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.
One moment in the films that irks fans more than anything is Frodo’s dismissal of Sam at Cirith Ungol, where he chooses to follow Gollum instead of listening to the advice of his closest friend. It’s a moment that most book-reading fans say is out of character for Frodo, even given the effects of the One Ring on him, and seems to be added for nothing more than dramatic effect. More than a few sources argue that this single moment diminishes the relationship between Sam and Frodo for them, along with their respect for Frodo.
One character who receives a particularly rough ride from Peter Jackson is Faramir. JRR Tolkien originally inserted Faramir into the story to prove that there were still “pure good” people out there in Middle Earth, but the movie version of Faramir is far from pure. Film Faramir acts with hostility toward Sam and Frodo and impedes their journey, putting the quest to destroy the ring in peril for his own selfish needs. While Faramir eventually overcomes his flaws, many believe that he shouldn’t have displayed those flaws in the first place, like the folks at DangBlastedCritic.
All three films in The Lord of The Rings trilogy are incredibly long and the theatrical versions still left out hours of unused footage. Despite the obviously difficult task that editing must have been, some fans still take issue with the choices that were made. The Scouring of the Shire is the final chapter and last conflict in the books. It features the hobbits finally going home, only to discover that Saruman has wreaked havoc at the Shire.
The four hobbits of the Fellowship take up arms once more and fight to reclaim their land, resulting in the last battle of the War of the Ring, the Battle of Bywater. The storyline was filmed, but was ultimately cut and is only visible in the extended version. Many book-reading fans left the theaters after The Return of the King feeling like the story’s true ending wasn’t shown.
There are many who disagree with Peter Jackson’s decision to have Aragorn receive his family sword, Narsil, or Anduril in its re-forged state, later in the story instead of during the Fellowship’s visit to Rivendell. A Reddit user named lordleycester puts together a very compelling argument as to why the sword is only part of a larger problem with the portrayal of Elrond. The movie version of Elrond is more petty and bitter than the book version, and seems to be needlessly anti-man. Having Elrond not trust Aragorn, one of the story’s main protagonists, only diminishes Elrond’s character.