Gen Z Just Wouldn't Get It: LotR Scene Only Grown-ups Can Appreciate

Gen Z Just Wouldn't Get It: LotR Scene Only Grown-ups Can Appreciate
Image credit: Legion-Media

As a 10-year-old, when I sat in the cinema and first watched Return of the King almost 20 years ago, I can't say I had the same appreciation for the film that I do today as a reasonably mature adult.

Sure, I still thought of it as a fantastic battle epic. And as my first real introduction to LotR, it was a wonder to behold.

Yet I admit now some of the film's more sentimental scenes were lost on me. Only with age can I say I have come to acknowledge what the emotional scenes offer. And I reckon some of that nuance is still lost on younger audiences who are only recently discovering LotR now.

To explain my theory further, let me phrase it with some examples from the films.

When I was considerably younger, my favorite of Peter Jackson's trilogy was consistently The Two Towers. This was almost entirely due to the fantastic sequence, the battle of Helm's Deep. The imposing orc armies, the immense sword fighting, the awesome heroics. It was simply just cool.

Don't get me wrong; I very much still agree with my younger self and believe this remains one of the best examples of battle cinematography. However, the scenes that really speak to me now are that of the budding friendships between the characters.

Gen Z Just Wouldn't Get It: LotR Scene Only Grown-ups Can Appreciate - image 1

For anyone not moved by the ending scene of RotK, I'd wonder if you really appreciate the film's true meaning. I feel emotionally scarred watching Frodo departing for the Undying Lands and leaving his best friend behind forever. This may be because such a scene is so much more relatable to me than it was when I was younger.

As foolish as I may sound, I am not the only one who considers the more heartfelt moments as the trilogy's shining gems. Redditors in a r/lotr subreddit shared their own favorite scenes of the movie, and how they also changed over the years.

thoughtsturnedoff said, "Then: the fight scene in Balin's tomb with the cave troll. Now: Boromir racing … in his only hope of redemption and protecting his beloved friends".

Others felt personal life experiences had changed their perspective of certain scenes. As norskinot points out, "Now that I'm a dad, everything involving Theoden crushes me". Even Pippin's heartfelt song of war got a shout-out.

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At first glance, LotR is an epic adventure or even a story of mythology and war. But at its heart is its theme of friendship throughout. Watching the bitterness of Frodo's goodbye at the end, I relate to friendships I also miss. The loss I have felt from others leaving to continue on their own journey.

It's a scene that stays with you long after the movie ends. Although younger generations may not appreciate it in the same way just yet, it is a reminder nevertheless of why LotR is a timeless classic.