The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

At a time of frightening uncertainty, amid an epic struggle between good and evil, a band of individuals must reconcile their fates. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™ told the story of how courage, commitment and determination can lead even the least of us to change - and even save - the world.

Issue information

The final enthralling instalment of the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™ arrived in 2003. We shared the triumphs and tragedies of our heroes in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Now we witnessed the compelling conclusion to this epic motion picture trilogy - a landmark in cinematic achievement.

This amazing feat of cinematography and visual effects had left us all in awe, not to mention in nail-biting suspense as witnesses to this spectacularly epic struggle between good and evil. The final episode in the trilogy - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™ returned us to the treacherous enemy lands where we last saw Frodo, Sam and their brave compatriots. They continued their struggle against the dark forces, each facing their own test of courage, duty, loyalty and circumstance, all sharing the fear that they may not be up to the task before them.

Share the Triumph

New Zealand Post was honoured to present The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™ - the third and ultimate collection in a stunning stamp series that had been acclaimed by collectors and Tolkien fans around the world. This collection shared the remarkable story with six outstanding stamps that featured key characters from the final episode - Legolas, Frodo, Merry and Pippin, Aragorn, Gandalf the White and Gollum.

Miniature Sheets

The six stamps in this evocative collection gained even more power when set against their scenes in the movie - as in the six very special miniature sheets that accompanied the collection.

Self-adhesive Stamp Booklet

The stamps were also available in self-adhesive format. The pocket-sized 10-stamp booklet contained four 40c and two 90c stamps and one each of the 80c, $1.30, $1.50 and $2.00 stamps.

First Day Covers

The forces of darkness gathered to defeat our heroes' quest to detroy the Ring of Power, and enemy lands became a turbulent, dangerous, treacherous battleground. Three first day covers captured the menace of the final scenes.

Presentation Pack

You could learn more about this awe-inspiring achievement in the presentation pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™. You learned more about the stamps, the characters and the movie itself, while preserving your own record of this timeless story for generations to come.

Maximum Cards

Six maximum cards took you on set with director Peter Jackson and the cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™. Each provided a fascinating glimpse of the remarkable attention to detail that was a hallmark of the trilogy, and of the suspense-laden scenes we could expect to see when it premiered in theatres around the world.

The Ultimate Collection - Everything in One Place

As a tribute to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™, New Zealand Post produced 'The Ultimate Collection' - a beautifully presented folder that contained all of the products that were available in the official stamp issue. It included one of each of the six stamps (in gummed and self-adhesive format), a sheet of each denomination, six miniature sheets, the presentation pack, eight first day covers, the self-adhesive stamp booklet and the six maximum cards.

Product Listing for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Legolas' gummed stamp.

Although the Fellowship that set forth from Rivendell had dwindled to but three, still the friendship that bound Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli held strong. Elf, Man and Dwarf held to each other through hardships and peril in spite of the differences that have estranged their kindred.

$0.40
Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Frodo™' gummed stamp.

In the final days of the War of the Ring, the fate of all Middle-earth rested with Hobbit Frodo Baggins. Now on the final leg of his long journey, Frodo and his ever-loyal companion Sam approached the ashen land of Mordor, home of the Dark Lord Sauron.

$0.80
Single Stamp

Single 90c 'Merry and Pippin™' gummed stamp.

The young Hobbits Merry and Pippin were almost overwhelmed by the scale of the dangers around them. In such hard times and against such great odds, it was hard to imagine what difference they could make. Yet their hearts were strong - their only wish was to help their friends and do what they could to aid them.

$0.90
Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Aragorn™' gummed stamp.

The last descendant of ancient kings, Aragorn was fated to claim the long-empty throne of Gondor in Minas Tirith, should he prove himself worthy. It was a future he never wanted. Aragorn's true heart's longing was not for glory in war, nor riches or power, but only for the love of Arwen, daughter of Elrond.

$1.30
Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Gandalf™' gummed stamp.

As the spectre of darkness grew over Middle-earth and Sauron's armies issued forth from the Black Gates to lay siege to the lands of Men, Gandalf knew that in that war, victory cannot be won by force of arms alone. All hope rested with the success of Frodo's quest, and to that end the White Wizard marshalled the forces of the free peoples in a desperate bid to distract Sauron's gaze from his own lands.

$1.50
Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Gollum™' gummed stamp.

Named for the foul gurgle he made in this throat, Gollum was a pitiable and wretched creature, enslaved by his desire for the One Ring. His need for it drove him relentlessly, corrupting his mind and twisting his tiny body into a mangled, sinewy echo of his former self.

$2.00
Single Stamp Single 40c 'Legolas' self-adhesive stamp. $0.40
Single Stamp Single 80c 'Frodo™' self-adhesive stamp. $0.80
Single Stamp Single 90c 'Merry and Pippin™' self-adhesive stamp. $0.90
Single Stamp Single $1.30 'Aragorn™' self-adhesive stamp. $1.30
Single Stamp Single $1.50 'Gandalf™' self-adhesive stamp. $1.50
Single Stamp Single $2.00 'Gollum™' self-adhesive stamp. $2.00
Set of Miniature Sheets Set of six mint, used or cancelled miniature sheets. $9.90
First Day Cover First day cover with gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.40
First Day Cover First day cover with self-adhesive stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.40
Set of Miniature Sheet First Day Covers Set of six first day covers with miniature sheets affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $12.90
Set of Maximum Cards Set of six pre-paid postcards featuring a stamp on the front and artwork from the stamp issue. $12.00
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 10 self-adhesive stamps. $9.00
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $29.95
Ultimate Collection Pack containing every stamp product issued as part of this stamp issue. $279.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 6 November 2003
Number of stamps: Six
Denominations and designs: 40c Legolas, 80c Frodo™, 90c Merry and Pippin™, $1.30 Aragorn™, $1.50 Gandalf the White™, $2.00 Gollum™
Designer: Frans Lenzen, CommArts Design, Wellington
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: Gummed: 25mm x 50mm (vertical and horizontal); Self-adhesive: 26mm x 37mm (vertical and horizontal)
Paper type: Gummed: De la Rue 103gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive: JAC non DC PSI B100 PSA stamp paper
Perforation gauge: 14.4 x 14
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B format for sheet stamps.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 5 November 2004.