It is not secret nor debate that the Lord of The Rings trilogy contains three of the greatest films known to man, elf, and hobbit-kind. Adapting a book into a film that will engage and make sense to those who are unfamiliar with the source material itself is a difficult task. Sure, a studio could make a niche film filled with obscure references with a nineteen-hour runtime in order to fit every single page from the book in the script; but such things would only attract a very small and dedicated audience. So, in order to create an adaptation with mass appeal, somethings need to be changed while others need to be cut entirely. And though the extended editions of the Lord of The Ring films (a.k.a. the only editions worth watching according to dedicated fans of the series,) are several hours long apiece, there was still a significant amount of the story that was left behind. And since remakes and sequels are the current film trend, we decided to compile a list of storylines and characters that were left out of the original trilogy which deserves their own spin-off (or, at the very least, an appearance in a future adaptation.)
10 The Scouring of The Shire
One of the greatest things about the films is their happy endings. Not many high fantasy nor adult orientated films end on such a happy note with as many survivors and victories. So it makes sense that this final hurdle was left out of the films entirely as it would dampen the happy ending we were given. In this scene, the Hobbit's return to The Shire after the end of the battle, only to find that some less than pleasant beings have raided and pillaged The Shire. The gang is not so pleased with this and quickly rectifies the situation. They drive the unwelcomed parties out and Frodo discovers that his home has been occupied while he was away by a rather unsavory couple who are quickly dealt with. Though this scene is not long enough to be made into a film of its own, it would be a welcomed addition to future adaptations of the series. Especially if the director wished to go in a bit of a darker direction.
Even considering the fact that several characters were cut from the Lord of The Ring films, the cast is still impressive and slightly overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the series. One of the characters who should not have been ignored and deserves their own spin-off is the character of Gildor. For those reading who do not know, Gildor is essentially an elf lord. And this elf lord has a sizable part in the Hobbit's journey to deliver the ring to its ultimate end. In the books, Gildor actually saves the Hobbit gang from some rather unfriendly Ringwraiths and delivers a sage bit of wisdom to Frodo. For the sake of keeping things streamlined, clear, and simple, his character was simply combined with Gandalf in the end. Hopefully, future adaptations or spin-offs centered around the series give Gildor his well deserved moment on the silver screen.
8 Boromir's Dream
In a series that is centered around ideas of fate, duty, and destiny, it seems odd that the films would decide to cut out the prophetic dream that Boromir experienced in the original books. This dream reveals that Frodo will make the decision to become the official ring-bearer. This dream also is the event which forces Aragorn to realize that he must honour his duty and claim the title of King of Gondor. One could rationalize this dream being excluded from the films as the films seemed to portray Aragorn as a bit more hesitant than his book-self in terms of his role as future king and the responsibilities attached. However, if a future version of the films (or even perhaps a spin-off focused entirely on Aragorn and his journey) were to ever enter into production, it could be fascinating to include the dream as part of a plot which includes a more King-focused Aragorn.
7 The Life of Tom Bombadil
In the same way that the Harry Potter fans of the world grieve over the beloved character of Peeves not making it into the film adaptations, the Lord of the Ring fans were disappointed over the fact that the character of Tom Bombadil never made it into the LOTR films. Though it made sense to cut him for pacing and simplicity, fans still mourn his absence. For those reading who are unfamiliar with the character of Tom, here is a brief summary. Tom Bombadil is known as one of the eldest and most powerful creatures in all of Middle Earth. He even had a part in the Hobbits' journey as, in the books, Tom Bombadil rescues the Hobbits from the Barrow-Downs. But since the Barrow-Downs were cut from the films as well, there was simply no place for poor old Tom. Hopefully, he will get his moment in the spotlight in a future film or even his own solo picture.
6 Elrohir and Elladan
Though these two characters being left out of the film does not change any aspect of the plot as their necessary moments were either cut entirely or given to someone else, fans still wish that the characters of Elrohir and Elladan, as well as their journey, could have made it into the films. Elrohir and Elladan are the sons of Elrond and were as thick as thieves with Aragorn. They were faithfully at Aragorn's side as he walked the Paths of the Dead and them being left out of the series was a true sadness. If a studio is ever looking to pursue a film dedicated solely to the story of Aragorn (as mentioned above,) including these characters would be a no-brainer. They would be wonderful companions to the character and would be excellent additions to a story focused entirely on Aragorn's journey.
5 Fredegar Holding Down The Fort
In the books, the Hobbit gang was a bit more concerned with secrecy than their film counterparts were. They even found a friend to hold down the fort and keep up appearances while they were off on their world-saving fool's errand. While Frodo was off saving the world by delivering the ring to Mount Doom, another Hobbit by the name of Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger was given the equally difficult task of house sitting. Fredegar's main duty was ensuring that, to all those not in the know, it would appear as though Frodo had never left and was still at home in the Shire. And though this minor subplot was considered too trivial to be included in the original film series, the comedic possibilities contained within the subplot are endless and deserve a film of its own. Imagine Fredegar operating cardboard cutouts of Frodo in front of the mirrors in the style of the film Home Alone in order to fool the neighbours. The comedic potential is infinite.
4 The Barrow-Downs
Let's be honest, even Lord of The Ring super fans can admit that the journey from The Shire all the way to Mount Doom was a long one. Due to time constraints and the wish to keep the journey as simple as possible in order to appeal to those who have no read the books, the journey to Rivendell was rushed. One of the things that ended up being cut from the films was the Barrow-Down sequence. This sequence included the character of Tom Bombadil, a bit of world-building, and a tense scene where Frodo (because that boy is always in trouble) is dragged into a tomb by the unfriendly hands of a cursed spirit. Though exciting and action-packed, including the Barrow-Downs sequences would have either slowed down the plot of the films or made the plot feel overwhelmed or rushed. Though, if the series was ever adapted into a long-form television show like Game of Thrones and A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Barrow-Downs sequence could make for a very engaging single episode.
In the latest entry on the list of characters that were stricken from the films in order to save time and avoiding flooded the film with minor characters, we have Glorfindel. The inclusion of the character of Glorfindel would have been a fascinating addition to the series and hopefully, he is given either a role in future adaptations or his own spin-off as his character is just far too interesting to be left out entirely a second time. Glorfindel was a first-born elf who not only almost joined the group known as the Fellowship itself but also saved Frodo after he ended up on the bad side of an interaction with a Nazgul. Firstborn elves are fascinating creatures on their own. But since the elves seem so dedicated to keeping as far from the ring as possible, it would be fascinating exploring the motivations and inner struggles surrounding the decision of whether to join the Fellowship or not.
2 The Dunedain
The depth of Aragorn's status as a ranger was briefly mentioned in the films; however, it does make sense that the full extent of this lore due to the time constraints. In the books, it is explained that Aragorn is a member of a group referred to as The Dunedain. The Dunedain are a group of men who have dedicated their entire existence to eradicating the world of all forms of evil. The members of this ancient race are given special abilities and often times even have extended lifespans. Though fans would appreciate if future adaptations could dedicate some more time to lore and world building in order to explore the more minute and fascinating details like these, it does make sense that the original films simply did not have the screen time needed to do such things.
1 Old Man Willow
If a studio ever plans to adapt the Lord of The Rings as a long-form television program focusing on the main books of the series, then they must dedicate a minimum of half an episode to the character of Old Man Willow. For those reading who do not know, Old Man Willow is essentially an evil tree. This character exists in the series to show both the readers and the Hobbit's just how powerful Sauron is and the fact that one should do everything they can to avoid getting on Sauron's bad side. The unfriendly tree attempts to seize the Hobbits, luckily they are freed shortly after the interaction begins, and are able to escape. This scene is considered an iconic part of the books and fans were quite disappointed when it was left out of the original series. Hopefully, the iconic Old Man Willow scene will make it into future adaptations; should they ever occur.
Next: Who Is Tom Bombadil?