August 9, 2001

More Bombadil
Chad G.

Tom was always a favorite of mine, too... when I was a kid. I also really like the barrow-downs sequence, but it really is superfluous to the plot--no, it's more than superfluous, it's distracting from the plot. In a novel, you have time to take such detours, but in a movie, you simply can't do it!

To Chad Z: It’s not about time, it’s about pacing. I don’t think PJ would have any problem extending the movie by 15 minutes to include Bombadil, but can’t you see that what he’s trying to do is up the tension a little in the first half of the book? The best way to do this is to have it focus on the pursuit of the hobbits by the black riders. Bombadil takes away from this tension—in fact, in the movie, I think he’d ruin it entirely. Instead of being on the edge of their seat, the average movie-goer would be rolling their eyes.

To Geri A: Hi! Geri is my last name and A my middle initial. Combine with that the fact that someone with the name of Chad posted above and you’ve got a pretty weird coincidence. Now let me address what you said. Firstly, let me assure you that PJ is expanding Arwen’s role only a little bit, to make her a more memorable character, so that when she shows up again at the very end, people don’t wonder who she is (as I did the first time I read the books). This is being done seamlessly, and in a way that incorporates itself largely into the action, thereby not dragging things out too much. The problem with Bombadil is that 1. He’s not a major character at all, and 2. His inclusion WOULD drag the first half of the movie out.

To Rich P.: You can’t seriously tell me that it would be just as easy to include Bombadil as it would be to include a new scene with the hobbits finding the Numenorean swords. Bombadil would take at least 15 minutes of story time, having them find the swords at Weathertop would take 1 minute at the very most.

Fellow fans, it’s time to accept that there are some things that work in a book that simply don’t work on the screen. It just happens that Tom Bombadil is one of them. PJ wants to stay as true to the books as he can, but he also wants to make a good film, and one that will entertain fans and non-fans alike. The exclusion of Bombadil is merely a part of this process. Thank you, Peter Jackson!!