Confirming My “Nerd” Status

Posted on: 09/8/09 6:20 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Monday was a holiday, and in our house we tried something really fun: Lord of the Rings Day! (Yeah… we’re really pushing our “nerd” status with that one.) That’s right. We watched the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy in one day… the extended edition! It was quite an undertaking.

I told my kids that they could each invite one friend. We had a few friends over to spend the night- the night prior, but I had everyone go to bed at a decent hour, because we had a 7:30 a.m. start time. Here’s the schedule I made:

7:15 AM: Be eating breakfast
7:30 AM: Begin Fellowship of the Rings (208 minutes, or 3 hrs 28 minutes)
BREAK-15 minutes at disk change
Finish at 11:15 AM
BREAK- 15 minutes
11:30 AM: Begin Two Towers (223 minutes, or 3 hrs 43 minutes)
1:00 PM: Resume Two Towers
Finish at 3:45 PM
BREAK- 15 minutes
4:00 PM: Begin Return of the King (250 minutes, or 4 hours 10 min)
6:00 PM: DINNER BREAK FOR 30 MINUTES– at disk change
Finish at 8:40 PM

We kept to the schedule pretty well with fun food breaks (donuts in the morning, hot wings mid day, pizza, then deli sandwiches for dinner). Our dinner break ended up being combined with a 15 minute walk. We were all craving some outdoor exposure! In actuality we finished at 8:51 p.m., a little over 13 hours from when we started! Whew. We are true nerds.

During the film, most of the kids (my kids are 12, 14 and 16) stayed tuned in. My son dozed off during The Two Towers for about 10 minutes. And at the beginning of Return of the King I noticed my 14 year old laying upside down on the couch watching the movie backwards through a compact mirror from her purse. But overall, we kept dialed in for all 13+ hours.

We did pause the film or rewind a scene or two. For example, we always like to watch Bilbo explode into a tizzy fit when he asks Frodo if he can see his ring one last time (We watched that in slow motion).

Watching all three films in a row, we noticed a few things. Here’s some of our random observations.

  • Legolas is by far the biggest stud (or “Beastly” as my son would say) in the film. His one-armed horse mount, at full gallop in The Two Towers is probably his best move, if not the taking down of the giant elephant creature in Return of the King.
  • I eat like a Hobbit. (I want to adopt the practice of both “second breakfast” and “elevensies.”)
  • Frodo wins the “most irritating” award with his monotonous fickle mood swings (Not to mention, a few of his “Oh my Sam” moments were just a little awkward)
  • When the eagle rescues Frodo and Sam from Mount Doom at the end, we all agreed that it would have been much simpler if the eagles would have just flown them there with the ring IN THE FIRST PLACE!
  • Frodo is in desperate need of a manicure
  • Fellowship was the best of the three
  • Two Towers, although good, was my least favorite of the three
  • Frodo doesn’t pronounce Gandalf’s name “Gandolph,” as many do, but “Gand Alf!”

It was a great day. Call me a Hobbit, but my favorite part was the hot wings that we snacked on during The Two Towers!

Side note: there were some great discussion starters in the film that our ministry provides (for free of course) with discussion questions, etc. You can find those here, herehere, and here.

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5 Replies to “Confirming My “Nerd” Status”

  1. “When the eagle rescues Frodo and Sam from Mount Doom at the end, we all agreed that it would have been much simpler if the eagles would have just flown them there with the ring IN THE FIRST PLACE!”

    Have you ever seen the animated “How it Should Have Ended” clips? The website is here:

    You can find the LOTR clip here which is exactly what you describe above:



  2. Awesome Jonathan- my son and I did the same thing since I got the extended collection for Christmas. One other observation- no way does the Witch King shatter Gandalf’s staff…he’s a flippin’ wizard! Shame on you Peter Jackson- Tolkien is rolling in his grave

  3. Sounds like a fantastic day! My wife called me an official nerd when I finished all the special features from all 3 extended editions.

  4. As a true nerd, I feel the need to point out that Tolkien answered the “eagle ending” way back when the books were published…

    In short, the great eagles were always a symbol of divine intervention, and as such, had to appear sparingly and only when appropriate. Frodo and Sam had done all that was humanly (hobbitly?) possible for them to do – all that they had been Called to do – and so Providence stepped in to finish the job in a true miracle.

    There’s much more, of course, but I’ll spare you. 🙂

    We’ve done the movie marathon in a day four times now… once overnight, which I would not recommend.

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