Grievances against TTT – Excellent movie; Poor transistion

by Dec 28, 2002Reviews

Hello, fellow Tolkien fanatics. This is my first writing on Tolkien Online, and I must say I’m impressed. I’m very, very pleased to have found such a great community to discuss my favorite book series.

That said, I’d like to offer my opinion of TTT.

I truly think that, had it not been for FOTR being such an excellent book-to-movie transfer, TTT would not have been such a dissapointment. There were few major changes to the story in FOTR. Ommissions were notable, but changes were either minor or did not effect the story too much (Arwen instead of Glorfindel, for example). With that excellent precedent to follow, TTT is a let down. I have now seen it twice (I would’ve prefered more, but money is tight for me right now). I enjoyed it much more the second time, as others have said, but on the whole, I am quite worried about ROTK and the changes that will surely be made to it.

The egregious errors of the film are summed up as follows:

1. Arwen and Aragorn interjections. WHY were those there? An attempt to capture the “love market?” Fulfilling a clause for screen time in Liv Tyler’s contract, maybe? The truth is, a few moments of Aragorn wishing for Arwen would have been sufficient. Nothing about her going to Valinor, nothing about Elrond dissaproving of the marraige, etc.

2. Faramir’s portrayal/Osgiliath. I have read PJ’s justification for Faramir being tempted by the ring, and it does make sense that the film maker does not want to devalue the evilness of the ring by inserting a character who is immune to it. But there were other ways to do it! Faramir could be tempted as Aragorn was in FOTR (whispers on the wind of his name, etc) then reject it in a manner either like his brother on the mountain (“I care not” ) or similar to Gandalf at Bag End (“Don’t tempt me, Frodo!” Leave now before I am further tempted!). There was also no reason at all for the journey to Osgiliath. These two grievances lead us to

3. Incorrect Ending. First, concerning Helm’s Deep. The absence of the Huorns was disappointing, but an ommission that can be glossed over. In the months before the movie, I was anxiously awaiting the conversation between the Rohirrim and Saruman. That chapter is one of my favorites. And where is it in the movie? It’s GONE. It seemed to me that there was no closer after Helm’s Deep. Are we to simply assume that Saruman is completely defeated, even though he is still in Orthanc? Will there be no follow-up?
Now, over to Shelob’s absence. The cliffhanger ending here was very good, but dissapointing as well. I mantain that if a few additions had been removed (Osgiliath, Arwen/Aragorn, Warg battle), the proper endings could have been inserted.

And so, where does this leave us for ROTK? Well, it leaves me worried. I feel certain that the Scouring will be ommitted. There is a possibility, I think, that the incident at the Tower of Cirith Ungol may be missing. I am worried about further ommissions as a result of carrying over TTT’s ending to the next movie.

But there is still hope. Visually, I feel certain that the Battle of the Pellanor Fields, as well as the brief fighting in front of the Morannon, will be phenominal. And perhaps other items will be ommitted instead of the Scouring (such as Frodo and Sam’s “drafting” into Sauron’s army).

All in all, TTT was an excellent movie, but a dissapointing book-to-movie adaptation, mostly because of the fantastic precendent of FOTR. Have faith, fellow Loremasters! We will always be around to set the record straight.

Feel free to send me your comments or reactions at


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