Massacre of the Text – Changes for the Worst

by Dec 22, 2002Reviews

I am NOT a total purist. In fact, I quite liked the first film: yes, I missed Bombadil, and no, Arwen wasn’t at the Ford, but I understood why those changes were made. Aragorn needed to be provided with a sufficiently developed romance as an excuse to later reject Eowyn. Fine. But the changes made to TTT were inexcusable and quite honestly made no sense.

1) Gimli: he ISN’T a comic relief character! I mean he was put in the fellowship to represent all of dwarf-kind, he’s not a joke and I think the movie misses that. Even chracters like Pippin gain depth as the story progresses and Gimli cannot be just a short fat guy who can’t run and wields an axe. There is a tragedy about the dwarves, a lonely homeless feeling and yet the knowledge that it all came out of greed and I miss that.
2) Theoden: should not have been revived that way. Gandalf’s wizardry is not magic, that way. Theoden looked like a dead fish, when he should just have been a little twisted.
3) Eomer: was never banished and did not make a surprise appearence at the Hornburg in the books. Because he was gone for most of the film, he never got to show his loyalty, nor develop his character.
4) Helm’s Deep: okay not that big a deal in the books and not played out right. What was haldir doing there, the elves dont show till much later. since when does aragorn fall in a river-thats the kind of change that doesnt make sense to me, I mean it didnt accomplish ANYTHING and it wasted a load of screen time. And Theoden is not dumb enough to send women and kids into the fortress, they all go to the passes to begin with.
5) Treebeard and the Ents: are not cuddly tree-lollipops, okay? And Merry and Pippin are not supposed to talk the Ents into going to war. The hobbits do not rise up into such strong figures till RoTK, when they become soldiers.
6) Faramir: whoa! the book is (in oversimplified form) an epic about good and evil. so changing someone from the good to the bad side is a little much. Frodo never came to Osgiliath, nor did he show the ring to a Nazgul. Faramir’s choice basically created a new plot. Now since he is one of my fave characters this made me mad. Plus, where is the mien of Westernesse, that later draws Eowyn to him as it draw her to Aragorn. He looked too much like Boromir, and he shouldn’t have, since the blood of Westernesse only runs in Faramir and Denethor.
7) Frodo and Sam: here, modern issues ruined that relationship. They were worried about either having them be gay or be hierarchical(which is no longer p/c) and tolkien didnt have those worries, so they changed the whole relationship. frodo does not try to kill sam or anything in TTT, the book. He gets pissed in RoTK when he finds out Sam has the ring, but that’s all. I think they botched that one completely in the movie.
8) 7 chapters missing: okay, the epic is called the TWO TOWERS because Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Theoden, Eomer and Treebeard are all involved vs. Saraman at Orthanc, while Sam, Gollum and Frodo make their way against Sauron, in Barad-dûr and in Cirith Ungol. How can it be the Two Towers, since the chapters at Orthanc and in Cirith Ungol never took place?!!!!! There were NO TOWERS!!!! where was Theoden’s “we will have peace” bit? I love that speech, i memorized it for a school decalmation contest once

Okay, fine some things worked and here they are.
1) Gollum’s Slinker/Stinker was great. You really could feel his pathos
2) Eowyn looked like she should anc the “what do you fear, lady” dialogue was great ( i love that bit)
3) the gandalf’s return bit was cool with the blinding white light and all

Honestly thats all i liked in the whole movie. i just needed to vent, quite frankly, so if you read this whole thing, i am sorry


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