‘Slash Film: Why The Last Goodbye Was The Perfect Send-Off For Peter Jackson’s Tolkien Movies’

Slash Film

There is a gentle melancholy to “The Last Goodbye” that recalls “Into the West,” the Academy Award-winning final song at the end of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Both songs have a sense of finality and sorrow to them, but “The Last Goodbye” is carried by Boyd’s feather-light voice and soft guitar strums, almost like a lullaby. 

“The Last Goodbye” eloquently captures Bilbo Baggins’ perspective after returning home from war, particularly his grief over his fallen brothers—the dwarves of Thorin’s company that annoyed him at first but quickly became his comrades. Bilbo’s references to snow in the first verse invoke the icy battle at the end of “Five Armies” where several of his friends die. 

The second verse moves away from the cold of death and grief to remind the listener of Middle-earth’s vast landscape: hills, trees, dark lands, and silver streams. These lyrics paint a vivid picture of how far Bilbo’s journey took him away from the Shire and are reminiscent of Tolkien’s walking song “The Road Goes Ever On,” which Bilbo sings in the original trilogy. 

In the final part of the song, Bilbo reflects on the memories he will never forget, which we see in “Fellowship of the Ring” when he tells the little hobbits about meeting Smaug. The last line, “I bid you all a very fond farewell,” is the same as the end of Bilbo’s birthday speech, but much slower and meditative. Boyd does a great job of connecting the lyrics not only to the story but to Bilbo’s emotional journey across two trilogies.

/Film – ‘Slash Film: Why The Last Goodbye Was The Perfect Send-Off For Peter Jackson’s Tolkien Movies’
Author: Caroline Madden
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January 16, 2023

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