August 14, 2001

This is Getting Boring
Jason B.

Please, people! This debate has been going on for more than a year. Maybe more than two. From time to time I pop in here and read "Tom Bombadil this" and "Arwen that." Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn.

I am a Tolkien fan. He is my favorite author. I love his books and read them often. But it isn't holy gospel, people! It's a work of fiction. From everything I've read Peter Jackson has been doing a great job at converting this book to film. No, everything won't be the same. How could it be? I think the changes he has made will make it a better film. Movie-goers will just not GET Bombadil. I mean, picture this short fat guy in bright blue boots and a yellow vest and green hat (or whatever) skipping around and singing "Hey lo la rillo, I'm old Tom Bombadillo." The audience would laugh or groan and think "Hey, it's Jar Jar Binks all over again." They might walk out. In my opinion, Bombadil works (barely) in the context of the book, but in a movie that's supposed to be an exciting, scary adventure, he'd just seem stupid.

As for Arwen, get over it. So her role is a little beefed up. Maybe she carries a sword. I bet her screen time in the whole trilogy will still be less than half an hour. I mean, we already know she isn't in the fellowship. She doesn't go to Mordor with Sam and Frodo. Where might she pop up? Perhaps Helms Deep. Isengard? I don't know. But I doubt she'll be fighting much. I know it won't seem tasteless or out of place. So many negative rumors have already proven untrue; why cling to the ones that are still out there? In the final analysis, we won't know until we see the films. And I know, no matter what they say, all Tolkien fans will see the movies, at least the first one. The curiosity will be unbearable.

Wait for the movie. If you hate it then, you have a right to say so. But judge it on its own merits. It can't be the book. I've never seen a film adaptation of a book that was 100% true to the book. Why? Because it can't be done.