The LOTR Movie Site
April 15, 2000

Political Correctness in Jackson's LOTR
Amy B.

This is a very minor bit of possible controversy, compared to the Arwen and Bombadil discussions, but it's something I've wondered about and no-one else seems to have mentioned.

Many of us are concerned that contemporary issues and attempts to appeal to a wider audience are leading to questionable alterations to Tolkien's masterful story. I'm wondering if the strong anti-smoking social pressures will lead Peter Jackson to eliminate another element that to me adds small but delightful details to the characters in LOTR.

Will we see Gandalf no longer blowing smoke rings? Will we miss the wonderful interaction between Merry and Pippin and Gimli at Orthanc, including the discussion about just how Saruman got ahold of Longbottom Leaf? It is, after all, compared to the larger issues, only a minor detail. But I for one will miss it.

Of course, for those of us who originally encountered the books in the 60's and early 70's, there was that speculation that the leaf in question was not a species of Nicotiana, but rather Cannibus...and no, I don't smoke, either tobacco or grass.