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

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.

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!

The Battle of Bywater is integral to the plot! The character's arcs are unfinished in the film.

It was really something new for me, when I readed the books for first time.

3 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.

4 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 story flows better in the book. 'Frodo is captured by the orcs' is a much better cliffhanger than 'they're going back to where they were at the beginning because Filmamir dragged them back to Osgilliath for some reason'.

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

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

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

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

6 There is less mention of enemy leaders in the books

E.g. Lurtz doesn't exist in the books, and Gothmog is only mentioned once.

7 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.

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

8 Tom Bombadil is Not In the Movies

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

This should be number one folks

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.

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.

Still, 3rd best quote in the Lord of The Rings. One dose not simply walk into Mordor.

The Contenders
11 Glorfindel Rescues Frodo Instead of Arwen
12 The Witch King is aware that Eowyn is a Female in the Return of the King book

I am only voting to say that I do not understand this "differance". In the book he didn't know she was female until she said so, just like in the movie. The scenes are not different except for Eowyn's wording of the sentence!

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.

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.

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.

Sauron is more interesting without his physical form appearing.

14 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.

15 Frodo doesn't push Gollum into Mount Doom

I am commenting to say that this is only kind of true. Frodo doesn't literally push him, but he DOES kill him! He uses the ring to curse him. The curse is that is Gollum touches Frodo, then Gollum will throw himself into Mt. Doom. That is what happened. The movies just visualized it with physical pushing instead of magic.

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.

16 Denethor is a Cool and Interesting Character in the Book.

In the book he doesn't say that he wishes that Faramir were dead(he only says that he wishes that Boromir were in Ithilien instead of Faramir). He also doesn't eat tomatoes sloppily. He would never do that.

17 Book Aragorn Isn't Wishy Washy About Wanting to Be King

I like that he's more confident in the book. Aragorn in the films is too angsty about being king.

18 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.

19 In the Book Merry is the Most Sensible and Competent of the Hobbits

He knew about the ring since he was a teenager, and he organized a conspiracy to make sure Frodo didn't leave all alone.

He's much stronger and smarter in the books, I don't get why the made him as he is in the movies.

20 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.

21 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.

22 The Moth that Advises Gandalf the Arrival of the Eagles Doesn't Exist in the Books
23 Elves are More Interesting in the Book

Meaning they have more than one emotion. Elves are not Vulcans!

24 Council of Elrond Was Longer in Books
25 In the Movies Elves of Lotlorien Participate in the Battle of Hornburg
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