New Zealander Director Peter Jackson, with screenwriters Fran Walsh and Phylippa Boyens, poured untold hours into condensing the beloved adventure fantasy into a three-hour movie. Director Anthony Minghella described the dangers Jackson faced when he said, “All readers are filmmakers in a sense. Reading is personal, particular and wonderful and it's not for me to say my version is definitive. I'm just going to my inner screen and sharing it”. And although Jackson’s adaptation includes obvious plot exceptions, scene omissions and character deviations, the final product is remarkably true to the spirit of the original work and general arc of the book’s narrative.
But author David Howard said about adapting novels to film, “If you stay faithful to every beat of the story as it’s told in the novel, it might not work at all in the film” (qtd. in Nazarian). Jackson’s love of the source material, however, led him to include exact dialogue from the novel, even in odd places. “Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy; not to strike without need”. This quote, from The Shadow of the Past chapter, made its way into the movie in a conversation between Gandalf and Frodo in the mines of Moria. Also at Moria, Frodo solves the riddle at the gate in the movie version, where Gandalf, with a little prompting, solves it in the book saying, “Of course, of course! Absurdly simple, like most riddles when you see the answer”. “You should not be waking! Eat earth! Dig deep! Drink water! Go to sleep!,