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Top 10 The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Moments

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by Matthew Thomas The land of Middle-earth is home to some of recent cinema's most exciting times. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 moments from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises. For this list, we're looking at those big screen moments that left us breathless, speechless, amazed, or any other positive adjective you can think of. Also, we're only looking at the six major releases as directed by Peter Jackson for this list, so moments from the video games or various animated films have been excluded. This would also be a good time to issue a spoiler alert, so here goes: SPOILER ALERT. Shoutout to our users Tony Carter, Omar Sharaki, Ryan Oorschot, Al Bebak, Npngreen and Daphné Ducharme for suggesting this idea on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Moments
The land of Middle-earth is home to some of recent cinema’s most exciting times. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10moments from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” franchises.

For this list, we’re looking at those big screen moments that left us breathless, speechless, amazed, or any other positive adjective you can think of. Also, we’re only looking at the six major releases as directed by Peter Jackson for this list, somoments from the video games or various animated films have been excluded. This would also be a good time to issue a spoiler alert, so here goes: SPOILER ALERT.

#10: Destruction of the Ring
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)

If Sam and Frodo manage to destroy the One Ring, they will save the lands of Middle-earth from the scourge of Sauron. During his fight with Gollum atop Mount Doom, Frodo manages to send his former ally and the Ring of Power into the lava below and save the day. This scene from the 3rd installment of “The Lord of theRings” trilogy is bittersweet because it marks the true end of a cherished journey and shows a sometimes-beloved character achieving utter joy just before his death, but as the climax of the film series it’s also very hard to forget.

#9: Pippin’s Song
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)

After mostly serving as comedic relief or as someone for our heroes to save, in the trilogy’s final film, Peregin Took served as our vantage point in Minas Tirith. After swearing allegiance to Denethor, he immediately witnesses the steward of Gondor’s dubious leadership and horrible words to his only surviving son. Asked to sing for the man who may have sent his friend to his death, the hobbit performs a perfectly melancholy song that gives voice to our despair.

#8: Riddle Contest
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012)

Whether you’re a lover of riddles or you scratch your head in puzzlement when you’re posed with them, this scene from the first installment of “The Hobbit” series is far more charming and tense that it ever had any right to be. A battle of wits with stakes that would either lead to Bilbo’s demise or salvation, these two come together and leave audiences grappling with their questions. The most important undercurrent to it all though is the audience’s knowledge that Bilbo now possesses the One Ring and the inevitable moment where Gollum realizes that he doesn’t have it anymore.

#7: Meet the Nazgûl
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

When Frodo and Sam leave The Shire, we believe they will be making their journey alone so we are delighted to discover their fun-loving friends Merry and Pippin will be coming along for the ride. That moment of happiness quickly gives way to one of the series’ scariest scenes as they are plagued by the presence of a Nazgûl. An entity of pure desire, these characters, also known as Ringwraiths, stand as one of Tolkien’s most frightening creations and to see it brought to life was a terrifying and exhilarating experience we will never forget.

#6: Aragorn Becomes the King
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)

First introduced as Strider, a man who seems dangerous, secretive and distant, Aragorn grows to become the leader of the Fellowship, and more importantly, a king of men. At his coronation, it is a joy to see him embrace his new role, greet his friends one by one and kiss the love of his life. The biggest tearjerker of it all though is when the King of Gondor tells his hobbit friends that they bow to no one, and everyone else at the coronation bows to them instead.

#5: Smaug Speaks
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (2013)

For the people in the audience that hadn’t read the book, we can only assume the reveal of Smaug’s voice in the 2nd installment of “The Hobbit” series must have come as a shock. We believe that this theoretical shock would then have given way to delight as Smaug not only spoke, but also exhibited a playful but cruel personality that was fascinating to behold. Even though we were salivating to see the titular dragon take flight at the end of the day, the true climax of this film was the back and forth conversation between a hobbit and dragon.

#4: Gollum and Sméagol
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)

Our initial impression of Gollum is that he’s an almost serpent-like creature that seems evil and capable of anything in the pursuit of his Precious. The art of motion capture and the character took center stage in this tour de force from the 2nd installment of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, when both his dark and innocent natures were revealed. By leaving us wanting to protect Sméagol from his darker counterpart Gollum - despite knowing that they are two parts of the same creature – this moment was an impressive feat in every way.

#3: Boromir’s Death
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

When we first met Boromir at the council of Elrond, his lust for the power of the ring left us worried about his inclusion in the Fellowship. When he attempts to physically force Frodo to give him the ring before his better nature reasserts itself, we thought we were right - until we find out what and who he truly is. A great man with the weight of his people’s peril on his shoulders, in this moment, Boromir gives his own life for the hobbits he swore to protect, and we truly mourn his passing.

#2: Battle of Helm’s Deep
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)

The other films in “The Lord of the Rings” series featured many, many other battles, but they were never more compelling than this one. Here, a seemingly impenetrable wall and a deadly and motivated Uruk-hai army come to a head in an explosion that kills many men and elves, all while sending many viewers hearts racing. Creatively brought to life with amazing images, including one as simple but effective as a ladder falling into an army with flair that we’d never have imagined, there’s just so much to love about this scene that we’ll just let you watch it.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Sam Carries Frodo
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
- I Am No Man
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
- Aragorn Summons Army of the Dead
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
- Arwen’s River Spell
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)
- The Ents Attack Isengard
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)
- The Forging of the Great Rings
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

#1: The Balrog Meets Its Match
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

What do you get when you combine an incredibly fierce and intimidating creature with a powerful wizard whose greatest ability may be to steal a place in the hearts of audiences everywhere? The number one choice on our list, of course. A visually stunning sequence that ends with the on-screen characters and movie-watchers believing that the Fellowship’s leader had met his demise, the series never got more heart wrenching or any better than this.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite moment from The Lord of the Ringsor The Hobbit? For more momentous Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com.
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