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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Breach of the Deeping Wall

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Peter: I know a few people got irritated by the fact that we interrupted the battle by cutting away to the Entmoot, but in a way, that irritation was deliberate, because the whole point of it is [Philippa: Mmm.] that there’s this desperate fight happening, where our heroes are just fighting for their lives, and some miles away, there’s this group of trees trying to figure out what to do! [Peter and Philippa laugh] And that, kind of, is deliberately frustrating, and we wanted to actually make audiences feel that in the movie.

Philippa: And, actually having seen both versions, this is the better way to go.

Peter: Well, the, you know…

Philippa: I thought.

Peter: Yeah. I mean, showing the battle just from one end to the other – just constant fighting in itself – gets a bit boring, but –

Philippa: Yeah.

Peter: – the difference of the pacing of the events of Helm’s Deep compared to those in the Forest is kind of the point, really: to show that there’s this really pedantic decision being made about whether they should fight, when this desperate struggle of survival is going on.

Philippa: [flame-bearing Uruk approaches the gunpowder] This is a great moment.

Peter: The Olympic torch-bearer…

Philippa: Mmm.

Peter: … is what he kind of looks like, isn’t he? This is one of the Uruk berserkers; we called them berserkers – I don’t know whether they’re in the book, I can’t remember, but they were like these –

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] No. I think that was your idea.

Peter: – they were like these Uruk-hai Storm troopers who were the nutty, suicidal ones that were just trained to do what they’re told. (beat) I love this shot of the wall blowing up. That was a miniature castle that we blew up with real explosives, but of course, there was nobody there: there were no people there, it was just the model castle with this big bang going off and the dust and the things flying through the air, and so we added all the soldiers in later.

Philippa: The brilliant Alex Funke and Marty Walsh shooting with miniatures.

Peter: I thought it was really important to, in the confusion of the battle, to somehow tell a story of the basic beats of the battle, so that people could understand: okay, the Wall’s blown up; the Wall’s breached; and now the Gate is being attacked, and so they’re, sort of, coming at them from all sides. It was a fairly difficult editing job to basically take all this footage that we had of Helm’s Deep and to cut it together in a way that there seemed to be a story-within-a-story: that you could see what was actually going on.

Fran: We just saw your cameo back there, too, Pete.

Peter: Yeah.

Fran: I remember, the first time I saw it, I thought, “Oh, that extra’s not too bad!” [All three laugh] I didn’t recognise you!

Philippa: [laughing, at same time as Fran] Did she?

Peter: Did you think he was handsome, and did you, sort of…

Philippa: Fancy him?

Fran: [at same time as Philippa] No, no, I just –. Sometimes I –. You know…

Peter: Did you think, “Oh, he’s a… He’s a bit of all right!” [Philippa and Fran laugh]

Fran: [laughing] It’s just, sometimes moments like that, if you’re on a close-up with an extra, it doesn’t always… [Peter: Well, I –.] It’s not always convincing.

Peter: I turned the tide. [Philippa laughs]

Fran: You did?

Peter: No, it wasn’t Viggo at all, really.

Fran: [at same time as Peter] It was your rock.

Philippa: I know!

Peter: It was my spear that I threw, you see, I –.

Fran: Oh, was it a spear?

Peter: It actually killed some very vitally important Uruk-hai commander, and the Uruks, basically, lose their way and from that point on there’s really no hope that they’re going to win.

Philippa: Oh, and –.

Peter: And we just have to edit the film in a way that looks like Viggo’s doing it, of course – you know, Aragorn’s doing it – but it really is a whole… There’s –. The truth lies behind the scenes, and it really starts with that spear that I threw.

Fran: Oh.

Peter: Don’t tell him about that!

Fran: And Barrie, of course, is a… Well, Barrie’s shot is shot is so brief that you can hardly see it.

Philippa: Barrie Osborne.

Fran: I guess that was the choice you made in the editing room, Pete.

Peter: [laughing] No, Barrie gets to throw a rock at him. He gets extra, but he just gets a low-ranking, kind of, Uruk-hai guy on the head.

Fran: He’s obscured behind his helmet as well.

Peter: Yes, he is.

The Entmoot Decides >>

The Lord of the Rings and its content does not belong to me, it is property of the Tolkien Estate;  the commentaries transcribed here, as well as the images used, are the property of New Line Cinema.