• Minecraft Middle Earth is a Minecraft community that recreates the world described by JRR Tolkien and his writings. Everyone can participate in organized events in which we collaborate to create major landmarks, terrain, caves, castles, towns, farms and more.

    To get started, visit The New Player Guide

    IP address : build.mcmiddleearth.com

The main differences between The Lord of The Rings films and books


Hardcore MCME-er
The Lord of the Rings is a very lengthy story that was, itself, derived from a fictional universe of prodigious dimensions. In it, an entirely original world of the author's manufacture forms the backdrop, and many compromises to the story were required to successfully adapt it to the medium of film, I will be referring to the Peter Jackson versions rather than the 1978 Ralph Bakshi animation and the 1980’s ROTK T.V. movie. The writers of the motion pictures faced some significant challenges in bringing Tolkien's work to the big screen. Not the least of these was the enormous scale of the story. While this may seem fairly comprehensive, I can assure you this barely scratches the surface, as many chapters are greatly reduced for the film, this even being true for the extended editions of the film.

Soon after the release of the first movie, controversy began to arise over deviations in the screenplay from Tolkien's own story. Key characters were removed such as Glorfindel, an elf who helps Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry and Aragorn find their way to Rivendell while being chased by Black Riders and Tom Bombadil, a strange man who lives in The Old Forest and saves the Hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry at this point, from both Old Man Willow, an evil semi-sentient tree which tries to drown Frodo and crush Pippin and Merry, and the Barrow-wights, ghost like beings that dwell in the ancient barrows left by Arnorians in the barrow-downs east of the Shire, and large parts of this are totally missing from the films. Moreover, characters that are present are greatly altered, such as Elrond, Aragorn and Gandalf.

Some of the major differences between the books and the films are: Sam, Pippin, Merry and Fatty Bolger’s plot to find out Frodo’s plan to leave the Shire in it’s entirety, most of the events in the Old Forest however some are moved to the Two Towers and Fangorn Forest, the exclusion of Tom Bombadil, a fairly important character in the books, although some of his lines were given to Treebeard in the Two Towers film, the Barrow-downs are entirely removed from the trilogy, which is a shame as it is quite an interesting sequence of events, from this point on the Fellowship of the Ring is largely unaltered apart from what happens to Boromir at amon hen being moved from the second page of TTT to the end of FOTR. In TTT the only changes are the events of the chapters: The Road to Isengard, The Voice of Saruman, The Palantír, Journey to the Crossroads, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol, Shelob's Lair, The Choices of Master Samwise, being moved forward to ROTK for Peter Jackson’s trilogy. In ROTK the only changes are the chapters: The Ride of the Rohirrim, Many Partings, Homeward Bound, these sections are heavily ignored in the films and the events of The Scouring of the Shire being moved to FOTR and Sam’s vision in the mirror of Galadriel.

I have tried to keep this as low on spoilers as possible so as to minimise your loss of enjoyment for the franchise if you are yet to experience it in either it’s book or film format.

This was written to be brief but any additional information or changes to wording or grammar would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited:


Hardcore MCME-er
I have to write a speech and deliver it to my English class, I thought as it is somewhat relevant to the server I'd put it on here and develop it further. :)


hon. Head Designer
Staff member
You may also write some sort of personal judgement on the changes PJ made, i.e. personally I think the edits he made are very well chosen, the omitted parts are pretty much all secluded in itself, meaning leaving those away does not cause any unanswered questions for the rest of the plot. Also you may want to look into which parts PJ did add new details, or just included things that are not mentioned in the main story, but i.e. only the appendices. Things like the love story between Arwen and Aragorn, or the passage of the paths of the Dead.


Media Team
PJ also portrayed quite a few scenes of the books in a slightly different situation in a different movie or in the Hobbit movies, for example the (extended) scene in Fangorn where Merry and Pippin get attacked by the roots of a tree, which represents the Old Man Willow. There are many more examples and I'm breaking my head finding them. Some character roles were completely taken over by a more important character, like Glorfindel by Arwen and Erkenbrand by Eomer.