Frodo and Sam at Osgiliath? Frodo offering the Ring to a Nazgul? Why would PJ do that? Is there a reason behind the madness?
Although many fans of the book responded emotionally to the changes made in the TTT movie, I think we must give PJ the benifit of the doubt. He didn’t just throw these movies together. There must be a logical reason for the changes.
Let’s look at the Osgiliath scene in the movie. Frodo and Sam are taken by Faramir to Osgiliath. While they are there Frodo goes into a dream-like state and offers the Ring to a Nazgul. Later, after hearing Sam’s speach, Faramir has a change of heart and lets the Hobbits go on to Mordor.
Does this ruin the whole plot? Doesn’t Souron now know where the Ring is? Won’t he be looking for the Ring on the border of Mordor?
I admit that I do not have any inside information on why PJ and his team made these changes, but what follows is my opinion and reasoning.
First of all having Faramir take the Hobbits down to Osgiliath helps the dramatic tension of the film. In the book the Hobbits travel alone in this same general direction with not much of anything happening. In the movie we fear for the Hobbits and the quest. It helps get the Hobbits from point A to point B in a more interesting way.
The Nazgul scene with Frodo is a little harder to explain. But I think it still works. If the Nazgul sees Frodo and the Ring at Osgiliath what is he going to do? He reports to Souron that the Ring is in Osgiliath. Osgiliath=Gondor. Thus Souron now knows that the Ring has made it to Gondor. He will assume that somebody of great power in Gondor will use the Ring to try and destroy him. The idea that anybody in Gondor would willingly give up the Ring would never enter his mind. His next move would be to step up his timetable and attack Gondor. Meanwhile Faramir has done the unthinkable and let the Hobbits go on to Mordor. Thus we end up with the same idea as the book. Souron rushes to face Gondor while the Hobbits sneak right up to the Crack of Doom.
Frodo’s temptation to give the Ring to the Nazgul is also a concept from the TTT book. However, in the book Frodo is tempted to take the Ring to the Witch King in Minus Morgul. This is the very doorsteps of Mordor. The Witch King even feels the Ring while he leads his army out of Mordor. Yet Souron continues to focus on Gondor. So, I don’t think that having a Nazgul see Frodo with the Ring at Osgiliath ruins the plot at all.
In the end it seems that PJ is leading us down the right path. Sure there are diferences, but the basic concept is the same. The end results are the same. And what seems like madness may actually be very reasonable movie making.