February 08, 2003

Jest a minute

Remember this clever Photohopped image? (Click to see it larger.)

The joke of this bit of computer imagery is, of course, that Bush is the real Dark Lord. Well, in the novel Lord of the Rings, the one character that can put on the ring and not disappear is Tom Bombadil. The ring has no power over Bombadil, the text implies, not so much because he is more powerful than Sauron but because he has no ambition for power for himself. This character was written out of the movie because of time and continuity constraints, so many people laughing at this joke won't have thought of this. (I didn't think of it until yesterday, and I have read the book almost as many times as Christopher Lee has.) It sort of ruins the joke, though, doesn't it...

Posted by Andrea Harris at February 8, 2003 01:02 AM

Hmmm...can't Sauron himself wear it without becoming invisible? I don't remember anything about that in the book, but it was certainly implied in the movie.

And, at least at first, none of the hobbits has any idea of gaining power through it. They don't even know it has power for a while.

I thought Bombadil was a sort of elemental, a spirit of the earth, who abides regardless of the fates of the other races.

It's been a long time since I read the books, and I never liked the Bombadil parts.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at February 8, 2003 at 01:13 AM

Sauron wearing the ring and not being invisible is implied in the passages in the book that talk about the ring being cut off his hand. (If he was invisible, how could Isildur see the ring?) I think the disappearing has to do with the inability of lesser beings to control the power of the ring.

Hobbits are kind of close to Tom Bombadil, or he is close to them -- he knows Farmer Maggot, anyway. I believe the idea is that he preferred to live in their vicinity because most of the hobbits were like him, content to stay in their little world, not interested in being great powers. Of course, they are also narrow-minded and provincial.

I haven't actually sat down and read through the volumes for a couple of years, at least -- I have read the books so often, though, that I don't really have to. I wasn't much bothered by the Bombadil stuff not being in the movie. I can see how they would have stopped the action dead, and a dancing-singing interval would have just looked strange. A movie's not like a book, that you can put down, or skip a few pages. (A dvd in a way is more like a book in that aspect. I usually skip the Arwen/Aragorn standing-on-the-bridge scene in Fellowship.)

But anyway, my point was, there are two characters in LOTR that can wear the One Ring and stay visible. Why shouldn't Bush be Tom Bambadil instead of Sauron? But then again, that brings on a really disturbing vision of Bush dancing and singing while wearing a blue hat with a feather in it. Oy.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 8, 2003 at 01:36 AM

Yeeks. I should go to bed now, my grammar is really suffering.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 8, 2003 at 01:37 AM

Would that make Laura be Goldberry?

Posted by: Michael Lonie at February 8, 2003 at 01:52 AM

But then again, that brings on a really disturbing vision of Bush dancing and singing while wearing a blue hat with a feather in it. Oy.

Ohhh.... my poor head. If Bush is Bombadil, then who does he rescue from Old Man Willow?

[thinks about] Okay, I've decided thinking about this too much only leads to pain, so I'm going to bed now!

Posted by: Ith at February 8, 2003 at 02:40 AM

But then again, that brings on a really disturbing vision of Bush dancing and singing while wearing a blue hat with a feather in it. Oy.

And the big yellow boots. Can't forget the big yellow boots. The REALLY bizarre thing is, I can actually envision Laura as Goldberry, like Michael said. And I can envision the hard, determined look that GWB gets when he's hammering on Osama and Saddam in his speeches being on his face as he speaks the incantation that disperses the Barrow-wights forever...

Posted by: Joe at February 8, 2003 at 08:24 AM

Old George W. is a merry fellow. True-blue his allies are, though the French are yellow.

The explanation for Sauron, incidentally, is that like the others of his order (Valar and Maiar), in his true being he is always invisible, the visible form of these spirits being rather like a suit of clothes that they can put on or take off at will. In Valinor they still joke about the time Varda and Yavanna both showed up at Tulkas' party wearing the same visible body.

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at February 8, 2003 at 09:26 AM

Well obviously President Bush can wear the ring without going invisible as well. LOL

Posted by: Tony at February 8, 2003 at 09:33 AM


did you read the Silmarrilion? I don't think that is in LOTR.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens at February 8, 2003 at 01:46 PM

Just as Gandalf isn't really an old man, but just appears so on earth.

Posted by: Sean Kirby at February 8, 2003 at 07:38 PM