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If the Dark Were Permanent

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LOTR 2 Script

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[Voices are heard from the Misty Mountains.]
Gandalf: You cannot pass!
Frodo: Gandalf!
Gandalf: I'm the servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you! Flame of Udun!
[We track in through the mountain and see Gandalf and the Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dum.]
Gandalf: Go back to the shadow! YOU… SHALL NOT... PASS!!!
[Gandalf slams his staff on the bridge, and a flash of white light drives the Balrog back. The demon draws a whip of fire, steps onto the bridge, and it gives way, dropping the Balrog into the chasm. It seems they have won, but as he turns away, the tail of the whip catches Gandalf's ankle and pulls him down. He gets a brief grasp on the edge of the bridge.]
BOROMIR: [Holding Frodo back.] No! Frodo!
Gandalf: Fly you fools!
[Gandalf loses his grip and falls into the chasm.]
Frodo: Nooooooooo!
[Gandalf falls after the Balrog and grabs hold of his sword Glamdring on his way down. As they continue to plunge into the depths, Gandalf hacks away at the Balrog even as it crashes and bounces off the walls. They continue to plunge at great speed, sometimes with Gandalf clinging to the horn of the demon. The battling pair then falls into an enormous cavern and plunges into the water. Just then Frodo wakens from the nightmare.]

Frodo: Gandalf!
Sam: What is it Mr. Frodo?
Frodo: Nothing. Just a dream.
[Frodo and Sam climb over rocky terrain. They look into the distance at the Mountain of Fire.]
Sam: Mordor. The one place in Middle Earth we don't want to see any closer. It's the one place we are trying to get to. It's just where we cant get. Let's face it Mr. Frodo. We're lost. I don't think Gandalf meant for us to come this way.
Frodo: He didn't mean for a lot of things to happen, Sam. But they did.
[Suddenly Frodo feels and spies the Eye zooming in on him. He gasps and pants as he backs away.]
Sam: Frodo? It's the Ring isn't it?
Frodo: It's getting heavier. What food have we got left?
Sam: Well, let me see. Oh yes, lovely. Lembas bread. And look! More lembas bread. I don't usually hold to foreign food, but this elvish stuff is not bad.
Frodo: Nothing ever dampens your spirits does it Sam?
Sam: Those rain clouds might.
[They continue trekking through difficult terrain, often huddling underneath their cloaks.]
Sam: This looks strangely familiar.
Frodo: [In frustration]: That's because we've been here before! We are going in circles!
Sam: Ah! What's that horrid stink? I'll warrant there's a nasty bog nearby. Can you smell it?
Frodo: Yes I can smell it. We are not alone
(Later- Frodo and Sam are sleeping at the base of a cliff.)
Gollum: [Sneaking up on the hobbits.] Those thieves! Those filthy little thieves! Wheeere isssit? Wheeere isssit? They stole it from us. My preciousssss.
[Suddenly the hobbits spring up, grab hold of Gollum’s arms and pull him down. Amidst the struggle, Gollum wriggles loose and leaps onto Frodo. As Frodo falls back, the chain and ring around his neck is revealed and Gollum jumps straight for the Ring. Sam tries to grab at him but is knocked away. Gollum now jumps on top of Frodo and tries to reach for the Ring even as Frodo grabs his hands and tries to push him away. Gollum’s cheeks puff with exertion as he struggles with Frodo, his huge eyes fixed on the Ring. Sam grabs hold of Gollum again and tears him away from Frodo. Gollum then turns around and bits Sam on the shoulder, wriggles around and clasps his arms around Sam’s neck and legs around his waist in a death grip. Frodo then unsheathes Sting and holds it to Gollum's throat.]
Frodo: This is Sting. You've seen it before, haven't you, Gollum! Release him or I'll cut your throat!
[Slowly, Gollum loosens his grip on Sam and as the latter disentangles himself, Gollum wails. He is then tied at the neck with Sam’s elvish rope and half-dragged along even as he cries and wails.]
Gollum: It burns! It burns us! Take it off!
Sam: Quiet you! It's hopeless! Every Orc in Mordor will hear this racket! Let's tie him up and leave him!
Gollum: No! That’s will kill us, kill us!
Sam: It's nothing more than you deserve!
Frodo: Maybe he does deserve to die. Now that I've seen him, I do pity him.
Gollum: [Begging]: We be nice to them, if they be nice to us. Take it off us. We swears to do what you wants. We swears!
Frodo: There is no promise you can make that I can trust.
Gollum: We swears to serve the master of the precioussss. We swears on, on the precioussss! Gollum Gollum
Frodo: The Ring is treacherous. It will hold you to your word.
Gollum: Yes... on the preciouss... on the preciousss.
Sam:[Suddenly, Sam shouts out loudly] I don't believe you! Get down! Get down! [Sam jerks strongly at the rope as Gollum tries to get away and Gollum falls to the ground.]
Frodo: [In horror]: Sam!
Sam: He was trying to trick us! We let him go, he'll throttle us into our sleep!
Frodo: [To Gollum, almost as a statement rather than question]: You know the way to Mordor?
Gollum: [Nodding warily]: Yes.
Frodo: You've been there before?
Gollum: [Nodding again]: Yes.
Frodo: [Taking the rope off Gollum]: You will lead us to the Black Gate.
[Gollum looks up at Frodo in wonder, amazed to have been showed such kindness and trust. He scrambles off quickly, the Hobbits hurrying on after him.]
[The Uruk-hai carry Merry and Pippin over the fields Rohan.]
Pippin: Merry! Merry!
[We see that Merry is unconscious, with large, nasty gash about his right brow.]
[Suddenly, a Uruk-hai raises his hand, signaling for the group to stop.]
Uglúk: What is it? What do you smell?
Maúhur: Man-flesh.
Pippin: [To himself]: Aragorn!
Uglúk: They've picked up our trail! Let's go!
[The Uruk-hai quicken their pace. Pippin struggles to reach his Elven brooch with his teeth. He then tears it off his cloak and drops it onto the ground. The Uruks don't notice the brooch, but some trample it, setting it more firmly into the soil.]

[Aragorn is lying with his eyes closed and ear pressed to the ground, listening for the sound of footsteps.]
Aragorn: Their pace quickens. They must have caught our scent. Hurry!
Legolas: Come on Gimli!
Gimli: Three day's and night's pursuit.. no food... no rest... and no sign of our quarry but what bare rock can tell.
[The Three Hunters run across rocks and plains, with Aragorn in the lead, and Legolas and Gimli trailing behind. Aragorn suddenly bends down to pick up an Elven brooch from the ground.]
Aragorn: Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall.
Legolas: They may yet be alive.
Aragorn: Less than a day ahead of us, come!
Legolas: Come Gimli! We are gaining on them.
Gimli: I'm wasted on cross-country. We dwarves are natural sprinters. Very dangerous we are over short distances.
[Camera pans over the Orcs running across the plains, and then swings to the Three Hunters giving chase. The trackers come over a hill and pause as they gaze across the plains below.]
Aragorn: Rohan, home of the horse-lords. There's something strange at work here. Some evil gives speed to these creatures. Sets it's will against us. Legolas! What does your elf eyes see?
Legolas: The Uruks turn Northeast. They are taking the hobbits to Isengard!
Aragorn: Saruman.

[The tower of Orthanc stands amidst the smoking caverns of Isengard. Saruman stands in his chamber, communicating with the Dark Lord through the Palantir.]
Saruman: The world is changing. Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor. To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman and the union of the two towers. Together, Lord Sauron, we shall rule this Middle-Earth.
[The caverns of Isengard glow with the fires of industry, sounds of hammering fill the air and molten iron is poured into casts.]
Saruman: (Voiceover) The old world will burn in the fires of industry. Forests will fall. A new order will rise. We will drive the machinery of war with the sword and the spear and the iron fist of the Orcs. We now have only to remove those who oppose us.
[Saruman stands in the midst of a gathering of Wildmen, who are holding torches and crude weapons.]
Saruman: The horsemen have taken your lands. They drove your people into the hills to scratch the living of rocks.
CROWD: Murderers!
Saruman: Take back the lands they stole from you. Burn every village! It will begin in the Rohan. Too long have these peasants stood against you. But no more.

[The wildmen and Orcs attack a village. A woman with her hand on a horse calls out to her children.]
Mother: Eothain, take your sister. You'll go faster with just two.
Freya: But Papa says Eothain must not ride. He's too big for him!
Mother: Listen to me! You must ride to Edoras and raise the alarm. Do you understand me?
Eothain: Yes mum.
Freya: I don't wanna go! I don't wanna go!
Mother: Listen to me. I will find you there.
[Screams are increasing in volume as the army draws closer.]
Mother: Quickly! Go, child! [To herself]: Oh, child.
[The army slaughters at will and sets fire to the village. Eothain and Freya weep as they look back from a distance.]
Saruman: (V.O.) Rohan, my lord, is ready to fall.

A group of horsemen ride to Edoras. Èomer is in the lead, carrying a gravely wounded Théodred in front of him. Èowyn runs hastily up the stairs to the Golden Hall and enters a bedchamber. She runs to the bed.]
Èowyn: Théodred!
[Théodred seems to hear her call but is unable to respond. He has a bloody gash on the side of his head. Èomer nods to Èowyn in the direction of Théodred’s torso. Èowyn draws back the covers and upon seeing Théodred’S fatal wound, her lips tighten and her eyes close. She looks up to catch Èomer’s eye.]
[Èomer and Èowyn are speaking to King Théoden who sits motionless on his throne, wizened and aged beyond his years.]
Èowyn: [To Théoden]: Your son is badly wounded, my lord.
Èomer: He was ambushed by Orcs. If we don't defend our country, Saruman will take it by force.
Grima: That is a lie! Saruman the White has ever been our friend and ally.
Théoden: [Mumbling]: Grima... Grima
Èomer: Orcs are roaming freely across our lands. Unchecked, unchallenged, killing at will. Orcs bearing the white hand of Saruman.
[Èomer drops a helmet onto the ground, which topples over to reveal the white hand of Saruman.]
Grima: Why do you lay these troubles on an already troubled mind? Can you not see? Your uncle is weary of your malcontent, your warmongering.
Èomer: Warmongering? (pushes Grima roughly up against the wall, holding his throat) How long has it been since Saruman bought you? What was the promised price, Grima? When all the men are dead you would take a share of the treasure? [Èomer watches Grima, whose eyes fall on Èowyn's figure in the background.] Too long have you watched my sister, too long have you haunted her steps.
Grima: (smiles cruelly as soldiers appear behind Èomer) You see much, Èomer son of Èomund. Too much. You are banished forthwith from the kingdom of Rohan, under pain of death.

[The Uruk-hai and Orcs continue to march across the plains with their hobbit captives. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are in pursuit.]
Gimli: Keep breathing, that's the key! Breathe! Ho!
Legolas: They run as if the very whips of their masters were behind them.

[They continue running over vast distances. The Uruk-hai and Orcs halt at nightfall, many panting.]
Baglor: We ain't goin' no further till we've 'ad a breather.
Uglúk: Get the fire going!
Pippin: Merry! Merry!
Merry: I think, we might have made a mistake leaving the Shire, Pippin.
[A rumbling sound is heard.]
Pippin: What's making that noise?
Merry: It's the trees.
Pippin: What?
Merry: You remember the Old Forest? On the borders of Buckland? Folks used to say that there was something in the water that made the trees tall, and come alive.
Pippin: Alive?
Merry: Trees that could whisper, talk to each other, even move.
Baglor: I'm starving. We ain't 'ad nothin' but maggoty bread for three stinkin' days!
Roc: Yeah! Why can't we have some meat? [Looking at the hobbits]: What about them? They're fresh!
Uglúk: They are not for eating!
Grishnákh: What about their legs? They don't need those. Ooh! They look tasty!
Uglúk: Get back!
Roc: Just a mouthful?
[Uglúk kills Roc.]
Uglúk: Looks like meat's back on the menu boys!
[The Uruk-hai and Orcs cheer and started tearing into Roc, intestines flying, taking their eyes off the hobbits for a while.]
Merry: Pippin, let's go!
[Their hands still bound, the hobbits try to crawl away. Suddenly a foot comes down onto Pippin and flips him over.]
Grishnákh: Go on, call for help. Squeal! No one's gonna save you now!
[Suddenly, hits Grishnákh. Mayhem ensues as Riders of Rohan burst out from their hiding places and ambush the Orcs.]
Merry: Pippin!
[The hobbits try to escape from the pandemonium to the forest, dodging bodies and stomping feet. Suddenly Pippin turns and looks up at a pair of thrashing hooves bearing down on him.]
Pippin: Ahh!
[The Three Hunters are still chasing after the Uruk-Hai. Dawn has broken.]
Legolas: A red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night.
[The sound of horses comes to their ears. Aragorn quickly gets them to hide behind some boulders. A large group of horse-men appears, galloping quickly with their banners flying. Aragorn comes out of hiding as they pass, followed by Legolas and Gimli.]
Aragorn: Riders of Rohan! What news from the Mark?
[At a signal from Èomer at the lead, the riders make a quick turn and head towards them, surrounding them in an ever-tightening circle. As they stop, they point their long spears menacingly at them.]
Èomer: What business does an elf, a man, and a dwarf have in the Riddermark? Speak quickly!
Gimli: Give me your name, horsemaster, and I shall give you mine.
Èomer: (dismounts) I would cut off your head, Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground.
[Legolas, in a lightning fast move, points an arrow at Èomer.]
Legolas: You would die before your stroke fell!
[The riders all point their spears closer to the travelers. Aragorn pushes down Legolas’ arm.]
Aragorn: I'm Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is Gimli, son of Gloin, and Legolas, from the Woodland realm. We are friends of Rohan and of Théoden, its King.
Èomer: Théoden no longer recognizes friend from foe. [He takes helmet off.] Not even his own kin. [The spears are withdrawn.] Saruman has poisoned the mind of the king and claim lordship over this land. My company are those loyal to Rohan. And for that, we are banished. The White Wizard is cunning. He walks here and there they say, as an old man, hooded and cloaked. And everywhere his spies slip past our nets.
Aragorn: We are not spies. We track a band of Uruk-Hai westward across the plains. They have taken two of our friends captive.
Èomer: The Uruks are destroyed. We slaughtered them during the night.
Gimli: [Distraught, despairingly]: But there were two Hobbits, do you see two Hobbits with them?
Aragorn: They would be small, only children to your eyes.
Èomer: We left none alive. We piled the carcasses and burned them. [He points off in the distance, where we see the Uruk-hai pile, still smoking.]
Gimli: [Disbelievingly]: They are dead?
Èomer: [He pauses briefly - then nods.] FI am sorry. Hasufel! Arod! [Two riderless horses come forth.] May these horses bear you to better fortune than the former masters. Farewell. Look for your friends, but do not trust to hope. It has forsaken these lands. [To the riders]: We ride north!

[Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli ride towards the burning carcasses, and Gimli starts to shift through the smoldering pile, from which he retrieves a charred belt and dagger sheath.]
Gimli: [Sadly]: It’s one of their little belts.
Legolas: [With closed eyes]: Hiro hyn hîdh ab 'wanath. [Translation: "May they find peace after death."]
Aragorn: AAAHHH!!! [He kicks the Orc pile.]
Gimli: [In disbelief]: We failed them.
[Aragorn away, off to the side, but as he does so, something catches his eye.]
Aragorn: A Hobbit lay here, and the other.
[Flashback: Pippin yells as he looks up at a pair of thrashing hooves bearing down on him. He rolls over.]
Aragorn: They crawled.
[Flashback: Merry and Pippin crawl frantically away from the battle.]
Aragorn: Their hands were bound.
[Flashback: Merry rubs his bonds furiously against the sharp edge of an upturned blade.]
Aragorn: Their bonds were cut. They ran over here and were followed.
[Flashback: Their hands freed, the hobbits run away from the battle scene, dodging under a horse and trying to stay out of harms way. As they flee, Grishnákh grabs Pippin by his belt and clings on.]
Merry: The belt! Run!
[Pippin undoes his belt and Grishnákh is left holding the belt and the hobbits run off.]
Aragorn: (following the tracks) Tracks lead away from the battle, into... Fangorn Forest.
Gimli: Fangorn! What madness drew them there?

[The hobbits are in Fangorn Forest.]
Pippin: Did we lose him? I think we lost him.
[Suddenly, Grishnákh bursts through the branches, brandishing a blade.]
Grishnákh: I'm gonna rip off both your little heads! Come here!
Merry: Trees! Climb a tree! [Pippin and Merry each scramble up a tree.] He's gone.
[Suddenly, Merry is pulled by his legs and falls to the ground. Grishnákh leans over him with his menacing blade.]
Pippin: Merry!
[Pippin looks down in horror but as he turns his head, he spots a pair of gleaming yellow eyes blinking in the tree he’s clinging to.]
Pippin: Ah!
[Pippin loses his grip in fright and falls. The tree catches him.]
Grishnákh: [To Merry]: Let’s put a maggot-hole in your belly.
[Suddenly Grishnákh senses something behind him and as he looks up, the tree squashes him.]
Pippin: Run, Merry!
[The Tree scoops up Merry.]
Treebeard: Little Orcs! BOO-RA-ROOM
Pippin: It's talking Merry. The tree is talking.
Treebeard: Tree? I am no tree! I am an Ent.
Merry: Treeherder! Shepherd of the forest.
Pippin: Don't talk to it Merry. Don't encourage it.
Treebeard: Treebeard some call me.
Pippin: And whose side are you on?
Treebeard: Side? I am on nobody's side. Because nobody is on my side, little Orc. Nobody cares for the woods anymore.
Merry: We are not Orcs. We are Hobbits!
Treebeard: Hobbits? Never heard of a Hobbit before. Sounds like Orc mischief to me. They come with fire, they come with axes. Biting, breaking, hacking, burning. Destroyers and usurpers. Curse them!
Merry: No! You don't understand. We are Hobbits, halflings. Shirefolk!
Treebeard: Maybe you are, and maybe you aren't. The White Wizard will know.
Pippin: White Wizard?
Merry: Saruman!
[Treebeard drops Merry and Pippin on the ground and the Hobbits look up in wonder at the White Wizard.]
Frodo and Sam follow Gollum to the end of the rocky terrain. Gollum looks back.]
Gollum: See, see, we have led you out! Hurry, hurry! Very lucky we find you. Nice hobbit.
Sam: Whoa! It's a bog! He's led us into a swamp!
Gollum: Swamp, yes. Come master. We will take you to safe paths, through the mist. Come Hobbits, come. We move quickly. I found it. I did. The way through the marshes. Orcs don't use it. Orcs don't know it. They go round for miles and miles. Come quickly. Swift and quickly.
Sam: There are dead things! Dead faces in the water!
Gollum: All dead. All rotten. Elves and men and Orcs. A great battle long ago. The Dead Marshes. Yes, yes! That is the name. This way. Don't follow the lights.
Sam: Ohh!
Gollum: Careful now! Or hobbits go down to join the dead ones, and light little candles of their own.
[Frodo stares, as if in a trance, at the lights in the water and movede towards it. He falls face-down into the water.]
Sam: Frodo!
[Frodo sees many faces of the dead in the water. Their hands reach for him, seeking to draw him into their realm. Suddenly he is grabbed from behind and pulled ashore, by Gollum]
Frodo: Gollum?
Gollum: Don't follow the lights!
Sam: Frodo! are you alright?

Nightfall: Sam is asleep but Frodo is still awake. He holds the Ring in the palm of his hand, staring at it and stroking it. Suddenly he hears a voice.]
Gollum: So bright, so beautiful. Ah precious.
Frodo: What did you say?
Gollum: Master should be resting. Master need to keep up his strength.
Frodo: Who are you?
Gollum: Mustn't ask us it's name, not his business. Gollum, Gollum.
Frodo: Gandalf told me you were one of the River Folk.
Gollum: Cold be heart and rock and bone. And call every traveler far from home.
Frodo: He said your life was a sad story.
Gollum: They do not see what lies ahead when sun has faded and moon is dead.
Frodo: You were not so different from a Hobbit once were you... Sméagol?
Gollum: [Turning around]: What did you call me?
Frodo: That was your name once, wasn't it? A long time ago.
Gollum: My... My name... Sméagol. Ahh!
Sam: Black Riders!
Gollum: Hide! Hide!
[Frodo feels a sharp pain in his shoulder.]
Sam: C'mon Frodo, C'mon!
Gollum: They will see us! They will see us. Wraiths! Wraiths on wings!
Sam: I thought they were dead!
Gollum: Dead? No, you cannot kill them. No. [Ringwraith Screeches] They are calling for the precious. They are calling for the preciousssss.
[Frodo reaches for the Ring. Sam holds Frodo's hand.]
Sam: It's alright.
[The Ringwraith circles overhead and flies off into the distance.]
Gollum: Hurry, hobbits. The Black Gate is very close.

Meanwhile, Aragorn and company go into Fangorn Forest to look for Merry and Pippin.]

Gimli: Orc blood!
Aragorn: These are strange tracks.
Gimli: The air is so close here.
Legolas: This forest is old. Very old. Full of memories...and anger. The trees are speaking to each other.
Aragorn: Gimli!
Gimli: Huh?
Aragorn: Lower your axe.
Gimli: Oh!
Legolas: Aragorn, nad no ennas! [Translation: "Something is out there!"]
Aragorn: Man cenich? [Translation: "What do you see?"]
Legolas: The White Wizard approaches.
Aragorn: Do not let him speak. He will out a spell on us! We must be quick.
[With a yell, the three swing round to attack in accord. They are suddenly blinded by a bright light emanating from the White Wizard. Gimli’s axe and Legolas’ arrow are deflected. Aragorn's sword becomes to hot to hold.]
Wizard: You are tracking the footsteps of two young hobbits
Aragorn: Where are they?
Wizard: They passed this way the day before yesterday. They met someone they did not expect. Does that comfort you?
Aragorn: Who are you? Show yourself!
[The light dims, revealing Gandalf, dressed in white.]
Aragorn: It cannot be! You fell!
Gandalf: Through fire and water.
[Flashback: Gandalf is battling the Balrog on a peak.] Gandalf: (V.O.) From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak, I fought him, the Balrog of Morgoth.
[Gandalf holds up Glamdring and a flash of lightning strikes it before he plunges the sword into the Balrog. With a final cry, the Balrog falls from the peak and lands, smoking, onto the icy mountainside.] Gandalf: (V.O.) Until at last, I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside. Darkness took me. And I strayed out of thought and time. Stars wheeled overhead and each day was as long as a life age of the earth. But it was not the end. I felt life in me again. I've been sent back until my task is done.
[End Flashback.]
Aragorn: Gandalf.
Gandalf: Gandalf? Oh yes. That's what they used to call me. Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
Gimli: Gandalf!
Gandalf: I am Gandalf the White now. And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.[They start to walk through the forest, with Gandalf leading the way.] One stage of the journey is over another begins. War has come to Rohan. We must ride to Edoras with all speed.
[Outside the forest, Gandalf whistles piercingly. Soon an answering neigh is heard and a white horse appears from the plain, answering the call.]
Legolas: That is one of the mearas, unless my eyes are cheated by some spell.
Gandalf: Shadowfax. He's the lord of all horses and he's been my friend through many dangers.
[The four ride off.]

[Treebeard walks through the forest, carrying Merry and Pippin.]
Treebeard: My home. I sleep in the forest here. The roots of the mountains. I told Gandalf I would keep you safe and safe is where I'll keep you. The trees have gone wild and dangerous. Anger is in their hearts. They will harm you if they can. There are too few of us now. Too few of us that are left to manage them.
[Frodo and Sam are led to the edge of a cliff.]
Gollum: The Black Gate of Mordor.
Sam: My old Gaffer would have a thing or two to say if he saw this.
Gollum: Master says show him the way into Mordor so good Sméagol does what master says so.
Frodo: I did.
[Orcs are patrolling the Black Gate.]
Sam: We cannot get past them.
[A command is heard and an Orc sounds a horn. Two enormous cave trolls stretch and growl and then pull the mighty Gate open.]
Sam: Look! The gate, it's opening! I can see a way down.
[Sam moves closer to the edge. Suddenly, the rock underneath him gives way and he falls.]
Frodo: Sam! No!
Sam: Ah!!
[Frodo goes after Sam.]
Gollum: Master!
[Two Easterling soldiers see streams of dust coming down the cliff and investigate. Frodo reaches Sam who is stuck. As the Easterlings move closer and closer, Frodo throws his elvish cloak over himself and Sam. The soldiers can't see them and leave.]
Frodo: I do not ask you to come with me, Sam.
Sam: I know, Mr. Frodo. I doubt these elvish cloaks will help us in there.
Frodo: Now!
Gollum: No! No! No master! They catch you! They catch you. Don't take it to Him. He wants the precioussss. Always he's looking for it. And the preciousss is wanting to go back to him, but we musn't let him have it.
[Frodo tries to go, but Gollum won't let him.]
Gollum: No! There is another way. More secret, and dark way.
Sam: Why haven't you spoke of this before?!
Gollum: Because master did not ask!
Sam: He is up to something.
Frodo: Are you saying that there is another way to Mordor?
Gollum: Yes. There is a path, and some stairs and then a tunnel.
Frodo: He has led us this far, Sam.
Sam: Mr. Frodo, no!
Frodo: He's been true to his word.
Sam: No!
Frodo: Lead the way, Sméagol.
Gollum: Good Sméagol always help.
Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas approach a Kingdom.]
Gandalf: Edoras and the Golden Hall of Meduseld, King of Rohan, whose mind is overthrown and Saruman's hold over King Théoden is now very strong.
[Interior: Èowyn speaks to Théoden]
Èowyn: My lord, your son is dead. My lord? Uncle? Will you not go to him? Will you do nothing.
Gandalf: Be careful what you say. Do not look for welcome here.
[Èowyn mourns the loss of the kings' son in a separate chamber.]
Grima: Ohh he, he must have died sometime in the night. What a tragedy for the king to lose his only son and heir. I understand his passing is hard to accept, especially now that your brother has deserted you.
Èowyn: Leave me alone, you snake!
Grima: Oh, but you are alone. Who knows what you have spoken to the darkness, the bitter watches of the night. When all your life seems to shrink. The walls of your bower closing in about you. So fair, so cold, like a morning pale spring still clinging to winter's chill.
Èowyn: Your words are poison.
[Èowyn exits. Gandalf, Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas approach.]
Gimli: You'll find more cheer in a graveyard.
[Guards approach.]
Gandalf: Ah.
Hama: I cannot allow you before Théoden-king so armed, Gandalf Grayhame. By order of Grima Wormtongue.
[Gandalf nods, gesturing to the others to give up their weapons. Aragorn hands over his sword, then pulls out a knife from his clothing, handing that over, too. Legolas hands over his knives and bow, and, rather reluctantly, Gimli hands over his axe. With this done, they make their way to the entrance.]
Hama: [Gesturing to Gandalf]: Your staff.
Gandalf: Hmm? [He glances at his staff.] [Innocently]: Oh. No, you would not part an old man from his - walking stick.
[Hama nods, and gestures that they follow him into the hall. Gandalf winks at Aragorn, and they make their way into the hall.]
Grima: My Lord. Gandalf the Grey is coming. A herald of woe.
Gandalf: The courtesy of your hall is somewhat lessened of late, Théoden-King.
Grima: He is not welcome.
Théoden: Why should I welcome you, Gandalf - Stormcrow?
Grima: [In Theoden's ear]: A just question, my liege. [Loudly, so all can hear]: Late is the hour in which this conjurer chooses to appear. Lathspell spell I name him. Ill news is an ill guest.
Gandalf: Silence! Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a witless worm!
Grima: Your staff... [Slowly yet impatiently, to the guards]: I told you to take the wizard's staff!
Gandalf: Théoden, Son of Thengel. Too long have you sat in shadows.
Gimli: [To Grima]: I would stay still if I were you.
Gandalf: I will release you from the spell.
Théoden: Hahaha! You have no powers here Gandalf the Grey. Haha! Ah!!
Gandalf: I shall draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound.
[Èowyn rushes in, tries to go to Théoden, but Aragorn stops her.]
Aragorn: Wait.
Théoden: [in Saruman's voice] If I go, Théoden dies.
Gandalf: You did not kill me you will not kill him.
Théoden: [in Saruman's voice] Rohan is mine!
Gandalf: Be gone!
[Saruman's spell is broken. Théoden's face begins to change, into a much younger-looking man. Èowyn rushes up to him.]
Théoden: I know your face. Èowyn... Èowyn.
Gandalf: Breathe the free air again, my friend.
Théoden: Dark my dreams have been of late.
Gandalf: Your fingers would remember their old strength better... if they grasped your sword.
[Hama runs up with his sword. Théoden draws it out, then his gaze turns to Grima. The guards throws Grima out of the hall and down the stairs.]
Grima: Ah! I've only ever served you my lord
Théoden: Your witchcraft would have had me crawling on all fours like a beast!
Grima: Send me not from your side!
[Théoden raises sword to kill Grima but Aragorn stops him.]
Aragorn: No my lord! Let him go. Enough blood has been spilled on his account.
Grima: Get out of my way!
[Grima exits.]
Aragorn: Hail, Théoden, King!
Théoden: Where is Théodred? Where is my son?
[Théoden visits his Théodred's grave.]
Théoden: Simbelmyne. Ever has it grown on the tombs of my forebears. Now it shall cover the grave of my son. Alas, that these evil days shall be mine. The young perish and the old linger. That I should live to see the last days of my house.
Gandalf: Théodred's death was not of your making.
Théoden: No parent should have to bury their child.
Gandalf: He was strong in life. His spirits will find his way to the halls of your fathers.
[Eothain and Freya appear on the hill on horseback. Eothain falls off the horse.]

Inside the Golden Hall, the two children eat under the care of Èowyn.]
Èowyn: They had no warning. They were unarmed. Now the wildmen are moving through westfold, burning as they go, every rick and cot.
Freya Where's momma?
Èowyn: Shh.
Gandalf: This is but a taste of the terror that Saruman will unleash. All the more potent for he is driven mad by the fear of Sauron. Ride out and meet him head on. Draw him away from the women and children. You must fight.
Aragorn: You have 2000 good men riding north as we speak. Èomer is loyal to you. His men will return and fight for their king.
Théoden: They will be three hundred leagues from here by now. Èomer cannot help us. I know what is that you want of me. But I would not bring further death to my people. I will not risk open war.
Aragorn: Open war is upon you, whether would risk it or not.
Théoden: When last I looked, Théoden, not Aragorn, was king of Rohan.
Gandalf: Then what is the king's decision?
[Cut to Exterior: Hama shouts to the people of Rohan.]
Hama By order of the king, The city must empty. We make for the refuge of Helm's Deep. Do not burden yourself with treasures. Take only what provisions you need.
Gimli: Helm's Deep! They flee to the mountains when they should stand and fight. Who will defend them if not their king?
Aragorn: He is only doing what he thinks is best for his people. Helm's Deep has saved them in the past.
Gandalf: There is no way out of that of ravine. Théoden is walking into a trap. He thinks he is leading them to safety but what he'll get is a massacre. Théoden has a strong hold but I fear for him. I fear for the survival of Rohan. He will need you before the end there, Aragorn. The people of Rohan will need you. The defenses have to hold.
Aragorn: They will hold.
Gandalf: The Grey Pilgrim. That is what they used to call me. Three hundred lives of men have walked this earth and now, I have no time. Good luck. My search will not be in vain. Look to my coming. At first light of the fifth day at dawn, look to the East.
Aragorn: Go.
[Gandalf exits on Shadowfax.]

[Èowyn opens a chest to reveal a sword. She swings it around and is parried by Aragorn.]
Aragorn: You have some skill with a blade.
Èowyn: Women of this country learned long ago that those without swords may still die upon them. I fear neither death nor pain.
Aragorn: What do you fear my lady?
Èowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them. And all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.
Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings. A shieldmaiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

[Meanwhile, at Isengard:]
Grima: Théoden will not stay at Edoras. It is vulnerable. He knows this. He will expect an attack on the city. They will flee to Helm's Deep, the great fortress of Rohan. It is a dangerous road to take through the mountains. It will be slow. They will have women and children with them.
[Saruman walks through the depths of Isengard. He approaches an Orc.]
Saruman: Send out your warg riders.
[Gollum is still leading Sam and Frodo.]
Sam: Hey Stinker! Don't go getting too far ahead!
Frodo: Why do you do that?
Sam: What?
Frodo: Call him names? Run him down all the time.
Sam: Because. 'Cause that's what he is, Mr. Frodo. There's naught left in 'im but lies and deceit. It's the Ring he wants. It's all he cares about.
Frodo: You have no idea what it did to him. What is still doing to him. I want to help him Sam.
Sam: Why?
Frodo: Because I have to believe he could come back.
Sam: You can't save him, Mr. Frodo.
Frodo: What do you know about it? Nothing! I'm sorry Sam. I don't know why I said that.
Sam: I do. It's the Ring. You can't take your eyes off it. I've seen you. You're not eating. You barely sleep. It's taking a hold of you Mr Frodo. You have to fight it.
Frodo: I know what I have to do Sam. The Ring was entrusted to me. It's my task! Mine! My own!
Sam: Can't you hear yourself? Don't you know who you sound like?
[Gollum is off by himself at night.]
Gollum: We wants it, we needs it. Must have the Preciousss. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, filthsss!
Sméagol: "No! No! Master!"
Gollum: Yess. Preciousss first. They will cheat you, hurt you, lie!
Sméagol: Master's my friend.
Gollum: You don't have any friends. Nobody likes you.
Sméagol: Not listening. Not listening.
Gollum: You’re a liar, and a thief.
Sméagol: No.
Gollum: Murderer!
Sméagol: Go away.
Gollum: Go away?! Ahahhaa!
Sméagol: I hate you, I hate you.
Gollum: Where would you be without me? Gollum. Gollum. I saved us. It was me. We survived because of me.
Sméagol: Not anymore.
Gollum: What did you say?
Sméagol: Master looks after us now. We don't need you.
Gollum: What?
Sméagol: Leave now and never come back.
Gollum: No!
Sméagol: Leave now and never come back!
Gollum: Ahh!
Sméagol: LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK![Silence] We told him to go away! And away he goes, preciousss. Gone, gone, gone, Sméagol is free!
[The next day Sméagol comes back with two rabbits and puts them to Frodo's lap.]
Sméagol: Look! Look! See what Sméagol finds! Ehehe! Hohohhooo! They are young! They are tender and nice. Yes they are! Eat them. Eat them.
Sam: Make him sick you will, behaving like that. There's only one way to eat a brace of coneys.
[Sam cooks the rabbits in a pot.]
Sméagol: Argh!! What’s he doing! Stupid fat hobbit. You ruins it!
Sam: What’s to ruin? There's hardly any meat on them. What we need it a few good taters.
Sméagol: What's taters? Preciousss, what's taters? Huh?
Po-ta-toes!! Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.
Sméagol: Phooh!
Sam: Even you couldn't say no to that.
Sméagol: Oh yes we could. Ssspoiling nice fish! Give it to ussss raw. and wwwriggling. You keep nasty chips!
Sam: You're hopeless. Mr Frodo?
[Frodo sees an army of the Easterling soldiers marching nearby.]
Sam: Who are they?
Sméagol: Wicked men, servants of Sauron. They are called to Mordor. The Dark One is gathering all armies to him. It won't be long now. It will soon be ready.
Sam: Ready to do what?
Sméagol: To make His war. The last war that will cover all the world in shadow.
Frodo: We've got to keep moving. C'mon Sam.
Sam: Mr. Frodo! Look! It's an Oliphaunt! No one at home will believe this.
[Sméagol sneaks away.]
Frodo: Sméagol?
[Chaos breaks out when the Easterlings are attacked from the bushes.]

Frodo: We've lingered here for too long. C'mon Sam!
[Frodo and Sam are caught by men.]
Sam: Ah!
Faramir: Bind their hands.
[The villagers or Rohan are heading towards Helm's Deep.]
Gimli: It's true you don't see many dwarf women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, they are often mistaken for dwarf men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
Gimli: And this in turn has given rise to the belief that there are no dwarf women. And the dwarves just, spring out of holes in the ground! Which is of course ridiculous. Whoa! [Gimli falls from his horse.] It's alright! It's alright. Nobody panic. That was deliberate. It was deliberate.

[At night and Aragorn drifts off to sleep.]
Arwen: The light of the Evenstar does not wax and wane. It is mine to give to whom I will. Like my heart. Go to sleep.
Aragorn: I am asleep. This is a dream.
Arwen: Then it is a good dream. Sleep.
Aragorn: Sleep... Minlû pedich nin, i aur hen telitha. [Translation: "You told me once, this day would come."]
Arwen: Ú i vethed...nâ i onnad. Boe bedich go Frodo. Han bâd lîn. [Translation: "This is not the end. It is the beginning. You must go with Frodo. That is your path."]
Aragorn: Dolen i vâd o nin. [Translation: "My path is hidden from me."]
Arwen: Si peliannen i vâd na dail lîn. Si boe ú-dhannathach. [Translation: "It is already laid before your feet, you cannot falter now."]
Aragorn: Arwen.
Arwen Ae ú-esteliach nad... estelio han. Estelio ammen. [Translation: "If you trust nothing else, trust this. Trust us."]

[Aragorn and the Rohirrim continue their journey.]
Èowyn: Where is she? The woman who gave you that jewel?
[Flashback to Elrond conversing with Aragorn at Rivendell:]
ELROND: Our time here is ending. Arwen's time is ending. Let her go. Let her take the ship into the West. Let her bear away her love for you to the undying lands, there to be ever green.
Aragorn: But never more than a memory.
ELROND: I will not leave my daughter here to die.
Aragorn: She stays because she still has hope.
ELROND: She stays for YOU! She belongs with her people.
[Aragorn meets Arwen before the departure of the Fellowship.]
Aragorn: Edra le men, men na guil edwen... haer o auth a nîr a naeth. [Translation: "You have a chance for another life ...away from war... grief... despair."]
Arwen Why are you saying this?
Aragorn: I'm mortal. You are elfkind. It was a dream Arwen, nothing more.
[Aragorn tries to give the Evenstar back to Arwen.]
Aragorn: This belongs to you.
Arwen It was a gift. Keep it.
[Flashback ends.]
Èowyn: My lord?
Aragorn: She is sailing to the undying lands, with all that is left of her kin.
Gamling: What is it? Hama?
Hama I'm not sure.
[A warg scout appears above them and attacks Hama, killing him. Legolas immediately comes to the rescue, shooting with his bow.]
Legolas: A scout!
Théoden: What is it? What do you see?
Aragorn: Wargs! We are under attack!
Théoden: All riders to the head of the column!
Gimli: C'mon get me up here, I'm a rider. Agh!
Théoden: You must lead the people to Helm's Deep and make haste.
Èowyn: I can fight!
Théoden: No! You must do this. For me.
Théoden: Follow me!
Gimli: Forward, forward, march forward.
Èowyn: [To the villagers]: Make for the lower ground. Stay together!
[The warg riders and the Rohirrim crash at full speed. They fight like men (and Orcs). Gimli falls of the horse and a riderless warg heads towards him.]
Gimli: Bring your pretty face to my axe!
[Legolas shoots the warg.]
Gimli: That one counts as mine!
[A dead warg lands on Gimli.]
Gimli: Argh! Stinking creature!
[Aragorn catches his hand in the harness of a warg, and fights with the Orc rider, who finally falls off. Aragorn and the warg tumble off the cliff.]
Gimli: Where is Aragorn?
Legolas: Aragorn?
[Legolas spots an Orc on the ground, laughing.]
Legolas: Where is he? Speak up!
Orc: Ghehehe, seems like your friend took a little tumble off the cliff.
Legolas: You lie!
[The Orc dies, and Legolas sees the Orc is holding Evenstar in his hand. He takes it, and runs to the edge of the cliff. As he looks down, we see a long drop to a fast moving river below, but Aragorn is not to be seen. Gimli comes to stand beside Legolas.]
[To his men]: Get the wounded on horses. The wolves of Isengard will return. Leave the dead.
[Legolas turns to look at Théoden, an expression of perplexed anger on his face.]
Theoden: [He places his hand on Legolas' shoulder.] [Gently]: Come.
[Théoden leaves, but Legolas and Aragorn remain, still looking down into the river in disbelief.]

[We see the villagers of Rohan approaching the refuge of Helm's Deep. They shout in joy and relief, as it comes into sight.]
Refugees: Helm’s Deep! At last! There it is!
Old Woman: [To Eowyn]: We’re safe, my lady! Thank you!
[Eowyn embraces the woman, as they walk on towards the refuge. The gate is opened for them, and we are given our first sight of the inside of Helm's deep. We see that many of the villagers have already arrived, and there are many resting inside, along the corridors of the great stone refuge. Out of the confusion, Eothain and Freda run into their mother's arms.]
Freya: Mama!
Mother: Freya! Freya!
[As the three embrace, King Théoden enters with his men.]
GUARD: Make way for Théoden! Make way for the King!
[Èowyn runs out to meet them.]
Èowyn: So few! [She watches, as a small and weary crowd of Théoden's men move past her, and into the refuge.] [Anxiously]: So few of you have returned!
Théoden: [As he dismounts]: Our people are safe. We have paid for it with my many lives.[Gimli makes his way to Èowyn.]
Gimli: My lady...
Èowyn: [Much concerned, as though she has already guessed what is to come.] [Slowly]: Lord Aragorn, where is he?
Gimli: [With bowed head]: He fell...
[Shaken and teary-eyed, Èowyn raises her gaze to look at Théoden. Unable to look his niece in the eye, Théoden looks down and walks away.]

[At the battlements]:
Théoden: Draw all our forces behind the wall. Bar the gate, and set a watch on the surround.
GUARD: What of those who cannot fight my lord? The women and children?
Théoden: Get them into the caves. Saruman's arm would have grown long indeed if he thinks he can reach us here.

[At Isengard:]
Grima: Helm's Deep has but one weakness. It's outer wall is solid rock for except for a small culvert in space which is little more than a drain.
[Saruman pours explosives into a metallic ball.]
Grima: How? How can fire undo stone? What kind of device can break down a wall?
Saruman: If the wall is breached, Helm's Deep will fall.
Grima: Even if it is breached, it would take a number beyond reckoning, thousands to storm the keep.
Saruman: Tens of thousands.
Grima: But, my lord, there is no such force.
[They walk to the balcony of the tower Orthanc and Grima looks in awe at tens of thousands of Orcs.]
Saruman: A new power is rising. It's victory is at hand. This night the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan! March to Helm's Deep! Leave none alive! To war! There will be no dawn for Men.

[Merry and Pippin are walking towards Isengard.]
Pippin: Look! The smoke to the south!
Treebeard: There is always smoke rising up from Isengard these days.
Merry: Isengard?
Treebeard: There was a time, when Saruman would walk in my woods, but now, he has a mind of metal and wheels.
Treebeard: He no longer cares for growing things.
[Merry spots something.]
Pippin: What is it?
Merry: It's Saruman's army! The war has started.
[Aragorn floats down the river and washes ashore. He dreams of Arwen.]
Arwen: May the grace of the Valar protect you.
[Brego, his horse arrives and gently nudges him. Aragorn comes to and mounts him.]

At Rivendell:]
ELROND: Arwen. Tollen i lû. I chair gwannar na Valannor. Si bado, no círar. [Translation: "Arwen. It is time. The ships are leaving for Valinor. Go now before it is too late."]
Arwen: I've made my choice.
ELROND: He is not coming back. Why do you linger when there is no hope?"
Arwen: There is still hope.
ELROND: If Aragorn survives this war, You will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king and all that you hoped for comes true... you will still have to taste the bitterness of mortality. Whether by the sword or the slow decay of time, Aragorn will die. And there will be no comfort for you. No comfort to ease the pain of his passing. He will come to death. An image of the splendor of the kings of men in glory, undimmed before the breaking of the world. But you, my daughter, you will linger on in darkness and in doubt. As night falling winter has come without a star. Here you will dwell, bound to you grief, under the fading trees, until all the world has changed and the long years of your life are utterly spent. Arwen... there is nothing for you here, only death. A im, ú- 'erin veleth lîn? [Translation: "Do I not also have your love?"
Arwen: Gerich meleth nîn, ada. [Translation: "You have my love father."]
[The Elves (including Arwen) depart Rivendell.]
GALADRIEL: I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae a han noston ned 'wilith. [Translation: "The world is changed; I can feel it in the water, I can feel it in the earth, I can smell it in the air."] The power of the enemy is growing. Sauron will use his puppet Saruman to destroy the people of Rohan. Isengard has been unleashed. The Eye of Sauron now turns to Gondor. The last free kingdom of men. His war on this country will come swiftly. He senses the Ring is close. The strength of the Ringbearer is failing. In his heart, Frodo begins to understand. The quest will claim his life. You know this. You have foreseen it. It is the risk we all took. In the gathering dark, the will of the Ring grows strong. It works hard now to find its way back into the hands of men. Men, who are so easily seduced by its power. The young captain of Gondor has but to extend his hand to take the Ring for his own and the world will fall. He is close now, so close to achieving his goal. For Sauron will have dominion over all life on this Earth, even until the ending of the world. The time of the elves is over. Do we leave Middle-Earth to this fate? Do we let them stand-alone?
[Faramir and his men look over a map.]
Faramir: What news?
Parn: Our scouts report Saruman has attacked Rohan. Théoden’s people have fled to Helm’s Deep. But we must look to our own borders. Faramir, Orcs are on the move. Sauron is marshalling an army. Easterlings and Southrons are passing through the Black Gate.
Faramir: How many?
Parn: Some thousands. More come every day.
Faramir: Who’s covering the river to the north?
Parn: We pulled five hundred men out of Osgiliath, but if the city is attacked, we won’t hold it.
Faramir: Saruman attacks from Isengard. Sauron from Mordor. The fight will come to men on both fronts. Gondor is weak. Sauron will strike us soon. And he will strike hard. He knows now we do not have the strength to repel him.
Faramir: [To Sam and Frodo]: My men tell me that you are Orc spies.
Sam: Spies! Now wait just a minute.
Faramir: Well if you’re not spies, then who are you?
Faramir: Speak!
Frodo: We are hobbits of the Shire. Frodo Baggins is my name and this is Samwise Gamgee.
Faramir: Your bodyguard?
Sam: His gardener.
Faramir: And where is your skulking friend? That gangrel creature. He had an ill-favored look.
Frodo: There was no other. We set out from Rivendell with seven companions. One we lost in Moria. Two were my kin. A dwarf there was also. And an elf. And two men. Aragorn, son of Arathorn and Boromir of Gondor.
Faramir: You were friend of Boromir?
Frodo: Yes, for my part.
Faramir: It would grieve you then to learn that he is dead?
Frodo: Dead? How? When?
Faramir: As one of his companions, I had hoped you would tell me. He was my brother.
Lorne: Captain Faramir. We found it.
Faramir: [enters where Frodo is sleeping] You must come with me. Now.
[Frodo is led outside.]
Faramir: Down there.
[Frodo looks down to the Forbidden Pool and sees Sméagol dive in it.]
Faramir: To enter the Forbidden Pool bears the penalty of death.
[Archers step out from the bushes, arrows on strings, ready to shoot.]
Faramir: They wait for my command. Shall they shoot?
Sméagol: [Singing]: Rock and pool, Is nice and cool, So juicy sweeeet. I only wish, To catch a fish, So juicy sweeeeet!
[Faramir eye moves from Frodo, to Gollum, and to the archers, his hand raised, preparing to command the archers. But, just as he seems about to make the final movement, Frodo speaks.]
Frodo: Wait. [Faramir stops, and turns to Frodo.] This creature is bound to me. And I to him. He is our guide. [Faramir raises his eyebrows.] [Pleadingly]: Please, let me go down to him.
[Faramir nods, and we see Frodo make his way down to the Forbidden Pool. Frodo comes to tall rock face on entering the Pool, and stops behind it.]
Frodo: Sméagol. Master is here. [He beckons for Sméagol to come to him.] Come, Sméagol. Trust master. Come.
Sméagol: We must... go now?
Frodo: Sméagol, you must trust master. Follow me, come on. Come. Come, Sméagol. Nice Sméagol. That’s it. Come on.
[As Sméagol comes to the rock face behind which Frodo stands, Faramir's men jump on him, wrestling him to the ground.]
Frodo: Don’t hurt him! Sméagol don’t struggle! Sméagol, listen to me!
Sméagol: [Wailing]: Master!
[A black cloth is thrown over Sméagol's head. Frodo stares after them, distraught, as Faramir leads Sméagol and his men away.]
[Sméagol is brought to the cave, and thrown to the ground. Crying, he curls up in a corner.]
Faramir: Where are you leading them? Answer me!
Gollum: Sméagol... Why do you cry, Sméagol?
Sméagol: Cruel men hurts us. Master tricksed us.
Gollum: Of course he did. I told you he was tricksy. I told you he was false.
Sméagol: Master is our friend... our friend.
Gollum: Master betrayed ussss!
Sméagol: No, not it’s business. Leave us alone.
Gollum: Filthy little hobbitsesss! They stole it from usss!
Sméagol: No... no...
Faramir: What did they steal?
Gollum: [Shouting, angrily]: My - PRECIOUS!!!!
[Sam and Frodo are huddled in a room.]
Sam: We have to get out of here. You go. Go now. You can do it. Use the Ring, Mr. Frodo. Just this once. Put it on. Disappear.
Frodo: I can’t. You were right, Sam. You tried to tell me. I’m sorry. The Ring’s taking me, Sam. If I put it on, He’ll find me. He’ll see.
Sam: Mr. Frodo...
[Suddenly Faramir enters, and draws his sword.]
Faramir: (his sword grasp the chain that the ring hangs on from around Frodo's neck) So... this is the answer to all the riddles. Here in the wild I have you. Two halflings and a host of men at my call. And the Ring of power within my grasp. A chance for Faramir, captain of Gondor, to show his quality. (The Ring calls to Faramir)
Frodo: No!
Sam: Stop it! Leave him alone! Don’t you understand?! He’s got to destroy it. That’s where we’re going. To Mordor. To the Mountain of Fire.
MALAMIR: [Entering]: Osgiliath is under attack. They call for reinforcements.
Sam: [To Faramir]: Please. It’s such a burden. Will you not help him?
MALAMIR: Captain?
Faramir: Prepare to leave. The Ring will go to Gondor.
[Aragorn sees the army of Saruman and quickly rides to Helm's Deep.]
Aragorn: Mae carnen, Brego, mellon nîn. [Translation: "Well done, Brego, my friend."]
[Aragorn enters Helm's Deep and a crowd are whispering that he is alive. Gimli pushes through them)
Gimli: Where is he! Where is he! Get out of my way! I'm gonna kill him! You are the luckiest, the cunningest, and most reckless man I ever knew! Bless you, laddie!
Aragorn: Gimli, where is the king? [Aragorn encounter Legolas.]
Legolas: Le ab-dollen. [Translation: "You’re late."] You look terrible.
[From a distance, Èowyn watches them talk, and moves as though meaning to join them. But she stops, when Legolas takes out the Evenstar, and returns it to Aragorn.]
Aragorn: Hannon le. [Translation: "Thank you."]
[Inside, Aragorn talks to Théoden.]
Théoden: A great host, you say?
Aragorn: All Isengard is emptied.
Théoden: How many?
Aragorn: Ten thousand strong at least.
Théoden: Ten-thousand?!
Aragorn: It is an army bred for a single purpose: to destroy the world of Men. They will be here by nightfall.
Théoden: Let them come. [Théoden walks outside.] I want every man and strong lad able to bear arms, to be ready for battle by nightfall. We will cover the causeway and the gate from above. No army has ever breached the deeping wall or set foot inside the Hornburg.
Gimli: This is no rabble of mindless Orcs. These are Uruk-hai. Their armor is thick and their shields broad.
Théoden: I have fought many wars, Master Dwarf. I know how to defend my own keep. They will break upon this fortress like water on rock. Saruman’s hordes will pillage and burn. We’ve seen it before. Crops can be resown. Homes rebuilt. Within these walls, we will outlast them.
Aragorn: They do not come to destroy Rohan’s crops or villages. They come to destroy its people. Down to the last child!
Théoden: What would you have me do? Look at my men. Their courage hangs by a thread. If this is to be our end, then I would have them make such an end as to be worthy of remembrance!
Aragorn: Send out riders, my lord. You must call for aid.
Théoden: And who will come. Elves? Dwarves? We are not so lucky in our friends as you. The old alliances are dead.
Aragorn: Gondor will answer.
Théoden: Gondor? Where was Gondor when the Westfold fell? Where was Gondor when our enemies closed in around us? Where was Gon-... No, my lord Aragorn, we are alone. [Théoden walks away from Aragorn.] Get the women and children into the caves.
Gamling: We need more time to lay provisions for a siege, lord.
Théoden: There is no time. War is upon us!
Gamling: Secure the gate.

[Meanwhile, back in Fangorn:]

Treebeard: The ents have not troubled about the wars of men and wizards for a very long time. But now something is about to happen that has not happened for an age: Ent Moot.
Merry: What’s that?
Treebeard: It is a gathering.
Merry: A gathering of what?
[Ents begin to surround them.]
Treebeard: Beech, Oak, Chestnut, Ash. Good, good, good many have come. Now we must decide if the ents will go to war.

[Back at Helm's Deep. We see the people are taken into the caves. Husbands and sons are taken away from their wives and mothers and are given weapons.]
Aragorn: Farmers, farriers, stable boys. These are no soldiers.
Gimli: Most have seen too many winters.
Legolas: Or too few. Look at them. They’re frightened. I can see it in their eyes. Boe a hyn: neled herain dan caer menig. [Translation: "And they should be. 300... against 10,000."]
Aragorn: Si beriathar hýn ammaeg nâ ned Edoras. [Translation: "They have a better chance defending themselves here than in Edoras."]
Legolas: Aragorn, nedin dagor hen ú-'erir otheri. Natha daged dhaer. [Translation: "They cannot win this fight. They are all going to die!"]
Aragorn: Then I shall die as one them! [Aragorn exits.]
Gimli: [To Legolas]: Let him go, lad. Let him be.
[Théoden is preparing to put on his armor.]
Gamling: Every villager able to wield a sword has been sent to the armory. My lord?
Théoden: Who am I, Gamling?
Gamling: You are our king, sire.
Théoden: And do you trust your king?
Gamling: You’re men, my lord, will follow you to whatever end.
Théoden: To whatever end. Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountains. Like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the west. Behind the hills, into shadow. How did it come to this?
[Aragorn is sitting alone on stairs. He sees a confused looking boy with a sword.]
Aragorn: Give me your sword. What is your name?
Haleth: Háleth, son of Háma, my lord. The men are saying that we will not live out the night. They say that it is hopeless.
[Aragorn stands up and wields the sword.]
Aragorn: This is a good sword, Háleth, son of Háma. There is always hope.
[Inside, Aragorn is putting on his armor. Legolas is suddenly behind him and hands him his sword.]
Legolas: We have trusted you this far and you have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair.
Aragorn: Ú-moe edhored, Legolas. [Translation: "There is nothing to forgive, Legolas."]
[Gimli gets into his armor, then looks down hopelessly. The armor drags across the floor.]
Gimli: If we had time, I'd get this adjusted. It’s a little tight across the chest.
[A sound of a horn is heard from outside. It is no Orc horn.]
Legolas: That is no Orc horn!
[They rush outside.]
Hasslebak: Send for the king. Open the gate!
[The gates are opened, and an army of elves march in.]
Théoden: How is this possible?
Haldir: I bring word from Elrond of Rivendell. An alliance once existed between Elves and Men. Long ago we fought and died together. We come to honor that allegiance.
Aragorn: Mae govannen, Haldir! [Translation: "Welcome Haldir"] You are most welcome!
Haldir: We are proud to fight alongside men, once more.
Saruman's army approaches. Legolas stands ready to fight, but Gimli looks up, frustrated, for his head stands well below the wall, and he cannot see a thing.]
Gimli: Arg... You could have picked a better spot.
[Aragorn approaches.]
Gimli: Well lad, the luck you live by, let’s hope it lasts the night.
Legolas: Your friends are with you, Aragorn.
Gimli: Let’s hope they last the night.
[Aragorn gives a final pep talk to the Elves.]
Aragorn: A Eruchin, ú-dano i faelas a hyn an uben tanatha le. [Translation: "Show them no mercy! For you shall receive none!"]
Gimli: [Impatiently]: What’s happening out there?
Legolas: [Smiling] Shall I describe it to you? Or would you like me to find you a box?
[Everything draws to a halt, and then an old man accidentally shoots an Orc.]
Aragorn: Dartho! [Translation: "Hold!"]
[The Uruks roar in anger and charge.]
Théoden: So it begins.
Legolas: [To the Elves]: Faeg i-varv dîn na lanc a nu ranc! [Translation: "Their armor is weak at the neck and under the arms."
Aragorn: Hado i philinn! [Translation: "Fire!"]
[The Elves shoot.]
Gimli: Anybody hit anything?
Théoden: Give them a volley.
Gamling: Fire!
Aragorn: Keep firing!
Gimli: Come on! Send them to them!
Aragorn: Pendraith! [Translation: "Ladders!"]
Gimli: Good!
[The Uruk-hai climb ladders and enter and battle the heroes.]
Gimli: Legolas, two already!
Legolas: I’m on seventeen!
Gimli: Arg! I’ll have no pointy-ear outscoring me!
Legolas: Nineteen!

[Back at Entmoot:]
Pippin: Merry!
Treebeard: We have just agreed.
Merry: Yes?
Treebeard: I have told your names to the ent moot and we have agreed: you are not Orcs.
Pippin: Well that’s good news.
Merry: And what about Saruman? Have you come to a decision about him?
Treebeard: Now don’t be hasty, Master Meriadoc.
Merry: Hasty? Our friends are out there. They need our help! They cannot fight this war on their own.
Treebeard: War, yes. It affects us all. But you must understand, young hobbit. It takes a long time to say anything in old entish, and we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.

[At Helm's Deep:]
Gimli: Seventeen. Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty. Twenty one. Twenty two.
Aragorn: Northway! Nauthannem!
Théoden: Is this it? Is this all you can conjure, Saruman.
[Below, a Uruk soldier carrying a torch is running towards the hole. Aragorn sees this and calls for Legolas.]
Aragorn: Dago han! Dago han, Legolas! Dago han!!! [Translation: "Kill him! Kill him, Legolas! Kill him!"]
[Legolas hits the Uruk with two arrows, but fails to kill it, and the Uruk-hai takes out the wall with its explosives. Saruman's army start to crowd through the hole in the wall.]
Théoden: Brace the gates! Hold them! Stand fast!
Aragorn: Gimli! Prepare to charge! Hado i philinn! Herio! [Translation: "Hurl the arrows! Charge!"]

[At Entmoot:]
Treebeard: The ents cannot hold back this war. We must weather such things as we have always done.
Merry: How can that be your decision?
Treebeard: This is not our war.
Merry: But your part of this world! Aren’t you. You must help. Please. You must do something.
Treebeard: You are young and brave, master Merry. But your part in this tale is over. Go back to your home.
Pippin: Maybe Treebeard’s right. We don’t belong here, Merry. It’s too big for us. What can we do in the end? We’ve got the Shire. Maybe we should go home.
Merry: The fires of Isengard will spread. And the woods of Tuckburough and Buckland will burn. And all that was once green and good in this world will be gone. There won’t be a Shire, Pippin.

[Back at Helm's Deep:]
Théoden: Aragorn, pull back to the gate!
Aragorn: Na Barad! Na Barad! Haldir! Na Barad! [Translation: "To the Keep! To the Keep! Haldir! To the Keep!"]
[Haldir nods at him and calls for the others. Gimli is been dragged away against his will.]
Gimli: What are you doing? Stop it!
[Haldir is killed.]
Aragorn: Haldir!
Gamling: Brace the gate!
Théoden: To the gate! Draw your swords!
Gamling: We can’t hold much longer.
Théoden: Hold them!
[Aragorn approaches.]
Aragorn: How long do you need?
Théoden: As long as you can give me!
Aragorn: Gimli!
[Aragorn and Gimli exit through a secret side gate.]
Gimli: Come on. We can take them!
Aragorn: It’s a long way.
Gimli: Toss me.
Aragorn: What?
Gimli: I cannot jump the distance so you have to toss me. Ehh...don’t tell the elf.
Aragorn: Not a word.
[Aragorn tosses Gimli, the jumps the gap, himself. The two of them battle the Orcs at the front gate, slaughtering many.]
Théoden: Shore up the door! Gimli! Aragorn! Get out of there!
Legolas: [From above]: Aragorn!
[Legolas throws down a rope, and Aragorn and Gimli are pulled to safety.]
Théoden: Pull everybody back. Pull them back!
Gamling: Pull back! Pull back! Retreat! Retreat!
Aragorn: Hurry! Get them inside! Come, to the keep!
[Meanwhile, back at Fangorn Forest...]
Treebeard: I will leave you at the western borders of the forest. You can make your way north to your homeland from there.
Pippin: Wait! Stop! Stop! Turn around. Turn around. Take us south!
Treebeard: South? But that will lead you…past Isengard.
Pippin: Yes. Exactly. If we go south we can slip past Saruman unnoticed. The closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm. It’s the last thing he’ll expect.
Treebeard: Hmmmm. That doesn’t make sense to me. But then, you are very small. Perhaps your right. South it is then. Hold on, little Shirelings. I always like going south. Somehow it feels like going downhill.
Merry: Are you mad, we’ll be caught.
Pippin: No we won’t. Not this time.

[Faramir and his company arrive approach Osgiliath with Frodo, Sam, and Gollum as captives.]
Parn: Look. Osgiliath burns. Mordor has come.
Frodo: The Ring will not save Gondor. It has only the power to destroy. Please, let me go.
[Faramir looks at Frodo, but then gestures to his men to move.]
Faramir: Hurry.
Frodo: [Desperately]: Faramir, you must let me go!

[Treebeard approaches the edge of Fangorn Forest.]
Treebeard: ... and a little family of field mice that climb up sometimes and it tickles me awfully. They’re always trying to get somewhere.
[Treebeard walks into an open area, where every tree has been brutally cut down.]
Treebeard: Many of these trees were my friends. Creatures I had known from nut and acorn.
Pippin: I’m sorry, Treebeard.
Treebeard: They had voices of their own. Saruman. A wizard should know better!
[Treebeard lets out a powerful call that reverberates throughout Fangorn.]
Treebeard: [With wrath]: There is no curse in elvish, entish or the tongues of men for this treachery! My business is with Isengard tonight. With a rock and stone.
[The Ents march out of the forest.]
Merry: Yes!
Treebeard: Rárum-rum! Come my friends. The ents are going to war. It is likely that we go to our doom. The last march of the ents.
[The Ents march to Isengard,

and back at Osgiliath...]
Parn: Faramir, Orcs have taken the eastern shore. Their numbers are too great. By nightfall we’ll be overrun.
[Frodo stumbles.]
Sam: Mr. Frodo!
Frodo: It’s calling to him, Sam. His Eye is almost on me.
Sam: Hold on, Mr. Frodo.
Faramir: [To his men]: Take them to my father. Tell him Faramir sends a mighty gift. A weapon that will change our fortunes in this war.
Sam: You wanna know what happened to Boromir? You wanna know why your brother died? He tried to take the Ring from Frodo. After swearing an oath to protect him, he tried to kill him! The Ring drove your brother mad!
[The Ringwraiths approach. Frodo knows.]
Sam: Mr. Frodo?
Frodo: They’re here. They’ve come.
[Ringwraith screeches]
Faramir: Nazgûl!
[A Ringwraith flies over Osgiliath and Faramir leads the hobbits to safety.]
Faramir: Stay here. Keep out of sight. Take cover!

[Back at Helm's Deep:]
Théoden: The fortress is taken. It is over.
Aragorn: You said this fortress would never fall while your men defend it. They still defend it. They have died defending it! Is there no other way for the women and children to get out of the caves? Is there no other way?
Gamling: There is one passage. It leads into the mountains. But they will not get far. The Uruk-hai are too many.
Aragorn: Send word for the women and children to make for the mountain pass. And barricade the entrance!
Théoden: So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?
Aragorn: Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them."
Théoden: For death and glory?
Aragorn: For Rohan. For your people.
Gimli: The sun is rising. (Flashback Voiceover) Gandalf: Look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn look to the East.
Théoden: Yes. Yes! The Horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the deep one last time.
Gimli: Yes!
[Gimli climbs up to blow the Horn.]
Théoden: Let this be the hour when we draw swords together. Fell deeds await. Now for wrath. Now for ruin. And the red dawn! Forth Eorlingas!
[Aragorn, Legolas, Théoden, ride out and clear a path. Suddenly an old friend appears on the eastern ridge with the rising sun.]
Aragorn: Gandalf.
Gandalf: Théoden-king stands alone.
[Another appears.]
Èomer: Not alone. Rohirrim!
Théoden: Èomer!
Èomer: To the king!
[Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan ride through the army of Orcs.]

[Saruman looks on in disbelief as Isengard is ripped apart by the Ents.]
Treebeard: A hit. A fine hit. Break the dam! Release the river!
Merry: Pippin, hold on!
Treebeard: Hold on, little hobbits!
[The waters swallow Isengard as Treebeard with the hobbits and the rest of the Ents stand their ground.]

[Back to Osgiliath, Frodo walks out into the open.]
Sam: What are you doing? Where are you going?
[The Ringwraith riding the Fell Rider approaches. Frodo is about to put on the Ring when Sam runs up and tackles him. Faramir shoots the Ringwraith's steed with his bow. The hobbits roll down the stairs, Sam landing on Frodo who rolls over and draws his sword preparing to kill Sam.]
Sam: It’s me. It’s your Sam. Don’t you know your Sam?
[Frodo comes to his senses.]
Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. [Aragorn and Èowyn embrace as Rohan is victorious at Helm's Deep.] But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. [The sun shines on Isengard, as Merry, Pippin, and the Ents celebrate victory.] Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.
Faramir: I think at last we understand one another, Frodo Baggins.
Manathor: You know the laws of our country. The laws of your father. If you let them go, your life will be forfeit.
Faramir: Then it is forfeit. Release them.

[Gandalf and company look East, towards Mordor.]
Gandalf: Sauron’s wrath will be terrible, his retribution swift. The battle for Helm’s Deep is over. The battle for Middle-Earth is about to begin. All our hopes now lie with two little hobbits. Somewhere in the wilderness.

[Frodo and Sam are once again in the wilderness, led by Gollum.]
Sam: I wonder if we’ll ever be put into songs or tales.
Frodo: What?
Sam: I wonder if people will ever say, ‘let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring.’ And they’ll say, ‘yes, that’s one of my favorite stories. Frodo was really courageous, wasn’t he, dad.’ ‘Yes, my boy, the most famousest of hobbits. And that’s saying alot.’
Frodo: ‘You left out one of the chief characters. Samwise the Brave. I want to hear more about Sam. Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam.’
Sam: Now Mr. Frodo, you shouldn’t make fun. I was being serious.
Frodo: So was I.
Sam: Samwise the Brave.
Frodo: Sméagol!
Sam: We’re not gonna wait for you. Come on.
[Sméagol is a bit ahead.]
Sméagol: Master... Master looks after us. Master wouldn’t hurt us.
Gollum: Master broke his promise!
Sméagol: Don’t ask Sméagol. Poor, poor Sméagol.
Gollum: Master betrayed us! Wicked, tricksy, filth! We ought to ring his filthy little neck! Kill him! Kill him! Kill them both. Then we take the Preciousss and we be the master.
Sméagol: But the fat hobbit. He knows. Eyes always watching.
Gollum: Then we stabs them out. Put out his eyeses. And make him crawl.
Sméagol: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Gollum: Kill them both.
Sméagol: Yes! No. No. It’s too risky, it’s too risky.
Sam: Where’s he gone? Oi! Gollum, where are you?
Frodo: Sméagol?
Gollum: We could let her do it.
Sméagol: Yes. She could do it.
Gollum: Yes, Precious she could. And then we takes it once they’re dead.
Sméagol: Once they’re dead. Hush! Come on, hobbits. Long ways to go yet. Sméagol will show you the way. Follow me.
[Fade to black.]

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