The LOTR Movie Site
June 25, 2000

Tolkien Police?
Austin G.

Fans must remember who has the power in the issue of these movies. None of us here are big  time movie directors or editors. What do we know about film making? Even if Peter Jackson  himself reads each and every one of our concerned comments, do you think he will change his   perspective to fit your satisfaction? Or do you think that some "Tolkien Police" will observe these  alterations and order Jackson to cease and desist? And yes that is about how silly most of you sound. Tolkien fans? If you were real Tolkien fans you'd be thanking Mr. Jackson for his commitment. But just because I am defending the movies do not think that I agree with the alterations. I have just accepted them. Jackson and his team must have their reasons for their modifications.

For example, Bombadil. Aside from Gollum, Bombadil was my favorite character out of the entire trilogy. It took a while for me to get used to the fact that he wasn't to appear in the movie. But with his jolly countenance and yellow boots I don't see how hecould fit into the romance, action and suffering that Jackson is attempting to emphasize in his interpretation. It would also probably scare away any potential new fans. In this modern day a character like Bombadil may not get his deserved respect. But don't worry. This will just be another reason for us to read the trilogy again.

Another example, Morwen. After hearing that name, I replied, "Morwen?! Morwen who?" But after reading another fans reply to the subject, I changed my opinion on this new character. Jackson is obviously using her to make a personal relationship with the viewer and the Rohirrim. "What do you mean? There's Eomer and Theoden." But there isn't any link to the common Rohirrim. Morwen is to represent the whole population of Rohan. She will show the viewer the suffering of her people as the Rohirrim hierarchy can't.

The list of examples could go on and on, but I'm too lazy to type that much. I wish just a few more statements to express my concern.

All fans must also take into consideration the vagueness of some of Tolkien's descriptions. This vagueness was part of the greatness of Tolkien's work. He let the reader fill in the holes with his own imagination.

Gollum himself was not said to be more that a slimy wretch of a creature with huge glowing globes for eyes. What I may say to be wretched might very well be beautiful to another fan (I know that's stretching it a little, but you get the picture). Tolkien never actually defined the height of the dwarves. I remember in fact that in the animated LOTR movie that Gimli was the size of Boromir. Did elves have pointy ears? Did hobbits have pointy ears? Did Boromir have black hair (actually I believe he did. But I'm trying to prove a point)? These are all minor details in the big picture. As long and the final project is respectful to the memory of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. At this point in time that is my chief concern.

But I cannot judge the movie until it opens. And you can bet that I'll be the first person in line for tickets.