The work of JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Ringshas become a veritable monument of popular culture, in particular thanks to the film adaptation of peter jackson. But the changes brought between the books and the movies have often been criticized by the most ardent Tolkien fans. However, it could be these same changes that allowed the film The Fellowship of the Ring to be so successful.
jackson’s adaptation choices
The Peter Jackson Trilogy of Lord of the Rings is probably one of the best-known film sagas around the world. It was critically acclaimed and met with great success at the box office.. The trilogy consists of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The king’s return (2003).
As mentioned earlier, the films of the Lord of the Rings are acclaimed worldwide, themselves stemming from the equally acclaimed series of books written by Tolkien. The book series was published in three separate volumes, with each title assigned to each film in Jackson’s trilogy. Tolkien’s works have become the basis for countless adaptations, as well as other derivative interpretationsin cinema, on television or in video games, having thus contributed to creating and shaping the modern fantasy genre.
And it was in 1995 that Jackson first offered a trilogy of Lord of the Rings. At the time, he wanted the first film to be an adaptation of Hobbitand that the two following films resume the entire Lord of the Rings. But due to the difficulty in acquiring the film rights of the Hobbitwhich Jackson will obtain thereafter and which will give place to another trilogy, the trilogy of Lord of the Rings as we know it will finally be approved by New Line Cinema.
Production then began in 1997, and the three films were shot simultaneously between 1999 and 2000. Although the films are known for their ability to capture the essence, characters, and overall story of Tolkien’s novels, some elements were changed in Jackson’s filmsespecially in The Fellowship of the Ring.
Characters missing from the book
Arguably the biggest change from the first volume of the book series is the absence of certain characters in Jackson’s adaptation.. In the book, shortly after Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin set out to bring the Ring back to Rivendell, they take a detour through the Old Forest and encounter a mysterious being called Tom Bombadil.
Bombadil appears when Frodo and Sam call for help after Merry and Pippin are captured by the Old Man-Willow, which dominates the Old Forest. Bombadil will save the two hobbits for the first time by putting the tree to sleep, then will once again come to the rescue of the characters when they are captured by a spirit in the Coteaux de Tertres. These events occupy three chapters of the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring, clearly playing an important role in the early stages of Frodo’s journey in the books.
Peter Jackson’s Film Adaptation Omits This Part Completely, without any appearance or even mention of Tom Bombadil, the Old Man-Saule or the Coteaux de Tertres. The movie simply shows the hobbits escaping the Nazgul before getting to Bree. Jackson’s reasoning for this omission, however, seems justified.
Asked about Bombadil’s absence from the first film, the director explained that he and his co-writers felt that the character did not add much to the overall plot and that the film would have been unnecessarily long. With a film running at 178 minutes and an extended version at 228 minutes, it’s understandable why Jackson may have felt the need to omit characters and events that don’t directly influence the films’ narrative.
In the appendices of the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings DVD, Jackson justifies his decision to exclude this part of the book citing Old Man-Willow as an example:
So what is Old Willow’s contribution to the story of Frodo wearing the Ring? He doesn’t really advance the story and he doesn’t really tell us the things we need to know.
It’s clear that Jackson and his team had Frodo’s journey in mind when they crafted the film, choosing only to omit parts of the book that do not directly affect this common thread. Arguably the only impact Bombadil has had on the hobbits is the gift of weapons, giving each hobbit a sword, which is credited to Aragorn in the film adaptation. This then makes sense given Aragorn’s mission to protect Bree’s hobbits in Rivendell. In addition, the scene is incorporated into other sequences of the film, thus shortening the length of the film, something the director wanted by removing these passages.
a more impactful ending?
The film The Fellowship of the Ring ends with a group of Uruk-Hai fighters, sent by Saruman, attacking the protagonists in an attempt to retrieve Frodo’s One Ring. But this scene originally takes place at the beginning of the book The Two Towers. The decision to move the scene to the end of the first film can be explained in several ways.
First, it gives the movie a climactic battle sequence, giving characters like Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli a chance to show off their heroics. But it also gives Boromir a more emotional death scene.. Because indeed, the character of Boromir dies at the end of the battle, after having sacrificed himself to try to save Merry and Pippin. This scene takes place shortly after Boromir has been corrupted by the Ring and attempts to steal it from Frodo. The film then presents Boromir’s sacrifice as a form of redemption, just as the books do.but moving that scene to the end of the first installment gives Boromir’s character, and the movie as a whole, a better ending point to close that chapter.
If the film had shown the group realizing Frodo’s disappearance before ending abruptly, it would have been, to say the least. anti climax. While that works for the book, given the different ways novels and movies can structure stories.it might have left viewers hungry, in a bad way.
The film therefore needed a climactic action sequence to end, and what better than the scene immediately following in the following book, namely the attack of the Uruk-Hai on the orders of the mighty Saruman, the antagonist secondary of the trilogy. So, although it is the first chapter of a three-part story, this decision gives the film The Fellowship of the Ring the feeling of being independentwith its own beginning, middle and end.