I recently saw the latest episode of the Lord Of the Rings, and I was for the most part entertained. Needless to say, anytime there is a great deal of expectation it is always difficult to live up to it (wouldn’t you agree, George Lucas?) I do have a few bones to pick with Peter Jackson, however. First of all, let me say I am a “purist.” That is, I do not wish to see some other version of the books on screen. I do understand that certain things must be cut in the interest of time, but I object to re-writing Tolkien’s work. I especially object to cutting vital scenes from the book in order to facilitate the inclusion of totally invented notions.
Specifically, Jackson has added the scene in front of the Black Gate where Frodo and Sam are almost caught by soldiers from the Easterling army. He added a great deal of emphasis to the Battle of Helm’s Deep. The Battle did not go quite so badly for the “good guys” in the book. Also, the idea that Elves from Lorien would come to the aid of Rohan is ludicrous. It is equally ludicrous that the strength of Rohan be numbered at three hundred “men.” There were no warriors depicted in the film among the men of Rohan, yet the whole host of Eomer is supposed to be there, two thousand men, at least. Eomer’s host is not supposed to be wandering aimlessly to the north. And even after the battle and its losses Rohan is still later able to send 7000 men to Gondor’s aid. The Battle scene at Helm’s Deep is filmed beautifully, it just bears no resemblance to the story. Erkenbrand is supposed to the one who appears to the salvation of Rohan, not Eomer. And the Trees of Fangorn are supposed to destroy Sauruman’s army.
But the worst thing Jackson did was to defile the character of Faramir. Why he decided to have Faramir try to bring the Hobbits back to Gondor is beyond me. The whole point of even having a character named Faramir is to show that there is still something good and noble in the nature of man.
Jackson has gone a long way towards re-writing Tolkien. He has reduced Faramir’s stature.
Look, this book is the shortest of them all, and yet the movie is still three hours. I really don’t care, but Jackson has added too many scenes while deleting the important ones. I wish all the extra time spent on the Battle at Helm’s Deep, the addition of elves to The Hornburg, and the Hobbits being led to Osgiliath were replaced by the important scenes from the book: Gandalf’s confrontation with Saruman, Gandalf splintering Saruman’s staff, and Pippin finding and gazing into the Palantir. The scenes with the Palantir are among the best of all. Jackson did not finish his work, because the hobbits are not at the peak of Cirith Ungol and have not faced Shelob yet. Jackson is behind!!