Action Sequences in The Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings is a movie trilogy which was directed by Peter Jackson and serves
as a movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of the same title. The trilogy
was considered a major success by movie critics and general audience, and it
received praise and many Academy Awards for its storytelling and special and
visual effects. It is also noted for its epic battles and set pieces. The
battle which happens at the end of the second movie, The Two Towers, was also
hailed as one of the greatest movie action sequences.
this essay, I will try to analyse two action sequences from The Lord of the
Rings trilogy and contrast them with some sequences from Peter Jackson’s other
movie trilogy, The Hobbit. I will also try to show why the sequences from the
first trilogy are praised and resonate with the audience, compared to how The
Hobbit’s are ultimately meaningless.
will mainly be focusing on the battle in the second film, the battle of Helm’s
Deep where Saruman’s 10,000 soldiers attack a fortress which is defended by
about 300 men. This particular action sequence lasts for almost 40 minutes and
because it is this long it has to carry some emotional weight and be
interesting and engaging for the viewer, so in order to hold our attention, the
director gave the battle its own story ark.
battle’s ark can be divided into 24 different scenes which provide rough guidelines
for its story and pacing. Those scenes carry the story of the battle, from the
beginning where there is silence and the anticipation of the upcoming war, the
loss and vulnerability of our heroes in the middle, and hope, joy and the climactic
victory when Gandalf arrives at dawn. The structure of the story of the battle
resembles the structure of the story of the whole trilogy itself. The first
shot that an old man fires is the incident that starts the war, similarly how
the incident that starts the trilogy is Frodo getting the One ring. The battle
has its own ups and downs, obstacles for the heroes to overcome and also small victories
along the way, including this battle itself, and when everything seems as if it
is going wrong, a giant victory in the end.