Our problems remain epistemological.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Bill the Pony and Windfola


“Tolkien made sure we knew that Bill the [P]ony was ok, but never once stopped to tell me that Windfola [Eowyn’s horse] was ok.” (@spectraling)


Bill the Pony came from Bree. He is one of us—one of ours—we take a personal or familial interest in Bill. On the other hand, Windfola was part of a foreign heroic warrior culture. We sympathize and hope for Windfola’s wellbeing. But Windfola is not one of ours (i.e., one of the readers’). Tolkien’s world only makes coherent sense if our local attachments are meaningful and remain so in spite of [our] meeting the greater wider world—even where that wider world is in some sense more ancient, more beautiful, and more noble than our own. At Mt Doom, Sam was reluctant do die NOT so that he might return to the ‘west’ of Middle Earth. Rather, he wanted to return to his home—the Shire, Hobbiton, and Bag End. That is why the loss of the Party Tree was a real, significant, personal loss ... in a way that a whole forest elsewhere would not be (to Sam Gamgee and to us).

Seth Barrett Tillman, Bill the Pony and Windfola,’ New Reform Club (Mar. 20, 2022, 5:11 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2022/03/bill-pony-and-windfola.html>; 

Tweet: <https://twitter.com/SethBTillman/status/1504836615281201155>; 

Glenn Reynolds, ‘BILL THE PONY AND WINDFOLA,’ Instapundit (Mar. 20, 2022, 6:44 PM), <https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/510534/>; 

Welcome Instapundit Readers


Unknown said...

And precisely why Jackson was diabolically wrong to leave out Bombadil, conflate Old Man Willow and Fangorn, and disregard the Scouring of the Shire.

Jeremy said...

A more apt lesson from Tolkien would be the Oathbreakers, who turned back on their promise to fight against evil and thus damned themselves...

They at least finally redeemed when Aragon brought them forth

Pseudotsuga said...

Jackson wasn't "diabolically" wrong to leave out Bombadil. There would be no way to capture it on film in a way that truly works. But leaving out the Scouring of the Shire was a problem.

LifeoftheMind said...

I have never understood the arguments that it was impossible to include Bombadil in the movie. Film being something I know something about, trust me, scenes with Tom would have been excellent theater. Indeed with no Special Effects needed, except for Old Man Willow and the encounter with the Barrow Wight, everything that involves Bombadil and Goldberry could be filmed almost like a stage play. No explosions or flying creatures needed. Just good actors talking and doing things. The bathtub scene would be great comedy. Also every creature in Tolkien's world sings. They are not just operatic but living in a universe created by a song. Even his goblins and orcs sing. Jackson drained the world of poetry and song.

IamDevo said...

Jackson's filmic interpretation of the Trilogy was the result of his agnosticism/atheism. Tolkien's works cannot be fully appreciated in any context other than Western Christianity, even though he never once resorted to injecting God directly into the story. He denied its use as allegory, but one cannot but note the allegorical nature of the work in this regard. Nonetheless, the films can be appreciated for what they are, but should not be relied upon to tell the story as Tolkien meant it to be understood. Only in its written form as contained in the books can the Trilogy be fully appreciated and savored.

Brutusale said...

We were invested in Bill because Sam was invested in Bill. Windfola was transportation.

Banshee said...

Bill got his viewpoint scenes,and Shadowfax got talked about. Windfola never got characterized, although Eowyn probably could have talked about him.People forget that, because the scenes were short.

IIRC, Bombadil got used a lot in the Soviet LOTR, which draws on a stageplay.

Jackson's problem was the fanfic we didn't need (Aragorn falling scene that took forever) and the changes that made no sense (Faramir as baddie), rather than the stuff left out. I love the songs, but taste differs a lot.

Scouring could have been a nice additional video sale, though. With Jackson being a WWI buff, I really question why his wife and screenplay collab partner did not want him playing to his strength and showing "modern" warfare scenarios.

VIJAL NOEL said...
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