The Lord of the Rings/Heartwarming

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Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings

  • Two chapters into The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo is making plans in secret to leave the Shire and everything he's ever known, with only Sam for company. Three chapters later, we find out that Merry and Pippin knew about it all along, and made their own plans to go with him.

"We are coming with you, or following you like hounds."

  • Tom Bombadil and Goldberry's very existence, as well as the side-tales of Tom's (mis)adventures. It might just be airy-fairy nonsense when taken out of context, but considering the setting they're in, it makes you smile when you consider there's still a little corner of joy that isn't just in the Shire.
  • Sam asking Frodo if he thinks people in the future will be reading about their adventures.
  • When Sam defends the unconscious Frodo from Shelob, one of the most beautiful lines in the entire series:

"No onslaught more fierce was ever seen in the savage world of beasts, where some desperate small creature armed with little teeth, alone, will spring upon a tower of horn and hide that stands above its fallen mate."

  • Faramir, proving his quality after learning of the Ring:

"Sleep, both of you--in peace, if you can. Fear not! I do not wish to see it, or touch it, or know more of it than I know (which is enough), lest peril perchance waylay me and I fall lower in the test than Frodo son of Drogo."

    • As well as his opinion of Sam: "Your land must be a realm of peace and content, and there must gardeners be held in high honour."
  • At the end of the Quest when Frodo regains control of his mind:

"I am glad that you are here with me, Sam. Here, at the end of all things."

  • And Gandalf's parting words:

"I will not say, do not weep. For not all tears are evil."

  • When Lobelia Sackville-Baggins is freed from the Lockholes, she receives a standing ovation. And then, after she dies, it's revealed that she changed her will to end her feud with Frodo.
  • It's amusing that Galadriel, in spite of all her wisdom and the ability to give astoundingly useful gifts, has absolutely no idea what to give Gimli. It leads to a real heart-warming exchange:

Galadriel: And what gift would a Dwarf ask of the Elves?
Gimli: Nothing, except to gaze upon the Lady of the Galadrim one last time (...)
Galadriel: (...) Let none here say that the Dwarves are grasping and ungracious!

  • Faramir and Eowyn in the chapter "Steward and the King". Best confession of love, ever.

"I would".

  • The very end of the novel. "Well, I'm back."

Crowning Moment of Heartwarming In Adaptations

  • During the song "Leave Tomorrow Till It Comes" during Frodo's dream sequence. Can't help but feel touched by the scene where the pair of hobbits on the road encounter a pair of benevolent orcs, and the groups wave at each other with easygoing good cheer -- a delightful subversion of the typical Exclusively Evil portrayal of Tolkien orcs. Since this was Frodo's dream, it says more about Frodo's own sweet heart than about the actual orcs they have encountered while awake. But this moment still works in an elegant way that even a child can easily grasp.
    • And strangely, this is what Tolkien would have wanted if he had more time to write. He hated the idea of an Exclusively Evil race, since it contradicted his Catholic upbringing.

Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in Peter Jackson's The Lord of The Rings Films

  • Although not in the actual movie, in the making-of feature, there is one moment where Arwen's stunt rider is talking about how she really wanted to buy the horse but was unable because of the price (stallions are very expensive), and another higher-up wanted him. Viggo Mortensen heard about this and said he would try to get him. He succeeded in it, and when asked how much the horse was, replied that he wanted to give him to the stuntwoman. It's very moving to see her start crying when she's talking about it.
  • Sam's speech at the end of The Two Towers; even Gollum was visibly affected by this speech, at least for a moment.

Sam: 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? (...) Those were the stories that stayed with you... that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. (...) Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going... because they were holding on to something!
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

    • Not only was Gollum affected, the speech convinced Faramir, who up until then was still contemplating bringing the Ring to his father, to let the hobbits continue their quest, regardless of the consequences to him.

Gondor soldier: You know the laws of the country, the laws of your father. If you let them go, your life will be forfeit.
Faramir: Then it is forfeit.

    • In the Extended Edition, it leads into this comment from Sam that doubles as a Meaningful Echo:

Sam: Captain Faramir, you have shown your quality, sir. The very highest.

  • This troper is always moved to tears by a particular moment in Return of the King. After Aragorn is crowned as the King of Gondor, he moves through the crowd, reunites with Arwen and finally arrives at where the four hobbits are standing. They begin to bow to him, but Aragorn looks at them and says:

Aragorn: My bow to no one.

    • And then he bows to them. The camera pans out and shows the entire audience moving to bow to them (as the king does...). If that scene doesn't warm your heart, this troper doesn't think anything will.
      • Peter Jackson has said that this is his favourite scene out of the entire trilogy.
    • This troper always starts crying not when she sees Arwen alive, not when she sees Aragorn's expression, but when she sees Elrond's expression, and his lips forming the words "Go to him." As a parent, she understands very well the attachment to a precious child...
  • Bilbo's conversation with Frodo at his birthday party.
  • Aragorn's decision to go to the aid of Merry and Pippin at the end of the first film. And Gimli's reaction.
  • And hell, how can people here leave out Samwise Gamgee's finest hour? At the end of journey, at the base of Mount Doom, hungry, thirsty, wounded and exhausted by a quest so long and hard they cannot even really remember a time before it, Frodo and Sam are literally dragging themselves up the rocky slope until Frodo just can't go on anymore. Sam knows that he cannot pick up the burden of the Ring from Frodo and destroy it himself for he would fall under its spell, so he does what only a real friend would do: He, although if anything even more tired and damaged than him, picks Frodo up and carries him to the top of the mountain. He ain't heavy, he's my brother indeed.

Sam: Then let us be rid of it... once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!

  • Theoden speaking to Eowyn before he left to battle when she asked what other duty he would have her do.

Theoden: Duty? No... I would have you smile again, not grieve for those whose time has come. You shall live to see these days renewed. No more despair.

  • When Aragorn was reunited with Arwen and the kiss that followed.
    • Elrond's happy yet sad expression as he sees his daughter happy with Aragorn, despite knowing she will eventually die and separated from him.
  • Boromir's Famous Last Words to Aragorn. " My brother. My captain. My king." Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
    • There's what comes before it as well, equally ranked in Tear Jerker territory. When Boromir is dying in utter despair, claiming that he's failed the Fellowship and mourning that not only his city but his entire race is doomed, Aragorn - who Boromir has only gradually come to accept, and who seems to identify more with the Elves - swears to save the White City and our people. You can truly see the realization, joy and hope emerge on Boromir's face, as he believes at last that there is indeed a chance for the race of Men to survive, and he dies content instead of despairing, thanking and accepting Aragorn fully with his final words.
      • This troper was bawling by the end of this scene. The reactions by Gimli and Legolas made it all the more heart wrenching and Manly Tears-inducing.
  • This exchange at the end of The Two Towers:

Frodo: You've left out one of the chief characters, Samwise the Brave. I want to hear more about Sam. Frodo wouldn't have gotten far without his Sam.
Sam: Now Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't make fun. I was being serious.
Frodo: So was I.

  • And, of course, this:

Sam: I made a promise, Mr. Frodo, a promise! "Don't you leave him, Samwise Gamgee". And I don't mean to. I don't mean to.

  • This troper's favorite is at the end of Fellowship and makes her laugh through her tears:

Frodo: Go back, Sam. I'm going to Mordor alone.
Sam: Of course you are. And I'm coming with you!

  • I just about broke into tears in the scene where Frodo gets on the boat to cross the sea. I would have, too, if I hadn't been watching it with my Dad. Yes, I'm a massive nerd.
  • When they light the watchtowers, I cry. So majestic.
  • Also when the riders of Rohan are waiting at the battle of Pellenor Fields, and Theoden gives that speech and rides along with his sword as the riders shout, and Eowyn and Merry shout and raise their swords. I want to watch this right now.
  • Gandalf's reappearance in The Two Towers. Aragorn being struck completely speechless and then only managing to say, "You fell..." unable to believe that he's truly come back.
  • The one that never fails to bring tears to this troper's eyes is the short, sweet reunion between the mother and her children at Helm's Deep after she sent them ahead to Meduseld to warn King Theoden of the invasion. On first viewing, this troper had been quite convinced the mom would not survive the events of the film, so to see the children rush into her arms was, indeed, a C. M. of H.
  • Rohan gets another good one with their timely rescue of Gondor. The King's speech to his men... "Fear no darkness! Spears shall be shaken! Shields will be splintered! It is a sword day! A red day! ERE THE SUN RISES!" The glorious charge, a hell-bent, screw-it-all charge into an army of orcs that are quite prepared for it, is a beautiful statement of human courage.
  • For this troper, Merry and Pippin's reunion in Return of the King did it. Especially in the extended edition where Pippin has been searching from mid-day to sometime after nightfall.
  • This moment was really touching:

Gimli: I have taken my worst wound at this parting, having looked my last upon that which is fairest. Haugh, henceforth I will call nothing fair unless it be [Galadriel's] gift to me.
Legolas: What was it?
Gimli: I asked her for one hair from her golden head. She gave me three.

    • Even more so once you realize that this benevolent act is essentially what cements Gimli's incredible respect for her in his mind. In this moment, Gimli's perception of fancy-pants elves is slowly turned around. This, plus Gimli and Legolas's eventual friendship is what causes the reconciliation between the dwarves and elves.

Gimli: Never thought I'd die side by side with an elf.
Legolas: How about side by side with a friend?
Gimli: ...aye. I could do that.

      • Even more so when you factor in some of the stuff that was left out. One of Galadriel's suitors was Fëanor, an elf of great repute; for instance, it was he who created the Silmarils, kicking off much of the history of the First Age. He, who created these jewels beyond price, begged her thrice for a lock of her hair, but each time she refused him. And yet to a scruffy dwarf prince she granted this gift, recognizing the purity of his regard for her.
  • Actually, any time the Shire theme flares up, heartwarming isn't far behind.
  • "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The gray rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it...The White Shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise." And just like that, all the darkness and despair goes away for a little while.
    • While for people with more knowledge, it is heartbreaking in a different way because with the implied meaning of the second part of the quote, they paint Gandalf as ultimately lying. No one knows what happens to the spirits of Men (and probably also to the related hobbits) after their spirits leave the world. The quote is lifted from Frodo's journey to Aman.
      • Is he? Or is he, in this condensed version of the story, thinking of his own home--since he's supposed to be an angel-figure?
  • This Troper's personal favorite Crowning Moment of Heartwarming was the arrival of Haldir in the nick of time at Helm's Deep to honor the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
    • The above sacrifice was made even more potent for me when I came to the realization that Haldir and the elves gave up immortality to honor the alliance and possibly die.
      • The looks on the faces of some of those soldier-extras was some mighty fine acting.
      • Let's recap the sacrifice they're making, shall we? First of all, they're immortal (as in, they do not die of old age). Second of all, they weren't involved in the war (if they had been, they wouldn't have been able to spare that many archers). Third, if things got bad, they could always take a boat to Valinor (which is essentially paradise). Fourth, they knew that theirs was a suicide mission, and that they only raised the men of Rohan's chances of survival from nil to maybe 2%. Fifth, the people to the aid of whom they came had done nothing for them for three millennia. And despite all of this, they still did it.
  • At The Black Gate:

Aragorn: Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails! When we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship - but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"

    • Another one occurs mere moments later. It's heartwarming enough to hear Aragorn say "For Frodo" and then charge... Then it's made ten times more so by having Merry and Pippin be the first ones who follow.
  • Aragorn and Arwen. Something about the Badass, always-ragged, grim Warrior Poet and the beautiful, gentle elf girl just gets me. Especially the vision in The Two Towers...
    • For me, that vision always doubled as a Tear Jerker. It's just so beautiful.
  • The bonding between Merry and Eowyn. "Whatever happens, stay with me. I will look after you."

Eowyn: Ride with me.
Merry: My lady.

  • This troper always found the moment in Return Of The King when the Hobbits are back in Green Dragon a particularly heartwarming look at their friendship. They don't even need to say anything to each other; after all they've been through, they just clink their tankards together and have a pint.
    • Samwise Gamgee is a hero amongst men, dwarves, elves and hobbits, he's faced immortal demi-gods with nothing but an empty stomach, an enchanted knife, and a magic lantern... and he'll be damned if he ain't going to work up the courage to ask a girl out! (Come on Sam! She was totally eyeing you!)
      • And then, the other three having looks of amusement that turn into the most heartwarming look of joy for their friend.
  • The end of Return of the King, when Frodo wakes up in Gondor...and Gandalf, the mentor he thought died and whose memory he has been mourning for the past two movies, is there for him. Frodo's tearful, hesitant, too-good-to-be-true realization brings tears to This Troper's eyes every time.
    • And just as good, is when the rest of the remaining Fellowship enters the room to see Frodo. They are all either laughing or crying in joy, something they hadn't done together in a long time. After everything each of them had been through, they are finally reunited.
      • And at the very, very end of that particular reunion -- the last person to enter is Sam, who's meekly, shyly coming in, almost unnoticed by the others. But Frodo sees him hovering by the door, and just looks at him and smiles... and Sam smiles back. Possibly the sweetest exchange in the history of cinema. When this Troper saw it in the theater, the whole damn theater burst into applause at that moment.
  • This troper's favorite are the dying words of king Theoden to Eowyn.

Eowyn: I'm going to save you.
Theoden: You already did... Eowyn... my body is broken... you have to let me go. I go to my fathers, in whose mighty company I shall not now feel ashamed.

  • Stoic elf-king Elrond breaking down and deciding to help, and accept, both Men as a whole and Aragorn in particular when his prim, proper, always in her place daughter Arwen utters one simple word, "Ada."
    • What makes it even more heartwarming (and tearjerking at the same time) is that (since This Troper is a nerd and read up a bit on her Elvish) 'ada' is informal... she wasn't saying 'Father', she was calling him 'Daddy'. Goes to show that even a gorgeous millennia-old Elf princess can still need her dad. Gah, cue the sniffling.
  • For that matter, Arwen deciding to cling to the world of life and accept her own death at the same time when she catches the glimpse of her curly-haired, blue-eyed son jumping into the arms of an older Aragorn. Crowning Moment of Hope.
  • What about the very formation of the Fellowship? Poor Frodo looks like he's about to Go Mad from the Revelation, when the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits pledge to aide him in destroying The One Ring:

Aragorn: You have my sword.
Legolas: And you have my bow.
Gimli: And my axe!

  • This troper is affected by many scenes involving Faramir. One of her favorites by far is the sequence from the Extended Version when Aragorn is healing Eowyn (with Liv Tyler singing!). Another is when he comforts Eowyn - and the look on her face suggests that she has finally found a man who truly understands and appreciates her. (Knowing Eowyn's fate from the book helps; she no longer feels she has anything to prove, because of him.)
    • Nnngh. His gentle "I do not believe this darkness will endure" melted hearts all over the world. As did the look on Eowyn's face.
  • This troper loves the scene near the end of the Battle of Helm's Deep where The Cavalry arrive and this exchange:

Gandalf: Theoden King stands alone.
Eomer: No. Not alone. Rohirrim! To the King!

    • The camera pans up to reveal several hundred Rohirrim who proceed to charge through an army of 10,000 Uruk-Hai to save the king.
  • When Gandalf drives out Saruman's influence from Theoden and he comes back to himself. Eowyn is near to weeping with joy as he looks at her in wonder, and then says: "I know your face... Eowyn..."
    • Let's just face it: Theoden and Eowyn's relationship is just made of this (and Tear Jerker).
  • The quiet moment after we see Gollum for the first time is a part that always inspires this troper.

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had ever happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

  • A rather strange but still powerful moment: After the Battle of Pellenor Fields, Aragorn releases the Army of the Dead from their curse of undeath. The looks on their faces as eons of anguish melt away is priceless.
  • At the beginning of the first film, Bilbo is trying to work on his book when Gandalf comes knocking.

Bilbo: No thank you! We don't want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relations!
Gandalf: And what about very old friends?
(Bilbo quickly opens the door)

  • In the extended edition of The Two Towers we see Boromir defending Faramir from Denethor's criticism and calling him out on how badly he treats his younger son. Though Faramir is clearly the Unfavorite, it's good to see that this hasn't poisoned his relationship with Boromir and that Boromir is genuinely angry at how his brother is being treated.
  • This one's my favorite,

Eomer: What business does an Elf, a Man, and a Dwarf have in the Riddermark? Speak quickly!
Gimli: Give me your name, Horse-master, and I shall give you mine.
Eomer: [gets off horse] I would cut off your head, Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground.
Legolas: [prepares bow and arrow] You would die before your stroke fell.
[Rohirrim point spears at Legolas]

    • This troper once joked to her boyfriend that the Lord of the Rings series was all about the power of bromance. Reading examples like this makes me think I wasn't too far off.
  • A small one in Moria during a moment that would otherwise be a complete Tear Jerker. When Gimli finds his cousin's tomb and is sobbing over his body, take note that Boromir has a comforting hand on his shoulder the whole time.
    • Boromir actually shows a lot of empathy and concern throughout the whole film. He shows the most concern for the Hobbits when Gandalf dies and tries to cheer up Frodo by telling him he didn't die in vain.