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Heartwarming / The Return of the King

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  • The song "Leave Tomorrow Till It Comes":
    • One particular part of Frodo's dream. Can't help but feel touched by the scene where the pair of hobbits on the road encounter a pair of benevolent orcs, and the groups wave at each other with easygoing good cheer — a delightful subversion of the typical Always Chaotic Evil portrayal of Tolkien orcs. Since this was Frodo's dream, it says more about Frodo's own sweet heart than about the actual orcs they have encountered while awake. But this moment still works in an elegant way that even a child can easily grasp. And strangely, this is what Tolkien would have wanted if he had more time to write. He hated the idea of an Always Chaotic Evil race, since it contradicted his Catholic upbringing.
    • At the end, the dream suddenly turns nightmarish and Frodo starts awake. Then he sees Sam sleeping peacefully beside him and lies down again.
  • That isn't the only place the film shows less than evil Orcs. The song "Where there's a Whip" has the line "We don't want to go to war today/ But the lord of the lash say 'Nay, nay, nay'." That battalion didn't really want to fight but was being forced to. note 
  • Sam's reunion with Frodo at Cirith Ungol matches the tone of the book much more closely than the Peter Jackson adaptation does. Sam kneels down by Frodo, pulls him into his arms, rocks him in his lap, and kisses his forehead, just as he does in the book. A bit of prose from the novel (Frodo lying back in Sam's arms "like a child at rest, when night fears are driven away by some loved voice"), is turned into dialogue, which borders on sappy, but contributes to the tearjerking levels of heartwarming tenderness.
  • For fans who don't end up screaming about how it's not in the books, Gandalf's commentary on the eventual fate of the Hobbits could end up touching. He points out that the younger Merry and Pippin are taller than Frodo and Sam and implies that this trend will continue. While Hobbits may stop existing as a separate race, it's not extinction so much as melding into humanity as it becomes the most prominent group. Gandalf even points out that a long-future human might properly wonder if he or she has Hobbit blood. It's a nice thought for fans of the movie that they could potentially be related to the heroes, years and years down the line.