Fellowship Of The Rings’ Biggest Book Changes Help Make It The Best LOTR Movie Ever

Peter Jackson’s First Lord of the Rings delivery, The Fellowship of the Ring, was released in 2001 and, notably, made a few changes from the source material, changes that help make it the best film in the acclaimed series. Jackson’s trilogy is widely considered one of the best of all time, receiving critical acclaim as well as being a huge box office success. The trilogy was completed with the consecutive releases of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Y The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

As mentioned above, The Lord of the Rings films are universally acclaimed, due in part to the equally acclaimed series of books on which the films are based, written by JRR Tolkien. The book series was published in three separate volumes, with each title being attributed to each film in Jackson’s trilogy, between 1954 and 1955. The books have since become one of the best-selling series ever written. Tolkien’s works have become the basis for countless adaptations, as well as other derivative interpretations, in film, television, video games, and other book series, and have helped create and shape the modern fantasy genre.

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Jackson first threw a Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1995, the first film being an adaptation of The Hobbit and the next two movies that adapt all three LOTR books. This proved difficult in terms of acquiring the film rights for The Hobbita series Jackson later directedand finally, The Lord of the rings trilogy was greenlit at New Line Cinema. Production then began in 1997, with all three films being shot simultaneously between 1999 and 2000. While the films are known to capture the essence, characters, and overall story of Tolkien’s novels very well, there were some changes in certain elements in Jackson’s films: particularly The Fellowship of the Ring-that helped it become the best film in an already acclaimed trilogy.


Characters from the lost book of Fellowship Of The Ring


Arguably the biggest change from the first volume of the book series comes in the absence of certain characters from Jackson’s film. In the book, shortly after Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, the four heroic characters of the Hobbit, Setting out to take the Ring to Rivendell, they wander through the Old Forest and encounter a humanoid creature of an unspecified race named Tom Bombadil. Bombadil appears when Frodo and Sam ask for help after Merry and Pippin are captured by Old Man Willow, an evil willow tree who wants to rule the Old Forest, and sings the tree to sleep, rescuing the two Hobbits. Tom Bombadil later saves the Hobbits a second time, after they are captured by a barrow in the Barrow Downs. These facts occupy three of the twelve chapters of the first half of the book. The Fellowship of the Ringclearly playing an important role in the early stages of Frodo’s journey.


Peter Jackson’s film adaptation omits this section entirely, with no appearance, or even mention, of Tom Bombadil, Old Man Willow, or the Barrow-downs. The film simply shows the Hobbits evading the Nazgul before reaching Bree. However, Jackson’s reasoning for this omission is justified. When he was asked about Tom Bombadil’s absence from Fellowship, Jackson explained that he and his co-writers felt the character did little to advance the overall story and would have made the film feel unnecessarily long. Given that the film is already 178 minutes long and the extended edition is a massive 228 minutes long, it’s understandable why Jackson felt the need to omit characters and events that don’t directly factor into the series’ driving narrative.


In the appendices of The Lord of the rings DVD Extended EditionJackson justified his exclusion from this section of the book, citing Old Man Willow as an example: “So, you know, what does Old Man Willow bring to the story of Frodo wearing the ring? … it’s not really moving our story forward and it’s not telling us things we need to know.” From this, it’s clear that Jackson and his team had Frodo’s journey at the center of their minds when creating this film, choosing only to omit sections of the book that don’t directly affect the story’s thread. Arguably the only impact Bombadil had on the Hobbits was his gift of weaponry, giving the four Hobbits a sword each, something attributed to Aragorn in the film version. Not only does this make sense given Aragorn’s mission to protect the Hobbits from Bree to Rivendell, but the scene is incorporated into other sequences in the film, shortening the running time as Jackson intended the absence of the Old Forest to do.


Related: Lord of the Rings series in order (including Hobbit, TV show and books)

Added Uruk-Hai fight from Fellowship Of The Ring was great


The Fellowship of the Ring ends with a group of Uruk-Hai fighters, sent by the ancient White Wizard Saruman, attacking the titular Fellowship to retrieve Frodo’s One Ring. In the books, however, this sequence is in The two Towersat the beginning of that book. The decision to move the scene to the end of Fellowship It was great on Peter Jackson’s part. The film then not only has a climactic battle sequence, giving the likes of Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Boromir a chance to put on heroic displays, but it gives the latter a more emotional death scene than if it were kept to the start. The two Towers.

As mentioned above, Boromir’s character, played by Sean Bean, dies towards the end of the battle, after sacrificing himself to try to save Merry and Pippin’s lives. This scene comes shortly after. Boromir of Gondor is corrupted by the Ring and attempts to steal it from Frodo, forcing Frodo to leave the Fellowship behind. The film portrays Boromir’s sacrifice as redemption, similarly to the books, but moving this scene to the end of Fellowship it gives both Boromir’s character and the film as a whole a greater sense of closure.

If the film had shown the Fellowship noticing Frodo’s absence before ending abruptly, it would have been anticlimactic, to say the least. While this works for the book, given the different ways novels and movies can structure stories, it goes without saying that it wouldn’t have worked for a blockbuster movie. The film therefore needed a climactic action sequence, and what better way than to use the scene that immediately follows in the next book, an attack by the Uruk-Hai on behalf of the mighty Saruman, the trilogy’s secondary antagonist. This decision makes the film, despite being the first part of a three-part story, feel self-contained, including its own beginning, middle, and end through the use of this battle sequence and Boromir’s emotionally compelling sacrifice.

Fellowship Of The Ring Timeline Changes Simplified The Movie


Ian McKellen as Gandalf reading in The Lord of the Rings

One of the greatest strengths of The Fellowship of the Ring It’s the movie’s sense of urgency. While the running time is long, at just under three hours, the film never drags on and always keeps the viewer engaged. However, if the movies had included certain elements from the books, this might not have been the case, severely weakening one of the movie’s biggest advantages. For example, in Tolkien’s story, after his uncle Bilbo passes the Ring on to Frodo, Gandalf leaves the Shire and begins an investigation of the Ring because he suspects it to be the Ring. A ring forged by the Dark Lord Sauron. Gandalf does not appear again until seventeen years later, confirming to Frodo that his ring is in fact Sauron’s evil Ring of Power. While the movie doesn’t specify how long Gandalf is away, it certainly doesn’t provide any evidence that the absence lasted seventeen years. In fact, the film portrays Gandalf’s departure and subsequent return to the Shire in some scenes, indicating that only a few days have passed.


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This decision gives the film a much greater sense of urgency, propelling Frodo on his journey just a few scenes after receiving Bilbo’s Ring. Having Frodo age seventeen between these two events wouldn’t have been as shocking, with Frodo’s youthful demeanor in the movies allowing audiences to sympathize more with the Hobbit. It also solidifies the relationship between Frodo and Gandalf, the the friendly but powerful gray wizard from the trilogy, causing them to stay in close contact. Had the film shown Frodo not seeing Gandalf for seventeen years, the estrangement between the two would have negatively impacted later scenes in the film, such as Gandalf’s apparent death and Frodo’s intense grief over this event.

Another small but important timeline change begins in the prologue. Jackson shows the War of the Last Alliance fighting Sauron on the slopes of Mount Doom during the Second Age of Middle-earth. In the books, this battle is more of a siege, lasting seven years in all, before Isildur cuts the Ring from Sauron’s hand. Jackson shows this battle in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ringinstead of choosing to portray it as a single battle, unlike the siege years from JRR Tolkien’s books. This change again simply makes the movie flow better, telling the story in a less complex but streamlined way.


The Lord of the rings trilogy is one of the most acclaimed trilogies of all time, winning a total of seventeen Academy Awards from thirty nominations and earning a combined total of over $2.9 billion at the worldwide box office. It’s evident, given the director’s love and admiration for the source material, that the Jackson trilogy and its exceptional craftsmanship go hand in hand with JRR Tolkien’s beloved books of the 1950s. However, that’s not to say that some of the changes made from page to screen did not benefit the films. More specifically with The Fellowship of the Ring, these changes helped elevate the film above its successors. If the elements from the omitted book were included, even though they function within the original text, it’s no secret that they would have severely affected the tone, characters, urgency, and overall plot of the film, lowering the quality. However, Jackson’s willingness to change these elements helped The Lord of the rings: The Fellowship of the Ring become the best film in a trilogy that is already considered one of the best of modern cinema.


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