Not satisfied to leave it at this, here are some more thoughts on the film version of The Return of the King that develop from the original post, or that I forgot to include in it.
Dunharrow’s in the book. Re-reading the book, I keep noticing bits of detail that I missed the first thirty or forty times. Théoden does climb up to Dunharrow as the muster of Rohan takes place below. But it’s because the women and children (sigh) are holed up there — it’s the mountain refuge for Edoras — and he’s checking in.
Mini-Mordor, redux. Christopher Tolkien’s map puts Orodruin about 40 miles in a straight line from Cirith Ungol, and the Barad-dûr another 30 miles or so east from there. It’s even longer from the Morannon to the Dark Tower. Wouldn’t the Barad-dûr be below the horizon from either entrance to Mordor?
Venom. A spider’s venom is delivered through its fangs, not through its spinnerets.
Subwoofer. The theatre hummed. This movie is an excellent excuse to get a home theatre system with a big honking subwoofer.
Enough already? Okay.