Differences Between The Movie And The Book

     The first and the best of the pages charting the differences between the movie and the book.
     This page began soon after I saw the film. My friends and I began discussing noticeable differences between the film and the book, and we were curious about why some of the changes were made. The initial version of this page was the result. I decided to make a webpage out of the list, since I thought it would be of interest to those who love the Tolkien stories and to those who have seen the movie. Because of this, I had to devote more time than I anticipated to put the page together. Also, I received suggestions from my friends and those who found the page. As a result, I have added new Differences or changed existing ones that I felt warranted it.
     First, let me say that the compilation of items on this webpage is not meant to indicate that I lack respect for Peter Jackson and those who worked so hard on the films.  I have a significant respect for the attempt that was made to bring LotR to life. And, of course, I have no criticism of Tolkien.
     When books are adapted to the screen, it is well-known that many changes are usually made.  (Screenplays can even be changed before the movie is released, which is one reason why so many screenwriters became directors.)  Movies are a visual medium, and attempting to portray certain parts of a written piece -- thoughts of characters, for example -- can be difficult.  Those who have read the book being adapted may be disappointed.  That is to be expected, and the readers come to expect some of this.  The filmmakers of the LotR Trilogy have pointed out the fact many times that their work is an adaptation, and the process of adaptation means that certain parts of the original story have to be shortened or eliminated for the sake of making a 2-3 hour film.  If the movie had been 100% true to the book, each movie would have ended up to be much longer than the 3 hours that they were. So, in general, there is a difference between books and movies due to the fact that they are different types of media. One goal of the following list of Differences is to help point this out.
     It would be an interesting study if somehow we could quantify this disappointment of readers when they see the movie adaptation and find out whether changes to the story in a certain book (for the purposes of adaptation to the screen) matter less to its readers, while changes to the story in another book have a greater effect on its readers.  I believe some books matter more to their readers than others.  My theory is that there are few books on the level of "The Lord of the Rings" (and you might include "The Hobbit") which have readers who are more devoted to its story, more prone to study it and discuss it.  People are earning degrees studying the story, the background stories (the appendices, etc.), and the languages which Tolkien created.  Few works of fiction written in the 20th century have elicited this much reaction and devotion.  I remember the first time I read the book in 1970 and its effect on me.  If the filmmakers and studio were surprised by the reaction of those who love Tolkien's writings, maybe it is because they misunderstood this fact.
     Tolkien used words to paint such a deep picture that bringing it to the screen was very complicated. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" was published in the 1930s, but "The Lord of the Rings" wasn't published until the 1950s and there were still things about the story that he would like to have tinkered with to make the story even tighter.  Therefore, his book is like a Gordian knot. If you cut one strand, the logic of the whole story may unravel. The screenwriters had to choose what to eliminate or change for the sake of time while at the same time portraying enough information that the whole story made sense. In some cases, they needed to move some events/details from the scene in which they occurred in the book to another one in the movie. Other events/details were left out without hurting the overall story. Scenes may have been added, left out, or changed at the encouragement of the studio as well.  The filmmakers may have failed in some of their attempts, but they succeeded as a whole and they deserve a lot of credit for the effort.
     I am trying not to be too detailed. If a character is missing from the movie, I am counting that as one Difference -- even though there are innumerable Differences that are details involving that character. Though the movie gets the majority of details right (in relation to the book), here are some noticeable -- and not-so-noticeable -- Differences.
     One thing to keep in mind is that I try to use the chronology of the book throughout my Differences pages. So if you are only familiar with the movie, it may be at times confusing. Secondly, the filmmakers have taken parts of the second volume and portrayed them in the first movie. Because of this, I have included those items in both the FotR and TTT Differences pages. This is the one exception to the first point of this paragraph, but, hopefully, this will not be too confusing.
     One thing we Tolkien-philes can be thankful to the movie for is that more people will read the book. It is my hope that all of them will come to understand that the book is better than the movie and that they will come to treasure the book as I do. I am grateful to the movies for inspiring me to re-read the book and to study it in more detail.
     This page used to have a rating system, but I've found that it was distracting - since it generated more disagreement than anything else on the page. I removed the ratings, and I'm leaving it up to you to determine if you rate it as a major or minor difference.
     The text of this webpage can be used in research papers. Please give proper credit when using the contents of this page. The text of this webpage cannot be used as part of someone else's website. Just provide links to this page with commentary if you want. Thanks.
     If you email me, please let me know how you found my Differences webpage. Thanks! (My email link is at the bottom of the page. The link to the left will take you there.) If you have a comment about a specific item on the list, please include the number. Thanks!
Chronology of "The Hobbit"
My "The Hobbit" Differences Page
My Review of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' (2014)
My Review of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' (2013)
My Review of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' (2012)
My review of "The Fellowship of the Ring"
My review of "The Two Towers"
TTT Differences page
My review of "The Return of the King"
RotK Differences Page
The Chronology of "The Lord of the Rings" (a 66 kb. Excel spreadsheet)
Book 1, Chapter:   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12
Book 2, Chapter:   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    TTT
T H E     L I S T     O F     D I F F E R E N C E S
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
1 The poetry and lyricism of the Tolkien text In the book. Not in the movie.
 Comment: A lot of Tolkien fans felt a loss when they noticed that most of the songs and poetry of the Tolkien story were eliminated from the story. I can understand this point of view. The songs and poetry add a depth to the story.
2 The opening history The forces of men and elves meet the forces of Sauron in front of the Gate of Mordor on Dagorlad, the Battle Plain where the forces of Sauron are defeated. The forces of men and elves surrounded Barad-dur, the stronghold of Sauron. They lay siege to it for seven years. Many died during this period, including Anarion, the younger brother of Isildur.  Finally, Sauron came out. He wrestled with Gil-Galad (son of Fingon and last high king of the Noldor in Middle-Earth) and Elendil (founder of the Numenorean kingdom in Middle-Earth). They were both slain, and the sword of Elendil was broken into two pieces under him as he fell. But Sauron was also thrown down, and Isildur cut the Ring off of Sauron's hand with the hilt of his father's sword as Sauron lay on the ground. (That leaves Sauron with four fingers on one hand.)  Isildur's hand is burned when he picks up the Ring.  Then Sauron forsook his body and took no visible shape for many years. The forces of men and elves meet the forces of Sauron on the slopes of Mt. Doom. When there is hope of victory, Sauron appears. He killed Elendil and shatters the sword in to many pieces.  But Isildur, with a desperate stroke, cuts all the fingers off of Sauron's hand, and the Ring falls to the ground near him. Isildur picks up the Ring without any ill effects.  Sauron explodes.
 Comment 1: This doesn't affect the story. I am referring, of course, to the story of Frodo, his companions, and the destruction of the Ring.  These are major changes to the overall story that reaches back centuries.
 Comment 2: There is a minor difference that technically is not related to "The Lord of the Rings" book.  In the book "Unfinished Tales" in the chapter "The Hunt For the Ring," the Nazgul started out from Mordor "unclad and unmounted."  The movie shows them clad and mounted.  But since this isn't strictly speaking a difference with LotR, I am only including it here as a comment.  Since Jackson delved into the appendices and other writings in order to get the story line about Arwen, it seems appropriate at least to mention it.
Book 1, Chapter 1 - "A Long Expected Party"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
3 Gandalf: "A wizard is never late!" Not in the book. In the movie. A nice touch.
 Comment: Someone suggested that this was taken from "The Hobbit". I haven't found it yet.
4 Smoke rings This scene does not happen in "Fellowship of the Rings". A similar scene occurs in "The Hobbit," but the participants are Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield at "The Unexpected Party." There is no "smoke ring" in the shape of a ship though. Present in the movie.
 Comment: If there ever is a "The Hobbit" movie, will they include a smoke ring scene? I hope this doesn't stop them from putting it in there, too.
5 Gandalf's trip to town No fireworks were used before the party. Gandalf uses fireworks on his way to Hobbiton to please the children.
 Comment: This is a nice addition to the story - a minor difference.
6 The birthday party (1) The party was thrown to celebrate Bilbo's 111th and Frodo's 33rd birthdays. Frodo's birthday is not mentioned.
7 The birthday party (2) The party is in two parts: (1) the one for relatives (144 people - or One Gross) occurs under a huge tent which also covers the huge tree, (2) the rest of the people are outside of the tent. There are small tents, but most of the festivities occur outdoors.
8 Merry and Pippin fool around with Gandalf's fireworks. Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment: Merry and Pippin become the comic relief in the films. This is the first scene that establishes the "Dumb and Dumber" mentality of Merry and Pippin which is not portrayed in the book either. (See Difference #29.) Tolkien has some of this in his portrayal, but the hobbits are more developed and complicated characters. Over and over again the hobbits show courage and a simple wisdom or common sense in the book. All too often the movie sacrifices their courageous acts for a few laughs.
9 Bilbo's disappearance Bilbo slips on the Ring, and Gandalf adds the effect of a flash of smoke. Bilbo later accuses Gandalf of being meddlesome. Bilbo slips on the Ring, and there is no flash of smoke. Bilbo's disappearance seems to be a surprise to Gandalf.
10 Bilbo leaves the Ring Bilbo nearly takes the Ring with him. He has it in an envelope with his will.  He drops it on the floor when he is saying good bye to Gandalf.  Gandalf picks up the envelope and places it on the mantel. Bilbo scowls at Gandalf, but he shrugs and leaves without much regret. Bilbo drops the Ring in the doorway of Bag End.
 Comment: Gollum has an important part in the book The Hobbit (of course), but it isn't very long. Gollum uses the word "Precious" pretty frequently, and Tolkien is clear in that book that Gollum was referring to himself. I kept listening to his dialogue, and since he never had the Ring, he never had the opportunity to talk to it. At least so far as I could tell. Then I got to the part in FotR where Bilbo is about to leave Bag End, and he is refusing to give up the Ring. He says, "It is precious to me." Gandalf said that's not the first time it's been called that. Now since I had finally established in my mind that Precious was the other personality in Gollum, I thought maybe he was referring to Isuldur - who I believe said "It's precious to me" before he was shot by a goblin and lost the Ring in the river. But Gandalf goes on to say that Gollum used that term at one time (to refer to the Ring). So I think this is an inconsistency. Further reading is required.
11 Bilbo leaves Bilbo leaves with two Dwarves. Bilbo travels alone.
12 Gandalf and the Ring Gandalf handles the Ring without any fear. Gandalf will not even pick the Ring up off of the floor. Frodo does that as he enters Bag End.
 Comment: Gandalf's relationship to the Ring is more complicated in the book. In the book, Gandalf can touch it and hold it, but when Frodo offers him the Ring he vehemently refuses it.
13 Frodo and the Ring Frodo keeps the Ring on his person -- just as Bilbo did. Frodo keeps the Ring in an envelope in a chest.
Book 1, Chapter 2 - "The Shadow of the Past"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
14 Time lapse There was a 17-year time lapse between Bilbo's departure from Bag End and Frodo's departure. Frodo is actually in his fifties. Little time has elapsed.
15 The history of the Ring Revealed during Gandalf's and Frodo's conversation in Bag End and during Elrond's Council. Revealed at the very beginning of the movie.
16 Smeagol gets the Ring Deagol finds the Ring. Smeagol kills Deagol and steals the Ring. Smeagol finds the Ring. Deagol is never mentioned. Smeagol finds the Ring. Deagol is never mentioned.
 Comment 1: This is one incident that develops the character of Smeagol. It is unnecessary for those who have read the book, since they already know what is going on.  But those who have not read the book will miss an important fact. Enough of Smeagol's character is revealed in other parts of the three movies. The description of how Smeagol got the Ring is more accurately portrayed in the third movie where it is shown that Deagol finds the Ring and Smeagol kills Deagol to gain possession.  I'm not sure why the filmmakers waited until the third film before they revealed the true nature of the event.  It is possible that this added something to the viewers' understanding that Frodo and Sam were in great danger from Gollum/Smeagol at the beginning of the third film.
 Comment 2: The extended version of the third film also adds Smeagol's claim that he acquired the Ring as a birthday present. The movie only shows the initial event where Smeagol tells Deagol he deserves the Ring because it is his birthday. However, in the book, Gollum had told Gandalf that he received it as a birthday present from his mother. Gandalf came to the conclusion that Gollum had taken it from Deagol (and killed him to get it), because he felt he deserved it since it was his birthday. Of course, all of these actions of Smeagol to get the Ring were done under the influence of the Ring itself. See Difference 1 on the RotK Differences page.
17 Conversation in Bag End moved to Moria These bits of conversation occur in Bag End:

(1) Frodo says that it's a pity that Bilbo didn't kill Gollum. Gandalf replies that it was pity that stopped Bilbo from killing Gollum.
(2) Frodo says, "I wish it didn't happen in my time." Gandalf responds, "So do all who live to see such times. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us."

The conversation takes place during a rest break in the mines of Moria.
18 Frodo suggests that they melt the Ring or destroy it by hammering it Gandalf tells Frodo to try it. Frodo brings the Ring out, but he puts it back in his pocket. Gandalf points out that the Ring already has a hold on Frodo, and he says that the Ring can only be destroyed by being thrown into the fires of the volcano where it was smelted. Not in the movie. The only attempt to destroy the Ring is when Gimli attempts to smash it with his ax (which is not in the book -- see Difference #82.)
19 Sam's relationship to Frodo (1) Sam works around Bag End. He clips hedges and does maintenance of the grounds/garden. Not in the movie. Same as the book.
20 Sam's relationship to Frodo (2) Sam spies on Frodo and Gandalf on behalf of Frodo's other friends -- Merry, Pippin, and Fredeger Sam listens in to Gandalf and Frodo's conversation. He is not shown to be spying for the other friends.
 Comment: This difference is related to the attempt to "dumb down" the Hobbits and give them "room to grow as characters" throughout the three movies. If Sam is portrayed as scheming with Merry and Pippin, then the three of them are smarter than they are portrayed in the first film.
Book 1, Chapter 3 - "Three is Company"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
21 Frodo leaves the Shire (1) Gandalf leaves Bag End promising to return before Frodo has to leave. Gandalf does not return before they leave. Gandalf arrives at Bag End and sends Frodo and Sam to Bree where he will meet up with them. Gandalf does not meet them at Bree.
22 Frodo leaves the Shire (2) Frodo left the Shire at the age of 50 -- seventeen years after Bilbo left the Shire. (Frodo was 33 at Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday party.) Frodo leaves the Shire after an unspecified period of time after Bilbo's departure. It couldn't have been long since Sam, Merry, and Pippin have not aged when they leave the Shire.
23 Frodo leaves the Shire (3) Frodo sets off from Bag End with Sam, and Pippin. They meet Merry later. Merry is on horse. Frodo sets off from Bag End with Sam. They meet Merry and Pippin later.
24 Frodo leaves the Shire (4) Frodo sells Bag End to the Sackville-Bagginses. Frodo doesn't sell Bag End, and the Sackville-Bagginses are left out.
25 Sam's regret Sam does not express regret about leaving the Shire until the Hobbits are on the Ferry. Sam expresses regret at the border of the Shire.
26 Encounter with the High Elves led by Gildor Inglorion (1) Present and accounted for. Absent. Frodo and Sam see the High Elves, but he does not speak to them.
27 Encounter with the High Elves led by Gildor Inglorion (2) This encounter is important, since the first mention of Elbereth and Gilthoniel occurs here. Frodo cries out "O Elbereth Gilthoniel" on Weathertop as he attempts to resist the Black Riders, and Sam shouts out "Gilthoniel O Elbereth" when he raises the vial of the light of Earendil's star when he confronts the huge spider at the end of book 2. There is no mention of Elbereth or Gilthoniel in the movie. Frodo and Sam see the High Elves, but he does not speak to them.
 Comment 1: Frodo's knowledge of Elbereth and Gilthoniel can be introduced another way. (Not sure it ever was though.) Frodo also uses the name Elbereth on Weathertop and at the river by Rivendell when confronting the Nazgul.
 Comment 2: Elbereth and Gilthoniel refer to the same person - Varda, one of the Valar, who was called the Queen of the Stars. She was one of the Varda. She rejected Melkor (Sauron's master), and he feared her the most of the Valar. Varda created the stars and constellations before the Valar descended into the world.
Book 1, Chapter 4 - "A Short Cut to Mushrooms"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
28 Farmer Maggot Frodo is the one who had been caught by Farmer Maggot stealing mushrooms when he was young. Merry and Pippin have a friendly relationship with the farmer. After they eat supper with Farmer Maggot, he takes Frodo, Sam, and Pippin by "waggon" to the ferry. They meet Merry later (Merry is on horseback). Merry and Pippin "bump" into Frodo and Sam after stealing vegetables from Farmer Maggot. His dogs are heard, but the dogs and Farmer Maggot is not seen in the movie.  There is no "waggon."
29 Merry and Pippin Merry and Pippin are upbeat, but they are still smart and very helpful. Merry and Pippin are comic relief - like "Dumber and Dumber."
 Comment 1: The filmmakers wanted the Hobbits to start out as naive and then show them to have had some character development.  However, they over-emphasized their naiveté to the point of making them moronic.  I understand that there is a certain amount of naiveté found in all of the Tolkien's Hobbits. In the book, the Hobbits have a "down-home" wisdom that isn't appreciated by the "big folk" until they see it in action. One of the things that Tolkien is pointing out in the book is that you cannot assume based on someone's looks how smart they are or how they will do in battle -- or in any other situation for that matter.
 Comment 2: One person emailed me to say they thought the Hobbits were portrayed more as leprechauns, and maybe that is what they did.
30 Ponies The Hobbits have four ponies to ride and one to carry some supplies. The Hobbits are on foot.
 Comment: The main thing is that they get to Bree.
31 The Black Riders and the Hobbits The Black Riders search for Frodo and his company of Hobbits in the Shire. The Black Riders chase Frodo and company through the Shire. They barely stay ahead of the Black Riders.
 Comment 1: This difference is due to the attempt to shave off some time from the movie. I'm back and forth on whether this is significant.
 Comment 2: This is a different kind of suspense than what Tolkien achieves in the book. Tolkien builds his suspense/tension slowly. The movie hits you with both fists in the face.
32 The Ferry The four Hobbits get on the ferry and are part way over the river when they notice a bundle on the wharf. They realize that it is a Black Rider. The four Hobbits barely make it to the ferry after a harrowing chase by a Black Rider.
 Comment: When you aren't riding horses, you have to run. Makes sense.
33 A Black Rider kills a Hobbit No Hobbits are killed in the book by Black Riders. The head of a Hobbit driving a wagon is lopped off (though the action is cut before the actual deed takes place).
 Comment: An unnecessary addition.
Book 1, Chapter 5 - "A Conspiracy Unmasked"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
34 Fredeger "Fatty" Bolger Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment about Differences #33-39: I think that they were eliminated from the movie in the interest of time. Basically, this whole section of the book (Fredeger Bolger and the house at Crick Hollow and Tom Bombadil up to the Barrow Wights), in my opinion, serves two purposes in the story. (1) It leads up to how the Hobbits get their swords, and (2) it enables the Hobbits to escape from the Black Riders for a while and get to Bree unmolested. Tom Bombadil is needed to save the Hobbits from Old Man Willow and the Barrow Wights. For a long time, this part of the story seemed out of place to me, and I did not understand the need for it. The story kind of dragged for me during that part of the book, and it struck me as something that had been written very early -- in the style of what Tolkien wrote for "The Hobbit" -- and then adapted to "The Lord of the Rings." The movie seems to take care of how the Hobbits get the swords in an efficient manner, and they get to Bree after facing enough danger.  But I've come to the conclusion that there are problems with the movie version.  Why is Strider carrying four Hobbit-sized swords?  How does he know there will be four?  But the other major problem that occurs when the Barrow Wights are left out is that the significance of Merry's sword on the Pelennor Field is gone.  His sword had a devastating effect on the Captain of the Nazgul for the reason that it had been made by those who had been fighting the Kingdom of Angmar which was ruled by the person who became the Captain of the Nazgul.  Tolkien takes an event that happens near the beginning of the first volume and gives it significance for an extremely important event in the third volume.  Of course, if you had not read the book and were becoming familiar with the story for the first time through the movie, you would probably not be aware of this and you would think that Merry's stab at the back of the Witch King's leg could have happened with any old sword.
35 House at Crickhollow Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment: The house at Crickhollow is left out.  That means that the attack on the house at Crickhollow by the Black Riders is not in the movie.
Book 1, Chapter 6 - "The Old Forest"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
36 The Old Forest Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment: I think it was acceptable to eliminate the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil, and the Barrow Wights. Shocking, I know.
37 Old Man Willow Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment 1: I think it was acceptable to eliminate the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil, and the Barrow Wights. Shocking, I know.
 Comment 2: The Extended Edition DVD of "The Two Towers" moves Old Man Willow to Fangorn Forest.  Tom Bombadil's lines are spoken by Treebeard.
Book 1, Chapter 7 - "In the House of Tom Bombadil"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
38 Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, daughter of the River (and Fatty Lumpkin). Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment 1: I think it was acceptable to eliminate the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil, and the Barrow Wights. Shocking, I know.
 Comment 2: Tom Bombadil knows Farmer Maggot and "The Prancing Pony" in Bree. Brings a few questions to mind.
39 The suggestion to go to Bree. Tom Bombadil suggests the Hobbits go to Bree. Gandalf suggests that they go to Bree.
 Comment 1: I think it was acceptable to eliminate the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil, and the Barrow Wights. Shocking, I know.
Book 1, Chapter 8 - "Fog on the Barrow Downs"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
40 The Barrow Downs and the Barrow-wights Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment: This whole chapter us eliminated from the story in the screenplay.  In the book, the Hobbits get their first swords from the barrows of the Barrow Wights. But if you're going to eliminate Tom Bombadil, you have to cut out Old Man Willow and the Barrow Wights. The Hobbits have to get their swords in a different way. Aragorn gives the swords to them in the movie. Still, it would have been nice. The main problem with Aragorn giving the Hobbits their swords is that the significance of the spells that were placed on the swords by the original swordsmiths are lost.
Book 1, Chapter 9 - "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
41 The Gate of Bree (1) The gate keeper looks over the gate at the hobbits. The gate keeper first looks through a man-high window, and then he looks through a Hobbit-high opening.
42 The Gate of Bree (2) After the hobbits are let into Bree, a "dark figure" (probably Strider/Aragorn) crawls over the fence. No dark figure is seen climbing over the fence. Aragorn is already at the Prancing Pony.
 Comment: This is left out of the movie in the interest of saving time. Strider/Aragorn is found at "The Prancing Pony."
43 Dinner at "The Prancing Pony" The Hobbits eat in their own common room. Frodo, Sam, and Pippin decide to go into the other common room. Merry stays behind. The hobbits eat in the same common room with the big people.
44 Frodo speaks to Strider Frodo speaks to Strider before Pippin begins talking about Bilbo. Frodo speaks to Strider after he accidentally puts on the Ring.
45 The name of Baggins Pippin causes Frodo and Strider great anxiety when he starts to tell the tale of Bilbo's disappearance. They fear that the tale will link the name "Baggins" with Frodo who is going under the name Underhill. Pippin actually points to Frodo as Frodo Baggins.
 Comment: This is one place where Tolkien is more subtle. He portrays Frodo as being afraid about having Underhill linked to Bilbo or the name of Baggins. The movie cuts to the point of the whole scene, but it makes Pippin look more like a fool than he is portrayed in the book. In the book, Pippin doesn't see the possibility of linking the name of Underhill to Baggins by the telling of the story of Bilbo. In the movie, he is dumb enough to just point Frodo out.
46 Frodo sings a song Frodo sings a song twice. Frodo doesn't sing.
47 Frodo puts on the Ring (1) Frodo accidentally slips the Ring on while fingering it in his pocket during his second round of singing. Frodo tries to catch the Ring, but it slips itself onto his finger.
48 Frodo puts on the Ring (2) Frodo just disappears. Frodo sees the world in a distorted way.
 Comment: The book does not say that Frodo sees the world in a distorted way at this point. Some would argue that in the book Frodo sees the world in a distorted way every time he wears the Ring, so the movie is consistent to the book in this regard. I don't think so. Bilbo, who regards the Ring more like a toy that offers him the convenient ability to avoid the Sackville-Bagginses, never seemed to have any effect other than disappearing (at least nothing is ever mentioned about it), and I believe that it was the same for Frodo in the beginning. It all begins to change for Frodo at Weathertop where the effect of distortion begins to occur either because of the proximity of the Black Riders or because of the growing effect of the Ring as Frodo continues to carry and use it. And what is the "distorted effect" anyway? It is the ability of Frodo to see the world as if he was in the wraith world -- as Gandalf calls it -- or wraith realm -- as others call it. (Gandalf also calls it "the other side" in his conversation with Frodo at the House of Elrond). After Frodo is stabbed by the Black Rider and begins to turn into a wraith, he has the same effect of seeing the world from that point of view without needing to put on the Ring. He sees the Black Riders as if they have cast aside their black cloaks, and he sees Glorfindel as "a shining figure of white light" -- one whom Gandalf describes as "one of the mighty of the First-born".
49 The swarthy Bill Ferny and his squint-eyed friend Present and accounted for. Absent.
Book 1, Chapter 10 - "Strider"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
50 The letter from Gandalf about Strider Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment 1: This event would better explain why Frodo and company accept Strider.
 Comment 2: Strider not only says he saw the Hobbits enter through the gate into Bree, but he also says that he heard them talking to Tom Bombadil before they left for Bree.
51 The sword that was broken (1) Aragorn carries the broken sword in a scabbard. He shows it to Frodo after Frodo reads Gandalf's letter at "The Prancing Pony." The sword is on display at Rivendell.
 Comment: There is much information (they are really hints) about the sword Narsil. Apparently, the sword that was broken would not be reforged until the 3rd movie (it is reforged in the 1st volume of the book (FotR)). There were rumors that Arwen would bring the sword to Aragorn at a critical point in the fight at Minas Tirith in another "Arwen" moment. What happened was that Arwen was on the point of dying, requested that Elrond reforge the sword and deliver it to Aragorn. Then Elrond brought it to Aragorn just before Aragorn entered the Paths of the Dead.
52 Frodo says that if Strider was from the enemy, he would seem fairer and feel fouler. Occurred in Frodo's room at "The Prancing Pony" -- before the Black Riders strike in the night. Occurred on the way to Weathertop -- before the Black Riders strike in the night.
 Comment: This event would better explain why Frodo and company accept Strider.
Book 1, Chapter 11 - "A Knife in the Dark"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
53 The Black Riders break down the gate and ride over it -- probably killing the gate keeper. Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment: An unnecessary addition.  In the book, the Black Riders leave their horses outside of Bree.
54 Bill the pony Strider and the Hobbits acquire Bill the pony at Bree from Mr. Butterbur who had bought Bill from Bill Ferny. The company acquires Bill at Rivendell.
 Comment: Sam says, "Bye-bye Bill" at the gate of Moria in both the theatrical and extended versions.
55 Lights in the distance that are probably Gandalf fighting at least one of the Nazgul Present and accounted for. Absent.
56 The rune carved by Gandalf somewhere on Weathertop Present and accounted for. Absent.
57 Aragorn gives the Hobbits swords Added. Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment: It is interesting that Aragorn has four Hobbit-sized swords.  See Difference #34 and Difference #40.
58 The campfire on Weathertop Started by Strider using firewood left by other Rangers. The fire brands are used by Strider during the fight. Started by Sam, Merry, and Pippin in order to cook food. Frodo runs up and starts to stamp it out.
 Comment: More of the portrayal of Hobbits (except for Frodo) as naive, country bumpkins.
59 Frodo's fight with the Nazgul 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!" 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 get pierced by a sword.
 Comment: The purpose of Frodo cowering is probably to portray the evilness of the Nazgul. It affects how Frodo is portrayed, and Frodo loses an important part of his character here -- i.e., courage.
Book 1, Chapter 12 - "Flight to the Ford"
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Extended Version
60 Glorfindel of the House of Elrond Present and accounted for. Absent.
61 Frodo's ride to Rivendell Frodo rides alone. The others follow on foot. Frodo rides with Arwen.
 Comment: In the book, Frodo, Strider, and the Hobbits were trying to make their way to the Ford of Bruinen. Glorfindel, on Asfaloth, met them. They made Frodo get up on Asfaloth. Frodo rode solo on the horse while the others walked at his side. However, when the Black Riders were sighted, Glorfindel commanded Asfaloth to take Frodo to Rivendell. From that point on, Frodo rode Asfaloth alone while the others ran behind trying to keep up. He showed great courage, and was heroic in his confrontation with the Black Riders. In the movie, Frodo was always in front of Arwen while both rode Asfaloth, and Arwen was the hero of that scene. Please note, therefore, that this difference refers to the time during which Frodo rode solo on Asfaloth and was alone on his way to the River Bruinen being chased by the Black Riders.
62 The Nazgul during the chase The Black Riders have cast aside their hoods and cloaks and were clothed in white and gray. The Black Riders are still ... uhh ... black riders -- hooded and cloaked.
 Comment: Of course, this is how Frodo sees them due to the effect of the Ring and of his wound from the Morgul blade (along with the piece that is still in his body). It is probably not how Aragorn and the Hobbits see them. Not sure how Glorfindel would have seen them.
63 Frodo feels water swirling about his legs as he crosses the Bruinen In the book. The river is relatively shallow
 Comment: In the book, the River Bruinen must have been three to four feet deep where he crossed.
64 Asfaloth struggles to get up the bank on the other side of the river In the book. Arwen, Frodo, and their horse stand on a relatively flat sandy shore.
65 At the River Bruinen by Rivendell Frodo is defiant and challenges the Nazgul after crossing the river. Arwen challenges the Nazgul after carrying Frodo across the river on horseback.
 Comment: Again, Frodo's character is affected by the omission of his confrontation with the Black Riders.
66 Frodo's tongue and sword Frodo's tongue cleaves to the roof of his mouth and his sword breaks in half when he is cursed by the leader of the black riders. Absent.
67 The Nazgul and the river Three Nazgul enter the river. The river rises up. The rest of the Nazgul are hesitant but plunge into the raging river when Glorfindel, Strider, and the hobbits charge at them with fire brands. All are swept away. All Nazgul enter the river and are swept away.
 Comment: The point of this Difference is that there is a change in the sequence of when the Nazgul enter the river (and how many enter the river) before the river rises up to sweep them away.
68 White flames seemed to flicker on the crest of the waves In the book. Absent.
69 Horse heads in waves of the river 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. Arwen causes the river to rise up. She must have caused the horse heads, since there is no other explanation given for the flood.
 Comment 1: More of the unnecessary beefing up of the Arwen character.
 Comment 2: One person emailed me to say that the screenwriters had to make Arwen into more of a viable love interest for Aragorn. If the book was strictly portrayed, it might be hard for viewers not familiar with the story to understand why Aragorn spurns Eowyn for Arwen. By giving Arwen more play in all three films (she isn't even mentioned in the TTT volume), Aragorn's decision made more sense. The writer may have a point. Something to think about.
70 Glorfindel and the company run toward the Black Riders. The horses bolt into the River Bruinen and are carried away by the surging waters. In the book. Not in the movie.
Book 2, Chapter 1 - "Many Meetings"
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Extended Version
71 Arwen Arwen appears first at Elrond's side with Aragorn at the feast that is given in Frodo's honor after he wakes up from a coma. She does not speak. Arwen is an elf warrior and rescues Frodo on the way to Rivendell. Elrond disapproves of the Aragorn-Arwen romance.
 Comment: The change to the character of Arwen sends ripples throughout the screenplay.  There were even plans to place Arwen as a warrior among the elves at Helm's Deep.  The filmmakers limited the expansion of her part in the story in the second film to some dream sequences and a scene between her and her father, Elrond, which is based on some of the appendices; and her part was expanded in the third film to show her on death's door (which wasn't in the book).
72 Frodo's conversation with Gloin In the book. Not in the movie.
 Comment: Gloin is very quickly seen at one point.  You may see a glimpse of an old, white-haired dwarf.
73 The relationship of Frodo and Bilbo in Rivendell Bilbo asks Frodo if he can see the Ring. Frodo is reluctant. When he brings it out, Frodo no longer hears the elves singing or talking. A "shadow" comes over him, and he sees Bilbo as a wrinkled creature with groping hands. Bilbo notices the look in Frodo's face, passes his hand over his face, and tells Frodo to put the Ring away. Bilbo sees the Ring accidentally when he is giving Frodo the mithril armor. Bilbo immediately is interested, and special effects portray a transformation of Bilbo into having predatory look. Frodo is shocked.
 Comment 1: No one was physically transformed in the book as portrayed in the movie. A "shadow" came between Frodo and Bilbo which was the effect of the Ring on Frodo's mind. Frodo, under the influence of the Ring, saw Bilbo through this shadow as a creature somewhat like Gollum: grasping after the Ring. But Bilbo saw the change of expression in Frodo's face because of Frodo's reaction to what Frodo thought he was seeing. It is possible that Frodo had sensed some kind of eagerness in Bilbo's demeanor. Admittedly, this is very subtle and would be virtually impossible to portray in the movie.
 Comment 2: Frodo was at the exact point needed to carry the Ring to its destination. He was somewhat under its influence, so he was protective of it. It may be because he was somewhat under its influence (along with being close to Mt. Doom) that he could exert some kind of power over Gollum for a time. Of course, it took the intervention of Gollum and an accident (but who knows how much Gollum's breaking of his vow to the Ring added to this) in order for the Ring to be destroyed. But Frodo was wary of anyone, including Boromir, when it came to the Ring. Yet his personality wasn't destroyed by it yet. Plus he was physically capable of accomplishing the task. Bilbo wasn't at that point anymore.
 Comment 3: This event occurs in the book before the Council of Elrond. It occurs in the movie after the Council of Elrond when Bilbo is giving Frodo his gifts. The event isn't portrayed exactly in the book, since the book's version is more nuanced. The screenwriters probably felt they didn't have time to portray the full event, and the way they showed it is more dramatic.
Book 2, Chapter 2 - "The Council of Elrond"
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Extended Version
74 The Council of Elrond The Council was attended by Elrond, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gloin, Gimli, Erestor, Galdor from the Grey Havens, Frodo, and Bilbo. The Council was attended by Elrond, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, and Frodo. There are others who were unnamed, so this may not be a true difference.  Bilbo is missing.
75 Elrond tells the story of Isildur being counseled to destroy the Ring Elrond and Cirdan counsel Isildur to destroy the Ring in the Cracks of Doom. Elrond counsels Isildur to destroy the Ring. Cirdan is not mentioned.
76 The sword that was broken (2) Boromir first sees it when Aragorn/Strider/Dunedain throws the pieces on the table during the Council of Elrond. Boromir first sees it on display in a museum-like room in Rivendell before the Council of Elrond.
 Comment: There is much information (they are really hints) about the sword Narsil. Apparently, the sword that was broken would not be reforged until the 3rd movie (it is reforged in the 1st volume of the book (FotR)). Arwen will bring it to Aragorn at a critical point in the fight at Minas Tirith. It is the excuse for another "Arwen" moment.
77 The sword that was broken (3) The sword was broken in two pieces. The sword was broken in several pieces.
 Comment 1: There is much information (they are really hints) about the sword Narsil. Apparently, the sword that was broken would not be reforged until the 3rd movie (it is reforged in the 1st volume of the book (FotR)). There were rumors that Arwen would bring the sword to Aragorn at a critical point in the fight at Minas Tirith in another "Arwen" moment. What happened was that Arwen was on the point of dying, requested that Elrond reforge the sword and deliver it to Aragorn. Then Elrond brought it to Aragorn just before Aragorn entered the Paths of the Dead.
 Comment 2: It is easier to believe that two pieces could be forged together and retain its strength.
78 Gloin's report about the messenger from Mordor In the book. Not in the movie.
79 He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, heir of Isildur son of Elendil (or words similar to them) This revelation was spoken by Elrond. This revelation was spoken by Legolas.
80 Boromir and Aragorn Boromir is not disrespectful of Aragorn. Boromir says that Gondor doesn't need a king.
 Comment: In the book, Boromir shows Aragorn a certain amount of respect. In the movie, Boromir expresses the opinions expressed by Denethor in the book.
81 Frodo brings out the Ring Gandalf asks Frodo to bring out the Ring. Elrond asks Frodo to bring out the Ring.
82 Gimli tries to destroy the Ring with his ax Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment: This one is OK. It kind of replaces Gandalf's coaxing of Frodo at Bag End to destroy the Ring. It is the movie's way of illustrating the indestructibility of the Ring. See Difference #18.
83 Gandalf's report to the Council (1):
Gandalf's captivity
Gandalf describes his captivity at the hands of Saruman. The movie shows the confrontation between Saruman and Gandalf. It is not shown as a flashback during a report of Gandalf.
84 Gandalf's report to the Council (2):
Gollum - his capture, imprisonment, and escape from the elves of Mirkwood
Present and accounted for. Absent.
85 Gandalf's report to the Council (3):
Radagast the Brown
Present and accounted for. Radagast is the reason that Gwahir the king of the eagles came and rescued Gandalf from Orthanc. Absent.
 Comment 1: Radagast is a minor figure in the book. His purpose is to get Gandalf to Orthanc and assist in his capture. Both are easily dealt with in the movie. Gandalf is rescued by an eagle after speaking to a moth.
 Comment 2: This may not really be a true difference, since the moth could be reference to Radagast. The moth flies to Radagast who sends the eagle.
86 Gandalf's report to the Council (4):
Saruman and his garment of Many Colors
Present and accounted for. Absent. Never dealt with in the movie.
87 Gandalf's report to the Council (5):
The Palantir
Saruman does not show the palantir to Gandalf. Even when Wormtongue attempts to kill Gandalf or Theoden with the Palantir, Gandalf does not suspect what it is. It isn't until after Pippin steals the Palantir from Gandalf (TTT: Book 3, Chap 11) that Gandalf discovers that the Palantir is the link between Saruman and Sauron. Saruman shows Gandalf the Palantir in an attempt to enlist him to Sauron's side.
 Comment: The story must be changed in the third movie. Gandalf does not have to discover what that glass ball is that was thrown at his head.
88 Gandalf's report to the Council (6):
The confrontation of Saruman and Gandalf
Gandalf does not put up a fight. Gandalf and Saruman have a knock-down drag-out fight, but it is portrayed earlier in the story -- more chronologically.
89 Gandalf's report to the Council (7):
Saruman and Sauron
Saruman offers Gandalf a partnership with him in the possession of the Ring. After showing Gandalf the Palantir, Saruman offers Gandalf a place in the relationship with Sauron.
90 Gandalf's report to the Council (8)
The top of Orthanc
The top of Orthanc has a narrow stair of many thousands of steps which Gandalf could have used to escape. There is no escape from the top of Orthanc by a stairway.
 Comment: I get dizzy just from the thought of a stair going down the side of Orthanc.
91 Gandalf's report to the Council (9)
Gandalf's rescue
Gandalf is rescued by the eagle (which is probably there because of Radagast the Brown) and taken to Rohan where he gets a horse. Gandalf is rescued by an eagle after speaking to a moth. No information is given how Gandalf gets to Elrond's house.
92 Gandalf's report to the Council (10):
Present and accounted for. Absent.
 Comment: Shadowfax is introduced in the second movie. That's OK.
93 Frodo's offer to be the Ringbearer Frodo makes the offer when everyone is silently contemplating the situation. Frodo makes the offer when everyone is arguing.
94 Who barges into the Council of Elrond. Sam Merry and Pippin and Sam
95 Pippin: "Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission . . . quest . . . thingy." Kind of in the book. Pippin and the Hobbits are talking to Gandalf just after the Council of Elrond, and Pippin says that he would like to go, because the expedition needed someone of intelligence. In the movie, the conversation takes place at the Council.
 Comment: A modern touch. Though there is somewhat of a similar statement by Pippin, here is another example of the way that the Hobbits are portrayed.
Book 2, Chapter 3 - "The Ring Goes South"
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Extended Version
96 Frodo's desire Frodo wants to stay in Rivendell with Bilbo. Frodo wants to return to the Shire with Sam.
97 The Mithril Coat Bilbo calls the mithril coat of mail "dwarf-mail." Bilbo says that the mithril coat of mail was made by the elves.
 Comment 1: When Bilbo is given the mithril coat of mail in The Hobbit, Tolkien describes it as "a small coat of mail, wrought for some elf-prince long ago." When Bilbo gives it to Frodo, he describes it as "dwarf-mail." When Aragorn first sees it at the edge of Lothlorien he says, "Here is a pretty hobbit skin to wrap an elven princeling in." So Tolkien was saying that it was made by the dwarves for an elf-prince, not that it was made by the elves. Mithril was mined by the dwarves, but it was prized by both dwarves and elves (and men, I guess). Both dwarves and elves used it to make beautiful things. But in the final analysis, this Difference does not have too much affect on the story.
 Comment 2: The mithril coat of mail saves Frodo's life multiple times. He is saved from the spear thrust by the troll in Moria, and he is saved in the tower of Minas Morgul when the orcs fight over it in their greed.
98 The Nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring The Nine members were chosen long after the end of the Council of Elrond. The Nine members were chosen just at the end of the Council of Elrond.
99 The Fellowship sets out At night. During the day.
100 The birds Most of the Fellowship is asleep during the day, so only Sam and Aragorn see the birds. All of the Fellowship are awake and moving around, and they all see the birds.
101 The argument about whether to go through Moria This argument takes place between Gandalf and Aragorn. Gandalf wants to go through Moria. This argument takes place between Gandalf and Gimli. Gimli wants to go through Moria.
 Comment: In the book, Aragorn is against going through Moria.  He and Gandalf had gone into Moria from the other direction at some point in the past, and Aragorn had a feeling that the conditions in Moria would be much worse this time.  Later, after Gandalf falls into the abyss, Aragorn says, "Did I not say to you: if you pass the doors of Moria, beware!"  See Difference #109 and Difference #134.
102 Frodo loses the Ring in the snow, and Boromir picks it up. Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment: It is through this little event that the filmmakers show a connection between Boromir and the Ring. It is not in the book. The book implies that the Ring has an effect on member(s) of the Fellowship without the necessity of there being physical contact.
103 The snow on Caradhras At first it is implied that Sauron had brought the snow. The rest of the conversation mentions the mountain Caradhras itself as the culprit. Gimli says that the mountain hates both dwarves and elves. Saruman causes all the trouble on Caradhras.
 Comment: n comparison to the book this is an amplification of Saruman's power in the story.  It also takes away from forces of nature that aren't related to Sauron or Saruman or the struggle concerning the Ring.
104 "There are fell voices." Spoken by Boromir. Spoken by Legolas.
 Comment: It kind of makes sense, though Gimli would know about Caradhras.
105 Gandalf carries a flask of miruvor. In the book. Gandalf gives some to the Hobbits who have been hit hard by the conditions on Caradhras. Not in the movie.
 Comment: Gandalf gives out some more miruvor in Moria after their confrontation with the monster of the pool.
106 Frodo drops the Ring on the way up Caradhras Not in the book. In the movie.
Book 2, Chapter 4 - "A Journey In The Dark"
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Extended Version
107 The first overflight of the Nazgul All of the fellowship feels something fly over. This event occurs before the Wargs attack. Absent.
 Comment: This is very early in the story. I had forgotten how early in the story a flying Nazgul was felt. I always remembered about the time Legolas shoots one from the sky when they are floating down the Anduin, but this one occurs so early, and so much happens after it. Details like this are interesting.
108 The Wargs (wild wolves) Present and accounted for. Absent.
109 The choice to go through the Mines of Moria Gandalf actually campaigns for this choice. He says that he was originally the one to suggest it. Aragorn is against it and is very afraid of Moria, because he had been in Moria through the entrance at Dimril Dale and the memory is still too painful. Boromir and Legolas are not in favor of going through Moria. The appearance of the Wargs makes their decision. They cannot go South, and they do not want to go back to Rivendell. Gandalf is very afraid of going through Moria. The company decides to go through Moria after being defeated on Caradhras.
 Comment 1: The Wargs were moved to "The Two Towers" movie. Don't know why.  See Difference #101 and Difference #134.
 Comment 2: Some see some subtle changes to the character of Gimli between the movie and the book in relation to Moria. They say that Gimli had hope in the movie but not in the book. I don't see the difference. He was always hopeful that the contingent of dwarves that went to Moria were successful -- even though they had not received word directly from them for a while. Messengers from Sauron implied something had happened, but Gimli seemed to have hope that they were alive right up until he saw the memorial.
110 The Gate of Moria Gandalf mumbles an incantation for the artwork of ithildin (also known as silvermoon) to appear. The moon comes out from behind a cloud, and the artwork is visible.
111 Stone tossed in the lake at door of Moria (1) Boromir tosses the stone. Pippin tosses the stone.
 Comment: More of the attempt to make the Hobbits look naive and foolish
112 Stone tossed in the lake at door of Moria (2) Frodo asks Boromir to stop throwing stones in the lake, because he has a bad feeling about it. Aragorn asks Pippin to stop.
 Comment: More of the attempt to make the Hobbits look naive and foolish. Boromir is obviously bored, and he doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic about the whole mission. This event is another early indication that Boromir is a problem for the Company. He is even more overt in his feelings with some of the things he says when they begin to run into trouble.
113 Who thought of the password? Gandalf finally remembers the password (the meaning of the phrase over the door) after he is left alone for a while -- though it is actually Merry who makes a statement that is the stimulus for Gandalf figuring it out. Frodo suggests the meaning of the phrase over the door.
114 The monster in the pool in front of the Gate of Moria Light green with at least twenty tentacles. There was a hideous stench. No head or mouth is mentioned. Dark gray with a dark green tint and at least twenty tentacles. No indication that anyone smelled a stench. A head and mouth are shown.
115 The monster and Frodo The monster grabs Frodo and drags him toward the pool. The tentacles drag him and then pick him up in the air.
116 Gandalf's comment about the monster after the gate is destroyed Gandalf says that the monster in the pool either crept out or was driven out by something deep in the mountain. Not in the movie.
 Comment: Tolkien meant this comment to be one that would forbode the meeting with the Balrog. Of course, it was the Balrog that was awakened by the dwarves, and it was probably the Balrog that drove the monster from the roots of the mountain. I'm not sure how many people remember this statement when they are reading the book for the first time when the Balrog appears. The drama is gripping, and one's attention is commanded by the writing. However, people who read the book multiple times will certainly perk up when they read it. Now and then, Tolkien gave clues of what would happen in the future.
Book 2, Chapter 5 - "The Bridge of Khazad-Dum"
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117 Glamdring and Sting Both glow in the presence of Orcs. Only Sting glows.
 Comment: Glamdring doesn't glow in any of the movies even though it is an elven sword.
118 Light Gandalf provides light with his staff. Aragorn has a torch.
119 The well Pippin drops a stone into a well to find out how deep it is. Pippin touches an armored skeleton. It falls into the well with a loud crash.
 Comment: Stone or armor -- who cares? Makes little difference. But there is one thing. Here is one instance in the book where Pippin does something that could, in the evaluation of Gandalf and in his later hindsight, be seen as consistent with the moronic mentality portrayed in the film. The Hobbits didn't yet realize what danger they were in. Sometimes they would lose sight of the danger and were willing to just have a little fun. One thing it shows is that Hobbits are by nature very curious.
120 Sighting of Gollum (1) Frodo hears footpads and sees two large eyes. This is probably Gollum. Gollum is not identified or mentioned yet. Frodo mentions to Gandalf that he thinks something is following them. Gandalf identifies it as Gollum.
 Comment 1: Was Gollum waiting for them in Moria? It is hard to conceive of Gollum being able to follow them around the pool and through the Gate of Moria without being seen. Then how did he know that the Fellowship was coming through the western gate, and how did he end up near the gate waiting for them? The Fellowship took the route through Moria only after attempting Caradhras and ruling out the southern path near Orthanc. Here is what happened. In TA 3017 Gollum was released by Mordor and then captured by Aragorn. Aragorn takes him to Thranduil in Mirkwood. Then on June 20, TA 3018, Sauron attacks Osgiliath, but at about the same time Thranduil is attacked and Gollum escapes. The elves searched for Gollum, but all traces of him were lost. He was also being hunted by the servants of Sauron. He decided to hide from everybody in Moria, a place he certainly would have been comfortable in. If he tried to get out through the western gate, he was stymied by the Watcher in the pool. He had to be very careful not to get caught by orcs, though Sauron may have wanted him as an extra "hunter" of the Ring. On September 22, Frodo and Bilbo's birthday, Frodo and the Hobbits left the Shire. On December 25, TA 3018, Frodo departed from Rivendell. On January 13, TA 3019, the Fellowship reached the western gate of Moria. Soon after that, Gollum was seen by members of the Fellowship for the first time. The gap between when Gollum escaped and when he was sighted in Moria was nearly seven months.
 Comment 2: This is the first sighting of Gollum. The others in FotR are: FotR140, FotR148, FotR149.
121 Chamber of Mazarbul (1): where they find the tomb of Balin and the dwarf journal The chamber has two doors. The company wedges closed one of the doors. They escape out the second door after the first door is broken open. The chamber has only one door. The company has to fight their way out.
 Comment: Affects how they escape from the orcs, troll(s), and Balrog.
122 Chamber of Mazarbul (2) First place where the Fellowship sees armor and skeletons/corpses. The Fellowship first see armor and skeletons/corpses inside the Gate of Moria.
123 Frodo gets speared Frodo is speared by an Orc chieftain. Frodo is speared by a cave troll.
 Comment: Doesn't really matter who spears Frodo. Frodo's armor is the point of this part of the story.
124 The orcs cower before the Balrog This occurs outside the door of the Chamber of Mazarbul where Balin is entombed. Gandalf is putting a spell on the door as the Balrog approaches the door. The rest of the Company has fled out the second door. This occurs outside Chamber of Mazarbul after the battle in the chamber when the Company has been surrounded by Orcs. (This is necessary, because they eliminated one of the doors to the Chamber of Mazarbul.)
 Comment: This may be a time-saver (or maybe even a money-saver) for the movie. In the movie, the flight to the Bridge is simplified. In the book, the orcs cower before the Balrog as he approaches the door, the Company goes down an extra passage, flees toward the bridge, while trolls lay large slabs of stone across gaps that allow the Balrog and orcs to follow the Company. In the movie, the orcs cower and flee as the Balrog rounds a corner, the company flee toward the bridge, the Balrog follows. The movie makers saved a little money not having to create the scene where the Balrog defeats Gandalf's spell at the door (see Difference #125) or the scene with trolls laying down slabs of stone. It seems a little awkward to me to have the orcs flee as the Balrog come around the corner, but it is OK in the end.
125 Gandalf and the Balrog Gandalf tells the company to leave the Chamber of Mazarbul. He stays behind to put a spell on the door. He feels a presence on the other side which has as much or more power than he does. He still does not know that it is a Balrog. He does not seem to know that he is facing Durin's Bane. They do not encounter the Balrog until the Bridge of Khazad-Dum.
126 The fiery chasm Since the company leaves by the second doorway in the Chamber of Mazarbul, they end up on the other side of a fiery chasm from the orcs. Two trolls come up and place large flat stones down to allow the orcs to cross. All of them wait until the Balrog goes across. The company is chased across the Bridge. There is no other chasm.
127 Recognition that they are facing a Balrog Legolas announces that it is a Balrog. Gandalf announces that it is a Balrog.
128 Gimli, "Nobody tosses a dwarf!" Not in the book. In the movie. A nice touch.
 Comment: A humorous attempt to update the dialogue. It was pretty funny, and, for that reason, it was OK. It was a little too much when they did it again in the second film.
129 Aragorn and Frodo teeter on part of the stairs Not in the book. In the movie.
130 Gandalf's staff breaks as he smites the bridge In the book. Not in the movie.
 Comment: I received an email with the comment that the breaking of Gandalf's staff shows how much power Gandalf used to destroy the bridge in the hopes that the Balrog would fall to his doom. I'm including it here as a comment.
131 The fire sword of the Balrog breaks against Glamdring which is wielded by Gandalf In the book. In the movie, the fire sword breaks against a shielded area around Gandalf.
132 Gandalf and the whip of the Balrog The whip of the Balrog curls around Gandalf's knees. The whip of the Balrog curls around Gandalf's ankles.
133 "Fly, you fools!" Gandalf says this as he is falling into the chasm. Gandalf says this as he hangs by his fingertips.
Book 2, Chapter 6 - "Lothlorien"
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Extended Version
134 Aragorn's statement about his warning to Gandalf about going into Moria. In the book. Not in the movie.
 Comment:  See Difference #101 and Difference #109.
135 Frodo's mithril armor Revealed just outside of Lothlorien. Revealed in the Chamber of Mazarbul before they flee.
136 The warning not to go into Lothlorien (that few that go in come out, etc.) Stated by Boromir. Stated by Gimli.
 Comment: Tolkien has Boromir make this statement as a further indication that there is a problem brewing with Boromir. The movie adds it to Gimli in order to make to the eventual change of heart of Gimli more profound. I see the reasons.
137 "You breathe so loud, they could shoot you in the dark." Legolas translates this statement of the elves of Lothlorien for the company. Sam covers his mouth. Probably intended to refer to the company as a whole. A similar statement is specifically said of Gimli.
138 The elves fight the orcs who are pursuing the Fellowship. In the book. Not in the movie.
139 The elves spot Gollum but don't shoot him, because they don't know if he is evil. In the book. Not in the movie.
140 Sighting of Gollum (2) Climbing up a tree in Lothlorien towards Frodo (though he is not named yet). Not in the movie.
 Comment: This is the second sighting of Gollum. The others are:  FotR120, FotR148, FotR149.
141 The fellowship is blindfolded In the book. Not in the movie.
 Comment: The fellowship is blindfolded together as an act of solidarity. The blindfolding of the fellowship further emphasizes the relationship between elves and dwarves.
Book 2, Chapter 7 - "The Mirror of Galadriel"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
142 The Mirror of Galadriel Sam and Frodo look into the mirror. Frodo looks into the mirror.
 Comment: One person wrote me to say that it was important for Sam to look into the mirror, since that is the reason why he wanted to go back to the Shire right away -- to help the old Gaffer.
143 Galadriel's ring after looking in the Mirror of Galadriel In the book. Frodo sees her ring as Galadriel waves goodbye. Same as the book.
144 Warning from Galadriel not to touch the Mirror In the book. Not in the movie.
145 Galadriel tells Frodo that to be the Ringbearer means that he must be alone. Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment: Implies to Frodo that he must go off to Mordor alone. Of course, this is added by the filmmakers 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.
146 Warning from Galadriel that someone in the Company might attempt to steal the Ring Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment: Foreshadows Boromir's attempt to take the ring.
Book 2, Chapter 8 - "Farewell to Lorien"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
147 Gifts to the Company Before they leave Lothlorien, rope is placed in each boat by the elves. Later, Galadriel gives a box of earth with a seed in it to Sam. She gives Frodo a vial. She gives Gimli some hair. She gives Boromir a belt of gold, and Merry and Pippin receive belts of silver. She gives the company cloaks. Not in the movie. The only gift given to Sam is rope. He doesn't receive the seed or the soil.
 Comment 1: Affects the third film. The filmmakers decided to not show a party tree, so not having the seed of the new party tree was the natural result. I think they could have easily had Sam carry the seed throughout his travels. I guess the problem was finding trees in that part of New Zealand. When you looked at Meduseld or Edoras in the second film and then look at the surrounding scene, you have to wonder why the city was made entirely of wood. No trees in sight. I guess they could have built a tree. They certainly did that for Lothlorien and Fangorn. I was actually looking forward to the tree and to Sam planting the seed and seeing it grow. Not sure why.
 Comment 2: Actually, in the book, rope is placed in each boat.
Book 2, Chapter 9 - "The Great River"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
148 Sighting of Gollum (3) Gollum is on a log behind Gimli's boat following the company down the Anduin River from Lothlorien. Sam and Aragorn see him at night. Not in the movie. Boromir sees Gollum. He is on a log, but he does not approach any of the boats. His log runs aground across the river.
 Comment: This is the third sighting of Gollum. The others are:  FotR120, FotR140, FotR149.
149 Sighting of Gollum (4) Gollum is seen at night by Frodo trying to come ashore near their boats. Not in the movie.
 Comment: This is the fourth sighting of Gollum. The others are:  FotR120, FotR140, FotR148.
150 Legolas shoots at a flying Ringwraith The company is shot at with arrows by Orcs (probably the Uruk-Hai) on the western shore of the River. A creature flies overhead, and fear is cast on the company. Legolas cries out, "Elbereth Gilthoniel!" He shoots at the creature. There is a scream, and the flying creature plunges to the land west of the River. Not in the movie.
151 When the company approaches the statues of Isildur and Anarion, Frodo cowers in the boat, Boromir bows his head, and Strider is transformed. In the book. Strider isn't transformed, Frodo doesn't cower, and Boromir doesn't bow his head.
 Comment: It would be difficult to show Strider "transformed" in the movie. He does look at the statues in wonder. However, the filmmakers could easily have shown Boromir bow and Frodo cower.
Book 2, Chapter 10 - "The Breaking of the Fellowship"
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
152 "A shadow and a threat" Aragorn says that a "shadow and a threat has been growing in his sleep" -- probably a reference to him sensing that there are Orcs (probably the Uruk-Hai) on the western shore. Legolas says that there is a "shadow and a threat."
153 Frodo goes off by himself Frodo asks for an hour to try to make the decision of which way to go. Frodo disappears by himself. When his absence is discovered, everyone becomes concerned.
154 Frodo's conversation with Boromir Frodo and Boromir sit side by side until Frodo mentions the Ring. Then Boromir stands up and starts to argue against destroying the Ring. Then he puts his hand on Frodo's shoulder, and Frodo feels his excitement. Not in the movie.
155 Frodo's escape from Boromir Frodo keeps a stone between himself and Boromir (both are standing), and then he slips the Ring on before Boromir lunges at him. Boromir grabs Frodo. Frodo slips the Ring on while Boromir is on top of him, and Boromir can't keep hold of Frodo.
 Comment: At first, I thought that the scene looked like the filmmakers were implying that Frodo was untouchable. Then I received a couple emails arguing that when Frodo slipped the Ring on and disappeared, Boromir took his hands off of him in surprise. Then Frodo was able to avoid his clutches. In the book, Boromir never lays a finger on him. Frodo is already suspicious of him.
156 Frodo feels the Eye searching for him Frodo feels this for the first time on Amon Hen. Frodo feels the Eye searching for him every time he puts the Ring on.
Events transferred from "The Two Towers" volume
Theatrical Release
Extended Version
157 Lurtz, the orc (actually the Uruk-Hai) who leads the group from Orthanc Not in the book. In the movie.
 Comment 1: This event is transferred to the end of the first movie from the second volume.
 Comment 2: This difference is inconsequential. It is good to have a leader of the Uruk-Hai, someone you can love to hate. It was good to see Aragorn kill him. In the book, however, the leaders of the Uruk-Hai group were intact when they began the trip back to Orthanc. That is not portrayed in the second movie.
158 Whose orcs (actually they were Uruk-Hai) are they? It is not revealed whether the orcs are from Sauron or from Saruman. It is revealed that the orcs are Saruman's.
 Comment 1: This event is transferred to the end of the first movie from the second volume.
 Comment 2: It is not revealed in the book at first whether the orcs are from Sauron or Saruman. More information is revealed later in book 2, so the revelation of the fact that the orcs are from Saruman is an important point of surprise, since up to that point you had no idea in the book about how far Saruman had sunk.
159 Symbol used by Orcs of Saruman. An S-rune. White hand.
 Comment: I am using the term Orc over and over again to refer to the Uruk-Hai who captured Merry and Pippin in order to take them back to Saruman. I understand there are some differences between true orcs and the Uruk-Hai, but in my view they are still a variation of Orc.
160 The fight with the Orcs, the death of Boromir, and the capture of Merry and Pippin by the orcs Not in "Fellowship of the Ring." These events occur at the beginning of the second book, "Two Towers." The first book ends with Merry and Pippin running off to find Frodo, and Frodo and Sam slipping off in one of the boats. I guess this wasn't dramatic enough nor was it enough of a cliff-hanger for the movie makers. "And that's OK." These events were taken from the second book and placed in the first movie.
 Comment: This event is transferred to the end of the first movie from the second volume.
161 Frodo and Aragorn With the Ring on, Frodo makes his way down toward camp. After Boromir comes into camp, everyone tries to find Frodo. Aragorn runs up to the top of Parth Galen, but he doesn't find Frodo. Frodo meets Aragorn after escaping from Boromir, and he offers Aragorn the Ring.
 Comment: This is an unnecessary addition, but I don't see how it affects the overall story. The filmmakers inserted a similar scene that Frodo has with Galadriel (which was in the book and the movie), and they show that Aragorn refuses the Ring. In the book, Aragorn runs up to the top of Parth Galen, but he doesn't find Frodo. Then he hears the sounds of battle and runs back towards camp.
162 The death of Boromir and capture of Merry and Pippin In book 2. In movie 1.
 Comment: This event actually happens in the second volume. I can see the reason for moving it. Of course, the "Lord of the Rings" was intended by Tolkien to be a continuous story to be published in one volume. So moving this event to the first movie is not a big deal.
   As I state above, I have read the book several times in order to glean the above Differences. Much of what is on this page is based on my observations, but I have also received help, suggestions, and criticisms from the following people. I mention them with their permission.
   Greg Bressler, Mike Desanto, Robert Hoch, Larry Autry, Adele Bayliss, Phil Boswell, Nick Britton, Bob Criky, Gary Camera, Jason Etheridge, Melanie Fellion, Charles Floyd, Ben Griggs, Paul Holt, Marc Humpert, Nate Landry, Keith Lashbrook, Emiley Mullins, Marshall Platt.

Sites that may be of interest:

  • ign.com on LotR
  • The Encyclopedia of Arda
  • The Seat of Kings - FotR Theatrical Release Script
  • Wikipedia.org article on the movie
  • Wikipedia.org article on the book
  • The Land of Shadow
  • The Land of Shadow - The Morder Map
  • If you noticed other Differences
    or if you have any comments,
    feel free to contact me at:
    Gary's Home Page

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