Lots of people are always catching up with news that might have been reported a long time ago and then forgotten about. Newcomers to the site are still reeling with shock as they learn that the Scouring of the Shire is out, that Saruman probably doesn’t die there but at Orthanc, and that Sauron may assume visible form and confront Aragorn at the Black Gate. Here’s some thoughts on all that from various readers:

Adanedhel writes: “Regarding your “ROTK Spoilers! Saruman, Grima & SAURON News!” here, and especially this: “…the Dark Lord who looked like he was in different armor than when we saw him in the prologue…”

“In my opinion, this is NOT Sauron himself but his servant, the Mouth of Sauron, because your spy says “in different armour” and few weeks ago you’ve reported that Peter Jackson is unhappy with the armour of the Mouth of Sauron because he thought it looks very much similiar to the armour of Sauron, so Sala Baker had returned to NZ for reshoots. I could be wrong, of course, but we must also consider this.”

OJ puts it another way: “I should think that the reason that “Sauron” appears in “different armour” when he has it out with Aragorn is because he is NOT “Sauron”. Rather, I should think that in the movie as in the book, “The Mouth of Sauron” is present at “The Black Gate” in the last battle of the movie.”

Nicholas says: “I thought Peter Jackson said that he knew Sauron couldn’t stay as just an eye (here he mentioned that Star Wars – Darth Vader quote) but that he couldn’t take full physical form either. I wonder if maybe people are confusing Sauron with the Mouth of Sauron battling Aragorn? I would think it would be more dramatic for PJ to do what Tolkien does in the book – having Sauron (whether he be just an eye or in some other form) suddenly realize what’s going on when Frodo puts on the ring in Mount Doom and do all he can do to try and stop Frodo, instead of Aragorn. Anyway, just a thought.”

Diana scanned some othersources for what we think we know about changes to ROTK: “Amidst all this discussion of the death of Saruman–possibly opening the door for the cut of the Scouring of the Shire– I stumbled across this old Q&A article (before Fellowship was released) on E!Online: More]”

Q: “The Return of the King has a very long denouement, with fully one third of the book coming after the destruction of the Ring. I worry that the filmmakers may have cut or severely shorted the Scouring of the Shire and the Grey Havens episodes. Any word on that?”

A: “LOTR conceptual artist Alan Lee showed me his sketches of the Grey Havens buildings and boats. Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Ian Holm (Bilbo) said they count their “farewell” scenes (when they say goodbye to their friends before going to the Grey Havens) as among their favorite to film. Sources tell me the Scouring of the Shire has made the cut, albeit with a few tweaks.” [But we’ve since heard – from PJ, if I remember correctly – that the Scouring was OUT. Hence the confusion – T.]

Also this one:

Q: “Peter! We’ve got to have hope. Do you promise a happy ending to The Return of the King? Peter: It’s happy/sad. The third film makes me cry. It’s really emotional. It’s very, very emotional.”

Diana has another guess: “Furthermore, in regards to deleted scenes being put back in the Extended and Theatrical DVDs, has anybody mentioned the shot of Arwen in the TTT trailer? In the theaters we saw a shot of her walking off, cloaked, with other Elves. In the trailer, we see her apparently throwing off her cloak, rushing to Elrond, exclaiming “Tell me what you see!”. Could they possibly put this shot back in the movie?”

Update: Demosthenes here. Regarding the demise of Saruman, people keep submitting the picture below – which is from Brian Sibley’s The Making of the Movie Trilogy. Sure does look like one angry Wormtongue, there. Yep, that’s a knife in his hand and that does indeed appear to be the floor patterning of Orthanc.

Wormtongue With Knife