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View Full Version : Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was


Orald
11-12-2000, 04:22 PM
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<FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>I have heard many theories on who he was. Tolkien never said exactly who it was but he gave a few hints.

<FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>Results (total votes = 98):<table bgcolor=#FFFFFF border=0 cellpadding=3 cellspacing=0 width="75%"> <tbody> <tr><td bgcolor="#000000" colspan=3 height=1></tr><TR BGCOLOR=#E0E0E0><TD NOWRAP> <FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>Nature/Earth Spirit&nbsp</td> <td height><FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>45&nbsp;/&nbsp;45.9%&nbsp</td><td><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/bar.gif width=137 height=10 hspace=3>&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr><td bgcolor="#000000" colspan=3 height=1></tr><TR BGCOLOR=#E0E0E0><TD NOWRAP> <FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>Ainur&nbsp</td> <td height><FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>17&nbsp;/&nbsp;17.3%&nbsp</td><td><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/bar.gif width=52 height=10 hspace=3>&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr><td bgcolor="#000000" colspan=3 height=1></tr><TR BGCOLOR=#E0E0E0><TD NOWRAP> <FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>Tolkien himself&nbsp</td> <td height><FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>9&nbsp;/&nbsp;9.2%&nbsp</td><td><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/bar.gif width=27 height=10 hspace=3>&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr><td bgcolor="#000000" colspan=3 height=1></tr><TR BGCOLOR=#E0E0E0><TD NOWRAP> <FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>Original concept for Man&nbsp</td> <td height><FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>6&nbsp;/&nbsp;6.1%&nbsp</td><td><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/bar.gif width=18 height=10 hspace=3>&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr><td bgcolor="#000000" colspan=3 height=1></tr><TR BGCOLOR=#E0E0E0><TD NOWRAP> <FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>Other&nbsp</td> <td height><FONT FACE="Verdana,Arial" SIZE=2>21&nbsp;/&nbsp;21.4%&nbsp</td><td><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/bar.gif width=64 height=10 hspace=3>&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr><td bgcolor="#000000" colspan=3 height=1></tr></tbody> </table>

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000045>Durelen</A> at: 2/13/01 10:33:47 am

Orald
11-12-2000, 08:23 PM
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

come on, i want to know what everyone thinks i don't really know what i think. i though maybe someone else might know something, or vote the way it should be.


</p>

Mithadan
11-13-2000, 07:40 AM
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

This is one of the most frequently debated questions about JRRT's works. JRRT himself, in Letters, siad Tom was an enigma, not really fitting in to any category, and was intentionally left that way. Opinions I have seen? Tom is: Eru; Aule; a Maia; an undefined spirit; the embodiment of Arda; an elf; etc. Letters and Sil. (and probably HoME) seem to say that Eru would not inhabit Ea, certainly not in a physical form. Those who advocate Aule surprise me. Aule was a smith, he concerned himself with the stuff of Arda (rocks, mountains, the materials which make up the earth). Tom loved trees and forests and exercised some control over them. This doesn't fit with Aule (might fit with Orome but I'm not going there). My view? If you have to fit him into a category, he's one of the lesser Ainur who came to inhabit Arda but did not specifically ally himself with the Valar and certainly not with Morgoth. Thus he could be considered a Maia and a &quot;free agent&quot;.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Lothwen
11-13-2000, 12:37 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I thought he was Ea or a Maia, since the last post I definatly think he is a Maia <img src=roll.gif ALT=":rollin">

Lothwen

</p>

Orald
11-13-2000, 03:25 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

for one thing i am sure, bombadil was not Eru. Some have said that he was a being like beorn, but i doubt that too because of the power bombadil wielded.

tolkien gave hints to what bombadil was. Now many scholars looked at those hints and now believe that bombadil was either aule or a nature spirit something like Ea incarnate. bombadil was most certainly something with a power much stronger than sauron's, otherwise bombadil would not be able to have mastery of the ring. unless the ring did not have any affect on him. but for the ring to have no affect on him he would have to be completely devoid of evil, like manwe.

do you agree? if not tell me details, i would like to know. thank you.

</p>

burrahobbit
11-13-2000, 03:29 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Tom is just Tom.

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

Orald
11-13-2000, 03:45 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> nice response

i like that. tom is tom and nothing else. just an exception to the rule.

</p>

Suldaledhel
11-14-2000, 01:37 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: nice response

Ha I am reimbursing myself into the forum.. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> Anyway, There are also theories that Bombadil came out of the void therefore not classifying him as anything. And that he wandered sown into Arda on his own accord and is not bound to the same rules as everyone else....

"See, half-brother! This is sharper than thy tounge. Try but once more to usurp my place and the love of my father, and maybe it will rid the Noldor of one who seeks to be master of thralls." -Feanor to Fingolfin- -=I may be found merrymaking at either <a href=http://pub24.ezboard.com/bmountgundabad>Mount Gundabad</a> or at <a href=http://www.barrowdowns.com/>The Barrow Downs</a>=-</p>

Grey Fool
11-14-2000, 05:44 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Tom Bombadil

The most convincing theory I've seen recently on the categorisation of the Bombadillo is that he is Maia.

However, I reckon he's far too good a lyricist to truly belong in that category.

Tom Bombadil is the reincarnation of John Lennon.

Either that or he's that guy Richie who went missing from the Manic Street Preachers in 1996.

Whatever, he writes great songs <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

</p>

Orald
11-14-2000, 10:02 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Tom Bombadil

I was researching this topic and i think i found some evidence that he was either an incarnation of Ea/arda or that he was something other than a maia or vala, but still sent to Ea by Eru. here are a few passages that kinda lead to this conclusion:

&quot;'Eldest, that's what I am... Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn... He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.'&quot;
The Fellowship of the Ring I 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil

so obviosly he can't be a vala or a maia, since melkor was the first to enter into Ea of the ainur. as seen in this passage:

&quot;Now swiftly as they fared, Melko was there before them...&quot;
The Book of Lost Tales, Part I, III The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor

&quot;them...&quot; refers to the vala in particular manwe and varda. those two just happened to be the first ainur besides melkor to enter into Ea. and my last quote from tolkien is this piece concerning the aratar:

&quot;...in majesty they are peers, surpassing beyond compare all others, whether of the Valar and the Maiar, or of any other order that Ilvatar has sent into E.&quot;
The Silmarillion, Valaquenta

&quot;or of any other order that Iluvatar has sent into Ea.&quot;
is the key to what bombadil really is. but if he is that other order, then he isn't more powerful that the aratar, but maybe the maiar and some of the other valar.



</p>

The Barrow-Wight
11-15-2000, 12:04 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Perhaps Tom is a bit of the Flame Impersihable slipped out from the heart of the World.

The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)
<font size="2">I usually haunt http://www.barrowdowns.comThe Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgiMiddle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

Zoe
11-16-2000, 01:18 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Tom Bombadil

Has anyone else here read Bored of the Rings? According to that, Bombadil is a hippy who's trying to escape conscription. Hrm. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

</p>

The Glorious Dead
11-16-2000, 08:19 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

<img src=http://www.ezboard. com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/laugh.gif ALT=":lol">
But that was Tim Benzadrine!!<img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/ images/emoticons/laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> not<!- -EZCODE ITALIC END--> being a maian, hm?<img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ smile.gif ALT=":)">

Cheers, btw.<img src=http://www.ezboard. com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/smile.gif ALT=":)">

You're on crack or something, Deceased are brilliant.</p>

Saulotus
11-16-2000, 10:41 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Whoah.

My post went bye-bye.

When I went to edit it... I got:

&quot;HTML comments are not allowed. &quot;

Scuze?

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000133>Saulotus</A> at: 11/16/00 1:13:22 pm

The Barrow-Wight
11-16-2000, 12:22 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

I don't know what's going on, Saulotus. Look at all the messed up smileys! I think the new version of EZboard (released today) must be casuing problems.

The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)
<font size="2">I usually haunt http://www.barrowdowns.comThe Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgiMiddle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

Orald
11-16-2000, 12:50 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

there are a few crackpot theories that he was the lord of the nazgul. and that he just lied to everyone. the reasoning behind it is pretty funny.

</p>

The Glorious Dead
11-16-2000, 12:58 PM
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

***?!? My last post has a lot of those accursed red x's but all my words have vanished!!

Oh well. What I had said was concerning Tom B and the ring. Gandalf, and indeed Sauron, were maian spirits, correct? And they were obviously subject to the ring's influence. But Bombadil put the bloody thing on his finger and it did absolutely nothing! So while this doesn't provide a theory to who or what Tom is, it does disprove the maian theory. Unless he's some mutant super-maia, which I doubt.

You're on crack or something, Deceased are brilliant.</p>

Saulotus
11-16-2000, 01:12 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>
by RKittle
I don't know what's going on, Saulotus. Look at all the messed up smileys! I think the new version of
EZboard (released today) must be casuing problems.<hr></blockquote>
That's putting it lightly.

Oh well... there went my complete answer to the Bombadil thing.

I'm not re-posting it.

I'll point out a few of the facts it had...

Melkor left and re-entered Arda several times.
Do you want to count the first acorn (sic) from Arda at the beginning (unformed; and when Melkor and co. entered) or Arda full-wrought (i.e a planet) and before the sleep of Yavanna?
Makes a BIG difference.

Aule\Yavanna connection is sub-creative borrowing from Dragonlance (at least) .
AND it makes NO sense; even on a cursory level examination.

And those were only a few points.
The rest of the post....
Lost in cyberspace.

(Oh... and this new version of EZ-Board SUCKS [self censored])

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000133>Saulotus</A> at: 11/16/00 2:19:02 pm

HerenIstarion
11-21-2000, 10:21 AM
Wight
Posts: 212
Re: Tom Bombadil

I'm going to have a long talk with Bombadil: such a talk as I have not had in all my time. He is a moss-gatherer, and I have been a stone doomed to rolling. But my rolling days are ending, and now we shall have much to say to one another.

Gandalf talking to hobbits, The Return of the King, ch7

From which it can be assumed that Bombadil was truly a maia, likewise Gandalf, as Gandalf would not compare himself to a creature of different order, would he?

it does disprove the maian theory. Unless he's some mutant super-maia, which I doubt.

why?

The ring, being a ring of power, had ability to seduce personalities wishing to obtain the power. Gandalf was afraid to take the ring, cause he wished power to cure the hurts of Arda and pain of its inhabitants, and Bobmbadil needed power not (setting the borders of his realm himself and within those being an absolute master. Ring would not add anything to that, so the ring was not able to seduce him (i.g. Melian's power inside the borders of Doriath).

...but what they are really like, and what lies beyond them, only those can say who have climbed them.

The Barrow-Wight
11-21-2000, 02:38 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Heren Istarion said: <blockquote>Quote:<hr> as Gandalf would not compare himself to a creature of different order<hr></blockquote>

The quote mentioned points out their differences and doesn't imply any shared properties.

And then you contradict yourself with: <blockquote>Quote:<hr> Gandalf was afraid to take the ring, cause he wished power to cure the hurts of arda and pain of it's inhabitants, and Bobmbadil needed power not<hr></blockquote>

Both of your examples point out the differences between Gandalf and Bombadil, furthering the case that Bombadil was not a Maiar.

The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)
<font size="2">I usually haunt http://www.barrowdowns.comThe Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgiMiddle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

The Glorious Dead
11-22-2000, 09:30 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> from which it can be assumed that Bombadil was truly a maia, likewise Gandalf, as Gandalf would not compare himself to a creature of different order.<hr></blockquote>
But where is the basis of that statement? It's not like Gandalf made a big deal out of being a Maian. Who knows, perhaps Bombadil is a creature of greater power than a maia, and Gandalf is referring to him with repect.

For when the swine repent their sins I shall be there, ready to pass my almighty judgement upon their accursed souls. I am the reaper divine, I eat the hearts of the damned! Beware, ye of little faith in my majesty, for I shall rule this pitiful world. You are mine, bow down.</p>

HerenIstarion
11-23-2000, 05:44 AM
Wight
Posts: 218
Re: Tom Bombadil

Easy, easy, lads :rolleyes: don't tear me apart and mince me into thousand le-e-eetle pieces :D

I for myself beleive Bombadil to be a maia, but, due to JRRT's silence on the subject, and, therefore, lack of textual evidence, I can not give mo convenient proves apart from mentioned, and tacle with what I have

Still, for me he is not Gandalf's superior, nor one lesser, but one of the same rank, though acting (or, if you like acting not at all, bounding himself inside self settled frontieres) in the different way.

...but what they are really like, and what lies beyond them, only those can say who have climbed them

Taimar
11-23-2000, 07:39 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

I do not think that Tom can be classified as a Maia, or any of the other races described by JRRT. He is, as the author stated himself, an enigma. It is interesting however, to speculate on his origins and purpose, even though it is impossible to arrive at a definitive answer. I`m sure I have mentioned this already on another thread at BD, but I thoughts are that Tom was possibly brought into being by Yavanna as part of her contribution to the Song. Given his well known affinity for trees, she would seem to be the Vala he would most likely be associated with.

As an aside, it was mentioned earlier that Bombadil had power over the ring. I think this is an unsupportable assumption. Remember Gandalf`s quote at the Council of Elrond, &quot;Say rather that the Ring has no power over him.&quot;


Look into the http://www.fortunecity.co.uk/library/classiccourt/77/Mirror of Desire.</a> </p>

Mithadan
11-24-2000, 12:34 PM
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Re: Tom Bombadil

The reasons that Bombadil is so often discussed are:
1. He is not stated as belonging to any race or order by JRRT;
2. He possesses power evidenced by his actions concerning Old Man Willow and the Barrow Wight;
3. He is stated to be &quot;eldest&quot;;
4. He does not wield his power except at need and has no aspiration to use his power to dominate;
5. The Ring has no power over him; and
6. JRRT in Letters says he is an &quot;enigma&quot; and declines to fit him into any category.

A bit of history. The poems making up the Tales of Tom Bombadil predate LoTR (and if I recall predate The Hobbit).
Tom was the subject of stories told by JRRT to his kids. JRRT liked the character and included him in LoTR. Almost a bit of &quot;comic relief&quot;.

The controversy, such as it is, arises because JRRT consciously chose not to define him for whatever reason. This should not be confused with Tom not being definable within the Mythos. He easily could have been. He is an old power and the only such powers which existed are the ainur/valar/maiar and similar &quot;spirits&quot; to the extent such spirits other than ainur/maiar existed (separate issue -- were all non-earthly spirits ainur or maiar?). He loves the earth, the trees, etc. but is not specifically affiliated with the cause of the Valar. However, he is not at odds with that cause; he merely &quot;is&quot;, meaning he's happy with what he does and does not do. He is opposed to evil but does not actively fight it. Again, he just wants to be left alone to breath the air and tend to his little bit of forest, not unlike Treebeard.

In my prior post I called him a &quot;free agent&quot;. This is a good description. JRRT, rather than calling him an enigma, could easily and simply have said &quot;He is one of the Maiar who chose to simply live in Arda out of love, without becoming involved in 'politics' or working under the guidance of the Valar. He rejects power except to the extent he must use it and for this reason the Ring does not affect him.&quot; This is a description that fits within the Mythos. Tom is not outside the paradigm. Its just that JRRT intentionally decided not to so describe him. Maybe JRRT was having a little fun at the expense of those who he perceived were taking his work a little too seriously.

I have never considered Tom to be either odd (except his personality) or unexplainable. Beorn is far stranger, a man who can change his shape fits far less within the parameters of JRRT's Legendarium than does Tom.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

lindil
11-25-2000, 09:24 AM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

I have always been partial to the Maia theory although it has been denied by JRRt in his letters.
But I must admit that it does not account for the rings lack of power over him.
I think he and Goldberry [not to mentioon her parents!!!!] are a oddball item in lotr and they don't fit into any category -no matter how much my left brain dominated mind would like them to.
So I just enjoy reading his comic verse to my 4 yr old : }

</p>

Mithadan
11-25-2000, 11:26 PM
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Goldberry's another one. She fits right in with Uinen. Could be a cousin. Re: the poems, one way to look at them is to consider them as being written by Hobbits. They're rustic and the bit about Goldberry's parents and the like could be &quot;poetic license&quot;.

You have a 4 year old? Me too, but I'm not force feeding him Tolkien yet. I did get my 7 year old to start reading the Hobbit (had to get a special edition to do it, she wouldn't touch the ones I had -- Anottated Hobbit and an old 70's paperback).

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Mithadan
11-25-2000, 11:26 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 348</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Goldberry's another one. She fits right in with Uinen. Could be a cousin. Re: the poems, one way to look at them is to consider them as being written by Hobbits. They're rustic and the bit about Goldberry's parents and the like could be &quot;poetic license&quot;.

You have a 4 year old? Me too, but I'm not force feeding him Tolkien yet. I did get my 7 year old to start reading the Hobbit (had to get a special edition to do it, she wouldn't touch the ones I had -- Annotated Hobbit and an old 70's paperback).

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

the Lorien wanderer
12-04-2000, 03:35 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 2</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

In the Tolkien Reader, there is an extensive piece on Tom Bombadil. In LOTR however, he isn't a very major character at all. What actually makes him such an 'enigma' is Tolkien's refusal to define him and the fact that he is unaffected by the Ring. Also Gandalf evidently respects Bomabadil a lot.
But finally, I would have to agree with someone on the previous page who said Tom is Tom. He is. And tempted as we may be to dissect his character, let us refrain from it and leave him as Tolkien wanted - an enigma.

</p>

Mithadan
12-04-2000, 08:50 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 361</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Welcome Wanderer! Undoubtedly the mystery of Tom will always be a mystery. That is what intrigues people. Leave him be? Then how could we have any fun? Nothing like beating a dead horse, except maybe beating it over and over again. As long as there are message boards and JRRT is popular, Tom's origin will be a popular topic. At this point, even if some forgotten manuscript emerged in which JRRT explicitly stated &quot;Tom is a ______&quot;, someone would say &quot;Oh, he was experimenting, JRRT didn't really mean it. Tom is clearly the Wraith of Angmar (hee hee).

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

the Lorien wanderer
12-04-2000, 09:40 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 12</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

I suppose you're right upto an extent Mithaden. People will not stop wondering about or discussing his true race or whatever.
But I think it's quite clear that Tolkien wanted Tom to remain a mystery, an enigma. And if we all love Tolkien as madly as we say we do, wouldn't we do better to respect what he wanted us to know, and not dissect his characters?

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

Mithadan
12-05-2000, 08:50 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 370</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

There's an old joke from a Woody Allen movie, where Allen is speaking to a date in line at a movie theater about the hidden meaning of something written by Marshall MacCluen (sp?) when the man steanding in front of them contests Allen's interpretation. Allen responds with something along the lines of &quot;who the hell are you?&quot; and the man responds &quot;But I am Marshall MacCluen.&quot; Woody answers &quot;You don't know what you're talking about.&quot; Similar joke, a fan is telling Bob Dylan how deep and inspiring his music is and Dylan responds &quot;I just wanted it to rhyme.&quot;

Yes. JRRT said Tom's an &quot;enigma&quot;. But his writing is deep and inspiring and people will tend to interpret his work and fill in the gaps. Tom's one of the gaps (although, as I argued above, he didn't have to be). I am perfectly satisfied to read and accept what's written and let Tom be. Until I started frequenting these boards I didn't really care who Tom was (and still really don't). But when others start suggesting that Tom is what he really can't be (JRRT in Letters expressly states that Eru never entered Arda; Tom can't be Aule because their personalities and purposes are different, etc.) I can't resist weighing in with a simple solution consonant with JRRT's mythos.

In the past I've tried sticking with &quot;Tom's an enigma, just leave him be&quot; but its like telling someone not to think about pink elephants. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

BTW, does a Balrog have wings? <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Orald
12-05-2000, 10:44 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 52</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Tom is what i want him to be

i think tom is a being akin to the ainur, yet not of them, similar to the eagles. everyone else might not think this, many of you might think that he is a maia or a nature spirit or something else. but that is your idea of tom, and to you that is who tom is and will always be.

tolkien left tom a mystery to make a point but in doing so he left it up to each reader to decide for himself/herself who tom is. it is like tolkien said, he left blanks to be filled in by others.

</p>

the Lorien wanderer
12-06-2000, 03:47 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 15</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

All right then. You think of Tom as you want. I shall think of him as an enigma. And I think I have the better deal between the two of us. Though if I heard someone define Tom as I think he isn't, I would jump to contradict him.

No I don't think a balrog has wings.

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

Mithadan
12-06-2000, 08:30 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 374</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

What do you mean a Balrog doesn't have wings!!!????? I suppose you think elves have pointed ears too! <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

As I said, I too prefer to not concern myself with Tom's origins. Tom is Tom. I also don't worry about how Beorn got his shape shifting ability (though I confess I am curious because it doesn't seem to &quot;fit&quot;).

Tom is a case of something which is better left unsaid. I am consistently amazed at the heated debates about Tom that I've seen on other boards. Once or twice I tried to interject the &quot;enigma&quot; quote and was roundly ignored. There are a few subjects which seem to get peoples dander up. Tom is one, along with Balrog wings (or lack thereof), elven ears, and the origins of orcs (which is a subject I do like to weigh in on, see two threads in the Silmarillion canon forum). Frankly, I'm glad this thread didn't degenerate. That's one thing I like about the Downs, people are generally tolerant even of unusual theories.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

the Lorien wanderer
12-07-2000, 03:12 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 18</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

A Balrog doesn't have wings. I don't remember reading that anyway. And no! I don't think elves have pointy ears!
Origins of orcs? I never really thought about it. I suppose they started out nice and probably came over the Sea or something and then there was probably a civil war in which the Dark orcs won and the entire race turned evil. How's that for a theory?!
Tolkien fans tend to get heated up over anything-the origin of a language, the colour of a sword, the morals of a character...Everyone wants to be a Glorien.

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

gamegie
12-07-2000, 07:16 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 137</TD><TD><img src=http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1285585&a=9527321&p=31346468 WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

Sorry Lorien Wanderer, by the way that is a cool nickname...

Balrogs most certainly have wings, and I believe it is mentioned in the LOTR, if not directly but I am sure it mentions that he has some sort of wings when he &quot;jumps onto&quot; the bridge of Kazad Dum.

Charming Humble Hobbit</p>

The Barrow-Wight
12-07-2000, 07:59 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wraith of Angmar
Posts: 1626</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

Oh this is bad!!!!

Bringing the Balrog Wings arguement into the same thread as 'Who is Tom Bombadil'.... You folks trying to wreck the place!!!?

If you want to argue about balrogs and their useless, unlikely appendages, start a new thread!


The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)
<font size="2">I usually haunt http://www.barrowdowns.comThe Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgiMiddle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

Mithadan
12-07-2000, 08:19 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 377</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

Guys! I was joking when I brought up balrogs and orcs (the later is a horse we've beaten extensively, see Silmarillion, Canon Studies forum). I was trying to make the point that there are certain issues that people will argue about until the cows come home. Cease fire! Or if you really have to, Ron's right, set up another balrog thread (groan).

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Orald
12-07-2000, 11:29 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 60</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

and i think ron wrote that article. but i think it is a good idea to keep the heated arguments to one thread, that way everyone gets real confused and they decide to just stop.

</p>

Mister Underhill
12-07-2000, 11:36 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 200</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

If my calculations are correct, this is my 200th post. In honor of that milestone, I'll chip in here as an advocate of heated debates over obscure points of contention. Why nip them in the bud? As long as they remain civil, which they almost always do here at the Downs (unless the other person is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> ), they're what make the boards interesting and fun. There's nothing like a lively debate to keep me surfing back to the Forum to check for the latest salvo and reaching for my books to garner ammunition.

</p>

Mithadan
12-07-2000, 01:23 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 378</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom is what i want him to be

Congrats on your 200th post. I (sniff) recall when you were (sniff sniff) just a pile of bones (choke). How time flies (sob).

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Mister Underhill
12-08-2000, 12:10 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 201</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom is what i want him to be

I know... one minute they're an animated skeleton, the next thing you know, they're a Wight and moving out to get their own barrow. *sigh*

</p>

The Barrow-Wight
12-08-2000, 02:29 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wraith of Angmar
Posts: 1627</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom is what i want him to be

<img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> LOL ! Now that was a good one!

You're all growing up so fast *sob*

The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)
<font size="2">I usually haunt http://www.barrowdowns.comThe Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgiMiddle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

burrahobbit
12-08-2000, 09:00 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hidden Spirit
Posts: 567</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom is what i want him to be

And I never even got to be a pile of bones <img src=frown.gif ALT=":(">

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

the Lorien wanderer
12-09-2000, 03:05 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 21</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom is what i want him to be

Yeah I like my nick too. Who really cares whether Balrogs have wings or not? Doesn't make a difference beyond a point. Hey you guys like Gandalf the Grey better or Gandalf the White?

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

wduty
12-19-2000, 10:53 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 1</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

What or who Tom &quot;is&quot; is an interesting speculation. The thought that he might be Aule is an interesting idea though I think if a comparison is to be made to the Valar, he has more in common with Yavanna than anyone else. However, the Valar are creators and Tom is not (in any overt way). Perhaps another way to look at Tom is to consider not who he &quot;is&quot; but what he &quot;represents&quot;.

A very revealing point about Tom is the reference made to him in the last moments of the Lord of the Rings. When Frodo looks out on Aman he recalls the imagery of the dream of rain in the house of Bombadil and likens the vision to the view of the immortal lands before him. Why the house of Bombadil? Why not Elrond's house or a vision in the mirror of Galadriel? This doesn't seem to be a merely convenient arbitrary reference.

Frodo's departure from Middle Earth is an important moment. Not just in the obvious sense of importance to the plot but also in terms of the role of Bombadil. No mortal (except Tuor who was only half mortal) was ever granted passage to Aman. Although it is never said that Frodo actually became immortal, the mere granting of this permission gives him a position unlike all other mortals. Here is the link to Bombadil. Bombadil is presented as a mortal. He looks like a man, he has yellow boots, a big beard, and a comical manner; yet he is obviously not mortal. He is somehow both, possessing an awareness of the rigid spiritual truths of the Valar and Eldar but also of ordinary human life, humor, regret and sadness. Frodo perceived this (though in reference to Goldberry) when he felt something about her &quot;like the elves, yet less keen and lofty, nearer the mortal heart&quot;. It is also exemplified in how Tom responds to finding the brooch in the Barrow and notes that &quot;fair was she who wore it long ago&quot; but became silent and would say no more.

The second-born (including hobbits) have not the luxury of the eldar. They feel the shadow of the brevity of life over them. Bombadil is a reconciliation of the ancient disparity between elves and men; a mortal who is also immortal and has thus a more intimate understanding of men than the elves or the Valar which know only everlasting life. For this reason he freely counsels the hobbits which the elves are, at best, reluctant to do.

As an aside, Arwen could be seen as &quot;Bombadil in reverse&quot;. She is as one who was immortal but who is no longer. Thus she is brought (tragically) to a similar understanding. Yet for both Bombadil and of Arwen, the outcome is compassion. For if Bombadil's gesture was to bring the hobbits back from death in the Barrow, Arwen's was to say of men before she went to die alone, &quot;as wicked fools I scorned them...but if this is the gift of the one to men then it is indeed bitter to receive.&quot;

</p>

onewhitetree
12-20-2000, 09:50 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
Posts: 28</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Well, I just have to reply in defense of the ever-absent Gothmoga, that Balrogs do NOT have wings. There, it's settled.

Sell crazy someplace else...We're all stocked up here. <a href=http://pub23.ezboard.com/bminasmorgul>Minas Morgul</a></p>

Orald
12-22-2000, 02:03 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 99</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

you are so true.

</p>

Gwaihir the Windlord
01-02-2001, 01:29 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Essence of Darkness
Posts: 639</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

It seems to me that the real question is 'Who is Goldberry'. Although I know what Tom is, is there anyone who can answer that question?

Gwaihir the Windlord http://www.barrowdowns.comthe barrow-downs</A>
<FONT size="2.5">'Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor,
for the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever,
and the Dark Tower is thrown down.'
</p>

HerenIstarion
01-02-2001, 04:26 AM
Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 291
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

One of the lesser spirits of Ulmo' order, seemingly (who else may claim the name of a 'river's king' or what not's daughter?)


...but what they are really like, and what lies beyond them, only those can say who have climbed them

Mithadan
01-15-2001, 02:29 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 492</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I almost (but not quite) regret re-awakening this thread. However, something occured to me which does bear upon Tom's nature. After Frodo puts the Ring on during the attack at Weathertop, it is told that Frodo was able to &quot;see&quot; the faces of the Ringwraiths because, with the Ring on, he was partly in the &quot;spirit&quot; world (JRRT uses the term &quot;wraith world&quot;). Later, at the Ford of Bruinen, Frodo is able to see Glorfindel &quot;as he is on the other side&quot;, as a &quot;white figure that shone&quot; because he was partially in the spirit world due to the Morgul wound. Gandalf also privately comments that Frodo might become as a glass filled with clear light for those who can &quot;see&quot;.

Bombadil is one of &quot;those who can see&quot;. When Frodo put on the Ring, Bombadil could perceive him. Thus Bombadil was one who lived simultaneously in the physical and &quot;spirit&quot; world. Some of the &quot;mighty of the First Born&quot; had this power. The wraiths lived artificially in this world due to their rings. Otherwise, the ability to perceive those who were hidden in the spirit world were the greater and lesser Ainur.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Orald
01-15-2001, 04:57 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 252</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Are you saying that the valar and the maiar and the greatest of the eldar could see both the living and the dead. And by this saying that Bombadil is nothing more than a spirit?

</p>

Orald
01-15-2001, 05:06 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 253</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Oh, and belated congratulations, on becoming a spirit of the mist

</p>

Mithadan
01-15-2001, 05:33 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 494</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Thank you.

No, while the &quot;spirit&quot; world is undoubtedly inhabited by the dead who have resisted the summons to Mandos (for elves), it is more the &quot;unseen&quot; world of the fear which the Ainur and to a lesser extent the elves inhabit at the same time they inhabit the physical world. The only spirit type beings identified specifically in JRRT's mythos (other than unhoused elves) are the greater and lesser Ainur (the Valar and the Maiar). I number Tom among this group. Could there be spirits other than the Ainur created by Eru either before Arda or as a consequence of its creation? Possibly, but JRRT does not identify any. To me, the &quot;spirits&quot; Morgoth used to animate Dragons, etc. were just lesser Maiar, whose power were added to via Morgoth. If he can be explained at all, and he need not be, Bombadil is a Maia who entered Arda at or shortly after its creation but chose not to live or work with the Valar. Instead, he rejoiced in simply watching the tale of Arda unfold.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

The Barrow-Wight
01-15-2001, 06:24 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wraith of Angmar
Posts: 1737</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

So the spirits of the barrows, the wights, were the spirits of fallen elves? Not men?

The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)
<font size="2">I usually haunt http://www.barrowdowns.comThe Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgiMiddle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

Orald
01-15-2001, 06:40 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 254</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Simply stated Melkor was the first ainur. I think not a maiar or valar, but something along those lines. Good point BW.

</p>

Mithadan
01-15-2001, 07:29 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 496</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Ron, no. The wights were different. Victims of necromancy by the King of Angmar, an apt student of Sauron.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

mecor
01-15-2001, 08:57 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 15</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bloody.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I thought that J.R.R.T explained that Tom was left unexplained so that he could be whatever you wanted him to be.
I know that takes all the fun out of it but I think he envisioned discussions like this when he did that.
The explanation was in The Letters Of J.R.R.Tolkien I think.

</p>

Mithadan
01-16-2001, 07:59 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 497</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Mecor, you're quite correct and this has been pointed out above. The issue here has become more along the lines of can Tom be fit into JRRT's mythos and, if so, where? I've never been really concerned with Tom's nature, he is whatever he is. But it is fun to debate this question.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

the Lorien wanderer
01-16-2001, 08:14 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 96</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Mithaden tells all of us inexperienced newcomers that. He's quite right actually. Hey y'know maybe not having Tom in the movie is a good idea. If hardcore Tolkien fans can't reach a decision as to who Tom was, the moviegoers will be absolutely baffled.

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

mecor
01-16-2001, 08:37 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 17</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I think they should put him in the movie any way, it would be fun to see what the Tolkien virgin would think about Tom Bombadil.
Somebody told me they thought that Bombadil was just a very old Elvish type person who was so inherently Good that the evel of the ring had no power over him.

</p>

Orald
01-16-2001, 09:32 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 258</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

HA!

</p>

lindil
01-16-2001, 10:12 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 248</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
no TB

Not having the master in the Movie is lameness of the...
Guess I'll save it for the movies forum <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">



</p>

Mister Underhill
01-16-2001, 10:50 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 317</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: no TB

Fans might be a bit... er... confused by that scene after the barrow where Tom instructs the hobbits to caper about on the grass in the nude... but perhaps this line of discussion is for the movie forum after all...

</p>

Inziladun
01-30-2001, 11:56 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 92</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: no TB

That was the only scene in the book I really never cared to visualize.

Manw keep you under the One, and send fair wind to your sails. </p>

Gilthalion
01-31-2001, 11:08 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 20</TD><TD><img src=http://www.geocities.com/robertwgardner2000/gilspin.gif WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

These are excerpts of a discussion I had once upon a time with Finduilas...

http://pub8.ezboard.com/ffinduilasstolkiendiscussionthelordoftherings.show Message?topicID=4.topic&amp;index=16Bombadil</a>



------------------------------------------------------------
I had a thought, that I'm not sure is supportable, but this is how it seems to me.

When reading LotR to my wife, and coming to the Bombadil part, a notion struck me. It is one thing to read erudite dissertations on the subject, it is another for the actor/reader to portray the role.

How do you play an enigma? I took the few clues Tolkien granted, and this was my answer, and it felt right playing it.

Tom is no master of weather, Eru surely is.

Tom is no Aule, fascinated with how things are made and work.

Tom is not Orome either. He seems to land-bound, and for a very long time, too.

I think of Tom Bombadil as a sort of unfallen Adam. What might Adam have been like if he had not fallen and remained a strong and vital being? I guess I'm saying that to me, Bombadil is like a first-created man, who never fell from purity and never tasted death. A combination of childlike delight and joy with ageless wisdom and simplicity.

Such a fellow might have very great power over all around him, and yet be finite and perishable if enough power were brought to bear against him.




(When I read him, he sounds like Santa Claus! Just comes out like that. )




The more I've thought of it, the more sense it makes to me.

It just feels right to me. One could argue that this fits with Tolkien's Christian worldview.

If an enigma has a solution, it also has a point.

Was Tolkien making a point in any case? Everything else that he did, seemed to be thought, and thought, and rethought over years. Was Bombadil an exception to this?

If not, then what was his point to having the enigma of Bombadil? We know how he used it in his plot, but beyond that, why the mystery? And would Tolkien set us an unfair mystery, one without a solution?

But I don't know that one can necessarily connect the dots and say: Bombadil is Adam Unfallen.

But he seems that way to me!




-----------------------------------------------------------

Upon further reflection, I still like this idea, which has the virtue of being neither provable nor disprovable! (Another virtue is that I don't know that anyone else has thought of it!)

You who know more may say better, but does it fit in with the scheme of things that Bombadil was unsullied by Melkor? Thus, he might be mortal in the sense that he could be killed, but immortal in the sense that he never came under any dark curse and never needed Illuvatar's Gift...

All idle speculation, but I enjoyed it.

<center> ~~~http://www.geocities.com/robertwgardner2000My Bare Bones Webpage</a>~~~ </center></p>

Orald
01-31-2001, 12:56 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 394</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Your point on Bombadil being like an Adam actually makes a lot of sense. After reading Athrabeth, he could have been one of the Fathers of Men that did not harken to Melkor in the beginning, he could have fled to where he is in LotR. In the histories of Men it was said that they were originally very powerful and long live creatures(how long lived I don't know), but Melkor turned them from Iluvatar and then Iluvatar took his gifts away from them. If Bombadil was one of these Fathers of Men, he could have fled from Morgoth at the first and maybe kept his inherent abilities.

The only problem I see with this is that Bombadil was the first: before the elves; before the Dark Lord Melkor, the first Ainu to reach Ea; before everything. So unless the time for the arrival of Men changes to before everything else, then I doubt he could truly be like Adam.

</p>

The Last Elf
02-01-2001, 01:33 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 7</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Tom Bombadil was... Tolkien!
Who others?
Tolkien himself wanted to enter in his work...
Believe me!

Marco
"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."
http://www.lumezzane.com/pergessle </p>

enep
02-01-2001, 02:13 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 157</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Cryptic

Tom Is. Or Is Tom? <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

- enep</p>

Orald
02-01-2001, 07:53 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 396</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Cryptic

Tom is, silly person. Everything exists, it isn't the other way around like most philosophers want you to believe.

</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-02-2001, 03:10 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 162</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Resemblance.

Durlen, you SO remind me of Howard Roark. And the so-called philospohers of Ellsworth Toohey.

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

Orald
02-02-2001, 09:03 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 409</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Resemblance.

<img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

I have no clue who that is. But if someone told you that nothing is real, nothing actually exists, would you believe that person?

</p>

enep
02-02-2001, 04:29 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 174</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Whoa

But what if everything only Is because you think it Is? What if we're suspended in a different reality where nothing is everything? And everything is nothing? What if we're just part of someone's else's dream? ARGH! <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

- enep</p>

Orald
02-02-2001, 04:53 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 414</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Whoa

Perhaps we are in another reality. But nothing cannot be everything and everything be nothing as long. And it is going to be pretty difficult to convince me that everything is nothing, since nothing is something.

</p>

enep
02-02-2001, 05:29 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 181</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Philosophy

Hmm. Nothing is something and yet it does not exist, for it is nothing; the something in nothing is but the name we recognize not what it is; but it is not, for it is nothing. I'll stop doing this now, It's confusing me.
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;Time present and time past
are both perhaps present in time future,
and time future contained in time past.&quot;<hr></blockquote>
10/10 for confusability. Eliot, btw.

- enep</p>

Binram Adasia
02-02-2001, 06:27 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 1</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
What Tom is

I'm confident he is a near death experience. So depending on your point of view on death and the afterlife (or lack of)he is either a spirit guide, or an hallucination.

</p>

enep
02-02-2001, 07:26 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 183</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Welcome!

Welcome, Binram Adasia! May the Road rise up to meet you on your travels! May the Wind blow at your back! And all those other greetings. Excellent first post. However, we still need an answer to the question: Is Tom? <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

- enep</p>

Orald
02-02-2001, 08:45 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 418</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Welcome!

Yes, welcome Binram Adasia. Hopefully you check out some of the other threads, most threads don't normally dilapidate like this.

</p>

enep
02-02-2001, 08:50 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 185</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Hehe

<img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> I wouldn't go as far as to say dilapidate, but some threads do go a bit...off topic. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

- enep</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-02-2001, 09:05 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 169</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hehe

Welcome newcomer!
Durelen: he's the guy from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.
Everything is something to us right? As long as something is real and important, it doesn't matter whether we're in one dimension or a suspended reality.

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

enep
02-02-2001, 09:20 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 186</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Hmm

But is that something really there? Or has it been conjured up in the minds of others?

Actually, I'm getting tired of rambling on like this, so I'll stop. Maybe <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

- enep</p>

Zoe
02-02-2001, 09:28 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 169</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hmm

This reminds me far too much of philosophy class. No that that's a bad thing to be reminded of -- two hours a week of doing nothing but talking is always a good thing. Especially when doing so gets you an A on your report... <img src=biggrin.gif ALT=":D">

</p>

enep
02-02-2001, 10:22 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 190</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Hmm

If I had a Philosophy Class I'd ask a senseless Philosophical existence question and let the teacher ramble for the whole lesson. *sigh* If only...

- enep</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-03-2001, 08:44 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 172</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hmm

Yeah, philosophy is interesting. But current affairs is better. Way better! <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

Orald
02-03-2001, 02:04 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 430</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hmm

He exists in our minds, therefore he exists. If he did not exist in our minds, then he could either exist or not exist. But as long as something is in our minds, it exists for sure.

</p>

enep
02-03-2001, 03:50 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 199</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Philosophy and Confusing Posts

Hmm. Current affairs are more interesting, but it's easier often to ramble on about philosophy, just like D did just then. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> Normally I'd try and refute that with some smart comment but I promised I'd stop rambling. Maybe I should finish it all by quoting Goldberry:
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;Tom Is.&quot;<hr></blockquote>

- enep</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000041>enep</A> at: 2/3/01 11:33:09 pm

the Lorien wanderer
02-03-2001, 10:05 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 178</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Philosophy and Confusing Posts

I quite agree with Goldberry. Tom is. Not 'is Tom'.

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

Gwaihir the Windlord
02-03-2001, 11:06 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Essence of Darkness
Posts: 796</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Philosophy and Confusing Posts

I'm going to get stuck into this for once. I've never done it before because I got sick of the countless threads entitled 'Who is Tom Bombadil?'

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> 'He has been a moss gatherer; and I have been a stone doomed to rolling.'<hr></blockquote>

Gandalf is a Maia; if he says this, it could mean that Tom is one too. It suggests that they have something in common.

Goldberry is a Maia, a lesser spirit of Ulmo. Why would she marry Tom if he was not one also?

And what else could he be? Those theories about embodiements of Arda and earthly forms of Illuvitar are all very well, but really, they are impossible. That he crept into Arda from the Void in the beginning is also unsatisfactory. No one else is reputed as to have done so.
And people that are content with the phrase 'Tom is' are avoiding the question. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

I'm going to get my head bitten of for this, I know, but I'll say it anyway. Bombadil is a Maia. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

Gwaihir the Windlord http://www.geocities.com/gwindlord/GW.jpg http://www.barrowdowns.comthe barrow-downs</A>
<FONT size="2.5">'Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor,
for the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever,
and the Dark Tower is thrown down.'
</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-04-2001, 12:32 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 183</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Back to the topic.

Okay everyone, back to the topic! <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">
We weren't really avoiding the question Gwaihir. We were on a different plane altogether. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

burrahobbit
02-04-2001, 12:34 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hidden Spirit
Posts: 602</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Philosophy and Confusing Posts

No! Gandalf is not talking about things that he and Tom have in common, he is talking about how they are different. An African Violet tends to stay in one place (gathering moss, perhaps) and a robin flies about much of the time (doomed to roll, as it were), are they part of the same order?

Goldberry would seem to be a Maia, but I really don't know what she is. If she is a Maia, which she probably is, it wouldn't be the first time one married someone that isn't. Remember Melian?

&quot;No one else is reputed as to have done so.&quot; What about Ungoliant?

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

enep
02-04-2001, 12:37 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 206</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Hmm

I won't bite your head off Gwaihir all though I would like to point out something...Goldberry is a Maia, I believe that, but when you say
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Gwaihir: &quot;Goldberry is a Maia, a lesser spirit of Ulmo. Why would she marry Tom if he was not one also?<hr></blockquote>
I disagree. Melian married Thingol. It may be the only Maia-Elder relationship, but it does dispute that point you make.

Personally, I think we should end the debate once and for all by remembering Goldberry. Tom Is. That is all. He is best left as he is; a jolly little fellow with Yellow Boots and a Blue Jacket.

PS, we weren't really avoiding the question. We were debating the philosophical grounds on which Tom stands <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

- enep</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-04-2001, 12:48 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 187</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hmm

Oh no e. Gwaihir won't let you get away with 'avoiding the question' with 'Tom is.'. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">
Though personally I agree. Tolkien didn't want Tom typecast. He wanted him to remain an enigma. I think i've already posted a lot of posts along these lines here. But it never works. Carry on debating ppl. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

enep
02-04-2001, 02:09 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 214</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Tom Is

Yes, I don't think Tom Is is going to work. I agree though, Tolkien wanted Tom to be as he is. But debating is ok. It's funny too, especially when people don't agree. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">


- enep</p>

Orald
02-04-2001, 02:51 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 442</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom Is

I am no maia, i can tell you that for sure.<img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> I always come back to the same piece of evidence when saying that Tom isn't a maia. If Melkor was the first ainu to enter Arda, which it is stated that he was, then Tom could not be a maia, because Tom was here before the Dark Lord came, before the mountains, etc. You could dispute that Melkor wasn't a dark lord in the beginning, I guess, but mountains and so on were all made from the get go, so unless Tom is either Melkor or Manwe then he isn't an ainu. Therefore he is either the embodiment of Ea/Arda, or he is another being sent be Eru(similar to the aunur, but not of their order), it does say there were others.

I really liked Gilthalion's post on Tom being one of the Fathers of Men, from Arda Unmarred, then he is fatherless, but not the oldest. Oh well.

</p>

nine nazguls
02-04-2001, 05:07 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 25</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> message

hey durelen do u have msn messenger?

</p>

Orald
02-04-2001, 11:56 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 445</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: message

Re: Nine Nazguls, no i do not, I have AIM. For some silly reason my university will charge us to use most other internet chats, like irc, ICQ and so on, I haven't even heard of MSN messenger, but I am sure it is an extra service for the university.

Re: burrahobbit, about Ungoliant, aree you speaking of the theory that she isn't a maia and could really be of the darkness?

</p>

burrahobbit
02-04-2001, 02:32 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hidden Spirit
Posts: 605</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: message

Yes, that's what I'm talking about. But I don't think it would be best to say &quot;of the darkness&quot;. &quot;From the darkness&quot; would probably be better, or perhaps &quot;from outside&quot; as darkness may make people think of evil when it's just dark.

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

lindil
02-05-2001, 04:48 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Seeker of the Straight Path
Posts: 372</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Bombadillo

Gwaihir, far from biting your head off , I am in deep sympathy w/ you, although { as has prob, been mentioned 2,345 x's in this truly expansive,comprehensive and ... well to truly name it I would have to repeat all the posts. Hoom ! HOOM!} thread JRRT dismisses the Maia idea in the letters. I have it ratherdeeply in my brain though . although as i havn't been following the thread I will have to go back and check out Gilthalion's unfallen Man idea, I will give thattop marks for originality at least.

back to my cave <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

Lindil is often found on posting on[i] the Silmarillion Project at the Barrowowns<u> Silmarillion canon , theories and discussion Forum </u> 'The dwindling Men of the West would often sit up late into the night, and awaken early before dawn- exchanging lore and wisdom such as they possessed , so that they should not fall back into the mean and low estate of those , who never knew or more sadly still, had indeed rebelled against the Light.' </p>

Melcor
02-05-2001, 07:54 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 6</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Goldberry and tom?

where Goldberry and tom realy maried i may be wrong but i got the impression she was more like a relation comming to live with him.(not that they were related it is just that comparusin)were does it say they were maried?

</p>

Orald
02-05-2001, 08:36 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 448</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Goldberry and tom?

I just realized that Gil's idea holds even more water than I before thought. Ok, I said that men weren't around before the darkness came, this is true, but it is a technicality. Men were made, along with elves, when Ea was first created(before the ainur came), maybe Tom was just stating this. I think he would do something like that too.
Of course this doesn't explain how the elves new him as being older than they.

</p>

Mithadan
02-05-2001, 09:32 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 568</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Goldberry and tom?

Haven't been following this thread recently, so I just caught up and have a few comments.

Durelen - Tom says that he was in ME &quot;before the Dark Lord&quot;, but he doesn't say which one. Keep in mind that during the time of LoTR, the Dark Lord that everyone was focusing upon was Sauron, not Melkor. Also, mountains, etc. were not &quot;made from the get go&quot;. Arda was unformed when it was created. Re: Gilthalion's theory that Tom is one of the Fathers of Men before Arda Marred, I agree it is original, but : (1) Tom appears to be somewhat <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> long-lived for a man; (2) Arda began to be &quot;marred&quot; from the moment Melkor disrupted the Music so Arda Unmarred has never existed; and (3) the Fathers of Men did not wake up anywhere near early enough.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Mister Underhill
02-05-2001, 10:54 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 394</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Goldberry and tom?

I imagine the prof would be highly amused by threads like this one (and especially this particular one), and the need of so many of his fans to nail down the question of what Tom is and neatly classify him:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I don't think Tom needs philosophizing about, and is not improved by it.<hr></blockquote>Gilthalion's idea may have some merit, though in an allegorical rather than a literal sense. Wait! Before a hue and cry is raised at the sight of the word &quot;allegory&quot;, consider more of the prof's words from Letters:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I do not mean him to be an allegory or I should not have given him so particular, individual, and ridiculous a name but 'allegory' is the only mode of exhibiting certain functions: he is then an 'allegory', or an exemplar, a particular embodying of pure (real) natural science: the spirit that desires knowledge of other things, their history and nature, because they are 'other' and wholly independent of the enquiring mind, a spirit coeval with the rational mind, and entirely unconcerned with 'doing' anything with the knowledge: Zoology and Botany not Cattle-breeding or Agriculture.<hr></blockquote>

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000005>Mister Underhill</A> at: 2/5/01 11:58:07 am

Orald
02-05-2001, 11:29 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 449</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Goldberry and tom?

That is very interesting MU, in which letter did you find that tasty morsel of info.?

Mithadan, I am sorry, I spoke incorrectly, what I mean to say #1 was that Arda was ever pure, but that Men were at one time not corrupted by Melkor. What I meant to say #2 was that the Mountains and such were formed as soon as Ainur first got there, not necessarily at the &quot;get go&quot; but close enough.

The rebuttal. Tom appears somewhat old to be a man, true, but if I am defending Gil's idea(not sure if I am yet<img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> ) then I would point out the fact that before Melkor got to Men, it was speculated that they were immortal(or very long lived, i.e. ents maybe) Arda was marred from the beginning, I have nothing to say about that. I do howver have something to say about Men not awaking early enough. Men existed, they just weren't awakened, so technically you could say(if he was a man) that he was around since before the Ainur came into Arda.

A side note. I am not saying that Gilthalion's theory is a correct one. All I am saying is that it is more believable to me than Bombadil being an ainu. I personally feel Bombadil would be another form of spirit sent to Ea by Eru as something of an ambassador. Being that no one has rule over him or his land, he lives on &quot;International soil&quot;, like a consulate would. And he has no power over anything else but himself, his land and everything that resides on it.

</p>

Gilthalion
02-05-2001, 11:33 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Goldberry and tom?

True enough, Tom can't literally be one of the Fathers of Men, who woke A.D. (After Darkness).

I don't have LOTR in front of me. Did Tom describe something of his first days? Could he have been an exception, awakened B.D. (Before Darkness), and not &quot;Falling&quot; as all else did from the creation Eru intended?

If Tom is allegorically Adam Unfallen, the letter in the last post is more grist for that mill.

Consider that Adam originally (even before Eve) set to the task of naming the various beasts, and tending the Garden (not nearly as difficult as my backyard!).

His relationship with Nature changes dramatically with the Fall. No longer is he the Natural Scientist, studying Nature for its own sake, he becomes the exploiter of a Nature no longer perfect for him. The beasts feared him and the land gave its fruits reluctantly.

Bombadil, on the other hand, shows signs of age in the lines of his face, but is otherwise youthful and the complete Master of flora and fauna in his wild domain. He does not scratch a hard living from the ground. (Though I think I do recall a garden patch?)

I think a decent case can be made for Tom = Adam Unfallen, but not a conclusive one.

<center> ~~~http://www.geocities.com/robertwgardner2000My Bare Bones Webpage</a>~~~ </center></p>

Mister Underhill
02-05-2001, 11:42 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 398</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Goldberry and tom?

D, both quotes are from #153.

</p>

lindil
02-05-2001, 11:59 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Seeker of the Straight Path
Posts: 376</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Bombadillo

Imagine a word full of T.B.'s !!!
non-sense rhyming being the prefereed method of communication.

I see why some have postulated that the fall was a necessary part of the plan.
I love Bombadil but entire villages and countries of his like would be somewhat like a benevolent asylum<img src=smile.gif ALT=":)"> .

great tie -in w/ the letter mr.U. Those letters will cetainly be required reading for any Bachelors level degree in the Legendarium.

I think Gilthalions idea [after it has been worked over by a couple hundred more posts or so] may be as close as we can get to a paradoxical non-resolution.


lindil

</p>

Mister Underhill
02-05-2001, 12:16 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 400</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/wight.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Bombadillo

Ring ding-a-dol!
Hey merry ho!
O snappy as a five-point poll!
O tireless as old Withywindle!
Nonsense rhymes aren't preferred?
Dear merry dot dol lindil?!
Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?

--Mister Underhillo

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000005>Mister Underhill</A> at: 2/5/01 1:17:32 pm

lindil
02-05-2001, 12:44 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Seeker of the Straight Path
Posts: 378</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> an ode to polls [not underhillo]


Hey come a pollavaultin,
stinkin up thedowns-o
go backo where ye belong
and trouble the wights no more-o
your five pronged head will soon be dead
and no more will you be seen-o
so disappear and come not near
with lame-o sounding-bite-o's

pretty<img src=redface.gif ALT=":o"> I know.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000076>lindil</A> at: 2/6/01 10:31:27 am

Orald
02-05-2001, 03:21 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 455</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: underhillo

You two are just ridiculous<img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> I like this theory having no backing whatsoever and actually making us take a real look at it.

</p>

Mithadan
02-05-2001, 03:57 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 570</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: underhillo

Especially where we all know that Tom is really Treebeard. Evidence: (1) you never see them together; (2) both love forests; (3) both have power over trees; and (4) both are ELDEST! Ha! I've figured it out, the great mystery of our time! Where's my agent? Talk show circuit here I come!

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Mister Underhill
02-05-2001, 04:45 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 402</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: underhillo

Now I kind of wish the poll feature was back. This is perfect poll material!

Which is your favorite Bombadilloism?

&quot;Hey now! merry dot!&quot;

&quot;Hey! Come merry dot! derry dol! My darling!&quot;

&quot;Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!&quot;

&quot;Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!&quot;

&quot;Hey! now! Come hoy now!&quot;

Only a true Tolkien afficianado can appreciate the fine but important distinctions between the Master's various phrasings.

Hmm... perhaps I'll start a new thread on the implications of Bombadil's rhyme, &quot;None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.&quot; Bombadil as the first rapper to dis all the other sucka MCs?

</p>

Orald
02-05-2001, 10:57 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 468</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: underhillo

I like the hey dol merry dol ring a ding dillo, but I am going to go with the Tom Bombadillo, that is truly poetry in the most extreme sense.

</p>

enep
02-06-2001, 03:19 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 221</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Hmm

How much you miss in two days. &quot;Hey dol, merry do, ring a dong dillo!&quot; Was always my favourite. I've never been sure why though, it always sounded better. Plus it's so silly it reminds me of Tom <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-06-2001, 06:04 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 199</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hmm

Hmmm.....I think I'd go with Tom Bombadillo too. It has a nice ring to it. And it's very, very T.B. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

TC Legolas
02-09-2001, 05:08 PM
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Tom Bomadil

Uhh, if he was there first and is left an enigma, my question is has anyone considered him to be a mixture of everything. He like Sauron has power over the ring. Is eternal like the elves and others, he looks akin to a dwarf and a hobbit, is like a man, and many other things...I say he is all of the races of M.E. also his power over the Trees comes from the Ents.

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enep
02-09-2001, 06:37 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 255</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Hiya!

Welcome, TC Legolas! That sounds like a Premier League club name. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> If I understand correctly, you take Tom to be a concoction of everything in ME, that is, say, an embodiment of Arda and everything in it?

- enep</p>

Impaler00
02-09-2001, 07:30 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 16</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hiya!

Tom is like a Rainbow

</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-10-2001, 01:46 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 209</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hiya!

&quot;And all the different colours make him more unique and beautiful than a single colour could ever be.&quot;
Naah, that sounds more like a chameleon or something. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

KayQy
02-10-2001, 07:52 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 54</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hiya!

Tom is Tom. Isn't that enough?<img src=rolleyes.gif ALT=":rolleyes"> <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

I like the mixture description, but he's more of a melting pot or salad than a rainbow. Rainbows are too orderly and distant.

The days are fated to be filled with marvels.</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-10-2001, 08:56 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 219</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hiya!

Good God Kay, Tom is Tom will never be enough for well over half the Tolkien fans in the world. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> More's the pity.

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

KayQy
02-10-2001, 09:08 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 57</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hiya!

Not my fault that people are so dissatisfied, it's the truth, and it was good enough for Tom and Goldberry. How come nobody wonders much about her, anyway, and who her father the River-King really is? She must me nearly as much of an enigma as Tom.

The days are fated to be filled with marvels.</p>

enep
02-10-2001, 04:34 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 275</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Tom as a Balrog...

I think the general majority agree, KQY <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> that Goldberry is one of the lesser spirits of Ulmo, a Maiar. Which some use as an excuse to call Tom a Maiar. Tut tut. He is clearly a winged Balrog in disguise. <img src=devil.gif ALT=":evil"> Btw, there are a few Golberry posts back there somewhere in the earlier posts where nobody goes <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

- enep</p>

Zoe
02-10-2001, 05:14 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 192</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom as a Balrog...

I like the explanation that Tom is a chameleon. Although a Balrog in disguise could be quite interesting...

</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-10-2001, 09:19 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 221</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom as a Balrog...

Tolkien must be turning over in his grave! To hear that his enigma has been branded a chameleon!!! <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

Zoe
02-11-2001, 12:19 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 200</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Tom as a Balrog...

Are you suggesting that chameleons aren't worthy of Tom-ness? <img src=devil.gif ALT=":evil">

BTW: This should be my 200th post. Whoohoo!

</p>

enep
02-11-2001, 01:06 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 289</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Hippies, Chameleons and Balrogs

Congrats on the 200, Z! 50 more for Shade-e-ness. (I'm already a Shade. Heh heh <img src=smokin.gif ALT=":smokin"> ) Chameleons? What a joke. He is clearly a winged Balrog in disguise; if he isn't a hippie trying to escape conscription <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

- enep</p>

Zoe
02-11-2001, 02:54 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 203</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Hippies, Chameleons and Balrogs

You've read Bored of the Rings?

</p>

enep
02-11-2001, 04:32 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 292</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Well...

Erm...actually I haven't. You mentioned that in an earlier post <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> But if I could find a copy I certainly would. I've seen a few comic-strip parodies of LotR, but never an entire book.

- enep</p>

Zoe
02-11-2001, 06:18 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 208</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Well...

I only read about half of it. It wasn't that great.

</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-11-2001, 08:50 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 229</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Congrats!

Congrats Z! Bored of the Rings?? Never heard of it. Whho is it by?

What if - what if this is as good as it gets?</p>

Orald
02-11-2001, 04:42 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ghost-Prince of Cardolan
Posts: 524</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Congrats!

Just to reiterate, enep said a &quot;winged balrog&quot;. Enep is obviously implying that my theory, of winged and wingless balrogs is correct. Bored of the Rings? I say bah. The Tolkien Sarcasm Page clearly states that Tom is the
Witch-King. Anyone who knows anything can see this.


We try and we try, but our discussions on Tom and several other topics always end up dilapadating in mindless banter.

"It seems fate is not without a sense of irony."</p>

HerenIstarion
02-11-2001, 08:13 PM
Ghost-Prince of Cardolan
Posts: 622
Re: Hmm

Goldberry is a Maia, a lesser spirit of Ulmo. Why would she marry Tom if he was not one also?

I disagree. Melian married Thingol. It may be the only Maia-Elder relationship, but it does dispute that point you make

Immortality and Mortality being the special gifts of God to the Eruhini (in whose conception and creation the Valar had no part at all) it must be assumed that no alteration of their fundamental kind could be effected by the Valar even in one case: the cases of Lthien (and Tor) and the position of their descendants was a direct act of God. The entering into Men of the Elven-strain is indeed represented as part of a Divine Plan for the ennoblement of the Human Race, from the beginning destined to replace the Elves

Ennoblment was made via Melian-Thingol-Luthien-Beren-Idril-Tuor and the line was reunited Arwen-Aragorn so to obtain the right to be rulers of all Men. So no furhter ennoblments were needed nor allowed by Eru, so I assume Gwaihir was right. And if anybody gives a counter argument of Imrahil and his ancestors, - Imrahil was simply reported to have strain of elven blood in his vains, not proved to have one indeed, as I understand

Bilbo 800
02-12-2001, 12:44 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
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Re: Hmm

Intriguing ideas.. So Imrahil's a halfling, or is a minute portion of his make-up Elvish?

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Elenanna
03-07-2001, 11:11 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 5</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

He can't be a maia because Gandalf, Saruman and Sauron were affected by the ring but he wasn't. And for the same reason he can't be man, elf, dwarf etc. I don't think he would be one of the Valar either since he says that he was here before the first tree which was done by the Valar when they first arrived on Arda, and he was there before the 'great enemy' (probably Melkor) although Melkor is believed to have been the first Valar there. So I think that he is and embodiment of Arda or a spirit of the earth.

Elen sila lumenn omentielvo.

</p>

enep
03-08-2001, 02:51 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 424</TD><TD><img src=http://dodgywebsite.homestead.com/files/Skeleton_09.gif WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Welcome to the board, Elenanna! I think I've already said that, but hey <img src=biggrin.gif ALT=":D">

I won't bother arguing about the reason for which the Ring gives power to the bearer; I've already talked about that too much. (If you really want to read some exceptionally long and boring posts on the Ring head on to http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=000468this thread</a> but be warned. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

Basically, the Ring gives power 'according to stature' i.e. it only gives power to those who desire something, power or peace etc. Gandalf wanted only to be rid of Sauron and leave ME in peace; Galadriel desired much the same (along with beauty for everything around her?) as did many of the other High Elves. Saruman wanted to control everything, and Thorin (along with many other of his kin) would have used the Ring to gain wealth, for greed.

However, Tom desired or sought for nothing. He had set his own bounds, his own 'territory' and was contented with everything that he had within it. Therefore when he put the Ring on it did not have anything to 'corrupt' or he chose not to use the power it offered him (I hate to start this all again <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> ) and hence it had no effect.

So we can't count him out because of that. To back up the 'for-Maiar' argument, Goldberry was believed to be a lesser spirit of Ulmo, a 'river-daughter,' and since the only major marriages between races (Elwe-Melian, Beren-Luthien, Tuor-Idril, Aragorn-Arwen) seemed to be very important and noticeable (within Tolkien's works) and almost fated within the cosmos, Tom had to be of Goldberry's kind, otherwise it would surely have be noted that he was a Maiar. (I think Gwaihir posted this argument a while back)

However, I think in Letters (which I sadly am too deprived to have a copy of <img src=biggrin.gif ALT=":D"> ) Tolkien states that Tom was not a Maiar (correct me if I'm wrong, Letters' owners) and that, coming straight from the top as it were, automatically discounts that argument, as it does to the for-Valar/Ainur.

Tom's not an elf, dwarf, man or hobbit. He's no dragon. Is he an embodiment of Arda? A spirit? We will never no for certain.
<blockquote>Quote:<hr> &quot;Tom is.&quot;<hr></blockquote>
Goldberry said it. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

Btw, Elenanna, you need to put the picture up on a website...Homestead or Tripod (Geocities doesn't work, they don't allow outside distribution of pictures posted on their posted. Great move, Yahoo. <img src=rolleyes.gif ALT=":rolleyes">

Btw II: I'm intigued by your (Quenyan? Sindarin?) sig. What does it all mean? <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

I should stop rambling.

- enep</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000041>enep</A> at: 3/8/01 4:11:01 am

Elenanna
03-08-2001, 10:14 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 11</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Its in Lotr, i think its in sindarin, it means 'a star shines on the hour of our meeting' <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)"> i know a few more though. Anyways if Tom was a Maiar he wouldn't have gotten to Ardra before Melkor since the weaker ones came later, and Melkor came first.<img src=roll.gif ALT=":rollin">

Elen sila lumenn omentielvo.</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000112>Elenanna</A>&nbsp; <IMG SRC=http://www.ezboard.com/ezgfx/gicons/white_star.gif BORDER=0 WIDTH=10 HEIGHT=10> at: 3/8/01 11:15:39 pm

HerenIstarion
03-09-2001, 12:54 AM
Deadnight Chanter
Posts: 879
Re: Tom Bombadil

As it was stated above (by Mithadan, if I am not mistaken) it is not certain which Dark Lord is meant in sentence before Dark Lord. It may well be Sauron. And even if it is Morgoth, the title Dark Lord is appliable to him only after the murder of Finw. So, Bombadil may have entered Arda after Melkor, and yet before the Dark Lord, aka Morgoth.

burrahobbit
03-09-2001, 01:01 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hidden Spirit
Posts: 664</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Aren't semantics grand?

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

HerenIstarion
03-09-2001, 01:33 AM
Deadnight Chanter
Posts: 880
Re: Tom Bombadil

Sure, mate ;)

enep
03-09-2001, 03:58 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 436</TD><TD><img src=http://dodgywebsite.homestead.com/files/Skeleton_09.gif WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Of course, Elenanna! That thought just hit me while browsing another good Tolkien site (although nowhere near as fantastically superior as the BD) where the quote at the top reads your sig and under it a translation. Gildor to Frodo, if I recall now. <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

Mith's point is very true, and rightly brought back into the spotlight. And all of this confuses me, so I don't think I'll comment on anything...partly because I couldn't be bothered. <img src=tired.gif ALT="/I">

But...if Arda was empty before, presumably, Melkor descended into it, and all life was created by Illuvatar's hand and was not 'awakened' (even though it was present, lying dormant so to speak how would Tom have been 'here' before Melkor even if that was the 'Dark Lord' he was talking about? Who was he created by if he wasn't a Maiar and was awakened [i] before the elves?

Blah! <img src=rolleyes.gif ALT=":rolleyes">

- enep</p>

Ongel
03-09-2001, 09:37 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 2</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/nenya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Heren, if he came to the earth after the valar then why does it say that he was there before the tree? surely you don't mean that the elves were there before the trees? Mabye its just that he knows everyone else calls him the dark lord and the hobbits do not know of Melkor so he calls him the dark lord. He also says he was her during the great darkness... there was no great darkness during sauron, i think. And there is know mention of any of the maiar coming to arda during saurons reign, besides of course the istari. ANd even if there was they would have stayed in Valinor for there was no Melkor to pervert them and no reason to go into middle earth

</p>

Mithadan
03-09-2001, 09:39 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 715</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/nenya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

When the Earth was first created, it was unformed and only through the efforts of the Valar did it take shape. Presumably, trees came sometime thereafter.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Elenanna
03-09-2001, 10:17 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
Posts: 30</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/nenya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Yes... but he was there during the first darkness. That means before light any light, even the light of the stars. And the valar needed light to make things. and u havent mentioned nething about the darkness varda made the stars when she got there and if he was the during the great darkness he would have been around when melkor came. Sauron did not come until when the stars were made and u havent said nething about what she said about if they came while sauron was ruling than certainly he would have at valinor and would have no cause to go to middle earth.

</p>

Elenanna
03-09-2001, 10:28 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
Posts: 31</TD><TD><img src=http://community.webshots.com/photo/1204419/1213028 WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

i think he was created by the earth, and its substance as a creature to protect it, an embodiment of the earth perhaps... i'm not really sure what he is just quite sure on what he's not <img src=rolleyes.gif ALT=":rolleyes"> <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

Elen sila lumenn omentielvo.</p>

KayQy
03-16-2001, 06:58 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 156</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

I was reading Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling, and I realized that our friend Tom and that old household spirit Robin Goodfellow have a suspiciously large number of things in common:

1. Physically similar(I forget Puck's exact description, but it's a lot like Tom's)

2. Both call themselves the eldest, and have been around practically forever.

3. Neither have grandiose wishes for rule or control, just like to take care of their own little area.

4. Both cheerful, mischievious, little or no fear of anything.

5. Both have inherent subtle powers related to the earth and nature.

Is Tolkien's Tom inspired by tales of Robin Goodfellow, is it coincidence, or are they one and the same? If the last, would that mean that the ancient land of the Shire might be found in England? (I think that's another topic.)

They cannot conquer forever!</p>

Mister Underhill
03-16-2001, 10:33 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Dread Horseman
Posts: 582</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Kipling is one of my favorite writers, K. I haven't read Puck in years and the association never occurred to me. Now I'm going to have to go back and check it out! Thanks for the ref.


</p>

Zoe
03-16-2001, 05:52 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 283</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Puck/Robin Goodfellow being the same Puck as in A Midsummer Night's Dream? (I haven't read any Kipling, but I'm going to have to, now!)

</p>

Orald
03-16-2001, 06:20 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shadow of Malice
Posts: 692</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

Tom wasn't very mischievious, at least I don't recall.

Fate, it seems is not without a sense of irony.</p>

Elenanna
03-17-2001, 01:00 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 89</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Tom Bombadil

he wasnt really mischevious more care free and cheerful

Visit me at <a href=http://pub16.ezboard.com/blorien16140>Lorien</a> friend of <a href=http://pub16.ezboard.com/bamongwareth>Amon Gwareth</a> and <a href=http://pub2.ezboard.com/brivendel>Rivendel</a> find my corpse at <a href=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi>The Barrowdowns</a> </p>

KayQy
03-18-2001, 01:00 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 169</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Puck/Tom

Z: Yeah, the Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream was based on an old English household spirit named Robin Goodfellow. The similarities show up better in Kipling than in Shakespeare.

El &amp; D: You're right, I just couldn't think of a better word for their similar outlooks on life. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

</p>

Odysseus819
03-27-2001, 09:53 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 266</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Beam Me Up Tommy

I read part of this thread, not the whole thing, but is Tom's apparent abililty to &quot;teleport&quot; (he appears at the barrow instantly, although it took the hobbits several hours to walk there) consistent with his being a Maia? Gandalf, Saruman and Melian don't have this ability, do they? I like the &quot;Tom is an enigma&quot; theory, mostly because that's what JRRT said and I want to take him at his word.

</p>

HerenIstarion
03-27-2001, 09:57 AM
Deadnight Chanter
Posts: 951
Re: Beam Me Up Tommy

Gandalf and Saruman were embodied by their duty, Melian by her love, Bombadil was free in his own boundaries

Hannah 3
03-27-2001, 10:37 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
Posts: 37</TD><TD><img src=http://www.durmstrang2k.homestead.com/files/aeris.jpg WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Beam Me Up Tommy

As to the original question of w'what IS Tom' -

I have know idea where she got this from, but my sister andustar claims that Tom was a character taht Tolkien made up entirely unconnnected with ME... and then he mixed the two. I'll have to ask her about that...
But that would mean he isn't in any category like Maia, Valar, Eru himself. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)"> He's just, well,

~*Hannah*~ If one puts an idea forward to a true englishman - always a rash thing to do - he never dreams of considering whether the idea is right or wrong. The only thing he considers of any importance is whether one believes in it oneself. ~ Oscar Wilde</p>

Odysseus819
03-27-2001, 10:54 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 267</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Beam Me Up Tommy

aI like your signature, Hannah. Wilde always good for a quotable line.

</p>

Beregond
03-27-2001, 02:42 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
Posts: 36</TD><TD><img src=http://www.clipartconnection.com/img/6/WB/zed_non_com/clipconxn/animations/holidays/0384.gif WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Beam Me Up Tommy

Tom started out as a doll of one of Tolkien's children. Like Goldbury says, He Is. I don't think Tolkien had any idea who he was. However, it's always fun to speculate! <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

</p>

Mithadan
03-27-2001, 03:37 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Spirit of Mist
Posts: 766</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Beam Me Up Tommy

Ai! The Bombadil thread lives again! Ron, I told you to use a silver bullet!

Just kidding of course. All are welcome to reawaken any dormant thread even to rehash what has already been thoroughly chewed upon (Grrr! Mixed metaphor. Tom does that to me.)

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Hannah 3
03-28-2001, 11:06 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
Posts: 39</TD><TD><img src=http://www.durmstrang2k.homestead.com/files/aeris.jpg WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Beam Me Up Tommy

Odysseus - Thanks <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)"> that was the only part of 'the Picture of Dorian Gray' that made me laugh. the rest just made me want to cry... *Hates that book*

Maybe Tolkien knew what he was, but not in relation to middle earth?

~*Hannah*~ If one puts an idea forward to a true englishman - always a rash thing to do - he never dreams of considering whether the idea is right or wrong. The only thing he considers of any importance is whether one believes in it oneself. ~ Oscar Wilde</p>

Belegheru
05-02-2001, 05:24 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 1</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

First of All I would like y'all to note that Tom Bombadil once said to Frodo as an answer to his question who he was, that he was on this earth before the evil came from outside and when stars where always shining in the night when night still was beautiful. So this means Tom was in Middle-earth before Melkor was and before that light-towers where made by Manwe and Varda. This means that Tom was very old and must have been an Ainur probably a Maiar. Since he loves nature and is master of the nature where he dwells he must have been a helper (maiar) of Yavanna who was the Vala who dealed with nature. When Yavanna and the other Valar escaped for Melkor to the Undying lands Yavanna probably let him stay in Middle-earth to care for the nature instead of her. Later on when time flew away he probably just stayed in one place and became the master of that place.

I think this is a very logical theory and it is very likely to be true!

Belegheru

</p>

The X Phial
05-02-2001, 05:25 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 146</TD><TD><img src=http://www.jamestbaker.com/cec/X-Files-01.gif WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I think it's obvious that Tom was an Ent in disguise. Geez!

-*-The X Phial-*- "Yet more fair is the living land of Lorien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie beneath the earth!"</p>

Belegheru
05-02-2001, 05:32 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 2</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Maybe he was!!! But he didnt look like treebeard did U know what im saying yoh!


</p>

The X Phial
05-02-2001, 05:38 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 147</TD><TD><img src=http://www.jamestbaker.com/cec/X-Files-01.gif WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I DO know what you're saying. That was a rather poor joke on my part. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)">

Welcome to the Downs Belegheru!

-*-The X Phial-*- "Yet more fair is the living land of Lorien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie beneath the earth!"</p>

Orald
05-02-2001, 08:50 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shadow of Malice
Posts: 844</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Hmm. The theory of him being here before Melkor is ok, something I believe. But BoLT(I think it is BoLT) states that Melkor was the first of all the ainur to enter into Ea. This presents a problem since you are saying Tom is a maia.

Hope you stay a while. Post, have fun.

Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into E, and evil be good to have been.</p>

Amandil
05-02-2001, 02:05 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
Posts: 11</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

What if Tom was not entirely truthful when speaking to the Hobbits?
He is playful and may have just been leading them on with all those claims of being oldest and fatherless. The elves and Gandalf know that Tom is very ancient, but unless Gandalf/Olrin actually remembers Tom from before the creation, they could be mistaken in how old he truly is. He seems to be truly ancient and has demonstrated some unique abilities, but he does not necessarily have to be all that the elves and Gandalf think that he is. He could be just be pulling a prank on them. Pretending to be older than he is. Waiting until The End, when he sees them again, and teases them about how they were so gullible. <img src=eek.gif ALT=":eek"> (Nothing sinister).
It wouldn't be the first time that they were wrong about people. Gandalf was fooled by Saruman as to the fact that he had become corrupt, and the elves did not recoginize Annatar as being Sauron. They were mislead maliciously, but it shows it can be done. Even to Gandalf.
Just because the Eldar bumped into Tom on their migration doesn't automatically make him older than them. He could have awoken after they did, just a lot further west. They were on the road a looong time.
Questioning the fallibility of the sources of the information on Tom only makes him much more of an enigma. <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

</p>

Amandil
05-05-2001, 05:27 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
Posts: 46</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Plus, my feelings for Tom have gone back and forth over the years.
I liked him at first,when I was around 6, then hated him during my early teens.
Then back to loving him and then back to skipping over those segments where he appeared again.

Then with time, accepting and cherishing him as an integral part of the fabric of ME.
But I now who he is:
I think he is me being extraordinarily silly.
That makes my wife Goldberry and my father-in-law a rivergod.
And to think, I threw him in Lake Michigan when I first met her extended family.
Yikes!! He could have smote me down, battered hat, yellow boots and all!

</p>

the Lorien wanderer
05-09-2001, 07:14 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dm
Posts: 359</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

<img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> <img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> <img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol">

Humour is emotional chaos remembered in moments of tranquility.</p>

The X Phial
05-09-2001, 07:48 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 163</TD><TD><img src=http://www.jamestbaker.com/cec/X-Files-01.gif WIDTH=60 HEIGHT=60></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I love Tom, but I do find some of his &quot;dialogue&quot; a little tedious. I have a new thought, though. Tom Bombadil is Richard Simmons's great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather! So much energy, trying to help people. It fits.

-*-The X Phial-*- "Yet more fair is the living land of Lorien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie beneath the earth!"</p>

Amandil
05-09-2001, 12:58 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 96</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

How about this? Tom Bombadil as the Maia responsible for the creation of Hobbits.
He seems to be the ultimate version of a Hobbit, always singing and eating and running around communing with nature. <img src=wink.gif ALT=";)"> Not to mention darn silly yet tough as nails when needed in a pinch. (Take that old barrow-wight! Don't make me sing at you again!)

</p>

Samwise of the shire
05-17-2001, 02:45 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 174</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> It's hard to say

I really think that TB was a Faery (or something like that)I mean it might seem strange but now that I've thought about it TB is the lord and master of the woodlands,and he even has power over the faery trees of the Old Forest(Old-Man Willow was a faery tree,).
So I kinda picture TB as some type of jolly faery that has control over nature,but he was probably a Maia.
Sam

</p>

FREAK ME
05-20-2001, 12:32 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 5</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: It's hard to say

A Spirit!

</p>

arwentinuviel
05-22-2001, 02:08 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 6</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> hard to say

i haven't yet read the silmarrilion fully so i can't really be sure about whether he was a maia or an ainur.
But i think that he was neither. he seemed to me as something completely diifferent.an exception to the rule.
he was like nature itself

</p>

spaniardnazgul
06-08-2001, 10:36 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
Posts: 4</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I have the ultimate information:
Tom is a Maia,a powerful one, but not the most powerful, more or less as powerful as olorin in valinor!!, not in ME where he have lived since the beginning, because u should remember the ainur used to live first in ME, because of that he has such a power there. Kinda Melian.
what a smart guy i am!!!!!

</p>

Elfchick7
04-05-2007, 09:48 AM
Wow! I had no idea that Tom was such a huge topic of discussion.

I am glad that I am not the only one who has wondered who and what Tom might be. After having read all five pages of this thread, I am inclined to think that he is some kind of earth spirit, if anything. Discussing him is fun. I wish I knew what Tolkien was thinking when he put Tom in the books.

Probably something like, "Mwahaha, now I can plague the minds of all my readers with incessant curiosity and wonder as to who this character is..."

Now I am convinced. Tolkien was an evil genius. :rolleyes:

Sauron the White
04-05-2007, 03:44 PM
I do think he was in a class all by himself defying categorization. And no matter how many times I read the book, I still think he serves no real purpose and could have been left out without detracting from the book one iota. For me he adds nothing positive only poses disturbing questions that seem to contradict the rest of the book.

alatar
08-10-2009, 10:10 AM
Been thinking about this one for a while - who hasn't? But it's clear to me now that Tom Bombadil is actually Eru Iluvatar, Creator of All.

Surely this theory has been brought up before, but I'm hoping that my tack is somewhat different (in the interest of full disclosure note that I did not go back and read each and every post on each and every 'Who's Bombadil' thread).

Tom's Eru. Tom is named Oldest, Fatherless. Goldberry simply states that, "He is." If that's not definitive, I'm not sure what is. But you know all of these arguments by heart. You probably have all of the counters memorized as well.

But he's not exactly Eru either, in the sense of being a God as we may think of it. It is actually Eru playing the part of Tom (and I think, even Goldberry, as such a god need not be limited, but see more below). I'm not sure if Eru as Tom even knows that he is the God of all at all. This may be due to the God self-limiting itself, almost like a self-induced lobotomy. Or, maybe Eru has gone what we would call insane, and so has set the world on auto pilot and has mentally retreated into the being that is Tom. Running the universe surely has its down days, and maybe Eru got so bored that It decided to go native, as that would be more fun, especially if It could somehow fool itself into playing at being a being like Tom. I would not limit the abilities of a god to not be able to pull off such a deception.

What got me a little down this path was remembering reading John Varley's Gaea Trilogy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaea_Trilogy) where the god of a world goes insane. Also, as Tolkien was a Christian, he read of Jesus, who was the God-Man. Jesus, during His earthly ministry, divested Himself of His God nature (or something like that - I'm not exactly sure how to best describe it, and note I mean no disrespect in any of these Christian comparisons) so that He could be like us (though still God). Whereas Jesus appeared as a human, I think that Tom appeared like those with whom he visited, which is why the Hobbits see him much like a large Hobbit than as a Man or Dwarf. His house is just a little too ready to receive four Hobbits for me not to suspect that he wasn't altering reality to fit the situation at hand. Had Elrond showed up, I get this feeling that the inners of the house would be a little different, and Tom might have appeared differently as well.

Also, in Christianity there is the concept of the Trinity, the Triune God. Not that it's easy to define, but as I understand this, there is one god, but three distinct beings in that godhood. Not three gods, nor three faces of one god. One god that can communicate with the other 'parts,' though they remain one, but distinct.

And so why not have Eru as a similar triune god? It could then express itself as male in Tom, female in Goldberry, and even nature in Lumpkin. How better to see how the theme played out than to plant oneself in the middle of Middle Earth, and then be able to relate to the characters within, whether sentient being, animal/plant, or element?

Anyway, that's my poorly worded take on Tom.

Inziladun
08-10-2009, 12:25 PM
As an aside, I did not review this long thread, so apologies in advance if I repeat anything unnecessarily.

Or, maybe Eru has gone what we would call insane, and so has set the world on auto pilot and has mentally retreated into the being that is Tom. Running the universe surely has its down days, and maybe Eru got so bored that It decided to go native, as that would be more fun, especially if It could somehow fool itself into playing at being a being like Tom. I would not limit the abilities of a god to not be able to pull off such a deception.

If Tom is Eru's little joke, he's been at it quite a long time by the standards of his Children.

But I had forgotten Bombadil, if indeed this is still the same that walked the woods and hills long ago, and even then was older then the old. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless. FOTR The Council of Elrond

For Elrond to call a creature old means they are old. 'Oldest and fatherless' I've always taken to mean simply that the Elves had no idea who he was or where he came from: he was just there.
During the time Tom was hanging out in ME, Eru was getting things done; destroying Nmenr and approving the plan hatched by the Valar to send Maia to Middle-earth to lead the fight against Sauron, among others.
That said, if Tom is Eru, I don't know that I'd be inclined to think him insane or 'native', uncaring of the playing out of the Music. Not, as you say, that it would be beyond the abilties of an omnipotent Creator to accomplish the running of the affairs of the world from his 'summer home' in the Old Forest.

Now, one thing that's always intrigued me is Gandalf's views and words regarding Tom. At the Council, he says basically that Tom is the one being who could trusted to keep the Ring without succumbing to its power, so immune that he would be likely to throw it away. The proof of that the reader had already seen: Tom held the Ring, put it on, and immediately handed it back to Frodo with no hesitation. Gandalf clearly knows the same cannot be said for himself, Maia though he is. Over the years that's caused me to let go of the 'Tom must be a Maia' stance I used to have. Tom's power and will must be much greater than Sauron's.
Later, when Gandalf's work against Sauron is finished, he tells the hobbits:

I am going to have a long talk with Bombadil: such a talk as I have not had in all my time. He is a moss-gatherer, and I have been a stone doomed to rolling. But my rolling days are ending, and now we shall have much to say to one another. ROTK Homeward Bound

Gandalf is going to see Tom, and tell things he has told no one else? 'In all my time': does that mean 'since I have been here working agaist Sauron', or since I have been alive and conscious of my own being'? Why does Gandalf feel the need to do this? Could he be giving an account of his doings, failures as well as successes; a 'confession' if you will? And what does he expect Tom to say to him?

All that leads me to the conclusion that Gandalf appears to be reporting to his 'boss', and said 'boss' would have to be Manw or Eru.
In the essay The Istari in Unfinished Tales, CJRT takes issue with the idea that Gandalf was Manw, saying:

Manw will not descend from the Mountain until the Dagor Dagorath, and the coming of the End, when Melkor returns. To the overthrow of Morgoth he sent his herald Enw.

And surely, Manw could 'debrief' Gandalf upon his return to the West, as he probably did.
Conclusion? It seems entirely possible to me that Tom could have been a manifestation of Eru.

And so why not have Eru as a similar triune god? It could then express itself as male in Tom, female in Goldberry, and even nature in Lumpkin. How better to see how the theme played out than to plant oneself in the middle of Middle Earth, and then be able to relate to the characters within, whether sentient being, animal/plant, or element?

The idea of Eru splitting into male and female sections that seem deeply in love in with one another I find more than a little distubing. :eek:
One the other hand, why not? If Tom is Eru, Goldberry must be accounted for as well, and that's as good an explanation as any.

alatar
08-10-2009, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the reply and for the citations!

As an aside, I did not review this long thread, so apologies in advance if I repeat anything unnecessarily.
Let's all say, "Sorry" to all of those that posted before us, then move on. :D

If Tom is Eru's little joke, he's been at it quite a long time by the standards of his Children.Can't a god do without a calendar? Surely Manwe was still at it, and all he got to do is sit and watch the wind.

For Elrond to call a creature old means they are old. 'Oldest and fatherless' I've always taken to mean simply that the Elves had no idea who he was or where he came from: he was just there.
During the time Tom was hanging out in ME, Eru was getting things done; destroying Nmenr and approving the plan hatched by the Valar to send Maia to Middle-earth to lead the fight against Sauron, among others.Can't a god do more than one thing at once?

That said, if Tom is Eru, I don't know that I'd be inclined to think him insane or 'native', uncaring of the playing out of the Music. Not, as you say, that it would be beyond the abilties of an omnipotent Creator to accomplish the running of the affairs of the world from his 'summer home' in the Old Forest.What I mean is that He may somehow be knowingly unaware that He's God. That, to me, is a form of insanity.

Conclusion? It seems entirely possible to me that Tom could have been a manifestation of Eru.At least it is possible.

The idea of Eru splitting into male and female sections that seem deeply in love in with one another I find more than a little distubing. :eek:
One the other hand, why not? If Tom is Eru, Goldberry must be accounted for as well, and that's as good an explanation as any.Why? God begets and creates, but also watches over and provides. To use biological gender terms for a superlative being is simply to show relationship. God need not mixes his/her/its genes, which is the only reason we have the two sexes (some species do just fine without). What struck me, in regards to Eru being Tom *and* Goldberry, is how well they interact when they serve supper to the hobbits. Don't have the text right here, but reread it and you see what I mean.

Tuor in Gondolin
08-10-2009, 01:45 PM
Interesting view of Bombadil as Eru, but there are problems.
In The Council Of Elrond:
(Glorfindel) ...even if we could, (take the Ring to him unobserved)
soon or late the Lord of the Rings would learn of its hiding place and would
bend all his power towards it. Could that power be defied by Bombadil alone?
I think not... (Eru less powerful then Sauron)?

And in Letters #144 JRRT sees Bombadil as renouncing control, taking a
"vow of poverty" in a form of pacivism. Not at all the continued involvement
in Middle-earth in the Third Age (sending the Istari, having the Ring fall
off Gollum's hand just in time to be found by Bilbo, putting elvish words
into Sam's mind) all of which would seem to have been either at Iluvatar's
instigation or at least valar initiatives approved by the One.

alatar
08-10-2009, 06:27 PM
Interesting view of Bombadil as Eru, but there are problems.
Nothing we cannot account for. :D

Could that power be defied by Bombadil alone?
I think not... Conjecture. And I think that it wasn't that Tom wouldn't be able to stand against Sauron and his army. Tom just wouldn't care. He's not playing the game (at least in the role of Tom); he's watching. That's why Gandalf states that Tom would be an unsafe guardian for the Ring, and that even if everyone begged him to take it, he wouldn't keep it safe...which is expected as the Ring is a major player in the game, and how boring life would be without it.

And in Letters #144 JRRT sees Bombadil as renouncing control, taking a "vow of poverty" in a form of pacivism. Not at all the continued involvement in Middle-earth in the Third Age (sending the Istari, having the Ring fall off Gollum's hand just in time to be found by Bilbo, putting elvish words into Sam's mind) all of which would seem to have been either at Iluvatar's instigation or at least valar initiatives approved by the One.Again, Tom isn't playing. He as Eru may have already set those 'deus a machina' themes to play during their time regardless of where Eru was at at the moment. But just watching from the sidelines, from up in the peanut gallery, just wasn't as fun. Here in Middle Earth Tom could see how all of the playing, both major and minor themes and players, pan out. In Aman the Valar watched the paint dry; in Middle Earth one had the chance to get dirt under one's nails.

And here's the quote that I was looking for:
Quickly he (Tom) returned, bearing a large and laden tray. Then Tom and Goldberry set the table; and the hobbits sat half in wonder and half in laughter: so fair was the grace of Goldberry and so merry and odd the caperings of Tom. Yet in some fashion they seemed to weave a single dance, neither hindering the other, in and out of the room, and round the table; and with great speed food and vessels and lights were set in order. (emphasis added)
Two halves of a whole, it seems.

And on that note, I'm calling it a night. Had too many consecutive sleepless nights, and it's starting to show. For a second my briefcase, on the seat next to me, appeared to be a shaggy black dog. I also thought I saw other posts to this thread, but when I turned my head, they were gone as well.

Weird.

Ibrniilpathnezel
08-10-2009, 06:40 PM
I would be disinclined to think that Bombadil was in any way Eru, since it is plainly said that he would fall in the end before the power of Sauron and the Ring, "last as he was first." In letter 181, Tolkien said, "There is no 'embodiment' of the Creator anywhere in this story or mythology." I would say that pretty well eliminates the Bombadil as Eru concept (sorry, alatar). But it would not eliminate Bombadil "the enigma" as a powerful agent of Eru. I would be more inclined to think that if Bombadil is not a Maia, he is a Vala who, like Tulkas, came after the Ainur first entered Ea, and took up residence on Arda when it was finally formed, perhaps without the knowledge of the other Valar. He may have been planted in Middle-earth by Eru as a potential ace-in-the-hole, so to speak. Well, it's a thought.

Fordim Hedgethistle
08-10-2009, 07:31 PM
Bombadil is master. That is all we know and all we need to know.

Tuor in Gondolin
08-11-2009, 06:29 AM
I would be more inclined to think that if Bombadil is not a Maia, he is a Vala who, like Tulkas, came after the Ainur first entered Ea, and took up residence on Arda when it was finally formed, perhaps without the knowledge of the other Valar. He may have been planted in Middle-earth by Eru as a potential ace-in-the-hole, so to speak. Well, it's a thought.
__________________


Very interesting. But then who is Bombadil and his mate. And River Woman?
Of course, the maiar seemed to vary in potency (Melkor vs. Sauron) so why not
a powerful maia as an "ace in the hole" or a mole? That sly Eru really plans ahead, eh? ;)

alatar
08-11-2009, 08:05 AM
I would be disinclined to think that Bombadil was in any way Eru, since it is plainly said that he would fall in the end before the power of Sauron and the Ring, "last as he was first." In letter 181, Tolkien said, "There is no 'embodiment' of the Creator anywhere in this story or mythology." I would say that pretty well eliminates the Bombadil as Eru concept (sorry, alatar).
What would the mere 'author' know about any of this stuff? Never saw *him* post here on the Downs...probably doesn't even have any rep points...:D

But all of that in Letter 181 is just to throw you off. How much less would there be to discover if a letter had everything spelled out:
Tom is Eru
Balrogs are wingless (though tasty with BBQ sauce)
Folco Boffin was a spy for SarumanBombadil is master.
That's what Tom thinks and says when Goldberry's not in the room. Note that we first find him down by the Withywindle, running errands for her when we guys know that he'd rather be catching up on the local news with Farmer Maggot over a few pints.

Pitchwife
08-11-2009, 08:08 AM
Bombadil is master. That is all we know and all we need to know.

Agreed.
However - viewed purely as an entertaining thought-construct, regardless of its truth value, I find alatar's theory ingenious, especially the part about Fatty Lumpkin as the Third Person of the Trinity. After all, if the Holy Spirit can be symbolized by a pigeon, why not a pony? Both species have been used to convey messages...;)

Pitchwife
08-11-2009, 08:18 AM
Sorry to double-post, but I missed alatar's last before posting mine.

That's what Tom thinks and says when Goldberry's not in the room.
Actually, it's Goldberry herself who says that about him:
Frodo looked at her questioningly. 'He is, as you have seen him', she said in answer to his look. 'He is the master of wood, water, and hill.'
And a little further down the page:
'Tom Bombadil is the Master. No one has ever caught old Tom [...] He has no fear. Tom Bombadil is master.'
(Charming passage, by the way. Doesn't she sound like a woman who is really proud of the man she loves?)

Morthoron
08-11-2009, 08:22 AM
*Sighs*

alatar, alatar, alatar...are you being tongue in cheek regarding this topic? Be careful, or I may start quoting The Silmarillion regarding the balrogs flying "with winged speed". :rolleyes:

Bombadil is not 'Eru's little joke'; he is, in fact, Tolkien's little joke. He is 'first' because he did indeed come far before the writing of LotR (Tom was that creepy little stuffed doll haunting the Tolkien's nursery). The ring does not affect him because he comes from outside of the story. He is a localized phenomena, a manifestation of something Tolkien felt important (the vanishing English countryside of his youth -- Bombadil is, for all intents and purposes, a version of the English Jack-in-the-Green), and Tolkien asked his publisher Unwin in a letter if he might include Bombadil for that reason, not because Tom had anything at all germane to do with the story.

alatar
08-11-2009, 09:02 AM
Actually, it's Goldberry herself who says that about him:

(Charming passage, by the way. Doesn't she sound like a woman who is really proud of the man she loves?)
It's not what she says when there is company around that interests me, it's what she says when no one is there. :D

alatar, alatar, alatar...are you being tongue in cheek regarding this topic? Be careful, or I may start quoting The Silmarillion regarding the balrogs flying "with winged speed".
Wow! I'd hate to stare up at clouds next to you...

alatar - "That one...there!...looks like some guy painting the side of a castle with pompoms while a zebra in a hard hat in a jeep looks on while working at a laptop..."

Morthoron - "It's a cumulus cloud already!"

:D

That all said, I'm just showing that even Tolkien didn't know that he was including Eru into the story, but he did, deny it as he might.

Morthoron
08-11-2009, 09:22 AM
Wow! I'd hate to stare up at clouds next to you...

alatar - "That one...there!...looks like some guy painting the side of a castle with pompoms while a zebra in a hard hat in a jeep looks on while working at a laptop..."

Morthoron - "It's a cumulus cloud already!"

:D

That all said, I'm just showing that even Tolkien didn't know that he was including Eru into the story, but he did, deny it as he might.

Hehe...it was a cumulonimbus, to be more precise.

To be honest, I don't see Eru in Bombadil, particulalry since Eru went out of his way to separate deities from mortal affairs in the Numenorean affair (that whole reshaping the earth and cataclysmic flood thing). The entire premise of LotR revolves around fate and providence -- indirect action on the part of the supreme being -- rather than direct and personal intervention. Even the Istari are reduced from their Maiaric states of perfection and ordered to kindle men's hearts, as opposed to matching Sauron power against power. That being the case, it makes little sense to have Illuvatar cavorting about in yellow boots with a nymphette tart waxing poetic on daisies and dogwood.

Bthberry
08-11-2009, 10:35 AM
Agreed.
However - viewed purely as an entertaining thought-construct, regardless of its truth value, I find alatar's theory ingenious, especially the part about Fatty Lumpkin as the Third Person of the Trinity. After all, if the Holy Spirit can be symbolized by a pigeon, why not a pony? Both species have been used to convey messages...;)

And we Downers are particularly enamoured of ingenious theories. :D

Now, I was initially tempted to propose the Dustbroom Motivation. That is, when I read the very first post here, I saw a post desperately in need of a new broom to remove the code from previous forum software. Why, I couldn't even find the post topic amidst all that code! I thought maybe al was nudging our Moddess a bit, to tidy up her fora.

So I gave up and just looked back at alatar's resurrecting posts. Here's what intrigued me:


Originally Posted by In the House of Tom Bombadil
Quickly he (Tom) returned, bearing a large and laden tray. Then Tom and Goldberry set the table; and the hobbits sat half in wonder and half in laughter: so fair was the grace of Goldberry and so merry and odd the caperings of Tom. Yet in some fashion they seemed to weave a single dance, neither hindering the other, in and out of the room, and round the table; and with great speed food and vessels and lights were set in order. (emphasis added)

Now, al finds this evidence of two halves. I find it evidence of . . . The Author In His Work.

This bit of Fred and Ginger reminds me of Beren wanting to dance with Luthien, and we all know how autobiographical that part of The Silm is. Just think of the Tolkien headstone.

So, I'm more inclined, if we are going to consider Tom as a creator in his works, to think that Tom just might be Tolkien himself in his works. After all, it would be his little joke to give himself such verse. He would also of course be first, as without him none of it would exist. And he would be immune to the Ring, as he would know the Ring was a fictive construct of his own creation, not some villain's. And it would be just like an Author to send his characters out on adventures while he stays home in his cozy study, dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's and proofreading.


*curtsies*

Pitchwife
08-11-2009, 11:43 AM
So, I'm more inclined, if we are going to consider Tom as a creator in his works, to think that Tom just might be Tolkien himself in his works.
Nice theory, and nice arguments! There may even be anagrammatic evidence to support it. If we take the name TOM BOMBADIL and eliminate from it all the letters it doesn't have in common with JOHN RONALD TOLKIEN, we're left with... er...
MBMB.
Er. Wait. MBMB???
Oh well... I guess it was worth a try...:o
*prays for the earth to swallow him*

Seriously though, I've always loved the Ginger & Fred passage, especially since I've got married myself. Maybe the only example in Tolkien's works (or one of two - I just remembered Sam and Rosie) of a happy and working marriage on an everyday level we mortal hobbits can relate to. Yes, I can easily see that this is what T. wished his own marriage to be like - though maybe not what it actually was like in their later years.
MayBe MayBe...

Tuor in Gondolin
08-11-2009, 12:08 PM
Ah ha! One anagram of Tom Bombadil is
Blab Do IT Mom (obviously a secret message for Goldberry
to reveal,....,,ah?

Of course, another anagram is Bad Limbo Tom (internet search
engines can come in handy). Clearly an indication he's
not Fred Astaire, or even Gene Kelly. At least Tolkien never called for
an interpretive dance performance of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry.
OR DID HE!

alatar
08-11-2009, 12:19 PM
Hehe...it was a cumulonimbus, to be more precise.
See what I mean? :D

To be honest, I don't see Eru in Bombadil, particulalry since Eru went out of his way to separate deities from mortal affairs in the Numenorean affair (that whole reshaping the earth and cataclysmic flood thing). The entire premise of LotR revolves around fate and providence -- indirect action on the part of the supreme being -- rather than direct and personal intervention. Even the Istari are reduced from their Maiaric states of perfection and ordered to kindle men's hearts, as opposed to matching Sauron power against power.How, in any way, if Eru is Tom, does Tom use his power to effect direct and personal intervention outside of his terrarium? He helps the Hobbits with Old Man Willow, gives them some advice (nothing Maggot wouldn't have said), and gets them out of the Barrow. Frodo might have gotten out by himself, and maybe, once the door was opened, got one or more of the others out as well. Who knows? But Tom wasn't doing anything that an elf or maia couldn't have done (except keep himself dry in a rainstorm...).

That being the case, it makes little sense to have Illuvatar cavorting about in yellow boots with a nymphette tart waxing poetic on daisies and dogwood.Your point is? What better way to spend the day? And he wasn't cavorting, because he is both creatures, in my view.

And we Downers are particularly enamoured of ingenious theories.
Though maybe not particularly enamoured with ingenious Downers (in theory)...:D

Now, I was initially tempted to propose the Dustbroom Motivation. That is, when I read the very first post here, I saw a post desperately in need of a new broom to remove the code from previous forum software. Why, I couldn't even find the post topic amidst all that code! I thought maybe al was nudging our Moddess a bit, to tidy up her fora.Why people think the worst of me, I'll never know. Sometime's a post is just a post.

Now, al finds this evidence of two halves. I find it evidence of . . . The Author In His Work.Excellent theory; very insightful. And then for Tolkien to go on later and deny that Tom is divine (well, of course it's not...not in that way). Definitely would be a fun prank.

Even Peter Jackson did cameos.

Morthoron
08-11-2009, 01:18 PM
How, in any way, if Eru is Tom, does Tom use his power to effect direct and personal intervention outside of his terrarium? He helps the Hobbits with Old Man Willow, gives them some advice (nothing Maggot wouldn't have said), and gets them out of the Barrow. Frodo might have gotten out by himself, and maybe, once the door was opened, got one or more of the others out as well. Who knows? But Tom wasn't doing anything that an elf or maia couldn't have done (except keep himself dry in a rainstorm...)..

But he does directly interfere by saving the hobbits: from Old Man Willow and once again with the Barrow Wights. He also sends out Fatty Lumpkin (Tolkien's version of Catholicism's Holy Spirit, obviously) to aid the hobbits' hapless horses (wayward souls in need of baptism, seemingly). That is hardly remaining aloof and netherworldly.

Your point is? What better way to spend the day? And he wasn't cavorting, because he is both creatures, in my view.

Oh, I think it's clear he was cavorting. His love affair with Goldberry was obvious, and to consider it as homoerotic (or hermaphroditic) is indeed disturbing.:eek:

Excellent theory; very insightful. And then for Tolkien to go on later and deny that Tom is divine (well, of course it's not...not in that way). Definitely would be a fun prank.

Even Peter Jackson did cameos.

So did Alfred Hitchcock (Jackson's a copycat). I like that theory by Beth, particularly since it jibes with my idea that Bombadil is Tolkien's literary joke.

alatar
08-11-2009, 01:32 PM
But he does directly interfere by saving the hobbits: from Old Man Willow and once again with the Barrow Wights. He also sends out Fatty Lumpkin (Tolkien's version of Catholicism's Holy Spirit, obviously) to aid the hobbits' hapless horses (wayward souls in need of baptism, seemingly). That is hardly remaining aloof and netherworldly.
I understand what you mean, but what I mean is that Eru via Tom was obviously restrained in what he did - he veiled his full power. In the Barrow, he even asked Frodo help him get the others out. He does nothing that one or more inhabitants of Arda couldn't do, if not a whole lot less.

Oh, I think it's clear he was cavorting. His love affair with Goldberry was obvious, and to consider it as homoerotic (or hermaphroditic) is indeed disturbing.I think that the prefix you are looking for is "auto."

Maybe he's just demonstrating what real perfect love would be like. If he is Eru, then there's nothing icky about the whole thing.

So did Alfred HitchcockWho? I thought that the originals were made by Ralph Bakshi.

(Jackson's a copycat)Not sure *what* he was copying...:rolleyes:

I like that theory by Beth, particularly since it jibes with my idea that Bombadil is Tolkien's literary joke.Much agreed.

Ibrniilpathnezel
08-11-2009, 02:10 PM
Even Peter Jackson did cameos.

I really, really, REALLY hope Eru is on a higher plane than Peter Jackson... :D

Inziladun
08-11-2009, 02:22 PM
I really, really, REALLY hope Eru is on a higher plane than Peter Jackson... :D

You wouldn't know that by reading through The Movies here. ;)

Really, in the end it must be down to conjecture and personal interpretation, or the question would likely have been resolved to the satisfaction of most long ago.
Personally, I don't care much for 'enigmas', even in books. I like to be able to categorize things and make them fit in the world they inhabit. I know it can't always be done, but that doesn't stop me trying. ;)

Morsul the Dark
08-11-2009, 07:06 PM
He's an ent

Old Man Willow is his old body...

Hakon
08-11-2009, 08:04 PM
He's an ent

Old Man Willow is his old body...

Care to elaborate?

Morthoron
08-11-2009, 10:02 PM
Care to elaborate?

He's an ent that aint, or rather, a pent-up ent that lent out its cerements then went and spent time in a tent as an unfashionable, dissident gent. That's what he meant.

Bthberry
08-12-2009, 09:06 AM
Though maybe not particularly enamoured with ingenious Downers (in theory)...

With some of us it is possible that enarmoured might be preferable. ;)


Why people think the worst of me, I'll never know. Sometime's a post is just a post.

Worst? Here I was thinking it was a valuable form of community service!

And then for Tolkien to go on later and deny that Tom is divine (well, of course it's not...not in that way). Definitely would be a fun prank.

As we all know, Tom is divine.


it jibes with my idea that Bombadil is Tolkien's literary joke

Humour is the best antidote to horror.


He's an ent that aint, or rather, a pent-up ent that lent out its cerements then went and spent time in a tent as an unfashionable, dissident gent. That's what he meant.

Venting or lenting, this is a bent rent.


I know it can't always be done, but that doesn't stop me trying

The best ones are those that allow us to keep trying. :D


I really, really, REALLY hope Eru is on a higher plane than Peter Jackson...

The author of his works rather than in his works. :D

Morsul the Dark
08-12-2009, 07:06 PM
Again Tom Bombadil is Old Man Willow's Ent Spirit one day Old Man Bombadil(for he was an ent was walking around and saw Goldberry now unlike other ents who sometimes slow down and become treeish he fell in love and became super hasty and happy so hasty that in fact the spirit was ripped from the ent body which became bitter and angry and tom went and "put on his 'A' game" for goldberry

that is also why he can control tghe forest he is a treeherder

this is based on the ent creation theory yvanna put spirits into trees

alatar
08-13-2009, 08:08 AM
You wouldn't know that by reading through The Movies here.
You obviously haven't read through the Sequence-by-Sequence threads.

Really, in the end it must be down to conjecture and personal interpretation, or the question would likely have been resolved to the satisfaction of most long ago.Where's the fun in the known?

Personally, I don't care much for 'enigmas', even in books. I like to be able to categorize things and make them fit in the world they inhabit. I know it can't always be done, but that doesn't stop me trying.The world must be a scary place for you.

But that said, in order to boost my own theory, I must lay waste to the others.

Tom cannot be an Ent, as his speech is much faster than that of any Ent, even Quickbeam. Goldberry is not an Entwife, as she's more into water sports than gardening (though if Tom has the last surviving Entwife around, I can see why he's hidden himself from the others).

Tom is jolly, silly and wears a hat, and these aren't Ent traits either. So Tom is not an Ent. Next...:D

Inziladun
08-13-2009, 08:17 AM
You obviously haven't read through the Sequence-by-Sequence threads.

No, I haven't. Sounds worthwhile, though.

Where's the fun in the known?.

Who said it was fun?

The world must be a scary place for you.

Not at all. Attempting to make sense of the nonsensical is a constant exercise in enlightenment. :p
To clarify, I'm not saying this topic, or any other for that matter, is an exercise in futility in trying to make a case one way or the other. Personally, I lean toward the 'Tom is Eru' view because it seems to make the most 'in-world' sense to me, though that certainly is an ever evolving opinion.

alatar
08-13-2009, 10:33 AM
really? that's kind of an obnoxious approach
Agreed; in hindsight that wasn't very proper or friendly. Apologies; that the Tylenol and coffee hadn't taken effect will be my excuse. What I meant to say was:

"To show my theory valid, I will next show, politely, how other theories are less likely, given the evidence."

and also entirely false I say the world is a cube, to support it I'll destroy the image of a flat world. Doesn't make me rightDon't know what you mean.

Let me Destroy yoursI was hoping for some feedback, and deserve the bolded verb. ;)

Eru wouldn't last against Sauron?Stated by whom? How do we know if the person making such a statement actually knows what he/she/it is talking about? For example, Rohan was thought to pay tribute to Sauron. And do we 'really' know if Gollum ate human infants?

Also, my argument has an analogy in Jesus the Christ. Christians believe Him to be 100% God yet 100% man. Though at any time He could have called forth angels to defend him - nay, to keep him from merely stubbing His toe - Jesus veiled His divinity, and so lived as as one of us. This meant that He could be scourged, stabbed, bleed, suffer thirst, and eventually die via crucifixion. Tolkien knew all of this. I posit that when he kept Tom in the text, he may have wanted the same kind of God-man around, self-limiting, though much more than your average citizen (especially as Eru was Goldberry and Fatty Lumpkin as well).

Didn't Gandalf limit his power? So we have precedent.

It is said his power is limited beyond the forest.By Tom's own choice. Think that Elrond or Gandalf states that Tom has set boundaries for his own pleasure, and awaits some *thing* to go beyond them.

...Though, as Tom seems to be only within in the Old Forest, not sure how he has talks with Farmer Maggot.

Eru's power would be limitless.Agreed. Why then do you limit Eru's power to *not* be able to live as a triune being in Middle Earth with a veiled powers?

Obviously Tom isn't Eru NEXTTo some. :)

Hakon
08-13-2009, 10:41 AM
It is said his power is limited beyond the forest.


By Tom's own choice. Think that Elrond or Gandalf states that Tom has set boundaries for his own pleasure, and awaits some *thing* to go beyond them.

Maybe Tom's power is limited because of the fact that he does not in a way belong. This goes back to the letter that talked about different planes of existence. It could just be because the plane of existence that Tom is from only overlaps with the forest and that makes his power limited to the forest. It could also be as Alatar stated and he set his own boundaries or it could be both.

Morsul the Dark
08-13-2009, 10:43 AM
I believe Elrond says something to the effect of "If Sauron came with all his mihgt not even Tom Bombadil could outlast him.

and the cube bit what I was saying was disproving one theory doesn't make another more valid.
Hey, do the rings give their bearer power to bestow some sort of power to others?
Bombadil almost seem to the Old Forest what Galadriel is to Lorien.

and I think I'll delete my last post, mostly out of ander the tone is unbecoming of the downs

alatar
08-13-2009, 10:53 AM
I believe Elrond says something to the effect of "If Sauron came with all his mihgt not even Tom Bombadil could outlast him.
That might have said in the context of Bombadil actually accepting guardianship of the Ring. What if the Free and Wise, thinking desperately, threw the Ring into the Old Forest. Tom may not have stopped the Nine from coming in and claiming it, as he wasn't really concerned about the whole issue (Eru, as Tom, knows how the song ends, and so what if Sauron gets the Ring?).

and the cube bit what I was saying was disproving one theory doesn't make another more valid.Understood, though I was a bit intrigued about the cubic earth.

Bombadil almost seem to the Old Forest what Galadriel is to Lorien.Another, to me, piece of evidence that somehow Tom effects things more than naturally.

and I think I'll delete my last post, mostly out of ander the tone is unbecoming of the downsBut you were perfectly right in calling my tone "obnoxious," as, though I didn't intend it as such (meaning it to be more playfully challenging), it could have and was taken as that. So I apologize, and also thank you for pointing that out to me.

Morsul the Dark
08-13-2009, 11:04 AM
here's a unique theory

http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/theories/bombadil.html

also on another site;

Tom Bombadil is from Wonderland.
He just plain doesn't fit in Middle-earth; he's much more "fairy-tale" than anything else that exists, with magical powers and implied incredible age despite being apparently human. His bit of the story is a cheerful diversion from the main plot, and almost seems to belong to another tale altogether.
Alternatively, he's from Oz.
Or, he is The One, aka Eru aka Ilvatar. The Ring has no affect on him whatsoever, and in fact, he makes the Ring disappear briefly! When Frodo puts on the Ring, it is said he is putting one foot in the Wraith world and if he wears it too long, risks becoming a wraith. But the "wraith world" is not necessarily an evil place, for, because of the Ring, Frodo is able to see Glorfindel's "other side" the side that exists in the "wraith" or "spirit" world when Glorfindel goes all badass at the Ford of Bruinen. Tom does not disappear when he puts on the Ring, because the Ring has nowhere to pull him to, he already exists totally on "the other side" as the One. In a way, by making the Ring disappear, Tom is pulling the Ring all the way over to "the other side" with himself. Gandalf remarks at the Council of Elrond to the affect that it is notsomuch that Tom has power over the Ring as that the Ring has no power over him, which fits in with Tom as the One, since a creation cannot be higher than the Creator, but the One being a Creator that doesn't muck around with the free will of his creations (but doesn't mind extending a helping hand every now and again). Even Tom's habit of incessant singing fits this theory.
The whole idea was Jossed by Tolkien in 1954, as he has stated in his letters that The One has no incarnation in Middle-earth. This naturally depends on how heavily you accept the Word Of God.
Or, he is Aul the Smith. Aul is unique among the Valar in being fonder of life in Middle-earth than in Heaven, as the god of created objects he would naturally have power over the Ring, and he is romantically involved with an earth-mother goddess who is described in similar terms to Goldberry. Only he has the means, motive and opportunity.
A longish essay (on painful background, unfortunately) on this premise is here.
Orom was like that too, and I could more easily imagine him as Bombadil than Aul, whose fascination with created and non-living things just doesn't fit with Tom's close-to-nature lifestyle. Also, his nature as the "Eldest" being on Middle-earth would support this, as, if this troper remembers correctly, Orom was the first of the Valar to set foot on Middle-earth and certainly the only one to remain there for any length of time.
Or he's one of the Maiar, since Gandalf seems to view him on equal terms, not as a servant would his master.
Tom Bombadil is Santa Claus, and Sauron is the Grinch. Tom, who of course is really the spirit of Middle-earth incarnate, switched rings on Frodo, claiming the Ring for himself. At the proper moment, he used the Ring to throw down Sauron, reducing him to powerlessness. Over the long centuries that followed, the Ring darkened his heart until he became Santa Claus, lord of greed, bringer of strife. It's all explained here.
Or maybe he was just hanging around Middle-earth during that hundred-year-or-so period when he was kept out of Narnia by the White Witch.
Tom Bombadil is the Witch-king of Angmar. Explained here.
As strange as that theory is, it does look like it has textual backup.
Tom Bombadil is Thomas Covenant. He's just enjoying a holiday after his fairly harrowing adventures in a foreign land. What, the name wasn't a hint?
Tom Bombadil is the Green Man from folklore, the manifestation of the British/Shire countryside. At least metaphorically.
That's the what Word Of God say he really but Tolkien just put him the story to mess with readers' heads.
Tom Bombadil represents the reader. You are Tom Bombadil. He can see Frodo when he's wearing the ring, which has no power over him and Elrond says a world ruled by Sauron would have no interest for him but he could not take the ring himself.
Isn't anyone going to say he's a Time Lord?
He's actually an incarnation of Suzumiya Haruhi, when she was going through an obsession with medieval fantasy.
Clearly Tom is actually a Refugee From Discworld. You know it's true

Bthberry
08-13-2009, 07:04 PM
I think Tom really practices the power of Now, don't you all think?

Nogrod
08-13-2009, 08:10 PM
Someone probably has said this already (and I'm not going back to see if one of you did like five years ago :)), but Tom is JRRT himself naturally...

And I mean it. It's the obvious solution.

Or then like a Finnish comparative-religion academic said in a radio-programme this summer; he's an offspring of an earlier Tolkien story he had gotten so fond of that he just wished to fit him in in the early stages and never got to write him out later as he didn't actually fit in... and most of you guys probably can give a list of letters of the Prof. to either comfirm that or to rebuke it.

I like my theory the better but the latter seems quite credible.

skip spence
08-14-2009, 02:56 AM
Tom Bombadil is the Witch-king of Angmar

Morthoron had me convinced of this on another thread which I'm too lazy to dig up sadly. It would be worth the effort though as it was a brilliant theory.

Bthberry
08-14-2009, 06:38 AM
Someone probably has said this already (and I'm not going back to see if one of you did like five years ago :)), but Tom is JRRT himself naturally...

And I mean it. It's the obvious solution.



Beat ya too it, kid, and not like five years ago, but merely on the previous page: The Author in His Works by Bethberry (http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showpost.php?p=606309&postcount=188) ;)

Note too that Pitchwife, al and Morth subsequently admired the theory as they thought it could tidily be incorporated into their own. I must say I think I'll go and work on Pitchwife's anagram idea a bit . . . .

Morsul the Dark
08-14-2009, 06:45 AM
Tolkien says Bombadil doesn't fit into middle-earth so only one true answer remains;

Eru creator of ME would fit in
Any Vlar or Maiar samething.
Tolkien himself fits in.
Witchking
Crazy Hobbit Hobo- even that works


Tom Bombadil after process of elimination ;
"When you eliminate the impossible that which is left, however improbable, is true"-Spock

An Alien!

Nogrod
08-14-2009, 10:20 AM
Beat ya too it, kid, and not like five years ago, but merely on the previous pageWell, I knew someone had to have come up with that already... :smokin:

Kudos! As one tends to think the idea he got himself and was pleased with as a great idea anyway! :rolleyes:

Enw
08-16-2009, 09:43 AM
Tom is Eru
So that's why he's always singing. Now you know what the Music of the Ainur really sounded like :p.

Anyway, I think he is more something that Eru put there to be an antidote to the evil of Middle-Earth, so in a way, he is a manifestation of Eru, as he does what Eru wants, but isn't actually him.

And also, remember the whole thing about trolls being made in mockery of Ents and Orcs being made in mockery of Elves/Men? I would assume that this was already decided in the Music, and that Melkor, hearing of Tom Bombadil (literally), created an opposite, Ungoliant. I'm sure that somewhere I've read that she is the primeval spirit of darkness and so, according to this, Tom would be the primeval spirit of good.

This would actually make sense, as Tom is sort of made to be a perfect being: He is kind and carefree, he is a perfect partner with his wife (and together they make a whole), he is in tune with nature and isn't against it (e.g. he can talk to trees), he is his own master (nothing can take control of his mind, and he is himself all the time), and best of all, he is happy.

And would you put it past Eru to make Goldberry for Tom, as God made Eve for Adam?

Legate of Amon Lanc
08-16-2009, 10:38 AM
Anyway, I think he is more something that Eru put there to be an antidote to the evil of Middle-Earth, so in a way, he is a manifestation of Eru, as he does what Eru wants, but isn't actually him.

And also, remember the whole thing about trolls being made in mockery of Ents and Orcs being made in mockery of Elves/Men? I would assume that this was already decided in the Music, and that Melkor, hearing of Tom Bombadil (literally), created an opposite, Ungoliant. I'm sure that somewhere I've read that she is the primeval spirit of darkness and so, according to this, Tom would be the primeval spirit of good.

Nay, that really doesn't work. Tom does not actually DO much, does he? Tom could be a spirit of the primeval, good (in the sense: unspoiled, undisturbed) Arda, however, he just is not able to cope with the flow of events. Or, let's say, history. He is old and can just live, live and live on and time can pass him by and not affect him - but at the same time, history works and affects everybody around him violently. "He's a moss-gatherer", and Gandalf put it quite well in this comparison of his, the forces who were able to actually act on good's behalf and stand against Sauron or whatever were not Tom, but messengers like Gandalf, "a stone doomed to rolling". Tom portrays the ideal state, something like the Shire as it was isolated from the outside world - even though it could not escape it eventually, as it HAD TO be touched by the history, as it WAS a part of the history too (or "was in it", or how to put it. And now I am not referring to the Ring or anything, I am speaking on very general terms).

I think Bombadil is the extreme example of isolation "outside" the history - almost, or on the very edge (mostly as an observer - as we are shown in the places where he tells something about old Arnor, the barrows or the woman wearing the jewel from that tomb). Only if it really came to that Tom would keep the Ring, and Sauron would have had to confront him, he would came into real "touch" with the history. But not otherwise. See, there was Sauron's rule all over Eriador (except Lindon) in the dark ages, while Tom was apparently still there in his place. Nothing touched him, and he was of no concern to Sauron's rule. No threat, except that maybe he could offer a shelter to a few passers-by - just like with Frodo. But he really didn't have any special "agenda", did he? He just helped Frodo because he managed to stop by, not because he would have some real urge to contribuge to destroying Sauron.

All in all, Tom is really the closest to nature - also in this sense. But he has little to do with the history of humans, elves, hobbits or Dark Lords. In this way, he is not really a representative of any powers of the West or anything - he is just too passive, as in comparison to the Istari's mission, for example. Therefore, even his connection as some manifestation of Eru would be a bit doubtful (though it is true that theologically, Eru is not one of the most active gods himself, or at least he does not seem to be in the process of history - though still, TB is just too much even for him, and Eru has all these delegates like Valar and delegates of delegates like the Istari).

Inziladun
08-16-2009, 11:09 AM
I think Bombadil is the extreme example of isolation "outside" the history - almost, or on the very edge (mostly as an observer - as we are shown in the places where he tells something about old Arnor, the barrows or the woman wearing the jewel from that tomb).

The 'outside' word interests me, and leads me to wonder if my 'Maia or Eru' ideas might not be too stratified. Tom actually reminds me a bit of Ungoliant in that context.

For though the Valar did not yet understand fully what had befallen, they perceived that Melkor had called upon some aid that came from beyond Arda. Silm Of the Flight of the Noldor

So the Valar, the most powerful and knowledgeable beings of Arda, were unaware of Ungoliant and did not know what manner of creature she was. Perhaps Tom was a being of the same sort, differently embodied. It would explain why the Eldar, taught by the Valar, had no clear notion what Tom was.

Enw
08-16-2009, 12:51 PM
Nay, that really doesn't work. Tom does not actually DO much, does he? Tom could be a spirit of the primeval, good (in the sense: unspoiled, undisturbed) Arda, however, he just is not able to cope with the flow of events. Or, let's say, history. He is old and can just live, live and live on and time can pass him by and not affect him - but at the same time, history works and affects everybody around him violently. "He's a moss-gatherer", and Gandalf put it quite well in this comparison of his, the forces who were able to actually act on good's behalf and stand against Sauron or whatever were not Tom, but messengers like Gandalf, "a stone doomed to rolling". Tom portrays the ideal state, something like the Shire as it was isolated from the outside world - even though it could not escape it eventually, as it HAD TO be touched by the history, as it WAS a part of the history too (or "was in it", or how to put it. And now I am not referring to the Ring or anything, I am speaking on very general terms).

I didn't mean that he was there to help the good guys. I just said that he was good. When I said that he was an antidote to the evil, I didn't mean that he would just go out and defeat the baddies, but that he is just good.

He shows many the opposite characteristics of the bad characters:


The bad want to control, he doesn't
The bad want to be involved in everything and everyone's lives
The bad are never content wit anything they have, he is
The bad always want to expand, he sticks to his own lands

and so on.

Tom Bombadil is the opposite extreme to all the evil characters, and that is why no-one knows anything about him. He keeps to himself unlike any of the bad characters.

And anyway, if Tom Bombadil actually interfered, then it would go against all of Melkor's designs, and then the Music of the Ainur wouldn't be more magnificent (Remember what Eru says about how Melkor's discord contributes to the Theme?)

He wasn't there to go against the Music the way that Men were allowed to, and so the theme still played out. He was just there, I think, to give comfort to the few that passed his lands. There was only one time (that we know about), where he directly coincided with the fate of the world, and technically, he only helped them through his land and told them stories. He just gave them a much-needed break. It was still up to them to them to carry on the quest and destroy the ring, he just gave them a little bit of safety at the start of the quest. I don't think he was made to play a big part (while Ungoliant, who I regard as his opposite, but of the same nature, plays a huge part, such as in destroying the Trees) in the world, but just to be a safe haven, and in that way, he contributed to the good without influencing the world. Eru left that to his creations: His Children and the Ainur. The Ainur were almost as fallible as elves, only on a much huger scale, for example when Manwe decided to let Melkor go and he wreaked havoc upon Arda.

I think that Tom Bombadil was pure in a way, but in an earthy way, unlike the Ainur who were not pure- look at Melkor. Because he (Tom Bombadil) was pure, he couldn't interfere with the world, otherwise there probably wouldn't even be a story.

Think of what happens with the wights- they are evil and dangerous, and in his land, yet he only gets rid of one, and only when it threatens people. I think this shows him to be a truly good and pure being, as most of the "good" characters would have definitely got rid of the wights if they could, yet Tom lets them stay there and only interferes when someone's life, and in fact the whole fate of Middle-Earth, is at risk he acts, and then only destroys the immediate threat (one of the many wights).

We can look at the ring in the same way. If he has it, then he probably wouldn't keep it safe because of his purity. He is so pure that the ring doesn't affect him like every other being in Middle-Earth. Because he is perfectly content, the ring has nothing to offer him, and so it has no power over him. He would just treat it as a normal ring, because to him, that is what it is. He is not affected by anything, but he also does not affect anything outside his realm, and only gets involved with things inside his realm if he needs to.

So I think (if we disregard the AOTB, which isn't really Middle-Earth canon, to me at least), that the Tom Bombadil we see in Middle-Earth is a wholly good character, and only gets involved when there is a benefit for the greater good (or just for the good side in general), and does not become involved just because he can.

Legate of Amon Lanc
08-16-2009, 01:41 PM
Okay, now I can say I more or less agree with you, Enw, on most points - more or less. But maybe just as reply to this, to make it clear:

I didn't mean that he was there to help the good guys. I just said that he was good. When I said that he was an antidote to the evil, I didn't mean that he would just go out and defeat the baddies, but that he is just good.

But that was the point. You used the word "antidote", which is, in this case, not well used at all. Tom was the first pure thing before any antidote had to be used. You use antidote to purify the already poisoned, let's say, body. But Tom was a part of the original unpoisoned Arda, and then poison (Melkor, Sauron) came, and then the antidote (Istari...) had to be used.

Enw
08-16-2009, 01:55 PM
But that was the point. You used the word "antidote", which is, in this case, not well used at all. Tom was the first pure thing before any antidote had to be used. You use antidote to purify the already poisoned, let's say, body. But Tom was a part of the original unpoisoned Arda, and then poison (Melkor, Sauron) came, and then the antidote (Istari...) had to be used.

Ah, yes, that is a good point. I was thinking more that it was an antidote for the characters passing through his land.

PrinceOfTheHalflings
08-17-2009, 11:17 AM
I don't normally get involved in Bombadil threads, but I think we can rule out a few possibilities just by asking the author. He did say quite a lot about what Bombadil is not:

Letter 144, written in 1954:

"He has not connexion in my mind with the Entwives", "...only the Victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive. Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron." He says that if you have no interest in power or control then "the questions of the rights and wrongs of power and control" have no meaning to you. "It is a natural pacifist view".

Letter 153, also written in 1954, in response to the claim the Bombadil is God/Eru because Goldberry says "He is":

"...I really do think you are being too serious ... Frodo has asked not 'What is Tom Bombadil' but 'Who is he' .... Goldberry gives what I think is the correct answer... Goldberry and Tom are referring to the mystery of names."

In other words you can only explain who Tom Bombadil is by the statement "He is Tom Bombadil". He is the one and only Tom Bombadil. As Tom asks Frodo, "Don't you know my name yet? That's the only answer. Who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?"

So, Tolkien implicitly rejects that Tom is Eru and hints that he is really in a class of his own.

As for the suggestion that Tom is Tolkien himself, or the reader, well that really is unhelpful. Besides, Tolkien said the character he mosts identifies with is Faramir - see, for example Letter 180; both the comment that Faramir shares Tolkien's dream of the "Giant Wave" and also his footnote, "As far as any character is 'like me' it is Faramir".

So from the author's own words... Bombadil is not:

- The author.

- God

- An ent or entwife.


Bombadil is:

- One of a kind.

- A 'natural pacifist'. He does not get involved or seem to be concerned about events in the outside world.

- Eldest. He was there before anything else.

So, we also know that he is not mortal, for he seemingly has lived for as long as middle-earth itself. Also, he does not disappear when he wears the Ring ... this is only true for immortals. Therefore he can't be some kind of strange man or hobbit.

In the story his function seems to be to show that the Ring has no effect on someone with no interest in power and control. Thus, even Frodo and Bilbo do have, at least in some measure, some hidden desire for power and control. There has to be something inside you that the Ring can work on.

Insofar as he can be compared to any character, I would say that he is the anti-Melkor. Whereas Melkor from the very beginning wished to impose his own will on things, and this desire (when denied) became an impulse to ruin everything and oppress everyone, Tom has no personal interest whatsoever in controlling anything. Tom, of course, cannot oppose someone like Melkor or Sauron in any meaningful way, because he does not wield power in the way that they do. So when I say he is the anti-Melkor I don't mean that he is 'equal' to Melkor (or the 'antidote' to Melkor) because to be Melkor's true opposite means he cannot oppose evil. Indeed, in general he is oblivious to it. That isn't to say that Tom is powerless ... indeed he is 'Master' of his own little land ... he has profound influence through his 'songs' ... but he has no "personal interest" in power. He does not use power to enhance his standing or boost his ego.

One interesting thing to notice is that Tom does say "his songs are stronger". He does seem to maintain order in his land through his songs. It's hard not to be reminded of the Music of Eru at this moment, as Tom's songs seem to have some kind of deep influence on reality. This doesn't mean that Tom is Eru, just that he knows the Music! I seem to recall reading a theory that Tom actually is a manifestation of the Music brought to life as a conscious being. A spirit of the Music, if you like.

Inziladun
08-17-2009, 11:51 AM
One interesting thing to notice is that Tom does say "his songs are stronger". He does seem to maintain order in his land through his songs. It's hard not to be reminded of the Music of Eru at this moment, as Tom's songs seem to have some kind of deep influence on reality. This doesn't mean that Tom is Eru, just that he knows the Music! I seem to recall reading a theory that Tom actually is a manifestation of the Music brought to life as a conscious being. A spirit of the Music, if you like.

In my continuing quest to force Tom into fitting the established cosmology, and in reference to what I said here (http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showpost.php?p=607511&postcount=216), the above quote makes me wonder if both Tom and Ungoliant couldn't be Ainu who entered Arda independantly, for purposes they perceived to be their own. Ungoliant initially was allied with Melkor, though she later renounced him to serve herself.

The Eldar knew not whence (Ungoliant) came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda.... Silm Of the Darkening of Valinor

Tom was here before the River and the trees; Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. ....When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless--before the Dark Lord came from Outside
FOTR In the House of Tom Bombadil

'Outside', to me must mean the Void, and Tom is claiming to have entered Arda before Melkor. Tom's allegiance, similar to Ungoliant, appears to be to himself, with the difference that he is not malevolent.

PrinceOfTheHalflings
08-17-2009, 12:09 PM
In my continuing quest to force Tom into fitting the established cosmology, and in reference to what I said here (http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showpost.php?p=607511&postcount=216), the above quote makes me wonder if both Tom and Ungoliant couldn't be Ainu who entered Arda independantly, for purposes they perceived to be their own. Ungoliant initially was allied with Melkor, though she later renounced him to serve herself.

Yes, if Tom has to be considered to be part of any known order of being it would make sense for him to be an Ainu. Thus he would have been present, and participated in, the Music. Any question of whether he is a lesser or greater Ainu is too hard to answer ... and perhaps not relevant. What this means though (to me) is that he is not one of the known Vala or Maia.

Rhugga II
09-26-2009, 01:59 PM
I think it most likely that Tom is a Melian-like being. However, he is deeply in touch with the Earth and nothing else really - kind of like uber Radagast. Tom is a traditional woodland spirit out of mythology and his wife is a fairy - perhaps an intrusion or throwback to concepts featured The Book of Lost Tales. This helps to explain Tom's actions visa vi the One Ring. He is so enamored with the green things and growing things, like the extrapolation of Hobbitness, that he does not desire power over others and therefore the Ring cannot sway him or even make him invisible. Tolkien's ultimate fantasy may have been a Wizard Hobbit - it certainly is a great combination.