The LOTR Movie Site
May 10, 2000

Scenario for Arwen (In) and Bombadil (Out)
John R.

How does Jackson expand Arwen's role without adding her to the Fellowship? Several possibilities are apparent.

First, Arwen could replace Glorfindel, who finds and assists Strider and the hobbits as they near Rivendell. She could even be given a grand entrance, which would explain much of the relationship between Aragorn and Arwen, without resorting to a lot of talking to the camera (boring). Jackson might alter the chronology somewhat. Strider might be telling a story to keep the hobbits' spirits up, telling about how Beren met Luthien. He explains that Beren chased Luthien through the woods, then when Beren gave up the chase, Luthien suddenly appeared in front of him and took his hand.

Enter Arwen. She quietly walks up to Aragorn and takes his hand.

The hobbits are stunned, and think they are seeing Luthien, come to life. Nay, they are told, it's Arwen. Nice visualization without a lot of words to explain it.

Second, Arwen would be at Helm's Deep. Again, Jackson would alter the chronology somewhat. As Aragorn, Theoden et al. are racing toward Helm's Deep with orcs on their tails, they are confronted by a small force of horsemen. Eomer dismounts, "who rides in Rohan", and its the Dunedain come to help Aragorn. Arwen is with them, carrying the furled banner she has woven for him.

Arwen might even meet Eowyn as Aragorn heads for the Paths of the Dead. Eowyn has been holding out hope that she could attract Aragorn, but her hopes are dashed when she sees and meets Arwen. This leads to her decision to ride to battle in drag.

As for poor old Bombadil, the remarks apparently attributed to Jackson — that Bombadil does not move the story along — are correct. The Bombadil sequence is the easiest to cut from the movie without having to do much fixing.

(Personnally I think Bombadil should be left in, the first movie to end at Moria, and the second to start with the Fellowship fleeing Moria. If anything should be dropped, Frodo and Sam's boring walk to Mount Doom should at least be shortened.)

If you think about it, the Bombadil sequence is out of place. It provides much background and shows some of the magic of Middle Earth. But the tone is different. It is a "commercialized" version of some of Tolkien's short stories (I forget the names, but there is something about badgers and trees) and perhaps even a version of the Lost Play story.

Removing Bombadil leaves a few loose strings to be tied up: (1) Obtaining the short swords, (2) the Ring's lack of power over someone who does not desire it, and (3) history and magic of Middle Earth.