I loved all the prologue stuff in the EE, esp. the battle/conflict involving Elrond and Isildur. It explained some things to those who didn’t read the LOTR books (like myself). Rings were given to the elves (including a intricate floral one Galadriel wears), dwarves, and men. Saruman’s fate is tied to the One Ring (also called Isildur’s Bane), so as long as it’s out there, evil threatens Middle Earth. Isildur is Aragorn’s ancestor; his sword is called Narsil. Later on, in Rivendell, we see the shards of Narsil.
There is more Bilbo-reated stuff in the EE, including a scene (in Lothlorien) where we see the destructive power the ring would have on him. Bilbo gives Frodo a shirt of mithril (given to him by Thorin, we later learn from Gandalf), then freaks out upon seeing the ring on a chain worn around Frodo’s neck. Frodo quickly covers it with his shirt.
After Bilbo’s b-day party (including his disappearing trick), he leaves for Rivendell. Frodo finds Gandalf sitting before the fire; we know that the wizard feels the power of the ring. He dare not even come too close to it. (On the other hand, Saruman joins forces w/ Sauron.)
Later, we see the terrible power it could have upon Galadriel (Cate Blanchett). This was a cool, unexpected bit of acting/CGI! Blanchett and Weaving were very believable as ancient, powerful, wise elves. Arwen (Liv Tyler) did well, but I wished she had more to do in this film. Like Wood, she has that very young/innocent/gentle quality about her. They both have flawless skin (I saw Wood once on the subway in NYC). I loved the exciting horse riding/escape scene (done mainly by a stuntwoman).
The first time I saw the action sequences inside Balin’s Tomb, I was quite impressed. Everything flowed well from the first instance of the arrow whizzing by Boromir’s (Sean Bean) face.
After a few views of the EE, I was also very impressed with the balrog (a very advanced bit of CGI work).
Boromir is tempted by the ring (like men before); we’ll learn later the pressures he faced. Perhaps Aragorn won’t be tempted, but Frodo can’t take that chance. He heads off to Moria with Sam (who won’t be left behind). My fave part of the EE set are the interviews with the cast (see disc 4: From Vision to Reality)- a must for any fan of LOTR!