The LOTR Movie Site
June 16, 2000

Bombadil Out? Good!
Philip M.

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.