1. Do you like how the book is split? Book 3 is all about Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, and book 4 is all about Frodo and Sam.
You know, I think I might have liked it more if they were interspersed. I like the suspense that creates, but if one of the narratives was more boring, I might not have liked it. I think it's ok and I can see why Tolkien did it, but it might have made the whole thing more fast-paced if they weren't separated.
2. What differences between the book and movie do you like?
I love to see more of Eowyn. I think Tolkien does imply a lot about her from the very brief passages we get about her, and I love how the movie expanded on that. I like how the book spent much less time with all the gory fighting in Helm's Deep and more time with the Ents. I love Ents! One thing I absolutely adore about the movies is the music. Oh, my goodness, the music for the riders of Rohan is one of my favorites.
3. What differences between the book and movie do you dislike?
I think I was annoyed, as I kind of mentioned, about how much the emphasis in the movie was on Helm's Deep and the absolute bloodbath that was. We haven't gotten to the second part of this book, but FARAMIR!!!!! I believe I mentioned this already :)
4. Why do you think Grima Wormtongue threw the Palantir out the window?
I think he had no idea what it was. I think he was realizing just what an awful situation he got himself into and, as Gandalf (I think it was him) said, he couldn't decide if he hated Saruman or Eomer more. Definitely didn't know how much it meant to Saruman :)
5. Have you noticed any differences in character from Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White?
Absolutely. I think Jenni Elyse said it best, he has a lot more confidence in his decisions. He doesn't hesitate as much and he has a lot more power. When he faces off with Saruman, he knows that he is stronger and he easily takes his staff.
6. What was your favorite moment or scene in the book?
I loved when the Ents got all hot and bothered and destroyed Isengard. I think it's awesome how powerful nature can be and they signify that for me.
7. Magic always has to have constraints. If it didn't, we'd want all the problems to be solved with magic. There is some powerful magic in Lord of the Rings. How do you think it works? What are the constraints? Why doesn't Gandalf just transport the ring to the Mount Doom or wipe out the armies with magic?
One of the things I love about Lord of the Rings is that obviously, there's magic, but it is actually really subtle. When you try to think of magic things, it's only stuff like magic rings and making fire and elves being elvish. I thought the part where Théoden "wakes up" was much more subtle in the book - the movie tends to make the magic more obvious. There was no mystical fight with Saruman, instead Gandalf's words had power. Perhaps that's how the magic works. Words do seem to have power in the books. I think the magic is very subtle and it isn't meant to be more potent than what regular people (or hobbits) can accomplish on their own steam.
8. I feel like Tolkien wasn't a fan of technology or machinery. Did you pick up on any of that?
Yes! This might be because I read some of what Tolkien thought about the prevalence of factories and technology going on in England at the time. I think the contrast between Treebeard and Saruman is the most obvious example. Essentially, nature and trees are the good guys, whereas Saruman "has a mind of metal and wheels" (I think that's the quote - too lazy to look it up :). His machinery and smokes and all going on in Isengard are the epitome of what's wrong in Middle Earth - at least to Treebeard. We'll definitely see more of this when they get back to the Shire.
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