I absolutely LOVE Tolkien and LOTR. Whenever I read it, I feel like I live it with all of the characters. I felt that way about the movie of FOTR when I saw it, too. There were some changes (and they annoyed me, I’ll admit), but as many people have pointed out, the spirit of Tolkien and his trilogy was still there.
I did not remotely feel that way about the movie of TTT. I have tried for the past 24 hours to figure out what possessed Peter Jackson to alter completely what was already such an amazing story. As some of the other entries noted, it would almost have been okay if he hadn’t decided to make Faramir practically evil. Tolkien writes Faramir as a noble, honorable man. He was the one who dreamt about the ring (“Seek for the sword that is broken. / In Imladris it dwells,” etc.) many times–but Denethor sent Boromir to the Counsel of Elrond instead–and he HELPED Frodo and Sam, giving them provisions and wishing them good luck. Sure, he was suspicious at first, but the real Faramir would not have taken them to Osgilliath! The real Faramir realized that he could not take the ring. The real Faramir was selfless: he kept the rear guard during the seige of Gondor. I do not understand! Also, it disturbed me that Frodo seemed to summon the Nazgul. And THAT was the reason that Faramir let him and Sam go!?
Elrond and Arwen’s dispute made no sense to me. It was not true to Elrond’s character at all — I feel like he’s still playing Evil Man in the Matrix. In the book he knew he would miss Arwen, but he nevertheless gave her his blessing. Why did he tell Arwen in the movie that if she chose mortality she would live on earth forever? Doesn’t mortality mean that you will die? And then he had a nice heart-to-heart with Galadriel and decided to send the elves to Helm’s Deep. I am utterly confused as to the purpose of all of this. If PJ had stuck to the book, he might have noticed that Rohan wasn’t so drastically outnumbered there, that it was Erkenbrand and not Eomer who came with Gandalf at dawn, and that Gimli did not blow the horn! (I realize I am now into the knit-picky details, but if PJ couldn’t even hold true to the big ones, then I feel no remorse for being perhaps overly “purist.” )
Aragorn falling in the water was a bit much. And then he imagined that his horse was Arwen?? (Where did the horse come from, anyway?)
Many other people have pointed out problems with Theoden, and I support these observations. He became far too young, but he wasn’t brave. After rereading “Helm’s Deep,” I noted how much he sincerely wanted to fight beside his people. But in the movie he dispaired almost at once. The exhorcism was uncalled for; I loved the moment in the book when Aragorn took Theoden outside to see all his kingdom before him–that made his transformation much more believable.
Treebeard may not be hasty, but he is intelligent. Realistically, as well, Pippin would not have been able to think quickly enough to trick him. And where were the Huorns at Helm’s Deep?
In my perfect world, PJ would not have changed the book at all. I understand that the movie cannot duplicate the book, but it distresses and angers me that the movie of TTT did not honor Tolkien’s work at all. In fact, I would say it entirely botched it. I have read LOTR about 5 times (and plan to read it many more). I saw FOTR in theaters about seven times. I now own it and have since watched it over and over. I plan to buy the special edition. But I NEVER want to see TTT again!