Lord of the Rings
As I was looking at potential titles to compare for my blog, the Lord of the Rings series came to mind. First, I want to limit this to the trilogy which consist of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. This, of course, would leave The Hobbit out of the discussion. As I pondered this series, I began wondering if I really preferred one media type over another.
In my previous post, we looked at Resident Evil. I obviously was not a fan of the movie. It did nothing to conjure up any of the fondness I had for the gaming series. It was simply a mechanism to exploit fans of the series to generate more revenue. I have a different perspective, however, when it comes to the Lord of the Rings. As I watched the movies, I was not thinking about the differences between the different types of media. I embraced the movie for what it was. It allowed me to relive the wonder of Middle Earth visually. Now, were there parts of the movie that were different from the book? Certainly there were. Aragorn in the movie was a rather reluctant hero, while in the books he knew where his destiny lied. I was also a bit disappointed to not see Tom Bombadil make an appearance in the movie. Did these differences (and others) make me want to stand up in the theatre and shake my fist in rage? No, I was very content with what was offered. It cemented imagery in my mind and overall enhanced my experience with the series.
Now I know that there are some purists out there who will whole-heartedly disagree with me. I do appreciate their view point and I appreciate the detail that is found in the books. I am not, however, one of those fans that can write the Tengwar (elvish) alphabet or produce a map of Middle Earth. My appreciation for the series is a bit casual for that.
And therein, I believe, is where fans will decide on their favorite media for this series. The fan who loves the detail surrounding the series will definitely choose the books over any other media. Those, much like me, who enjoy the series but don’t mind someone like Peter Jackson taking a few liberties with the story line, will embrace pretty much all the media types. I actually even enjoyed playing some of the video games based on LOTR. There will also be the casual viewer who really just enjoyed the movie, found it entertaining and is quite content to leave it at that.
It is not to say, however, that all people fit into those three categories. My mother, for example, saw the movies first and found it so interesting that she picked up the books. It is apparent that the series, regardless of the media, has been wildly successful. The Lord of the Rings is the second bestselling book of fiction (The Hobbit was number three). The movie series grossed over $1 billion dollars, closer to $2 billion if you adjust for inflation. Loving the series as I do, I am not surprised.