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Kerr's 'Lord Of The Rings' Fan Edits, Extended Editions by Hal9000/Sharkey (Released)

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 (Edited)

Hal9000, or “Sharkey,” here.

(At the time of this writing, December 2018, Kerr has yet to release his LOTR fan edits. He has, however, allowed me to publish these ‘Extended Editions’ rather than wait for his definitive versions to be released. You aren’t missing anything; his regular edits have not yet been released and may not for some time. But since I’ve been sitting on these fully finished tweaked versions, they are being released now as “stewards” of his proper edits more in the vein of the theatrical editions.

I apologize that I do not have changelogs for Kerr’s forthcoming edits themselves, and only for my modifications of them. Perhaps when Kerr reads this he can provide these for inclusion. I will NOT be adding these to IFDB, since that will be up to Kerr to do when he is ready. These are merely alternative cuts of his project.)


This is a modified version of Kerr’s fan edits of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, somewhat analogous to the ‘Extended Editions’ of the original films. I have taken Kerr’s edits, and folded back into them bits and pieces of the films, mostly from the Extended Editions. Thus, I consider this an extended version of his edit, rather than something new.

Kerr’s edits feature two audio tracks, the primary of which contains numerous musical alterations. I have used the second audio track by default, and only included a handful of his musical alterations where I felt they made sense and felt “right” to me. In the cutlist below, I list musical alterations Kerr made that I used for this extended version, rather than the other way around.

As part of the process, I painstakingly “remastered” the video source, plugging in the original BluRay footage in all but a handful of shots and scenes. This was done to ensure the maximum possible picture quality and avoiding a very slight generational loss. As such, the color timing throughout is not necessarily as Kerr intended. Some shots are left un-remastered, being either sourced from the theatrical cuts (and therefore not at my disposal) or featuring significant color differences that warranted being left as they were. All Elvish subtitles have been redone, save for those that occur over footage only contained in the theatrical cut, made to match Kerr’s formatting.

It’s been wonderful collaborating on this over the course of some 6 or 7 years, and I feel Kerr has pulled off an incredible set of edits, far greater than I could have hoped for if left to my own devices.


Changes from Kerr’s original edit:

Fellowship of the Ring:

  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to add Gondor theme during Last Alliance battle
  • Reinstated EE death of Isildur
  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to add EE background music for Gandalf’s introduction
  • Reinstated EE Frodo’s dialogue about Strider with Merry
  • Reinstated EE Boromir’s dream speech and Gandalf’s black speed at Council of Elrond
  • New disc break with Intermission title card and preliminary ‘Fellowship’ theme from earlier in the film
  • Reinstated EE Gilraen’s memorial
  • Reinstated EE Legoas specifying the nature of Gandalf’s demise, and Galadriel consoling Gimli
  • Reinstated EE Sam’s verse about Gandalf’s fireworks
  • Reinstated original audio of Galadriel’s “In place of a dark lord…” speech
  • Reinstated EE gifts of Galadriel scene in full
  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to use Gondor theme for the Argonath scene
  • Reinstated EE Boromir and Aragorn’s debate scene at night by the River
  • Reinstated EE Aragorn’s line, “They will look to his coming from the white tower, but he will not return.”

The Two Towers:

  • Reinstated EE Frodo and Sam using the Elven rope
  • Reinstated EE Gollum debating whether to help Frodo and Sam
  • Reinstated EE Uruks giving Merry Orc-draught
  • Reinstated EE countrymen swearing fealty to Saruman
  • Reinstated EE Frodo and Gollum’s conversation in the Dead Marshes
  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to use different music for the “Wraiths on Wings” scene
  • Reinstated EE Gandalf’s line about how he “is” Saruman, in a way
  • Reinstated EE Éowyn’s dirge for Theodred
  • Reinstated EE Faramir’s speech regarding the fallen soldier
  • New disc break with Intermission title card and triumphant Rohan theme from earlier in the film
  • Reinstated EE Éowyn learning about Aragorn over stew
  • Reinstated EE Faramir’s vision of coming across Boromir’s funeral boat
  • Reinstated EE Treebeard’s full line, including, “…tree, root, and twig”

Return of the King:

  • Reinstated dialogue between Sméagol and Déagol prior to their fight, and EE longer strangling
  • Reinstated EE dialogue between Merry and Aragorn as Gandalf and Pippin ride from Edoras
  • Reinstated a line or two Kerr cut from Gandalf and Faramir’s conversation about seeing Frodo and Sam in Ithilien
  • Reinstated EE additional dialogue between Pippin and Denethor while offering his service
  • Reinstated EE dialogue from Eomer about the horrors of battle
  • Used different translation for subtitles as Elrond and Aragorn quote Gilraen, and added ellipses to imply they are reciting something known
  • Reinstated EE dialogue from Aragorn to Éowyn as he prepares to leave the Rohirrim
  • Reinstated EE introduction of Grond
  • New disc break with Intermission title card and melancholy Gondor theme from two places earlier in the trilogy
  • Reinstated EE Legolas reciting a verse while heading toward the Paths of the Dead
  • Reinstated EE dialogue from Denethor as he heads to the tombs
  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to add music to Gandalf’s confrontation with the Witch-King
  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to add snippet when the Rohirrim collide with the Uruk ranks
  • Reinstated Éowyn’s cry as she stabs the Witch-King in the face, that Kerr had removed
  • Reinstated EE orc skirmishes prior to Sam entering the tower of Cirith Ungol
  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to add intro and choir for the “For Frodo” scene
  • Used Kerr’s altered audio to add instruments for the “Don’t you let go” scene

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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This is really cool. So, as a total layman to these edits, Kerr has been working on edits of the Extended Editions, which you have also been collaborating on, right? So this is a version with your additional tweaks that can be considered somewhat like an initial release to Kerr’s edits later down the road? Sorry if I misunderstood. Regardless, I am interested.

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Right. Kerr’s unreleased edits are the ‘theatrical editions’ to these customized ‘extended editions.’ I put these together over a year ago and had been waiting for Kerr to release the edits. Since that may not happen for a while yet we decided to let these out in the meantime since they’ve been ready.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Okay, I understand now! Very interested in these! Didn’t know you had been working on this too for so long.

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Sorry Hal, it’s not completely clear to me - are your EE versions avialable now?

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Yes, they are available via torrents and Google Drive; search Reddit for links.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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With two small kids at home, we watch everything with subtitles these days. I’m currently chipping away at syncing English subtitles to these, and will report back when they’re finished. About 2/3 of the way through FOTR.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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OK…I’ve read through this thread, and can’t make sense of where this falls within what’s been released. There are the Theatrical versions and the official Extended versions. Where does this lie or how can it best be described? I see above that it’s considered theatrical but customized extended. Can you expand on that please?

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Yeah, I know the OP is a mess. The reason is that Kerr’s actual edit should’ve been released long ago! This is basically that unreleased project with some EE bits folded back in by me.

It’s an edit likely to be most enjoyed by someone familiar with the books who wouldn’t have minded if the films were a little closer to them but okay with that for the most part. I like to think that this bends slightly in that direction without at all compromising the films as films. There’s also quite a bit of good ol’ fan editing magic due to restructuring in TTT and ROTK.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Off the dome…

Reworked the Arwen plot, retaining most of it but somehow making it more palatable to purists. She doesn’t set out for the Havens, yet still converses with Elrond and advocates for Aragorn. It’s been restructured substantially throughout all three films and really wowed me. She’s still a big part of the story but Kerr avoided the trigger points for purists.

Theoden’s exorcism does not show a literal possession by Saruman.

No elves at Helm’s Deep, save for Legolas. Masterfully done, compared to my efforts a decade ago.

Denethor dies on the pyre, not by running off the city.

The battle of Pelennor Fields is restructured beautifully, “fixing” something that was already beautiful.

Same goes for the entirety of ROTK: restructuring for new juxtapositions that elevate the material. For example, Aragorn challenging Sauron via palantir literally draws his eye away from nearly spotting Frodo, more seamlessly integrating this EE scene into the narrative.

Throughout, Kerr tightens things up here and there. He loved the theatrical editions, which is why I felt a desire to re-extend them somewhat like this. There overall feel, even in my version as compared to the real EEs, is a bit tighter and featuring just a bit less silliness that felt overly modern. The humor is intact, just pruned. For example, he removed the crumbling stairs from FOTR and it’d associated dwarf tossing reference in TTT.

The Mouth of Sauron is missing, and I did not try to reinstate it because it would’ve meant destroying how he had beautifully reworked that portion of the movie. (And I only would’ve included it if there were a good way to remove Aragorn barbarically killing the messenger.)

All in all, it’s a genuinely invigorating fan edit for anybody, though I think non-insistent book lovers will get the most enjoyment from it.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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 (Edited)

These have been my go-to versions of the films ever since Hal first posted them on Reddit. I have been a LotR fanatic my entire life, even adminned the largest meme group for the trilogy for quite some time. So I’ve seen the original extended editions dozens of times, if not hundreds. I would say my experience with these edits was more enjoyable than most, since I instantly recognized the changes, even subtle one-liners and musical cues that were changed (the Gondor theme at the Argonath is a personal favorite).

Overall, I can’t recommend these highly enough, any fan of the series owes it to themselves to give these a watch. For me, they have totally replaced the original films. And most of the changes are so simple-yet-elegant that it’s hard to believe they weren’t the original editing choices of Peter Jackson and Co. Just my $0.02–this isn’t the IFDB but these edits damn well belong there, haha. I would be interested in watching Kerr’s “non-extended” versions as well, should he ever choose to release them. But these are beautifully done as is.

Hal, are either of the musical tracks composed of Kerr’s changes? Or did you use the original audio for both, and just shoehorn the specific changes you’ve listed?

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The latter: I used the track without added music by default, and added the specific changes that I felt belonged soundly (pun intended).

If I had had any idea Kerr’s regular version of this project would remain unseen, I’d have kept my sources he sent. As it stands, what I have released is all I have.

I mirror your praise to Kerr and was happy to re-extend it somewhat for a version I could be cozy with.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Ill PM you.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Now if only you gentlemen had ever undertaken a Hobbit edit(s). Though I imagine they’d be even more of a headache to work with than the Star Wars sequels, haha. That said, I liked the Maple Films edition and I’ve been meaning to give the “Original Two-Film Structure” a watch.

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Kerr has done edits of each of the Hobbit films and, while I found AUJ to be a solid improvement and am sure the other two are similarly, I don’t really care to watch anything but a 3-in-1 edit.

Maple Films is the Hobbit edit I go to. It’s the only one I’ve checked out that truly feels like it works as well as it’d need to on its own. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best IMHO.

When I check out a Hobbit edit, I use the barrel scene as a litmus test. If it goes from the music obviously ramping up for an action sequence to the dwarves floating listlessly, as they almost all do, it fails the test and I look no further.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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 (Edited)

Hal 9000 said:

Maple Films is the Hobbit edit I go to. It’s the only one I’ve checked out that truly feels like it works as well as it’d need to on its own. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best IMHO.

When I check out a Hobbit edit, I use the barrel scene as a litmus test. If it goes from the music obviously ramping up for an action sequence to the dwarves floating listlessly, as they almost all do, it fails the test and I look no further.

I previously stumbled on M4’s Hobbit “Book Edit,” and was drawn to it because of his goal of bringing the trilogy more closely aligned with the original book. I’ve downloaded it but haven’t watched it yet. Did you look at that one?

ETA2: I’m interested in a link for your TLJ Legendary Cut.

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Just glanced at it. It fails my litmus test, at about 2hr13m. Oh, well.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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 (Edited)

Hal 9000 said:

Just glanced at it. It fails my litmus test, at about 2hr13m. Oh, well.

I edited my post again, because I found the litmus test scene in M4’s edit. It looked… okay to me. The music builds up a bunch before they run the rapids, and only after they run the rapids does the music fade, just as they get to the listless floating part.

I am downloading Maple Films’ version to compare.

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To be fair, the transition sounded better than most edits I’ve glanced at. I just don’t feel like a real movie would’ve been like that, but I’m a stickler.

Maple Films retains the elves shooting at them and an ambush by orcs, but it’s cut down heavily. Azog later references Bolg failing to stop them, and it feels like a real movie, although you do still have to put up with Azog and Bolg being in that much of the movie.

If I had the time, I’d like to do a scene by scene comparison between the Maple Films version and the 2-hour Hobbit cut and marry the two. Start from the Maple Films edit, and cut away at it further by considering anything for removal not contained in the 2-Hour cut until arriving at approximately the length of the theatrical ROTK.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Well, if I ever do get to try it, here are my initial thoughts:

Remove 49 minutes from the Maple Films Hobbit edit

Begin with the Maple Films version, trimming further as inspired by the 3hr Spence edit and 2hr Fiona Van Dahl cut.

Loose ideas

  • Include visual montage of backstory during the fireside song
  • Remove pocket handkerchief gag in favor of beginning the traveling montage
  • Dwarves go along with “they’re infected” right away
  • Probably remove Gandalf and Elrond conversation at night setting up white council and dragon sickness
  • Mute Thorin saying Bilbo has no place amongst them
  • Experiment with reintroducing the flashback that introduces Azog
  • Perhaps include the EE two-by-two Beorn scene
  • Trim Gimli reference and Bilbo versus baby spider
  • They don’t get into fish barrels, just show up already in them
  • Cut down the Master and Alfrid more, but be mindful not to go too far
  • The dwarves do not enter the mountain before Smaug exits
  • Bard shouldn’t go to jail and can just spring into action
  • Search the subtitles for ‘dragon sickness’ to kill all but the briefest allusions to the idea
  • Maybe don’t even show Bilbo leave and give the arkenstone away, letting it be revealed to us as it is to Thorin
  • Add a subtitle comma to the Azog line that was missing one

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Can you give me the link?
I want to see your work bro

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 (Edited)

Hal 9000 said:

Just glanced at it. It fails my litmus test, at about 2hr13m. Oh, well.

Well, m4 here, I think this is a pretty poor outlook to be honest for 2 reasons.

Number 1 I’ve never had a complaint about the river transition’s technical aspect until now, which you even admitted it worked better than other times. Seems more like a personal grudge, which is very ironic considering the general topic of editing lotr/hobbit is to follow the book, even in this post. Such an anti book moment surely should be removed. Anyways, the music is smoothed out as much as possible. I’ve actually redone it since then, but same idea: the action-y music fits with the initial excitement of them escaping, but as they drift off into the distance they are finally free and can relax, which is when the softer music fades in. I think it works quite well.

Number 2, thematically speaking/in terms of story, my edit (as heavily advertised) is a “book edit” so including anything from the river battle would be a complete failure. Maple edit is advertised as a book edit, so far in fact that he puts Tolkien’s name in the title, but fails to stick to that concept.

On top of that, as someone who has studied hobbit edits and worked on mine for over a year, you cite Maple as being the best edit, which contains more than just a few small problems. If you were to have a fair “litmus test for abrupt/silly moments” compared to the original movie/other edits it would certainly fail. Such as the company cutting from the outside the troll cave to literally instantly in Rivendell no hiking transition whatsoever, Smaug being covered in color adjusted “red gold” shaking it off, Dain headbutting 5 Orcs, Dwarves entering Erebor and fighting Smaug, Legolas being present in a river orc-battle in The Hobbit, Bard getting arrested and throwing a rope onto the Master’s head to escape from jail, the entire dragon sickness sideplot. But remember this is JRR Tolkien’s book version of the movie…? Are any of those things really less ridiculous than such a simple music transition…?

Judging an entire edit from one transition doesn’t seem very constructive. Seems more ignorant to do so when those other edits (which have cut the river, such as mine) actually have a lot of improved editing techniques to offer that build on top of the old edits back from 2015 such as Maple.

Your litmus test theory doesn’t make any sense to me. Movies that supposedly “pass” it in your book have blaring issues which certainly effect a first time viewers sense of belief and interest (in it being a book edited version) way more than having the one cut in question. Numerous test audiences not only were accepting of this transition, they actually complemented it and were relieved as we cut down the river. I would rather trust a test audience then a supposedly technical film-making pacing/tone critique of the score change. Although, I assume you would not make a book edit from your list it seems, just a good/short movie, so different goals in different edits at the end of the day, but that doesn’t mean having a certain transition causes it to “fail” as an edit, especially if you skipped the entire movie…

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I didn’t realize that it was your work. Well, I don’t mean to say that it’s without any merit just because I have a shorthand way to quickly inspect one thing, nor that my litmus test is conclusive. I just speak from a place of comfort with an edit I’d seen a few times before and has a few unique things about it that sell it for me over others.

I don’t mean to sound dismissive, just that I am not able to thoroughly check out a Hobbit edit I come across at this point. Like I said, though, it’s the Second best version of that sequence that I have seen, and pulls off such a transition best that I’ve come across. i’m sure it would be worthwhile to check the edit out more thoroughly and meant no insult.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.