Pipeweed is NOT "weed" in LOTR!

I am somewhat irritated by the snickering implication in the movie and from the audiences that the “pipeweed” in the Lord of the Rings is something other than tobacco. Tolkien makes it quite clear that pipeweed is tobacco, and even calls it “tobacco” at times.

I saw the first showing of “Return of the King” - and again, the audience should have known better than snicker at the appearance of “pipeweed”. Is it assuming too much that someone who goes to see a 4 hour movie at 12 midnight on a weeknight is a die hard fan?

I think that Tolkien would probably be dismayed if he knew that hobbits were smoking something other than his beloved tobacco.

Why do people assume pipeweed is marijuana or something similar? Am I mistaken that many people are assuming this?

I didn’t until i saw Saruman basically call Gandalf a stoner in the FOTR. I believe his exact words where “your love of the halflings leaf must have clouded your mind” i don’t think tobacco clouds your mind all that much… maybe the lungs :stuck_out_tongue:

Just because someone was up all night at the midnight showing doesn’t mean they have ever opened one of the books.

They’re good movies. But some of the scenes – particularly one of the final scenes in the Two Towers Extended Edition DVD set – could easily be misinterpreted to indicate that Merry and Pippin were getting stonkered out of their minds on hallucinogenic smokeables…

(especially when you consider the hobbit obsession with food and getting six or eight meals a day… SERIOUS munchies…)

Is this the right poace topoint out that in the appendices to The Lord of the Ring, Tolkien identified pipeweed as being in the botanical class nicotiana? Or would that constitute lecturing to the already knowledgeable?

I seem to remember ages ago a poster of The Hobbit as the “The Habit”

[sub]*Goes on a quest…

Found it!*[/sub]

Another reason for the smoke coming from Smaug! :wink:

Of course, I think references to exotic weeds the hobbits could be smoking, are based on misunderstandings or parodies.

I’d say The Shire’s pretty much a kind of stoner community. Lots of sitting around eating, giggling, fairly peaceful. If they had the tech, I could see hobbits forming jam bands, playing hacky sack, and listening to lots of Phish.

Tolkien wrote the books during and after WWII. Marijuana was not exactly a hip drug yet, so it’s doubtful that he would have intended any such association.

I like to think that PJ changed it from tobacco to ganga for the movies and it’s one of the better changes…

At least I like to imagine it that way, so please don’t ruin it for me. :wink:

It does explain why Hobbits are always hungry, though.

Maybe not to you, but I have evidence it dated back to Roman times, as seen in that famous documentary
History of the World part 1

Because the only weed that people know that gets smoked is marijuana.

Sadly, the casks that Merry and Pippin breach in Orthanc are clearly filled with something other than Jah.

It is when I watch it.

I love the herb as much as the next guy, but it’s plain that Tolkien did not have cannabis in mind when he spoke of pipeweed.

Calling it “leaf” should make that clear. Cannabis leaves are not suitable for smoking – the plant is cultivated for its flowers. As far as tobacco “slowing your mind,” it certainly does have a psychoactive effect, which is much more soporific than you would expect, what with nicotine being a stimulant and all. You will notice this to a greater degree if you smoke fine tobacco. El Rey del Mundo is aptly-named. Any time you read the scribblings of someone influenced by real tobacco, you might easily confuse it with those of a hash-head. Like J.S. Bach’s Edifying Thoughts of a Tobacco Smoker, f’rinstance.

Oh, and what kaylasdad99 said.

Tolkien might have had a different idea, but I do believe that Jackson wanted us to see the pipeweed as being something rather better than plain ole nicotine…

In the first hour of ROTK (the new movie, not the RB animated thing or the book)

Merry and Pippin were toking up when Aragorn, Legolas, Gandalf, and Gimli showed up. They definitely seemed to be high on something, and it didn’t seem to me like a pure booze buzz.
And Pippin, the frankly not-so-with-it hobbit, is lectured by Merry for smoking too much. Merry is telling Pippin off for being foolish… but is the excessive smoking because Pippin is foolish, or the reason why Pippin is foolish?

In any case, mothers all over the world would rather their children smoked pot these days than tobacco cigarettes. At least that seems to be how my mom feels. If pot’s more pardonable, I don’t blame Jackson at all for taking this liberty with the books.

You know, after all the hobbit love of good food, good drink, and good pipeweed in the books, I saw Merry and Pippin’s discovery of the food and pipeweed in the wreckage of Orthanc and their joy about it as just a moment’s return for them to a simpler, happier time, and just a few minutes of simple pleasure again in the midst of all the strife and turmoil. Merry and Pippin were goofy, fun-loving young guys in a totally harmless way before the whole thing started, and for a few moments they get to go back to being the “irrepressible hobbits” they had been just a few months earlier.

Thinking otherwise is kind of an insult to Tolkien, IMHO.

That’s because you’re hopped up on goofballs!

I’m astounded that someone went to a 4 hour movie at midnight on a weeknight without being stoned.

I think it’s the use of the word “weed” to describe it that leads to the misapprehension, since “weed” is a common nickname for marijuana.

In the scene before the “long-expected party” in Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf and Bilbo are having a smoke together, Bilbo even says “This is some good weed!” which is a phrase you could hear at any college party.

I’ve read the books many times. I saw the first movie with spoke-, who hadn’t read them, and after we left the cinema he asked, “Did Tolkien have all those drug references in the books?”

I was bewildered by the question. Going in as a reader of the books, “This is good weed!” and the other pipe-weed scenes never struck me as drug references, and I wouldn’t have thought Jackson was trying to imply such if spoke- hadn’t asked me that.

If that is what Jackson’s trying to imply, then I consider it evidence, along with the dwarf-tossing jokes, that Jackson doesn’t have the proper respect for the source material.

Oh come on, be a deconstructionist. Sometimes what an author intends and what he writes is interpreted are two very different things. I doubt Tolkein meant for pipeweed to be anything other than tobacco in actuality. But he may have intended for the subtext to be there. It isn’t exactly a stretch to interpret it that way. When you write, you throw your words out to the masses, and people will interpret them differently. Thank God they do, or English professors the world over would be unemployed because they wouldn’t be able to argue about James Joyce.

Interpreting pipeweed as weed makes for a much more interesting read. It DOES explain a lot about Hobbits, makes a couple of the scenes much funnier. It you don’t want to interpret that way and argue “author’s intent” go for it. In which case I will say that if Tolkein never intended it to be interpreted as such, he was either a poor writer or very naive. Pot was certainly in common use post WWI, and was certainly referred to as weed and smoked in pipes.

Well, first of all, Tolkien was a pipe smoker. He smoked tobacco on occasion. Given his time frame and the nature of the fellow, it’s a pretty safe bet he wasn’t a dope smoker, for all that college freshmen would remark why Bilbo’s last name was Baggins… as in “nickel bag… get it?”

As one who came to the movies via the books, it never occurred to me that the hobbits were getting conked. Hobbits are fond of life’s little pleasures, remember? Dancing, drinking, six meals a day when they can get them… and a good smoke. I quit smoking years ago, but I still like a good cigar on Christmas. I have no doubt also that they really like to screw like mad minks, too, although Tolkien was too genteel to remark on this. “Simple pleasures,” indeed.

To the best of my knowledge, marijuana was not among the simple pleasures commonly available to early twentieth century Englishmen. Maybe the good Prof. T knew about it. Maybe he didn’t. At any rate, I’m pretty sure he never meant it to be part of the book.

Pippin is an idiot because Pippin is an idiot, not because he smoked a ton of weed. “You smoke too much,” used to be a common admonition, back before cigarettes became the most common form of tobacco use. Used to be, tobacco use was considered something like alcohol use – something you did occasionally, or in the evening, NOT straight through the day! Hence “smoking jackets” and “smoking rooms”. This is something Tolkien was familiar with.

I can’t speak for Peter Jackson, though, who, judging from his looks, may well smoke a pound a day (although I doubt it; potheads generally aren’t as productive as Jackson has been). Jackson may well have intended the “weed” references to appeal to potheads… or not.