Everything that has a beginning has an end, suggested a completely different trilogy last year. Inaccurately in my opinion. Nevertheless the loving recreation of Middle Earth in New Zealand did have an end, and it marked the cessation of some clever adapting, special effects wizardry and the arranging of a genuine cinematic event. The Return Of The King waltzed off with shed loads of Oscars too, this being what the end was partially for. But what aspect of the whole project should really be celebrated? The triumph over logistics?

The Return Of The King is a tricky book to do. Not much happens/lots happens. When your villain is a big flaming vagina on top of a far off mountain top how do you engineer a satisfactory denouement. When you have six or seven plot strands weaving in and out, how do you round it off. And how should you reflect on an film sequence that take nine to twelve hours to watch in full. It is arguable whether Peter Jackson succeeds in any of these totally, but he makes a pretty good fist of it. For my taste the visualization of the dread predicament meant that the destruction of the ring seemed minor. On the other hand the Frodo, Gollum, Sam threesome felt like the kind of small peril that the big events needed.

Is it the best of the three? (Well wait and see.) Did it deserve all the Oscars? Does it matter. It is an institution already, unassailable by critic, standing as a monument to modern film-making. Will the Harry Potter sequence end up being more vital and more important to the lives of its viewers over the next five years? Will the work-in-progress excitement that Lord Of The Rings gave us be present in other ambitious cinematic events? Who knows, but one thing that I probably won’t get again is a feeling of fulfilled relief when these three films finally drew to a close.