Posted in Adaptations

Chris’s Corner – The Fellowship of the Ring

I figured for my first segment I would start on a somewhat higher note. As you can discern from the title, we will be looking at the adaption of Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring. Though I’ve read the books I have only recently seen the movie for the first time, and I will say that I found it to be quite the fun experience. Unlike many other book to movie adaptations I didn’t feel a little dead inside after watching it, so that is always a positive!

So, I will simply say that the movie was a great adaptation from the book, for the most part it was faithful to the book, and changes that were made were to improve pacing and give the watcher more story to work with. Changes to pacing I would say are certainly needed in any book to movie adaptation due to the difference in medium, and thus I do not take issue with them in this case, especially due to how well they were done. And in the case of the larger changes made to the story, these were done in such a way that they did not take very much away from the larger story of Fellowship of the Ring, the story is still coherent and the overall plot is not harmed.

There were a variety of large changes I noticed in the movie adaptation of Fellowship of the Rings. One of the first I noticed was the more direct role of Saruman in the first part, in the movies he plays a much larger role as an antagonist. Not only is the conflict between Saruman and Gandalf shown, we also see Saruman’s palantir (crystal ball), which gives the watcher a much better understanding of Saruman’s knowledge of Mordor in the first part rather than waiting until the second to elaborate more. In addition to this we also the creation and training of Saruman’s Uruk-hai, and we see the significant moment when the Uruk-hai declare their allegiance to Saruman, not Sauron, who is Saruman’s supposed master. Saruman aside, the Nazgul are also a more urgent threat in the films, with their active pursuit driving the pace of the beginning much faster than in the books. We also see the removal of Bombadil unfortunately, but it is relatively justified in that Bombadil overall has little to do with furthering the overall story of the book, and would likely take up to much screentime in the movie. My favorite change was probably the death and redeeming of Boromir, his final stand was shown and created a very powerful moment in the movie. One of the biggest changes that I am mixed on is Aragorn’s more reluctant acknowledgement of his heritage. In the books Aragorn seems to be a lot more proud of his heritage, whereas in the film he at first seems to be a character that does not wish to take up his heritage, as witnessed by Narsil(the broken sword) being left in Rivendell rather than kept on his person as it was in the books. For the most part I would say the changes witnessed helped make the film better due to pacing, but the Aragorn change is probably the only one that I truly thought didn’t really benefit the story much.

As to the actors in the movie, I do not have much to say. I thought that they were all fantastic, they filled the roles well and fit the characters they played.

So, after all of this commentary I’m sure you can guess where I place this first installment of the LotR series. Fellowship of the Rings falls solidly into ‘The Good’ category of book to movie adaptations.

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