The LOTR Movie Site
April 13, 2000

Exit Bombadillo? A Good Thing!
Ralph J.

It seems to me that the internet Tolkien Community is divided into two categories: a large number of people deeply disappointed at any subtle or less subtle change Peter Jackson makes, and a -- growing -- minority wanting to wait and see what becomes of their beloved story. I count myself amongst the latter. The preview confirmed the good feeling I have had about this project from the start: these films will be a pleasure to see, despite the enhancement of Arwen or Galadriel, despite the fact that Tom Bombadil has been cut.

I am going to get the entire internet Tolkien Community all over me now, but I am glad that Bombadil has been sacked. There you have it. I have never understood the meaning of Tom Bombadil, except that he rescues our laddies from Old Man Willow and from the Barrow Downs. Tom Bombadil is a character that works perfectly in a book, because you can take a few pages to tell about his background, to show the reader how this character may well be the oldest living thing in Middle Earth. But on the big screen? He would not come across as he does in the book. He would look foolish. He's on and he's off again, showing that the Ring has no power over him and leaving everybody but the die-hard Tolkien readers in utter confusion.

It is simply impossible to convey all of the books' riches to film, even if you are able to shoot six hours of total screen time (and I don't even want to know how much material is NOT going to make it). The good folks at New Line Cinema have made a huge investment. They have 'put their asses on the block' and they have every right to get at least their money back. That's why they want the story to be told as a MOVIE and not as a book. Movies have different laws. Movies have to move, while books can linger. I for one cannot wait for the first release, I will be there on premiere night. The preview was a brilliant teaser, it shows you just enough to get curious (what IS that shot with the woman (?) with the very long legs? I cannot relate it to Tolkien rightaway). It shows you that the story is in very good hands, that it will be adequately told, that we will be shivering in our seats looking at Orcs (I agree with the author of 'Nasty Fan' that these are the best Orcs I have ever seen - scary as hell!), that we will once again be moved by the grandeur of this story. These films will lure tens of thousands of people into reading the books for the first time, which is a good thing.

In short, let's all just wait and see what Mr. Jackson will come up with. Let's discuss the first film after we have seen, well, the first film. We cannot possibly know what it will all amount to. We can only hope for the best. My hopes are very high, after having seen the preview.