Frodo: Book vs. Movie

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Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Radaghast on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:17 am

I thought I'd make a separate thread of this because 1) I think it deserves its own thread; 2) so the other thread can go back to analysis of screen caps; and 3) I'm bored.

Anyway...

  • Bree:
    Book-Frodo sings a song do divert attention away from Pippin being foolish, getting carried away telling stories about home. Frodo, also does a dance on a table but, being a little tipsy and overenthusiastic, falls off and, with his hand in his pocket, the Ring somehow slips on his finger and he vanishes.

    Movie-Frodo sees movie-Pippin being stupid and pointing at him for no damned good reason at all and reaches for him from half a room away, forgetting the use of his legs. He trips and falls like a spaz and the Ring, flying up in the air from Frodo's spazziness, somehow falls neatly on his outstretched finger.

    Book-Frodo: 1; Movie-Frodo: 0

  • Weathertop:
    Book-Frodo is confronted by the Ring-wraiths. He succumbs to the urge to put the Ring on and is stabbed by the Witch-king. He cries O Elbereth! Gilthoniel! and stabs back, striking perhaps a little too close for the comfort of the Witch-king. Anyway, book-Frodo passes out after he is stabbed.

    Movie-Frodo drops his sword and scuttles backward on his arse before wearing the Ring. The Witch-king stabs him and Frodo cries out in pain...and continues to cry while his friends console him (and Aragorn sets the Ring-wraiths on fire  slap laugh )

    Book-Frodo: 2; Movie-Frodo: 0

  • Flight to the Ford:
    Book-Frodo is lent the use of Glorfindel's horse, Asfaloth, which has the power to prevent its rider from falling off. On the opposite side of the ford and with the Riders approaching, he is compelled to stop* and with no strength left to resist them, he complies. Yet still he manages to defy them and tells them to fuck off back to Mordor. He is saved by a flood which carries the Riders away and kills their horses.

    Movie-Frodo, apparently having eaten some bad oysters, is carried safely away by a pasty-faced Arwen. It is she who defies the Riders and it also she who calls the flood (heck, why not just give her the Ring to take to Mordor?) Frodo, the star of the show, the principle character in the story does...nothing.

    Nuff said.

    Book-Frodo: 3; Movie-Frodo: 0

    *I could never figure out why Asfaloth didn't keep running here; after all, he was carrying Frodo, not being directed by him. This strikes me as a weakness, perhaps, in the text, unless the implication here is that the horse itself wanted to take on the Riders. Anyway, this is about Frodo, not Asfaloth; just thought it worthy of a sidenote.

  • The Chamber of Mazarbul:
    As the Company stands in the Chamber, they are menaced by enemies outside the door trying to burst in. A cave-troll sticks its arm and then its foot in the door, inexorably pushing it open. Until Frodo stabs the foot and causes it to withdraw, and also temporarily removing the troll from the ensuing battle with orcs. A large orc ducks under a swing by Aragorn and uses a spear to seemingly pin Frodo against a wall, dropping him to the floor. Aragorn kills the big orc causing the others to retreat, then picks up Frodo as the Company retreats; Frodo springs back to consciousness and tells Aragorn to put him down. Gandalf says there's no time for amazement at the moment and to keep running.

    In the movie, the troll enters the chamber and chases Frodo, who runs and cowers behind pillars. When the troll grabs him, Frodo slashes at his hand, but this only so the troll will release him so he can go back to hiding. The troll is tenacious, though, and continues to hound Frodo, who calls out to Aragorn for help. Too late, as the troll skewers him with a spear large enough to impale an elephant (and I think Aragorn has somehow been knocked unconscious anyway?). After a good 8-10 seconds of Frodo being skewered and making faces, he finally seems to die. The rest manage to kill the troll and then go to mourn Frodo until he comes to, and the camera cuts to each of the Fellowship as they gape at his mithril shirt. I guess book-Gandalf was wrong: there is, evidently, plenty of time for wonder and amazement. Apparently, the other orcs were considerate enough to let the Fellowship have their moment before attacking Rolling Eyes Anyway...

    Book-Frodo: 4; Movie-Frodo: 0

  • Cirith Ungol:
    Book-Frodo never does anything so monumentally dickish and fucktarded as to tell Sam to go back home.
    Movie-Frodo is, unfortunately, not book-Frodo and does this very thing. Here's to you, Peej F You

    Book-Frodo: 5; Movie-Frodo:0; Peter Jackson: minus a gajillion.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by azriel on Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:49 am

Well put Raddy Razz You had me at spaz Laughing  But I still dont get how the peejers clan could fook it up so monumentally ? All the hard work was done for them. Tolkien poured so much love into his stories thats obvious, & then along comes a bare footed chumblie with 2 crows by his side & totally twist the story around. They couldnt have cared less ! The author was deceased, so no whinging from him, the remaining family lived miles away & hopefully could be kept at arms length, all it leaves would be "fans" but hey, the chances of anyone reading such a long book ? not many, good, all in peejers favour. Least not we forget children, profit & fame come before honesty & integrity ! 10 out of 10 peejers, you got that 100% right, fuck the fans & count the money. ( oh & the odd Oscar wouldnt go amiss ? )

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:31 pm

Right time to shift a post then! Mad


continued from screencaps thread-

I agree with Lance- given how they adapt I am inclined to think if book Frodo had been Freda but otherwise performed the same actions in situations of danger- they would not have removed those actions but increased them to make her kick-ass.

But for me the final utter destruction of Frodo has having any sort of likeability or bravery is the end of Fellowship.
In the book when he leaves he is oblivious to any danger the others might be in. He goes, and decides to go alone because, as Sam says, he is screwing himself tight to make the decision, as sure as he is a Baggins- knowing he has to take the Ring to Mordor, but unwilling to put any of the others in danger, and rigth there on the point of decision he is just plain terrified to do it and go alone. In the end Boromirs actions convince him his thinking was right all along- the Ring is a danger to all, including those he cares for, so he has to go alone.

In the film, he knows the Company are in danger, he is there when the orcs attack and he runs away. Worse he sees Merry and Pippin, and they create a distraction, putting themselves in direct danger so Frodo can run away again. Now as it turns out the hobbits are only captured, but Frodo doesn't know this- at the point where he last sees them the most likely conclusion is they just died, sacrificing themselves for him. And he doesn't even reflect on it afterwards, he just runs and goes and feels sorry for himself on the shore staring at the Ring with is big ole eyes and then buggers off leaving everyone else, to presumably their death.

The idea that Frodo would willingly, knowingly abandon his friends to danger and probable death is just such a betrayal of the hobbit who decides to go alone to save his friends from danger that its mind-boggling. I dont know how when adapting they got from one to the other.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:20 pm

I just think its odd. I suppose I respond differently to film Frodo because I quite like his sensitivity, but I get that it might be weird for men to see another man like this.- Figg

I dont get this speaking as a man- I've been plenty scared plenty times in my life. I've seen male friends scared. Frodo of the book is scared out of his wits many times.
You can portray the fear and terror without making the main character passive and useless in the face of it. You don't have to strip him of all his courageous moments and bravery to show he is also afraid.
But it does call for some subtly in scripting and filming, and there I think is the real stumbling block, as PJ and the Coven don't have the skill set to do subtle.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Radaghast on Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:33 pm

azriel wrote:Well put Raddy Razz You had me at spaz Laughing  But I still dont get how the peejers clan could fook it up so monumentally ? All the hard work was done for them. Tolkien poured so much love into his stories thats obvious, & then along comes a bare footed chumblie with 2 crows by his side & totally twist the story around. They couldnt have cared less ! The author was deceased, so no whinging from him, the remaining family lived miles away & hopefully could be kept at arms length, all it leaves would be "fans" but hey, the chances of anyone reading such a long book ? not many, good, all in peejers favour. Least not we forget children, profit & fame come before honesty & integrity ! 10 out of 10 peejers, you got that 100% right, fuck the fans & count the money. ( oh & the odd Oscar wouldnt go amiss ? )
Exactly. Is it too much to ask to get one of the core characters correct? Like I said in the other thread, if they got Frodo right, I might have forgiven a lot of other gaffes.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Radaghast on Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:34 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:In the film, he knows the Company are in danger, he is there when the orcs attack and he runs away. Worse he sees Merry and Pippin, and they create a distraction, putting themselves in direct danger so Frodo can run away again. Now as it turns out the hobbits are only captured, but Frodo doesn't know this- at the point where he last sees them the most likely conclusion is they just died, sacrificing themselves for him. And he doesn't even reflect on it afterwards, he just runs and goes and feels sorry for himself on the shore staring at the Ring with is big ole eyes and then buggers off leaving everyone else, to presumably their death.

The idea that Frodo would willingly, knowingly abandon his friends to danger and probable death is just such a betrayal of the hobbit who decides to go alone to save his friends from danger that its mind-boggling. I dont know how when adapting they got from one to the other.
Good one! Tally another point in book-Frodo's favor.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Radaghast on Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:37 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I just think its odd. I suppose I respond differently to film Frodo because I quite like his sensitivity, but I get that it might be weird for men to see another man like this.- Figg

I dont get this speaking as a man- I've been plenty scared plenty times in my life. I've seen male friends scared. Frodo of the book is scared out of his wits many times.
You can portray the fear and terror without making the main character passive and useless in the face of it. You don't have to strip him of all his courageous moments and bravery to show he is also afraid.
But it does call for some subtly in scripting and filming, and there I think is the real stumbling block, as PJ and the Coven don't have the skill set to do subtle.
It may have something to do with Elijah Wood who, up to that point and for many if not most roles thereafter, has played very meek, sort of passive characters (his role in Sin City was a gigantic departure for him). Playing Frodo should not have precluded that in the slightest, however. I mean, it's not like Frodo was some macho pugilist in the book.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by David H on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:06 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote: I dont know how when adapting they got from one to the other.

It seems clear to me that they felt they needed to leave the first film on as emotionally loaded a cliffhanger as possible. Makes sense when you remember that there was no reason at all to expect it to be a boxoffice blockbuster and some reason to fear it might end up like Bakshi. So they ramped it up. That's something Jackson knew how to do. I'm not saying it was the best choice, but it makes sense to me in context.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by halfwise on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:25 pm

If you had to sacrifice one character from the book to amp up the film, Frodo was about as boring as they come. Not saying the choices they made in the movie were right, but I really didn't care much for the original so didn't have a sense of loss due to the changes.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:37 pm


It seems clear to me that they felt they needed to leave the first film on as emotionally loaded a cliffhanger as possible.- David

I dont see that simply keeping Frodo out of the orcs part of it, not seeing Aragorn, not running into Merry and Pippin, would have reduced the emotion at the end- you still have Boromir's death, Frodo deciding to leave alone on the beach and hearing Gandalfs words, Sam going with him, Boromirs funeral and Aragorn choosing to follow the orcs and not Frodo.

All you lose is making Frodo look like a coward who will abandon his friends to almost certain death to escape himself.

And besides each of the changes makes an arse of something.
By having Aragorn reject the Ring and send Frodo off with his blessing they ruin the whole Aragorn self blame stuff from the book "Vain was Gandalf's trust in me. It is I that have failed." Film Aragorn has no reason to regret his decision to leave Frodo as he sent him off with his blessing and at his urging and showed no real difficulty in choosing to follow the orcs instead- even though in the TT film Gandalf says to Aragorn ' Do not regret your decision to leave Frodo'! Despite him not showing a moment of regret since, or having a reason to regret it in the film. AAARRGH don't they even read their own changes? Mad

Having him run into Merry and Pippin then leave them makes Merry and Pippin look heroic but Frodo just looks like a little shit.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:50 pm

It is more satisfying to get a little bit of closure between Pippin and Merry and Frodo though before the Ring-bearer leaves the fellowship.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:57 pm

But it goes completely against the grain of what should be his character. Book Frodo would never have gone had he realised Merry and Pippin were in danger because of him. Let alone the way it actually happens on screen. And it robs Frodo of the fact unitl. he meets Faramir he can tell himself when he did the right thing, he left them behind safe- we lose his moment horror at the realisation if Boromir is dead, then so to could be any or all of the Company.

And for me its more effective without a goodbye- those hardly ever happens in real life. Usually you dont know when you see someone for the last time that it is the last time.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:56 pm

I disagree when it comes to movies. Movies and stories make sense of the chaos of life. Therefore movies should have goodbyes and farewells. It is true that Frodo leaves his friends in danger and that book-version wouldn't act this way, but I think in the film the awareness of that comes second to the emotions we feel seeing Merry and Pippin sacrifice themselves in order to save Frodo. I think it works, within the framework of the movie.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by azriel on Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:20 pm

I reckon its hereditary, Frodo got his falling down sickness from Bilbo Very Happy


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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by David H on Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:28 pm

It occurred to me last night that the casting of an 18 year old Elijah Wood to play the role that had originally been written as a 50 year old and previously preformed by a 50 year old (Ian Holm on radio as Petty pointed out) has some similarities to Dr Who, when a 30 year old Peter Davison was cast to follow a 48 year old Tom Baker.

Presumably both decisions were made to attempt to get a younger audience to identify with the character, and in both cases loyal fans of the earlier versions seem to have made similar complaints.
"The Fifth Doctor was far more vulnerable, sensitive, and reserved than his previous incarnations and often reacted to situations rather than initiating them." - Wikipedia

Yet both new characterizations have their fans too.

Any thoughts? Smile

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:53 pm

I think they made a conscious decision to make Frodo a youngster. it makes sense as far as a visual medium goes to make the principal character appealing to children, someone to identify with. After all LOTR is an epic Romance, its full of 'serious' themes and has already a cast of adults in the Fellowship. They needed to include younger members of the cast and who better than a Hobbit? Youth lends itself well to small beings, psychologically we associate small people with children, it made sense to make Frodo seem young and vulnerable, it makes his suffering seem much much more harrowing to watch. Frodo as a middle aged man, although more accurate to the book, would have had less sympathy from an audience who had not read the book. Young people watching they had instantly someone to identify with, this could have led to a lot of children reading the books which is always a positive outcome. People griping about Frodo being too young don't take all this into account. Also today children mature quicker and the high jinks that book Frodo got up to would look pretty weird today, they acted like teenagers most of the time, Pippin being mischievous would have worn thin pretty soon if he had been a 40 year old bloke, but a young silly Hobbit we can forgive him and like him. I am thinking about things they did which seem so naïve which are ok if you are a kid but pretty unbelievable if you are a middle aged man. Thinking about Bree, the Hobbits 'acted' like giddy teenagers although in theory they would be about 40 to 50 years old, it would have looked a bit odd to todays audience. having the Hobbits doing a lot of looking helpless and bewildered is far more aesthetically pleasing if they look like young whippersnappers than a group of mature looking blokes. if you get my drift.

Another important point to think about. Hobbits live longer then men, so a 50 year old Hobbit is a lot 'younger' in effect than a 50 year old man. That's why they acted younger than their age, its because in hobbit years they ARE younger than men, physically and mentally they mature later because they live longer, so it makes sense to have the Hobbits look as young as they were in human terms.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by halfwise on Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:48 pm

It's about a 2/3 age thing: Frodo in the book was equivalent to the 30's, the other hobbits to the 20's.

I got the impression from the commentary that they had not originally decided to cast Frodo so young, but were so taken with the looks of Elijah Wood that they just said "screw it" and cast him as the lead.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by David H on Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:02 pm

I believe it's mentioned in the preparations for the party that Frodo is just "coming of age" at 33, so it would be easy for the writers to translate that as about 18 in human years. Then they chose to shorten the next 17 years in which almost nothing happens into what feels like a month or two in the film. I can see why that made sense from a narrative standpoint, though again it led to further divergences from the book. Taken together though, they make for a very different Frodo.
Mrs Figg wrote:Also today children mature quicker and the high jinks that book Frodo got up to would look pretty weird today, they acted like teenagers most of the time, Pippin being mischievous would have worn thin pretty soon if he had been a 40 year old bloke, but a young silly Hobbit we can forgive him and like him. I am thinking about things they did which seem so naïve which are ok if you are a kid but pretty unbelievable if you are a middle aged man.

You clearly associate with a better class of middle aged men than I do... Nod


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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Radaghast on Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:43 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:I think they made a conscious decision to make Frodo a youngster. it makes sense as far as a visual medium goes to make the principal character appealing to children, someone to identify with. After all LOTR is an epic Romance, its full of 'serious' themes and has already a cast of adults in the Fellowship. They needed to include younger members of the cast and who better than a Hobbit? Youth lends itself well to small beings, psychologically we associate small people with children, it made sense to make Frodo seem young and vulnerable, it makes his suffering seem much much more harrowing to watch. Frodo as a middle aged man, although more accurate to the book, would have had less sympathy from an audience who had not read the book. Young people watching they had instantly someone to identify with, this could have led to a lot of children reading the books which is always a positive outcome. People griping about Frodo being too young don't take all this into account. Also today children mature quicker and the high jinks that book Frodo got up to would look pretty weird today, they acted like teenagers most of the time, Pippin being mischievous would have worn thin pretty soon if he had been a 40 year old bloke, but a young silly Hobbit we can forgive him and like him.
Pippin was not a "40-year-old bloke" in the book, he was 28 when he first appears in the story, so actually younger than the actor portraying him.

Anyway, the age thing would not necessarily have been a deal-breaker for me. It's the other stuff.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:30 pm

If they had cast someone like Ian Holm as Frodo he would have ended up looking like a halfwit.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Radaghast on Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:45 am


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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by David H on Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:17 am

Mrs Figg wrote:If they had cast someone like Ian Holm as Frodo he would have ended up looking like a halfwit.
...who we all know is the father of Halfwise.

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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by Eldorion on Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:20 am

I'm glad someone else appreciates Halfy's signature too. It might be my favorite one on here. Very Happy
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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by malickfan on Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:38 pm

I just watched the first 1hr and 1/2 of FOTR (E.E) for the first time in several years ...and Frodo came across as more of a wide eyed bewildered puppy along for the ride, than heroic hobbit initiating actions.

Elijah Wood's performance was pretty impressive for such a young actor (if a little uneven at times, there's only so much 'please look at his massive eyes for all the emotional resonance in this scene' acting I can take) but something just felt a little...off?

Whether it's the fact that I now know the book so well, have grown older/harder to please or the films aren't quite as good as I remember in certain areas (possibly a combination of all three) but I do certainly see where Raddy was coming from...

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The Thorin: An Unexpected Rewrite December 2012 (I was on the money apparently)
The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: Frodo: Book vs. Movie

Post by halfwise on Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:36 pm

David H wrote:
Mrs Figg wrote:If they had cast someone like Ian Holm as Frodo he would have ended up looking like a halfwit.
...who we all know is the father of Halfwise.

Nod

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