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Everyone has those special film scenes that just give you chills, no matter how many times you see them. For me, one such scene takes place in the first film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring. Here’s a video explaining why this one scene is so perfect.

The scene takes place toward the beginning of the film, and it really sets the plot in motion. It starts in Bag End, when Gandalf comes to realize the truth about Bilbo’s ring, and has to explain the whole thing to Frodo. It consists of long stretches of dialogue and very little action: a scenario ripe for a filmmaker to get creative in keeping viewers engaged. In Fellowship, this is accomplished through subtle but impactful camera work, combined with Ian McKellen’s superb acting. Not to mention the soundtrack, lighting, costume and set design!

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Scenes like this bring me back to Lord of the Rings again and again. I can remember the first time I saw it in 2001, having never read the books or seen any fantasy movie. I was floored by how engrossing it was.

Unfortunately, as the trilogy wore on, artful storytelling gave way to cliche and overwrought action sequences. Two Towers is still pretty awesome, and Return of the King has its moments (let’s not speak of the abomination that is the Hobbit trilogy), but there’s purity to The Fellowship of the Ring that elevates it above all the rest.


Contact the author at mhession@gizmodo.com.


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