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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Mirror of Galadriel

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Peter: The Mirror of Galadriel: one of the very, very famous iconic scenes from the book. It’s a scene that, again, we, sort of, we manipulate the scene, I guess, to serve the interests of the film [Philippa: Hmm] maybe slightly more than what’s… than how it plays in the book.

Fran: Yeah, well we took Sam out of the scene.

Philippa: Mmm.

Peter: Yeah. And we also introduced the elements of the Scouring of the Shire in the scene as well.

Fran: Yes.

Peter: Because the Scouring of the Shire, as readers of the book will know, is a sequence that happens at the very end of the third book, and we don’t have it in our movie; and yet, we wanted to give the concept of what’s at stake, and it is ultimately the Shire that’s at stake in Frodo’s heart: that he is doing what he’s doing to protect his homeland. And so we used the Mirror – more so than what’s in the book – we used the Mirror in the film to show what would happen to the Shire should the… should Sauron be victorious.

Philippa: One of the reasons Sam isn’t here is because this is a critical scene for Frodo. This is the scene in which the full weight of what he must do – the decision that he faces – is clearly put to him by Galadriel; and that is the purpose, really, of the entrance into Lothlórien.

Peter: We also wanted to use this scene in a way to plant the seeds in Frodo’s mind that the Fellowship cannot be trusted anymore, it can’t be relied upon anymore, and that the only logical way forward for Frodo is, really, to break off from the others and to go alone…

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] Or he… Yeah.

Peter: And we wanted the scene to end with a sense that Frodo… you know, that there was now a very definite option for Frodo: that he –.

Philippa: But not so much that… Not so much that he can’t trust them anymore, it’s that if he stays with them, he will be the death of all of them. He can only bring them death by staying with them.

Peter: [Frodo sees the Shire burning in the Mirror] This is our homage to the Scouring of the Shire. And this is the concept of what’s going to happen to the Hobbits should –.

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] Sandyman’s mill.

Peter: There’s Sam and Rosie being led into the factory to a life of servitude in the Hobbiton steelworks.

Fran: Which is, pretty much, how Tolkien saw the transformation of Birmingham, wasn’t it? [Philippa agrees] From this pastoral –.

Peter: [at same time as Fran] The Midlands… Beautiful Midlands countryside –.

Fran: – to industrial hellhole.

Peter: I love the way that Cate plays this scene [Philippa agrees]. I, sort of, love the mysteriousness and the intensity of it. (beat) I know there were some comments from people once they saw the movie feeling that Galadriel was a lot heavier and darker than she was in the books, and that’s true to some extent – we did play her that way – but we also filmed a much lighter sequence where she gives gifts as the Fellowship leave, which was cut out of the original theatrical version of the film. But that does present much more of the Galadriel that I think people expected to see from the books.

Philippa: She is perilous, though. I mean, Tolkien does describe her as ‘dangerous’.

Peter: Yeah.

Fran: Mmm.

Philippa: She is a dangerous…

Fran: Mmm.

Philippa: And what she’s saying… I think, to earn these lines, where you see what she could become, you needed this sense of the power that is in this woman. And her element here, if you look carefully, is Water. If Gandalf is the Servant of Fire, Galadriel’s element is Water; and that was based on, again, on an Alan Lee working with Ngila Dickson, the costume designer; and they wanted her to look drowned, didn’t you? A sense of –.

Peter: Yeah. We wanted to make it very much [Philippa: Mmm.] a sense of water.

Fran: A siren.

Peter: A siren, yeah.

Philippa: A siren, exactly. And when we say ‘her element’, one of the things that you see here – which was, again, not in the original cut – is the presence of Nenya, the Ring of Adamant. The Ring… one of the Three Rings forged that you see at the very beginning in the prologue, and that is that she is the Keeper of Nenya. The other Ring is held, of course, by Elrond, and his element is the Sky – Vilya, I think you say it. And the Third Ring – the Keeper of the Third Ring shall be revealed… That is why she says to Frodo, “To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone.”

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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.