Final Revision - October, 2003 28
EXT. FOOTHILLS OF WHITE MOUNTAINS - NIGHT
CLOSE ON: PIPPIN asleep . . . GANDALF'S PROTECTIVE ARM around
. . . as SHADOWFAX THUNDERS through the NIGHT.
EXT. FOOTHILLS OF WHITE MOUNTAINS - DAY
ANGLE ON: SHADOWFAX powers along the COUNTRYSIDE.
ANGLE ON: PIPPIN, huddled in front of GANDALF, the WIND
sailing through his hair.
We have just passed into the realm of
EXT. MINAS TIRITH - DAWN
ANGLE ON: SHADOWFAX gallops up onto a LOW RIDGE . . .
ANGLE ON: Before them is the DARK MASS of Mount Mindolluin,
its tall WHITE FACE whitening in the RISING SUN. Upon its out-
thrust knee is the Guarded City: MINAS TIRITH.
With SEVEN WALLS OF WHITE STONE, so strong and old that it
seems to have been not built, MINAS TIRITH looks carven by
giants out of the bones of the earth.
Minas Tirith . . . City of the Kings.
Suddenly the SUN climbs over the eastern hills, and sends
forth a SHAFT OF SUNLIGHT that GLEAMS against th e face of the
CITY. The TOWER OF ECTHELION stands high within the topmost
walls. WHITE BANNERS break and FLUTTER from the BATTLEMENTS
in the morning breeze.
EXT. MINAS TIRITH STREETS - DAY
GANDALF steering SHADOWFAX up the STEEP STREETS of MINAS
Final Revision - October, 2003 29.
ANGLE ON: The stares of frightened GONDORIANS as GANDALF and
PIPPIN gallop through the WINDING STREETS . . .
AERIAL SHOT: SHADOWFAX, carrying GANDALF and PIPPIN up
towards the 7th LEVEL.
MINAS TIRITH is built in 7 LEVELS - each behind a CIRCULAR
DEFENSIVE WALL. Each level rises - the city reaches a height
of nearly 1000 FEET on its TOPMOST LEVEL.
A towering BASTION of NATURAL ROCK - shaped like a sharp
ship's prow - bisects the city from the 2nd LEVEL to the TOP.
EXT. MINAS TIRITH, COURT OF THE KINGS - DAY
SHADOWFAX arrives at a GREAT CITADEL on the SUMMIT of the
CITY - 1000 FEET above the PELENNOR FIELDS.
GANDALF and PIPPIN dismount, leaving the GUARDS of the
CITADEL to tend to SHADOWFAX. GANDALF hurries off . . .
CLOSE ON: PIPPIN as he takes in his surroundings, his eye
caught by a DEAD TREE that stands in the middle of the COURT,
FOUR SOLEMN CITADEL GUARDS standing sentry around it.
It's the tree. ,
(hurrying after GANDALF)
Yes, the white tree of Gondor. The tree of
GANDALF leads PIPPIN across a FLAT COURT of WHITE STONES,
surrounded by GREEN LAWNS . . . towards a GREAT HALL benejath
the GLEAMING TOWER. '
Lord Denethor, however, is not the King. He
is a steward only. A caretaker of the
GANDALF lowers his voice, as they approach the TOWER HALL.
Final Revision - October, 2003 30.
GA ND ALF (c on t'd )
Now, listen carefully. Lord Denethor is
Boromir's father. To give him news of his
beloved son's death would be most unwise
... And do not mention Frodo . . . Or the
Ring . . . And say nothing of Aragorn either.
In fact, it's better if you don't speak at
all, Pippin Took.
CLOSE ON: PIPPIN, suitably chastened, nods.
INT. MINAS TIRITH TOWER HALL - DAY
ANGLE ON: A LONG SOLEMN HALL ... with ROWS OF BLACK MARBLE
PILLARS. Between the pillars stand a silent company of TALL
KINGS carved in cold STONE.
GANDALF strides down the HALL, with PIPPIN following
At the FAR END, upon a DAIS OF MANY STEPS, sits a LARGE,
EMPTY THRONE . . . and on the wall behind is the IMAGE of a
FLOWERING WHITE TREE set in GEMS.
At the FOOT of the DAIS, in a small STONE CHAIR, sits an OLD
MAN, gazing at his lap: DENETHOR - the Lord Steward of
Hail, Denethor, Son of Ecthelion, Lord and
Steward of Gondor.
DENETHOR does not look up as GANDALF and PIPPIN approach.
I come with tidings in this dark hour - and
DENETHOR slowly raises COLD EYES . . .
Perhaps you come to explain this?
Final Revision - October, 2003 31.
DENETHOR holds up BOROMIR'S BROKEN HORN ...
DEN ETH OR (c ont 'd )
Perhaps you come to tell me why my son is
CLOSE ON: PIPPIN remembering . . .
INSERT IMAGE: BOROMIR, as URUK-HAI arrows thud into his body,
he falls to his KNEES . . .
PIPPIN starts forward unable to say nothing . . .
Boromir died to save us . . . my kinsman and
me . . . he fell, defending us from many
CLOSE ON: DENETHOR pain flickers in his eyes.
PIPPIN drops to his knee offering DENETHOR his SWORD . . .
I offer you my service, such as it is, in
payment of this debt.
DENETHOR looks at PIPPIN blankly, overcome with grief.:
(a ddre ssin g D ENET HOR)
My Lord, there will be a time to grieve for
Boromir, but it is not now. War is coming
... the Enemy is on your doorstep. As
Steward, you are charged with the defence
of this city. Where are Condor's armies?
DENETHOR gaze turns slowly on GANDALF . . .
Final Revision - October, 2003 32.
CONTINUED: ( 2 )
You still have friends - you are not alone
in this fight. Send word to Theoden of
Rohan. Light the beacons.
DENETHOR smiles at GANDALF, as if amused by something.
You think you are wise, Mithrandir, yet for
all your subtleties.you have not wisdom. Do
you think the eyes of the White Tower are
blind? I have seen more than you know. With
your left hand you would use me as a shield
against Mordor and with your right you
would seek to supplant me.
CLOSE ON: GANDALF looks shocked, DENETHOR'S eyes NARROW.
I know who rides with Theoden of Rohan. Oh,
yes. Word has reached my ears of this
Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and I tell you
now, I will not bow to this Ranger from the
North - last of a ragged house, long bereft
Authority is not given to you to deny the
return of the King - Steward!
The rule of Condor is mine, and no others!
CLOSE ON: PIPPIN, horrified. GANDALF looks at Denethor
closely for a moment, then turns on his heel to leave, PIPPIN
GANDALF and PIPPIN stride from the TOWER HALL ... DENETHOR
slumps back into his SEAT.