Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

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Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:02 pm

Interesting Den Of Geek article:

http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/lord-of-the-rings/53498/should-the-lord-of-the-rings-tv-series-include-tom-bombadil

But in general, does the character work on screen? Even with the added length a TV adaptation would offer I'm not so sure the character would translate that well without seeming anachronistic or silly (on the other hand, many readers find those chapters a badly paced slog, perhaps being in live action would liven things up more?), I'm also inclined to think that any adapter would be tempted to include a more definite explanation of his origins and purpose which kind ruins part of the purpose of the character...

Tom Bombadil has appeared in at least one adaptation, but I haven't listened to it so can't vouch for how the character or story is portrayed:

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tales_from_the_Perilous_Realm_(1992_radio_series)#The_Adventures_of_Tom_Bombadil

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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:19 pm

I've got it!

Bombadil will be Young Aragorn's side-kick! cheers
I mean, they inhabit the same general part of the world, so there you go.

(every hero needs a side-kick Nod)

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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by malickfan on Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:10 pm

halfwise wrote:I've got it!

Bombadil will be Young Aragorn's side-kick! cheers
I mean, they inhabit the same general part of the world, so there you go.

(every hero needs a side-kick Nod)

It would be like a buddy cop movies, the dour hardened ranger focused and trying to prove himself and the weird old man he's partnered with, more focused on singing than killing orcs.

Did Aragorn know of Bombadil canonically? The rangers guarded the borders of the shire afterall, and Aragorn knew all sorts of arcane knowledge...

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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:07 pm

the Tom Bombadil chapters are my favourite in the whole books, its not a slog for me, I always see them as the highlight. It starts with the morning through the High Hay and ends the moment Tom leaves them for the last time on the Road. Everything between those two points is pure faerie, and I love it.

it all depends on casting and writing and atmosphere, if it ends up like Beorn in the Hobbit I will throw my tv through the window. Mad if on the other hand it looks like Russian fairy tales, I will be very happy. Russians do faerie oddness very well.



this lot have been at the vodka. Laughing


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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:42 pm

The Russians know their way around folktales. Nod

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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:56 pm

I would be surprised if he is included. He's a polarizing character even among Tolkien fans and by his own decision rarely if ever leaves his own domain. I also suspect that the tone Amazon goes with will probably be inconsistent with Bombadil, but that's just a guess.

Den of Geek wrote:Some of the advantages to including Bombadil remain, however. On a practical level, this is still an opportunity for a small, self-contained episode of television that requires minimal special effects and guest stars, while still offering an exciting incident (and the chance of getting a new weapon out of it, so it’s not completely useless to the plot).

This is not really what modern "prestige" dramas do. The limited number of episodes per season mean there is less need for filler, and the highly serialized nature of most shows (ie, episodes usually flow into each other more or less seamlessly rather than telling semi-independent stories) means that setting aside an entire episode that is isolated from the main plot is awkward for pacing. Yes, there are exceptions (eg "Fly" from Breaking Bad), but I would be surprised if a series made with the intention of being "the next Game of Thrones" is looking to have "small" episodes.

Den of Geek wrote:Amazon’s new series, however, is a prequel series, to take place before the events of The Lord Of The Rings and presumably not including the events of The Hobbit (since that’s already been adapted into feature films and expanded far beyond its limits anyway). The most obvious conclusion is that this will be an adaptation of stories from The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Children Of Húrin, with the last being particularly appealing as it offers a complete, epic, rather miserable (and therefore ‘dark’ and ‘gritty’) story including (accidental) incest, which will almost certainly appeal to Amazon executives trying to compete with Game Of Thrones.

*sigh* The idea that this series is going to be based on The Silmarillion is going to be just as resilient as the idea that the second Hobbit movies was going to be a "bridge film", isn't it? Neutral
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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:02 pm

malickfan wrote:Did Aragorn know of Bombadil canonically? The rangers guarded the borders of the shire afterall, and Aragorn knew all sorts of arcane knowledge...

Bombadil seems to have been fairly well-known among the Elves. Even Galdor of the Havens had heard of him (mentioned during the Council of Elrond), and Galdor was not exactly the most well-informed person there. Given that Aragorn was raised in Rivendell and that he spent so much time in Eriador, I think it's extremely likely that he knew of Bombadil and that there's a decent chance he met him at some point.
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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by malickfan on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:07 pm

Eldorion wrote:I would be surprised if he is included. He's a polarizing character even among Tolkien fans and by his own decision rarely if ever leaves his own domain. I also suspect that the tone Amazon goes with will probably be inconsistent with Bombadil, but that's just a guess.

Den of Geek wrote:Some of the advantages to including Bombadil remain, however. On a practical level, this is still an opportunity for a small, self-contained episode of television that requires minimal special effects and guest stars, while still offering an exciting incident (and the chance of getting a new weapon out of it, so it’s not completely useless to the plot).

This is not really what modern "prestige" dramas do. The limited number of episodes per season mean there is less need for filler, and the highly serialized nature of most shows (ie, episodes usually flow into each other more or less seamlessly rather than telling semi-independent stories) means that setting aside an entire episode that is isolated from the main plot is awkward for pacing. Yes, there are exceptions (eg "Fly" from Breaking Bad), but I would be surprised if a series made with the intention of being "the next Game of Thrones" is looking to have "small" episodes.

Den of Geek wrote:Amazon’s new series, however, is a prequel series, to take place before the events of The Lord Of The Rings and presumably not including the events of The Hobbit (since that’s already been adapted into feature films and expanded far beyond its limits anyway). The most obvious conclusion is that this will be an adaptation of stories from The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Children Of Húrin, with the last being particularly appealing as it offers a complete, epic, rather miserable (and therefore ‘dark’ and ‘gritty’) story including (accidental) incest, which will almost certainly appeal to Amazon executives trying to compete with Game Of Thrones.

*sigh* The idea that this series is going to be based on The Silmarillion is going to be just as resilient as the idea that the second Hobbit movies was going to be a "bridge film", isn't it? Neutral

To be fair, even for a website entitled Den Of Geek, I wouldn't expect all the staff members to be dedicated Tolkienities familiar with all the legal mumbo jumbo and books (even the majority of readers who have read LOTR and The Hobbit probably haven't read The Silmarillion, I read it aged 16 but I was a really weird teenager...).

From what I recall The Hobbit bridge film was actually abandoned quite late in the day, a few months after after GDT signed on, though whether they had intended to make an entire bridge film or merely use parts of the 2nd Hobbit films as an epilogue was never made clear if I recall.

I suspect the tone of the Amazon series will probably be inconsistent with that of the books anyway, let alone Old Bombadil...

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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by malickfan on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:10 pm

Eldorion wrote:
malickfan wrote:Did Aragorn know of Bombadil canonically? The rangers guarded the borders of the shire afterall, and Aragorn knew all sorts of arcane knowledge...

Bombadil seems to have been fairly well-known among the Elves. Even Galdor of the Havens had heard of him (mentioned during the Council of Elrond), and Galdor was not exactly the most well-informed person there. Given that Aragorn was raised in Rivendell and that he spent so much time in Eriador, I think it's extremely likely that he knew of Bombadil and that there's a decent chance he met him at some point.

One of the few cases where I'd actually be interested in reading a fan fiction...

IIRC Bombadil knew Butterbur a bit, so perhaps he used to visit the inn occasionally.

Makes you wonder how the story would have worked out if Gandalf had originally accompanied Frodo and Sam from the shire as initially intended, without the urgency from the added months and the likely absence of the Black riders perusing them there would have been little need to take a detour through the Old Forest...

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: Should Tom Bombadil make an appearance in an screen adaptation eventually?

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:21 pm

malickfan wrote:To be fair, even for a website entitled Den Of Geek, I wouldn't expect all the staff members to be dedicated Tolkienities familiar with all the legal mumbo jumbo and books (even the majority of readers who have read LOTR and The Hobbit probably haven't read The Silmarillion, I read it aged 16 but I was a really weird teenager...).

I can't comment on any particular Den of Geek authors but I think you're right that the majority of people who read TH and LOTR haven't read TS. I think the main point of confusion with regards to the TV series though is the vague initial reporting, which together with the Tolkien Estate's involvement seemed to suggest a decent possibility that it would be a First Age series. Things weren't clarified until later and even then Variety only very quietly edited their article a day later to mention that Amazon did not have the rights to The Silmarillion, but by that point the article had already been rehashed and reposted by a multitude of other entertainment sites and blogs.

From what I recall The Hobbit bridge film was actually abandoned quite late in the day, a few months after after GDT signed on, though whether they had intended to make an entire bridge film or merely use parts of the 2nd Hobbit films as an epilogue was never made clear if I recall.

GDT actually mentioned as early as October 2008 (archived link) that the idea of the "bridge film" had been abandoned and that Smaug would die in the first film, which indicated a change from the original plan announced in December 2007 that the project would consist of "'The Hobbit' and its sequel" (the bridge film). The 2008 interview wasn't very widely reported though so a lot of people continued to think the second film would be set after the events of The Hobbit for a number of years afterwards.

I suspect the tone of the Amazon series will probably be inconsistent with that of the books anyway, let alone Old Bombadil...

Quite possibly. Laughing
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