How it happens in the movie:

IN THE COMPANY OF ORCS – Special Extended Version only
The scene opens with Frodo sliding down a dirt path followed closely by Sam. Both are disguised as orcs wearing the orc gear that Sam had collected from the dead at the Tower of Cirith Ungol. They look down upon a vast plain and see thousands of orcs gathered and moving; there are many torches and fires burning. Sam comments that the orcs are on the move. The hobbits hear a loud horn blare and the tramp of marching feet. From the tower of Barad-dûr the eye sweeps across the landscape. Sam says, ‘You see Mr. Frodo… some luck at last.’ Just then Frodo and Sam hear marching feet approach and an orc yell, ‘Move it, you slugs!’ The orc, clearly one in charge, hollers, ‘Come on! Faster!’ The hobbits hear the crack of a whip. In shock and caught off guard, they scramble for shelter. They back up against the rock wall making themselves as inconspicuous as possible. The orcs round a curve and enter into the hobbits’ sight. The orc in charge bellows, ‘C’mon you scum… I’ll whip you down to the bone you…’ Row after row of orcs, with shields bearing the sign of the eye, rush past them. Frodo and Sam keep their heads down; Sam covers his eyes with a gloved hand. The leader comes into view. He sees Frodo and Sam and cracks a whip at them. He shouts, ‘Get up! You two are going straight to the front of the line!’ He whips Sam repeatedly and yells, ‘Now, move it! Go on! Fall in! Move it!’ He pushes Sam and then Frodo roughly into the company of orcs. They emulate the orcs’ gait. Soon they pass by some dishevelled tents. Beyond there is a great gathering of orcs converging where roads from different directions meet. The black-eyed commander yells out, ‘Don’t you know we’re at war?’ Orcs growl loudly around Frodo and Sam.

The scene switches to Aragorn and company heading towards the Black Gate.

The scene switches back to Frodo and Sam’s predicament. Large orcs drum. The lead orc calls out, ‘Company, halt!’ Again, there is the blare of a horn. Frodo and Sam stand shoulder to shoulder with orcs and are jostled about. Frodo appears weak. The orc leader calls out for an inspection. Breathlessly Frodo says, ‘Sam, help me.’ Sam catches Frodo, as he collapses to the ground. A large orc with a ruined nose, presumably an inspector, is pushing his way through the troops. Sam desperately urges Frodo to stand up. Frodo gasps, ‘It’s so heavy.’ Sam notices Frodo’s neck; it is badly chafed where the chain has cut into his flesh from the weight of the ring. Frodo has great difficulty breathing. The inspector makes eye contact with Sam. Sam moans, ‘Oh, no’ The inspector growls loudly. He opens his eyes wide revealing a white left eye. He stomps towards them. Sam panics, ‘What do I do? What do we do?’ The orc rapidly approaches. Frodo says, ‘Hit me Sam. Start fighting.’ Sam complies; he yells, ‘Get off of me!’ And adds, ‘Nobody pushes me, you filthy maggot.’ Frodo drops to the ground. The other orcs spread out around them. Soon there is a great commotion. The leader comes through the line cracking his whip and yelling, ‘Break it up! Break it up!’ The inspector berates the leader, ‘Oi! I’ll have your guts if you don’t shut this rabble down!’ The leader glares at the inspector. Frodo urgently says, ‘Go. Sam. Now!’ The hobbits scrabble out of the group and into a nearby tent. The inspector scans the area, sees nothing, and grumbles, ‘Bah, move along scum!’ He turns and leaves. The leader yells at his company to get back into line. He whips them. The hobbits pass through the tent and scurry up and over a rocky hill beyond the sight of the orcs. They look upon a dismal, dead landscape. Mount Doom’s dome is spews grey smoke and glows eerily red on their right. Lightening strikes.

The scene opens with Frodo and Sam, dressed in orc gear, stumbling across a desolate landscape scattered with boulders and devoid of life. Smoke billows and blows around them. They trudge along, each step a challenge. They stop to look at Barad-dûr and Mount Doom. Smoke rises from Mount Doom. Its dome is an angry red. Burning rocks litter the landscape. The Eye sweeps the landscape. Thunder rolls: lightening strikes. Dark clouds fill the sky. The hobbits climb a steep, rocky cliff. When Frodo can go no further he falls to the ground. Sam looks down on him. Frodo has difficulty breathing. His face clearly shows exhaustion. In a raspy voice he says, ‘I can’t. I can’t… I can’t manage the ring Sam. It’s… it’s… it’s such a weight to carry. It… such a weight.’ Sam takes off his helmet and says calmly as if to reassure Frodo, ‘We’re going that way. Straight as we can.’ He gestures towards Mount Doom with his sword. ‘There’s no point in carrying anything we’re not sure to need.’ The hobbits throw their orc gear over a cliff. Last of all Sam throws over his pots and pans, which hit the rocks with a loud clang. They then rest against a rock. Sam is visibly shivering. Frodo lies still. A light crosses Sam’s face; he looks up and sees a white star emerge from behind grey clouds. He says, ‘Mr. Frodo. Look. There is light and beauty up there that no shadow can touch.’ Frodo opens his eyes briefly. When Sam looks down upon his face, he appears to be asleep. His breathing is laboured and raspy. The camera pulls away from the hobbits. They are sitting under a rock outcropping. Barad-dûr is behind them; the Eye is sweeping the ground above them. Thunder rumbles in the background.

The scene switches briefly to Aragorn and company coming within sight of the Black Gate and then switches back to Frodo and Sam.

Frodo, gasping, shakily holds a water skin over his mouth. He shakes it and tosses it to the ground. Sam says, ‘Take mine. There’s a few drops left.’ Both hobbits are filthy; their eyes are red, their lips parched. Frodo gratefully finishes the water and says, ‘There will be none left for the return journey.’ Sam replies earnestly, ‘I don’t think there will be a return journey Mr. Frodo.’ Frodo looks at Sam with understanding. Sam holds out his hand. Frodo grabs it and staggers to his feet.

The scene switches briefly back to Aragorn and company. The troops are falling into line in front of the Black Gate. The scene switches back to Frodo and Sam.

Frodo is staggering and clasping onto the Ring tightly. Sam is close behind. As Frodo walks, he swipes his right arm through the air as if to ward off some danger. Eerie music plays in the background. Sam watches him with concern. Frodo falls to his knees looking dazed. With both hands, he flails at some dreadful thing that only he can see. His neck is badly chafed from the weight of the Ring pulling down the chain. He pulls himself up; his eyes open wide and are full of fear. He turns around slowly and looks directly at the Eye. Sam yells, ‘Frodo get down! Hide!’ Sam throws himself on the ground. Frodo’s eyes open wide as he looks directly into the evil Eye. A disembodied pulse beat, deep and distressing, permeates the sky. Frodo falls heavily to the ground, his eyes wide open and staring. Sam looks in Frodo’s direction and then ducks as the eye continues to sweep the area.

John Howe – In Mordor (detail)

How it happens in the book:
The chapter opens with Frodo and Sam rushing away from the Tower of Cirith Ungol. They find refuge around a bend in the cliff and cower against the rock. A Nazgûl perches by the gate screeching. The cliffs reverberate with its horrible cries. Terrified, Frodo and Sam trudge on towards the east. They descend between steep rock walls and come upon the Morgul Road. All is quiet, but the hobbits are wary. Frodo reasons that real orcs would be rushing towards the tower: not away from it. He adds that they must get off the road somehow. A black chasm separates them from the sheer faces of the Ephel Dúath and the Morgai beyond. Their only escape is over a stone bridge. Desperately, Frodo and Sam scramble across the bridge. From the Tower of Cirith Ungol behind, they hear the cry of a Nazgûl, the bell clang, and horns blow. Frodo and Sam hear the thud of pounding feet and moving hooves coming towards them. Frodo tells Sam to leap over the bridge. Luckily, for the hobbits, the slopes of the Morgai are almost even with the road at this point. Sam says, ‘Good-bye!’ and jumps; Frodo follows. As they are falling, they hear tramping orc-feet and horsemen pass over the bridge. Frodo and Sam drop into ‘a tangle of thorny bushes.’

Sam sucks on his scratched hand and is surprised that anything grows in Mordor. He describes the thorns as about a foot long. Frodo states that neither the orc-mail nor the leather jerkin has protected him from the wiry, clinging thorns. In the attempt to free themselves from the vicious thorns, their clothes are ripped and tattered. Fortunately, hobbits are made of tough stuff and take their injuries well. Far beyond Mordor a new day dawns, but where the hobbits walk it remains dark. They walk until they can walk no longer. While resting against a rock, Sam falls asleep. Frodo wakes him after a brief time. It has been a long while since Sam has slept. They trudge on.

Frodo says that he cannot go on wearing the orc-mail; it is too heavy. He observes that they cannot win this battle through fighting. Sam reminds him that they may have to fight. There may be knives and stray arrows to contend with, and Gollum is not dead. Frodo insists that the orc-mail must go and commends Sam for the ‘foul work’ that he had to do to procure the orc gear. Frodo takes off the orc-mail and casts it aside. He feels chilled. Sam gives Frodo his elven-cloak. Frodo wraps the orc cape around himself and ties it with a belt. Over this, he puts Sam’s elven-cloak and fastens it with the brooch. Frodo feels lighter. He tells Sam that when he was a captive in the Tower of Cirith Ungol he tried to remember the Brandywine, and Woody End, and The Water running through the mill at Hobbiton but was unable to. He says, ‘…this blind dark seems to be getting into my heart.’

The hobbits continue their journey. After covering a short distance, Frodo comments that there is a Black Rider above them. He suggests that they be still for a time. They crouch facing west under a large boulder. When the threat has passed the hobbits stand and stare in wonder at the sky in the west. Sam says, ‘Look at it! The wind’s changed. Something’s happening. He’s not having it all his own way. His darkness is breaking up out in the world there.’ The morning of March 15 has arrived. Théoden lies dying on Pelennor Field. The sun is rising in the east over the Vale of Anduin and a south-east wind is blowing. As they gaze at the sky, they see a Nazgûl flying out of the west, and they hear a shrill cry. The Nazgûl does not frighten them; its cry is one of anguish. The Lord of the Nazgûl is no more.

Sam says that Shagrat had mentioned that the war was going well, but Gorbag had been uncertain. He asks Frodo if he has any hope now. Frodo answers, ‘Well no, not much, Sam. That’s away beyond the mountains. We’re going east not west. And I’m so tired. And the Ring is so heavy, Sam. And I begin to see it in my mind all the time, like a great wheel of fire.’ When Sam hears this, his spirits fall. He takes Frodo’s hand and encourages him to go on a bit further. Sam says that he has gotten one thing that he had wanted – light. The hobbits share a wafer of lembas bread; their mouths are parched. They lumber on. The dim light reveals that they are in a deep valley between the mountains. At the bottom of the valley is a dried-up stream and beyond it a path. Patrols and messengers use the path to go swiftly between the Tower of Cirith Ungol and the narrows of Isenmouthe, the iron jaws of Carach Angren.

Frodo and Sam reach the path and follow it for some time. The path has many curves; the hobbits nervously grip their sword-hilts around each curve. It does not get any lighter that day, as Orodruin emits toxic fumes that rise and block out the light. After an hour or so of manoeuvring through the wretched landscape, they hear the trickling of water. It flows out of a rock in a narrow stream and onto the path. Sam says that if he ever sees the Lady again he will gratefully tell her, ‘Light and now water!’ He wants to test the water first in case it is poisonous, but Frodo says they will trust their luck or their blessing together. It is cool with an unpleasant, bitter, oily taste. Nonetheless, the hobbits drink gratefully, and Sam fills his water bottle. Frodo feels better now, and they walk for several more miles. They stop when they sense that they are nearing an orc-hold. Frodo says that they must turn east. He has only enough strength left to find a resting place in the gloomy ridges. They walk down to the water-bed and are surprised to see dark pools of water trickling from some source above. Mordor is a dying land, but things still grow here. Fowl, stabbing, stunted things. And flies and midges torment them.

At last, Frodo can go no further. In this barren land, the only shelter they can find is under some bramble bushes. They have a meal of dried fruit and cured meat – half of the food remaining from the provisions that Faramir had given them. They sip water. The acrid air of Mordor increases their thirst. Even Sam loses hope when he thinks about water. After the hobbits cross the Morgai, they must cross the dreadful plain of Gorgoroth. Sam tells Frodo to sleep, and Frodo is so exhausted that he complies immediately. Sam sits with Frodo for some time, and then to combat his own weariness, he stands and looks at the night sky. Far above the Ephel Dúath in the dim night sky Sam sees a white star twinkling. ‘The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.’ Upon seeing this, Sam is filled with hope. He returns to Frodo and sleeps peacefully.

Sam awakens feeling refreshed, but Frodo has had a troubled sleep filled with dreams of fire. Still, he feels he can carry his burden a little further. They eat a morsel of food and sip a bit of water before continuing. Climbing up a ravine, they soon come to a landscape completely devoid of any living thing – the tops of the Morgai. They climb and pass through a cleft between two cliffs. They come to the edge of a steep drop. The wind now blows from the west. The dreary fields of Gorgoroth are shrouded in grey light. Beyond the Gorgoroth about forty miles away, Frodo and Sam see Mount Doom. It’s head reaches the clouds. Even though it is now only smouldering, Mount Doom has a formidable presence. Behind it is a vast dark shadow, the ominous veils of Barad-dûr. And in Barad-dûr, the Dark Power thinks deeply about news of doubt and danger. He ponders the kingly face and the bright sword he has seen. The Eye is turned inwards.

The hobbits look down upon the dead land and see enemy camps. Below them about a mile into the plain is the largest camp consisting of numerous huts and buildings. It is busy with activity. Sam says that things look rather hopeless, but he notes that this camp is one for men and not orcs. They will have food and water. The Dark Power has gathered his forces here in Cirith Gorgor for the inevitable attack on its enemy. The gathering of forces here also acts as a perfect defence for Mount Doom. Frodo sees no way down, and no way of crossing the plain below, which is crawling with enemies. He says their best hope is to avoid being captured for as long as possible. They turn north searching for an area where the plain is narrower. The crest of the Morgai is impossible to traverse, and the hobbits are forced to go back the way they had come. They follow the valley avoiding the path on the western side. After a mile or so of tough walking, the hobbits come upon an orc-hold near the mouth of a cave. It appears deserted: they pass by it cautiously. After venturing another two or three miles, they hear loud, harsh orc voices. They hide behind a stunted bush where they watch and listen as two orcs approach. The smaller of the two, dressed in brown rags, has black skin and wide, flaring nostrils. He appears to be a tracker and is armed with a bow. The larger orc, armed with a bow and a spear, is a fighter who bears the symbol of the eye. They are arguing (as Orcs do) using the Common Speech, a practise between different orc breeds.

The hobbits listen. The smaller orc states that he has lost the scent. The larger orc berates him saying that eyes are better than noses. The smaller counters that the larger does not even know what to look for. The larger says that is the fault of the higher ups. The tracker mentions that some of the bosses will likely lose their skins because of the raid on the Tower, the killing of hundreds, and the escape of the prisoners. He taunts the larger orc saying that if this is how fighters carry on, it is no wonder that things are going badly. They argue back and forth. The soldier threatens to stab the tracker if he does not shut up. The tracker quiets and then asks the soldier about the black sneak. The soldier responds that he slipped past them just when the command came for his capture. The tracker comments that the sneak had messed up the scent where Frodo had cast off his mail and that the sneak had stolen the mail. The soldier says that the mail had saved the sneak’s life, because he had shot him in the back. The tracker criticizes the soldier’s shooting ability saying that he missed, and once again, a bitter argument ensues. He runs away. The other shouts at him to come back and threatens to report him to the Nazgûl. The tracker replies that the enemy has killed Number One (the Witch-king) and adds that he hopes that it is true. Infuriated, the soldier armed with a spear, leaps after the tracker. The tracker; however, manages to spear the larger orc in the eye killing him. He then runs off down the valley.

Sam comments that he would like to see this friendliness spread among the enemy; it would make things easier for them. Frodo warns Sam that there are most likely other orcs about. He tells Sam that orcs have always behaved badly towards one another. He adds that orcs hate their enemies more, and if he and Sam had been discovered, the orcs would have forgotten their argument until they were dead. Sam asks Frodo if he heard what the orcs said about the ‘gobbler.’ He says, ‘I told you Gollum wasn’t dead yet, didn’t I?’ Frodo answers that he had and encourages Sam to tell him everything that had happened while he was imprisoned. The hobbits sit under the thorny bush. Sam quietly tells Frodo of Gollum’s treachery, the fight with Shelob, and his adventures with the orcs. Frodo says nothing but takes Sam’s hand and presses it.

Frodo says they must be going. He wonders aloud how long it will be before they are caught. He asks Sam to keep the Lady’s light, as he has nowhere to put it, and he gives him Sting. Frodo has an orc-blade but does not believe that he will ever strike a blow again. For hour after weary hour, the hobbits trudge northward through the perilous, dark land along the eastern edge of the valley. When the blackness of night turns to grey they find a hiding place and take turns sleeping. When awake, Sam thinks about food. He hesitantly asks Frodo if he knows how much further they have to go. Frodo estimates that it should take about a week to reach Mount Doom – if all goes well. Sam says that they will have to eat less or move faster. They eat the last bite of the food given to them by Faramir, and now have only the Elves’ waybread left. The lack of water is even more problematic. Frodo says that he will try to move a bit faster. At dusk, they set out again. They walk mile after dismal mile, stumbling and trudging through the night. From time to time, they rest briefly. At dawn, they find shelter in a hollow under a stone. The light of day grows, and there is a strong wind from the west. The sky is clearer now. The hobbits see that the trough between the Morgai and the mountains diminishes: the inner ridge is now a mere shelf against the steep faces of the Ephel Dúath. To the east, the ridge falls steeply into Gorgoroth. A long jutting spur of rock, thrusting eastward, meets the Ered Lithui (the Ash Mountains) to the north. Between the spur of rock and the mountain lay Carach Angren, the Isenmouthe, and beyond that, the deep dale of Udûn. The dale is situated behind the Morannon, and it is here where there are deep tunnels and well-stocked armouries for the defence of the Black Gate. Sauron is hastily gathering his forces here to meet the Captains of the West.

The castle of Durthang, an orc-hold, stands high upon a western ridge. A road stretches down from it within a mile or two from where the hobbits now stand; it turns east and goes on to the Isenmouthe. Upon seeing what lay before them, Frodo and Sam become discouraged. The entire region is under the vigilance of the forts of Carach Angren. Frodo comments that they cannot go east or west. The only way seems to be the road. Sam agrees and says, ‘We must take it and chance our luck, if there is any luck in Mordor.’ Frodo has no hope left, and asks Sam to lead him while Sam’s hope lasts. Sam tells Frodo to eat something and rest before they venture onward. He gives Frodo a wafer of lembas bread and some water. Frodo falls asleep. Sam had given Frodo his own share of food, but he did not tell Frodo that nor did he tell him that he had finished the last of their water. While Frodo sleeps, Sam goes in search of water. He finds a stream of dark water, drinks deeply, and fills the water bottle. As he turns to go back, he sees a dark shadow near Frodo’s hiding place. He hurries back to where Frodo sleeps. The creature disappears. Sam curses his bad luck and wishes aloud that Gollum had been shot. He wakens Frodo when he can no longer keep his eyes open and tells him that Gollum has been around. Frodo tells Sam to sleep. He says, ‘But I’d rather have Gollum than orcs. At any rate he won’t give us away to them – not unless he’s caught himself.’ Sam warns Frodo to keep an eye out; he says that Gollum may have robbery and murder in mind. Sam sleeps. When he awakes, he finds Frodo fast asleep and the water bottle empty.

When it is dark, the hobbits set out on the most perilous part of their journey. Red, watch fires burn on the cliffs above them. They fill the water bottle and make for the road. After traversing about twelve miles, Frodo and Sam rest. They had taken a bend in the road and could not see behind them. As they hear the sound of marching feet, dread overcomes them. They see torches rapidly advance. The hobbits are trapped between a sheer rock wall on one side and a sheer drop on the other. They sit under the cliff, heads bowed, waiting and cover their feet with their shields.

The orcs progress towards them. Those in the front carry torches. Sam hopes that they will think that he and Frodo are only tired soldiers and will pass by them. Those in the front have their heads down and are being driven on by the shouts and whips of fierce ‘uruks.’ Row after row of orcs pass by them. A slave-driver spots Frodo and Sam. He flicks his whip in their direction and orders them to get up. Frodo and Sam are speechless. The slave-driver orders the company to halt. He sees the hobbits’ shields and accuses them of deserting. He orders them to fall into line, or he will report them. Frodo and Sam hobble towards the end of the line, but the slave-driver insists that they fall into the third from last line. He wants to keep an eye on them. He cracks his whip over their heads. He cracks his whip again and yells at the company to move on. They move at a brisk pace.

For Sam this leg of their journey is strenuous, but for Frodo it is an unimaginable agony. He grits his teeth and labours on. The reek of the orcs’ sweat is suffocating. He gasps from thirst. He doggedly struggles to breathe and to keep moving. Frodo forces himself not to think. There is no foreseeable escape. From time to time, the slave-driver comes back to torment them snapping at their legs with his whip. After several miles, Frodo’s strength dwindles; his will wavers. He stumbles. Sam, although exhausted himself, tries desperately to hold Frodo up. Sam knows that their end is imminent. He tells himself that he will get the orc-slaver before the end. He puts his hand on the hilt of his sword and prepares to attack.

Then the hobbits’ luck changes unexpectedly. They are nearing the entrance to Udûn. In front of it, the road from the west intersects roads from the south, and from Barad-dûr. Troops are moving on all roads; the Dark Lord is sending troops north to meet the Captains of the West. Several companies converge at the road-meeting out of sight of the watch fires. Immediately chaos ensues, as each orc troop attempts to get to the gate first. Even though the slave-drivers snap their whips and yell for order, fights break out and blades are drawn. Suddenly, a troop of uruks from Barad-dûr charge into the Durthang line and throw them into confusion. Sam sees an opportunity to escape. He throws himself on the ground pulling Frodo down with him. Orcs are snarling, cursing, and falling over them as they crawl out of the pandemonium and into the safety behind the road’s curb. They do not move for some time. Sam thinks they should move away from the roadways and out of the range of torch lights. Frodo musters up enough strength to go about twenty yards. The hobbits fall into a shallow pit where Frodo lies ‘like a dead thing.’

Differences at a glance:

In the movie:
In the Theatrical Release, scene #47. The Land of Shadow is presented in The Return of the King between scenes, #46. The Last Debate and #48. The Black Gate Opens. In the Special Extended Edition DVD, the added scene #62. In the Company of Orcs and scene #63. The Land of Shadow are presented between scenes, #61. The Captain and the White Lady and #64. The Mouth of Sauron.
Frodo and Sam are seemingly forced into the company of orcs shortly after escaping the Tower of Cirith Ungol.
Both hobbits are completely attired in orc gear including footwear.
Orcs carry torches here and there at differing intervals in the line.
Frodo and Sam seem to march a relatively short distance with the orc company.
As the inspector is approaching the hobbits, Frodo instigates a diversion by telling Sam to hit him. A commotion ensues.
Frodo and Sam slip away by walking through the company and into a nearby tent. They exit through the back of the tent and climb up and over a rock cliff out of sight.
The hobbits continue on their journey or so it seems.

In the book:
In the book(s), Chapter 2, The Land of Shadow, is found in Book 6 of The Return of the King, between Chapter 1, The Tower of Cirith Ungol and Chapter 3, Mount Doom.
Frodo and Sam’s encounter with the company of orcs:
Frodo and Sam are forced into the orc company after several days of weary travel.
Frodo is wearing: long hairy breeches, a filthy leather tunic, a black orc cape held in place with a belt, an orc helmet bearing the symbol of the Eye with a beaklike nose guard, and Sam’s elven-cloak fastened with his elven brooch to cover all. Sam is wearing his own clothes, an orc helmet, and a black orc cloak to cover all.
Both hobbits carry shields, which they use to cover their bare feet.
Only the orcs in the foremost files carry torches.
The orcs move at ‘a great pace.’ They run ‘at a brisk trot’ for several miles.
The orcs create a diversion for Frodo and Sam by causing a commotion at the entrance to Udûn. Each troop wants to get to the gate first.
Frodo and Sam crawl away from the turmoil unnoticed and drop down off the edge of the road.
They wait for a time before moving on.
When they do move on, Frodo collapses after covering about twenty yards.

In the movie:
This scene contains a few details from the book version of The Land of Shadow and overlaps the book chapter, Mount Doom
Sam and Frodo throw their orc gear, including Sam’s pots and pans over a cliff.
The hobbits talk very little.
The hobbits drink from water skins.
Frodo collapses after looking into the eye.

In the book (apart from Frodo and Sam’s experience in the orc company):
A Nazgûl screeches as they run away from the Tower of Cirith Ungol.
Frodo and Sam fall into some rather nasty thorns.
The hobbits find water. There is much talk about water and praise for it.
They travel through the Morgai and are surprised to find living things there.
They hide and listen to a tracker orc and soldier orc. They witness the tracker orc murder the soldier orc.
Sam sees Gollum sneaking about near Frodo.
After seeing the star, Sam is filled with hope and falls asleep.
Frodo tosses aside his orc mail. Later, in Chapter 3, Mount Doom, the hobbits throw away their orc gear, and Sam discards his beloved pots and pans.
Sam tells Frodo all that happened while he was held prisoner in the Tower.
The hobbits drink from Sam’s water bottle. Frodo’s bottle was broken earlier.
Frodo collapses after falling into a shallow pit from exhaustion and thirst after their escape from the orcs.

Ted Nasmith – Across Gorgoroth (detail)

Why the changes from book to movie:
I could find nothing specific about why changes were made from the chapter in the book to the two scenes in the movie. Much of the chapter is omitted, so it seems to me that timing was a central consideration in both the theatrical release and the special extended edition of the movie. There is a great deal of description and background material in the book. Furthermore, the action in the book is for the most part painfully tedious; given the constraints of movie making, this does not necessarily work well in movies.

From the Commentaries:
– Peter Jackson liked the rather obvious irony in the sequence In the Company of Orcs. While Aragorn is leading thousands to the Black Gate to distract the orcs from Frodo and Sam, Frodo and Sam are actually in the midst of them.
In the Company of Orcs is one of Peter Jackson’s favourite scenes in the movie. It was left out of the theatrical release because of ‘pacing.’
– Peter mentions that critics complained to him that Frodo and Sam seemed to get to Mordor unmolested in the theatrical release of the film. The extended version adds a bit more to show the difficulties that Frodo and Sam encountered along the way.
– The boulder fields are real -Tongariro National Park, New Zealand.
– Peter says that he regrets not doing more with the scene where Sam throws away his pots and pans. It was ‘a lovely moment in the book.’
– Sean Astin comments that Fran Walsh directed the scene where he looks up to see the star. She plays the lovely violin concerto in the background.
– Conceptual Designer, John Howe, on the Black Gate says: I tried to get some kind of idea across that Sauron would be yearning for Númenórean architecture taken to a new height… taken to the nth degree beyond Númenor. And I think that Sauron’s attempts at this are a mockery of a style of architecture that’s gone before. He wants it to be higher and grander and more imposing… and it’s all wrong. It hasn’t got the life in it; it’s the opposite of life and it’s something I really tried to get across.

– Sam’s chinstrap is undone when he first talks to Frodo in In the Company of Orcs. Later it is done up tightly under his chin. He does not seem to have had time to do it up.

My overall view of the film version of In the Company of Orcs and The Land of Shadow
Overall, I thought that the film version was well done given the limitations of time and resources. However, I would have liked to see more of Frodo and Sam’s struggle particularly through the Morgai, their joy of finding water, a reference to Lady Galadriel, and a hint that Gollum was lurking about. I do not get a sense from the movie of just how long the hobbits’ journey is or how much they really suffered; it seems like hours in the movies rather than days.

The Lord of the Rings, Edition – Published by HarperCollinsPublishers, 1991
The Return of the King, Special Extended Version

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Related Information
Related Books vs. Movies Articles:
- 6.01. The Tower of Cirith Ungol by Morwinyoniel
- Samwise Gamgee by Rosearialelven

Interesting Links:
Our Gallery has has screencaps of the theatrical version, as well as the extended edition.

A transcript of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Return of the King' can be found in our Film Fun & Facts section.

A summary of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Return of the King' can be found in Elrond's Library.

Some articles that are related to this sequence:
- The Middle-earth Section of Elrond's Library has an article about The One Ring.

Forum threads related to this sequence:
- You can discuss this sequence in detail in ROTK Sequence by Sequence #11: The Tower of Cirith Ungol and ROTK EE Sequence by Sequence #8: Frodo and Sam Extras in the Movies Forum.
You can discuss the impact of this scene in the Changes in Frodo thread, also in the Movies Forum.
- The Book Club discusses this chapter here.

Take a look at how some artists saw this part in the book:
- Mordor by Cavini
- Ash Mountains by Kevin Ward
- Across Gorgoroth by Ted Nasmith
- Sam in Mordor by Ted Nasmith

Looking for something more creative - you may find it here: