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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Last March of the Ents

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Peter (cont.): … but then – because we want to re-establish the correct geography for Middle-earth, we put it back for the extended DVD. (beat) [The Last March of the Ents] This was a miniature hillside that we built – again, a very big miniature that filled half a stage.

Philippa: Now this moment does actually happen in the book, it just doesn’t happen where we’ve put it.

Peter: What, Treebeard seeing the chopped-down trees?

Philippa: Mmm.

Peter: Yeah.

Philippa: Yeah, it’s quite a moving moment in the book, I think.

Peter: [at same time as Philippa] “Creatures I have known since nut and acorn.”

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] Yeah. “From nut and acorn.”

Peter: It’s very sweet, isn’t it?

Philippa: Yeah.

Peter: And I like his names for them. I love the [Philippa: Yeah.] way that – it’s not really… it doesn’t really come across here so much in the movie – but he has names for every tree.

Philippa: Mmm.

Peter: Like every single tree had a name [Philippa: Mmm.] and an identity and a personality, and he’s really mourning…

Philippa: Mmm.

Peter: … [?]

Philippa: And it is what spurs him.

Peter: [screen cap] Here’s another of our library of helicopter shots, shot particularly for this scene, but we had this great little library that we could pull upon. (beat) [Pippin: “Look! The trees – they’re moving!”] The moving forest was always a very difficult concept, and we ultimately left it out of the theatrical version, but in anybody who’s read the book, it’s –. One of the most key, sort of, climactic moments of Helm’s Deep is when the Forest actually arrives at Helm’s Deep, and so we did originally plan to put it in the film, and we put it back in here in the extended cut; but we just felt that it was one thing too much for the theatrical version. The Ents marching on Isengard was really… We wanted to simplify it down to that for the theatrical version, but obviously, here in the DVD we can, sort of, expand it out to its proper size and scope.

Philippa: This is, kind of, a fantasy of Professor Tolkien’s, isn’t it? This concept that nature would fight back against the machine.

Peter: Yeah.

Philippa: And it’s –.

Peter: It’s quite potent.

Philippa: Yeah. It gets lots of cheers, doesn’t it?

Peter: [at same time as Philippa] I didn’t really realise how potent it was [Philippa: Yeah.] till I saw it in the movie, because these shots were done at the very, very end of the post-production. I mean, these ones were coming in in the last few days before we had to deliver the film: they were Weta’s last shots to do.

Fran: This is also Birnam Wood, isn’t it?

Philippa: Yep. That’s right.

Fran: Coming to Dunsinane… It is, because he – Tolkien – did say he was disappointed in ‘Macbeth’…

Philippa: As a child, yeah.

Fran: … that it was, in the end, a pretend forest: why couldn’t it have come, you know?

Philippa: Yeah!

Fran: Why couldn’t it have actually happened, rather than being, in the end, a pretence?

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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.