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December 25, 2002

Talkin' Faramir With Peter Jackson

One of the more hotly disputed changes from book to film in The Two Towers was the way Peter Jackson scuffed up Faramir. He's given an interview where he makes the case for the changes to the previously completely incorruptible captain:

"Q: In the book, for example, Faramir is very pure and very noble, but here in the film, he's got this evil touch. He's even tempted by the ring.

"Peter Jackson: For a short time, yeah. We made that change, just to use that example -- and this is really where being a filmmaker differs from being a writer. You make decisions as a filmmaker and, rightly or wrongly, you change things if you think they need to be changed. We wanted the episode with Faramir in this particular film to have a certain degree of tension. Frodo and Sam were captured. Their journey had become more complicated by the fact that they are prisoners. Which they are in the book for a brief period of time. But then, very quickly in the book, Tolkien sort of backs away from there and, as you say, he reveals Faramir to be very pure. At one point, Faramir says, "Look, I wouldn't even touch the ring if I saw it lying on the side of the road."

"For us, as filmmakers, that sort of thing creates a bit of a problem because we've spent a lot of time in the last film and in this one to establish this ring as incredibly powerful. Then to suddenly come to a character that says, "Oh, I'm not interested in that," to suddenly go against everything that we've established ourselves is sort of going against our own rules. We certainly acknowledge that Faramir should not do what Boromir did and that he ultimately has the strength to say, "No, you go on your way and I understand." We wanted to make it slightly harder, to have a little more tension than there was in the book. But that's where that sort of decision comes from."

Complete Interview

Posted by mph at December 25, 2002 09:41 PM


I was completely offended by the change in Faramir's character, as well as by the change in the way the Ents concluded their "Ent-moot".
I have read the books somewhere between 50 and 70 times in my life, they're the only books I have ever read more than a couple times. I know the story pretty intimately, and I just cannot see a justification for changing the results of those two encounters 100 percent the way Peter Jackson did.

There was plenty of 'tension' in the fact that Sam and Frodo were captured and had no idea what Faramir was going to do with them. The assassination of Faramir's noble and honorable character was unforgivable.

Posted by: at December 27, 2002 01:39 PM

Well... I was mad before... but I guess that makes sense... *pouty face* Still, I would have liked to have seen how perceptive he is. That's what's really great about him... I thought he should have figured out how Boromir died by himself, as in the book. Ah well. Such is life. The flooding of Isengard could justify the ruining of Faramir though. That was super cool. No, not quite justification. *sigh* Well, they'll just have to make the Faramir & Eowyn thing perfect, because they don't have any more leverage room with character changes. They've used up their space. *harrumphs* Still, I liked him in the book better. (no, duh) They could have at LEAST done Henneth Anun. I mean, that would have been so cool! OK, I'm officially ranting, so I'll leave. I surrender to PJ's logic.

Posted by: Countess of Nad Mullach at December 27, 2002 03:17 PM

I suppose I would have preferred more time with Faramir, and development of that character that was a little truer to the form the books offered. I don't think I'd agree that Faramir's character was "assassinated," though... that would have involved Frodo and Sam conking him on the head and running away while he shouted after them. In the end, he not only makes the right decision, but does so with the potential cost spelled out to him in severe terms. My reading of Tolkien newsgroups tells me I'm in the minority with that take, though, especially for people who've read the trilogy more than a few times.

Similarly, I didn't understand why the Ents were treated the way they were except, perhaps, to turn Pippin and Merry into catalysts instead of simple cameras, which was the role they played in the second volume with almost no exception.

Posted by: mph at December 27, 2002 07:25 PM

I've been searching for awhile to find out why they have turned Faramir, and i'm glad i have a reason now. I found a few other attempts by people, but If Peter says it then it must be why. The man has two adoreable kids, or as Orlando says, "she's so in the moment." or Elijah's comment "His kids are absolute magic." or Sir Ian McKellen "I adore these two." i agree with them all. his kids are so cute. so any reason of his is good enough for me. Any man with kids that cute....
Also regarding Ian. He's in Two of my favorite movies Lotr, And The scarlet Pimpernel. if you haven't seen it you should. IT'S AWESOME. I WATCH IT EVERY DAY. that's all for now. so get married. stay married. Have children. Serve God. (and if you think i'm any old Christian. Read Any, and all, books by Emmanuel Swedenborg. It's completley worth it.)- Maythora.

Posted by: Maythora, Shieldmaiden of Rohan. at January 24, 2003 12:15 PM

GRRRR...Faramir was completely BUTCHERED in the movie. We get the point already - the ring is evil, what with all of Frodo's space-outs and such. If Faramir could have given an explanation, then I would have felt better. Something like, "'The Ring will go to Gondor.' It is the only hope that we now have." That would have been WAY better - I still don't like his explanation, and I don't think I ever will accept it. For those who haven't read the books, it makes them think that he's even worse than Boromir (whom I also love), which is completely RIDICULOUS!! Also - they should have had him had a prophetic dream or something - something to show how perceptive he is. Pooey on Peter Jackson!!

Posted by: Arahiril at September 9, 2003 09:25 PM

C'mon, Peter Jackson! Characters in the book NOT thrown in to a madness to steal the ring from Frodo: Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Pippin, Merry...shall I go on? And if the ring has such an immediate evil effect on everyone, how is it that Frodo kept it for years in the Shire with no evil done? Your argument to change Faramir's character is not a very convincing one and merely exists to beef up your movie with fake drama. Tolkien's true writings give plenty of drama if you're smart enough to put them into a screenplay properly. Plus Tolkien's Faramir was a man wise enough not to be so easily led into temptation and he certainly would not have attempted to take the Ring to Denethor. Admit it, it was just your way of sneaking in a (bogus) scene at Osgiliath with the Nazgul!

Posted by: Nione at January 3, 2004 05:38 AM

Same here, when I saw Faramir's character in the movie, I didn't like it. he was so evil and mean to them and I really took it too heart (tear, tear) I'm making the Lord of the Rings movie close to the book, and in my version Faramir is a kindly gentleman, not tempted by the ring, and in my movie I'm going to have the line that faramir says about the ring if it was layed on a highway he still wouldn't pick it up.
ANd Denethor?! Dont get me started on him, I know hes corrupt but.....awwww....never mind....


Posted by: Robyn (faramir's one) at January 30, 2004 09:44 PM