Being fans, we aren’t content to just sit and observe — We have to INTERPRET. So, to wile away the next 12 hours or so until we all get a clearer look at the ROTK trailer, TORn offers you a sampling of Fan Speculation.

Coming soon: Responses from’s Staff!

KT: Notice that when Galadriel bends down and offers her hand to Frodo that Frodo’s back clock has thick cobwebs on it. I just thought this was a nice touch, like the whole of what he is going through right at that moment (he’s still in Shelob’s lair) is still all over him. He looks tired and scared (and covered with webs), and that is why Galadriel has come to him in this very dream-like scenario, because he needs her help and encouragement. I can’t decide if this is going to be a vision that he has when he first takes out the phial, or a dream when Shelob has knocked him out. Either way, I love Galadriel, so I’m all for it!

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Who is Behind Aragorn?
Osmbise: But I’m a bit confused as to the second-to-last shot of the trailer. Just before the shot of a fire-illuminated Samwise screaming “No,” there’s a quick pan with Aragorn’s face in the foreground and someone/something standing behind him in the background; the camera pulls back and downward to show him. Who *is* that?! It seems as if Aragorn is on his knees with his back turned towards the mysterious stranger, much like the climactic scene in “The Patriot.” Could it be the much-dreaded (by book-stickler fans) appearance of Sauron himself? Or perhaps the Mouth of Sauron engaging the future king in battle? Or are my eyes deceiving me? Is that really even a person?

ANSWER: MJ12 writes, “As to who is behind Aragorn in the second to last shot of the trailer, it’s Legolas. His face is hidden behind the text on the screen (if you can get it stopped at the very begining of the shot), but it’s clearly his outfit as you can see the majority of his top, his arrows, the straps and buckle holding his quiver on, and his hair.”

And.. Who is Behind Gollum?
Josholas: WoW, in the scene where Gollum hits the water and sais, “the precious will be ours” There is a reflection of someone behind him in the water to the right!

ANSWER: Groveman writes, “When Gollum’s talking to his reflection in the pool. You can see Sam’s reflection next to him, as though he’s standing over Gollum listening. Interesting.”

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Shaft of Light from Mordor
Lisa4TheShire: I believe there is one scene where we see Frodo and Sam having passed the Watchers and hiding as the Nazgul responds to the alarms sounded — and they are witnessing the destruction of the gate where the watchers sat — that is the greenish light rushing upwards and the trembling of some foundation maybe that we are seeing, as the will of the watchers was broken?

FritoBandito: One thing I wondered about in the trailer was the massive green spiral coming from behind what appeared to be the Black Gates. Right after this shot, we see a ringwraith screaming and Frodo and Sam looking really scared with a greenish glow on their faces. My guess is that this is the final destruction of Sauron. What else could possibly create such a massive creepy explosion? The destruction of the ring comes to mind, but you would think that Frodo and Sam would be looking up from the slope of Orodruin and not across if they were lying on their backs.

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Paths Of The Dead
Jason: There is a brief flash of an interior cave with what looks like to be Aragorn in the Paths of the Dead, but there also looks like there is a bit of a confrontation going on. I know there has been a lot of speculation as to weather Aragorn will have to fight the army of the dead in order to prove that he is the rightful King, but it is a very brief frame on screen, and it is hard to pause it in order to see it well.

Groveman: Pause the trailer 4 seconds in for the Paths of the Dead. You see a shot of Aragorn/Legolas, and possibly Gimli surrounded by ghouls. The frame is instantaneous, I had to slide several times through the file before I could see it. That is gonna be FREAKY.

FanWithNoName: At the beginning of the trailer after Legolas is talking to aragorn about the enemy moving near we see a brief glimpse of what looks like orcs…they look like moria orcs, but after investigating it, I closed the blinds and shut off the light in my room, and played it in slow-mo and I found it is Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli with a white horse and brown horse (I’ve forgotten the names) in the Paths of the Dead! It was a very creepy looking shot and I thought I may have seen some of the dead in the shadows as well. It was an awesome shot!

Happy Little Hobbit Spy Drogo: At the beginning when they show a glimpse of the Paths of the Dead, it looks as though zombie like creatures are following behind and you can make out the shapes of Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn (going left to right). On the left of Legolas is a horse with a soldier that looks to be in rags holding a lance. Ranger from the North? Dead Soldier? I am going with Dead soldier for the army behind Aragorn is very big and I doubt that the Rangers of the north will be in Return of the King for they have not much use in it except for more Armies since Elrond brings Narsil to Aragorn.

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Arwen’s Grace
Paul: I have a strong hunch about what this whole thing with Elrond Saying “You gave away your life’s grace” and Arwen saying “it is time” and this image of what looks like a dead Arwen (or Luthien) on the bed. We all know what the character Arwen eventually does in the books. However, Im betting that when Arwen nervously says “It is time” she then undergoes some kind of magical ritual/process whereby she gives up her immortality (“you gave away your life’s grace..” The shot of what looks like a dead elf on the bed is either a flashback of Luthien (probbaly when Arwen conceives of what she will do), or it is Arwen where we atch her “die.” Then later we see her in the trailer getup and fall into the arms of Elrond (very very brief shot). I think that Jackson will definitely dramatize the “mortalizing” process. Its a huge sacrifice and needs to be interpreted onscreen.

Richard: I found it interesting that Elrond tells Arwen that she has “given up” or “given away” (I forget the exact wording) “her grace” and he can no longer help her. I have long speculated that this occurred at the Fords of Bruinen scene with Frodo when she says “Let what grace is given me pass to him.” I always found that wording curious.This solves one of the problems the movie, as opposed to the book, created when Elrond tells Arwen what she has to look forward to if she stays with Aragorn. In the book she truly gives up her immortality, but the movie has her lingering forever, which is somewhat cruel of Aragorn. If, however my speculation is correct she has already given up her immortality, ie. her grace, to Frodo so he will take her place on the ship to Valinor, and she is committed to mortality in Middle Earth.

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Winged Witch King?
The Swede: I have a BIG CONCERN!! It´s about the Witch King confrontation during the siege of Minas Tirit. In the book the battering ram (Grond?) breaks the gate after the third try, and in RIDES the Witch King, his sword on fire and all. Only one horse is able to withstand the terror that he produces, and that is Shadow fax, and that is because Gandalf rides on him. “You will not pass!” he says. And they start a conversation. This moment is the most dramatic in the whole damn book! Almost as dramatic as Gandalf and the Balrog in Moria. However, when I´ve seen the material in the DVD it looks that they´ve skipped all that action, because now he rides on that dragon creature. It looks like the big confrontation will take place on some terrace in Minas Tirit with Pippin riding with Gandalf on Shadowfax. That is a big mistake if its true. Why? Because the dragon just takes away the dramatic effect! The Witch king is so damn powerful and terrorising, that he doesn´t NEED a dragon-creature to fly on. He only needs his horse. I can´t beleive it if Jackson missed that, because he´s done such a fantastic job so far. Any comments?

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The White Beast
The White Hand: After watching the trailer, I was confused as to what is that “White Dragon” that can be seen at 2:21, just after Aragorn says “We can buy Frodo a chance”. My theory is that it’s one of the Nazgul’s fell beasts illuminated by Gandalf’s staff, or that it’s somehow in ghostly appearance (“Frodovision”), but that last wouldn’t make much sense. However, a friend of mine argues that the plot could have been changed and Shadowfax transformed into a white dragon for Gandalf to fight the ringwraiths. I’d love to see some other theories.

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Who Reforges Narsil?
Nick; I saw the still of the elf in the cooling bath and can hardly tell who it is (although I definately think it isn’t Elrond.) The only elf I can imagine would be Arwen, but at the same time it doesn’t look exactly like her. Still, I think Arwen is the elf collecting the shards in one of the previous clips and therefore it definately won’t surprise me to find her reforging the sword (or pulling it out of the bath). I was thinking that it would be odd to put some elf that no one even knows in the trailer in a short clip like that. Trailers generally have the characters that are important to the story, so I think it would be weird if the elf was some random elf that they chose to zero in on, although it could very well be. … I would put all my money on Arwen though, since that seems the most logical choice.

TrueNatural: Now, I don’t know what you guys think, but there was one, or actually two characters that it reminded me of. I might be completely wrong, but I believe it could quite possibly be Elrohir or Elladan, one of the sons of Elrond. This is pure speculation though.

Lisa4TheShire: Watching the trailer — which on my laptop is hard to see — being rather dark — from what little I can discern I believe the image in the water is Arwen, if not Elrond. Reason tells me Elrond, my eyes think I’m seeing Arwen.

Steph: The reforging went by incredibly fast, and I was kind of confused, but the elf in the water looked like Figwit to me. That was my first impression at least. The shot doesn’t really look like Elrond, because the elf looks much younger…and not Arwen because the features (to me) look somewhat masculine.
*So far, I’ve also received about a dozen e-mails from people insisting it is — Eru, forbid — the infamous Figwit!

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Is That REALLY Shelob?
Deagol’s Bane: Hi! I just saw the ROTK trailer, and I just have to saw WOW!!! But one point of speculation, are we sure that the spider we see chasing after Frodo is really Shelob? It seems to me, from Tolkien’s description of her in the book, that Shelob was MUCH bigger than what we saw in the trailer – like 5-10 times bigger. I was thinking about it, and I was wondering if what we saw was perhaps one of Shelob’s spawn? A giant spider somewhat like what Bilbo might have encountered in Mirkwood. It wouldn’t be inconcievable that there would be some of her children running around in the caves, would it? Kind of like in Aliens, with all the drone aliens running around the hive, and the Queen sitting in the middle of it all when Ripley stumbles into her lair. This is all speculation, of course, but it also wouldn’t be beyond PJ to titillate us with a bit of spider action, but fool us all with it and save the BIG surprise for the film itself. Anyone else have any thoughts about this?

KT: This is a further comment on Trailer-Shelob. I was rather disappointed as well with her size, being on the rather small side. There was a theory that perhaps the spider we see is not Shelob herself, but a child-spider of hers. While I am not against the theory that PJ would “warm us up” to his mega-beast spider (he does, after all, have a strange but humorous love of creatures and expands their characters whenever possible; eg, the Watcher in the Water, Cave Troll), I am against the theory itself. “Shelob’s Lair” has a paragraph describing Shelob’s character, and it says, “Far and wide her lesser broods, bastards of the miserable mates, her own offspring, that she slew, spread from glen to glen, from the Ephel Duath to the eastern hills, to Dol Guldur and the fastnesses of Mirkwood.” I think this implies that though her children spread, she killed them whenever she could. Would she really allow one of her own to share her lair?

Unbeatable73: I more think the spider we see in the trailer is disorted because of the ca,era angle, as Frodo is way closer to the camera than the spider is.

Tim: I was watching the Shelob part in very slow mode and i think that Shelob might actually have a head. I find it kind of weird because spiders arn’t suppose to have heads that look human. Also she did seem kind of small.

Frandalf: Yes I think it’s Shelob. We only see a couple of eyes, some legs and teeth. I think this is only the front part of her body. The big belly probably can’t be seen on it!

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Who Is Eomer Holding?
Cerys: I just watched the trailer! Through my profuse weeping, I noticed that Eomer is holding Eowyn, not Theoden (as many people have been speculating). Yes, I am speculating too, but I think I have a logical reasoning for my assessment. How did I come to this conclusion? I began to wonder about whose fall on the field of battle would cause so much anguish to Eomer? His sister of course. Naturally, he would be upset about Theoden’s death, but would have been prepared that it may occur. I would think his response would be grievous but not the complete loss of composure (for lack of a better term) that is seen in the trailer. It would be upsetting, but not unexpected. But for Eomer, Eowyn was never supposed to be in battle. Not only is he dealing with the shock of seeing her on the battlefield, but with the lack of necessity in her possible death and the grief and fear of losing his beloved sister. … Thanks so much for the trailer. I was eager before, but now I am not sure how I can withstand the next two and a half months!! I am crazy with waiting.

Lisa4TheShire: I am so pleased to read others believe Eomer is holding Eowyn… the hair is so golden, as golden as Tolkien’s own description of her, and I am certain beyond any doubt it is her, as he was distraught with despair when learning she had fallen.

KT: Yes, I, too, think it is Eowyn, but I was surprised that this was not the opinion of all. Eomer looks in a weeping rage…which is exactly what he does when he finds Eowyn. From “The Battle of the Pelennor Fields”:

* * *

Is That Arwen?
Sir Daniel: I was curious about something in the recent ROTK trailer. About two minutes into the trailer there is an overhead shot of a black haired elf on a bed. But to me it didn’t look like Arwen. Could this maybe be a shot of Luthien? This is boggling my mind and I’d appreciate your insight on it.

Mazy Evenstar: I think it is definitely Arwen. In what I think was one of our first ever Lord of the Rings trailers, the one for all three films, we see the same shot. We see Arwen in the what appears to be the same dress, only with some sort of extra sleeves, in Rivendell, with Elrond walking away from her, shortly after. Again, in one of the last shots of the trailer, you can make out her in the dress jumping into Elrond’s arms. In part of the Return of the King gallery on the official site, we again see Arwen in the same dress. All evidence points to this being Arwen. She appears in the dress many different times. It would be very hard to explain to people who have not read the book about Beren and Luthien, thus I don’t think it would be included in the movie. Thought I’d share my thought about the subject with you.

Renee: I think that it is Arwen on the bed… She just is sick or something… or sick unto death..

Arashi_Leonhart: In the flashes of scenes at the end of the trailer, if you can pause it at the right moment you’ll see Arwen lying on the same bed in the same dress embracing Elrond, so those guesses are wrong.

Leyana: Since everyone has a mind of there own on the mater – who’s the elf reforging the sword,let me pas to you something that came to my mind earlier when i saw the picture of the misterious elf…the thought that is now clear in my mind as I read the speculation of Sir Daniel when he mentioned Luthien … Perhaps there is some story of Luthien polled into the ROTK and therefore The elf could be Arwen with the spirit of Luthien within couse she is doing this important task for her mortal beloved(as we all know the story of Luthien and Beren was simalar) (…I mean…Half of the face looks like it’s Arwen but he other half looks like a reflection or some kind of a spirit and it defenetly looks like a montage..)We all remember the fantastic trick PJ did with the first look at Gandalf the White,where he literaly mixed both of Gandalf’s and Saruman’s face and voice where audience lesser acquainted with the books couldn’t tell who it was….

Have your own thoughts? Head over to Barliman’s to hash them out with other fans!