Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Gourd Pride in ROTK
Minor to Non-Existent Spoilers to the film below

The quartet have returned to the Shire and are seen uncharacteristically quiet whilst sipping tankards of ale amongst the typically rambunctious Hobbiton tavern crowd; p'raps respectively reflecting on their trials and tribulations as part of the successful Fellowship originally formed in Rivendell with the task of destroying the One Ring (as crafted by the evil and unseen Sauron...himself but a former flunky of Morgoth with a chip on his incorporeal shoulder; but I digress...I'm sure few of you have read The Silmarillion).

As the scene unfolds and the camera tracks across the interior of the tavern your eyes are immediately drawn to a Hobbit clutching a gigantic pumpkin ('gigantic' in proportion to one of Halfling-stock...merely 'husky' to you and me...unless you happen to be one of the Little People...err...digressing again) with many of the onlookers talking excitedly about it while it gets passed about (mayhap a Hobbit tradition to clutch one another's gourds?). As their dialogue is buried beneath the loud revelry of the tavern, I can only assume the talk went something like this:

'Damn fine pumpkin ya got there, WideShorts!'

'That's a gourd you could choke a balrog with...Nice Work, Bango WideShorts!'

'Hoist that pumpkin high, ya Garden Wizard!'

'Hey, Gaffer...ya see this? Closest thing you've ever grown o' that size is the paunch on yer fatass son, Sam-wurst. Heh Heh Heh.'

And so on.

A real scene stealer.

While you should be paying attention to the recently returned quartet and consider their thoughts and silence amid their kin-folk in the context of the changes they have undergone as a result of their adventures with men, elves, dwarves, ents, orcs, uruk-hai, wizards, et cetera, you, as the viewer, are Immediately torn away from the Heroes to some filthy hobbit clutching a huge pumpkin.

Is their some hidden meaning, some Symbolism I am missing that Peter Jackson intended for this glorious gourd to stand for or not?

Don't get me wrong, there's plenty to be proud about when you can grow something that size in your garden and show it off to your pals at the bar (I've seen it done many times in my life post-21; 'Hey, Lou! Ya ever lay eyes on a squash the size of a pony?')...but it is my opinion that this seemingly Innocent background action actually detracts from the Intent of the Scene and should have found itself on the editing room floor (and recovered for the inevitable Extended Edition DVD...I'd love to hear the commentary track about that damn pumpkin).

Am I making a Mountain out of a Molehill?

You be the Judge when you see Return of the King.

(remember...towards the end of the film...tavern...freakin' Hobbit clasping an oversized pumpkin...)


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