The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers

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"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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The name Two Towers refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Two Towers (disambiguation).

The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers is the 13th episode of the 6th season of South Park. It was originally broadcast on November 13, 2002. The episode is a spoof of The Lord of the Rings (film series). The boys go on a quest to return a copy of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring to the video store.


Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny (whose soul has been absorbed by Cartman), are playing The Lord of the Rings. Stan's parents have rented The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and tell the boys to bring it to Butter's parents so Butters can borrow it. After they have left, Stan's parents realize the tape has been mixed with Back Door Sluts 9, "the most hardcore porno ever."

Stan's parents drive to Butter's house, but meet the boys returning home having already delivered the tape. They convince the boys to go on a quest to retrieve the tape as it "holds an evil power." The boys eagerly comply. They return to Butters' house and take the tape, but not before Butters, though not understanding the nature of it, has watched and become obsessed with it.

Returning home, the boys run into some sixth graders, who take the tape and realize that it's a pornographic movie. They try to steal the tape, but the boys escape. Amazed at the tape's strange power, they take it to the High Elf of Faragon (Clyde). A council with most of the fourth graders decides that Talangar the Black (Token) should watch the tape to determine its power. He returns expressionless, announces that he's not playing anymore, and leaves. Convinced of the tape's power, the council decides that it must be returned to the Two Towers video store "from whence it came," and forms the "Fellowship of The Lord of the Rings," consisting of Stan, Kyle, Cartman (with Kenny), Craig, Jimmy, and Filmore.

Stan's parents, worried that the boys have not returned, show up to Butters' house. Seeing Butters' (and later Token's) strange behavior, they realize that he has watched the tape. Assuming that the other boys will also watch it, they contact the other parents and go on a desperate search to find their children and "put it into context."

The Fellowship loses Jimmy, Craig and Filmore after a run-in with the sixth graders. Butters, who has been following them, offers to guide them to the store in an attempt to get the tape back. They arrive with the sixth graders in hot pursuit, but Butters refuses to let go of the tape. Kyle throws Butters with the tape into the return drop box.

Angered at losing their movie, the sixth graders threaten to beat up the boys, but flee when the parents arrive. The parents go into a detailed explanation about sex, touching on explicit subjects, astonishing the boys who never actually watched the tape. The episode ends with 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 the role of Gandalf.
  • Craig - Aragorn.
  • Jason - Legolas.
  • Butters - Sméagol/Gollum.
  • Filmore - a kindergartener, whom the boys call a dwarf; Gimli.
  • The 6th graders - Ringwraiths, Orc armies/Goblins, Balrog.
  • The boys hide under a massive root while a sixth grader try to sniff them out, parodying 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 sixth graders meet on their bikes, a building in the background can be seen which says "More Doors Doors" (Mordor's Doors).
  • While waiting for Clyde to open his door, 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."
  • After losing half of their party, when Kyle observes that someone's following them, Cartman responds that, "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.
  • The sixth graders are about to beat up the boys before the parents arrive to save them, mirroring the arrival of the Eagles.
  • 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.

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