The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers
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The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers is episode 92 (or 6.13) of South Park. It was originally broadcast on November 13, 2002. The episode is a large spoof of The Lord of the Rings (film series).
Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and a disembodied Kenny are playing The Lord of the Rings. Stan's parents have rented The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and tell Stan, Kyle and Cartman to bring it to Butters' parents, as they had asked to borrow it. Still caught up in their game, the boys see this assignment as a "quest", and set off on their journey.
When the boys leave, Stan's parents try to watch Back Door Sluts 9, a pornographic movie described as the most "hardcore" porno ever. To their horror, they discover that they have The Fellowship of the Ring and the pornographic movie mixed up, and realize that Butters is now watching it at his house.
The two drive to Butters' house, and come across the boys returning home, having already delivered the tape. Stan's father plays into the boys' imagination and sends them on their greatest quest ever: retrieve the tape, as it "holds an evil power." Excited, the boys eagerly comply and set off toward Butters' house. They arrive and take the tape, but not before discovering that Butters, though not realizing the nature of it, has watched the movie and becomes obsessed with it.
Excluded from the game and denied the video, Butters becomes steadily more insane, and remains secluded in the basement, muttering about his "precious" and generally acting like Gollum. At this point Stan's parents, who have grown worried that the boys have not returned, show up. Distraught at Butters' behavior, they assume that the boys now have the tape and are watching it. Contacting the other parents, they go on a desperate search to find their missing children and "put it into context."
Returning home, the boys run into some 6th graders, who look inside the box and realize that the tape is actually a pornographic movie. Although they try to take the tape, the boys are able to escape and decide to take it to the council of the High Elf of Faragon. At the council, at which most of the fourth-graders are present, it is decided that to determine the tape's power, they should send one of their own to watch it for a few minutes. Talangar the Black (Token) is volunteered, and steps inside his house for a moment. He soon comes out, expressionless, and announces that he's not playing anymore without an explanation. Now truly convinced of the tape's power, the council decides the tape must be returned to the Two Towers Video Store "from whence it came", and forms the "Fellowship of The Lord of the Rings", which consists of Stan, Kyle, Cartman (with Kenny), Craig, Jimmy, and a kindergartener filling the slot of the Dwarf.
The boys go to the store and, after avoiding a run-in with the 6th graders (in which their party loses Jimmy, Craig, and the kindergartener), join Butters. He offers to guide them to the store in a thinly veiled attempt to get the tape back. Soon all the boys wind up at the Two Towers, and with the 6th graders in hot pursuit they desperately try to return the tape to the drop box. When Butters refuses to let go of it, Kyle throws him and the tape into the drop box.
Angered at losing their movie, the 6th graders threaten to beat the boys up, but flee when the parents arrive. The parents then go into a long discussion with the astonished boys about sex, touching on delicate subjects. The boys (who never actually watched the movie that their parents are so graphically describing) are speechless. The episode ends with a view of Butters, clutching his "precious" among a pile of other returned tapes in the drop box.
Parallels with The Lord of the Rings
Many actions and events in this episode parody those in the The Lord of the Rings itself. The title in itself is a parody of the trilogy, incorporating all three of the titles into the episode's name.
- Stan - Frodo
- Kyle - Sam
- Cartman (and Kenny) - Gandalf
- Clyde - Elrond
- Jimmy - possibly Boromir; in one scene takes on role of Gandalf
- Craig - Aragorn
- Jason - Legolas
- Butters - Sméagol/Gollum
- The 6th graders - Ringwraiths, Orc armies/Goblins, Balrog
- At one point, the boys hide under a massive root in order to hide from the 6th graders, who try to sniff them out, much like the Hobbits’ first encounter with the Ringwraith in both The Lord of the Rings (1978 film) and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
- In the scene when the 6th graders meet on their bikes, a building in the background can be seen which says "More Doors Doors" (Mordor's Doors), which is a reference to Mordor.
- When the boys arrive at Clyde's home, Cartman says the word "mellon", the password to the Doors of Durin.
- Clyde's council parallels Elrond's council. During the council, Stan stands up to say: "I will take it."
- In the scene where the boys pass a "Country Cafe" Kyle says that someone's following them and Cartman responds by saying "It's Butters, he's been following us for like 2 hours". This mirrors Gandalf's observation in Moria.
- Jimmy stands in the road and attempts to stop the sixth-graders by saying, "You shall not pass!".
- The boys escape from the sixth-graders by crossing a river. The sixth-graders, like the wraiths, keep going to find a bridge.
- At the end of the episode Butters, like Gollum, is reunited with his "precious". Gollum falls toward the center of Mount Doom and Butters to the bottom of the drop box. There, at the bottom of the box, a pile of already returned red colored video boxes gives the effect of Butters about to sink into his own lake of lava.