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  • Writer's pictureEllis & Gareth

Scene Standoff: Fellowship of the Ring vs. Avengers: Infinity War

The moment that Gandalf stands in front of the Balrog and screams "You shall not pass!" in 'Fellowship' vs. Thanos snapping his mighty fingers in 'Infinity War'.


If you've clicked on this wondering what's going on, then click on the link here to read the rules of the Scene Standoff:

"You shall not pass!" - Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship try to escape the cave, but a Balrog stands in their path. Gandalf (Ian McKellen) sees no choice but to sacrifice himself to help the party along. He stands before the Balrog, screams "You shall not pass" and falls to his death...or does he?

- Gareth's scene

The Snap - Avengers: Infinity War

Thanos (Josh Brolin) has collected all 6 Infinity stones and now, after a plunging blow to the heart from Thor's new weapon, all he has to do is snap his fingers and half of the universe will cease to exist. It works. And as Thanos utters the line "You should've gone for the head", we realise what is to come.

- Ellis' scene


Ellis - italics

Gareth - bold


Sir Ian McKellen vs. Josh Brolin and Chris Hemsworth.

After you...

You're lapping up the already obvious victory.

It's not obvious!

Josh Brolin as Thanos is one of the best motion capture performances I've seen. On a par with Andy Serkis as Gollum and Andy Serkis as Caesar in the Planet of the Apes films.

All so good.

The emotion that Brolin puts into the "you should've gone for the head" line; he takes his time and enjoys it. I love how broken that line is; exceptional performance!

What is there to say about Ian McKellen's performance? That iconic bit of hair in his face. I'm not a fan of Elijah Wood's reaction but Sir Ian is so good it doesn't really matter. The intervals of time in that "You shall not pass line" is perfection.



Without the scene, Gandalf the Grey doesn't die. If it doesn't happen then the Hobbits have fluffed it because that monster's going to kill them.

It saves the rest of the party.

It's a climax before the climax.

That's why Fellowship is my favourite of the trilogy because it's nonstop throughout.

Yeah it's bloody brilliant.

For Infinity War it's Thanos' story. So without this scene Thanos doesn't win. This is where Thanos completes his arc. The snap is pivotal; you don't have many of the Marvel films without it.



I mean, any time someone wants to get past and you don't want them to...

You say "you should've gone for the head".

No no...

On a serious note though "you shall not pass" is one of the most quoted lines in cinema history. "Fly you fools" is also referenced a lot.

Can you reference the Infinity War scene?

I guess people have associated a finger snap with the scene.

But maybe it's Marvel fan referencable not necessarily wider world referencable.


POPULARITY (using Letterboxd for reference)

So Infinity War's average rating is a 3.9.

Fellowship is a 4.3. We both gave it 5/5 though.

I gave Infinity War a 5, but you gave it a 4.5.



On a scale of jewellery. So low end is a Christmas cracker ring, and high end is a pearl necklace.

This is possibly the most relevant scale yet because we have Thanos' gems and the one ring.

It's been so high scoring up to this point that I can only give Fellowship The One Ring to rule them all and an in the darkness bind them.

Okay well for Infinity War I'm going for a concert wristband.

One you'd get at a festival and then you keep it on for ages?

Yeah! Because that's a fairly new thing, like Infinity War and you want to remember the event and go back to it. I want to be able to go back to how I felt after watching Infinity War for the first time, not knowing what was to come. Now I know, Infinity War is dampened a little bit.

FELLOWSHIP - The One Ring INFINITY WAR - concert wristband



Fellowship of the Ring 3-0 Avengers: Infinity War

Two huge franchises doing battle here, and on any other day Infinity War may have had a chance of making it through. But you can not and shall not pass against McKellen's incredible performance. There is so much grit shown here in a character that before this was rather tame and laid back.

Gandalf has many quotes throughout the trilogy: "a wizard is never late...", "keep it secret, keep it safe", "Death is just another that we all must take". But none of these wise and wizardly quotes are as iconic as the two spoken in this scene. "Fly you fools!" and "You shall not pass!"

Will Gandalf the Grey win again later on? We'd be surprised if he didn't...but the Scene Standoffs have surprised us before.

Current Standings: G - 7 E - 9




Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring available now on NowTV and Sky Cinema

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