The Two Towers – Book and Movie: a comparison

I have finished rereading The Two Towers for the 4th time about 5 days ago and I think it’s a fair thing to make a nice comparison between the book and the movie. Although I consider TLoTR as one of the best movies based on novel, but still the movie is not 100% same with the book.

Here, I’m not going to write about how the movie goes because the story line is the same with the book and I have already reviewed the book here. To make it interesting, the movie is a mix between book 3 and book 4. If the movie was made just like the book, I think it will bore people who haven’t read the book yet. However, I’m going to write my comparison based on the book’s order, first from book 3 and then from book 4.

Book 3

The first difference is how Pippin dropped his elven brooch. In the book, Pippin walked away from the Isengard orcs and dropped the brooch, but in the movie Pippin dropped it while he was still being carried by the orcs.

The way Pippin and Merry fled from the orcs is also different. I like the book’s version much better than the movie because it really shows how carefree hobbits are. In the book, Pippin who had his hand free way before the attack of the Rohirrim helped Merry to untie his hand’s bound. And then they tried to avoid the battle by crawling away from the battle. But not far from the battle, they decided to eat first because they had no strength to walked farther…and there, while the battle was still going on near them, they ate in peace as if no battle was around them. It even puzzled Aragorn when he tracked them and found out that they ate before running away. And there was no orc following them into the wood. In the movie, Pippin and Merry, with no hobbits behavior shown, ran away from the battle straight into the wood and an orc was after them.

Hence…it now goes to the meeting with Treebeard. In the book, Pippin and Merry was standing on a hill and Treebeard was standing next to the hill. In the movie, Treebeard saved them from the orc. Pippin and Merry didn’t meet Gandalf while they were with Treebeard, but in the movie, Treebeard asked Gandalf whether they were orcs or not.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the wood, the way Gandalf helped Théoden is also different. In the book, Théoden was not as if possessed by Saruman. In the movie, Gandalf had to thrown Saruman from inside Théoden’s mind. For this part, I like the movie version better because somehow it felt more dramatic. Éomer’s part is also different. In the book, Éomer wasn’t thrown away from the palace, he was locked inside the place. In the movie, Éomer was sent away from the palace. Hence come another difference, In the book, Éomer went along with the company to Helm’s Deep while in the movie he came to the rescue of Helm’s Deep.

The Helm’s Deep decision, in the book, was made by Gandalf after he saw armies of orcs heading to where Helm’s deep lie and the decision was made to defend the ford. They wanted to go straight to Isengard but changed their direction to Helm’s deep. Gandalf left the company to find more help. Those who went to Helm’s Deep were only men. In the deep itself, many people already came to take refuge. But in the movie the decision was made by Théoden and was against by Gandalf. They went there for a refuge and carried all the women and children away from Edoras. On their way to Helm’s Deep, they were attacked by the wargs and orcs of Isengard (This part is what I consider as an interesting change). Aragorn fell to the river and had memories of Lady Arwen, this part was not exist in the book.

As for the battle of Helm’s deep, we can find also find some changes…for me, both parts are equally interesting. In the book, the one who helped them was not elf but Huorns (Ents who had turned treeish), they were all around the castle and killed every orcs that stepped into the wood. People that followed Gandalf to help defending Helm’s Deep were Erkenbrand’s people. In the movie, the one who came to help them were elves and the people that followed Gandalf was Éomer’s people.

The last part in book 3 is the part that I felt annoyed because the movie has changed it. In the book, The Ents decided to go to war against Saruman and the way they marched to Isengard was incredible, the Ents were shouting ‘We go to war, to hew the stone and break the door.  To Isengard with doom we come!’ They shouted like that all the way to Isengard. I can clearly imagine the awesomeness of the scene, it was like thousands of people shouting at the same time. In the movie, the Ents decided not to go to war but after seeing the cruelness of Saruman toward trees around Isengrad, Treebeard became furious and called the other Ents to war. Too bad we can’t see the troops of Ents shouting like in the book.

There is another big different but it doesn’t matter that much for me. In the movie, Saruman’s attack to Rohan was under impression that it was for Sauron’s good but in the book it was an act of tracery toward Sauron.

The movie ends after the battle of Helm’s Deep and the battle of Isengard. But the book ends after Pippin is taken by Gandalf to Minas Tirith.

Book 4

In book 4, the difference is not much but very crucial. Some are good changes some are bad changes.

The way they caught Gollum was different but it was not a big deal. Another not important change is the place where they tie Gollum with elven rope, in the book, Gollum was tied on one of his legs, in the movie he was tied on his neck.

The movie adds something more interesting when they reach the Gate of Mordor. In the book, Frodo and Sam followed Gollum to the other way to enter Mordor without any thrilling event, the movie changed this part a bit, Sam fell and Frodo had to cover him with the elven cloak so that the army of Mordor couldn’t find them.

What I don’t like about the changes between Frodo, Sam and Gollum is the way Frodo acts toward  Sam as if he likes Gollum more (we can see it in the third movie that Frodo sends Sam away), in truth, Frodo never lost faith on Sam. But I do like the addition in Gollum’s feeling, the way he struggle between trusting Frodo or betray him is really interesting.

The part that I hate the most is when the movie decides to change Faramir. In the book, Faramir was a much better man than Boromir, he had never extended his arm to grab the ring. He would not defend his country with any weapon made by the enemy. He blessed Frodo and gave good counsel to him. He was a man with kind heart. However, in the movie, he became someone who was no different than his brother…what a shame!! Faramir was a way better man than the movie had portrayed of him. I wish they had never changed the way Faramir acted toward the ring.

Book 4 ends with the taken of Frodo by orcs, while the movie ends with the parting of Frodo and Faramir.

A little notion, you might heard Sam calling Frodo by his name only…but in the book, Sam never once calls Frodo by his name, he always use master or Mr.Frodo.

Overall, both book and movie worth

Note: Please help me out if I place the wrong word for different and difference, I think I probably make mistakes here and there due to using too many different and difference. Thank you.


  1. One of my favourite parts in the movie is when the elves come to help them and I remember when I first saw it I thought it wasn’t in the book as I couldn’t remember it. Well, I see, it isn’t. I can absolutely not remember Faramir in the book. Maybe it was necessary to change him for the movie, more dramatic.

  2. WOW, this is great, Nov. You obviously took a lot of time doing this, so bravo! I have to go back and read it more closely but the part that really got me was about Faramir. I can understand your frustration when they change the essence of a character like that, boy that’s annoying. I’d wish they retain what’s in the book in that regard. And interesting about Sam never calling Frodo by his name only in the book, that shows how much reverence he has for his friend.

    Btw, just curious what the book says about the relationship between Aragorn and Eowyn. Is it even remotely accurate? Thanks!

    1. Thank you Ruth 🙂
      It’s easy to write this because I have read the book 4 times and watched the movie countless time, so all I do is only refresh my memory a bit. The conversation between Frodo and Faramir was my favorite conversation of all 3 books (6 books to be exact)…it sounds so noble. But I understand if they cut that scene because it will bore people, I still don’t understand why they have to change Faramis as well.

      Yup that one is accurate. They add some scenes but that’s understandable to show her feeling. Eowyn really showed her feeling toward Aragorn but Aragorn tried his best to put a distance between them because he didn’t want to hurt her feeling.
      I’m reading The Return of The King now, and in this book, her feeling was shown more than in The Two Towers.

  3. and actually dont really remember the content of the book and the scenes of the movie. but i know your feeling. i remember i felt that way too when i reread the book after watched the movie. they changed too many parts in the movie.. especially the Ents with the war, and Sam-Frodo covered. that two that i can recall for now.. i lost my memory somewhere

    1. Some changes are okay for me, it even makes the story better than the book. But they are getting to far in changing someone’s character, that is the part that I don’t like. in the movie, you can not feel how wise Frodo is and how kind Faramir is.

      Despite all my objections, I still think LOTR as one of the best movie based on book 🙂

  4. I just want to say that I found no issue with the way they changed Faramir in the movie. I think that it shows his struggle for his father’s love. That was the saddest part of the movie for me, that Denethor never saw how much his son sacrificed for him. Back to Faramir, I think that the reason they had him start to take the Ring in the movie was because it displays how at first he thinks he can earn his father’s love. Then he realizes that Frodo needs to destroy the Ring, and he lets them go.

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