If someone found LOTR daunting, The Silmarillion is about the last book I’d recommend. Why not The Hobbit or - given Lynda’s pretentiousness - his translations of Gawain, Pearl and Sir Orfeo? Or some of his academic works, which would give a far better insight into the novels than a collection of sketches and background material cobbled together by his son (and I say that as a fan!)
I listened to that little scene with my jaw dropped; if she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to read it, but in what possible way is The Silmarillion a sensible alternative to offer?
If I was being critical about LOTR I’d pick on Tom Bombadil. But … no way would Lynda watch the films without having read the books first.
And The Silmarillion is an academic’s self-indulgence which was published because the publishers wanted another Tolkien moneyspinner. I wonder if his editor read it?
I can put up with Tom Bombadil because he is essential to the story: the hobbits have gone off on a jolly from Hobbiton, and don’t really believe in the dangers of their undertaking until they encounter first Old Man Willow, who would have been the end of the book if he’d had the chance and they had not been rescued by TB, and then the Barrow-Wights – again, without TB they wouldn’t have survived that bit, and it taught them in a hurry that they were not “on a picnic”, as someone at one point scathingly remarks.
But I think Tolkien ought to have been forcibly restrained from doggerel.
Not so much Tom Bombadil as the doggerel, you’re absolutely right. And Sam liked to sing a bit too. Most irritating in the middle of a riveting narrative.
Oh, quite a bit TB himself too, leaving the doggerel aside.
I can understand why the films left him out. Like Father Christmas in Narnia, or Beorn in The Hobbit, he simply doesn’t fit. It’s as if these adult men who came through the first war felt they had to include something folksy for the kiddies, for some reason.
Tom Bombadil is very clearly from a different story. It’s even explicit in the text:
“Tom was here before the river and the trees; Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. He made paths before the Big People, and saw the little People arriving. He was here before the Kings and the graves and the Barrow-wights. When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent.”
From Tolkien’s point of view that was a crucial part of the layering of story on story, but if you’re just trying to tell a single layer of story (which is all there’s usually room for in a film) he doesn’t fit.
I never understood why those blessed eagles couldn’t have flown Bilbo to the mountain directly and let him drop the ring into the Crack of Doom straight away. It would have saved a lot of stress.
Spoiler Alert 🕩🕪
The Nazgul would have got 'em, Armer’s, that’s why.
Except that they didn’t get the Beasts until after the Fellowship left Rivendell.
In which case we’ve all gone to a lot of unnecessary trouble and effort hefting all those pages about.
Possibly the eagles were busy during the pre-Rivendell phase, doing Eagly Stuff
“You what? A hobbit? Do you know how much those beggars weigh? Starve 'em down a bit and I might be up for a short lift…”
Just a thought … Why didn’t Gandalf give the ring to an eagle rather than gather the Fellowship together ? Any risk assessment would opt for the eagle solution.
An eagle might have wanted to use the ring for itself. It had to be a lowly hobbit what knew its place in the grand scheme of things and didn’t have ambitions to rule the world. Though both Frodo and Sam were tempted as they got closer to the Cracks of Doom.
I loved Elrond’s speech in the film (can’t remember if it was verbatim from the book) about hobbits being unaware of what they were getting into and that if they knew they would be too afraid to go. I thought ‘thanks a lot, Elrond, that puts a real damper on the mission’.
“I shall remake the world, with lots more mountains, and millions upon millions of small crunchy squeaky things.”
Yeah but, Elrond was fit wasn’t he As I recall the conference at Rivendell was bloody overlong and boring. If only he’d had a decent editor.
Maybe not one prepared by an eagle?
On which point…
So, because they were a bit dim then !!
Eddie Grundie could’da done it.