In our never ending quest to expose fictional cinematic incompetence, we're going to take a hard look at characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy who screwed the pooch at key moments.
These are moments so infuriatingly inexplicable that they make us want to throw our $100 Platinum Series Special Extended Edition of the trilogy out window and watch Willow three times in a row instead.
#6. Aragorn Spares One Pervert, Dooms Thousands
Remember Grima Wormtongue from The Two Towers? He was that pervy albino fellow whose preferred method of mind control was to whisper sweet nothings in King Theoden's ear. Anyway, when the good guys rescue the King from the bad guys' mind control, the King is ready to kill Wormtongue's treacherous ass, having finally figured out he's something of a doucehbag (as if his last name wasn't a dead giveaway).
Then, just as the King is about to have a stab-party on Wormtongue, Aragorn intervenes, saying, "No, my lord. Let him go. Enough blood has been spilled on his account."
He just lets the grubber go. Oh, and he lets him make off with one of the army's valuable horses, too. Not that they'll need those or anything, there on the eve of Middle Earth's World War III.
Now, we know Aragorn is a good guy and thus you're not going to see him giggle while the King sword-fucks Wormtongue. But somewhere between hacking the worm to bits and letting him leave on a horse carrying information that will be incredibly valuable to your enemy there are other, perfectly good choices. Put him on trial. Put him in jail. Or, if even that is too merciless for Tolkien's heroes (and keep in mind, no Orc is ever shown that kind of mercy) then just let him hang around and make sure he isn't allowed to leave and tell Saruman everything he knows.
"Boss, you will not believe what just happened.
Aragorn's judgment is so poor it'd make Sun Tzu prolapse in his grave. And even his rationale--"enough blood on has been spilled on his account"--is bullshit. Wormtongue's release DOES lead to blood being spilled. A whole freaking water park of hemoglobin, in fact, as it was Wormtongue who told Count Dooku about the weak point in the walls of Helm's Deep. Which brings us to...
#5. Legolas Chokes At Helm's Deep
Remember that awkward moment during the siege of Helm's Deep in The Two Towers when the bad guys decide to stage their own Olympic torch procession mid-battle?
In what turned out to be the game-changer of the battle, a halfwit Uruk-hai berserker grabbed a torch and charged straight toward a pile of mines at the base of The Big Wall That Was Protecting All of the Good Guys. Aragorn called upon Legolas--the greatest archer in Middle-Earth who we've seen put an arrow through an orc's eye at a thousand yards--to snuff this running Roman candle.
Considering that Legolas has 200,000/20 vision, should he really have had any trouble hitting this lumbering, bowlegged creature right below him? This is the elf who racked up one of the highest body counts in the trilogy, and we're pretty sure most of those kills were with his eyes closed.
So, when it's time to kill one slack-jawed soldier, what does Legolas give us? He gives us the Middle Earth equivalent of Casey at the Bat-- two utterly non-fatal shots to the collarbone that even your mom could have shrugged off in an emergency. A few seconds later, the wall is blown.
Thanks, Legolas. Your thinly veiled sexual bantering with Gimli the dwarf cost approximately 10,000 children their fathers and, according to our Cracked math, ruined over 100,000 Middle Earth Christmases. Way to be blinded by your Napoleon fetish, Link.
#4. The Witch-King Has No Peripheral Vision
He can sense the One Ring from thousands of miles away. He is immortal. He is tireless. He rides a pterodactyl straight out of Sauron's zoo for especially evil dinosaurs. He is the Witch-king of Angmar a.k.a. The Black Captain a.k.a. Lord of the Nazgul a.k.a. one of Old Dirty Bastard's 300+ aliases.
He also has the worst optometrist in all of Middle Earth.
For an omniscient, nigh unkillable Ringwraith, the Witch-King can barely see what's under his invisible nose. Not once--but twice--does it seems that the Witch-king's hood and helmet suffer from a fatal blind spot that makes it impossible for him to see a certain clumsy hobbit: Mr. Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck.
A.K.A. the bassist for Drive Shaft.
That's right, Merry scampers under the Witch-king's radar not on one, but on two separate occasions. In The Fellowship of the Rings, the Witch-king has cornered Frodo's gang, who are hidden under tree roots. He's mere inches from making a nice hobbit intestine sarong when Merry devises a clever diversion--this:
That's right. A cabbage. Merry tosses out a damn cabbage and the Witch-king goes doddering after it like some rubber-suited Scooby-Doo villain.
His second screw-up is even more mortifying. During the siege of Minis Tirith in The Return of the King, the Witch-King is in his element. He's killed scores of good guys and now has Eowyn--the sword-slinging she-wolf of Rohan--by the throat. What happens next is too painful to type, so we'll just go to the clip:
Really? A three-foot-tall inbred Munchkin get the drop on a 10-foot-tall demigod? Yes, we totally get that this is supposed to be about the underdog, about the arrogant evil not noticing the smallest and humblest of creatures and paying for it in the end. But even if that's the moral of the story it doesn't change the fact that the fucking hobbit was right there. The good guy didn't win because he was more clever, or more pure of heart; he won because the Witch-king acts like he has cataracts, twice failing to notice an enemy two feet away, both times in the middle of a crucial military operation with all of evil depending on him.
Imagine how much you'd hate Predator if--instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger--the lead role was played by Urkel. Not the actor who played Urkel, but actual Urkel. Scratch that, you wouldn't be pissed because that movie would fucking rule.