It’s a Combo!!
“There’s some good in this world Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”–Sam
The Two Towers is one of my favorite movies. And by the time I saw it, I was completely over my fear of Nazgul and Orcs. I was, after all, a year older, and I was determined that I wouldn’t get scared anymore. Little did I know when I walked into that theater that The Two Towers had even more violence in it than The Fellowship did. Still, I didn’t have to cover my eyes at all that time, and I loved it! 😉
The Two Towers continues with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli tracking the Uruk-hai who took their hobbit friends, Merry and Pippin. In the meantime Frodo and Sam have encountered Gollum and have ordered him to lead them to the Black Gate of Mordor.
The thing about comparing this movie to the book, is that it’s very hard to do it because it’s separated into two books. The first book is all about Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. The second is all about Frodo, Sam and Gollum. So what’s happening when is all a bit difficult to decipher in the books. What were Frodo and Sam doing when Aragorn and his two companions were chasing the Uruk-hai? The writers for the movie had to have spent a lot of time thinking that over and discussing it when they were creating this movie so that it flowed.
Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli continue their chase, determined to save their friends. But when they come upon Eomer, the King of Rohan’s nephew, they lose all hope. Eomer tells them and he and his men destroyed the Uruk-hai during the night and left no one alive. The three hunters become discouraged and believe that they have failed their friends…until they come upon the site of the battle and Aragorn discovers hobbit tracks leading into Fangorn Forest.
Merry and Pippin escaped during the battle the night before and fell into the hands of an Ent called Treebeard. This Ent is a walking, talking tree! Who thinks that Merry and Pippin are ‘little orcs’. They have a tough time trying to convince him that they’re hobbits and then, to the fear of everyone, Treebeard drops them at the feet of ‘The White Wizard’, who everyone believes to be Saruman the White, the evil wizard who has turned against Middle Earth and joined forces with Sauron.
The Two Towers is the middle book. Therefore it covers a lot of ground between The Fellowship and The Return of the King. The book contains much more content then the movie does. It covers more ground because, if they had put everything that was in the book into the movie then it would’ve been five hours long instead of just three. So they had to save a few things for The Return of the King.
Gandalf’s return in The Two Towers brought forth a collective gasp from the audience when I went to see it in the theater. Clearly a lot of people who went to see the movie that day hadn’t read the book first. Gandalf returns changed. Instead of being Gandalf the Grey he is Gandalf the White. He has returned from death itself and is stronger than he had been before. He was the white wizard that Treebeard spoke of to the hobbits. Knowing that the hobbits are safe, the three hunters go with Gandalf to Edoras where the King of Rohan resides.
Saruman has overthrown King Theoden’s mind and taken over Rohan. Upon their arrival in Edoras Gandalf goes to the king and battles with Saruman to return King Theoden to himself. There Aragorn meets Eowyn, the King’s niece, who longs to fight alongside the men in battle.
Eowyn’s attachment to Aragorn becomes apparent as the film goes on, as it does somewhat in the book. But Aragorn’s love for Arwen remains, even though she is traveling to the sea to forever be with her people and live an immortal life in the undying lands.
The one thing about The Two Towers that a lot of people were displeased with was the change they did with Faramir. In the book Faramir wasn’t tempted by the ring. He did not try to take it to his father. When The Two Towers first came out I heard a lot of people complain about those parts. The only thing I’ll say about that, is that if they hadn’t changed Faramir’s attitude about the ring then the movie might have fallen flat.
Not only that, but there wouldn’t have been enough to fill in the space and keep everyone interested. It would’ve been a bit boring if it had gone exactly by the book because all that happened was the hobbits ate, slept, talked to Faramir and then we had the scene of the Forbidden Pool. Then Faramir let them go and that was the end of it. Changing it the way they did gave us our first glance of Minas Tirith and Osgiliath and, not only that, it gave another opportunity for Frodo to show a bit of weakness in offering the ring to the Nazgul and being saved by Sam.
The battle of Helms Deep is my father’s most favorite part. He loves the parts with the Rohirrim. When Gandalf has left them, vowing to return at first light on the fifth day, Aragorn realizes that he’s left alone with King Theoden to defend the people of Rohan behind the walls of Helms Deep. Fortunately, the elf Haldir arrives with an army of elves to assist in the battle. But they are still outnumbered by the ten thousand Uruk-hai who arrive from Isengard. Then, at the closing of the battle when Aragorn and King Theoden ride out to face the rest of their enemies Gandalf arrives with Eomer and his men and victory is won.
In the book, Eomer is there for the entirety of the battle and the elves do not come. This was yet another change made to make things more interesting and it also flowed. Gandalf’s departure to find Eomer in the movie was necessary. There would’ve been a lot of confusion if they kept bringing in more and more new characters in the movie. What everyone has to understand is that movies and books are two very different things. What works in a book might not work in a movie. If everything was just as the book was things would be dry and boring. Everyone would be falling asleep while watching!
I remember one of my friends being worried that they were going to leave out Shelob’s Lair altogether simply because it wasn’t in The Two Towers. I knew that wasn’t so because Shelob’s Lair was much too much of an important part to be skipped over completely. Besides, Gollum speaks of her at the end of the movie. For sake of time there were several things left out of The Two Towers and put into The Return of the King.
These things were: The Voice of Saruman, the Palantir, Frodo and Sam’s journey to the cross-roads, the stairs of Cirith Ungol and Shelob’s Lair. All of these were put into The Return of the King, for sake of time and for the sake of everything flowing together so that we would know where Frodo and Sam were when Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli and the men of Rohan traveled to Isengard.
The Two Towers had more changes in it and a lot more scenes cut out of it then The Fellowship did. But it was still extremely well done, despite the changes. I’ve never watched a movie where you could just tell that they did their absolute best to keep it according to the book. The changes made weren’t so severe that it destroyed the whole movie, because it didn’t. It was still The Lord of the Rings.
So, if you haven’t read this book or seen the movie then you must! Right after reading and watching The Fellowship of course. 😉
Coming Soon: The crownless again shall be King…Look for my review of The Return of the King on Monday!!