Comparing the Similarities Between the Book and the Movie Lord of the Rings

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The themes in the book and the movie are similar. One of the major themes of this novel is the idea of Wisdom, which is shown by the figures of Gandalf and Tom Bombadil. Frodo and his companies rely upon the wisdom and knowledge of their protectors throughout the story. Although Tom Bombadil doesn’t appear in the movie, the wisdom of Gandalf defeated Balrog and helped the fellowship get out of the Orcs. Another theme is Loyalty, which is represented by Samwise Gamgee.

Sam is the “friend that sticks closer than a brother”. He makes himself a living sacrifice as he aids Frodo. In both the book and the movie, when Frodo wants to leave the Fellowship by himself, “I’m going to Mordor,” said Frodo, “Of course you are. And I’m coming with you.” Sam answered. (457) Sam’s loyalty to Frodo is extremely important in helping Frodo get through obstacles.

This literary work and the movie develop the themes of sight and surveillance.

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We have images like Sauron’s evil eye, the mirror of Galadriel and the Black Riders who are unable to see. We also factor the repeated instances of attacks and ambushes at night, when the danger cannot be clearly seen. The fellowship was hiding from Sauron’s eye while the Orcs were hunting them at the same time. However, the theme of sight and surveillance is more intensive in the movie than in Tolkein’s book.

Sauron is the symbol of power in the movie and the book.

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The Power of the Ring is tempting the people around it. Isildur, Gollum, the Nazgul, Boromir and Saruman are those who fall to the temptation of power the Sauron offers. The goodness of men, such as Aragorn and Faramir is illustrated by their refusal to take the Ring. The ring bearer – Frodo was tempted to wear it on several times. Throughout the story, Frodo was fighting with his own desire for the power.

As the Ring-bearer in the book, Frodo is endowed with a temperament well suited to resist evil. He is brave, selfless, thoughtful, wise, observant, and even unfailingly polite. Unlike other self-satisfied Hobbits, Frodo is curious about the outside world and knowledgeable about the traditions of the Elves. As everyone from Bilbo to Gandalf to Aragorn notices, there is something special in Frodo, something that sets him apart from the rest of his race – an inner strength. He has the determination and lots of perseverance to accomplish his task.

According to the movie, Frodo was not so strong as he was in the novel. At the scene of the Ford of Bruinen, Arwen is riding with Frodo and protecting him from the Black Riders. In the book, an Elf lord named Glorfindel puts Frodo on his horse and Asfaloth carries Frodo alone across the Ford. “Go back!’ he cried. ‘Go back to the Land of Mordor, and follow me no more!””(241)

I believe that Frodo is more heroic and brave in Tolkien’s writing comparing to Peter Jackson’s movie. In the movie, Frodo is weak and always needs others’ help. He showed great courage in his confrontation with the Black Riders in the book. In the movie, Arwen becomes the hero of that scene. Also, in Frodo’s fight with the Nazgul, the book and the movie express differently on this scene. In the movie, Frodo puts on the Ring and sees five Nazgul. The world is distorted, and he sees the Nazgul as they are in the wraith realm. He cowers and gets pierced by a sword. But in the book, Frodo puts on the Ring and sees five Nazgul. He sees how they would look to a Ring-bearer. He strikes out with his sword after crying out “O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!” In this scene, Frodo loses his courage again in the movie. I prefer the character of Frodo in Tolkien’s works.

As I mentioned before, the loyal Sam consistently serves as a foil to all of the grandeur events that take place. Sam is more like a typical Hobbit than Frodo, though he displays a great curiosity about the world beyond the Shire, especially Elves. Sam is shy but clever and quick on his feet. In the book, he plays a significant role when Frodo is in danger. However in the movie, when Frodo is preoccupied with the burden of the Ring, Sam always helps him to get out of the temptation. Sam remains relentlessly pragmatic and optimistic. If it is Frodo’s duty to “carry” the ring, it is also Sam’s duty to “carry” Frodo.

In Peter Jackson’s movie, it presents a romantic love story between Aragorn and Arwen, which is not so clearly written in Tolkien’s work. Arwen comes out in some scenes in the movie, which seems unnecessary since the original book doesn’t have any page for that. Besides, in the book when the Nazgul enter the river, the river rises up. There are horse heads in the waves. Gandalf later explains that Elrond caused the river to rise up, and Gandalf caused the horse heads. In the movie Arwen causes the river to rise up. She must have caused the horse heads since there is no other explanation given for the flood. There is more of the unnecessary beefing up of the Arwen character in the movie. Peter Jackson is trying to add more female part into the story to make it more attractable to the audiences.

This character is absent in Peter Jackson’s movie. I think it would have been better to included Tom Bombadil, Old Forest and the Barrow Wights into the movie because Tom is the good part of the story. He gives Frodo and his companies hope using his wisdom. One reason for Peter Jackson not putting Tom into the movie is probably because Tom Bombadil is so purely fictional that it would be hard to portray him in a movie. Also, if they include Tom Bombadil’s part in the movie, it will last more than 3 hours and won’t have time for other important part.

The story line of the book and the movie are quite different. In the book, Tolkien introduces their encounters with Tom Bombadil before they arrive Prancing Pony through a great many of pages. The hobbit journey with Tom is eliminated in the movie. The adventures in the Old Forest demonstrate how dangerous the world outside Shire is for the hobbits. Tom Bombadil demonstrates that the Ring has its limitations, provides a lot of historical background information and, according to Tolkien himself, is a necessary enigmatic element. The Barrow-Wight chapter is one of the story’s scariest and provides Merry with the sword he later uses to kill the Witch-King. As Peter Jackson explains, “The main reason is not just time or pace, but one of simple narrative focus… the Bombadil sequence has so little to do with Sauron or the Ring, it is difficult to justify the screen time. It simply doesn’t give us any vital new information. A very simplest rule of thumb that I use in movie storytelling is to try and further the story with each new scene.” Peter Jackson makes the atmosphere of the movie tenser after Bilbo left. Frodo and his companies leave Shire as soon as they realize that is the One Ring and they were chased by Nazgul. Peter Jackson exaggerates the atmosphere to make it compelling to the audiences.

When the Fellowship was outside the door of Moria, Peter Jackson uses Pippin instead of Boromir to toss the stone in the lake. This change is trying to make the Hobbits look naive and foolish. In the book, Tolkien uses this event to make an early indication that Boromir is a problem for the Fellowship since he doesn’t seem enthusiastic about the whole mission. Similarly, the warning of not going into Lothlorien is stated by Boromir in the book to indicate that there is a problem brewing with Bolomir. But this statement is made by Gimli in the movie. Peter Jackson didn’t follow Tolkien’s intention to make further indications about Bolomir’s problem. I think in the movie it would be better to follow Tolkien’s writing.

Peter Jackson adds some scenes that are not in the book. For instance, Galadriel tells Frodo that to be the Ring-bearer means that he must be alone in the movie. This implies to Frodo that he must go off to Mordor alone. Of course, this is to give an indication of why Frodo does what he does. This is unnecessary, since the book gives plenty of motivation though. Frodo attempts to leave the fellowship, because he sees how it is affecting Boromir and has to assume that it is affecting other members in the same way. In conclusion, I prefer the way that Tolkien presents the Fellowship of the Ring. First of all, some of the characters in the movie should be adapted following the novel.

For example, Frodo as a main character in the movie should be full of courage and brave. He should not be fear of anything because he is a hero. In the movie, he is cowing when facing the black riders so for the audiences who don’t familiar with the book itself would have the consciousness that Frodo is a weak-minded person. Second, the presence of Tom should be in the film although the story is not so related to the Ring. Their adventures in the Old Forest add more fairy tales into the Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien uses many pages to describe the environment in the forest where Tom lives. The reader can feel the greatness of the nature with flowers and trees, which is in high contrast with the surroundings they go through later in the book.

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Comparing the Similarities Between the Book and the Movie Lord of the Rings. (2023, Mar 21). Retrieved from

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