The LOTR Movie Site
June 16, 2000
Bombadil Out? Good!
I feel that, faced with an
onslaught of righteous indignation regarding the removal of Tom Bombadil from the movie, I
must say my piece. I am delighted that Bombadil is not going to appear. He is a character
lacking in any appeal whatsoever as far as I can tell. In fact, I feel sure that anybody
who wants to see his inclusion in the movie must have had their objectivity seriously
undermined by some kind of misplaced loyalty to all things Tolkien. I have felt ever since
I first read LOTR about 15 years ago that, with the exception of "The Shadow of the
Past", it seems to have taken Tolkien up until Bree to realise that he wasn't writing
for the same audience of children that he was with "The Hobbit". Nothing else
can explain the lobotomised infantility of the Bombadil character.
Don't get me wrong, once Aragorn/Strider
makes an appearance we are off on what can only be considered one of the greatest works of
fiction of all time, and I love the books to bits. But really, wouldn't the books be an
even more rewarding experience if all the chapters between "Shadow of the Past"
and "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony" were removed (let's face it, they serve
no real purpose in the overall narrative structure of the book) and replaced with perhaps
a more detailed account of Gandalf's journey to Isengard, or even more length later in the
book, particularly books 3 and 5.
Anyway, I expect that if anybody bothers
to read this I'll be described as "not a TRUE Tolkien fan" or "missing the
point". To those thinking that I would say this: YES Bombadil is a link with the
distant past of Middle-Earth and YES he has a power unaffected by the ring, but none of
this stops him from being dull and tiresome in the extreme. Well done Peter Jackson for
having the gumption to get rid of him.
PS I noticed that everything between
Crickhollow and Bree was cut from the excellent BBC radio dramatisation - and that was 13
hours long. Nobody can realistically expect Jackson to include even as much detail as
that in his 6-7 hours of cinema.
Not sure about Arwen though.