Top Ten Differences Between the Lord of the Rings Books and Films

IronSabbathPriest
I've recently finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I first watched the films many years ago). I've used the films as the original source because it's more likely you'll have seen them than read the books.

Jesus, I feel like such a nerd after finishing this list.

The Top Ten

1 Frodo is much braver in the books

I have the upmost respect for Frodo in both books and films, considering the perils he faced on his journey. But in the books he shows more courage in the face of danger. - IronSabbathPriest

2 Saruman is not truly defeated at Isenguard in the Two Towers book, and returns at the end of Return of the King book to take over The Shire

I still haven't gotten this far in the book. I get about halfway into Return of the King and I stop reading because I don't want the story to end! - eventer51314

But the Hobbits rise up and defeat him. - IronSabbathPriest

3 Shelob is encountered in the middle of the Return of the King film, instead of at the end of The Two Towers, like in the book

The reason for this was because Frodo and Sam wouldn't have much to do in the final film otherwise. - IronSabbathPriest

4 Frodo does not abandon Sam on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol in the books

Frodo still gets paralysed by Shelob, but in the books Sam is held back and strangled by Gollum in Shelob's lair. So he can't warn Frodo. - IronSabbathPriest

5 There is less mention of enemy leaders in the books V 1 Comment
6 Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are the same age in the films.

Who says they were the same age in the films? Oldest to youngest: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin. Funny thing, Elijah Wood was the youngest actor to play a hobbit and Billy Boyd was the oldest, the opposite of their characters, lol. - eventer51314

In the books they are 50, 38, 36, and 28 respectively. - IronSabbathPriest

7 The Time between Bilbo's 111th birthday and Frodo leaving the Shire is much shorter in the films

Only about a month or so. In the books it is 17 years. - IronSabbathPriest

It isn't a month in the films it's an entire year. Still shorter than 17 years I'll give you.

8 Tom Bombadil is Not In the Movies

Peter Jackson stated that this decision was the most difficult to make.

9 The species of Shagrat and Gorbag are reversed

These are the Orcs that discovered Frodo after he was paralysed by Shelob. Gorbag was an Orc and Shagrat was a Uruk in the books. In the films it was the other way round. However the roles remained the same. - IronSabbathPriest

10 Boromir dies at the end of the first film but dies at the beginning of the second book originally

Definitely better that they changed it to be at the end of the first film. - eventer51314

V 1 Comment

The Contenders

11 The Witch King is aware that Eowyn is a Female in the Return of the King book

In the film it does the feminist thing of the Witch King saying "no man can kill me". Eowyn says "I am no man! " She takes her helmet off and stabs him in the face. Always works. - IronSabbathPriest

12 Arwen Rescues Frodo Instead of Glorfindel

No doubt, Glorfindel is a really cool character in the first book. But it's so nice that they gave Arwen something useful to do instead of sitting around, looking pretty and being Aragorn's trophy wife. I also think it makes more sense to have a character that will be in all the films be the one to rescue him. - eventer51314

13 The Eye of Sauron is not literally an eye in the books

We associate Sauron with the big, fiery eye we see in the Jackson films but in the books it's not literally an eye, but rather a metaphor for Sauron's immense presence and far-reaching grasp across Middle-earth. - Aragorn98

14 Fatty Bolger is not in the movies

We all know the famous gang of Hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, but what you may not know is that there was supposed to be a fifth hobbit named Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger with the gang. He only makes a fleeting appearance in the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring. - Aragorn98

15 We don't learn the history about the DĂșnedain in the films

Though Aragorb is identified as a ranger in the film's, we don't learn about their history or the fact that Aragorn is part of the DĂșnedain, an ancient race of men, many of whom become rangers of the north. They played an important part in protecting the north from the forces of evil.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we didn't get to see any of this in the movies. - Aragorn98

16 The Warg Battle does not appear in the books

One of the more memorable scenes from The Two Towers is where our heroes fight off Orcs on Wargs, with the battle nearly killing Aragorn when he topples over a cliff into a river. None of this actually happens in the books. In fact, Aragorn is never forcefully separated from the group. - Aragorn98

17 In the books, The Battle of Helm's Deep is actually called The Battle of the Hornburg and is much bigger

The Battle of Helm's Deep is actually called The Battle of the Hornburg in the books. Another difference is that in the film, there's only 300 men fighting for Rohan, but at the last second, they're aided by a group of elves. In the book however, there's around 2000 Rohan soldiers who are able to withstand the assault with the elves' help. In both version, they face well over 10,000 Orcs from Isengard, making an impressive victory either way. - Aragorn98

18 Gandalf doesn't hang on to the cliff after being hit by the Balrog's whip

In the book, when Gandalf is facing the Balrog, the Balrog uses its whip to drag him down with him. In the film, he gets hit by the Balrog's whip, but suddenly hangs onto the cliff before falling and facing the Balrog. - Aragorn98

19 Frodo doesn't push Gollum into Mount Doom

In the book, after Gollum bites off Frodo's finger and gets the ring, he gets so overexcited that he accidentally leans off the cliff and into the volcano. The filmmakers changed it to Frodo pushing Gollum instead cause they thought Gollum just leaning over was anti-climatic. - Aragorn98

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Top Remixes

1. Shelob is encountered in the middle of the Return of the King film, instead of at the end of The Two Towers, like in the book
2. Frodo is much braver in the books
3. Frodo does not abandon Sam on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol in the books
IronSabbathPriest
1. Frodo is much braver in the books
2. Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are the same age in the films.
3. Tom Bombadil is Not In the Movies
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