Line Edit: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

A line-by-line edit of an excerpt from the script.

Screenshot by the author; © 2003 by Warner Bros.

Original Text

EXT. THE SIXTH GATE, MINAS TIRITH - DAWNWIDE ON: A rabble of ORCS are clustered outside the SIXTH GATE as TROLLS pound on its WOODEN DOORS with HUGE HAMMERS.ANGLE ON: WOOD splinters ... The DOORS are near breaking point.ANGLE ON: GANDALF and PIPPIN sit on stone steps ... Both covered in sweat and grime, bone-weary from fighting, spirits and hearts bruised...PIPPIN looks towards the WOODEN GATES at which a NUMBER of SOLDIERS continue to build a BARRICADE...PIPPIN
(quiet)
I didn’t think it would end this way...
GANDALF looks at the SMALL HOBBIT a beat.GANDALF
(gently)
End? No, the journey doesn’t end here.
PIPPIN looks up at GANDALF, questioningly...GANDALF (cont’d)
Death is just another path, one that we all must take.
ANGLE ON: GANDALF looks down to see PIPPIN looking up at him with fear in his eyes...GANDALF (cont’d)
(remembering)
The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass...
(to himself)
and then you see it...
ANGLE ON: GANDALF breaks off, lost in reverie...PIPPIN
What, Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF
White shores ... And beyond... a far green country under a swift sunrise.
PIPPIN stares up at the OLD WIZARD’S FACE, softened, quiet and full of peace...PIPPIN
(quiet)
Well, that isn’t so bad.
GANDALF
(gently)
No... No, it isn’t.

Line Edit

EXT. THE SIXTH GATE, MINAS TIRITH - DAWN
WIDE ON: A rabble of ORCS are clustered outside the SIXTH GATE as TROLLS pound on its WOODEN DOORS with HUGE HAMMERS.
Wood splinters ... The doors are near breaking point.
Gandalf and Pippin sit on stone steps ... Both covered in sweat and grime, bone-weary from fighting, spirits and hearts bruised...
Pippin looks towards the wooden gates at which a number of soldiers continue to build a barricade.
PIPPIN(quiet)
I didn’t think it would end this way.
Gandalf looks at the small hobbit a beat.GANDALF
End? No, the journey doesn’t end here.
Pippin looks up at Gandalf, questioningly.GANDALF (cont’d)
Death is just another path, one that we all must take.
Gandalf looks down to see Pippin looking up at him with fear in his eyes.GANDALF (cont’d)
(remembering)
The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass.
(to himself)
and then you see it.
Gandalf breaks off, lost in reverie.
PIPPINWhat, Gandalf? See what?GANDALFWhite shores. And beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.Pippin stares up at the old wizard’s face, softened, quiet and full of peace.
PIPPINWell, that isn’t so bad.GANDALFNo. No, it isn’t.

Edited Text

EXT. MINAS TIRITH - SIXTH GATE - DAWNOrcs are clustering outside the gate as trolls pound on its wooden doors with huge hammers.Gandalf and Pippin are sitting on stone steps, covered in sweat and grime, bone-weary from fighting, their spirits and hearts bruised.Pippin watches as soldiers rush to reinforce the doors.PIPPIN
I didn’t think it would end this way.
GANDALF
End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass...and then you see it.
PIPPIN
What, Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF
White shores. And beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
Pippin gazes at the old wizard.PIPPIN
Well, that isn’t so bad.
GANDALF
No. No, it isn’t.

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