A small group of lucky members of the media (including TORn) were offered a very special treat on this Monday morning, courtesy of New Line: an early sneak-peek of the Return of the King preview from the TTT DVD. After a great complimentary breakfast, we got the opportunity to see the preview before the DVD hits the stores tomorrow. I won’t go into the details of what the 10-minute behind-the-scenes has to offer, as I don’t want to spoil it for Ringers worldwide. Not to mention that TORn has already posted many detailed reports of the preview’s contents…! One thing is confirmed however: the footage that surfaced on the internet a few weeks ago and was hailed as the “official trailer” is nothing like that, but simply the last 2-minutes of the preview, which does give a glimpse of a few scenes from the movie. I suspect the real theatrical trailer will be quite different.

Two things struck me while watching the preview: one, the sheer epic size of the movie (the charge of the Rohirrim, the Battle of The Pelennor Fields are breathtaking – although the preview only offers a brief glimpse of both) – and two, how emotionally charged the movie will be. Exhilarating and heartbreaking. Some moments of the preview did bring tears to my eyes, and I think we should all bring a large supply of tissues to the theaters come December 17th… Like PJ himself, I tend to think of ROTK as my favorite part of the book – and Elijah Wood may be right when he says that the third movie will be better than the first two combined. But rather than trying to speculate and project unrealistic, unreachable expectations (which in my experience is the best way to be disappointed), I think ROTK will deliver on all levels on a very large scale, and will be incredibly emotional. As much as I’m looking forward to seeing the finished film in December, part of me is dreading that moment, as I’m sure many other fans are. Because we’ll have reached the Grey Havens, and we’ll be saying goodbye to the film version of Middle Earth. But we’re not there yet, and of course “the road goes ever on and on”. And to end of a happier note, let’s have a pint to celebrate the release of this highly anticipated DVD. Enjoy!