Philippa: Because we did actually write, initially, a version which was quite close to the book – it
was laid out before Gandalf, it was laid out before Aragorn, it was laid out before Théoden: it was all just basically said:
“Right, we’re going to go, we’re going to hold up in Helm’s Deep, and we’re going to make our
last stand there”, and it was laid out for the audience, therefore; and that doesn’t play on film unfortunately.
It didn’t give us much room for journey and for reversals – especially, I think, for Théoden’s reversal,
because of course, his people stay in Edoras in the book, but we felt we had to put people in the most jeopardy we could to
give some value and some stake underneath Helm’s Deep.
Peter: The horse that Viggo’s trying to calm down here… it’s supposed to be the horse that belonged
to Théoden’s son that we saw dying. It’s a horse that doesn’t really appear in the books at all, but we
knew that Viggo had to be picked up by a horse when he was left for dead after the Warg scene which is coming up, and so we
wanted to somehow establish a bond between him and this horse which comes to save him – ultimately when we did the theatrical
cut, that seemed like unnecessary set-up, but it’s a nice scene that does show how Aragorn’s raising with the
Elves and his connection with…
Philippa: Mmm. That’s what it was about.
Peter: … with horses, as a Ranger.
Philippa: He starts off in this scene speaking in Old English, and then switches to Elvish half way through. There’s
very little time in the way the story’s told for connection between Éowyn and Aragorn, and yet somehow this woman –
who initially starts off as very distant and reserved – begins to see something else in this man, and begins to see
him as something else and somebody she can relate to: she’s so closed off from other men, but she begins to be drawn
into this man’s power. So we were just trying to find moment where we could do this.