not know your danger, Théoden. These hobbits will sit on the edge of ruin and discuss the pleasures of the table or the small-doings of their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, lesser cousins of the ninth degree, if you encourage them without due caution.
- After greeting (and nearly trapping in talk of herblore) Théoden, Pippin comments "So that is the King of Rohan! A fine old fellow. Very polite." As though Théoden King is someone he's just met at a party and not a war leader at the head of a company of cavalry riding into the ruined fortress of his enemy.
- Gandalf says that if they searched Orthanc, they wouldn't find anything more valuable than what Gríma threw out the window (the palantír).A shrill shriek, suddenly cut off, came from an open window high above."It seems that Saruman thinks so too," said Gandalf.
- Sméagol and Samwise discuss the fine art of cooking and Sam offers to make him something nice once the quest is over with and they actually have something to work with:Sam: ...Fish and chips, served by S. Gamgee. You couldn't say no to that.Sméagol: Yes we could! Spoiling nice fissh, burning it! Give us fissh now, and keep nassty chips!Sam: You're hopeless!
- While tempted by the Ring, Gollum fantasizes about becoming a dark lord in his own right. It's not impressive:Gollum: "Lord Sméagol. Gollum the Great. The Gollum! Eat fish three times a day, fresh from the sea."
- Gollum and Sam getting progressively snarkier at each other in The Two Towers. The peak comes in the moment when Gollum wakes Sam suddenly and Sam tells him off for "sneaking off". Gollum gets indignant and basically does the "after all I've done for you!" routine. Sam apologises, asks what Gollum was up to, Gollum says "sneaking". Later Frodo asks Gollum if he's managed to find any food to his taste, Gollum's reply being "No, no food for poor Sméagol. He's a sneak." Cue Sam giving Frodo the most embarrassed look.
- The conversation when Faramir and his men discover Frodo and Sam:Ranger 1: We have not found what we sought. But what have we found?
Ranger 2: Not Orcs.
Ranger 3: Elves?
Faramir: Nay! Not Elves. Elves do not walk in Ithilien in these days. And Elves are wondrous fair to look upon, or so 'tis said.
Sam: Meaning we're not, I take you.
- When Faramir is explaining to Gollum the consequences of being caught fishing in the pool of Henneth Annun, and Gollum drops the fish he is holding and goes "Don't want fish" like a sulky kid.
- Minas Morgul Orcs have captured Frodo. Not funny. Sam has had to put the Ring on so as to not be found himself. Really not funny. Shagrat and Gorbag, the two minions with personality, discuss the fact that there's clearly a mighty elven warrior on the loose. Hilarious.
- Also, during the discussion, they blame said elven warrior for amorally leaving his friend behind. Right after this, Shagrat, while explaining how Shelob's venom works, explains he did exactly the same thing to one of his teammates captured by Shelob once. Even better, he found said comrade being captured by Shelob hilarious.
- Then, out on the Morgai, Frodo and Sam overhear the conversation between an Uruk captain and a lower caste tracker Orc.
- It's a cross between hilarious and awesome that Sam gets a reputation as a fearsome warrior armed with all manner of terrifying power, possibly more scary than the Nazgûl, completely by accident.
The Return of the King
- Soon after his arrival in Minas Tirith, Pippin is taken by Beregond to the butteries to fetch food which they take in a basket to the battlements to eat while chatting and looking at the scenery. One of the first scenes in the mighty City of Kings, bastion against the forces of darkness in readiness for all-out war, is a picnic.
- Merry is lying awake in the Rohirrim camp, worrying about Pippin. Then:A tall figure loomed up and stumbled over him, cursing the tree-roots. He recognized the voice of Elfhelm the marshal."I am not a tree-root, Sir," he said, "nor a bag, but a bruised hobbit. The least you can do in amends is to tell me what is afoot.""Anything that can keep so in this devil's mirk," said Elfhelm. "But my lord sends word that we must set ourselves in readiness: orders may come for a sudden move. [more conversation, then, as he leaves:] "Pack yourself up, Master Bag!"
- The scene in the Houses of Healing, with Gandalf steadily getting more and more frustrated with Ioreth, and then with the Herb-master who regales him with the entire litany of useless knowledge about athelas rather than actually coughing any of it up, since it's useless except as an infusion that old folks sometimes use as a headache remedy.Gandalf: "Then, in the name of the King, find us some old man with less learning and more wisdom who keeps some in his house!"
- Merry wakes up from a magic-induced deep coma, and instead of asking 'where am I' he says 'I'm hungry, what is the time?'
- Even funnier as it comes after Faramir and Eowyn's much more elevated lines upon waking. So we go from, "My lord, you called me. I come," to "Eomer! What joy is this?" to "I'm hungry. What's the time?"
- Merry wakes up from a magic-induced deep coma, and instead of asking 'where am I' he says 'I'm hungry, what is the time?'
- When Merry asks him for pipeweed, Aragorn says he will need to ask the Herb Master at the Houses of Healing, saying "he will tell you that he did not know that the herb you desire had any virtues, but it is called westmansweed by the vulgar, and galenas by the noble, and other names in other tongues more learned, and after adding a few half-forgotten rhymes that he does not understand, he will regretfully inform you that there is none in the House, and he will leave you to reflect on the history of tongues." (The Herb Master had of course just done this to Aragorn, who needed kingsfoil to save dying patients.) The entire scene is made even funnier when Aragorn leaves and Pippin laughingly reveals that Merry's pack, containing his stack of pipeweed, was right by the bed the entire time, and Aragorn knew perfectly well where it was even when ranting about the Herb Master.
- Twice funny if you see it as a bit of a Take That, Us given Tolkien's own love of languages and alternate names in different tongues and the tendency to cram them in at every oppurtunity. Better yet, when you think about it, he did just that in this scene as well.
- Preceded by Aragorn reminding Merry that he didn't travel some five hundred miles and fight the greatest battle of their time just to run errands for a careless soldier who loses his gear.
- Eowyn tells Faramir that she loves a noble, strong, wise and kind man. Faramir's response amounts to "Yeah, who wouldn't love Aragorn."
- Then, when Faramir proposes to her, Eowyn rather teasingly asks whether he would have his people wondering why, with so many fair Numenorian ladies to choose from, he felt the need to go and "tame a wild shieldmaiden of the north." Faramir's answer:Faramir: I would! (kisses her)
- Then, when Faramir proposes to her, Eowyn rather teasingly asks whether he would have his people wondering why, with so many fair Numenorian ladies to choose from, he felt the need to go and "tame a wild shieldmaiden of the north." Faramir's answer:
- While Sam is briefly the Ringbearer, the Ring attempts to corrupt him like it has everyone else. But Sam is such an honest and simple gardener that the only thing the Ring can come up with to tempt him is an image of Mordor covered with flowers. Sam immediately dismisses this as ridiculous - not because it would be impossible or because it would mess up something, but because there is no way one person could tend to a garden that big, and all he desires is one small plot of land he can work with his own hands, not the hands of thousands to command. One gets the feeling the Ring was pretty desperate.
- Sam telling himself off when he realises Frodo isn't dead.Sam: Don't trust your head, Samwise, it is not the best part of you.
- Aragorn decides that he wants to keep the name "Strider" among his numerous other titles and figures that it'll sound all right if he puts it in Quenya (Telcontar).
- Éomer trying to explain to Gimli how he doesn't think Galadriel is the best (because he now believes Arwen is) - while trying to apologize for calling her a name.Gimli: Well lord, and what say you now?Éomer: Alas! I will not say that she is the fairest lady that lives.Gimli: Then I must go for my axe.
- When Eomer explains further that he believes Arwen to be the fairest woman that lives, Gimli's response amounts to "...okay, that's fair."
- Gandalf tells Butterbur that there is once again a king in Gondor, and that he knows and loves Bree.Butterbur: Does he now? Though I'm sure I don't know why he should, sitting in his big chair up in his great castle, hundreds of miles away. And drinking wine out of a golden cup, I shouldn't wonder. What's The Pony to him, or mugs o' beer?
Butterbur: Strider! Him with a crown and all and a golden cup! Well, what are we coming to?
- When Sam reveals that the king is the guy he knows as Strider, who says the beer is always good,
- After Middle-Earth is saved and our heroes, now some of the most famous and respected people in the world, get back to the Shire, a gang of shirriffs (the closest thing the Shire has to police) tries to arrest them:'You're arrested for Gate-breaking, and Tearing up of Rules, and Assaulting Gate-Keepers, and Trespassing, and Sleeping in Shire-buildings without Leave, and Bribing Guards with Food.''And what else?' said Frodo.'That'll do to go on with.' said the Shirriff-leader.'I can add some more, if you'd like it,' said Sam, 'Calling your Chief Names, Wishing to punch his Pimply Face, and Thinking you Shirriffs look a lot of Tom-fools.''There now, Mister, that'll do. It's the Chief's orders that you're to come along quiet. We're going to take you to Bywater and hand you over to the Chief's Men; and when he deals with your case you can have your say. But if you don't want to stay in the Lockholes any longer than you need, I should cut the say short, if I was you.'To the discomfiture of the Shirriffs Frodo and his companions all roared with laughter. 'Don't be absurd!' said Frodo. 'I am going where I please, and in my own time. I happen to be going to Bag End on business, but if you insist on going too, well that is your affair.''Very well, Mr. Baggins,' said the leader, pushing the barrier aside. 'But don't forget I've arrested you.''I won't,' said Frodo. 'Never. But I may forgive you. Now I am not going any further today, so if you'll kindly escort me to The Floating Log, I'll be obliged.'
'You're breaking arrest, that's what you're doing,' said the leader ruefully, 'and I can't be answerable.''We shall break a good many things yet, and not ask you to answer,' said Pippin. 'Good luck to you!'
- Later the Shirriffs are unable to go on but Frodo and his three friends keep walking in spite of being "under arrest".
- The whole Scouring of the Shire is brilliant! The bit where Rosie calls out Sam for following Mr. Frodo all around the world then "leaving just as things get dangerous." Sam just leaves rather than try to explain.
- After the heroes have returned home and the Shire has been reclaimed:And no one was ill, and everyone was pleased, except those who had to mow the grass.
- Also the comparison of the heaps of cherry stones to the "piled skulls of a conqueror". Hobbit picnics are intense.
Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
- The cast commentaries have Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan snarking at everything:
- Their account of a game of "Tig" that they got Elijah Wood involved in during Fellowship, and not telling him it was a made-up game until years later.
- A long string of mocking directed at the Orc helmets that Frodo and Sam wear in The Return of the King."Those were the only helmets available because the orcs all said 'I'm not wearing that! I'll look like an idiot!'"
- Explaining that Orlando Bloom trained to perform the leaping-up-a-Mûmakil stunt by climbing on cows, ponies. But he started on tinier things, like gerbils.
- "We're just standing by standerbys? Stand-by-ees?"
- Billy Boyd does try to be serious at one point during The Two Towers commentary, but is cut off by Dominic Monaghan loudly chewing in the background.
- In the second movie during the pan shot over ranks of orcs marching over a bridge, they remark at how difficult it was for Peter Jackson to train the thousands of tiny ants he needed for that shot.
- From the first movie, there's a great story about Dominic getting a splinter and acting like his foot got cut off. There's also the account of how the Buckleberry Ferry sank between takes.
- This is made even funnier because its intercut with commentaries by John Rhys-Davies and Christopher Lee, recorded separately and sounding like distinguished elder statesmen, talking about how wonderful it was to nurture these young actors and how deep and affecting Tolkien's mythology is, respectively.
- However, it's also a sort of "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. One of the locations (where Sam swims out to accompany Frodo in the boat) they had divers going into the river to pick up anything that might hurt the actors. They missed a shard of glass, causing Sean Astin to get impaled through the foot.
- At the end of Return of the King, where Billy Boyd suggests things Pippin could have whispered to Frodo as they said goodbye."One of your hairs is in my mouth.""Who's moving into Bag End?""Does this mean I can have your bike?"
- When Arwen first appears glowing. They comment that Liv Tyler had been doing that since she got off the plane in New Zealand and admired her commitment to the character. All completely deadpan.
- On filming with the Treebeard puppet:Billy Boyd: We were sitting in backwards bicycle seats, and for this Weta decided to find the most uncomfortable bicycle seats in New Zealand.
Dom Monaghan: Yes, I don't think the people at Weta had any idea about men having testicles, and by the end of that I didn't either.
- Best of all during the Appendices version this is accompanied by the abrupt stop of swelling, heroic music.
- Their comments on each cast member during The Two Towers credits.
- The hobbit actors have to comment on how beautiful, talented and dedicated Orlando Bloom is all the time. Their "level of jealousy is crazy" apparently.
- Apparently nobody liked their helmets. Miranda Otto claimed that she thought the only person who looked good in his helmet was Karl Urban. Karl just thought he looked circumcized.
- During the Council of Elrond, Elrond himself forces the meeting to the main item on the agenda, announcing that "one of you" must take the Ring to the Crack of Doom and destroy it.Orlando Bloom: Why don't you do it, mate?
- The drama of the Battle of Pelennor Fields is completely ruined by Gollum and Sméagol's commentary.Gollum: Not many people know this.Sméagol: Know what, precious?Sméagol: I didn't know that!Gollum: Yes, he kept very quiet about it.
- The director/writer commentaries have the Running Gag of the 20th Anniversary Edition, in which Peter Jackson intends to go back and reinsert everything that he couldn't originally get into the movies, as well as an account of his plan to give Treebeard his own spinoff detective show."He solves crimes...very slowly.""Remind me to orchestrate some 'lost' footage that can be miraculously 'found' in time for the 20th Anniversary..."
- Bernard Hill gets his own bits of funny on the commentary, especially during the Pellenor Fields battle.(As Aragorn charges into battle with the Army of the Dead) Oh, you're full of confidence, aren't you, Aragorn? An army of invincible dead guys right behind you.
- Watching Denethor hurl his flaming body off of Minas Tirith, he mentions a bizarre fantasy he had where halfway down, Denethor remembers his parachute, pulls the string, and then the chute catches fire too.
- In their commentary, a member of the design team says his personal CMOF is the line "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!", due to the Fridge Logic that it implies the Uruk-Hai go to restaurants, if they know what a menu is."So apparently, the Uruk-Hai have been to a restaurant, that restaurant had a menu, and that menu was exclusive enough to have had meat taken off of it at one point."
- In the cast commentary for Fellowship of the Ring, when Gimli was being angry at Haldir in Rivendell, Orlando Bloom had this to say:"That moment was so funny, 'cause John couldn't remember his line, and he couldn't pronounce it: Well you know what this dwarf says to that? Ish kar... what does he say?"
- Speaking of Orlando Bloom, his commentary during the lembas scene mentioned above under FOTR, where he proclaims he sounded like he was doing a lembas commercial. Not only is the hammy way he imitates the line hilarious, but it's hard to listen to the original and not agree with him.
- During the very dramatic and awe-inspiring fall of Gandalf and the Balrog at the start of the second movie, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan complain that the Balrog was a nightmare to work with, never came out of his trailer, never paid for drinks.
- When we first see Edoras, Brad Dourif remarks that at the time they were shooting the scene where Wormtongue banishes Eomer, Karl Urban was 'just about to have a baby', and that despite his eagerness to shoot the scene, Brad nonetheless shooed him off, rightfully pointing out that a new baby was more important. Obviously, he means that Karl's girlfriend was about to have the baby, but the Ambiguous Syntax makes it sound like Karl himself was heavily pregnant and on the verge of going into labour and Brad was concerned about him possibly giving birth on set.
- Anything involving "tossing the Dwarf".
- "NOT THE BEARD!"
- "...Don't tell the elf."
- Similarly, "Well, this is a thing unheard of! An elf will go underground, where a dwarf dare not? Oh. Oh, I'd never hear the end of it!"
- Doubles as a CMOA for Legolas who, as an elf, hates caves like this more than anything, but does not hesitate at all.
- The behind the scenes footage also contains some real gems. For example, during the filming of the Siege of Minas Tirith, Ian McKellen in-between takes lectures one of the extras on the importance of shooting the trolls pushing the siege-towers, rather than the siege-towers themselves. The deadpan delivery of the lines is just hysterical. Shortly thereafter, we get another humorous moment where Ian messes up his lines:Gandalf: Stand to your terror! No, stand to your post! Oh, dear, oh, dear.
- Phillipa Boyens brings up an outtake where Ian McKellen botched his line "Spies of Saruman" as "Spies of Star Wars," presumably said in the same dead serious tone.
- The backstage occurrence with Sam and at his wedding, but Sean Astin can't quite get it right when it comes to kissing the bride. Viggo Mortensen and Billy Boyd watch nearby to cheer them on, and to motivate them, Viggo plants one on Billy.
- Dominic Monaghan's prank interview with Elijah Wood, where he pretends to be a ridiculous German interviewer asking him increasingly inane questions.Dom ("Hans Jensen"): Do you play football? Do you kick balls? ( Elijah laughs hysterically)
- More from that interview:Dom: Do you wear wigs?
Elijah: No I do not.
Dom: Have you worn wigs?
Elijah: No I have not.
Dom: Will you wear wigs?
Dom: When will you wear wigs?
[Elijah bursts out laughing again]
- His brief but amazing "WTF is happening" expression when he starts getting asked about his hair length.
- And his reaction to the question about the "gay connotation" between him and Sean Astin.
- More from that interview:
- Or Gollum's MTV Award.
- The face Andy Serkis makes right after Gollum calls Dobby "a f***ing f**". It's as though Serkis is saying, "Damn it, Gollum, did you really need to piss off the Harry Potter fans?"
- Not to mention the string of insults Gollum directs at Serkis.Serkis: I'm not fat.
- Doubles as a Shout-Out to Sam being called a "stupid, fat hobbit" (see above).
- Then came the bloopers:
- "It's typical elf work."
- Sam: "Can't you see what's happening? It's the Ri - " KABOOM! (Elijah Wood barely blinks)
- (implied) Faramir: Nazgûl!!! (Air New Zealand jet roars overhead)
- "...but behind the walls of Mordor, our enemy is regrouping. [''beat''] Bollocks."Gandalf: Orcs! And so far from Auckland!
- From the same blooper reel:Samwise: I haven't been dropping no eaves sir, honest! I just wanted to come in and try to get a bit of a close-up! You've had one and Frodo's had one and I've been in nothing but group shots!
Gandalf: *pushes his way into view* No, no no no! We cannot have that! It's too late! *pushes Sam off the table*
Samwise: *while being pushed off, his voice getting higher in pitch with every word* There's nothing but special effects in this movie, and I just wanted to be a part of it!!
- The look on Sean Bean's face when he's interrupted during his lines by a freaking helicopter.
- Christopher Lee losing his composure and exclaiming he cannot get up "the damned stairs". According to the commentary, Jackson's simple response was: "Well, you did it yesterday."
- During the filming of the last stand at the Black Gate(s), which was on a New Zealand army bombing range:Viggo Mortensen imitating an ANZAC soldier: "This is a bomb, this is a rocket. All these things, you might find out here. Don't touch them."
Viggo Mortensen: They had some tape cordoning off a certain area, but I said: "Does that mean that inside this tape, we're fine?" "No, but there's less bombs where you are than on the other side of that tape."
- The discussion of how Peter Jackson loves how boring Treebeard is and wanted to play it up as much as possible, only for veteran editor Mike Hornton to have to keep reining him in, reminding him that they shouldn't want the audience to be bored.
- There's one blooper clip where the camera crew is on the Bag End set, and after Peter Jackson tells them they'll be moving to the big set they all stand up in unison and bump their heads on the ceiling, all falling to the floor afterwards.
- The computer software used to animate tens of thousands of soldiers and run complex strategies with them and made an entire army run away. For some reason, this is freaking hysterical.
- This goes double for nearly the entire making of Gollum section. From Sean Astin describing Serkis as playing a "weird guy in a suit" to all the technical goofs with rendering Gollum's appearance (one prime example was him having purple spiky hair).
- The cast's way of greeting each other. According to Orlando Bloom, it was like this: 1) Grasp their head. 2) Tell them something nice. 3) Smash your head against theirs.Elijah Wood: It's spontaneous, violent love.
- Watching the behind the scenes, it's kind of hilarious to see one of the hobbit actors standing next to Viggo Mortensen and they're the same height.
- Christopher Lee lying on his back with a ginormous wooden pole going through his chest:
- Peter Jackson was describing how he wanted Saruman to sound after he'd been stabbed by Wormtongue. Christopher Lee, who served in World War Two, gently told him he didn't need to imagine. Jackson, for his part, didn't press the issue.
- As an extension to the "What about second breakfast" line in the Fellowship Of The Ring, Aragorn just walks them onward only to chuck a few apples at them from offscreen. Merry catches his and reassuringly pats Pippin on the shoulder, but the second apple bounces off Pippin's skull with an audible THUNK. And he looks with up a 'Is it raining apples?' expression.
- Which is given a Call-Back in the Extended Edition of The Two Towers: the two hobbits are wondering if there's any food after the sacking of Isegard, only for Pippin to see an apple floating in the water. He picks it up, then looks up in the exact same way.
- Two words: Queen Gandalf.It's devine.
- The remix "Potatoes", which puts a beat to the line "Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew." from Two Towers.
- Legolas' infamous line of "They're Taking the Hobbits to Isengard!" is acknowledged by Orlando Bloom himself. On the last day of shooting The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, he proceeded to sing out the line himself. The kicker? The uploader is Peter Jackson himself.
The Lord Of The Rings Online
- A number of NPC interactions are quite funny. One of them involves a couple of hobbits who were trying to push a wagon down a hill. They lost control of the wagon, and one of the hobbits ended up stuck in a hedgerow, with only his feet visible.
- During some of the in-game festivals, there is a maze open with a number of quests inside. One questgiver, an elf, asks you to find her friends who got lost in the maze. That's not the funny part. The funny part is that another questgiver, a dwarf, asks you to set up fake signs, leading the elves in the wrong direction.
- One quest allows you to watch as the fellowship departs from Rivendell. Just seconds after they start walking, we get this exchange:Pippin: Merry?Merry: Yes, Pippin?Pippin: I'm hungry.
- In Goblin-Town, the homage to 300.Ashûrz the Great Goblin: Madness? Madness? You fool! This is Goblin-town!
Bakshi's The Lord Of The Rings
- The gem of Saruman of Many Colors.Saruman: Would you rather see the Dark Lord have [the Ring], or SARUMAN OF MANY COLOOORS???
- Frodo offering the Ring to Gandalf — the look of pure terror on Gandalf's face.
- Gandalf berating Pippin for dropping rocks down a well in Moria.Gandalf: Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time! Be quiet!" (starts walking away while muttering and flailing his arms) "Fool of a Pippin!"
- After the gang recovers from Moria, Frodo is understandably shaken following Gandalf's sacrifice. Aragorn doesn't let him have any of it, leading to this interestingly-interpreted exchange:Aragorn: We still have a long road and much to do.
Frodo: Why? We have no hope without Gandalf! You know that, Aragorn.
Aragorn: Then we must do without hope. There is always vengeance.note
- After Sam and Gollum's argument and the latter's "sneaking around", Frodo wakes up and asks Gollum kindly what he's up to. Gollum haughtily retorts, "SNEAKIN'! hmph", even turning his nose up in offense.
Ranklin/Bass' Return of the King
- "Where There's a Whip, There's a Way". Both the laughably catchy song and when Sam goads the orcs and men into fighting each other.Sam: You going to stand for that, sir?Orc Captain: Hey, you! Get back in line!Sam: You mean you're going to let a pack of filthy man-creatures go before us?Orc Captain: Uh... Well, uh...Sam: And you call yourself an Orc!Orc Captain: You're right! *screams*Sam: Kill them, mold them, smash them to bits!Orc Captain: Smash 'em, thrash 'em, skin 'em alive!
- At the end of "Towers of the Teeth", Aragorn shouts "Silence!" - and the song ends. He then makes a expression that says "Wow! It acutally worked."
- The very existence of Fellowship!, which includes such gems as:'I'm not wearing that! I'll look like an idiot!'
- A fair few in the BBC Radio Adaptation:
Sam: Mr. Frodo, are you still awake?Frodo: (groggily) Just about, Sam.
- Sam's initial warning of Gollum following the Fellowship.
Sam: Where's that stinking creature got to?
- Gollum has run off to find food.
- When the Riders of Rohan find Merry and Pippin at Isengard, Théoden sees Merry with his pipe and proclaims with dead seriousness that "one of them is breathing fire."