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Old 09-22-2005, 08:39 PM   #1
Pride Of Lions
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LOTR: What happened to Tom Bombadil?

This has bothered me for a few years since the movies came out, whatever happened to Tom Bombadil (from "The Fellowship of the Ring")? He was one of my most favorite characters and his "themesong" was one of the most memorable bits in the book. He was nowhere in the movie. Why?

Even more glaring, come to think of it, why (in "The Return of the King" ) is the ending so happy? When the hobbits make it back to the Shire, that Grima Wormtongue had converted the Shire into something horrible, including enslaving the remaining hobbits and cutting down the huge tree. Sam and the rest free the Shire and plant the big seed that Galadriel gave Sam (with the special elf-dust, also left out of "TFotR"). That really tied up some loose ends for me and brought the entire story full-circle. I was bothered that it was left out of the movies.

Also, where were the Beornings for that final battle? I was looking forward to seeing what they looked like (having been curious ever since 1983 when I read "The Hobbit" and that scene with Beorn). Curiously absent again, I see.

OK, so the films are too long already, some might say. I might agree, but at least add these scenes in the DVD release for us hardcore book fans. The movies got so many things right and really fleshed out the stories, it's just a shame that the movies left out the entire stories.

Does anyone here know what I'm talking about? Am I the only one wondering these things?
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Old 09-23-2005, 04:07 AM   #2
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I understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, many things that work in book form don't do so well when translated to film (any Stephen King novel, for example :P). I like Bombadil as well, and expected him to turn up in the extended version, but wasn't so surprised when he didn't.

Hey, at least it still gives us a reason to (re)read the books, and get others who've seen the movies to try them!

Craig.
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Old 09-23-2005, 06:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pride Of Lions
This has bothered me for a few years since the movies came out, whatever happened to Tom Bombadil (from "The Fellowship of the Ring")? He was one of my most favorite characters and his "themesong" was one of the most memorable bits in the book. He was nowhere in the movie. Why?
Because he was at best a minor character in the story of the Ring. His character could be removed completely without changing the story at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pride Of Lions
Even more glaring, come to think of it, why (in "The Return of the King" ) is the ending so happy?
Because people like happy endings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pride Of Lions
That really tied up some loose ends for me and brought the entire story full-circle. I was bothered that it was left out of the movies.
Again, it had nothing to do with the story of the Ring, so it could be safely removed without changing the story.

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Originally Posted by Pride Of Lions
Also, where were the Beornings for that final battle? I was looking forward to seeing what they looked like (having been curious ever since 1983 when I read "The Hobbit" and that scene with Beorn). Curiously absent again, I see.
I don't recall them being in the final battle in the book either. But again, in the story of the Ring, they are minor characters and can be removed without changing the story.

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Originally Posted by Pride Of Lions
OK, so the films are too long already, some might say.
There's different "too long" definitinations. There's "The movies are too long for theaters to show" - long running movies means less showings and less chances for revenues. There's "too long for the average person to sit through" - remember that these movies are a compromise between what a Tolkien fan wants and what the general public can handle.

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Originally Posted by Pride Of Lions
Does anyone here know what I'm talking about? Am I the only one wondering these things?
Yes, I was somewhat disappointed in how they changed the story, but I understood what they needed to do and went to see the movies with the expectation that I would see a good movie - not necessairly a good rendition of Tolkien's masterpieces.
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Old 09-23-2005, 07:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbarnett
Unfortunately, many things that work in book form don't do so well when translated to film (any Stephen King novel, for example :P).
Oh, but talking trees and elves and gigantic eagles and Galdalf fighting this weird Balrog and falling into volcanos and off of mountains make more sense? Two gay hobbit couples (I was so happy to see the movies when they came out that I didn't notice, but on further review I'm convinced that the hobbits were deeply in love with their partners) and 1.1 million people fighting for a little gold ring all make more sense?

I see what your both saying, but Tom Bombadil was a neat character. He had songs. I've been singing it my way for 20+ years, and I just knew that they were going to sing them my way.

Oh, "The Stand" was actually watchable and kinda true to the book. I think it's because they spent 8 hours teling that 1,100 page story. Most Stephen King book-to-movies suffer from "I bet we can cut this and get away with it"-itis.

Yes, the Beornings were really minor characters, so I can't get too mad with them being left out.

The "saving of the Shire" is way too important to be left out, though. We know how scummy Grima Wormtongue is and we have a certain affection for the simpleness of the Shire and when we realize that he came and completely defiled it all, we're blown away.

And, since most of the movies are focused on how these other characters grow and mature and the Hobbits are just ancillary players to further the story, this Shire story really showcases how much they've grown and matured and hardened and they're finally not playing second-fiddle to Gandalf or Gollum or the Ring or whatever. They're finally center stage and on their own. It's a great ending, and I feel like the casual fan who will never read the books because they've seen the movies is missing out on more that just extra effluvia.
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Old 09-23-2005, 10:16 PM   #5
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From the commentary on the extendend LOTR dvds and some of the extra content, it seems that Peter Jackson wanted to include Tom Bombadil and the Scouring of the Shire but was unable to inclede them and have a movie of short enough duration to please the studios and cinemas but still tell the story in a way that made sense to those that hadn't read the books.

Some of Bombadil's lines were insted passed to TreeBeard as Jackson and the other writers felt they needed to be there, but couldn't get the Fellowship short enough if Tom was in it.

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Old 09-23-2005, 11:05 PM   #6
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Thanks Stu. I figured it was more of a time constraint than a "not important enough" kinda thing. I have the extended DVD's, but after 13 hours of LOTR movies, I'm kinda Hobbited out.

I just never heard of anyone else asking about these missing scenes. I wondered if I was just crazy and missed something.
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