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PSK
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Posts: 1410
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Post Books v Films
on: April 06, 2020 03:30
Not sure if this one has been done before but even if it has:

I recently rewatched the films and was even more vocal than last time about how "this is better in the books" and very occasionally indeed "this is better than the books". So I was wondering, which differences between the books and the films do you most like/dislike and why?

I have found that whilst I always noticed differences in specific events or scenes, I have started thinking more about general themes. I watched the films with someone that had never seen them before and was actually surprised by how little sense the concept of "going into the West" makes in the films. I'm interested to know what people think about how the lore is worked into the films and hopefully there might be a few interesting discussions...
"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains." ~ The Doom of Mandos
Gandolorin
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on: April 07, 2020 01:56
Hi PSK,

I would guess that such questions have been raised more in the Movies Discussion section. The books can, being the originals for the stories, be discussed without reference to the films – and never mind the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, or the 12 (plus index book) volume History of Middle-earth.

Now some people definitely saw the films first, and then went on to discover the books. Some may even have only seen the films and never read the books (they wouldn’t take part in any such discussion, I would guess). I don’t know if there are any members of CoE who have only read the books and given the films a pass; there might be, if they read enough critical posts about the films. At least “Desolation of Smaug” and “Battle of Five Armies” of the Hobbit films have been given a pass by some members here.

But that brings me back to a more fundamental question: which films? As you do say “books” it would appear to be LoTR, as TH is only one book – unless you count stuff in the appendices of LoTR and in UT explaining stuff not found in TH itself, but explaining some background.

Certainly, the question is an entirely different one for LoTR Books v Films than for TH Book v Film. PJ needed to tread carefully especially with “Fellowship”, as a storm of protest by millions of book fan then already existing could have ruined the entire trilogy financially – don’t forget that live-action shooting had been done for all three films before the first one premiered (there were pickups for some additional stuff later). The situation for TH was quite different. It was obvious that quite a bit of padding would be necessary to take that much smaller book (my paperback has 285 pages, while the similarly formatted LoTR paperbacks have 529. 442 and 378 (without appendices; 556 with appendices and index) pages) and make a trilogy out of it – even if the three films are all shorter than the LoTR ones.
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