Watched The Return of the King
again, the extended version, though I fast-forwarded through any bit where Sam's weeping, so it didn't take that long.
I still think a really great ending would have been for Frodo and his hobbit friends to get back to the Shire ... and no one there has the slightest clue that there was a great battle, and all of Middle Earth was in danger, and now it's saved, and everyone almost died. And they just listen to Frodo and Sam tell their stories, and assume it's all a bunch of made-up adventures. And that is just fine with them.
In fact, it's what they were confronting Sauron for. So that the Shire could go on blissfully not knowing how dark things can get.
You can say, "But that wasn't in the book," but then I will see you and raise you The Scouring of the Shire.
Asking as a fan of the books and the movies, I have a question for you: can you think of a way the Scouring could have still been kept without it feeling like the movie was dragging even more? I can understand why it was dropped, but I think the fact it's missing lost a lot of the impact of the hobbits' return. Perhaps trimming the earlier part of the movie somehow? Hmm...
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