scwilliam

Question: As Denethor has the funeral pyre prepared, he refers to the "heathen" kings of old. What sort of religion does Gondor have now that older kings could be "heathens"?

scwilliam

Chosen answer: In Denethor's time, Gondor follows the Vala, the good "gods" of the world, in the manner of the Elves, although religion really is not much of a point in Middle-Earth. The "heathen kings" Denethor speaks of were before Elendil founded Gondor, when descendants of NĂºmenoreans lived in small fiefdoms as little kings in this area. Many of them worshipped Sauron and followed him, and may have used burning as a funeral rite.

Twotall

Question: Faramir and the Rangers captured Frodo, Sam, and Gollum in Ithilien. They marched overland to the outskirts of Osgiliath."Osgiliath burns." There they were freed by Faramir after the Nazgul attack. But when Faramir spoke with Gandalf and Pippen in Minas Tirith, he said he saw Frodo and Sam in Ithilien not two days hence. Weren't they just in Osgiliath?

scwilliam

Chosen answer: Yes, but as Osgiliath is on the border to Ithilien and Frodo & co. went in that direction, it would be natural for Faramir to give that answer to Gandalf when Gandalf wanted to know where they were. Faramir also knew that it would take them more than two days to cross Ithilien, so that is where they would be at the time he spoke to Gandalf.

Twotall

Question: I was startled by the authentic-appearing emotion on Hugo Weaving's face at the coronation scene when he told Arwen to "Go to him." Is he that good an actor, was there a real emotion running through the scene, or was he simply exhausted by the whole thing?

scwilliam

Chosen answer: According to commentary, they reshot this part of the scene and these particular shots were done in pickups, long after the shoot in New Zealand ended, so exhaustion had nothing to do with it. Hugo Weaving is simply a good actor, receiving direction from a good director.

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Question: Did I miss Arwen's return to Rivendell in Two Towers? Elrond talked her into leaving; she walks off to the ships with other elves, looking back at Elrond. In Return of the King, she is back at Rivendell, and is again persuaded to leave, and rides off on a horse in a parade going to Gray Havens.

scwilliam

Chosen answer: She does not walk off to the ships in The Two Towers. She and the other Elves start walking to leave on their journey to the Grey Havens. In Return of the King, she is on horseback, during the Elves journey towards the Grey Havens, when she sees a vision of her son, wearing the Evenstar and of Aragorn. She then changes her mind and decides to ride back to Rivendell and confront her father, who has the gift of foresight, about her future life with Aragorn.

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