The LOTR Movie Site
April 14, 2000

They've Cut Down the Party Tree!
Norm W.

33 years ago, a teenager bought a copy of the Hobbit because it looked kind of interesting. He was drawn into Middle Earth as if by the power of the One Ring itself. He purchased the Trilogy with allowance and lawn mowing money and bottle refunds, and read it fervently. When the woes of Junior High School befell him, as they have done and will do to others, he vanished back to Bag End, or the Inn at Bywater, or Farmer Maggot's, or Lothlorien. His problems were insignificant indeed compared to Frodo's. And yes, this has a point...

He sat, pained and downcast, through the Rankin-Bass fiasco, moaning only when the brutality of his imagination being put to the torch by the agonizing animation overwhelmed him. He had a family now, and dreamed of a day when his children would know, as he did, the path to Middle Earth. This would not come to pass. Computers and video games claimed the Escapism mantle. Still, he would from time to time read the entire Trilogy again, as if to visit an old friend. He read the Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales. He is a Grandfather now.

He came upon the LOTR website and rejoiced! Great Heavens Above!! At long last! Someone with vision is to give this miraculous work the respect it deserves!

Then he read that Bombadil is no more. One of the forum comments was that he doesn't belong. To paraphrase, Bombadil is superfluous, and Arwen is to go with the Nine Walkers. Bombadil, who returned the hobbits back to the living and vanquished the Barrow Wights, to say nothing of treating the One Ring like costume jewelry. Gandalf himself could not have done these things. Why not make Jerry Springer Gandalf and have done with it? Liv Tyler vs. The Balrog in a Cage Match! Why, you could turn it into a Los Vegas act and a Broadway Musical! Zeigfreid and Frodo meet the Wolfman. You could have the entire show in mime, as the genius of Tolkien might seem superfluous.

Middle Earth touched my life and many other lives in ways that can only (obviously) be imagined, and to me is Hallowed Ground. Can no one tread lightly? Now I understand fully how Sam felt upon returning home after ALL he'd been through, to find that Saruman had cut down the Party Tree.