Participating in a two month old discussion now because I couldn’t then, but I have so much to talk about. This was hosted during the Tolkien Reading Event that I was a part of with my first guest post. Excerpt from the original post:
Classic Remarks is a meme hosted here at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation. Feel free to comment even if you are not officially participating! This week’s (24/03/2017) prompt is:
DISCUSS ONE OF THE CHANGES PETER JACKSON MADE FROM THE BOOK WHILE ADAPTING THE LORD OF THE RINGS. WHAT DID THIS CHANGE ADD TO OR TAKE AWAY FROM THE STORY?
As regular readers know by now, I probably can’t survive a week without talking about The Lord of the Rings somehow. Being the crazy fan that I am, I have decided to discuss not one but three changes that Peter Jackson made and what I felt about them. Let it be known that no matter how I feel about certain scenes, I love the movies and The Lord of the Rings is my favourite movie trilogy of all time as well. (I can’t say the same for The Hobbit, unfortunately, but that’s a story for another day.)
Warning: Spoilers ahead for both the movies and books!
1. The Treatment of Aragorn
Aragorn is one of my favourite characters in the book as well as the film. His story, however, has so many changes in the movies that I was left with mixed feelings. The scene between Arwen and him before they leave Rivendell is one of my favourites in The Fellowship of the Ring. In The Two Towers, a drawn out fake death scene is included. It may have added some romantic tension, and more screen time for Liv Tyler, but it felt largely unnecessary. The Return of the King changed much as well, but I had mixed feelings about the presentation of Andúril. It was epic in its own right and a crucial point in the character arc of the film Aragorn, but I prefer the book version.
2. The Dismissal of Sam
Sam is another character I adore in both versions. I especially love the relationship between Sam and Frodo. As they get deeper into Mordor, Frodo grows weaker as Sam grows stronger, enough to support both of them and get them through the most harrowing part of the journey. Sam’s rescue of Frodo from the hands of the Orcs is a defining moment where he finds his courage. While Gollum is definitely cunning enough to cause a rift between the two, I found it a tad unrealistic that Frodo would suspect his faithful Sam enough to send him away. Also, this little deviation would’ve caused loss of precious time and made the precariously balanced timeline wonky.
3. The Scouring of the Shire
I would’ve enjoyed The Return of the King even more if this important part was included. Of course it would have made the film way too long, but for fans such as me, it would’ve made a world of difference. The four Hobbits return to see their beloved Shire in a state of upheaval, much like how Bilbo came back to see his things being auctioned off, except on a larger scale. It drives home a wonderful point that Tolkien emphasises – that their return does not mean that they can get back to the lives they once lead and is a physical manifestation of the change within the characters.
Do you agree with my views? Do you have a grouse or praise for Jackson’s interpretation of the canonical works? Let me know in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend, readers! 🙂