J.R.R. Tolkien

escargot

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At least you got Gollum. I've had two Wargs and a Troll.
Been there too. :chuckle:

May I remind the assembled company of my recent visit to all my exes' home area -

Badcocks Lane.jpg
 

Lb8535

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Its interesting that JRRT shows little bias with his characters;

A noted positive example is Galadriel, (Who can afford a good lawyer)

And an interesting negative example is Eol (Who's main crime is he resembles a RL myth elf).

In his letters he definitely comes off against Gollum; Possibly because he barged in on Frodo/Sam's happy relationship?
Who's Eol?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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It would be wrong to confuse the content of Peter Jackson's movies with Tolkien's novels.
I think Jackson read too much into Frodo and Sam's friendship and played up the bromance angle.
Similarly, I felt Jackson's complete demonising of the Orcs went against Tolkien's intentions. Having fought in WW1, Tolkien realised that even the hated Huns were people with hopes, wishes and feelings too. Hence the very important scene, omitted by Jackson, where a couple of Orcs in Cirith Ungol are looking forward to a time when the war is over and making plans to head south with a few of their trusted comrades.
Also, I don't believe that Orcs were routinely cannibal, as depicted by Jackson, although I believe they would eat man-flesh on occasion. But that's a different species, rather like some humans eating primate bush-meat today.
 

Kondoru

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You mean theres been a film?

The books unfilmable.
 

Lb8535

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You mean theres been a film?

The books unfilmable.
It would be wrong to confuse the content of Peter Jackson's movies with Tolkien's novels.
I think Jackson read too much into Frodo and Sam's friendship and played up the bromance angle.
Similarly, I felt Jackson's complete demonising of the Orcs went against Tolkien's intentions. Having fought in WW1, Tolkien realised that even the hated Huns were people with hopes, wishes and feelings too. Hence the very important scene, omitted by Jackson, where a couple of Orcs in Cirith Ungol are looking forward to a time when the war is over and making plans to head south with a few of their trusted comrades.
Also, I don't believe that Orcs were routinely cannibal, as depicted by Jackson, although I believe they would eat man-flesh on occasion. But that's a different species, rather like some humans eating primate bush-meat today.
Always, LOR the book has early English/Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian literature and cultural norms as its backing. The man is still the world expert on Beowulf in its literary and cultural context. The close friendship of male warriors/seekers is standard. But I do think that he intended Orcs to be all-bad all the time. They were created by the lord of the rings to be his operatives, and would have been classed with human-created industrial development. You don't want to think about what those guys were heading south to do. They ate anything that didn't outrun them, including other orcs.

Jackson and the other film writers are just as LOR knowledgeable as the rest of us - he just was expressing his love for the books in the medium he knew. I really hate parts of it and miss things he had to omit, but I accept his process. Interesting to me is that as a teen-aged girl I had an overview of the books that is not his. I basically read the battle scenes as heavily formulaic from early English literature. I never envisioned them. Frankly I've been known to skim them. Jackson as a kid apparently just totally got off on the battles - which is why we see so much of them and nothing of Tom Bombadil.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Always, LOR the book has early English/Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian literature and cultural norms as its backing. The man is still the world expert on Beowulf in its literary and cultural context. The close friendship of male warriors/seekers is standard. But I do think that he intended Orcs to be all-bad all the time. They were created by the lord of the rings to be his operatives, and would have been classed with human-created industrial development. You don't want to think about what those guys were heading south to do. They ate anything that didn't outrun them, including other orcs.

Jackson and the other film writers are just as LOR knowledgeable as the rest of us - he just was expressing his love for the books in the medium he knew. I really hate parts of it and miss things he had to omit, but I accept his process. Interesting to me is that as a teen-aged girl I had an overview of the books that is not his. I basically read the battle scenes as heavily formulaic from early English literature. I never envisioned them. Frankly I've been known to skim them. Jackson as a kid apparently just totally got off on the battles - which is why we see so much of them and nothing of Tom Bombadil.

Fair comment and I don't suppose the Orcs were planning to open a genteel tea-room in the south.
It's just that Tolkien appeared to include that scene to show that even the most brutal of enemies were themselves sentient beings, capable of harbouring aspirations and plans for the future.

As for Bombadil, he's certainly a divisive character but, by omitting him, Jackson also ditched the Fog on the Barrow Downs chapter which, I found one of the most evocative.

Will be interesting to see if the Amazon LOTR series includes that.
 

DougalLongfoot

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Fair comment and I don't suppose the Orcs were planning to open a genteel tea-room in the south.
It's just that Tolkien appeared to include that scene to show that even the most brutal of enemies were themselves sentient beings, capable of harbouring aspirations and plans for the future.

As for Bombadil, he's certainly a divisive character but, by omitting him, Jackson also ditched the Fog on the Barrow Downs chapter which, I found one of the most evocative.

Will be interesting to see if the Amazon LOTR series includes that.

The Amazon series is based on the Second Age of Middle Earth, so no Barrow Downs.

Going back to the relationship between Frodo and Sam, Tolkien wrote that it reflects that of officers and their batmen in World War I:

https://johngarth.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/sam-gamgee-and-tolkiens-batmen/
 

Ogdred Weary

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Always, LOR the book has early English/Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian literature and cultural norms as its backing. The man is still the world expert on Beowulf in its literary and cultural context. The close friendship of male warriors/seekers is standard. But I do think that he intended Orcs to be all-bad all the time. They were created by the lord of the rings to be his operatives, and would have been classed with human-created industrial development. You don't want to think about what those guys were heading south to do. They ate anything that didn't outrun them, including other orcs.

Jackson and the other film writers are just as LOR knowledgeable as the rest of us - he just was expressing his love for the books in the medium he knew. I really hate parts of it and miss things he had to omit, but I accept his process. Interesting to me is that as a teen-aged girl I had an overview of the books that is not his. I basically read the battle scenes as heavily formulaic from early English literature. I never envisioned them. Frankly I've been known to skim them. Jackson as a kid apparently just totally got off on the battles - which is why we see so much of them and nothing of Tom Bombadil.

We see much of the battles because this is what big budget films are all about - spectacle and action. Tom Bombadil is inherently, incredibly naff, I think it would be very difficult to do him in on screen, especially in a film where you have a roughly 2hr runtime, even if FOTR was three hours, I doubt he would be there. Let's be honest, he's the first thing that would be cut by anyone with commercial considerations.
 

PeteByrdie

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We see much of the battles because this is what big budget films are all about - spectacle and action. Tom Bombadil is inherently, incredibly naff, I think it would be very difficult to do him in on screen, especially in a film where you have a roughly 2hr runtime, even if FOTR was three hours, I doubt he would be there. Let's be honest, he's the first thing that would be cut by anyone with commercial considerations.
I like the Tom Bombadil part of the book, but it has no significant role in the wider story, and I admit it wouldn't be well received by an audience. About as well as the pointless and annoying inclusion of Radagast in The Hobbit movies, I imagine.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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I like the Tom Bombadil part of the book, but it has no significant role in the wider story, and I admit it wouldn't be well received by an audience. About as well as the pointless and annoying inclusion of Radagast in The Hobbit movies, I imagine.

Except that Bombadil gives the Hobbits their swords (taken from the Barrow-Wights).
Also the Fog on the Barrow Downs chapter is one of my favourites and serves to illustrate the first truly creepy landscape the Hobbits encounter after leaving the cosy domesticity of The Shire.
 

PeteByrdie

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Except that Bombadil gives the Hobbits their swords (taken from the Barrow-Wights).
Also the Fog on the Barrow Downs chapter is one of my favourites and serves to illustrate the first truly creepy landscape the Hobbits encounter after leaving the cosy domesticity of The Shire.
Yeah, I think it serves important purposes in the book, and in the world-building of the wider mythology. It's just not necessary for an adaptation of the story. Personally, I love to see a more faithful screen adaptation of the books, Bombadil, Barrow Downs and all, but the adaptation we got is still pretty damn good in my opinion.
 

Ogdred Weary

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Going back to the relationship between Frodo and Sam, Tolkien wrote that it reflects that of officers and their batmen in World War I:

Were they all Bruce Wayne or were some other guys?

I like the Tom Bombadil part of the book, but it has no significant role in the wider story, and I admit it wouldn't be well received by an audience. About as well as the pointless and annoying inclusion of Radagast in The Hobbit movies, I imagine.

Good analogy, I'd imagine any version of Tom would be at least as annoying as Radaghast.
 

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Tom Bombadil isn't so bad if you take out the songs. I used to hate him and couldn't see the point but, like others, loved the Barrow Downs and the fog and the wights. However, on re-reading much later, I can see how he stands for the old spirit of the land, his saving of the hobbits from Old Man Willow and then again from the wight in the barrow, doesn't advance the story much but it is a wonderfully atmospheric bit of writing.
 

Lb8535

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We see much of the battles because this is what big budget films are all about - spectacle and action. Tom Bombadil is inherently, incredibly naff, I think it would be very difficult to do him in on screen, especially in a film where you have a roughly 2hr runtime, even if FOTR was three hours, I doubt he would be there. Let's be honest, he's the first thing that would be cut by anyone with commercial considerations.
Yes which is why Jackson cut him. Because what the film really needed was more face time for a female star hallucinating about her future children.
 

PeteByrdie

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Tom Bombadil isn't so bad if you take out the songs. I used to hate him and couldn't see the point but, like others, loved the Barrow Downs and the fog and the wights. However, on re-reading much later, I can see how he stands for the old spirit of the land, his saving of the hobbits from Old Man Willow and then again from the wight in the barrow, doesn't advance the story much but it is a wonderfully atmospheric bit of writing.
That whole thing gives an impression of how ancient the world is, and deepens the world building. Not hugely, but early on. Tom and the wights and even the willow are pure folklore, in a more profound way than are the elves and dwarves. To a fan of folklore and mythology, I think Tom makes more sense. Of course, a novel may include folklore but shouldn't be inscrutable and bewildering to people without that interest, which I think Tom is a bit.
 

EnolaGaia

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Based on things I recall reading 40 - 50 years ago ... Tolkien - being the scholar he was - was initially interested in fleshing out the Middle Earth world he'd created in The Hobbit, complete with an elaborate history of the sort that was his field and which had only been hinted in the first novel.

Phrased more crudely ... He was more interested in writing something akin to The Silmarillion than the eventual LOTR.

Bombadil was one of the more matured chunks of this initial thrust by the time feedback had turned him more toward writing another adventure tale. He left Bombadil bit's back story elements largely intact in FOTR, and this is why it seems a semi-tangent in the flow of that volume and the trilogy overall. As he progressed in the writing he either more radically stripped off the back stories he'd sketched or avoided delving into them (save for making notes for later reference).
 

DougalLongfoot

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Based on things I recall reading 40 - 50 years ago ... Tolkien - being the scholar he was - was initially interested in fleshing out the Middle Earth world he'd created in The Hobbit, complete with an elaborate history of the sort that was his field and which had only been hinted in the first novel.

Phrased more crudely ... He was more interested in writing something akin to The Silmarillion than the eventual LOTR.

Bombadil was one of the more matured chunks of this initial thrust by the time feedback had turned him more toward writing another adventure tale. He left Bombadil bit's back story elements largely intact in FOTR, and this is why it seems a semi-tangent in the flow of that volume and the trilogy overall. As he progressed in the writing he either more radically stripped off the back stories he'd sketched or avoided delving into them (save for making notes for later reference).
Sort of but not really.

Tolkien began writing what would become The Silmarillion in 1917 while on leave from the war. His wife Edith dancing in the woods was the inspiration and the scene survives in the Tale of Beren & Luthien (the names are carved on their headstones in Oxford).

Initially The Hobbit was to have nothing to do with this wider and more serious world.

Tom Bombadil was a toy figure that was owned by one of his children. Stories had been made up to amuse his children of the adventures of the toy figure.
 

EnolaGaia

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Thanks for the additional info. I'd forgotten that the name came from one of Tolkien's children's toys.
 

Ogdred Weary

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Yes which is why Jackson cut him. Because what the film really needed was more face time for a female star hallucinating about her future children.

Isn't that sequence in TTT rather than FOTR? Not great but I suppose it was to give Liv Tyler, one of three women in the film trilogy, something to do.
 

Lb8535

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Isn't that sequence in TTT rather than FOTR? Not great but I suppose it was to give Liv Tyler, one of three women in the film trilogy, something to do.
Well it wouldn't have been in the first film. I assume the writers thought the audience wasn't used to the idea of a love story being ignored for so long. And with the huge investment in her salary - not that I don't think she's very talented - they wanted more screen time.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Based on things I recall reading 40 - 50 years ago ... Tolkien - being the scholar he was - was initially interested in fleshing out the Middle Earth world he'd created in The Hobbit, complete with an elaborate history of the sort that was his field and which had only been hinted in the first novel.

Phrased more crudely ... He was more interested in writing something akin to The Silmarillion than the eventual LOTR.

Bombadil was one of the more matured chunks of this initial thrust by the time feedback had turned him more toward writing another adventure tale. He left Bombadil bit's back story elements largely intact in FOTR, and this is why it seems a semi-tangent in the flow of that volume and the trilogy overall. As he progressed in the writing he either more radically stripped off the back stories he'd sketched or avoided delving into them (save for making notes for later reference).

Yes, he was never really fleshed out and I feel Tolkien really hadn't made up his mind as to what Tom was. Also if Tom was a part of stories told to his children then he may have included him partly as a private joke for his family.

He does have a small purpose and that is to move the story from the relatively safe Shire to the bleaker outside world. If anything he is the borderland between childhood and adulthood or the changing world from pastoral to industrial.

Tolkein, to his credit, and something that was forgotten by many other fantasy writers that came after him, managed to convey a world that was made up of grey characters. Tom is very much in his own camp, not a white hat or a black hat and this gives more depth to the story.

Also, I wonder if he left him unfinished because he liked the idea of an unsolved mystery? Tom is ancient even by the reckoning of the elves and not understood by them either. He represents something very dear to Tolkein but not crystal clear to us.
 

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This is up for sale on eBay (for a lot of money):

RALPH BAKSHI'S "THE LORD OF THE RINGS": THE INN AT BREE PRODUCTION BACKGROUND

s-l1600-3.jpg


The film--ultimately, for me--is a failure, but it's an intensely interesting one with lots of good qualities--not least that it felt mysterious and otherworldly. The distance created by the stylisation and distinctive production techniques actually increase its effectiveness while (by?) distancing us from the kind of 'realism' we saw in (most of) the Peter Jackson depictions.

Edit: This is up, too: "Approach to the Shire"

E8n8G9kUUAUc9Tv.jpeg


If your pockets are deep:
https://www.ebay.com/str/bakshianimationart/Lord-of-the-Rings/_i.html?_storecat=9820371010
 

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I find it almost impossible to think of Tom Bombadil without associating him with Tom Baker! Maybe it's the name, maybe it's something in the mercurial nature, or maybe it's just the eccentrically coloured clothing, but every time I read, or hear, the Bombadil section of FOTR, it's Tom Baker that I am imagining.

Did he ever play Tom Bombadil?
 

Fanari_Lloyd

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The Silmarillion is my favourite book. I’ve been reading it since the 80’s. I do really like LOTR but to me it’s the afterword of the Silmarillion which covers thousands of years whereas the main events in LOTR take months.

I’m neither here nor there on the Amazon Prime series. The Second Age is amazing, Eregion, Celebrimbor, Annatar/Sauron, the forging of the Rings of Power, Númenor…could be brilliant or — not. I expect there’ll be nice scenery anyhow :dunno:
 
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