MOVIES

5 Extended Scenes That Changed Everything

The last extended scene that genuinely changes the story comes at the end of “The Return of the King.” In the theatrical version, the armies of the West arrive at the Black Gate, where they are immediately attacked by overwhelming force. In the extended edition, we get a two-and-a-half-minute added scene where a character called the Mouth of Sauron comes out for an insulting round of diplomacy before the battle kicks off. He shows off Frodo’s mithril shirt and engages in some mocking discourse before a fed-up Aragorn cuts his head off in one stroke.

Technically, this helps complete the story since the Mouth of Sauron scene is in the book. But rather than being unceremoniously decapitated, the diplomat flees in terror when Gandalf, in one action, physically seizes the mithril shirt and verbally rejects Sauron’s terms for their surrender. The text in the book reads, “He looked at the fell faces of the Captains and their deadly eyes, and fear overcame his wrath. He gave a great cry and turned, leaped on his steed, and with his company galloped madly back to Cirith Gorgor.”

That’s all we see of him. Once again, the biggest change here has to do with Aragorn. Having the new king kill a diplomat without warning in frustration is a very un-Aragorn move. Even villains typically respect the neutrality of a negotiator. The event leaves a bit of a bad taste, and as fun as the Mouth of Sauron inclusion is for book fans, it’s probably best that this one got the axe.

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