It’s been fifteen years or so since I last read The Lord Of The Rings. In that time, I’ve seen the Peter Jackson movies a half-dozen times. And, it turns out, my memories of the movies have replaced my memories of the book.
The movies dropped the Fatty Bolger character, cut out a scene where the hobbits spend a night with elves, dropped Frodo’s decoy house, dropped the conspiracy among Frodo’s friends to figure out what he’s up to, completely changed the nature of their interaction with Farmer Maggot, added a chase scene to get to the ferry, and apparently moved the town of Bree to just across the Brandywine river (which cuts out a tricksy forest and Tom Bombadil – which is as far as I’ve read so far).
Which is not to fault the movies! Because a lot of that stuff is fairly inconsequential, and skipping it in the interest of just getting on with things doesn’t hurt how the movies work. After all, it takes the book 100+ pages just to get across the river, and another couple of chapters after that to get to Bree. If the movies stuck to the book, it would take hours of screen time just to meet Aragorn. But, since I only remembered Jackson’s streamlined version, a couple of times I’ve found myself wondering if maybe I’m reading some kind of new expanded edition of LOTR!