Line Edit: “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”

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

Screenshot by the author; © 2002 by Warner Bros.

Original Text

GANDALF
Théoden, son of Thengel...
ANGLE ON: THÉODEN reacts to GANDALF with a wicked stare.GANDALF
...too long have you sat in the shadows.
ANGLE ON: The THREE HUNTERS finish off the GUARDS...WORMTONGUE tries to crawl away unnoticed, but GIMLI catches him and pins him to the floor under his foot.GIMLI
(growling)
I would stay still if I were you.
ANGLE ON: GANDALF continues approaching THÉODEN.GANDALF
Hearken to me!
WIDE ON: The PEOPLE of the HALL approach behind GANDALF.GANDALF (CONT’D)
I release you from the spell.
ANGLE ON: GANDALF holds out his hand and concentrates...ANGLE ON: SUDDENLY, THÉODEN laughs, menacingly...GANDALF opens his eyes.THÉODEN
(laughing)
You have no power here, Gandalf the Grey.
ANGLE ON: Angered, GANDALF throws back his grey cloak and spreads his hands. A blinding white light issues from him.ANGLE ON: THÉODEN is thrown back against his seat.GANDALF
I will draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound.
He thrusts his staff towards THÉODEN. The force knocks THÉODEN back in his throne. GANDALF moves in closer.ANGLE ON: ÉOWEN rushes in. Thinking THÉODEN is in trouble, she tries to run to him, but ARAGORN stops her.ARAGORN
Wait.
ANGLE ON: A new aura comes over THÉODEN. He looks at GANDALF evilly and speaks in Saruman’s voice.THÉODEN/SARUMAN
If I go, Théoden dies.
GANDALF thrusts his staff again and throwing THÉODEN/SARUMAN back again.GANDALF
You did not kill me, you will not kill him.
CLOSE ON: THÉODEN/SARUMAN leans forward with difficulty, hate welling in his eyes.THÉODEN/SARUMAN
(with difficulty)
Rohan is mine.
THÉODEN/SARUMAN struggles against Gandalf’s power.GANDALF
Be gone.
ANGLE ON: THÉODEN/SARUMAN lunges for GANDALF. GANDALF smites him, and he is thrown back into the chair.INSERT IMAGE: SARUMAN flies backwards across the floor away from the PALANTÍR in ORTHANC. He slowly rises, bleeding from the wound GANDALF left in his forehead.ANGLE ON: GANDALF lets out a sigh of relief.ANGLE ON: THÉODEN moans and falls from his throne. ARAGORN releases ÉOWYN. She charges across the hall to catch him before he can hit the floor.ANGLE ON: GAMLING makes to charge GANDALF, but HÁMA holds him steady.CLOSE ON: ÉOWYN holds THÉODEN up to look at him. His eyes clear...his hair changes from white strands to brown splendor...his face de-ages to a more youthful King.

Line Edit

GANDALFThéoden, son of Thengel...
ANGLE ON: THÉODEN reacts to GANDALF with a wicked stare.
GANDALFToo long have you sat in the shadows.
The three hunters finish off the guards.
Wormtongue tries to crawl away unnoticed, but Gimli catches him and pins him to the floor under his foot.
GIMLI(growling)
I would stay still if I were you.Gandalf continues approaching Théoden.GANDALFHearken to me!
The people of the hall approach behind Gandalf.
GANDALF (CONT’D)I release you from the spell.
Gandalf holds out his hand and concentrates.
Suddenly, Théoden laughs, menacingly.
Gandalf opens his eyes.THÉODEN(laughing)
You have no power here, Gandalf the Grey.Angered, Gandalf throws back his grey cloak and spreads his hands.
A blinding white light issues from him.Théoden is thrown back against his seat.
GANDALFI will draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound.He thrusts his staff towards Théoden.
The force knocks Théoden back in his throne.
Gandalf moves in closer.
Éowen rushes in.
Thinking Théoden is in trouble, she tries to run to him, but Aragorn stops her.
ARAGORNWait.A new aura comes over Théoden.
He looks at Gandalf evilly and speaks in Saruman’s voice.
THÉODEN/SARUMAN
If I go, Théoden dies.Gandalf thrusts his staff again and throwing Théoden back again.
GANDALFYou did not kill me, you will not kill him.
Théoden leans forward with difficulty, hate welling in his eyes.
THÉODEN(with difficulty)
Rohan is mine.Théoden struggles against Gandalf’s power.
GANDALFBe gone.Théoden lunges for Gandalf.Gandalf smites him, and he is thrown back into the chair.
INSERT IMAGE: Saruman flies backwards across the floor away from the palantír in Orthanc.
He slowly rises, bleeding from the wound Gandalf left in his forehead.
Gandalf lets out a sigh of relief.
Théoden moans and falls from his throne.Aragorn releases Éowen.She charges across the hall to catch him before he can hit the floor.
Gamling makes to charge Gandalf, but Háma holds him steady.
Éowen holds Théoden up to look at him.
His eyes clear, his hair changes from white strands to brown splendor, and his face de-ages to a more youthful King.

Edited Text

GANDALF
Théoden, son of Thengel.
Théoden watches Gandalf wickedly.GANDALF (CONT’D)
Too long have you sat in the shadows.
The Three Hunters subdue the guards. Wormtongue tries to crawl away unnoticed, but Gimli pins him under his boot.GIMLI
I would stay still if I were you.
Gandalf continues approaching Théoden.GANDALF
(to Théoden)
Hearken to me!
The people of the hall gather in anticipation behind Gandalf.GANDALF
(to Théoden)
I release you from this spell.
Gandalf holds out his hand and closes his eyes.Théoden laughs menacingly.Gandalf opens his eyes.THÉODEN
You have no power here, Gandalf the Grey.
Gandalf throws off his grey cloak and spreads his arms. A blinding white light issues from him, knocking Théoden back against his seat.GANDALF
I will draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound.
Gandalf thrusts his staff at Théoden. The force pins Théoden to his throne.Éowen rushes into the hall. She sees her father pinned and tries to run to him, but Aragorn stops her.ARAGORN
Wait.
An evil aura comes over Théoden. He looks at Gandalf and speaks in Saruman’s voice.THÉODEN
If I go, Théoden dies.
Gandalf thrusts his staff again, knocking Théoden back again.GANDALF
You did not kill me; you will not kill him.
Théoden leans forward, straining against Gandalf’s power.THÉODEN
Rohan is mine.
GANDALF
Be gone.
Théoden lunges for Gandalf, but Gandalf smites him with his staff, knocking him once again into his seat.INSERT: In Orthanc, Saruman flies backwards and slides across the floor, away from his palantír. He slowly rises, bleeding from a wound Gandalf just left in his forehead.Gandalf sighs relief. Théoden moans and falls from his throne. Aragorn releases Éowen, and she runs to catch her father before he hits the floor.Éowen holds up Théoden to look at him. His eyes clear, his hair changes from white strands to brown splendour, and his face de-ages to that of a more youthful king.

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