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The Movie and the Book

Lord of the rings is a large book. Approximately 600 000 words. Even as one of the most popular books of all time, that is a lot of reading and not everyone enjoys reading big books. The recent adaptation of the books by film director Peter Jackson has exposed a whole new group of people to this classic story. Some of those people have since enthusiastically begun to read the book. Others aren't so keen even if they did enjoy the movie.

One of the biggest changes was compression of time. Since the movies had to fit in to a total of 9 hours, many details had to be left out and as a result, many events appeared to have taken a much shorter time. For example this might make a week long journey in the book appear to be a journey of perhaps only a day or two in the film. It is obvious that scenes showing hobbits travelling through hilly countryside for a week or two would have made for a pretty boring film, so changes to speed things up became a necessity.

In any case 600 000 words is a lot to put in three films. Even when each film is 3 hours long, a lot of things are innevitably going to be left out or altered. That is something that must be accepted when a great story is made in to a great film. The task of choosing what to keep and what to discard would not have been an easy one for the film makers and some much loved scenes had to be skipped to make the movie possible. Some fans of the film are curious about what bits were different in the book, while some who already read the book at some point may be interested about parts they may have forgotten. Some long time fans of the books have also criticised certain changes/additions as being unneccesary, or as taking time away from the film that could have been used for scenes that were left out.

The purpose of this section of the website is to summarise some of the parts of the novel that were left out or changed when the movie was made. There will be no attempt to point out every minor difference, since that would hardly be possible without going over the whole story. Only the more interesting & significant points will be covered here. There will also be no attempt to say which changes were good or bad since that's largely a matter of opinion and best left up to you to decide. The sections are arranged according to the chapters in the book. This section will focus on the movies as released in cinemas but some references to the extended DVD versions may also be made.

View the official website for the film

Fellowship Of The Ring

Book One - The Ring Sets Out

Book Two - The Ring Goes South

  • Many Meetings
  • The Council of Elrond
  • The Ring Goes South
  • A Journey in the Dark
  • The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
  • Lothlórien
  • The Mirror of Galadriel
  • Farewell to Lórien
  • The Great River
  • The Breaking of the Fellowship

Note: An animated adaptation of the movie was also released in 1978. It is often criticised by fans of the books, though it did have its good points (some elements were actually more faithful to the the books than the Peter Jackson version). Some character voices were provided by well known actors (John Hurt as Aragorn and Anthony Daniels as Legolas). In this website, references to the movie will generally be referring to the Peter Jackson version, which made a few respectful nods to the infamous Bashi version.

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