The Differences in Distances Among Media

By: Max Mam

While they share many similar aspects, the movie, book, and video game version of The Fellowship of the Ring each carry vastly different characteristics. One of the main discrepancies among the three media is the way space is presented. In LOTRO your character can easily travel from The Shire to The Green Dragon in Bywater in a matter of minutes. If your character isn’t already a high level, there is the possibility that you might run into a few animals that you have to kill on your short journey to Bywater. Nevertheless the run is relatively painless compared to the many many miles of road between the two locales as presented in the Fellowship novel.

The expanded distance seen in the novel is fine since the reader is able to jump through long periods of time between sentences. Large distances, however, don’t cut it in video games like LOTRO where players don’t want to spend hours merely running from town to town. To achieve a shorter travel time for players the designers of the game merely compressed the Middle-Earth map to a smaller scale so that everything is much closer and more accessible to players.

The movie handles The Green Dragon scene in an altogether different way. Instead of incorporating the actual scene in Bywater, the producers saved film time by inserting the Green Dragon conversation in the group’s visit to The Prancing Pony. It just wouldn’t have been practical for the movie to include every single scene.

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