One of the major themes of The Lord of The Rings trilogy that I think was missed out a bit in the films is the environment and its changes. This can be seen the most in the second book of the trilogy, The Two Towers. Why? Because it’s the book where we meet the Ents.
Ents! What can I say, I was dreading reading this book. I found the film Ents the most boring things ever, with their tediously long discussions of whether or not they should join in the battle and actually do something. (To be fair, I was 10 when I first watched it, and really into classic fairy tales. I was looking for something more action-y and less council-y.)
Reading about the Ents though, that was a different matter. I love them. For one thing, Merry and Pippin go on a walk in the woods with a young Ent instead of having to listen to the conversation, and also their minds are pretty much made up as soon as the hobbits ask for their help.
The Ents have been thinking about taking action for quite some time now. There’s a really beautiful moment with one young Ent, Bregalad, who has been described as being pretty cheerful and good company, reflects on the loss of the rowan trees he’s been caring for. In addition, the Ents have learned that they need to be more proactive, after they managed to lose all the Entwives.
Apart from the Ents, so much of this book has the characters reflecting on the devastation of the natural world that has been caused by Sauron and his allies. While this is definitely shown in the film, I got the impression that Mordor and it’s surroundings had always looked like that. The book says explicitly that the land used to be beautiful and is now hideous. So, once again, I think there is good reason for reading the book even when you’ve seen the film. There may be things you have missed!