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View Diary: The Hobbit is a very small movie with very big feet (191 comments)

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  •  It would only be essential if there weren't other (3+ / 0-)

    examples of that in the book.

    There are other examples in the book, better examples, and examples that are highly relevant to the story itself.

    You mention Treebeard, and that's a perfect example that also is imperative to the plot of the book. Orthanc and the Ents are representative of the conflict in the book, and move the story forward.

    That's what you want to keep.

    Things that don't move the story forward are what you want to cut, or at least rewrite to bring it into the greater story. Bombadil could have worked as an addendum -- I love Tolkien's notes and addendums -- or he could have worked if Bombadil was given a greater part of the story, but he doesn't the way he's written.

    Anyone could entirely skip the Bombadil chapters and be none the worse for the wear in terms of reading and understanding the book. That's a TERRIBLE thing given those are chapters not just a couple pages or paragraphs of a random happenstance.

    •  But that is not Tolkien (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, radarlady

      Yes, I agree with you 100% from a modern, screenwriting perspective in which the writer assumes everyone has ADD.

      But Tolkien was writing a book reflective of a different time. A time when people would sit around telling stories, and side-stories that really didn't do much to further the plot were welcome diversions.

      Tolkien's sources were Beowulf and the Elder Eddas. He wanted to write the English equivalent of the Kalevala of Finland. That's what the Lord of the Rings was supposed to be.

      But I remain steadfast, Tom Bombadillo was the very embodiment of the magic of nature. Something we urbanites have mostly forgotten, but people of an older time did not.

      Keep in mind too, that if "worship" is too strong a word, Tolkien had a strong psychic bond with trees and nature. He wooed his wife under one, got married under the same tree, and retook vows with her under the same tree years later, if memory serves. He definitely was a "tree hugger" long before it became popular.

      What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

      by equern on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:22:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Personally I think the books are boring... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radarlady

        And it's not just because everyone has ADD now.  The pacing is just way too slow.  I think the books may create a world with a lot of depth, but they by and large are not an example of good storytelling.  They're simply too plodding and unfocused.  

        The Hobbit was by far the best of Tolkien's books precisely because it was the shortest.  I'm sure I'll get flamed because there are a lot of people who seem to worship Tolkien, but from a storytelling standpoint they have significant flaws.  

        Then again, most Fantasy novels today seem to be largely garbage, so it's hard to be that critical about Tolkien's work.  There certainly has been much worse published since then.  Including Wheel of Time where after a good start, Robert Jordan got so bogged down with pointless characters that no one cared about that it took him 20+ years to write the series and he actually ended up dying before finishing.  It's amazing (and dispiriting) to see a series go from amazing and gripping to exceptionally poor and boring over the course of several novels.  

        Of course, it didn't help that 90% of Jordan's innumerable characters shared one of two personalities: bitchy, controlling woman, or whiny man.  

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