That Lord of the rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, will begin streaming on September 2nd, and excitement is at an all-time high. Fans will know that the series spans multiple stories outlined in a variety of JRR Tolkien’s works and will be set centuries before the events of Frodo and the Ring. However, fans are still divided on how closely the series should stick to Tolkien’s canon, or whether adding or cutting out details is acceptable.
But changes to Tolkien’s works are nothing new. Lord of the Rings Novels are known for following multiple storylines, each with their twists and turns. When it came to making the films, all of those twists didn’t add up and they had to be cut. While fans often criticize removing a canon plot point from Tolkien’s works, the films might have been better off without some of these twists and turns from the books.
Tom Bombadil’s rescue
Shortly after leaving the Shire for the first time, the four hobbits fell prey to an old willow trying to pull them under its roots. But before all was lost, a strange man named Tom Bombadil appeared and saved her. He brought them to his home, fed them, and then sent them on their way.
The twist was that the hobbits ran into even more trouble with a barrow-wight shortly thereafter. Frodo thought they were doomed, Tom Bombadil reappeared. No one expects the same savior to show up twice, and the surprise made readers sigh in relief as well as chuckle. However, the small plot twist would have felt repetitive and confusing in a movie.
Aragorn reforges his sword
Shortly after meeting Frodo in the books, Aragon says that he carries around with him the fragments of his ancestor’s sword. After taking Frodo to Rivendell, Aragorn decided the time had come to reforge the blade. He revealed the fresh blade as the Fellowship left, and for the first time Frodo saw Aragorn for the king he was.
This twist in the book showed that Aragorn had always known his destiny and that he was proud to embark on his journey back to the throne. However, the films portrayed Aragorn as a character reluctant to be king. Overall, this version was more appealing to audiences, so removing its original twist was probably one of the it’s best to change that LoTR could make films.
Glorfindel saves the day
After the Witch-king stabbed Frodo, Aragorn had limited time to bring him to Rivendell. His strength was failing him, and he kept pacing back and forth between the veils of reality. Finally, just as everyone was about to give up hope, an Elf named Glorfindel appeared and used his strength and speed to get Frodo to Rivendell before all was lost.
Of course, this twist technically made it to the cinema, but instead, Arwen saved the day in the blink of an eye. Glorfindel did not appear in the films, much to the disappointment of fans who mistook him for him coolest character of LotR. However, cutting out his Twist appearance and replacing it with Arwen allowed the film to give her some development as she had very few lines or significant moments in the books.
The Tale of Beren and Lúthien
The story of Beren and Lúthien is mentioned a number of times in the Lord of the rings Books. Aragorn tells the story to the hobbits and they found it to be a tragic and beautiful love story, but what they did not know was that the story was about Aragorn’s ancestors and ran parallel to his romance with Arwen.
In the story, a man falls in love with an elf woman who chooses to live a mortal life in order to stay with her love after several heartbreaks and tragedies. The revelation that Aragorn was also in love with an elf woman and the fact that Beren and Lúthien were both Aragorn’s and Arwen’s ancestors was a great twist. But the story was also lengthy, and there wouldn’t have been time to fit it into the film to the same effect.
Merry’s unlikely bond
A major twist of the book was the unlikely relationship between King Theoden and Merry. Theoden had very little understanding of hobbits before meeting Merry and Pippin, but Merry was happy to tell him everything he needed to know. When Theoden died, he told Merry that he considered him a son, and Merry cried over his body.
While touching, this relationship took away the depth of Theoden’s relationship with Eowyn. In the films, Eowyn was the one who was told she was like Theoden’s child and sobbed over his body. With Eowyn finally getting a chance to prove himself, the scene was much more touching.
Eowyn falls in love
In both the books and films, Eowyn falls in love with Aragorn. However, since Aragorn’s heart remained with Arwen, he was unable to give Eowyn the company she sought. It broke her heart, but didn’t stop her from riding into battle and fulfilling her destiny of defeating them Witch-king of the Nazgûl.
Eowyn came close to death after their fight in the book. With Faramir also recovering from his injuries, the two spent a lot of time together. They fell in love very quickly and eventually got married. This plot twist undoubtedly had some romance in it, but jumping from one man’s love to another so quickly didn’t seem believable. That LotR Movies made some unnecessary changesbut that wasn’t one of them.
Aragorn’s prophecy fulfilled
After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Aragorn would not enter the city of Minas Tirith, as the time had not yet come for him to claim his throne. However, upon hearing of Faramir, Merry, and Eowyn’s poor health, he rushed to help. As Aragorn began to miraculously heal the injured, the people of Gondor remembered a prophecy that said the rightful king would have the healer’s hands. Thus was Aragorn revealed to the people of Gondor.
Neither Aragorn’s healing abilities nor the Twist prophecy that would reveal him to his people made it into the films. Ultimately, this scene didn’t match the exiled prince’s reluctance to take the throne in the film. Aragorn’s dramatic return was magnificent Canon event in the Lord of the rings Booksbut it was better left off the screen.
The cleansing of the Shire
After Frodo destroyed the ring and Aragorn was crowned king, it was time for the hobbits to return to the Shire. When they got there, however, they were surprised to find that much of the beautiful countryside had been industrialized, all for the benefit of Saruman. The hobbits, led mainly by Pippin, rose up against the men who were taking over their home and a battle ensued.
The twist that Frodo’s conflict wasn’t over and that more had to be done to return to his peaceful life was surprising. The plot, even in the book, seemed like an afterthought into the story’s central conflict, and the twist would have been rather out of place in the film. Returning to a home untouched by war made Frodo’s journey even more surreal, to significant effect.
Grima’s betrayal of Saruman
In the books, Treebeard guards Saruman until the end of the war. When he was released, he and Grima went to the only place they expected to have power left, the Shire. However, they didn’t get a chance to enjoy this power for long, as the heroic hobbits soon came home.
Having defeated Saruman’s men, the hobbits were ready to take on the wizard himself, whatever the cost. But before they had the chance, Grima got angry with Saruman and murdered him. A version of this twist ending for Saruman was included in a deleted scene from return of the king, but did not do the final editing of the film. This was a wise choice as it allowed the audience to focus on the series’ true villain, Sauron.
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