Here's the Secret Behind The Iconic Gandalf Fall Scene in 'Lord of the Rings'

Here's the Secret Behind The Iconic Gandalf Fall Scene in 'Lord of the Rings'
Image credit: Legion-Media

Some scenes are even more legendary than movies they come from.

'The Lord of the Rings ' is an undisputed classic among fantasy movies. Directed by Peter Jackson, the film appears to satisfy the majority of John R.R. Tolkien fans – unlike some modern takes on the legendary universe.

But even those who have never watched the movie trilogy might know one of the most renowned and emotional scenes from it. Yes, we're talking about the heart-wrenching fall of Gandalf in 'The Fellowship of the Ring', when the gray wizard dropped his renowned line of "You shall not pass!" to Balrog.

Despite it being no secret that Gandalf is going to return as a white wizard, the scene ended up being incredibly emotional – not just for LOTR fans but even for those who are far away from being Tolkien enthusiasts.

What is its secret, though? According to fans, it's about several things.

The scene appears to be stuffed with metaphors and allegories: for instance, it's interesting to watch hobbits having to physically carried away from the scene – like children who just lost a loved one, a fan noted on Reddit.

Another fan suggested that a big role in the scene goes to its sound design, particularly the way how "audio drops at the perfect moments" and focuses on Frodo's scream by isolating it and therefore making it louder. Finally, the sound of Balrog's whip is just chilling – "right after you thought Gandalf won". Naturally, Frodo's desperate "No!" is something that is stuck in the LOTR fans' minds forever.

And then comes the series' iconic composer, Howard Shore.

"I think it's partly because Jackson chose to stay in that moment of grief, give the scene a moment to breathe. Think how often important characters die in other films and it's just smash cut to the next thing. That and Howard Shore's great score and the performances of all involved. And Gandalf being such an anchor for the fellowship that no one would expect him to die (if they hadn't read the books already)." – /ZazzRazzamatazz

Finally, the scene is very striking from the storytelling point of view – after all, it's the heroes' main mentor who dies in the fight and leaves the characters to finish the journey without his guidance.

'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' came out in 2001, followed by 'The Two Towers' in 2002 and the final movie, 'The Return of the King', premiering a year later.