Lord of the Rings: Book and Theatrical differences

The novel was published in 1954 by J.R.R. Tolkien and produced in movie format by Peter Jackson in 2001. This movie has said to be revolutionary during its time especially in the department of special effects, musical score, faithfully using the source material, screen play, performances and the direction of Peter Jackson. The Lord of the Rings starts in the shire where the Ring of Power has found its way into the hands of Froddo Baggins, the hobbit. He begins his journey to save middle earth and destroy the one Ring, the Ring of Power. 

The film focused primarily on the journey of Frodo and Sam which Jackson said was the backbone of the story line. The prologue and the story of Sauron was condensed and changed from the original where Sauron explodes instead of flees as the book tells it. There are many more events that were condensed in the movie or omitted due to timing in the movie. The time between when Gandalf leaves the one ring in the hands of the hobbit, Frodo and then returns is supposed to be 17 years in the book. The sequences of Moria’s tone were changed, and foreshadowing is added to the scenes for suspense. Also, one of the biggest discrepancies that fans point out in the movie is that Pippin does not knock over an entire skeleton but just a small pebble in the well. Then the group begins to hear hammer sounds in the distance or so they thought. The end of the movie uses the opening of the Two Towers novel as the ending to the film as a climax and cliffhanger, Boromir’s death. 

The Two Towers was the second of the Lord of the Rings novels to be published in 1954. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers movie was produced in 2002. The differences between the novel and the film vary but the most notable would be the structure of the film.  In the Novel, the Two Towers by Tolkien, it was split into two distinct storylines with the war in Rohan as well as Frodo and Sam’s journey.  According to Jackson and the others making the film, this was the hardest adaptation to make. Though they all agreed that the battle of Helm’s deep needed to be the climax in the movie setting the tone for the rest of the trilogy. The book however does not end like this. 

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Théoden and his possession within the movie are also different than what was originally written within the book. In the movie, he is possessed by Saruman, then after the possession ends, he is still unsure what to do about the war and everything going on at the time. He then flees from Rohan to Helm’s Deep. Though in the book, Théoden was just depressed with Wormtongue in his ear feeding him delusions. After he comes out of the depressed and delusional state, riding out to war. Some of the Rohirrim characters in the movies are missing and misplaced within the films. The producers also use a portion of the Fellowship of the Ring book as an adaptation piece in the Two towers movie. The scene in reference is where the refugees were attacked by the Wargs which really was the fellowship who fought them in the first book. Peter Jackson also added the scene where Aragorn almost dies from the Warg attack by falling off the cliff.

It was a scene that created great tension within the movie. It also created a new subplot with Arwen and Aragon. Another change included Treebeard and his decision to not immediately go to war which was different in the book which helped to make Merry and Pippin useful in the movie at this point when they showed Treebeard what Saruman was doing with the forest of the Ints. The Hobbits also meet Gandalf the White earlier in the book than they do in the movie, the Two Towers. Last, instead of Shelob being an obstacle for Sam and Frodo in the second movie like it was in the book, they left that for the third installment of the franchise, the Return of the King. Since Shelob was not an obstacle, the producers used Faramir as an obstacle for Sam and Frodo in the movie.  

Return of the King, the third novel of the Lord of the Rings series, was published in 1955 after the first two in 1954. The movie, the Return of the King, was produced in 2003 by Peter Jackson. Within all of the movies there were events, geographic distances, and timelines that were either simplified or compressed by the producers because of the time that was allotted for the movies. Most of the major events were included in the moves will a few that were omitted because of time and the theatrical tone that was set.

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There were major events from the second book that were put through to the third movie, The Return of the King Such as the Palantir and the attack of Shelob. It is seen that most of the second half of the third book has been omitted in the film or combined with other scenes because of the timeline made by Jackson and the time constraint of the movies. Saruman’s murder by Grima can only be seen in the extended versions of the movie. It also takes place in the scene where they visit Isengard. Also, there are differences in the death of Grima as well. He is killed by Legolas in the films but by hobbits in the book. Also, in the movie, the Palantir is dropped by Saruman as he is killed whereas in the books Grima throws it at the hobbits and the rest of the fellowship as he tries to flee. 

Lord of the Rings: Book and Theatrical differences for time’s sake and oversimplified. One of the most interesting changes, in the movie, would be the scenes that have to do with the paths of the dead. In the book, the dead do not speak. That means that Aragorn’s and the King of the Dead’s conversation was added for theatrical and dramatic effect. Also, the rift between Sam and Frodo due to Gollum’s deception was actually a fabrication by Peter Jackson in order to add drama and complexity to the character Frodo. The ending of the film was re-written to be more dramatic between the ring, Frodo and Gollum. Much of what was added and adapted to the films by Peter Jackson to add the theatrical value of the film. 

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