Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King [Special Extended Edition]

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King [Special Extended Edition]

4.9 56
Director: Peter Jackson

Cast: Peter Jackson


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By the time of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's theatrical release, audience members who had already experienced extended DVD editions of the previous two films in the trilogy were gossiping on just what would be included on the third chapter's eventual extended version. While the original theatrical cut of the film, which made a clean sweep at


By the time of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's theatrical release, audience members who had already experienced extended DVD editions of the previous two films in the trilogy were gossiping on just what would be included on the third chapter's eventual extended version. While the original theatrical cut of the film, which made a clean sweep at the 2003 Academy Awards ceremony, was pretty close to being perfect, this extended edition from director Peter Jackson improves on that perfection. The now over four-hour-long film is split between two discs and is presented in a gorgeous 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio. While the small-screen presentation makes some of the film's many digital matte paintings look even more like digital matte paintings, the transfer features brilliant colors and rich blacks. Make sure nothing is placed on top of your speakers, as the rumble of the disc's supersonic booming audio mix, presented in Stereo Surround Sound, Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound, and DTS ES 6.1 Surround Sound, will likely make anything up there come crashing to the floor. The film also features four different and surprisingly lively audio commentaries, which are split up between Jackson and his co-screenwriters and various members of the cast and crew. Actor Andy Serkis even lets the characters Gollum and Sméagol get a few nasty words in occasionally. The real highlights of the first two discs are, without a doubt, the additions made to the film itself. The first disc alone contains 22 scenes that feature additional or entirely new footage, while the second disc offers 17 more. Long-awaited moments like seeing the fates of characters like Christopher Lee's Saruman or Brad Dourif's Grima Wormtongue are likely be embraced by fans. Overall, the new cut is better paced, more dramatic, more suspenseful, and far less rushed than the theatrical version. As with the other extended editions, it feels as if the theatrical release was the Cliffs Notes version of the film, while the extended DVD feels like the actual full, fleshed-out Lord of the Rings experience. The first disc of extras, titled "The Appendices Part Five -- The War of the Ring," contains six documentaries that begin with an in-depth look at Lord of the Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien and carry on to Peter Jackson discussing how the book was converted into a screenplay and how that screenplay was finally designed and filmed. Also included on the disc are a series of abandoned storyboard concepts including a sword fight between Aragorn and Sauron, two interactive Middle-earth maps, and several art and photo galleries that include over 2,000 images. As if that wasn't enough, the fourth disc, titled "The Appendices Part Six -- The Passing of an Age" includes over three hours of footage on the film's many award-winning effects, the musical score by Howard Shore, the film's multiple Oscar wins, and reflections from the cast and crew on their years bringing Tolkien's books to the screen. A massive gallery of candid production photos closes out the disc. While fans who have already sat through the six hours of previous supplemental materials from the other films will find some repetition of footage and information here, it is a rather small amount. Still, New Line Home Entertainment and the film's creative staff have once again raised the bar for DVD presentations, and this is certainly a film and a DVD, for newcomers or Lord of the Rings fans, that is an absolute must to own.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The third and most spectacular installment of Peter Jackson's remarkable Lord of the Rings trilogy builds to a climax of almost endurable suspense as Middle-earth is rocked by the prospect of impending Armageddon -- an all-out war that can only be prevented by two lowly hobbits. Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) follow the treacherous Gollum (Andy Serkis) to Mount Doom, into whose fiery core must be hurled the all-powerful ring. Meanwhile, as Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) cast their lot with the besieged inhabitants of Gondor, the remaining members of the Fellowship -- Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) -- attempt to recruit the spirit warriors of Cursed Mountains in the final conflict against Sauron. Return of the King reaps the benefit of narrative seeds sown in the previous two installments: The characters and conflicts having been well established in Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, Jackson resolves everything in King on a grand scale that old-school filmmakers would never have imagined possible. Computer-generated special effects account for many of the film's visual delights, but this superb director invests the proceedings with intense emotions as well, and once the final battle has been decided he presents a protracted but satisfying denouement that ties up all the loose ends. Perfection is nearly impossible to attain in any human endeavor, but with this film Jackson has come as close to it as anybody in motion-picture history. We're hard pressed to imagine anybody else having realized a live-action version of J. R. R. Tolkien's story with as much imagination, expertise, and feeling. King swept this year's Oscars for good reason -- it's a stunning, unforgettable work that has already taken its place in cinema history. Jackson's Special Extended Edition adds 50-minutes to the theatrical cut of the film.

Product Details

Release Date:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital Surround EX]

Special Features

Discs 1 & 2: Widescreen (2.35:1) version of the special extended edition of Return of the King, with more than 50 minutes added to the theatrical release by director Peter Jackson; four audio commentaries by director and writers, the design team, production team and the cast featuring more than 30 participants including Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom and academy award winners Richard Taylor, Howard Shore...and many more; cast commentary also features dialogue between split-personality characters Gollum and Smeagol (Andy Serkis); Dolby Digital EX 5.1 surround sound; DTS ES 6.1 surround sound; Stereo surround sound; English subtitles and closed captions; Spanish subtitles.
Disc 3: The Appendices, Part V: "The War of the Ring"- ; disc intro by Peter Jackson; "J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-earth" documentary; from book to script: "From Book To Script: Forging the Final Chapter" documentary; abandoned concept: Aragorn battles Sauron; designing and buidling Middle-Earth: "Designing Middle-Earth" documentary, "Big-atures" documentary, "Costume Design" documentary; design galleries with 2,123 images, including the peoples of middle-earth, the realms of middle-earth, and miniatures; "Home of the Horse Lords" documentary; "Middle-earth Atlas: Tracing the Journey of Fellowship" interactive map; "New Zealand as Middle-earth" interactive map with on-location footage.
Disc 4: "The Passing of an Age"; disc intro by Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan; filming The Return of the King "cameras in Middle-earth" documentary, production photo gallery with 69 images; "Weta Digital" documentary on the special effects, "The Mumakil Battle" demonstration and multi-angle interactive feature; Post production documentaries incluing "Editorial: Completing the Trilogy," "Music for Middle-Earth," and "The End of All Things"; "The Passing of an Age" documentary; "Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for 'Into the West'" documentary, "DFK6498" short film, "Strike Zone" short film; DVD-ROM content, including access to exclusive online features.

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Special Extended Edition, Pt. 1
1. The Finding of the Ring [6:22]
2. Journey to the Cross-roads [2:56]
3. The Road to Isengard [2:00]
4. The Voice of Saruman [7:01]
5. Return to Edoras [4:41]
6. Gollum's Villainy [3:58]
7. Éowyn's Dream [1:57]
8. The Palantír [8:07]
9. Arwen's Vision [2:53]
10. The Reforging of Narsil [2:00]
11. Minas Tirith [5:48]
12. The Decline of Gondor [2:26]
13. Cross-roads of the Fallen King [1:59]
14. The Deep Breath Before the Plunge [3:15]
15. Minas Morgul [4:00]
16. Sam's Warning [:47]
17. Pippin's Task [:27]
18. Osgiliath Invaded [3:38]
19. The Lighting of the Beacons [2:46]
20. Théoden's Decision [3:18]
21. The Fall of Osgiliath [4:19]
22. The Wizard's Pupil [2:26]
23. The Stairs of Cirith Ungol [2:00]
24. Courage Is the Best Defense [:39]
25. Peregrin of the Tower Guard [1:25]
26. Allegiance to Denethor [2:22]
27. The Parting of Sam and Frodo [5:19]
28. The Sacrifice of Faramir [4:48]
29. Marshalling at Dunharrow [4:09]
30. Andúril - Flame of the West [4:41]
31. Aragorn Takes the Paths of the Dead [2:44]
32. "No More Despair" [1:22]
33. Dwimorberg - The Haunted Mountain [2:26]
34. The Muster of Rohan [1:45]
35. The Paths of the Dead [7:28]
36. The Siege of Gondor [9:02]
Side #2 -- Special Extended Edition, Pt. 2
1. The Corsairs of Umbar [1:02]
2. Shelob's Lair [9:07]
3. Merry's Simple Courage [1:50]
4. Grond - The Hammer of the Underworld [:36]
5. The Tomb of the Stewards [1:33]
6. Breaking the Gate of Gondor [1:06]
7. The Choices of Master Samwise [6:01]
8. Denethor's Madness [1:05]
9. The Witch King's Hour [2:24]
10. The Ride of the Rohirrim [4:14]
11. The Pyre of Denethor [2:06]
12. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields [4:55]
13. "A Far Green Country" [1:29]
14. The Nazgûl and His Prey [1:45]
15. The Black Ships [:52]
16. Shieldmaiden of Rohan [:44]
17. Victory at Minas Tirith [2:35]
18. The Passing of Théoden [2:02]
19. Oaths Fulfilled [1:06]
20. The Houses of Healing [2:15]
21. Pippin Looks After Merry [:52]
22. The Tower of Cirith Ungol [6:55]
23. The Last Debate [1:42]
24. Aragorn Masters the Palantír [1:29]
25. The Captain and the White Lady [:49]
26. In the Company of Orcs [3:41]
27. The Land of Shadow [4:11]
28. The Mouth of Sauron [3:15]
29. The Black Gate Opens [3:33]
30. "I Can't Carry It for You... But I Can Carry You" [2:12]
31. The Last Move [1:03]
32. Mount Doom [1:56]
33. "The Eagles Are Coming!" [:33]
34. The Crack of Doom [5:38]
35. Sauron Defeated [2:13]
36. The End of All Things [3:28]
37. The Fellowship Reunited [2:22]
38. The Return of the King [4:52]
39. Homeward Bound [4:41]
40. The Grey Havens [9:17]
41. End Credits [11:06]
42. Fan Club Credits [10:29]

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Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King [Special Extended Edition] 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Jenevieve_Montague More than 1 year ago
I LOVE the extended versions of these movies. Anyone who is interested in movie making in gereral would enjoy all this edition has to offer. There are hours of "making of" clips. It talks of everything from makeup, script writting, wardrobe, editing, fliming locations and scheduleing, all the way through the post production and the movie premiers. The commentary is wonderful to watch too, if you can talk yourself into watching the movie with the commentary on. It is actually qutie entertaining, I thought! I declare that this is a must have for anyone who is a fan of the films! The added scenes to the movie alone make this worth your time and money! I couldn't be more in love with this collection!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The books are great, and the other exteneded movies are fabalous. I cant wait to see this one. Almost a whole hour added!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great DVD collection, better then the single disc DvD version of this movie. If you do get the extended version of this movie be sure to check out the commentery they rock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These extended editions have all been exquisite and I think just as highly of the Return of the King.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without a doubt a must have for any fans of LOTR. Peter Jackson has never done wrong with his Extended Editions, and this third and final installment will undoubtedly not be a disappointment... Jackson should be the standard for Extended Editions of motion pictures period.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the best movie ever, it didn't distort the story or anything, you felt like you were experiencing the power of Middle-Earth
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read tolkien's magnum opus at least annually since being stranded at home with the mumps in fifth grade, I've developed a somewhat protective attitude toward the work. I awaited Jackson's interpretation with baited breath, but maintained doubts that the breadth of Tolkien's written word could be translated into the differently limited medium of film. All three films left me initially disappointed, but after looking at them a 2nd or 3rd time, I came to the humble realization that Jackson, Walsh and Boyens revealed an understanding instructive for even the most rabid aficianados. And he doesn't just explore the deeper issues of war, alienation, power, etc.. He's just as comfortable as JRR at giving us the whimsy (i.e., you'll laugh, you'll cry....) I expect that this extended version, as with the other two, will give us an even more developed view of Jackson & co's take on it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If I had to rate the Lord of the Rings Movies in which were the best, I would have to say that ROTK still remains number one, but it is tightly followed by Fellowship. The action, the emotion of the characters is brilliantly portrayed by all it's performers. It seems like they all wanted to go out with a big bang, and believe me when I say that they did. The final chapter of the series is the best of the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A truly spectacular masterpiece of cinema. Extended scenes include the final confrontation between saruman and the fellowship, were gandalph breaks sarumans staff and wormtounge stabs saruman in the back, before he falls of orthanc and lands on a spiked wheel below, a spike pierces his body and kills him. The corsairs of umbar is an awesome scene in which the dead men of the dunharrow take the pirate ships, explaining how aragorn arrived at pellenor in the pirate ships. The foul mouth of sauron torments merry, pippin, gandalph and aragorn before the black gate about frodo's torture and death before aragorn surprisingly and unexpectedly cuts off his head. But without doubt the best scene in the extended cut is the battle between gandalph and the witch king of angmar. A truly awesome, spectacular fight between the two ensues and gandalph is about to meet his match. After all that he's been through; fighting the balrog, saruman and the battle of the hornburg, to say a few, he has found an enemy stroger than he. As the fight draws to a close the witch king breaks the wizards staff and removes his power, explaing were his staff went in the rest of the film, gandalph is about to be finished off by the witch king when the horns of rohan call him to battle. Feeling that gandalph can no longer effect events the witch king leaves the battle, victorios, to fight on the fields of the pellenor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The third and last extended verson of the LOTR (ROTK)...is the best of them all! Not only do you get 50 minutes of sences that isn't seen in the movie version, also you get two short films from a young film maker after Jackson's heart. Plus, you get the tearful moments that happen on the set. ROTK, along with part one and two, shold be a part of you DVD library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great movie although at first the end seemed to drag on forever, however the extended version greatly enhances the viewing experiece and is much preferable to the theatrical version.
Guest More than 1 year ago
hey i bought t his movie and it rocks! ! i loved it its absouletly amazi ng another amazing thing is insound.com u can earn free points and everything i ts kicking! Luhkell
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just watched the extended version of ROTK over the weekend, and I love it. It kept--and in some cases exceeded--the quality of Fellowship and Towers. I've loved LOTR since 8th grade, and I remember sitting thru the theatrical release of ROTK and wondering if Jackson could pull it off. Obviously, he did. His interpretation of LOTR has done for fantasy movies what Tolkien's books did for fantasy literature--turned it into a respected genre and forever changed what is considered good fantasy. I've always loved the books because for the time I'm reading them I can picture the locations and worry about the characters like they're my best friends. The movie has that quality of realism. I find myself forgetting that Gollum is CGI and that magic doesn't exist. Middle-Earth has always felt real, and Jackson's movies add another layer of richness. Long live the king.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, so the Extended Edition of ROTK was sweet, but the one part that made it great is the lost Christopher Lee scene. They should've kept it in it had everything you could ask for: death, fireballs, and some vocal name bashing. It was wicked sweet, if I wuz you guyses I'd rent or buy it just to see that scene.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi. I am here to tell you about the return of the king, spechial edition. This is a great movie packed with extra senecs, bonus fetures and more, your sure to like it. i sure do!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Undoubtedly the greatest movie ever created. I became a tolkien fan after watching 'the fellowship...' when it first came out. Since then I've bought all the movies and all of Tolkiens books. I've eagerly plowed my way through LOTR and the hobbit as well as Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. This movie is the crowning achievement and speaks volumes about the devotion that Peter Jackson has toward perfecting his view of JRR's work. One of the few instances where the movie is just as good as (if not better) than the book. Highly recommend buying it, even if you only have a small interest in his work. I am convinced I will never find a movie that surpasses this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best LOTR movie yet. The story picks off from about one thousand years ago when Smeagul wasn't insane. Him and his friend were fishing and his friend falls into the pond. He spots the ring, and brings it to land. Smeagul sees it and they end up wrestling each other for it. Smeagul kills his friend, for the ring. for around one thousand years it drove him mad. he thinks it is all he needs. the present-day story picks off at Frodo and sam in a cave. Smeagul still badly wants to kill them. The story is very good and long. 4 hours and 10 min. (ext. edition) which adds 50 min. from the theatrical release. If you like lord of the rings, and suprise endings... this is the one to buy!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The LOTR trilogy's director Peter Jackson brought JRR Tollkien's books to life. I felt that I was trapped in a dream state, and the simple theme of Good conquers Evil is well-deserved. Everyone is fighting to safeguard thier futures by coming together to fight the forces of darkness.I think it is a universal theme set in medieval times and that's what makes Tolkien's books and its adaptations so timeless.Imagine that all of life as we know it lies in the hands of a hobbit named Frodo, and he was an unlikely hero with no warrior skills but he was destined to go on his journey to make sure that the ring is destroyed. I think that it is a huge task on an unknown.Great things come in small packages. Size really does not count.Outstanding films and I am pleased that all three of the films got Oscars.Way to go!