It’s taken five movies, but I think that I’ve actually come around to Peter Jackson’s vision of the Lord of the Rings. There is a tendency for the Ring-head to judge the movies by what was left out rather than what actually made it in. But when I viewed the Return of the King, I was able to enjoy it for what was there – undistracted by what I expected to see.
I have to thank Jackson for bringing Frodo and Sam’s quest to life for me. I tend to skip over their dark quest – a tale full of fear and doubt, and struggles against their own inner demons. The others are on a bright mission of vain glory – a noble fight against great odds in which any doubts before battle are dispelled once the battle is joined. But Jackson forced me to give Frodo and Sam their due and I’ll actually follow their quest on my next reading.
But there’s no risk of the DVD trilogy replacing the aged paperbacks on my bookshelf. Jackson’s vision pales in comparision to what unfolds before my mind’s eye when I immerse myself in the story. I see a wider and richer set of characters and the story fits into a richer background.