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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - DVD Extended Edition, Reviewed by Falstaff

When I first heard about the Special Extended Editions that Peter Jackson was planning for the three Lord of the Rings movies, I got very excited. And it was anticipation well spent. Although not a full review, here is a brief look at the unique extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring.

This is not a collection of deleted scenes by any means. While there are only six brand-new scenes in the movie, there are twenty extended scenes, where Jackson put bits and pieces of his original vision of the film back into already existing sequences. Each of these scenes is an opportunity to see Tolkien’s world in greater detail and even more depth than in the original theatrical release.

One of the new additions to the film is the opening sequence, after the Prologue. This sequence, “Concerning Hobbits” is essentially an adaptation of Tolkien’s original Prologue to his book, told in the voice of Bilbo Baggins. This charming scene, as well as an added sequence at the Green Dragon Inn, gives more depth to the Hobbits and greater understanding of the corner of Middle Earth that they live in. It also makes for a much more “Tolkien-esque” opening to the movie!

Most of the extension of the movie lies in conversation and exposition, sometimes adding characters from the books not seen in the original release, such as the Sackville-Bagginses; the extended scenes often set up further the complexity of Tolkien’s characters, the extended conversation between Aragorn and Boromir in Rivendell being one example, or the extended scenes between Aragorn and Arwen. A favorite of mine was the new scene showing Aragorn and Elrond at Aragorn’s mother’s memorial.

Other tidbits that fans of the book will love to see include the appearance of Bilbo’s trolls and the Hobbits’ passage through the Midgewater Marshes. Also, quite a bit of comic relief has been added in the form of Merry and Pippin.

Almost the entire second half of the movie has been extended, with expansions in Moria, Lothlorien, and at the breaking of the fellowship on the banks of the Anduin.

As a matter of fact, the extended version of the film is so much better than the theatrical version that I have not watched the original release since I purchased the extended edition. In short – Good Idea, Peter Jackson.

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