I have a problem with the movie. I mean parts are different, of course, but this one scene has me upset. We will get to the other problems between book and movie in later posts but for now we are going to focus on this one thing. Well, not one thing, but this one part of the journey.
I will start with how they found and caught Gollum. They did not show how the hobbits traveled down the cliff with the elf rope. They just pulled it out to tie up and keep hold of Gollum. As Gollum was climbing down the cliff, the hobbits were waiting at the bottom for him. In the movie it showed Sam and Frodo pretending to sleep. This is kind of just a point of view or opinion, but as I was reading I did not think of them as sleeping. I believed they were just hiding. That they were standing real close to the cliff with their elven cloaks to help them hid and just waited for Gollum to reach the bottom. That may just be my interpretation and not really a difference between the book and movie.
When the hobbits tied the elf rope to Gollum, it clearly said around the ankle in the book. “Tie one end to his ankle, and keep a grip on the other end.” That way he can walk and still be held onto. I mean there is literally no other way to interpret that. It goes on his ankle. Period. You know how movies are though. They must make it more entertaining. So in the movie they tie the rope around his throat. HIS THROAT. A little cruel don’t you think. It was all for the view. Tying the rope around his ankle but showing burn marks, or freeze burns to be more exact, would have been better. I do not make movies though so I guess they knew what was more theatrical; I just know what is right.
Later on when they take a rest from traveling, Gollum goes to find food. He comes back with two rabbits. Now he originally brought them for his master, Frodo, who is asleep but let’s Sam have them. Gollum paws at Frodo and fetches rabbits for him like a dog. In the movie and book Sam speaks about potatoes. This is not a difference, I just found it funny. Gollum does not have a clue what potatoes are. He asks Sam what they are and Sam responds: “Po-ta-toes.” It is just some humor put into all of their traveling and fights.
After the potatoes, they watch these red robed men march in a path near them. The hobbits and Gollum watch below as they pass. In the movie you see Oliphaunts. In the book Sam describes Oliphaunts. Basically they are giant elephants for war. He does not use words but he uses poetry. They leave out the poems and some of the songs sang from in the book in the movie. It would have been cool to hear the poems and songs sung by different breeds. Anyway in the movie you do not get this description, you have to assume that they are Oliphaunts. They see the red robed men get attacked and killed. Who attacked these red robed men will be described in a later post, including their differences from the book.