August 8, 2001
The Issue of Poor Tom Bombadil
I've been, it seems like, forever trying to convince people
why they should check out the LOTR movies when they hit the theatres. Never thought I'd be
doing it to Tolkien fans.
To the folks who question the cut of TB. Have any of you worked with film before? Peter
Jackson is a proven film director who is doing everything he can to bring this epic saga
to the screen while remaining loyal to Tolkien in every way possible. In everyway
possible! I think we should let the man work. I am very excited that we got someone here
involved who knows so much about Tolkien and his works. All four writers who are involved
in this adaptation are big fans of Tolkien's work. They spent years researching and trying
to figure out how they can bring this monstrous epic tale to screen. They have to bring it
to screen and they have to make it make sense. You cannot transcribe a book straight to
screen without making some adjustments. One: Do you really think that anyone can make a
film straight out of a 1200 page novel? The average screenplay is 100 pages long.
Fellowship is over 500 pages by itself. Two: Certain things work in a film that do not
work in a book, and vice versa.
Keeping the above in mind, something had to be cut in order
to insert the devices that move the film to its climax. Thinking on that, what is the most
logical almost complete chunk of story that can be removed without having disastrous
affects on the rest of the story. You guessed it. While it all is important to the
complete story, we have to keep the central part of the story in focus.
I'd love to see the complete Tolkien novel up on the screen as well, but at the time, no
one is going to make a 20 hour film. It's just not going to happen. Adjustments had to be
I am disapointed to see Bombadil go as well, and while I think his part is the slowest
part of the book, I do agree that he is very important to the novel. I am also sorry to
see him go because without him we won't see Old Man Willow or the Barrow Downs. They're
cutting everything from the hobbits going to Crickhollow all the way through The Old
Someone said that if they can insert the stuff with Aragorn and Arwen romancing each
other, then they could have kept Bombadil. Not true. The Aragorn/Arwen moments are just
what they are: moments. They are small scenes that are being peppared here and there
throughout the entire trilogy. Bombadil, as detailed above, takes up about 4 entire
chapters. That's about a quarter of the book.
Then there is character development, people. This can't be done through the reading of
minds in 3rd person or in constent narration. These things have to show up on camera.
Again, adjustments have to be made. But through it all, Peter Jackson and his writers have
maintained that they are staying completely faithful to the spirit of Tolkien. Why don't
we give them the benefit of the doubt and wait and see.
Aren't you the least bit excited to see these wonderful novels come to life on the big
screen. It might not be the complete Tolkien, but I'm sure Jackson will do it justice. And
a little Tolkien is better than no Tolkien at all if you ask me. I think that this is a
wonderful opportunity to capture some of the beautiful images of ME. Let's see what PJ can