Movie- Book Comparison

When it comes to comparing the movie trilogy and the original books, the overall plot structure of the movies followed faithfully to the original.  However, it is noteworthy some minor plot structures and characterizations were changed, and this altered the scope of the environment and feel in the movies.  Below are some notable examples in the movies.

In the Fellowship of the Ring, two significant chapters were either cut from the movies or altered drastically.  The first was the meeting of Tom Bombadil.  Tom Bombadil is portrayed as a supernatural being in that he could resist the power of The Ring and he could be summoned through an incantation of rhymes.  His character is a small part, but his part is a significant one.  He saves the hobbits leaving the Shire (Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin) from danger, and he gives gifts that help the hobbits in the future.  The last we se of Tom in the Fellowship of the Ring is in his bidding farewell to the hobbits and points them to the Prancing Pony Inn to meet Aragorn.  The second event that was changed drastically was the event of the Fellowship breaking apart.  After Boromir tries to take The Ring from Frodo, Frodo and Sam run away to complete the journey on their own.  This concludes the book, but the movie continues to show Boromir dying a hero’s death in attempting to rescue Merry and Pippin.  This changed the feel of the story.  In the book, we get a sense of end of the Fellowship, but we are left hoping that the Fellowship would reunite later.  However, the movie version ends giving a sense of moroseness and somber feeling that the Fellowship has broken, and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

Tom Bombadil excerpt

Frodo and Sam journeying excerpt

In the Two Towers, Captain Faramir, the younger brother of the late Boromir, undergoes significant character change in the movies.  The books set a stark contrast between Faramir and his brother.  Boromir is the more proud, fierce, and ambitious of the brothers.  Faramir is the gentle, peace-loving, and reserved brother.  This is notably demonstrated with Gollum.  When Faramir encounters Frodo and Gollum for the first time, Faramir listens to Frodo and treats Gollum gently.  Faramir also lets Frodo and Sam continue on their journey to Mordor.  Faramir was able to resist the corruption and power of The Ring, unlike Boromir.  In the movies, the contrast between Faramir and Boromir is significantly reduced.  Faramir’s men beat Gollum, and Faramir proceeds to take Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath where he would attempt to take The Ring.  It shows Faramir acting in a less drastic manner compared to Boromir in being corrupted by The Ring. 

Faramir excerpt

In The Return of the King, the final chapter of the book, “Scouring of the Shire”, was completely removed from the movie.  This chapter was significant in that it showed the growth of the hobbits after their journey in The War of the Ring.  The returning hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin) take command of the Shire residents in defending against Saruman and his corrupted men.  Merry and Pippin had developed from being one-dimensional comic relief characters to developing leadership abilities and warrior prowess in driving off Saruman’s bandits.  Frodo and Sam had grown an increased friendship and trust among themselves through the journey.  To an extent, their relationship was the heart of Lord of the Rings, and their friendship’s strength was tested here.  It is a shame Peter Jackson didn’t include this chapter in the films. 

"Scouring of Shire" chapter headline

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