August 7, 2001
I have not followed the debate (here or elsewhere) concerning
Tom Bombadil, so if this is a repeat, then please forgive me.
There are various reasons to include Bombadil in the movie, the greatest of which is the
fact that Tolkien himself included Bombadil in the book. We know that Tolkien was aware
that he had included a seemingly disposable character, and yet he chose to include him.
This forces one to ask "why?" Why would someone as meticulous and concise as
Tolkien have included a superfolous character? The obvious answer is, he would not have
It is my understanding that Tolkien himself did not have a clear understanding who Tom
was, or at least he never shared this with us. I believe this is how he wanted it. Isn't
it true that the books seem very real? Of course, we all feel as if the story is telling a
part of history that has been left out of the history books, or at least a real history of
some other land that we somehow know only this and nothing more about. And isn't it true
that in real life there exist unexplained mysteries? Is Elvis dead? What if Brian Wilson
had finished "Smile?" How did Nostrodamus make the predictions he made?
Atlantis? Who is Jack the Ripper? Etc.
These unexplained mysteries result in hours and hours of research and conversations and
"what ifs." Don't you think that *at the very least* Tolkien understood this?
Don't you think he knew that the inclusion of Bombadil would yield pages and pages of
spilled ink on the subject? Don't you think that this is one more aspect of drawing us
into the story, of making the story that much more true to life?
To the question of time: A thousand words can be summed up in a bit of scenery. There
would seem to be more than enough time to include Bombadil. If not, cut out some of the
scenes from the Hobbit. LOTR tells the story well enough. Make a 4th movie, the Hobbit.
Anything but remove a character that though Tolkien realized would seem unecessary, yet he
chose to keep him in the book, and then to refer to him at least 2 more times.
Tom should not have been cut. Peter Jackson has made a mistake. I guarantee that there
would be hours more conversation about the movie as the public walked out of the first
film "Who was Tom Bombadil?" "Where did Tom what-was-his-name come
from?" "Why wasn't Tom affected by the ring?"
It is pure drivel to say that the inclusion of Bombadil in the movie would have weakened
the idea of the ring--his inclusion in the book did not have this affect, how could it in
I suppose it is too late for including Tom, Peter Jackson certainly made a big mistake.