Friday, June 21, 2013

LOTR: Two Towers: Book Vs Film: Part 5.

Here is the final part of the Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers Book Vs. Film. After I finish the Return of the King I will try and write a similar type post.

     Arguably one of Peter Jackson’s most controversial changes from the book to the film is the scene where Frodo commands Sam to leave his company and return to the Shire on their journey up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. While, the entire event was moved to the third film, The Return of the King, this had little effect on the actual plot because The Lord of the Rings is one epic story split into three books for marketing purposes. In the book, Frodo and Sam are tricked by Gollum/Smeogal to travel up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol to Shelob’s Lair, where the giant spider named Shelob dwells. After reaching Shelob’s Lair Gollum sneaks away and leaves the Hobbits for Shelob to devour. Frodo and Sam are chased by the spider and Frodo is encapsulated by Shelob’s web and is poisoned by her paralyzing venom. Sam follows close behind and fends off the creature to save Frodo. However, in the movie on the journey up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol, Gollum/Smeogal takes the last piece of Lambas Bread, the Hobbit’s only food, and throws it off the cliff while the Hobbits are sleeping. Additionally, he places crumbs on Sam thus framing him as the culprit. Because of this, Frodo forces Sam to leave and return home since Frodo believes that Sam betrayed him. This is completely out of character for Frodo compared to the book; their friendship is much too strong for Frodo to even consider dismissing Sam. However, this might be due to the more powerful nature of the Ring as previously mentioned. Clearly, in the scene that Frodo is entranced by the power of the One Ring, thus clouding his judgment. The most likely cause for this change is to add drama and suspense when Frodo enters Shelob’s Lair. While the change is somewhat understandable from a film making perspective, it was an unnecessary alteration to Frodo’s character.

      Although devoted fans of The Lord of the Rings books may be annoyed by changes made in the film adaptations, many of these alterations are reasonable. While the books retain their respected position in fantasy literature, the director had to be guided by his goal to produce a suspenseful and visually stunning film. The enormous popularity of the three Lord of the Rings films is ample evidence of his success in this endeavor.
EDIT: Despite what I have said in this series of posts, I would never want any second of The Lord of the Rings films to be changed in the slightest. While I there were parts in the film that could have been adapted more accurately, every change from book has a purpose, regardless of whether "purists" like or not. Peter Jackson created three perfect films that have few if any equals in the 21st Century.   
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  1. Ok, you're right about that, but IMO you'll have a field day with ROTK. No plotline is left unchanged. Seriously. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about the Hobbit movies once you read the book...;)

  2. I have not read the books and am not aware of the differences.

    The LOTR trilogy is one of my favorite movies, thanks to the amazing soundtrack, acting, special effects, direction and pretty much everything else.

    I think, somehow, Peter Jackson lost that magic touch with the ongoing Hobbit trilogy.


  3. Although devoted fans of The Lord of the Rings books may be annoyed by changes made in the film adaptations, many of these alterations are reasonable.

    EXACTLY! As Marshall McLuhan pointed out, you have to translate between media. You can't just take every line of dialog from the book, change it to script format, and film it -- it just won't work. (It also doesn't work to take a screenplay or stage play, add "said" tags to the dialog, and call it a novel.) You have to make it work for the media you're using. If that means changing something to make it work better, that's what you do.

    I'm new to your blog, but I'm digging it so far!

  4. @JT: I am in chapter 14 of ROTK and thus far I agree. I still love the film, but it is so different and I haven't even gotten to the scorching of the Shire. The Hobbit will be interesting as well. :)

    @Buddy2Blogger: The LOTR Trilogy are some of my favorites as well, and completely agree about point. The movies are basically perfection.

    I agree to a point about Hobbit because I do enjoy them, but not nearly as much. I would recommend reading the LOTR trilogy sometime, fantastic books.

    @Hamlette: Thank you, good to see we agree and I completely agree about what you have to say. Film and Literature are two entirely different entities.

    Thank you for following my blog, I will go check out your blog now.



One rule: No strong profanity. If you want to link to one of your posts, please do; I am always interested in other reviews and such.

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