Lord of the Rings Basically Ruined It All For Fans By Deleting This Scene

Lord of the Rings Basically Ruined It All For Fans By Deleting This Scene
Image credit: Legion-Media

When the big bad is finally defeated, you would expect the movie to allow you to be there to witness the villain's demise... right?

Saruman was one of the most prominent villains of the Lord of the Rings saga, but Peter Jackson's final LoTR film, Return of the King, left his story feeling incomplete due to the controversial decision to... completely remove his death scene from the final cut.

As portrayed on screen by the late Christopher Lee, Saruman was a menace to the Fellowship of the Ring all along — only to quietly dissolve at some point in the third movie, with his death scene making it into the extended cut, but never into the theatrical cut.

To this day, fans just don't understand why.

Of course, it's impossible to cram everything into a movie, even a Lord of the Rings movie that can run up to three hours and still be loved by fans. But removing a scene so important to the story felt like a bizarre move to pretty much everyone in the fandom, with fans calling it "one of the most baffling editing decisions imaginable."

The fact that the extended cut of the third film even included a Saruman death scene raised many eyebrows, as many fans actually believed that he had been captured and subdued — only to casually find out that one of Middle-earth's greatest threats had actually died.

Fans are not the only ones upset by Peter Jackson's controversial editing decision. Lee himself was outraged when he found out that the theatrical cut never included Saruman's death scene, and it was reportedly the reason he never even attended the premiere. However, after backlash from the actor and the fandom, Jackson eventually admitted that the decision to cut the scene was a mistake and added it back in the extended cut.

Still, the theatrical cut is not enough for fans without the essential scene, so many people decided not to watch it at all, opting instead for the extended edition.