The LOTR Movie Site
February 26, 2001

Arwen at the Ford
T.G. Shaw

Glenn S.'s theory from 2-16 agrees with a list I recently saw posted (I haven't been able to find it again--maybe someone here knows the location). Relying mostly on spy reports, it listed suspected ways the movies would differ from the book. Several reports said that Arwen takes the place of Glorfindel in the flight to the ford, and that picures of her with a cut face, etc., are from this episode.

While it's still a departure from the book, I'd much rather see Arwen subbing for Glorfindel than for Eowyn. For one thing, it wouldn't diminish one already-strong female role in order to build up a second, which wouldn't make much sense. Also, it's a normal movie tactic to eliminate a character who appears in only a scene or two by handing the role over to another already-existing character. Since Arwen lives at Rivendell, she makes more sense in the role than Legolas, who was given the job in the Bakshi movie (which, BTW, never mentioned Arwen.)

Reports on the same list explain the cut on Arwen's face by saying there will be more emphasis on physical battle with the Ringwraiths in the scene. This would be a little disappointing to me, as it would change the character of the confrontation. But since movies are a visual medium, it's not unusual for them to substitute something visible for something internal. The battle of wills between Frodo and the Ringwraiths is powerful in print, but could be difficult to translate on screen--especially for viewers unfamiliar with the book.

One image I'm still crossing my fingers about is that of Arwen carrying a hobbit before her on her horse, which the spy reports say is Frodo at the ford.  In the book, of course, he's alone on the horse, forcing him to face the wraiths at least somewhat on his own.  I hope he isn't so completely "protected" by Arwen in the movie that this is taken away from him.  Ever since the Bakshi film watered down the line to, "By all the Shire...", I've been longing for a good, rousing, "By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!"