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Book

  • Shout-Out: There are several to Macbeth, all taken from Act IV, Scene i, when the Witches tell Macbeth their prophecies of his death. First of all, the phrase "Crack of Doom" was coined by Shakespeare in this scene. The Ents' besiegement of Isengard and the Witch-King's defeat by Éowyn are references to two of the three prophecies—namely, that it will not happen until "Great Birnam Wood...shall come against him" and that "none of woman born shall harm" him. Of course, the trees do come to the castle when Macduff's army uses their branches as camoflauge, just as the Ents come to Isengard, and Macbeth is killed by a man who was not born, but removed from his mother's womb, just as the Witch-King, who can be killed by "no living man," is killed by a woman.
    • To "Arabian Nights", oddly enough. Compare this tale from "1000 and 1 night" and chapter "The voice of Saruman" and try to find the differences.
  • Trope Namer: These books named the following tropes:
  • What Could Have Been: Previously unpublished materials have a lot of examples of what could have been. Aragorn being a ranger hobbit named Trotter was one of them. Later, he was a man whose name kept changing back and forth between "Trotter", "Elfstone" and "Aragorn".
    • The History of Middle-Earth has many of these, including the above example. Others include:
      • Treebeard being a villain
      • Eowyn being Aragorn's love interest (before Arwen was created)
      • Eowyn dying on the battlefield defending Theoden and not getting to kill the Witch-King
      • Anywhere from two to five hobbits setting out on the quest instead of four
        • The original hobbit names were Bingo (Frodo), Odo (Sam), Marmaduke (Merry), and Frodo/Faramond (Pippin)
      • A Fellowship that consisted of seven instead of nine members (Legolas and Gimli were later additions, and at one point, another elf was supposed to go as well)
      • Treebeard and the ents appearing at the last battle in front of the Black Gate (and this is after they act as The Calvary for Lothlorien)
      • Boromir arriving at Minas Tirith and completely going over to the dark forces partway through the siege.
      • Denethor surviving the siege of Minas Tirith (but still suspicious of Aragorn)
      • Denethor originally being less harsh towards Faramir - in fact, in the first draft, it was Faramir's idea to retake Osgiliath, and Denethor reluctantly agreeing, but Tolkien eventually switched this around to make Faramir more sympathetic.

Film

  • Academy Award: ROTK is in a three-way tie with Titanic and Ben-Hur for the most Oscars won by a single film -- eleven. Moreover, the film series The Lord of the Rings won more Oscars than any other film series.
    • Despite all of the series' wins and nominations, the trilogy's cast was snubbed: the only acting Oscar nomination was Ian McKellen for the first film. Most notably, Andy Serkis was not eligible for being nominated for best supporting actor because his character was CGI.
      • Granted, it could be less of an Award Snub and more a case of "we can't decide just who to give it to." Every actor spent years working on these films. By Return Of The King, they weren't acting anymore, they had become their characters. You try narrowing it to just one person who deserves an award more than the rest.
    • Peter Jackson was still putting the finishing touches on the extended cut of Return of the King when it won Best Picture, prompting him to muse in one behind-the-scenes clip how he could still be working on a film that has already won Best Picture.
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