December 30, 2001
One unexpected significant change in the story pertained to Aragorn. In the books, Aragorn is already engaged to wed Arwen, on the condition imposed by Elrond that he will only give up his daughter to the King of both Gondor and Anor. In the movie, however, it seems this has not yet occurred and we will be treated to a "real-time" version of the story.
In the movie, we see Arwen agreeing to marry Aragorn. Elrond implies to Gandalf that Aragorn has declined the responsibility of being King. When Boromir inspects the shards of Narsil in Aragorn's presence, Boromir seems to know who Aragorn is, and almost sneers at him for not following his destiny. Aragorn sets out from Rivendell to aid Frodo, without a reforged Narsil and without making a committment to seek the kingship and without seeking Elrond's blessing.
So, hopefully, the development of Aragorn's character will continue in the Two Towers. Perhaps Arwen will tell her father of her betrothal, and he will refuse, unless Aragorn becomes king and the fault of Aragorn's ancestor Isuldur is corrected. Perhaps Arwen arranges for Narsil to be reforged, and carries it to Aragorn at Helm's Deep. Aragorn commits to seek the kingship.
Also, this approach is an excuse to have Elrond and Arwen appear in the second movie. It would be difficult to introduce these major characters then just drop them, so from a movie-making standpoint, this does make sense to me. Only 11 1/2 months to go.