The LOTR Movie Site
November 13, 1999
Essay on the Bombadil
When I first heard the supposed rumor that the unique
character of Tom Bombadil might be cut from the new LOTR movies, per Peter Jacksons
instructions, I was immediately against this preposterous idea. With the changes to
Arwens character, I was starting to have my doubts that Jackson was going to go
through on his word to remain loyal to Tolkiens original plot and idealism. I
understand that a producer has to slightly shift the plot of any book in order to make it
suitable for the big screen, its inevitable, but its apparent to me now that
hes going much further than he should be. Editing out Tom Bombadil would not only
cut about one fourth of "The Fellowship of the Ring", but would also delete one
of the most singular characters Tolkien ever created.
Lets take a look at exactly what would be withdrawn
from the script if they took out Bombadil. First, when Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Marry leave
Crickhollow on their way to Bree, would they immediately skip past The Old Forest,
Bombadils house, the Barrow-Downs, and all of the adventures that befall the heroes
through all of that land? Im sure that none of us want to see the well known pattern
that Bakshi took in his excuse for a LOTR cartoon. When I first watched the Bakshi
version, I was surprised to see that the Hobbits got all the way from Hobbiton to Bree in
about 20 seconds of film time. Is this what will happen if Tom Bombadil is cut out of the
script? I sure hope not, but I wouldnt put anything past the producer.
If Jackson does decide to keep The Old Forest in the movie,
how in the name of all that is holy are Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Marry supposed to escape
from Old Man Willow? The forest seems to have a very profound effect on anyone who travels
through it, and if Jackson wants to make that part of the film of any interest, hell
have to rewrite what Tolkien wrote and make up some other adventure that the four have.
Maybe they could see another black rider? By this time, however, that might be running a
little thin since weve seen them all over the place for the last 30 minutes.
Okay, lets assume that everyone makes it out of The Old
Forest by some stroke of luck. We skip Tom Bombadils house since he doesnt
exists, and go right to the Barrow-Downs. Again, how are they supposed to be rescued if
there is no Tom Bombadil to save them? I suppose that Peter Jackson will have to make that
section of the movie a bore as well. Im not sure how theyll make the first
movie two hours long if they cut out Tom Bombadil. Im sorry, Mr. Jackson; but it
just doesnt work. Another good thing to point out is that Goldberry will be taken
out along with Bombadil. Weve already heard the rumors that Eowyn may be leaving; do
you want to see Goldberry go too? I sure dont.
Its very obvious that theyll have to cut a lot of
the time and magic out of "The Fellowship of the Ring" if they take Bombadil
out. I understand that Jackson might want to take out a few characters in order to shorten
the complex story, but if he must do that, why doesnt he take out a very small role
like Bill Ferny? That wouldnt effect the story much, but at least they wouldnt
have to explain anything about him. Maybe they could make the Innkeeper a double agent or
something like that?
Anyway, I truly hope that Jackson changes his mind about
cutting out Tom Bombadil from the movies. If they do go through with it, then it will be a
loss to say the least. I dont know of anyone, who would be glad to see Bombadil go,
so Im not sure what logic Peter Jackson is working on here. Maybe its
something about his budget, but when you got 120,000,000.00, you can do stuff, okay?
Please spare us, Mr. Jackson, and keep with Tolkiens original characters.