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10 Scenes The Movies Did Better Than The Books, According To Reddit

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The Prime Video series, The Rings of Power, is set to begin streaming on September 2nd, and fans of The Lord of the Rings seem to be divided about whether the new show will be worth the watch. This is due to a great deal of controversy surrounding what kinds of creative liberties are acceptable in Tolkien’s work. However, history has shown that film adaptations can sometimes do scenes even better than the books.



In Peter Jackson’s original movie trilogy, several aspects of the movies were vastly different from the books, and in the opinion of fans on Reddit, some of these scenes were done with an even higher impact than Tolkien’s version.

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10 Leaving The Shire

In the book, there is a time gap of about 20 years between Bilbo’s birthday and Frodo’s escape from the Shire. During that period, Frodo took his sweet time organizing the sale of his home and a cover story to ensure that no one knew why he was leaving.

Of course, the movie went about this in an entirely different way. One Reddit user pointed out that this was a good choice because of the “sense of urgency.” Frodo having to rush out of the Shire to preserve his life made the entire situation far more exciting to audiences.


9 Arwen Saving Frodo

After being stabbed by the Witch King in the Fellowship of the Ring book, all seemed lost for Frodo. Aragorn was a skilled healer, but he knew he was no match for the power of the Nazgul blade. However, just as he was about to give up hope, a hero appeared to rush him to Rivendell: Glorfindel.

This is, of course, vastly different from the same scene in the movie. As Redditor Irystrawman pointed out, “Arwen replacing Glorfindel in the Flight to the Ford” was a perfect solution to Arwen’s almost nonexistent part in Tolkien’s original story. Aragorn’s love interest was far more interesting to audiences when she had a significant part.


8 The Council Of Elrond

In the film version of Fellowship of the Ring, a variety of characters come together in Rivendell to discuss the worsening state of things in Middle-earth. They learn about the Ring and fight amongst themselves. However, after a little hobbit offers to carry the burden, they are inspired to offer to help him.

This is a powerful moment in the film, which, according to Redditor Quick_study9, “immediately bonds the group together in their shared mission.” This was an improvement on the Fellowship from the Lord of the Rings book, where Elrond simply assigned a team and sent them on their way.


7 Aragorn And Arwen’s Romance

After meeting Arwen in the Fellowship of the Ring movie, audiences quickly learn that she and Aragorn are in love. Then, throughout the rest of the series, Aragorn often dreams of her, and later scenes between Arwen and Elrond explain the conflict of their romance.

However, as stated by Redditor CapnJiggle, “Aragorn and Arwen” were only clearly revealed as lovers at the end of the books when they get married. The ins and outs of their story are only described in the book’s appendices. The decision to feature them as a more central part of the story was necessary and considerably more effective.


6 Gandalf’s Battle With The Balrog

Gandalf’s battle against the Balrog was one of the most impactful moments of the Fellowship of the Ring movie, and Redditor Practical-Pea-4862 credits this to actor Ian McKellen, who “went above and beyond in that scene.”

The Redditor added that while the scene in the book was “awesome,” it just couldn’t compare. In the book, the Balrog was described as the size and shape of a man enveloped in flame and shadow. While this painted a terrifying picture, there’s no denying that the Lord of the Rings movie did the scene better.

5 Theoden’s Possession

In the Two Towers book and movie, Gandalf travels to Rohan hoping to find support in the efforts against Sauron. However, he arrives to see the kingdom under Saruman’s influence. This provides a rather impactful scene since Gandalf is forced to reveal himself as Gandalf the White and demands Saruman from King Theoden’s mind.

While the book describes Theoden as looking several years younger after the dark magic is lifted, it is intended as a metaphor. The movie chose to show the possessed king as old and decrepit while under the spell. Redditor NZNoldor chose this as their favorite scene compared to the books, specifically citing the impact of the moment “when he spots Eowyn,” and fully becomes a young and able king again.


4 The Battle Of Helm’s Deep

When asked which movie scene from Lord of the Rings was improved on in the movies, Redditor Leenox23 answered “the whole Battle of Helm’s Deep.” As any battle is, this was a dramatic moment in both the books and movies, but the drama of Gandalf’s nick-of-time arrival was pulled off in an entirely different way in the Two Towers movie.

This drama was created by the addition of conflict between Theoden and Gandalf that was not present in the book. Gandalf was frustrated with the king for not recalling the Rohan Riders to help, which made their sudden appearance all the more exciting. In the book, a lot more focus was put on the Ents sending trees to trap the orcs, which was a book twist that was, ultimately, rightly cut from the LotR movie.


3 Eowyn’s Battle With The Witch King

There is hardly a more iconic scene in The Lord of the Rings than the dramatic moment when the Witch King sneers that no man could kill him, and Eowyn removes her helmet to reveal the loophole in the seemingly indestructible Leightenant’s statement. This portion of the scene was pretty similar to that of the book. However, what followed was a considerable improvement, according to Redditor PalladiumBulltet.

“I’m so glad that [Peter Jackson] added the farewell between Eowyn and Theoden,” they said, going on to say that it was “so much more meaningful” than the scene in the book. In print, it was Pippin who said the final goodbyes to the dying king, rather than the niece who had just saved everyone. Ultimately, the relationship between Theoden and Eowyn was much more touching.


2 The Rings Destruction

The final conflict in the Lord of the Rings movies is the moment that Frodo holds the Ring over the fires of Mount Doom, only to pull it back to his body and announce that it is his, implying that he would not choose to destroy it. This was when Gollum appeared and began to fight the hobbit for the precious Ring.

Gollum topples over the edge into the fire by himself in the book after biting off Frodo’s finger. However, the movie sees them continue to a scuffle before they both fall. This created a great opportunity for Sam to come forward and save Frodo’s life one last time. Redditor Morinehtar89 found this to be a more impactful scene since the conflict over the Ring itself was what ultimately brought about its destruction, instead of Gollum just “accidentally falling in.”


1 The Return To The Shire

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between the books and the movies is how the four hobbits find the Shire after Sauron’s defeat. In the film, the Shire seems untouched by the war, and those that live there behave as if they are unaware that their lives had ever been in danger. This had a significant effect since it drew attention to the innocence that Frodo had sacrificed everything to protect.

In the book, however, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin return to the Shire to find it under Saruman’s influence. The evil wizard was still alive, and before the group could return to their happy lives, they would have to take him down and put in hard work to put things right again. Redditor Quick_Study9 felt that while this scene in the book had important symbolism for industrialization, it “would have completely halted the flow of the movie and would not translate well to film,” making it a LotR book scene that would have been impossible to adapt.

NEXT: The Worst Thing That Happens To Each Main Character In the Lord Of The Rings

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