"You shouldn't think of these movies as being The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings is, and always will be, a wonderful book - one of the greatest ever written. Any films will only ever be an interpretation of the book. In this case my interpretation."
- Peter Jackson, in an interview August 30, 1998 with www.aint-it-cool-news.com
The Fellowship of the Ring
Unlike the books, the films do not refer to Elrond's mixed elven and mortal heritage. Some scenes in the films also suggest a disillusion with and lack of faith in the strengths and abilities of men, which I do not find in the Elrond of the books. Such scenes have lead some to suggest that the Elrond of the films looks down on the mortal part of his heritage. In a way, it seems to me that this alteration to his character parallels alterations to the character of Aragorn, who is also much more distrustful of his heritage than he is in the books. In the films, Aragorn has to come to believe in himself and accept his destiny as the heir of Isildur, while learning that he need not be bound to the same fate as his ancestor. At the same time, there are hints that Elrond has to come to believe that Aragorn can prevail over the evil that faces him and 'redeem' the world of men. However, the Extended Edition of 'The Fellowship of the Ring' picks up more positively on Elrond's role as Aragorn's mentor / adoptive father, something which is lacking in the theatrical version. In the additional scene at the grave of Aragorn's mother, Elrond encourages Aragorn to face his destiny, and this role is taken further in 'The Return of the King' when Elrond rides to Dunharrow.
In other ways, the Elrond of the first movie seems to me similar to the Elrond of the book. He is introduced to us a mighty elf-lord and healer; we see him argue for the destruction of the Ring at the Council, and though he does not urge Frodo to take the Ring, there are hints that this is the end he hopes for - or has foreseen. Of course the part of the story set in Rivendell is compressed in the film, and it is not only Glorfindel who loses out to Arwen when she is given the role of rescuing Frodo from the Ring-wraiths: the credit for summoning the flood at the Ford of Bruinen also goes to Arwen rather than Elrond. On the other hand, Elrond's role in urging Isildur to destroy the Ring is emphasised and dramatised. In the book we are told only that Cirdan and Elrond counselled Isildur to destroy the Ring. In the film we see Elrond leading Isildur into the Chamber of Fire.