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Old 09-15-2004, 04:25 AM   #1
Gothbogg the Ripper
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White Tree Hey dol! Merry dol! Get lost Tom!!!

Question...
Was anyone happy that Bombadil wasn't included? Does anyone else feel that they made the right choice to keep him out of the Fellowship?
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Old 09-15-2004, 04:47 AM   #2
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I personally am glad that Peter Jackson didn't include him - not because I don't like him, but because my mental image of him is so strong that any actor trying to play his part would have been a disappointment, and because the aura that Peter Jackson created for the hobbits' flight from the Shire would have suffered for a 10-to-15-minute Tom interlude.
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:37 AM   #3
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I agree with Son of Númenor. I think Tom isn't so central a character that he would have done much (positive) difference to the film. Besides, all the non-readers would probably have been quite confused about a character like Tom.
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Old 09-15-2004, 10:59 AM   #4
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I am afraid that I actively dislike Tom and his endless ghastly poetry... it was about the only exclusion ~I approved of.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:14 PM   #5
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1420! Make it 4.

Ungoliant:
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Besides, all the non-readers would probably have been quite confused about a character like Tom.
Even most BOOK readers have trouble figuring out who/what Tom Bombadil is. Since it is an unanswered question Tolkien left for us to endlessly bicker about, we will never know. So yes, I agree, putting in Tom would have caused an utter amount of confusion, especially with non-book readers, but also with book readers too. I mean many non-book readers can't understand the concept of the Grey Havens, Bombadil is much more difficult and complex then the Grey Havens.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:40 PM   #6
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I wish he was in there, but it would have been nearly impossible. Those who hadn't read the books would have been terribly confused, and those who had would probably have been displeased by the movie's interpretation of him or his appearance.
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Old 09-15-2004, 02:12 PM   #7
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White Tree

I agree with Son of Numenor...again Tom is too advance for technology and Peter Jackson (although many great things in the movie weren't)! My mental image would go haywire, and I'd never remember. To give a better example: When I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (or Philosophers Stone if your British), I had a great mental picture for everything. It was so perfect. I knew exactly what Harry looked like. But when the movie came out, seeing someone play Harry destoryed my mental picture, and I couldn't remember what I actually thought. I missed that It didn't happen for LOTR because that image was much stronger, and I thought about it more often. I don't want Peter to destory my image of good ole Bombadil!
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Old 09-15-2004, 02:19 PM   #8
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1420! Nit-picking.

Perky:
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But when the movie came out, seeing someone play Harry destoryed my mental picture
I actually got that feeling with LOTR. I mean, he destroyed my mental picture of all the characters. For some reason instead of making Legolas a dark-haired elf, he was blonde, in fact a lot of his elves were blonde, and there were very few blonde elves. I thought no matter how great a role Sean Bean did, he wasn't big enough for Boromir, and he also should have had dark hair like most Gondorians. Boromir was the strongest, broadest member of the fellowship, he needed to be bigger, but I loved Sean Bean. I also pictured Elendil to be a lot taller, I mean he was "Elendil the Tall." But, these are just nit-picky things that didn't get me furiously mad and stomp off, just saying my mental imaginations were destroyed, now I can't read a Legolas line without picturing some expert mumak slaying blonde elf.
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Old 09-15-2004, 02:31 PM   #9
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White Tree

This is true, but I'm not as much as a nit picker as you
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Old 09-15-2004, 03:24 PM   #10
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Boots Fear and loathing

In addition to what Son of Númenor says about wanting to preserve his own special image of Tom, I think there is another issue with the omission of The House of Bombadil and also of Fog on the Barrow Downs.

Both of those chapters provide initial scares for the hobbits. Gandalf even says, later in Rivendell ("Many Meetings") that Frodo's experience with the Barrow Wight was more harrowing than that on Weathertop. The book thus gives us a graduated development of the tension which the Black Riders cause.

The movie lacks this progression of fear and suspense and terror. Thus, the Prancing Pony and Bree in the movie must in effect become darker than those scenes in the book. And the movie has to rely on big screne action instead of finely wrought emotional development. In missing out on Old Man Willow, movie goers also have little foreshadowing for the likes of the Ents in Fangorn.
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Old 09-15-2004, 04:12 PM   #11
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White Tree

Merry: It's not even sharp!

Eowyn: A blunt blade's no good! To the smithy! Go!

PJ: Cut! Brilliant! This scene is a keeper!

Writer: Wait a minute, if Merry uses this blade, with no magical Numenorian power, it doesn't make sense that he stops the Witch-King. This scene throws off the whole plot!

PJ: Well...that's true.....but...that was a good scene, and I don't think we can do better! Let's just keep this, and remove the Barrow-Downs scene! This way, people who didn't read the book won't be confused!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Ok, sure! I was exagerating! But you get the point. They didn't shoot the movies in order of Chapter by Chapter. They either thought they couldn't do it (which is what most likely happened) or they put a scene in the can, and later forgot it would conflict!
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Old 09-15-2004, 04:51 PM   #12
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As far as I know, Tom Bombadil was hardly in the novel to begin with - Tolkien put him in at a later stage in the writing.

As much as it would have been nice to have him in the movies, Tom and the chapters involving him was an obvious thing to cut out from a movie version. He really contributes very little to the main story, and would have stopped the flow in the movie, too. And, as other mentions, non-readers would have been confused - they had more than enough to keep track of already!
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88
I actually got that feeling with LOTR. I mean, he destroyed my mental picture of all the characters.
Funnily enough, the film captured my most of my mental images (of both people and places) perfectly. But that's by the by.

I don't think it would be very difficult to capture the visual image of Tom. Blue jacket, yellow boots, feather in hat, booming voice and big dark beard and you're there. The difficulty would be in finding an actor who could portray the right mix of levity and underlying power. He could very easily come across as laughable and ridiculous. As has been suggested on other threads, Brian "Gordon's Alive!" Blessed would look and sound the part, but I feel that (much as I admire the guy) he would probably come across as a buffoon.

In any event, I go with the majority. Tom's Chapters are fairly easy to omit without causing any major plot holes (the Barrow Blade is the only one I can think of) and there were more important things to include in the time available. And, well, I must admit that, enigmatic as he is, I too have always found Tom a tad annoying ...
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:57 PM   #14
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1420! Ooops.

Oooops, sorry SpM I just realized I said "all" the characters. I just ment the ones I basically mentioned, I do think the scenery was absolutely great, but I just pictured "some" of the characters differently. Like I said, I can't read LOTR anymore without picturing the actors, ahh that's bad.
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Old 09-16-2004, 07:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
I can't read LOTR anymore without picturing the actors, ahh that's bad.
I share the same plight... I'm gradually trying to kick blond-Legolas out of my head, and it's beginning to work. Next I'll have to get the proper mental images of dark-haired Faramir and Boromir (although that could be quite hard because I loved the way they were in the movies).

But this is getting OT... so, um, yeah, how 'bout that Tom Bombadil? As SpM said...

Quote:
I don't think it would be very difficult to capture the visual image of Tom. Blue jacket, yellow boots, feather in hat, booming voice and big dark beard and you're there. The difficulty would be in finding an actor who could portray the right mix of levity and underlying power. He could very easily come across as laughable and ridiculous.
Well said. The look wouldn't be too hard; I rather like the Hildebrant version, so they possibly could have worked off that, but most people probably would have thought Tom was a complete idiot. Honestly, just because he chills in the woods all the time making up silly songs doesn't make him any less powerful...
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Old 09-17-2004, 04:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88
Even most BOOK readers have trouble figuring out who/what Tom Bombadil is.
Exactly!

I had terrible difficulties in picturing the elves in my mind when I first read LotR. After I saw the Fellowship, I adapted my frail image of the elves to correspond the movie version. I have same kind of difficulties with Tom. It would be easy if someone just showed me a picture: "Look, here's Tom, he looks like that." But since Tom is such a mysterious character, maybe it's appropriate to have a little blurred mental picture of him. Seeing him on the film would probably have been a disappointment.
Like The Saucepan Man said
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The difficulty would be in finding an actor who could portray the right mix of levity and underlying power.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:05 PM   #17
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I did not like Tom Bombadil much. I am not unhappy that they didn't put him in, but I think if they had him they would almost have to include the Barrow Downs, and that was something I really would have liked to have seen.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:23 PM   #18
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I'm sure most of you've seen the WETA image of Tom Bombadil for the card game...here's Goldberry and Bombadil for those who haven't.


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Old 09-18-2004, 10:49 AM   #19
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Boots

gorthar_cruel,

Many, many thanks for posting those images from the WETA cards for Bombdadil and Goldberry.

They are fascinating because they are, to me at least, the first images which catch the indefinable allure between the two characters. I have never really been impressed with past artwork of these characters; they always somehow managed, enigmatically to elude the skill of the artist or photographer. Such earlier depictions of Tom and Goldberry seemed to me to focus on each character independently. Frankly, I could never really see what each saw in the other, despite the attractions of the artwork.

Here, I feel a strong sense of masculine self-possession in this Tom, with a hint of his tom-foolery and fearlessness. What man need fear the Old Forest or the Ring who knows himself and is happy with himself? And Goldberry here hints at the layers of allure and beauty which legends of mythical water nymphs hold for mere mortals. Here, too, is a woman who knows herself and her partner.

The darkness which surrounds Tom but does not envelope him is intriguing, especially as it is balanced by the shimmering light of the waters and sky in the Goldberry picture. There is, as well, no hint of the passivity which for me mars Tolkien's Goldberry, so I guess, all in all, what I am saying is that these pictures reflect a creative or artistic interpretation of the characters rather than a desire simply to reproduce in visual form Tolkien's creation. If that makes any sense!
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Old 09-18-2004, 12:44 PM   #20
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Boots

Thanks for the pictures, gorthaur. I agree with Bb in that the attitudes they convey are right, but they don't really fit the images I have in my mind, however skewed they are. For example, in my head Goldberry is literally gold of skin and slightly radiant. She also looks a bit more youthful than in the picture given. Tom's jacket should be brighter, I think.

Oh well, at least they're included.
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Old 09-19-2004, 05:09 PM   #21
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Tolkien

Besides being hard to understand, even for those who have read the book, Tom was probably also left out because he does nothing else after the Hobbits leave the 'Downs. I can think of only two other mentionings of him: another place the Ring cannot go and a place for Gandalf to be instead of helping scour the Shire (which I understand the Hobbits had to do on their own).

This is similar to their reason for leaving out Glorfindel, but that's another rant.

If they were going to make Tom like the card, then I'm glad they left him out. That one's not quite my mental image, nor for Goldberry (needs longer hair, definately needs longer hair...). Anyway, because Tom's so....Tom-like, we all not only have our own images of him, but we also have our own understandings of him, which are sure to differ from the film-makers'; so even if they got our image right, the character probably wouldn't have been 'right'.

So here's to our mental images of Tom, Goldberry, Old Man Willow and our beloved Barrow-wights who will remain undisturbed:
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Old 09-19-2004, 08:26 PM   #22
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Yes, Goldberry's hair should be longer, and Tom's beard should not look like dead squirrels.

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So here's to our mental images of Tom, Goldberry, Old Man Willow and our beloved Barrow-wights who will remain undisturbed: -- Elianna
Cheers!
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Old 09-20-2004, 06:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Elianna wrote:

Anyway, because Tom's so....Tom-like, we all not only have our own images of him, but we also have our own understandings of him, which are sure to differ from the film-makers'; so even if they got our image right, the character probably wouldn't have been 'right'.
Indeed! You describe the very freedom which is the great joy of reading, our individual imaginings.

And given how Jackson was unable, in many ways, to transfer other aspects of LotR successfully to the screen for the Book Fans (granting that he was able to satisfy our imaginations in some ways), it is all for the best that he gave up trying to portray the most engimatic character which would have required the greatest talent to depict. His skills as a movie maker just weren't up to it and there wasn't any Star Wars character he could have ripped off to suggest the charactertisation.

Hey dol, merry dol.
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Old 09-21-2004, 07:38 PM   #24
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Silmaril Yeah...What they said...

I don't actively hate Tom, but I do think that it's good that he isn't in the movie for some of the same reasons that everyone else mentioned. I love having Tom and Goldberry, and really the whole Old Forest as my own mental territory with my own unique picture, completely untouched by PJ. I love the movies, though, don't get me wrong!

I also think it's easier to see the characters my way when they're in the Old Forest with Tom and company because it's an area that isn't changed in any way. I can see the characters as my own elsewhere as well, it's just more of a conscious effort on my part. Another reason to love the Old Forest.

If so many people that have been avid book fans for years are still somewhat confused by Tom, imagine the reactions of people just seeing the movies without reading!
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:53 PM   #25
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comming from a screen writing point of veiw

yes, Tom would have been hard to do in the movie. I mean look at all the threads on "What is Tom Bombadil?" Even though for some of us he is one of our favorite characters, how can one begin to describe in a script format Tom? I don't think it's possible. The normal, complex characters are enough, but the enigmas like Tom are just evil!

Other than that, and what has been stated before, he didn't contribute much to the story, and for how it turned out in the movies I think Tom would have confused the people who hadn't read the books in the first place. I too loved the Hildebrandt Tom, but also I can think of many a biker that looks like him; if you dressed him up in yellow boots and the like .

In the game though I did like the addition of Tom, and the old forest, and the barrow weights; it made it that more difficult to beat, although once you beat Old Man Willow, it's rather easy the next time you play it. Also, you have to go chasing Tom around helping him collect water lilies For Goldberry, I can't stand her voice though. Maybe this is what would have happened in the movies, if they had put Tom and Goldberry in, but on the other hand maybe not.

In the end I think it was a good Idea not to have Tom Bombadil in the movies at all, even though he is one of my favorites... I hope this made since.
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:30 PM   #26
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Pipe

Alas, but yes, I was happy he was left out after I read the books, the more often I read them came to like him. Now I wish they put him in, but I see the purposes of taking him out.
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Old 09-23-2004, 07:20 AM   #27
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Mr Bombadil always seems to get a hard time from many readers of lotr.

here's some reasons why I think tom/old forest/barrowdowns should have been included (in the EE perhaps)

1/ Merry gets his sword to help defeat the witch king.
2/ we see that the ring is not ALL powerful. this is important
3/ we can see the forces of Nature at work.
4/ the old forest and old man willow foreshadows fangorn and thus helps build the atmosphere of fangorn when merry and pippin arrive there
5/ the tom episodes show us that the LOTR is only a small PART of the history of middle-earth, and would add more atmosphere to the story.
6/ the adventure in the barrow shows us Frodo the 'Hero'
7/ we could have seen another facet of the witch king in 'waking up' the wights as explained in unfinished tales
8/ helps explain how the hobbits got away from the black riders who were only 20 miles aware via a fast horse. although i suppose in the movie, the buckleberry ferry brings us to Bree. (it was raining on one side of the river and not on the other....)
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Old 09-23-2004, 03:38 PM   #28
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Good points, Essex!

Quote:
6/ the adventure in the barrow shows us Frodo the 'Hero'
But I have the feeling PJ's Frodo would have screamed about it for a bit and made his eyes go huge and anime-like, before remembering to call for help.
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:22 PM   #29
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1420! Another thing to add

Essex, I think another thing to add to your list, of how Tom Bombadil was important. He helped (along with Farmer Maggot who was said to have actually talked to Tom Bombadil) the hobbits see that the world is much bigger then the Shire. Also showed them, their were inhabitants in the Shire before hobbits existance and there will be hobbits after all the hobbits are gone. He gave the hobbits some history and showed them they aren't the only "inhabitants" in the world, the world is much bigger then their little shire. I think PJ should have included the bit with Maggot or either Tom Bombadil, since both give The Hobbits a good lesson.
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:39 PM   #30
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6/ the adventure in the barrow shows us Frodo the 'Hero'
I've always thought that even there Frodo isn't very heroic. There's that really cool quote about the seed of courage taking root, but then all he does is sing a song and have Tom save them again.
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Old 09-24-2004, 12:41 AM   #31
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Actually, Frodo was very courageous in the Barrow. Gandalf said to him ("Many Meetings", FotR):
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But you have some strength in you, my dear hobbit! As you showed in the Barrow. That was touch and go: perhaps the most dangerous moment of all.
He showed his courage in not deserting his friends and in using a sword to hack off the hand that was crawling toward them, before remembering to sing the song that summoned Tom Bombadil. For someone who had never used a sword before, that took a good deal of effort and courage!
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:27 AM   #32
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I think, you're right about Frodo showing courage, if you hadn't used a sword before you would be quite apprehensive, but Frodo did it and I think this proves he wasn't a complete coward.
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Old 09-24-2004, 11:18 AM   #33
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It's more than that.

He had, or thought he had, a perfect easy escape in his pocket-- the Ring. All he had to do was put it on, and he was free. He thought of himself running over the grass, grieving for his friends, but free. Too bad for his friends, but "Gandalf would have agreed there was nothing else he could do."

Horrible temptation. And what a horrible thing to live with afterward-- talk about survivor guilt...

What Frodo rejected in the Barrow was his own freedom at the cost of his friends' lives. He decided to stay, and die with them if he could not get them out.

From then on, instead of being consumed by fear, he used his wits. First he thought of using the sword to hack at the hand; then he remembered the song for calling Bombadil.
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Old 09-24-2004, 12:43 PM   #34
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I know this is turning into a 'book' type thread, but for me the scenes from crickhowell to Bree are SO important to me, and are some of the most 'atmospheric' among the whole book. I know this sounds daft, but it starts for me when frodo and company are starting off in the early morning towards the old forest. Whenever I read this, I get the feeling of being up early in the morning, ready to leave. I can't put my finger on why, this is just one of the passages that sticks with me. And the way tolkien describes the hobbits fulling into slumber as they approach and sit by old man willow, also leaves me feeling tired (but not bored!) as well. his descriptive style is second to none.

and then onto one of the most startling passages in the entire trilogy, as first Tom asks for the ring (and frodo willingly obliges) and puts it on without vanishing. then Frodo tries to leave with the ring on and tom says he's not that blind yet!

I know this couldn't have worked in the film, as jackson has given the ring, or to be more precise, Sauron, too much power for this to work. (Exactly the same reason why Sam couldn't wear the ring later on in rotk).......
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Old 09-24-2004, 06:40 PM   #35
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No offense to all you Tom Bombadil fans out there, but I personally have never really liked Tom a whole lot. He just seemed kind of random, like he was just thrown in there for basically no reason. And forgive me for saying so, but even in the book it didn't seem like he added much to the plot. Tom just didn't really fit in well with the story, so I don't really care about his absence in the movies.
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Old 09-25-2004, 12:48 PM   #36
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1420!

Essex:
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I know this is turning into a 'book' type thread, but for me the scenes from crickhowell to Bree are SO important to me,
I happen to agree Essex, I think these chapters are important ones. First off, skipping these chapters means you have basically skipped 3 chapters of the book, and people may say "Tom is not important." But, these chapters are key chapters to figure out, how Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam acted back then, and then how they grow maturely by the end of the book. Tom may not be important, but it's important if you want to see the growth of the Hobbits from beginning to end.

As Mark said, Frodo completed a brave feet on his part, even more so then people give him credit for. I mean come on PJ give Frodo some bravery, it's pathetic that he falls down some 200 times in the 3 films. Mark, I like how you bought up the fact that Frodo resisted his temptation, from the ring, to leave his friends behind, to escape easily, and leave his friends to their own fate, I never considered that before and it has shown me a whole "new light" to Frodo, which is only more cause for me to stress these chapters are important to pick up on how the characters act in certain situations, good post.

Again Essex:
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and are some of the most 'atmospheric' among the whole book.
Good point Essex, The Old Forest adds this sort of majestic, magical, haven for the hobbits seperate from Middle-Earth. You get this magical feeling when reading the chapters in the Old Forest, it's something totally different then the rest of Middle-earth, then maybe besides Fangorn. Fangorn and Old Forest have a lot of simularities, and parallels.
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:04 PM   #37
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I don't know whether to hide in shame or blush with embrassment. I feel so bad, I completely forgot about Frodo cutting off the hand. Completely forgot about so much of that scene in the book. I'm so sorry about my comment. (in my defense, it was at least the beginning of the year since I read it last.)
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:20 PM   #38
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Boots No One can fill his boots...

i was a little disapointed, especially my brother who wore his yellow boots to the theatres... he was very, very angry. he somehow reminded me of an angry Balrog...I don't know why...

But, I'd have to figure, it would be really hard for someone to play his part and not have popcorn thrown at the screen... This would be an easy but, also very delicate character to act out. One that the actor would have to perfect. Even though we would only see him for maybe 40-50 minutes (if both people's patience and the pay budget would allow...) the actor would have to read as much as they could then, try their best to keep it "real" and not make Bombadil out to look like a clown...

Hope i don't up-set anyone. Just an opinion.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:50 PM   #39
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In my latest reread of FotR, I now find myself agreeing even more with PJ et al's decision to leave Tom in the books (if I had a different opinion before, well, please disregard that one).

Tom saves the Hobbits from Old Man Willow. He is Master of tree and root and wight. The Ring, that oh-so-scary silent actor in the films, has no effect on ole' Bombadil. The Riders never search the Old Forest.

PJ would have to have shown some or all of this. And, after exalting Tom for a few minutes (or hours) in the film, he would disappear. So why bother? Other not-so-well-read viewers would wonder why Tom wasn't at the council, or why he didn't continually show up to assist the Hobbits.

(alatar suddenly imagines a tag-team wrestling match pitting Saruman and Ugluk against Tom and Treebeard...)

As much as some of us would have liked to see him and Goldberry, Tom would have just detracted from the flow of the story.
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Last edited by alatar; 11-13-2008 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:30 PM   #40
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Wow, I pop my head out of the gutter and what should I see? An old thread of mine risen from the dead!
In any case, I agree with you altar. You cannot build up the Ring as this evil entity and then have it completely undermined by a midget in yellow boots.
Now, I can understand why Mr. Tolkien included old Tom, he valued nature and wanted to embody that snetiment in his writing. And that's all well and good, but in a film it would be nothing but noise for the sake of noise.
Especially as the power of nature is already well represented by Treebeard and his little massacre at Isengard.
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