A Hardcore LOTR Fan Compares The Books To The Movies
Even your username proves what a true fan you are, LOTR_junkie6! —Sparkitors
Here's the truth: I’m addicted to Lord of the Rings. Yep, I’m one of those crazy wears-mithril-armor-and-carries-elven-ropes-of-hithlain-everywhere raging fans. (Actually, that's not entirely true, because A. I can’t afford mithril, and B. I’m pretty sure armor is a violation of my school’s dress code.) But considering the fact that I make a point of re-reading the books often, can recite along with the movies, collect the lesser-known books of the history of Arda (Elvish for “Middle Earth”), draw LOTR family trees, and have a shrine to Professor Tolkien in my room (no joke, I really do), I'd say I'm pretty qualified to discuss most things LOTR-related—and I’ve got a few things I’d like to say about the movies.
1. The books are better than the movies. “Oh, God,” you’re thinking. “She’s one of those crazy canon purists.” Why, yes, I am. And if you ever stray from the path of true canon in the LOTR fandom without proper justification, I will sic a Balrog on you. I mean, obviously I enjoy the films, but they'll never replace the magic of the books for me. The movies do a good job, but they lack the depth, nuance, and intricacy so apparent in Tolkien's masterpieces.
2. Tom Bombadil, my man, come back! Peter Jackson, why'd you have to leave out Tom? I know you wanted to hurry the timeline and modify the Council of Elrond, but there’s a bratty six-year-old in the back of the mind screaming, “I want TOM!" He was always one of my favorite secondary characters, and I really liked that Tolkien never revealed too much about him. In fact, Tolkien once stated that some characters should be surrounded by mystery, and I agree.
3. There were no Elves at Helm’s Deep. Seriously, what the heck is this? Did the Elves of Lothlórien have some sudden change of heart? Like, they all just said, “You know what? I’m not going to the Havens to sail across the Sea to my true home, where I actually belong. Instead, I’m going to stay here and fight for a world that’s not even mine.” Laudable, perhaps, but highly illogical when you consider the fact that Lothlórien was under attack from Sauron at the time. Not to mention: why, oh why did they have to kill off Haldir? That wasn’t canonical! He was great! And he has some majorly awesomesauce armour that I am very jealous of.
4. The Scouring of the Shire made sense. Why leave this out? I like this ending much better than the movie version. Not only does it explain the visions of the Shire being ravaged in the Mirror of Galadriel, but it wraps up the fate of Saruman much more neatly, provides a sweet bit of Sam and Rosie interaction, and best of all, features hobbit mobs kicking arse.
5. Faramir is not a jerk. I get Peter Jackson’s reasoning that if everybody was tempted by the Ring and Faramir wasn’t, it would be pretty lame, but Faramir was tempted in the books—he just resisted the pull of the ring when he decided not to take Frodo and Sam to Gondor. Also, there really should have been some more yummy Faramir-and-Éowyn-interaction, not just that oh-look-we’re-standing-next-to-each-other-how-cute scene.
6. Movie-Denethor, go jump off a cliff. I hate the movie-Denethor with a burning passion. In the books, Denethor was a stately, noble man crumbling under the grief of Boromir’s death and suffering from apocalyptic visions of Gondor’s annihilation. Denethor was not some awful dad who sat around crunching tomatoes after sending his remaining son out on a suicide mission. And if Denethor really had to throw himself off a tower, he could have at least taken out a couple of orcs in the process. Don’t be so dang selfish, Denethor.
Anybody out there even more of a hardcore LOTR fan?
Related post: Stupid Questions About Lord of the Rings