January 6, 2003
Re: Scouring of Shire
Maeglin, I disagree that the removal of the Scouring of the Shire is like taking the battle of Hoth out of Empire Strikes Back.
First off, The Scouring of the Shire (let it be S.O.S.) takes place after the entire story has already ended. The Battle of Hoth (let it be B.O.H.) is essential to the storyline of the Star Wars Trilogy, which without would make the movie extremely confusing. If the SOS was actually put into ROTK, I think it would have the same affect that removing BOH would... Confusion.
The story is over yet the book goes on. Why? Because you can do that in literature, whereas in cinema it becomes a little trickier. I'm not saying that nobody could make it look good cinematically, all I'm saying is that it would take a lot of work to make something like that 'ok' in the eyes of film goers. If anybody here has seen the film 'The Ring' (strange coincidence) you know what I'm talking about. Just when you think the movie has ended, it goes on... and on... and on... Bad idea to do this in a film.
The hobbits have changed, yes, but of those 22 chapters you mentioned they have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate it before SOS happens. Pippin's service to Denethor, and Merry's service to Theodon - and then the final battle. Granted, Frodo does need a little redemption after what he pulled in Mt. Doom, but the others are portrayed rather majestically during many parts of the preceeding chapters.
My main point is, that showing the change that has happened to them can't rightfully be pulled off cinematically the same way it is in the book. PJ realizes this, and I think it was a wise choice on his part, just as the removal of Bombadil was.
I think it would be fine for the hobbits to return to the Shire just as it was (in the movie). If they were to return to find a ruffian infestation controlled by the weakend wizard Saruman, it really would come accross like the movie "Halloween" when Mike Meyers wakes up for the 10th time after being stabbed, shot, incinerated, decapitated, dismembered, run over and whatever else...
Try to imagine in Return of the Jedi, as Luke and the ewoks all go to their little party in the ewok village to suddenly find a small band of Gomorian Guards (those pig-like dudes) along with Boba-Fett (let's just say he could have escaped the sand creature...) taking ewoks hostage, and then there's a little skirmish with them before the movie finally ends. Wouldn't really work would it? Maybe it's a bad analogy, but you get the point.