The opening sequence: the introduction was fantastic, especially how they included when Smegiel and his cousin fought over the ring which ended up the result of Smegiel killing his cousin from his obvious obsession from the power of the ring. Of course, the transformation from Smegiel to Gollum was fantastic and well-done. The details placed into each transformation as Smegiel/Gollum started to fade away from the hobbit he once was to becoming greatly possessed by the power that the ring holds strongly. This has got to be the best introduction from the three movies by far - it gives more information about Gollum and how he got the way he did, and what might happen to Frodo if the ring takes over him as well.
The Hobbits: Okay, I loved the scene where Merry and Pippin and sitting on the stone wall smoking and enjoying something to eat when Gandalf and the rest of them arrive. It was too hilarious; but then again, what isn't hilarious with Merry and Pippin? And when Pippin discovers the crysal ball in the water which from above reflected the Eye of Sauron (which, of course from Pippin's view it was something shiny). I knew immediately that foreshadowed what would happened to him later on. I cringed when that scene came around, because I don't want anything to happen to my Pippin! It was heartbreaking to see Merry and Pippin separated like that, since they are truly a great duo together. But who would argue that? :)
And now let's not forget our other two important hobbits. Their continuing journey to Mordor is starting to get more brutal, and with Gollum with them it's been slowing them down more and more every day they travel. I realize now that they should've just gone through the Black Gates when they had the chance, but that would've been too easy. And with Gollum's attempt to cause friction in Frodo and Sam's friendship, it's harder for Frodo to understand who to trust with the burden he carries. Although Sam may not understand firsthand how it feels to have something as powerful like bearing the ring, he knows how to help Frodo and would never, ever betray him.
Alright, I'll admit I cried when Frodo tells Sam to go home. I couldn't help it. Sam had been loyal and a true friend all the way through the journey to destroy the ring, ever since the beginning without leaving his side. I just started crying when Sam cried. It just wasn't fair to poor Sam; he knew right away that Gollum was trouble, but Frodo was unable to accept that what happened to Gollum would never be cured, because he could end up the exact same way. Still, I wanted to tell Frodo off right then and smack some sense into him. Instead, I cried with our poor, poor Sam as he got left behind.
I've just got to mention this: I absolutely loved and adored Pippin's song in the movie. He has such an amazing voice. I cried during this particular scene, too. Just with everything that's going on you can practically feel the emotion pouring out from the screen. And I am grateful that we've got the soundtrack to the movie so I can listen to that track over, and over and over. Lovely song; outstanding voice from Billy Bloyd.
The Haunted Mountain and the Door of the Dead: Where Aragorn is sent to gather up the souls of the dead to help fight in the battle, I found this greatly entertaining. From the moment where he goes in - accompanied by Legolas and Gimili - and when he stands up to the leader of the ghosts. That is the coolest scene ever. Plus, how they did it was amazing. However, will Legolas ever learn? Shooting arrows at ghosts will not work because they are not corporeal.
Shelob: This scene really was the most intense, frightening and excellent ones of the three movies. I was truly amazed about how the gigantic spider didn't look totally computerized and fake like some Hollywood movies make them seem. Shelob really did creep the hell out of me, but that didn't frighten me - what frightened me the most was what I knew was going to happen to Frodo when he entered the cave. I hated knowing what was going to happen to him. However, I loved it when Sam came back and fought off Shelob when Frodo got biten with the venom. This is what true friendship and loyalty is all about. Everyone in the theater when we first saw it applauded when Sam defeated Shelob. That was a truly heroic action right there.
The Battle: Fantastically done; the effects were amazing and the setting was unbelievable. The part when the Riders of Rohan were on the hill looking at were the Orcs were attacking Minas Tirith was breathtaking - they had to have a lot of extras for that shot! But my favorite part from the entire thing was when Ewoyen places her arm around Merry, almost like a comforting attempt, and says, "No matter what happens, stay with me." The connection between them was great, and I loved the whole message there; even the unlikeliest person to fight will defeat evil when all odds are against them. And another part is when she defeats the King Witch. Everyone, too, applauded when that happened.
King Witch: You fool, no man can defeat me.
Ewoyen: (takes off helmet) I am no man!
Gotta love girls kicking butt!
The Battle in Front of the Black Gates: Again, the special effects never ceases to amaze me in these movies. Also when Legolas and Gimili put aside their differences and decide to fight side-by-side with friends. And when Merry and Pippin have been finally reunited together after the battle of Minas Tirith go running towards the Orcs that have then surrounded and fight was priceless - and everyone else passes them by as they continue to run. I just had to laugh.
Fires of Mount Doom and the Last Chapter: The bonding between Frodo and Sam when they fight to get to Mount Doom to destory the ring once and for all really was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. And Sam being the couragous and loyal friend once again really showed how much he cared for Frodo and helping him lift the terrible burden from his shoulders. But when things had started to look good, Frodo is being controlled by the powers of the ring and resists to throw the One Ring into the fires of Mordor. But I liked how they made it seem realistic when Gollum jumps onto the invisible Frodo and bites off his finger along with the ring. But then, in the end, Gollum falls over into the fires and the One Ring of Sauron is finally destroyed.
I also liked how they did the destruction of the Eye of Sauron and the downfall of all of Sauron's followers. I was also astounded how the gigantic Eagles picked up Sam and Frodo from what was left of Mordor.
The reunion of the remaining of the Fellowship was cute. Merry and Pippin hugging Frodo; Aragon, Legolas and Gimili entering looking thrilled at Frodo's success; and finally Sam's entrance - although he doesn't go all the way inside where Frodo is laying, it is obvious that they understand each other.
Crowning Aragon and making him King was cool - and I loved his voice as well - and Arwen's return after the whole ordeal, and we all know that they get married after that and have a child. I enjoyed it when the three hobbits return to the Shire, but I understand that even though they've longed to go back there while fighting the war for Middle-Earth, thing would never be the same for them. Because even though things haven't changed in the Shire, all of them have changed extremely and have seen things that the rest of the hobbits haven't seen. So, this also explains Frodo's decision to journey into the West - there is nothing left for him in the Shire. He's been through hell with the burden of the ring, and even after four years had passed he still feels the pain of the anniversaries when he was stabbed by the Witch King (Fellowship of the Ring) and when he was speared by the cave troll - also from the power of the ring.
I cried, once again, when Frodo said his goodbyes to his fellow hobbits. And even more when he and Sam hugged, because of all that they've been through together. But you could see the drastic changes from when he is standing with them on land, and when he aboards the boat - his cheeks are rosy and he looks refreshed, like he did when the movies first started. But the overall favorite part is when Sam returns to the Shire, to his wife - Rosy - and his children (which the little girl that he holds is actually Sean Astin's real daughter); and when he says, "Well, I'm back." Those are the last words in the books, and that's what my sister had been hoping for.
Overall, the Return of the King is the best out of all the three movies. I cannot stress enough about how much I have anticipated seeing the final end of the end, instead of leaving the theater thinking about how they left a cliffhanger. This is truly a masterpiece and a spectacular ending of the series.
Oh, one last thing: Sean Astin show get an Oscar! His performance was amazing in the Lord of the Rings and he portrays Samwise Gamgi very well. Just thought I'd like the get that out.