Comparing The Fellowship of the Ring: Book vs Movie
As a book blogger, I recently had the pleasure of reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Having already seen the Peter Jackson directed films many times, I was curious to compare the books and movies. Are the books worth reading, or are the films enough? After reading the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, and watching the film shortly after, I can confidently say that both are worth experiencing.
The book is incredibly dense with lore, names, and places that can be overwhelming for casual readers. Fortunately, Tolkien lets you know what you really need to focus on, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to understand everything instantly. For first-time readers of the book, just focus on the main aspects of the story. It’s okay to forget names and places because the ones that actually matter for the plot will be mentioned repeatedly throughout.
The films are also well-cast, with Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee being especially spot on. The humor of the characters is also well-captured in the film, although book Frodo and film Frodo didn’t feel quite the same to me. The film also wisely omitted many of the songs and poems from the book, as it would have quickly turned into a musical if they tried to stuff all the songs into it. However, one character that was omitted from the film was Tom Bombadil, who may be the most entertaining and whimsical character of the entire book.
The endings of the book and film also differ slightly, with the death of Boromir occurring at the beginning of The Two Towers in the book and at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring in the film. I believe the book should’ve ended this way as well.
Overall, I was pleased with how close Peter Jackson’s film was to Tolkien’s original story. Sure, some things were left out or slightly changed for the sake of brevity, but the heart of the story, the personalities of the characters, and the stunning visuals were directly taken from Tolkien’s text and replicated to the best of their abilities. Both book and film versions of The Fellowship of the Ring are fantastic experiences, although quite different from one another. I am currently reading The Two Towers, so stay tuned for my thoughts on that!