I’ve started Return of the King and I see a lot of changes from the movie. These changes make sense but it’s kind of sad. For example, the Prince of Dol Amroth, Imrahil, leads his valiant knights to Gondor to aid in the defense of the city. It’s Imrahil who rides out with Gandalf in a sortie against the companies of Mordor and it’s Imrahil who recovers Faramir from where he had fallen on the field.
Imrahil is a cool character in the book, but obviously cut. Or there’s the 30 or so Dúnedain Rangers who come from the North to join up with Aragorn, and with them are the sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir. The inclusion of these characters would probably have muddied the waters of an already epically huge movie, but still I’m sad that I never got to see these characters. The Dúnedain especially are kind of cool since they’re this grim silent group of guys that kind of freaks out the Riders of Rohan.
Interestingly, in the movie, Faramir is sent on a suicidal attack on the Mordorian forces, whereas in the book he’s dispatched to man the fortifications preventing the Mordorian forces from crossing the Anduin. I’m not exactly sure why that was chosen, since it doesn’t seem like you gain much from that change.
Completely randomly, by the way, they changed the name of Aragorn’s horse to that of an ancestor of Theoden (in the movie). Which is like… why?