4 Book Plots That Would’ve Made ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Movies Funnier
Listen, we're not saying Lord of the Rings should've been a comedy franchise. Jokes about height, hairy feet, and bling obsession would get old real fast. Besides, the world and characters of Middle-earth aren't clownish. They're whimsical, so it makes sense that the movies would opt to cut some of the more playful and, in some cases, borderline absurd characters and stories.
But what if they didn't? What if they leaned more into the comedy of the fate of the world relying on a band of Hobbitses more inexperienced than those okes in Armageddon?
The Story Of Fredegar Bolger, An Unlikely Hero
Fredegar “Fatty” Bolger might seem like a minor character in the LotR books. After all, he doesn’t join our young Hobbit posse on their journey to Mount Doom, even though he knows full well about Frodo and the One Ring. No, in classic Hobbit fashion, Fatty could not be persuaded to give up the comforts of the Shire for an adventure that included homicidal forest trees and E.T.-looking jewelry thieves.
Instead, he chose to stay behind and fool the Shire’s citizens into thinking Frodo and the gang were still around — not just by going around saying Frodo’s turned into a hermit or something. No, by actually pretending to be his buddy. In the book The Fellowship of the Ring, it’s written that Fatty took some clothes from Frodo to “help him in playing the part.” We’re not sure exactly how that would’ve helped — Hobbits don’t seem to express many individual aesthetics like, say, punks or goths — which would’ve made the inclusion of this elaborate ruse all the more fun to watch.
Alas, the story is not about how Fatty fooled the Shire, so his part was completely cut, but if the final film included the penultimate chapter called “The Scouring of the Shire,” our other Hobbit hero’s story would be way more famous today. See, in the books, Fatty doesn’t only dress up and presumably imitate Frodo’s speech and walk, but he also plays a part in the resistance. Not long after the Frodo Club left the Shire, the Nazgûl arrived, and Fatty was forced to raise the alarm and effectively drive them away. It was his first heroic act, other than giving up his own life to pretend to be his weird friend.
Later in the story, Saruman manages to take over and rule the Shire, and our boy Fatty starts blasting ‘Hit 'Em Up’ and leads a group of resistance fighters to take on Saruman’s thugs because no one tells a Hobbit when he’s allowed to eat his pies or whatever. Fatty was eventually captured and imprisoned in the Lockholes, where he suffered and starved and shed his terrible nickname.
In many ways, Fredegar Bolger was the Neville Longbottom to Frodo’s Potter, even though only one of them probably has a career doing stand-up impersonations.
A Hobbit Invents Golf
Speaking of that other wizard franchise, Hobbits have their own sport, too. And while it’s not as dangerous as flying around on broomsticks while players try to literally knock you to the ground, it sounds way more macabre. In Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, he writes about how Bandobras Took invented golf, but in the movie, we actually see Gandalf telling this story to Bilbo Baggins, persuading him to get off his ass and go on a little journey.
It’s a good story to tell, and it works within the context, but how much more fun would it have been to actually see it? For one, Gandalf says that Bandobras, Bilbo’s great, great grand uncle, was an exceptionally large Hobbit — one of the largest in history. Called Bullroarer, he was big enough to ride a horse like Men and, during an attack by the Goblin King Golfimbul (get it?), Bullroarer managed to decapitate the mighty fiend and make his head fly many, many yards before landing straight into a rabbit hole. We imagine said event was followed by a lot of Hobbit drinking.
Sure, the movie didn’t need any sort of flashback, but if it wanted to go there, it could totally have incorporated Hobbit golf throughout the three films and made it into a running gag. Imagine a shot of the Shire, with Gandalf and Bilbo blabbering along while a Goblin Puppet’s head flies past in the background. Or Bilbo’s great, great grand uncle’s feat somehow being replicated during the final goblin battle, only this time by a dwarf. They look like they have a pretty mean golf swing, anyway.
The Elven Twins
Now before the book nerds start protesting that these two characters aren’t funny whatsoever, just take a moment and hear us out. For those who don't know, Elrond not only has his daughter Arwen, but the Lord of Riverdale also has a pair of twin sons named Elrohir and Elladan. The twin part seems to be up for debate as Tolkien never states so specifically, but they’re most definitely described as such, with few people being able to tell them apart in the books. The only inherently funny thing about them is that they're always named and referenced together. We could totally see how that would annoy the bejeezus out of Gimli, who would undoubtedly mock them all the livelong day.
The twins play a significant part in the book, as they are good friends with Aragorn and have known him before the whole Saga Of The Finger Band. They are by his side throughout the ordeal, and they fought in the war alongside Aragorn until the very end. So, you know, maybe the two of them could’ve taken this shot and actually nailed it, since Legolas the Great ended up choking:
The one Man, one Elf, and one Dwarf worked fine in the movies. We’re just saying it could’ve been a hoot seeing Legolas compete against the Lord of Riverdale’s sons for the ultimate Elf Warrior crown. Not to mention Gimli, again, who would surely end up completely unhinged having to deal with not one Elf, but three.
Just, Everything About Tom Bombadil
“He is a strange creature.” ― Elrond
“Even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally).” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
“Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow; Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.” ― Tom Bombadil
Tom Bombadil isn’t just a character; he’s an entire story on his own. Frodo and Friends meet him quite early on in the Old Forest when Bombadil shows up to save Merry and Pippin from being eaten by a tree named Old Man Willow. He then takes the four Hobbitses to his house and his wife Goldberry, where he tries on the ring … only for nothing to happen. Instead, he flips the ring into the air and makes it disappear. Whoa. The only character seemingly immune to the ring’s powerful corruption wasn’t even featured in the films. Probably because he's just so freaking bonkers.
Bombadil truly is an enigma of a character because, underneath his jolly and benevolent nature, the dude has some gnarly powers. Tolkien scholars have theorized that he could be some demi-god of nature, along with his wife — referred to as “Daughter of the River” — and others have speculated that he might just be God himself. It all adds to his eccentricity, making him funny in a layered kind of way. He mostly just speaks in rhyme, and he also rescues the Hobbits from peril. Twice.
While Peter Jackson has said that Bombadil was cut from the films because he didn’t advance the plot — Bombadil did not care to get involved in the War at all — it’s interesting to note Tolkien’s motivation for the character: “I would not, however, have left (Bombadil) in, if he did not have some kind of function. I might put it this way. The story is cast in terms of a good side and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship … but both sides in some degree, conservative or destructive, want a measure of control. But if you have, as it were taken a 'vow of poverty,' renounced control, and take your delight in things in themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the questions of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless. It is a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war.”
There you have it. Bombadil was a war perspective. One who liked wordplay, talking to trees, and probably lounging around in the nude.
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