Another Tolkien-LOTR question

For anyone who’s seen all the movies and read all the books–do you think PJ’s movies made any improvements over the books?
I liked that Frodo was portrayed younger in the movies than in the books.

I think that question borders on heresy there! :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

I am a huge fan of the books and the movies. I saw the first movie 8 times in the theater (I know, I know, obsess much?..but at the time I was recently out of college, single, and had more disposable income). After that, I read through “The Hobbit” and the LOTR before the second and third movies hit the theaters.

On one level, it’s really hard to compare. I think it’s just so cool to see these books on the big screen is a relatively faithful manner. I understand why screenwriters sometimes have to change or drop certain details to convey the same general thrust of the story found in the book. After seeing the first movie, my mind was tied to PJ’s depiction of many of the characters and scenery (for better or worse). I might feel differently had I seen all the movies first or read all the books first.

I would probably agree that it’s better that Frodo was portrayed as younger in the movies instead of as a 50 year old man! Being a hobbit and one in possession of the ring, I think it is appropriate that he at least looked younger than 50!

The whole opening sequence of Fellowship is much more fast-paced than the book. I don’t know if I would call it “better”, but it certainly was wise for them to do that for the movie. To have 17/18 years go by between the time Frodo gets the ring and the time he leaves the shire would have killed the pace of the movie. As would, I think, the inclusion of Tom Bombadil or the Scouring of the Shire. Not that those are bad parts of the book, but they definitely would have slowed down the movie.

I think I would also say the “Prologue” from the Fellowship movie was great (I still hesitate to use the word “better”). It was very succinct and attention-grabbing and helped me get up to speed quickly when I had no prior knowledge of LOTR at all. The book begins with an extended explanation of the variety of pipeweed. Not quite the same impact :slight_smile:

I’ll have to think for a bit to see if I come up with anything else.

Good question!

AGREED! :slight_smile:

Re: the age. I don’t know that the movie portrayed him as younger per se. Perhaps that’s what a 50 year old hobbit looks like? After all wasn’t Bilbo suppose to be 111?

[quote=Joe 5859]I think I would also say the “Prologue” from the Fellowship movie was great (I still hesitate to use the word “better”). It was very succinct and attention-grabbing and helped me get up to speed quickly when I had no prior knowledge of LOTR at all.

I liked the way they did it too. The woman narrating had a captivating voice and was cast perfectly!

How did it go?

History became legend.
Legend became myth.


As good as Jackson’s movies were, I would still very much like to see someone do another version and stay strictly true to the books.

Likewise for Starship Troopers.

The scenery was the only thing I like about the movies.

The thing about PJ doing the movies, he tried to rewrite the books, in his movies, at almost every turn him and Fran kept rewriting scenes over and over again trying to find better ways to tell the story, only to find out in the end Tolkien had it written better. I remember one scene with the Kraken in the lake, in front of the doors of Moria, Peter had the idea of the beast killing all the horses. “Wow, that would be cool!” But, because of the movie’s time constraints, (After all they did need to get Arwen into alot more scenes) they decided against it.

I think PJ is a very talented producer/director. He could have tastefully rewritten the story to eliminate certain scenes in a way that would have hinted the scene had already happened. For example, at the counsel of Elrond, they could have made mention of Tom Bombadil or at the end when Frodo starts, “One year from the date we set out,…” it could have opened with the hobbits sitting at the Green Dragon drinking beer. It would have left the door open for PJ or another to come back and make “fill in movies” of what was left out. Or just leave it as a gap in the book. Even that would be better than making fill in time with Arwen or “foolish” Treebeard.

The only scene that I thought PJ did better than the books was the stairs of Moria.

Its been a long while since I read the books but I am almost positive that Frodo’s human equivalent in age would have been a younger man.

Hobbits age differently then humans and I am pretty certain that Tolkien says this in his books.

If Frodo came of age at 33 then that is the same at 18 in human years, correct? WIth such a slow maturation, a hobbit would still be a young man at fifty.

To let you know what a total nerd I am I worked out a ratio for this problem. :rolleyes:

18/33=x/50. If my math is correct(and it might be way off), then Frodo would have been around 27 in human years at fifty Hobbit years.

Read Steve Greydanus’ article: The Achievement of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings

film trilogy is an extraordinary cinematic tribute to a great work of Catholic imagination. While not equaling the religious vision of the books, the films honor that vision in a way that Christian viewers can appreciate, and that for non-Christian postmoderns may represent a rare encounter with an unironic vision of good and evil, a moral vision of evil as derivative of good and of the ever-present human susceptibility to temptation. In the landscape of modern Hollywood, The Lord of the Rings is a rare beacon of light.

Interesting article Scottgun. I didn’t read it all but it was quite intriguing.

That is a pretty good article, which I think addresses the question in the OP (and thensome!)

I did think of another, not mentioned in the article: the battle between Gandalf and Saruman in the Fellowship movie. It’s not in the book at all, but it’s quite entertaining to watch :slight_smile:

I agree with this one…might have to be more along the lines of a mini-series though. To put the books in their entirety into movie form would cause an extremely looooonnnnngggggg movie.
I would also like a good, as close as possible to the book movie made of The Hobbit…

I loved the movies, and I have seen them many times (extended versions, to be sure :slight_smile: ). That being said, while I understand that some elements of the books needed to be cut for the sake of time, I was annoyed by the scenes in the films that actually contradicted the books.


Like the integrity of Faramir and the intelligence of Treebeard.


While I can understand the regretable necessity of Jackson leaving out such characters as Tom Bombadil due to his time constraints (and possibly his budget), I am annoyed that Arwen took over other characters’ roles and introduced elements totally extraneous to the books.

Okay, I don’t like the way they gave Glorfindel’s role to Arwen and turned her into an action hero, but they had to beef up her role a bit because in the book she basically just stands around looking beautiful.

A lot of Arwen’s role is played out in the appendixes that Tolkien included with one of his books. As a teenager I read the appendixes more then the books because they were so fascinating.

Yes! AND?

Another observation: I also didn’t like how the Army of the Dead sweeps in in Return of the King and basically wins the battle unchallenged. First of all, in the books, they weren’t actually there. Second of all, I think it kind of takes away from the heroism of the mortal warriors who actually did win the battle.

I second what people said about Faramir. In the books, he is far more virtuous and honorable, an example of what Boromir should have been. In the films, he ends up being far more shallow than Boromir.

Still, when one considers what Hollywood could have done to the Lord of the Rings, I think they were pretty good films.

Yes, I am slightly off-put by the need to beef up the female roles. I think I understand it from a filmaking point of view. Wonderful characters like Glorfindel would show up in the book, get some treatment, and then slip off the stage never to be heard from again. Fine in a book, but maddening in a movie.

Yes, but don’t you think that would cause more people to read the book? If the people who claimed they loved the movie got a glimpse of a particular character, don’t you think they would be curious who this is and where they fit into the story? I know I would, but I’m not sure about others.

Not really.

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