WOULD IT HAVE KILLED HIM TO INCLUDE MORE OF THE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN FRODO AND FARAMIR IN ITHILIEN!?!?!?! I mean, Jeez! OK, OK, I don’t mean to complain. I understand Faramir and Frodo’s verbal chess match does not necessarily translate very well to the big screen, even though it did illustrate Frodo’s emerging maturity and Faramir’s wisdom and ability to be much more of a hero and a leader than Boromir could ever be, no matter what that loony Denethor thought of him. Denethor. What a jerk that guy was. And there is no way he could have run, on fire, from the Minas Tirith tombs all the way through the Citadel and over the outer edge of the giant spur of rock. Sure, it was dramatic and served as a nice transition back to the battle in the movie, but the tombs were about a mile back toward the mountain. Who does he think he is, Joan of Arc? You can’t trick me.
But I did like some of the additions they incorporated, like Sam’s monologue of hope at the end of the The Two Towers. Oh, and near the end of the Return of the King, when all the people of Minas Tirith were gathered on the giant spur of rock for the coronation of Aragorn, and then Aragorn and his party approached the four hobbits and the four hobbits began to bow, but Aragorn stopped them and said, “My friends, you bow to no one” (for all their heroics in the battle against evil), and then everybody bowed to them instead. Every time I see that I feel like I’m swallowing a hockey puck, and, I’m not afraid to say it, tears of joy tumble down my cheeks.
Maybe I am one of those gargantuageeks, afterall (a closet one, anyway). But there was one thing they omitted from the movies that needed to be included. I don’t blame
Through some research I learned that Tolkien had initially used the presence of the Mumakil (Oliphaunt) dung as a crafty tool of warfare in the battle of the Pelennor Fields. In this version, Sauron had instructed cave trolls with big shovels to follow the Oliphaunts, scoop their droppings and deliver them to the catapults, where they would be launched over the stone walls of Minas Tirith. Some dung bombs would even be set afire. There is nothing more discouraging to an enemy than being hit by giant chunks of flaming shit. It’s the first thing they teach you at
Imagine how more riveting The Return of The King movie would have been had this element not been flushed away. The action in the events in the battle scenes would have been enhanced beyond comprehension. When Merry and Eowyn were riding the horse amongst the tree-trunk-like legs of the Oliphaunts, not only would they have had to dodge the Oliphaunt legs, and the trunks and the tusks and the arrows and the orcs, they would have had the added peril of being squashed by a suffocating load of steaming pachyderm pie. If that doesn’t get your palms sweating, I don’t know what would. Consider the tide turning scene where the big chief Nazgul had Gandalf cornered on an upper tier of Minas Tirith. The Nazgul had already destroyed Gandalf’s staff and was about to end Gandalf, too. But the Nazgul was called away by the tumult caused by the arrival of the Riders of Rohan and their crazy attack horn (like the Nazgul couldn’t take an extra couple of seconds to pound the cowering Gandalf before he flew off to tame the equestrians, with their goofy felt covered caps and shiny boots and intimidating dressage whips). Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if, at that pivotal moment, the Nazgul was hit accidentally by a friendly fired mound of flung poop? I think so. Not to mention the ominous foreshadowing it would have made regarding momentum of the battle. Later when Merry would stab that same Nazgul as he was about to sack Eowyn, a little comic relief could have been added if, instead, Merry pelted him with Oliphaunt dung balls. Right when the annoyed Nazgul would implore, “Would everybody stop heaving shit at me, PLEASE!”, Eowyn could have taken that opportunity to stab his face. The result would have been the same, but we all could have had a chuckle as we wept for the dying Theoden king. As is the case with incorporating bathroom humor into any epic, the possibilities for entertainment are endless. Tolkien should have stuck with his first instinct.