There are few fans more passionate and more opinionated than those that are fans of a book series that has been turned into a movie franchise. It should be no surprise, then, that the list of what book readers hate about The Lord of the Rings, the film franchise, is long. While Peter Jackson’s trilogy generally earned rave reviews for its faithful yet cinematic adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s novels, there are some members of the fanbase that take serious umbrage with some of the creative changes made in the process.
Some of the things Tolkien purists complain about can include characters that were left out, story arcs that were altered, or events that they don’t feel were given justice. The works of JRR Tolkien are absolutely massive in their scope, so it was never a possibility that Peter Jackson would adapt absolutely everything. To most, he did an admirable job, but some think he could have done a slightly better job of adapting their favorite series. Check out the issues Tolkien purists have with the films and vote up the ones that resonate with you.
In the novels, there are plenty of subplots that never ended up being adapted into the films. Others were adapted in a fairly weak fashion, with only a brief nod or mention. The romance between Faramir and Eowyn is a good example of the latter. In the books, the two enjoy a pleasant courtship in the background of The Return of the King, but the film seems to just hastily paste them together in a textbook example of what TVTropes refers to as “Pair the Spares.”
The moment when the Elves showed up at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers remains one of the most memorable and dramatic moments in the entire film trilogy. It’s also something that makes a lot of book readers grit their teeth with frustration. The Elves eventually lend military support to Aragorn in the books, but it doesn’t come at Helm’s Deep. Many feel that using the Elves as a deus ex machina removes legitimacy from one of the greatest victories for mankind in the entire story.
The events of The Lord of the Rings take place over a long period of time - years, according to JRR Tolkien. The events of the films don’t seem to take nearly that long, and some fans have taken umbrage with that. DangBlastedCritic claim that the movies don’t portray the passing of time well enough, and that an uneducated viewer might very well watch the films and think they took place over a couple of weeks. The length of the journeys in The Lord of the Rings is important in understanding the bonds developed by its central characters, and shortening the story acts against that.
Only book-readers will have heard of Tom Bombadil and plenty of casual readers will probably have forgotten that he even existed. Bombadil is a mysterious, enigmatic, and unbelievably powerful individual who the hobbits encounter very early in their journey. Bombadil is hinted to have a connection with Gaia itself, and might be the most powerful entity in all of Middle Earth. Plenty of fans are upset that he was cut from the films, while others think cutting Bombadil was a necessary choice because he would have made the movie very confusing and is ultimately pointless as a character for the movies.