Tolkien vs. Jackson: The Lord of the Rings Book vs. Movie Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Fans of epic fantasy can get their fix with either version of "Lord of the Rings," but one thing is certain — Peter Jackson's films differ from J.R.R. Tolkien's novels in many ways. Can you tell one version of Middle Earth from another in our Lord of the Rings Book vs. Movie Quiz?

In the novel, who carries Frodo away from the Ringwraiths and takes him to Rivendell?

In the novel, an elf named Glorfindel aids Aragorn and the hobbits when they're attacked by the ringwraiths. Glorfindel puts Frodo on his horse, Asfaloth, who carries Frodo to safety.


What scene from the books appears only as a vision in Galadriel's mirror in the movies?

In the books, The Shire was taken over ("scoured") by Saruman's minions and liberated by the returning hobbits.


In the novel, where is the broken sword Narsil kept before it is reforged?

Aragorn carries Narsil through all his journeys in the novels.


When Faramir is wounded, he is dragged back into Minas Tirith by his horse in the movie. Who carries him into the city in the book?

Prince Imrahil carries Faramir in the novel, but doesn’t appear in the movie.


In one version, Wormtongue is killed by hobbits; in another, he is killed by Legolas. In which version is he killed by Legolas?

Legolas shoots an arrow into Wormtongue at Orthanc in the movie.


In the book, Merry and Pippin meet a hasty ent. What was his name?

Quickbeam represents the faction of ents that are angry at Saruman's despoiling and want to take action.


In the movies, Elrond discouraged the marriage between Arwen and Aragorn because she was immortal and would outlive him. What was his condition for the marriage in the novels?

The Dúnedain were an ancient lineage of men who had been allies of Elves, so Elrond felt that their king would be a worthy husband to his daughter.


Which major novel character from the early part of Frodo's journey was infamously ommitted from the movies?

Although Tom Bombadill seems to be a "side quest" not important to the overall plot, he reveals a lot about beauty and the nature of power in Middle Earth, and many fans wish he hadn't been left out of the movies.


The movie version of Denethor is missing a key item that he has in the novel. What is it?

It is Denethor's viewing of Sauron through his palantir that has aged him and driven him to despair in the novel.


Gothmog is a minor character in one version, but plays a greater role in the other. In which version is Gothmog more important?

In the movies, Gothmog is a an orc general with a lot of screen time compared to his brief appearance in the book.


When the orcs attack Helm's Deep in the movie, the women and children of Rohan are there seeking safety. Where are they in the book?

Théoden sends his people to Dunharrow in the book because he knows a battle will be fought at Helm's Deep — not the safest place to hide.


In both versions, Sauron is unaware that Frodo has the Ring inside Mordor, but in the book he is concerned that who has it?

Sauron fears that Aragorn will use the power of the Ring against him in the book. In the movie he's more concerned about Aragorn becoming king.


Ghân-buri-Ghân only appears in which version?

Ghân-buri-Ghân helps the Rohirrim reach Minas Tirith in the novel, but that journey is Ghân-buri-Ghân-free in the movie.


When Eowyn disguises herself as a young man to join the Rohirrim, her secret isn’t revealed until she attacks the Witch-king in the book. Who knows her identity and keeps it a secret in the movie?

Merry notices Eowyn when he joins her on her horse in the movie.


Aragorn gives the hobbits elvish swords in the movie, but they carry Dúnedain blades in the novels. Where did they get them?

The hobbits getting their swords from Aragorn instead of in the barrow downs (a scene that wasn't included in the movies) shows how changes between versions can cause a cascade of further changes.


The movies feature a prologue in which Galadriel explains much of the backstory of the One Ring. Does this prologue appear in the books?

The history of the One Ring and how it was lost and found is explained in bits and pieces throughout the novels.


The Army of the Dead joins Aragorn willingly in the novel so that their oath can be fulfilled. What do they do in the movie?

The attack at the Paths of the Dead is one example among many where action scenes that don’t appear in the books were added to the movies.


Gandalf's heritage isn't mentioned in the movies, but is explained in the novels (and their appendices). What is he?

Gandalf is a Maiar, an angel-like being sent to Middle Earth to guide the people there. Many of the evil beings in Middle Earth, including the Balrog and Sauron, are corrupted Maiar.


In the movie, who casts the spell that makes the river surge and wash away the ringwraiths at the Ford of Bruinen?

Arwen speaks an elvish phrase that causes the river to surge. In the novel Elrond used the power of his elven ring to do it.


Gandalf solves the riddle of the password to the Gates of Moria in which version?

Gandalf figures out the password after much thought in the novel. Frodo comes up with the answer in the movie.


In the movie, a major character who is present in the book version of the Council of Elrond is absent. Who did they leave out?

Bilbo doesn’t have much to do in the movie, but he plays a greater role in the book.


In the book, no one tries to destroy the ring during the Council of Elrond. Who tries to do it at the movie version of the council?

Gimli's futile attempt to smash the ring with an axe is a perfect visual indication of how powerful the Ring is.


Who tortured Gollum and tried to take the Ring to Minas Tirith in the movies, when he was much kinder and more trustworthy in the books?

In the books, Faramir provides a much stronger contrast to his brother, Boromir, who is easily tempted by the Ring.


The movie condenses much of Gandalf's journey that occurs between Bilbo's birthday and the night Frodo leaves the Shire. What did Gandalf do in that time in the book?

Gandalf's investigation into the Ring's location is much more involved in the books — he gets much of his information when he questions the captured Gollum.


When Sam offers to carry the Ring for him at Cirith Ungol, what does Frodo do in the movie that he does not do in the book?

While Frodo struggles with the mental anguish of carrying the Ring in the novels, he never turns on Sam the way he does in the movies.


Aragorn falls off a cliff and is thought to be dead in which version?

There's no such peril in the book.


In the book, the orc Grishnakh is killed in the battle between the Riders of Rohan and the orcs. Who kills him in the movie?

Treebeard gets in on the orc-smashing action in the movie version.


An army of elves comes to aid the Rohirrim at Helm's Deep in the movie, but not in the book. Where was the elven army in the book?

Sauron's military campaign was much more sprawling in the books, including a strategic move to tie up the forces of Lothlórien.


In the book, Frodo immediately flees Amon Hen (joined by Sam) after his encounter with Boromir. In the movie, he talks with another member of the Fellowship first. Who?

The conversation with Aragorn lets the Fellowship know where Sam and Frodo have gone. In the books they can only guess at their fate.


In the movie, Gandalf first visits Saruman of his own accord, looking for advice. In the book, someone comes to Gandalf to tell him Saruman wants to meet with him. Who was it?

Radagast the Brown finds Gandalf and delivers Saruman's summons to Isengard in the novel. Radagast doesn't appear at all in the "Lord of the Rings" movies, though he eventually turns up in "The Hobbit" movies.


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