Top Ten Differences Between the Lord of the Rings Books and FilmsI'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
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
It was really something new for me, when I readed the books for first time.
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!
But the Hobbits rise up and defeat him. - IronSabbathPriest
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
The reason for this was because Frodo and Sam wouldn't have much to do in the final film otherwise. - IronSabbathPriest
E.g. Lurtz doesn't exist in the books, and Gothmog is only mentioned once. - IronSabbathPriest
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.
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.
In the books they are 50, 38, 36, and 28 respectively. - IronSabbathPriest
Peter Jackson stated that this decision was the most difficult to make.
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
Definitely better that they changed it to be at the end of the first film.
Small change, but meh. - IronSabbathPriest
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
I don't actually want to vote this but I'm pretty sure when Peter Jackson was reading the book he thought it was an actual eye. Wild imagination it is.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Dúnedain, 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.
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.
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.