August 9, 2001

HP, Bombadil, Arwen, AND Bakshi
Louie V.

I’ve really enjoyed the discussion about ol’ Tom here. I’m fully aware of why he’d be out, and didn’t really expect Mr. Jackson to change his mind. Really there’s not a lot to be said, but it’s still great fun to discuss. Everyone’s had some great things to say about it. There are a few topics I’d like to touch on, though; Goldberry, the Bakshi version, Arwen, and Harry Potter.

We’ve been saying “Tom this…” and “Tom that…” but once the hobbits are in the house of Bombadil, Goldberry has quite the role to play herself! Not only would Mr. J. have to explain Tom, but also the fact that Goldberry is the River’s Daughter. I’m sure he could make a go of it, but the fact remains; the story of the War of the Ring can stand without them. I would like to say, though, that the house of Bombadil is a pleasant little island in the Trilogy that I enjoy every time I read it. The timeless sense of the land, the seasonal rituals of lily gathering, staying indoors and story-telling as it rains all day while Goldberry does her washing. I’m not sure but that I might enjoy it more since Mr. Jackson isn’t including these sequences because their enigmatic and ethereal quality may somehow be lessened.

And speaking of leaving parts out … I can barely begin to describe the feeling I had when I first saw the Bakshi “Lord of the Rings” in the theatre in 1977. Granted, I’d only read the trilogy three, maybe four times by then, but I still had great expectations. (It WAS all we had after all!) It started off well enough (for a cartoon) but the time compression factor went haywire toward the end of the movie. Not to mention the heir of Isildur looking like a thug … but we won’t go there now. But the pacing was poor; the scene at Bree went forever on. I was sad but glad to leave the theatre. If we have to make some sacrifices of our beloved Trilogy for the sake of continuity, my great hope is that the omissions are wisely selected (which I believe they will be).

Arwen. Frankly, I’m pleased she has a greater role in the movie. That might not have been the case before I read The Silmarillion, though. If we look to see just why Galadriel was an exile in Middle Earth in the first place, it was because of the revolt of the Noldor, led by FŽanor, of which she was innocent. She was born in Eldamar, and then came to Middle Earth. Was she a dainty flower that almost wilted in the frozen north? No! She was, and is, mighty among the mighty, wise among the wise, powerful, regal, and potentially dangerous (think of her test with the Ring at the Mirror of Galadriel). The Elves were deadly in their way, and Galadriel was their queen. Not only that, but she was Arwen’s grandmother. Consider, too, that Arwen’s father was the standard-bearer for Gil-Galad, present when the Ring was cut from Sauron’s hand. He was mighty and wise in Middle Earth. With this blood in her veins, I’m not at all surprised that her role in the movie was expanded!

Harry Potter? How in the WORLD can Harry Potter generate ANY concern about cutting into the popularity of LOTR? If anything, it will be the warm-up act for the main event this winter! Bring him on! I think they’ve done a wonderful job with the books (which I thoroughly enjoyed) in creating this movie, at least what I’ve seen so far. Comparison? What comparison? Both fantasy, both have a wizard, fantastic beasts … hmmm … maybe I WILL skip “Lord of the Rings” in December! Puh-leeeeeese! We’ve got two movies to have fun with this winter!

So, anyway. One thing I do know is that it’s August and opening day is coming closer and closer for what might be the movie I’ve been hoping for for nearly thirty years. I think I’ll go read “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil” now …