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EXT. EDORAS, GOLDEN HALL - EARLY DAWN

ARAGORN joins LEGOLAS on the STEPS to the GOLDEN HALL, oblivious
to the CHILL WIND . . . they look out across the SLEEPING CITY to
the LOOMING MOUNTAIN RANGE BEYOND . .-. DARK CLOUDS mark the sky.

                      LEGOLAS
           The stars are veiled, something stirs in
           the east . . . A sleepless malice.

LEGOLAS looks at ARAGORN . . . realisation in his face.

                      LEGOLAS (cont'd)
           The eye of the enemy is moving.

INT. EDORAS, SLEEPING QUARTERS - EARLY DAWN,

CLOSE ON: PIPPIN . . . he is AWAKE! He sits up . . . ANXIOUS,
FIDGETY . . .

Suddenly he hops out of bed and creeps towards the SLEEPING FORM
of GANDALF.

                      MERRY
           (whispers)
           What you doing?
                                                       (CONTINUED)

                                        Final Revision - October, 2003 16,
CONTINUED:


PIPPIN gasps with FRIGHT! MERRY is sitting up, wiping sleep
from his eyes. He moves on . . .

ANGLE ON: A sleeping GANDALF lies with eyes wide open! But
PIPPIN is undeterred . . .

MERRY sits up, a worried look on his face.

                       MERRY (cont'd)
             Pippin? Pippin? Pippin! What are you doing?

With quick stealth, PIPPIN lifts the WRAPPED PALANTIR from
GANDALF'S grasp ...

                       MERRY (cont'd)
             Pippin, are you mad?

                        PIPPIN
             I just want to look at it. Just one more
             time.

                       MERRY
             Put it back! Put - it - back!

PIPPIN unwraps the PALANTIR and as MERRY looks on HORRIFIED,
he gazes INTENTLY into it.

                       MERRY (cont'd)
             Pippin!

As PIPPIN lays his hands on the CRYSTAL, a SICKLY PALE light
slowly spreads from the GLASS BALL onto PIPPIN'S FACE ... his
EYES WIDEN.

                       MERRY (cont'd)
             Pippin!




EXT. EDORAS GOLDEN HALL - EARLY DAWN

On the STEPS of the GOLDEN HALL, LEGOLAS turns to ARAGORN




                                                        (CONTINUED)

                                       Final Revision - October, 2003 17.
CONTINUED:


                         LEGOLAS
                  (urgent)
             He is here.

INT. EDORAS, SLEEPING QUARTERS - NIGHT

PIPPIN suddenly starts to HYPERVENTILATE . . . He STAGGERS
BACKWARDS, PALANTIR held rigidly before him . . .

THE GREAT EYE OF SAURON seems to LEAP from the FIRE . . . PIPPIN
is bathed in the FIERY RED LIGHT.

PIPPIN sinks to his KNEES, his mouth open in a soundless SCREAM
. . . He FALLS BACKWARDS, powerless to release the FIERY GLOBE.

                        MERRY
             Help! Someone help him!

GANDALF wakes with a start! Just as ARAGORN enters, and
wrenches the PALANTIR from PIPPIN'S HANDS . . . PIPPIN FALLS to
the FLOOR! . . . ARAGORN spins away, reeling backwards, the
PALANTIR falling from his HANDS . . .

The PALANTIR rolls across the FLOOR, causing EVERYONE in the
room to COWER BACK.  ;


ANGLE ON: GANDALF throws a BLANKET over it, ANGRY DISBELIEF
on his face! He rounds on PIPPIN. ,

                        GANDALF
             Fool of a Took!

GANDALF lifts the HOBBIT'S SLUMPED HEAD.

                        MERRY
             Pippin!

PIPPIN is trembling ... GANDALF calms him . . .

                        PIPPIN
             Gandalf! Forgive me.

                       GANDALF .
             Look at me! What did you see?


                                                       (CONTINUED)

                                       Final Revision - October, 2003 18.
CONTINUED:


                     PIPPIN
               (disjointed)
          A tree ... There was a white tree . . . in a
          courtyard of stone . . . It was dead!

FLASH INSERT: A lone white tree silhouetted by flames.

                        PIPPIN (cont'd)
             The city was burning ...

                        GANDALF
             Minas Tirith???
                  (to PIPPIN)
             Is that what you saw?

                         PIPPIN
                  (terrified)
             I saw . . . I saw him . . . I could hear his
             voice in my head.

                     GANDALF
          And what did you tell him? Speak!

                        PIPPIN
          He asked me my name, I didn't answer . . . he
          hurt me . . .

CLOSE ON: GANDALF stares at PIPPIN with a FRIGHTENING
INTENSITY . . .

                    GANDALF
          What did you tell him about Frodo and the
          Ring?

INT. EDORAS, GOLDEN HALL - DAY

THEODEN stands in the GOLDEN HALL, gravely listening to
GANDALF ... ARAGORN, LEGOLAS, and GIMLI look on . . .

                     GANDALF
          There was no lie in Pippin's eyes; a fool,
          but an honest fool he remains. He told
          Sauron nothing of Frodo and the Ring.

ANGLE ON: GIMLI lets out a sigh of relief.
                                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                                  Final Revision - October, 2003 19.
CONTINUED:


GANDALF turns to look at THEODEN.

                        GANDALF (cont'd)
             We've been strangely fortunate. What Pippin
             saw in the Palantir was a glimpse of our
             enemy's plan.

GANDALF looks from on to the other of the, gathered company.

                       GANDALF (cont'd)
             Sauron moves to strike the city of Minas
             Tirith. His defeat at Helm's Deep showed
             our enemy one thing.

The WIZARD turns towards ARAGORN . . .

                        GANDALF (cont'd)
             The heir of Elendil has come forth. Men are
             not as weak as he supposed. There is
             courage still - strength enough left to
             challenge him.

THEODEN listens intently, saying nothing.

                                    GANDALF (cont'd)
                      (wa rningly)
             Sauro n fea rs this. He will no t risk t he
             p e o p l es of M i d d l e -e a r t h u n i t i ng u n d e r one
             b a n n e r. He w i l l r ai s e M i n a s T ir i t h t o the
             groun d bef ore he sees the ret urn of t he
             King.

CLOSE ON: ARAGORN . . . he knows GANDALF SPEAKS THE TRUTH.

ANGLE ON: GANDALF rounds on THEODEN . . .

                        GANDALF (cont'd)
             If the beacons of Condor are lit, Rohan
             must be ready for war!

THEODEN holds GANDALF'S gaze.




                                                                                              (CONTINUED)

                                     Final Revision - October, 2003 20
CONTINUED: (2)


                       THEODEN
                (quietly)
           Tell me. Why should we ride to the aid of
           those who did not come to ours?

ANGLE ON: ARAGORN turns to look at THEODEN.

                      THEODEN (cont'd)
           What do we owe Gondor?

                      ARAGORN
                (low and urgent)
           I will go.

                        GANDALF
                 (hurried)
           No!

                      ARAGORN
           They must be warned.

                      GANDALF
           They will be.
                (low voice, to Aragorn)
           You must come to Minas Tirith by another
           ra ...
            od
                (cryptic)
           Follow the river, look to the black ships.
                (louder, to all)
           Understand this . . . things are now in
           motion that cannot be undone.

GANDALF turns on his heel . . . and stares at a surpirsed
PIPPIN.

                      GANDALF (cont'd)
           I ride for Minas Tirith! And I won't be
           going alone !

EXT. EDORAS STREETS - DAWN

ANGLE ON: GANDALF hurries along the STREETS . . . PIPPIN and
MERRY run alongside trying to KEEP UP . . .



                                                        (CONTINUED)

                                       Final Revision - October, 2003 21.
CONTINUED: ·


                        GANDALF
             Of all the inquisitive Hobbits, Peregrin,
             Took, you are the worst. Hurry, hurry!

PIPPIN catches up to MERRY.

                         PIPPIN
                  (worried)
             Where are we going?

                       MERRY
             Why did you look - why do you always have
             to look?

                         PIPPIN .
                  (subdued)
             I don't know . . . I can't help it.

MERRY turns away ...

                       MERRY
             You never can.

                         PIPPIN
                  (lightly) . . . . ,.; ·
             I'm sorry, alright? I won't do it again.

This is too much for MERRY. He turns on PIPPIN.

                        MERRY
             Don't you understand ... the Enemy thinks
             you have the Ring . . . he's going to be
             looking for you, Pip. They have to get you
             out of here!

                         PIPPIN
             And you. You're coming with me . . .
             Merry?

                        MERRY
             Come on!

PUSH IN: PIPPIN'S face as MERRY strides away.

                                                ' ,., CUT TO:

                                     Final Revision - October, 2003 22



INT. EDORAS STABLES - DAWN

ANGLE ON: PIPPIN is dumped unceremoniously onto the back of
SHADOWFAX as GANDALF hurriedly prepares to leave . . .

                     PIPPIN
               (nervous)
          How far is Minas Tirith?

                     GANDALF
          Three days ride as the Nazgul flies and
          you'd better hope we don't have one of
          those on our tail.

MERRY thrusts a SMALL PACKAGE into PIPPIN'S HAND . . .

                     MERRY
          Here - something for the road.

PIPPIN stares down at the leather-bound bundle of PIPE-WEED.

                     PIPPIN
          The last of the Longbottom Leaf.

                     MERRY
          I know you've run out . . . you smoke too
          much, Pip.

                     PIPPIN
          But we'11 see each other soon?

A WORRIED MERRY exchanges glances with GANDALF.

                      PIPPIN (cont'd)
          Won't we?

                     MERRY
          I don't know . . . I don't know what's going
          to happen.

GANDALF mounts SHADOWFAX.

                     PIPPIN
               (rising panic)
          Merry?
                                                      (CONTINUED)

                                     Final Revision - October, 2003 23.
CONTINUED:


GANDALF spurs the GREAT HORSE forward.

                       GANDALF
             Run Shadowfax, show us the meaning of
             haste.

                     PIPPIN
               (panicked)
          Merry!

SHADOWFAX thunders out of the STABLES!

CLOSE ON: MERRY'S devastated face.

EXT. GATES OF EDORAS - DAY

ANGLE ON: SHADOWFAX carried GANDALF and PIPPIN out of the
GATE and down the WINDING ROAD towards the PLAINS QF ROHAN.

EXT. EDORAS GATES LOOK-OUT - DAY

ANGLE ON: MERRY clambers up a WATCHTOWER, ARAGORN in pursuit.

ANGLE ON::The SMALL FIGURE as he watches his best friend
DISAPPEAR into the DISTANCE . . .

CLOSE ON: ARAGORN . . . he knows what it is to lose someone.

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