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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

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Thursday December 20, 2001
04:10 AM

The Fellowship of the Ring

[ #1735 ]

So, I saw the film last night and here are my comments.

Firstly, despite what I might say below, I really enjoyed it. I think that if I'd been watching it without any knowledge of the book I'd have loved every second of it. I'd recommend that everyone should see it as soon as possible.

That said, there were some places where the film departed from the book and some of these points annoyed me somewhat. I should point out that I probably only noticed most of these discrepancies as I've reread the book in the last week or so. Here are some of the things that jarred with me (the two or three of you that don't know the story might want to treat the rest of this entry as a spoiler).

  • Leaving the Shire. The film gives the inpression that Frodo left the Shire just days after Bilbo. In the book it says that Gandalf researched the ring for 17 years before telling Frodo what he had discovered. Also Frodo leaves the Shire immediately that he's told about the ring. In the book there is weeks of planning.
  • The Journey to Bree. The film gives the impression that Bree is just a short journey from the Shire. In fact it's a long and arduous trip. All of the major events from the journey were missed out - meeting Gildor and the elves, visiting Farmer Maggot, Old Man Willow, Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Wight.
  • Arwen. This annoyed me most. Arwen has a tiny part in the book. She's only seen from afar at a feast in Rivendell. We don't find out about the relationship between her and Aragron until much later. In the film she replaces Glorfindel as the elf that carries Frodo to Rivendell and we see her telling Aragorn that she will give up her immortality for him.
  • The Mirror of Galadriel. In the book both Frodo and Sam look into the mirror. In the film, only Frodo does.
  • The Breaking of the Fellowship. The film was supposed to be taken from The Fellowship of the Ring but the last twenty minutes or so were from the beginning of The Two Towers. I suspect this was so they didn't have to pay Sean Bean for being in two films :)

There were a number of other, smaller things too. Bilbo wasn't at the Council of Elrond, Galadriel didn't reveal herself as the wearer of one of the Elven rings, Boromir and Legolas didn't get to explain why they were sent to Rivendell.

But as I said at the start, all in all it was a cracking film and I'm really looking forward to the other two.

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  • The time Gandalf takes to do his research isn't acutally made clear.

    Remember, by the time he returns Frodo has had time to place the packet containing the ring into the chest and bury it under a large amount of stuff, suggesting some time has passed.

    • Oh, I agree that it's not explicitly made clear. But you see Gandalf ride to Gondor, read Isildur's account of the finding of the ring and then ride back to the Shire. It really doesn't look like it takes him more than a week or so.

      And besides, Frodo hasn't aged at all[1].

      [1] Ok, so that could be the effects of the ring.

      • Oh, and that reminds me of another point.

        In the book, during that 17 years Gandalf and Aragorn track down and question Gollum[1] to fill in the gaps in the history of the ring. They then give Gollum to the Wood Elves to keep him prisoner. That's why Legolas comes to Rivendell - to tell them that Gollum has escaped from their custody.

        And the film completely ignores the fact that Gollum was originally a hobbit. The fact that the ring can change a hobbit into a creature like Gollum is an important reminder o

  • the exaggerated fights between Saruman & Gandalf.

    Also, didn't you think they miscast Elrond? Or at least Hugo Weaving could have left the Matrix characterization out of it for a bit ("The ring must be destroyed" - made me & my wife laugh).


  • It's not made obvious during the time the fellowship spends in Galadriel's wood, but she is one of the elves shown with the rings in the prolog.

    Yes, I'm behind in my reading. :-)