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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
LOTR books/movies question

aless
Registered User

Jun 27 2011, 5:20pm

Post #1 of 11 (549 views)
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LOTR books/movies question Can't Post

Hi. I am reading the books to my two sons before watching the movies. I wanted to know if the films end at the same place as the books, so that we can watch each movie after each book? And do events from other books creep into their sister movies? I wouldn't want to watch Fellowship with them and find out that it includes a bunch of stuff from Two Towers, or ends with events from the beginning of the next book. Thanks for any advice.


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Jun 27 2011, 5:25pm

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Welcome to TORN! [In reply to] Can't Post

As I recall (and it's been a while since I've read the books) the first movie includes just a little bit of the second book and the second movie ends short of the end of the second book. I don't recall too many events creeping in from other books, except for the tale of Aragorn & Arwen, which is included in the movies but is only included in the appendices at the end of the Return of the King book.

Does all that make sense?

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taekotemple
Grey Havens


Jun 27 2011, 7:15pm

Post #3 of 11 (314 views)
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And the shelob part was taken out of the second book and moved into the third// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


KAOS82
Rohan


Jun 27 2011, 11:15pm

Post #4 of 11 (294 views)
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also Isengard part is on 3th movie [In reply to] Can't Post

and Saruman dies at Isengard and not in the Shire...

TÚRIN TURAMBAR DAGNIR GLAURUNGA & NIENOR NÍNIEL


Celedor
Rivendell


Jun 27 2011, 11:56pm

Post #5 of 11 (324 views)
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LOTR Books/Movies [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello aless, and welcome to these message boards!

[Spoiler warning! Skip to the next paragraph if you don't want story details.]

Actually, yes, there is a lot of shifting around, with events from the second book happening in the first movie, and events from the second book appearing in the third movie! In particular, the story in the second and third books had to be totally restructured for the tale to be told in a more linear fashion that movie audiences expect. Tolkien did not make this easy, with his ingenious chronological shifting: For example, the last chapter of The Two Towers takes place on March 13 — after the first chapter of The Return of the King which happens on March 9. The second chapter of The Return of the King begins before either of these chapters — on March 6! This means that the films, to even be true to the books, have to shift events - such Frodo and Sam's visit to Minas Morgul - to a different place than you might expect (in this case, this bit from The Two Towers appears in The Return of the King film so it can occur at the same time when Pippin is already in Minas Tirith.). Also, some of the chronology has been altered. For example, in the Two Towers book, when Théoden arrives at Helm’s Deep, Merry and Pippin have already been taken by the Ents to Isengard, and Frodo and Sam are between the Dead Marshes and the Black Gate. In the second film, when Théoden arrives at Helm’s Deep, Entmoot has not yet happened, and Frodo and Sam are with Faramir.

It's best for the books to be read independent from the films, and for the films to be watched independent of the books. They both tell the same story but in different ways.

-Celedor-
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Wraith Buster
Gondor


Jun 28 2011, 1:38am

Post #6 of 11 (296 views)
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The part with Boromir is [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually in the very beginning of Two Towers too.

Pedich Edhellen? Lau? Hria cuilë.

End of line.


FantasyFan
Rohan


Jun 28 2011, 2:25am

Post #7 of 11 (314 views)
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some of the structure of the third book is very different [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien was deliberately separating the stories of the members of the fellowship who were physically separated from each other. He did it in order to heighten the suspense as the characters (and the readers) did not know what was happening to the other members of the fellowship while they lived out their part of the story. It would never have worked the way he did it, in a movie, so Jackson re-integrated the timelines.

In addition, there are several sections of the books which are not shown in the movie. There is a section of a couple of chapters in Fellowship which are left out of the movie. The ending of the story is also told totally differently. Both the books and movie have the same climax on Mt. Doom, but there are a number of chapters of additional material after the characters return home that greatly add to the poignancy of the story in the book, and these are omitted in the film.

Besides these major alterations in the structure, there are a number of smaller discrepancies in events (lines given to other characters, some interactions simplified to move things along, some characterizations are different, a few bits of dramatic license in action sequences added in for fun, a few invented scenes that subtly alter the story emphasis but don't change the climax). If you try to compare them too closely, especially when you are new to the story, it could get confusing. (What happened to the shield surfing? I can't find it in the book! What happened to The Grey Company? I can't find them in the movie!)

My suggestion is to either read the books all the way through, or watch the movies all the way through. It might even be a better order to watch the movies first, since that will take less time, and then read the books to fill in all the backstory and richness, once the main action is clear in everyone's mind. Unless you think that running all the way through the story with your kids would kill their interest, since they would "know how it turns out." Watching the movies first will also destroy the suspense of two surprises Tolkien built into his structure, which are not surprises in the movies, but it isn't a fatal flaw (Jackson certainly didn't think so) and you can discuss them with the kids when you get to that spot. The alternative, of course, is reading the books first. However, that will take a lot longer and you would have to judge the attention span of your kids. One other option is available with current technology. The DVDs (and I assume Blue Ray discs as well) are divided into scenes/chapters. You could read a chapter in the book, and then pick out the corresponding scene/chapter in the movie to watch. It would be an odd way to watch, and I'm not sure how well the continuity of the movies would survive (not to mention pacing and flow), but I bet it could be done....just a thought.


"That is one thing that Men call 'hope.' Amdir we call it, 'looking up.' But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is 'trust.' It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and First Being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End. Of all His designs the issue must be for His children's joy."
Finrod, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, HoME X Morgoth's Ring



aless
Registered User

Jun 28 2011, 5:31pm

Post #8 of 11 (270 views)
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Thanks for the replies [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for all the responses. We are on a 10 month motorhome trip around Europe so wifi is intermittent, hence the delay. We are at the end of Fellowship and there is no issue with them getting bored. They will happily listen to all the books on our trip. I am a firm believer in reading the books before the movies. I have the movies with us and I was going to show each film after each book ends, but not if things from the following book would be spoiled. It sounds from the responses like most changes involve things from a book being revealed in a later film, which would spoil nothing of the reading. If the reverse, i.e. things from a future book being revealed in a prior movie, happens a lot or with any major development, then I will just read all three before watching any movies. But if such revelations are few and minor then perhaps we will go ahead and watch Fellowship as soon as we finish the book.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 29 2011, 7:31am

Post #9 of 11 (260 views)
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Be aware that [In reply to] Can't Post

Boromir's death is shown at the end of the Fellowship movie but isn't revealed in the book until the first chapter of The Two Towers. So if you watch the movie as soon as you finish the book, that will be a fairly major book spoiler.

I suggest finishing Fellowship and then reading just the first chapter of The Two Towers before watching the Fellowship movie and then you'd be fine.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


aless
Registered User

Jun 29 2011, 11:39pm

Post #10 of 11 (251 views)
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Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for that. Yes, that is exactly the kind of spoiler I was talking about. Hopefully that's the only major thing about the second book given away in the first film. Any you can think of for The Return of the King, i.e., something from the third book given away in the second movie? Thanks again.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 30 2011, 6:55am

Post #11 of 11 (292 views)
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I think that's the only one. [In reply to] Can't Post

The story of Fellowship is linear, so there aren't the complications of following multiple storylines at that point. Reading the first chapter of The Two Towers will bring you to exactly the place where the first movie ends.

I don't think you'll have a problem with the second and third movies, because both major storylines in the Two Towers movie stop short of where the book ends - the third movie contains a lot of second book material, so you'll be ahead of things there. The Two Towers movie has a major deviation from the book storyline, but while that may cause some tension for book-readers watching the movie, it doesn't spoil anything. The major changes in the Return of the King movie are omissions, which affects the ending of the story a bit as well as the end of a major character. But you'll have read the book first, so none of that is spoilery either.

Wow, what a great summer plan for your kids; discovering the books and movies for the first time while on a journey of another kind. If you have the time and internet access, we always love hearing accounts of people reading the books or watching the movies for the first time and it would be great to hear your sons' reactions to them. Smile

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories

 
 

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