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Book Adaption to Film - The Good and The Bad

'Harry Potter' vs 'Eragon'

Don’t get me wrong, I know that unless a movie is going to be massively long, then parts of the book are going to be missed out, but missing out critical pieces of information is something that just ruins the movie for anyone who has read the book.

Probably one of the best known book to film adaptions is the Harry Potter series. It has it issues, Ron and Hermione being prefects in the book but it not being mentioned in the film, Dumbledore "calmly" asking Harry if he had put his name in the goblet of fire, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons being single sex schools in the movie but being mixed-sex in the books, and Peeves just not existing in the movie universe, but as a whole, the movies captured most of the magic from the books.

Eragon, on the other hand is a totally different story. I will admit it’s probably one of my favourite books. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance series written by Christopher Paolini. Without giving away too much away, the series follows a young boy named Eragon as he grows up and joins a world filled with magic, evil, and dragons, and fights alongside elves, dwarfs, and humans to defeat an evil dictator of a king.

Like I said, the book is one of my favourites of all time, and as a series I find it really well written and a well-rounded story. My biggest issue with the film is that the ending of the film meant that there was no possible way for them to turn the second book, Eldest, into a movie. For anyone who hadn’t read the books, that meant that there were a lot of question that were left unanswered, without any chance of them being answered. Eragon’s story and journey were also ended prematurely.

When I say that there was no possible way for the second movie to be made, I mean it. I don’t want to give away too much, in case you want to go and read the books, but at the end of the first book Eragon is badly injured, he comes away at the end of the book with a disability. The biggest part of Eldest is Eragon coming to terms with what happened to him, coming to terms with how to deal with this issue he is now having, and then working on overcoming the problem so that he can meet the expectations of everyone who is depending on him.

The movie didn’t even gloss over the injury, it just totally refused to admit that it had happened; Eragon ended the movie without so much as a papercut, let alone the debilitating injury that he received in the book.

I’m sure that in its own right the movie isn’t bad, the costumes and CGI was actually pretty good, but because I’ve read the book, more than a few times, the movie was totally ruined for me. There were a few other things missing as well but I can’t recall exactly what they were since the ending was just such a mess.

Lord of the Rings is also a series that took a few liberties with the book and missed out a few bits and pieces that people would argue were really important to the story. I’m not going to say anything more about Lord of the Rings other than that I love the movies but Return of the King is forever ruined for me because it totally misses out my favourite part of the book, if not the series, the fight for the Shire when Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin return home.

I’m sure everyone has books that they love that have been turned into movies that just haven’t quite measured up to expectations, but for me the biggest let down will always be Eragon, and I dread to think how bad a movie adaption of a book is going to have to be to beat that for me. 

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Book Adaption to Film - The Good and The Bad
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