NEW YORK - JANUARY 10:  Actor Andy Serkis attends a Film Society of Lincoln Center special screening of "The Lord Of The Rings" Trilogy at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center January 10, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The 10 Most Intense Moments In Lord Of The Rings, Ranked
10. Gandalf's death
At the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, the Balrog drags Gandalf into the abyss, but not before he’s able to urge the rest of the Fellowship to leave without him. His character makes an impressive return later on, but his initial “death” is convincingly dread-inducing, thanks to Ian McKellan’s gripping performance.
9. Aragorn and the Dead
Aragorn surprises the King of the Dead when he uses Andúril to block the King’s attack, and requests the Dead’s fealty for the Battle of Pelennor Fields once more. Director Peter Jackson wisely cuts away from the utterly intense, horror-soaked sequence, and the audience is left questioning Aragorn’s fate.
8. Arwen vs Ringwraiths
Editor John Gilbert impressively cuts this scene without sacrificing the characters or story, and Arwen quickly steals hearts thanks to deft casting, strong performances, and Jackson's immaculate direction. Her stream of magical river horses pushes the Ringwraiths downriver and ends the action on an otherworldly beat.
7. Saving Théoden
Gandalf the White confronts a broken King Théoden with his staff and realizes that Saruman’s rendered him spellbound. During a breathtaking face-off, Gandalf knocks Saruman from Théoden's body, which restores the King’s health and enables him to banish Wormtongue from the kingdom.
6. Out of Sight
The four hobbits narrowly avoid being discovered by a Ringwraith, and Howard Shore’s music crescendos as Frodo finally realizes the Ring’s true power and the full gravity of the situation. Jackson shoots the sequence like a horror film to squeeze as much intensity from the moment as possible, which works to perfection.