The LOTR Movie Site
May 26, 2000
Tom Must Be Put to Rest
Ahhhh... Tom Bombadil. So many scream on his behalf.
"He's the primary character of history and magic in Middle Earth," they shout,
"dear God, don't let him be cut!" I like Tom. He's jolly, colorful and gay. He
does happy little jigs on tables a before preparing dinner. Nice guy.
Ok, stay with me.
I fondly remember reading an interview with Peter Jackson on the Aint-it-cool-news site
when I had discovered the movies were in the works. Something he said struck my fancy. The
question to him pertained to what the style of the movie would be. Films like
"Legend" and "Willow" were offered for comparison by the interviewer.
PJ dismissed them, stating that LOTR would be closer in feeling to something like
"Braveheart." This made me smile. It still makes me smile. Like all works of
art, which I believe LOTR is, everything is subjective. I've read it numerous times. In my
childhood, I imagined it as a wonderful and colorful animation. Tom Bombadil was my
favorite character, because he fit that perception. As I've grown with the book, it has
become a different experience for me. Different things effect me. The violence has made me
squeamish at times. The Ringwratihs, for example, are no longer Skeletors, but truly
frightening things to envision. The movie, from what I can tell, is living up to his word-
looking less fantastic and more realistic. There's a possible R rating (wow!) Tom Bombadil
is a character that can only be captured with words. To have him in the film could easily
betray the darker concept of the movie.
Bombadil, if added, would be a disastrous move. On the surface he could easily be mistaken
for a frivolous creature. Those who have read the books know this is certainly not true,
but the descriptions of him written on the pages simply cannot be translated effectively
to film. Hell, I have a hard time imagining him. A shortish bearded man with colorful
clothing is just not enough. He's a personification of joy, wisdom, and magic. The
twinkle in his eye is what makes him interesting. His knowing glances. His mysterious and
lengthy past. When I read the book, I don't picture his face- I feel his energy. Should he
be in the movie, his character would certainly not be fleshed out enough. He would be
given a maximum of around ten minutes screen time- surely not enough to portray such a
character to the audience.
Tom Bombadil would become the Jar-Jar of LOTR.