Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

LOTR: The Many Ways the Movies Are Better Than the Book

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

LOTR: The Many Ways the Movies Are Better Than the Book

Old 11-09-03, 11:14 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 532
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
LOTR: The Many Ways the Movies Are Better Than the Book

MAJOR SPOILERS: SO DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!



I've re-read The Hobbit and LOTR "a few times" and I love the movies so far. I hold them in equal esteem (in a way) and that's going to piss off a lot of people who believe Tolkien's written word cannot be topped. Anyways here are some of the things that I felt were better in the movies than the book.

1. Aragorn and Gandalf are much more likeable. Not that being more "likeable" is always a good thing but in the books the characters often seemed aloof and sometimes come off as arrogant.

2. Council of Elrond: In the movie, the various parties argue over what should be done with the Ring. Frodo volunteering to be the Ringbearer becomes more plausible when we actually see the Ring "pulling at him" and the realization that no one else can really do it when he see the chaos its creating between everyone. In the book there is no argument and Frodo just seems to assume the responsiblity.

3. The Ring as a character: Making the Ring "a living breathing character" and the presence of "the Eye" made the danger and the lure of the Ring much more real.

4. The Sword (Narsil/Anduril) is not reforged until much later (when Aragorn is "ready"): Not about the sword but this is about Aragorn and his real struggle between claiming his destiny and his family's past. In the book, the sword is reforged just before the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell. Aragorn is ready to reclaim the throne right then and there. There is no struggle compared to the movie.

5. Arwen: In the book Arwen (who had a brief cameo in Council of Elrond) suddenly appears at the end and takes Aragorn's side as his queen. In the film she is a much more firmly established character. Not only is this story about Aragorn becoming King but also their destiny to be together as husband and wife/king and queen. A better arc to their story.

6. Gandalf's Rescue from Orthanc: Beautifully filmed and scored. In the book, Gwaihir just happens to see Gandalf stranded atop Orthanc and rescues him. In the film, we see the contrast between Gandalf and a delicate moth (The "good" and their harmony with nature) contrasted with the hellish wheels of industry and war occuring below.

7. The Fellowship grieving over the loss of Gandalf: This scene is fantastic. Full of pathos, emotion, and loss and its heightened with Howard Shore's haunting score. In the book, the Fellowship almost seems to shrug and just go on. This scene really underscored the incredible bond between the Fellowship than anything I read in the book.

8. Love Triangle Between Aragorn, Arwen, and Eowyn: I really liked this addition. Eowyn is a perfect match for this Ranger-soon to be King. She is rightly a real temptation for Aragorn who understandably would want to find a way for Arwen to sail to the West (out of love).

9. Battle Scenes: In the books, Tolkien almost seems to gloss over the action scenes whether its the Mines of Moria, Helm's Deep, or the Pelennor Fields. Tolkien seems to like to spend more time describing the fauna, geography, and historical songs of Middle Earth than the exciting battles actually occuring in the book. Not that I didn't enjoy them but Thank You Peter Jackson for bringing to life what I had to try to imagine from those short passages.

10. Gollum while still a great character in the book is a revelation in the movie. He is less gangrel creature and more of a real living breathing character that's worthy of pity.

11. Faramir: yep Faramir. Very few can resist the temptation of The One Ring. Not even Gandalf felt he could resist it and only Tom Bombadil, Galadriel, and Aragorn (consistent with his destiny) seemed to be able to resist. I never bought his resistance in the book. What motivation? What made him better than the other great heroes in the book? While Faramir is a noble character I didn't see anything special about him above most others. And he's still noble in the movie. So nyeh.

12. Production value: The costumes, the weaponry, the architecture, the creatures, and the cinematography. Okay, its unfair and obvious since this is a movie. But to actually see all of it so lovingly made in accordance with the source material has been incredible.


That's just a few and I'm wondering what other people liked more about the movies than the book. Again, I'm not saying the movie is better than the book but these were a few of the things I felt worked better for me.

Last edited by Ian11; 11-10-03 at 01:40 AM.
Old 11-10-03, 12:32 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
RoboDad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A far green country
Posts: 5,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, let's just say I disagree with you on every point, and leave it at that. Oh, and reading the trilogy four times (by your own statment in another thread you are currently on your fifth reading) does not qualify as "many times." When you can count the number of times you have read the trilogy in the dozens (as I can), then you will have read it many times.

I love the movies, but to make the claim that they are better than the books is simply laughable.
Old 11-10-03, 12:58 AM
  #3  
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Willistonm, Vermont
Posts: 79
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You have got to be kidding me, Ian11. I will admit that Fellowship had a few changes to the story that I like (ie. Aragorn's last line to Frodo and the omission of Tom Bombadil, I fail to see whats so damn great about some fat guy in yellow boots who jiggles and goes "Ho! Ho! Tom Bombadiloo! Ho !Ho!") but to say the movies are better is flat-out ludicrous. There are more fascinating plot developments, spoken history, and exciting revelations in 'The Council of Elrond' chapter alone then there is in both Jackson movies combined.
Old 11-10-03, 01:12 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 23,458
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
the movies are better cuz I don't have to read them.
Old 11-10-03, 01:26 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 3,817
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Although I still think the books are better overall, I agree with you on almost every single point.

Another thing I would add is the addition of the Elves at Helmes Deep. It really was a nice touch. People complain so much about the changes, but I feel it's obvious Jackson knows exactly what he's doing. He's using great books, adding his own nice little touches, and turning them into great movies.
Old 11-10-03, 01:31 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 532
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by RoboDad
Well, let's just say I disagree with you on every point, and leave it at that. Oh, and reading the trilogy four times (by your own statment in another thread you are currently on your fifth reading) does not qualify as "many times." When you can count the number of times you have read the trilogy in the dozens (as I can), then you will have read it many times.

I love the movies, but to make the claim that they are better than the books is simply laughable.

I think after the countless threads we have seen through the years about the movie and the book the opinions about them are as varied as can be. I'm no expert on Tolkien (just a fan) compared to many of you out there. And my post wasn't flatly saying entire specific scenes or the entire movie as a whole is better than the book. How many times do I have to repeat that? I'm making an argument about specific things that I just liked better in the movie. Its not about who's Right or who's Wrong. When I say "better" its about likes and dislikes. Anyways, then tell me why you think these changes were for the worse. Does it somehow shatter the world that Tolkien created in a real way? How is it worse? Was there anything you liked in the movie better than the book? I wanted a discussion. I also want to learn how other's think. That's why I posted. Don't just leave me hanging by saying you've read the book more times than I have and that I'm just wrong. Understand I don't come to discussion boards like this just to find people who agree with me. (I'll go back and re-edit my "many times" to "a few times" since it bothers you so much)


...by the way many of the people who were behind the making of these movies have read LOTR "many times" too (maybe many more times than you have).

Last edited by Ian11; 11-10-03 at 01:53 AM.
Old 11-10-03, 03:32 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,756
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
I dunno. Reading a 1000 page book 4 or 5 times counts as "many". Maybe not in comparison to dozens, but that's more "obsessive" than "many" . There's "once, a couple times, a few times, then many times."


Anyway, improvements or not, there are certain things that work better in the context of a film than in a book and vice versa.
Old 11-10-03, 04:04 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 23,458
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
*spits coffee all over the keyboard*

1000 pages??!?! God... I'm lucky to get through the liner notes on the DVD insert. Hope there's lots of pictures in that book.
Old 11-10-03, 07:37 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 3,393
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The books do so much more to capture the depth and history of the world that Tolkien created. The movies just scratch the surface.
Old 11-10-03, 07:45 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 578
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How does any of this make the movies better than the book? Different, maybe (though many of the things the OP mentioned *are* in the book, like Argorn/Eowyn/Arwen.) But why better? After all, the book has all sorts of things the movies don't even touch on.
Old 11-10-03, 09:04 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
chess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 20,804
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i'm not obsessive about the book at all (only read it once), and i love the movies. i think i'm fairly objective about this, and to be honest, a few of the changes in the two towers make no sense to me.

what purpose did dropping aragorn off a cliff serve. the only way i've reconciled it is that it was a device to brink eowyn into the picture. if so, it was a waste of screen time, as the necklace alone could have been used to the same effect.

the elves showing up at helms deep just screamed "movie device" to me and was unneccesary...though in this case, i will admit that it worked. it was just distracting the first time through.

i really really dislike what they did with faromir, in that they made him seem less noble than he was in the book, and the trip to the city was completely pointless.

i do like that they made a point of leaving the possibility that the scenes they cut from the books happened.
Old 11-10-03, 09:36 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Posts: 22,128
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
I agree and disagree. It's been a long time since I read the books, over ten years to be exact, but I think PJ made the best decisions he could all things considered. I recently read some excerpts out of the books, and while a nice read with rich descriptions, it gets really tedious and boring after a while.
I have to be honest, a lot of the dialogue as written by Tolkien seems rather matter-of-fact with its delivery, and you never get a true sense of emotion from the characters; they all seem rather happy-go-lucky and their misfortunes are met with lines like:
"Oh bother, what a misfortune this proves!" or "Indeed, this is a setback, not good for the game am I."
Old 11-10-03, 10:52 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
dgmayor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Posts: 2,036
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Pauly
You have got to be kidding me, Ian11. I will admit that Fellowship had a few changes to the story that I like (ie. Aragorn's last line to Frodo and the omission of Tom Bombadil, I fail to see whats so damn great about some fat guy in yellow boots who jiggles and goes "Ho! Ho! Tom Bombadiloo! Ho !Ho!")
LOL Amen Amen Amen. I hated that character so much. I just found i'm to be completely worthless. I can't understand why people like him so much. >
Old 11-10-03, 11:03 AM
  #14  
Retired
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 27,449
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I think they are both equal.

The book is the best piece of fantasy literature I've read, and the movies are the best fantasy movies I've seen and I can't imagine a better film version of the story.

Saying which is better is pointless IMO. It's simply impossible to compare across mediums.
Old 11-10-03, 11:16 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,193
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Here is how the movie improved on the books.

No Tom B or the Barrow Wight. That part of the book could have been removed with no problems.

Much better pacing in the movie. In the movie we can see how Frodo is gravely ill after being wounded by the Morgul blade and how time is of the essence. In the book it's almost an afterthought when he arrives in Rivendell. Same thing with the flight from the Shire. In the movie there is a real sense of them being pursued by evil minions. In the book it seems as if they ar sightseeing.

The Nine are much better in the movie than the book. In the book you don't get a sense of how evil they are. They are described as talking to numerous characters and then they are washed away. In the movie we get a sense that they are really pursuing Frodo and that they are controlled somehow by Sauron.
Old 11-10-03, 12:22 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 23,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Saying which is better is pointless IMO. It's simply impossible to compare across mediums.
He's not saying the movie as a whole is better than the books, he's pointing out which aspects of the movie he felt worked better than their written couterparts.

Did anybody READ the first post?
Old 11-10-03, 12:30 PM
  #17  
Retired
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 27,449
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Yes, but the title is "the many ways the movies are better than the book."

Thus he is saying he likes the movies better, and then giving a list of reasons why. Rather than simply saying "I like these things better than the books."
Old 11-10-03, 12:30 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Kal-El's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fortress of Solitude
Posts: 7,989
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
I guess I agree with the original poster. Love the movies, but hate them boring books. One reading was enough for me.
Old 11-10-03, 03:52 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 5,189
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
All you have to do is LISTEN to the audiobooks (unabridged) read by Rob Inglis and you will absolutely HATE the movies.

Inglis doesn't just read the books, he PERFORMS them. 1000 times better than reading the books, in my opinion (and I did read them, too).

The dialog in the audiobooks is just incredible. The dialog in the movies sucks beyond words. Dumbed down to the nth degree.
The dialog sounds like the scriptwriter read the Cliff's notes version of the books.

I will admit that the movies are gorgeous eye candy. Great to watch with the sound turned off.
Old 11-10-03, 04:25 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
The Antipodean's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 6,173
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Movies and books are two different mediums. Comparing them is absurd, as this thread proves.
Old 11-10-03, 06:41 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,756
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
That audio book (which I adore-try the Silmarillion, too) also takes about 40 hours+. Compress that into 9 hours and you have to simplify things. It's okay to love the books and love the movies. One doesn't have to be partisan.
Old 11-10-03, 09:44 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 532
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Yes, but the title is "the many ways the movies are better than the book."

Thus he is saying he likes the movies better, and then giving a list of reasons why. Rather than simply saying "I like these things better than the books."
I guess I worded it wrong. Within my posts I mentioned several times I hold both in equal esteem (as its possible between a book and a movie). Many people got it many didn't. So if could, I'd go back and title it "The Many Changes In The Movies I Liked More Than The Book". I think a part of me wanted to post a more provocative title. My bad.
Old 11-10-03, 10:02 PM
  #23  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 86
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
at least everyone here whether you like more the book or not can admit this movies are amazing and could not have been done better (realistically speaking)
THey could have turned into disaster
Old 11-11-03, 08:54 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ky-Fi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cape Ann, Massachusetts
Posts: 10,928
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: LOTR: The Many Ways the Movies Are Better Than the Book

Originally posted by Ian11




1. Aragorn and Gandalf are much more likeable. Not that being more "likeable" is always a good thing but in the books the characters often seemed aloof and sometimes come off as arrogant.

I do agree with that point.

But yeah, I think it's very difficult to compare two different mediums. The goal of the filmmaker is not to transcribe the book to film, but to make a good film based on the book. One of my favorite quotes on this subject was on the extras of The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) DVD. They interviewed the screenwriter, and he said something to the effect of "If you want something that's completely faithful to the book, then read the book---it's quite good."

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.