I put up a post a while ago about film adaptations of books and how they may not live up to the expectations created by the books. Today, I’d like to talk about specific examples of this.
*Before we go any further, I would like to say that this post contains spoilers (to a certain extent).*
Without further ado, let’s get started.
- The Lord of the Rings. These movies, on their own, are great films and a great series. In fact, they’re the reason I got so much into the universe of Middle-Earth in the first place. But when they’re placed side-to-side with the books, things don’t quite match up. Peter Jackson did a great job of bringing the narrative to the screen, but certain (arguably important) details were left out. A few examples include Tom Bombadil, the Barrow-Downs, Glorfindel, and the Scourging of the Shire. Not only that, but in the theatrical version of the films, he left out/changed Saruman’s true end. Don’t get me wrong, the films are amazing, but they don’t always stay true to the original narrative.
- Eragon. I recently read The Inheritance Cycle all the way through, and let me tell you, the film fell utterly short of representing the first book of the series. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, but from what I remember, certain details and characters were either left out or changed. For example, I don’t remember Katrina being represented in the film (correct me if I’m wrong). As for details being changed, there are quite a few. Firstly, Eragon’s gedwey ignasia (the mark on his hand signifying he’s a Rider) was not correctly shown/designed in the film. Secondly, Angela’s appearance (physically and when she came into the series) is wrong. Thirdly, what about Teirm? Fourthly: Arya’s appearance. Let’s discuss this for a moment. First of all, she should have black hair, not red hair. Secondly, she’s an elf. Therefore, she shouldn’t look exactly like a human. Also, the caravan going from Farthen-Dur to Ellesmera was wrong. There weren’t enough people in it in the film, and the film left out the dwarves. Speaking of the dwarves, where were they in the film? There are just quite a few things lacking or wrong with the film. So if they ever were to remake the film, I’d hope that they’d stick to the book(s) more than they did the first time. But one thing I think they did get right was Saphira’s personality. The film definitely hinted at her sassy-ness and ability to defend herself.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I think it’s a fandom wide understanding that the films do not live up to the books or do the books justice. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the second film and I haven’t seen it as much as the first film, so I’m not as familiar with it as I am the first film. That being said, I’m just going to focus on the first film. First of all, and what gets me irked the most, is that the film deviates so much from the book plot-wise. The majority of the film doesn’t even follow the plot of the book. Sure there are points where it does (somewhat) follow the book. But for the majority of the film, the filmmakers threw the original plot out the window and just used the characters and general goal(s) of the book to fuel their own narrative. And in doing so, they left out some major characters. Like Ares and the Chimera. Not only that, but they changed certain details, such as the layout of the cabins and the color of Annabeth’s hair. Which, to be fair, they corrected Annabeth’s hair color in the second film. There’s just so much wrong with the films.
These are the three that I can think of at present, and these are the ones that I feel have the most glaring problems.
How do you feel about the changes I mentioned today? Did I leave any details/changes out? Are there any book to film adaptations that you can think of that don’t match up? Let me know in the comments!