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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
There are a lot of Bombur fat jokes in the book
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comandantedavid
The Shire

Oct 1 2012, 4:00pm

Post #26 of 46 (383 views)
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This subtlety business... [In reply to] Can't Post

... largely comes down to film vs. text. If we could somehow separate out the mere book-ish-ness of Tolkien from the mere film-ish-ness of Jackson, the difference would appear far smaller.


R11
Lorien

Oct 1 2012, 9:29pm

Post #27 of 46 (370 views)
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Great post [In reply to] Can't Post

The simple fact of the matter is that nearly all of this comedy and slapstick people keep trying to say is in the book is just not there at all. Just describing a character's size as it relates to the action at hand is neither funny nor a joke. Saying it is is just juvenile thinking. Outside of The Unexpected Party there is really very little humor and the overall tone is mostly serious and often life and death serious, but hey, let's make a big joke out of everything! It'll be a hoot!! It's been quite interesting over the last year and a half watching people rationalizing everything from the ridiculous looking "Dwarfs" and bird-doo dripping Radagast to the apparent over the top nature of the films in general. Ha ha ha, oh so hilarious watching Bombur stuffing his face and blowing food all over the table like Belushi in Animal House Frown. I loved Animal House but it was a total slapstick comedy. The Hobbit is nothing at all like that...

I've begun to think that I was probably completely wrong all along, and that despite my aversion to animatronics GDT really would have been the best person for the job. I love PJ's sets and scene visuals but his characterizations and tone seem so far off the mark it's hard to believe. Could you imagine how sweet a Pan's Labyrinth style/tone "The Hobbit" would be compared to this childish crap we've seen from PJ so far? I really thought PJ could do this right but it seems I really overestimated him.


ron


(This post was edited by Altaira on Oct 27 2012, 10:54pm)


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Oct 1 2012, 9:47pm

Post #28 of 46 (321 views)
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Hmmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that there is much outside of The Unexpected Party that seems to be presented as humorous by Tolkien. Whether you find it funny or not is of course up to you.

LR


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Oct 1 2012, 10:05pm

Post #29 of 46 (318 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I think Cuaron would have been best, GDT would have been better.


Beutlin
Rivendell

Oct 1 2012, 10:15pm

Post #30 of 46 (342 views)
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The book itself is very childish. [In reply to] Can't Post

There are probably not as many fat jokes in the book as there will be in films, but the fact remains that Bombur in the book is just that, a fat-joke. The dwarven characters are rather bland in the book (apart from Thorin, and maybe Balin). Bombur is a little bit more interesting than the likes of Dwalin, Bofur, Bifur, etc. just because Tolkien describes him as fat and clumsy.

The overall tone of the book might appear serious for a ten-year-old but for adults the whole story up to the destruction of Esgaroth is very humorous and light-hearted.

Ceterum censeo montem artis magicae atrae esse delendum.


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Oct 1 2012, 10:27pm

Post #31 of 46 (292 views)
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Way to jump the gun. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


kzer_za
Rivendell

Oct 2 2012, 2:08am

Post #32 of 46 (282 views)
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The Hobbit is mostly comic [In reply to] Can't Post

It has a few serious moments in the first two-thirds, but it doesn't really become serious until the last third.

And yes, when you're constantly reminding readers how fat a character is as he gets into silly physical situations, then you're making fat jokes.

I don't want Peter Jackson to go crazy with the Bombur humor, by the way. I would prefer Bombur be a dignified and developed character whose weight occasionally gets him in trouble rather than a barrage of fat jokes (my hunch is we'll get a mix of both). But if it's the latter, it won't be a departure from the book. Tolkien wrote a fair amount of "fat guy" humor, and that's pretty much all there is to book Bombur.


kzer_za
Rivendell

Oct 2 2012, 2:09am

Post #33 of 46 (292 views)
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"Bombur's so fat, he needs six people to carry him to dinner" [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien wrote this, and it sounds like a "your momma" joke.


(This post was edited by kzer_za on Oct 2 2012, 2:14am)


kzer_za
Rivendell

Oct 2 2012, 2:13am

Post #34 of 46 (261 views)
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We're reminded that Bombur is fat right when he's getting tired [In reply to] Can't Post

Obviously the fat guy is out of shape and gets winded easily. Dori also carries Bilbo on his back - he complains, but doesn't get so worn out.

As for the stream, it seems to be a "fat guy is clumsy" moment to me. Especilaly since the dwarves fuss at him for being clumsy right after.


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Oct 2 2012, 2:38am

Post #35 of 46 (271 views)
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The book does not [In reply to] Can't Post

Contain a "barrage of fat jokes." It just doesn't.

Most of the references to Bombur's weight are simply descriptive.

If PJ gives us a barrage of gratuitous fat jokes, then it will indeed be a departure from Tolkien. Whether or not you mind that is the question.


Macfeast
Rohan


Oct 2 2012, 8:09am

Post #36 of 46 (285 views)
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Regarding the carrying of Bombur. [In reply to] Can't Post

Whether or not it will be humorous depends entirely on the way it is being portrayed. Yes, it can certainly be portrayed as humorous, if PJ wants to go that route. It can also be portrayed as serious, if emphasis is put on the heavy physical toll it is taking upon the dwarves, their dwindling supplies, and the dread of the forest. "Dwarves carrying a fat, sleeping dwarf" alone does not necessitate humor, even when put on film.

The mood of a scene depends not only on what is actually going on, but also on what context it is placed in, on how it is being portrayed, and where emphasis is put (PJ's take on the Paths of the Dead is a good example); A good writer could make a character slipping on a banana peel into something serious, if they so wanted.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Oct 2 2012, 8:14am)


Elenorflower
Gondor


Oct 2 2012, 8:15am

Post #37 of 46 (237 views)
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I totally agree with your post [In reply to] Can't Post

some things are indefensible, no matter how hard people try to rationalize them. Bird poop is one of them, Tolkien wrote the humorous moments as juxtaposition to the fear and immense difficulties the Dwarves and Bilbo encounter. He meant them as light moments more to alleviate the darkness, as children were the original audience. They were not meant as an excuse for a cheap laugh, the fat bloke vomiting cake, which we see on the POSTER, so its not imagined, its there for all to see, it just makes me worry about the tone.


(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Oct 2 2012, 8:16am)


macfalk
Valinor


Oct 2 2012, 9:40am

Post #38 of 46 (223 views)
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I agree, but [In reply to] Can't Post

At the same time, I'm not sure if I would describe the fat jokes on Bombur's expence as "subtle"... Tongue

It's not just describing "he was fat", there are also plenty of gags, especially in Mirkwood - when they are crossing the river with the boat he travels last because he "weighs like two people combined", Gandalf telling Bombur to go last into Beorn's house because he's fat, Bombur fainting in Mirkwood and dragged all the way through the woods and waking up only to complain about the lack of food. I found Tolkien's Bombur jokes funny, but they are many in the book, and they're not the least subtle Evil



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Elthir
Gondor

Oct 2 2012, 12:01pm

Post #39 of 46 (217 views)
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running with baggins [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Obviously the fat guy is out of shape and gets winded easily. Dori also carries Bilbo on his back - he complains, but doesn't get so worn out.




Well in your first post you simply wrote 'getting tired running' but in the book (as I quoted) we note that Bilbo was on his back -- so yes, being fat is mentioned here and Bombur arguably labored more than another Dwarf, but even your 'gets winded easily' is not actually supported (at least here) in my opinion.


Quote
'That sent them on faster than ever , and as poor Bilbo could not possibly go half as fast -- for dwarves can roll along at a tremendous pace, I can tell you, when they have to -- they took it in turn to carry him on their backs.'




No 'except Bombur' here. Again, put a Hobbit on your back (with some deadly orcs behind you) and yes Bombur's girth is a factor... but in any case, I would just point out that it's certainly not as simple as Tolkien having everybody run at some point, but the fat Dwarf 'comically' can't keep up.

And I find no actual indication in the book as to how Dori fared by contrast. Being not as fat as Bombur one might assume he ran more easily with a Hobbit on his back, but as far as I remember, all we are told is that when Bilbo was on his back, Dori was grabbed from behind (and so lost Bilbo).




Quote
As for the stream, it seems to be a "fat guy is clumsy" moment to me. Especilaly since the dwarves fuss at him for being clumsy right after.



Well the Dwarves call him clumsy after, yes, but the reader knows they are simplifying things. Tolkien, at the moment the hart charges and springs, has Bombur with one foot on the bank and the other foot still in the boat. Anyone could easily have fallen in this circumstance!

The point is, JRRT does not simply note that Bombur fell in the river because he was fat and clumsy.


macfalk
Valinor


Oct 2 2012, 1:11pm

Post #40 of 46 (198 views)
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Not so subtle // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


kzer_za
Rivendell

Oct 2 2012, 1:40pm

Post #41 of 46 (192 views)
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Maybe not a "barrage" [In reply to] Can't Post

But there is a lot of fat humor. It's not just "descriptive" when his fatness probably gets mentioned more than any other physical trait of any character and is usually associated with something bad happening to him or someone making a joke at his expense. I think some of it is funny, but I think there are a couple of times where Tolkien may cross the line of good taste.


(This post was edited by kzer_za on Oct 2 2012, 1:42pm)


kzer_za
Rivendell

Oct 2 2012, 1:42pm

Post #42 of 46 (197 views)
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I would like it to be sort of darkly humorous [In reply to] Can't Post

They are in real danger and Bombur fainting makes things worse, but at the same time it is kind of a ridiculous situation.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Oct 2 2012, 2:47pm

Post #43 of 46 (178 views)
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I think its more [In reply to] Can't Post

a case that in Tolkiens day, fat was not a political/ politically correct issue. Today the word 'fat' is a loaded one. It just wasnt an issue for Tolkien like it is for us today.


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Oct 2 2012, 4:40pm

Post #44 of 46 (167 views)
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Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

Execution is everything.

That's why when people say "blame Tolkien, not PJ!" for including endless overdone fat jokes, it rings hollow to me. We can't blame anyone, at this point, until we see the execution.

And based on the small bit we saw of Bombur breaking the elven bench, I think the execution will be OTT, gratuitously slapstick, and annoying.

But we shall see.


kzer_za
Rivendell

Oct 2 2012, 6:17pm

Post #45 of 46 (174 views)
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There are two reasons I expect movie Bombur to be more than just a fat joke [In reply to] Can't Post

1. He's married. This is unusual for a dwarf (Gloin is the only other one) and is probably a way to give him some depth.
2. PJ has his own weight struggles, and this may restrain him from going completely wild with fat humor.

But there will still probably be some excesses.


(This post was edited by kzer_za on Oct 2 2012, 6:22pm)


Fardragon
Rohan

Oct 3 2012, 3:33pm

Post #46 of 46 (263 views)
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Difficulty with furniture is a real issue for overweight people in real life. [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if he never broke a chair, I'm sure PJ had trouble with plane seats before he lost weight.

Bombur is also the dwarf Bilbo tricks when sneaking out to betray Thorin. Whilst he is kindly, it suggests he is also rather lazy and non-to-bright.

I'm LotR, Bombur is described as having grown so fat that he needs four young dwarves to carry him about.

All things considered, I expect Bombur will be treated far more sympathetically by PJ than by Tolkien.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...

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