10 Deleted Scenes That Actually Improve Movie Characters
Moviegoers of 2003 were baffled when they showed up to cinemas for their final hit of magic in Middle Earth with the concluding Lord Of The Rings entry: The Return Of The King. That's because, for reasons best known to the editors, Saruman - a primary antagonist of the trilogy - was missing from the theatrical release.
The extended (and definitive) edition of the film shone some light on why this was, as, in this deleted scene from the beginning of the film, Aragorn and co ride into a desolate Isengard and face off against the defeated Saruman, who is then shockingly slain by Grima Wormtongue's knife.
His death should have been included in the film no matter what, but somehow it was disposed of in the edit and we were left to believe that he was defeated elsewhere, off-screen - and we all know what happens when a character dies off-screen.
Most viewers see Saruman as a malevolent and deeply evil character, but this scene allows us to witness the tragedy in his tale. In defeat, Saruman is bedraggled, lost and alone, and, unwilling to concede and turn back from this path, the true depth of Sauron's grip upon his spirit is laid bare. In his death, we finally see the man amongst the corruption.