Directed by Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, released in December 2001, is obviously based on the book of the same name written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Watching this movie was less painful than expected. Of course there are the usual skip of chapters and changing bits and pieces of the book, but it was less obvious than many other movies based on books. The perfectionist that I am noted down every bits that was different from the book, but I managed to narrow it down to about four big changes that I didn’t like.
The first one is concerning the beginning. If you’ve read the book and watched the movie, you’ll know what bothered me. They changed many parts of when Frodo is on the road after leaving Bag End, which is two chapters long. But the worst part is, after those two chapters, they actually arrive at Brandywine (if I remember the name right) and their road from there to Bree is four chapters long. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve been robbed four whole chapters. You could say that there’s not much going on in those four chapters, but it’s not quite true. Not to spoil too much of the story, for those few that still haven’t read the book, but they face near death experiences twice in those four chapters. I’ll let you decide if it was a good choice they left it out or not. Oh and a little note, they don’t actually get chased by a Black Rider at this point of the book. They hear them coming twice, but both time they hide and don’t get caught.
Once they meet up with Strider and leave for Rivendell, there’s one night where they have a huge encounter with the Black Riders. In the movie, it’s a full on fight between the Riders and Strider, but not in the book. In the book, Strider tells everyone to get closer to the fire. I suppose it’s because the Black Riders don’t like fire. But then Frodo gives in the urge of putting on the ring and that’s when the Riders see exactly where he is and they go for him. In the heat of the moment, Frodo screams something in another language and strikes the closest Rider’s feet with his sword, which surprises the Rider and makes him stab Frodo. Because they weren’t expecting resistance, they leave immediately after that.
Now this next point is something that I’ve struggled with movies based on books for a while now. The scene in Rivendell where Boromir talks to Aragorn and touches the broken blade doesn’t happen in the book. Aragorn actually carries the broken blade with him. You could think they put that scene in there to give a bit of background info on some things, but those things they want to explain get explained later on when they’re in the Council. If only they had done the council almost to the fullest (honestly, even I wouldn’t watch through Gandalf’s story!), everything would’ve been explained like in the book and for the same amount of time.
Next up is near the end of the movie. The part when Frodo takes off the ring after being attacked by Boromir is done all wrong. Strider is not supposed to see Frodo after that. Frodo decides to leave for Mordor without his friends and puts the ring back on to get a boat without them seeing him. While he gets back to where they are, they actually separated to search for him since it’s been a while since he left to think. When Aragorn reaches the top of the mountain where he thought Frodo might have gone to, he hears the Horn of Gondor and rushes to find Boromir to aid him. He arrives too late and only finds Boromir nearly dead with many dead orcs surrounding him. Before dying, Boromir tells Aragorn how he tried to take the ring from Frodo, then informs him that the orcs captured Merry and Pippin.
The only thing I have to add to this long review is the same thought I keep repeating: Why do you cut scenes from the book if you’re going to add some of your own? If they didn’t put every part where we saw Saruman preparing his army, or if they hadn’t added scenes to “explain” details that would’ve been explained anyway if they had gone by the book, they would’ve had plenty of space to put scenes of the book that people would’ve actually wanted to see. I understand it’s a long book and they can’t possibly put every detail in it, and I’m not asking them to, I’m just saying it would’ve taken them the same amount of time to do a short version of the four, nearly six, chapters they skipped instead of adding scenes that aren’t in the book.
What did you think of the movie, compared to the book?
Until Next Time!
Young Mom ❤