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Old 11-01-2015, 08:51 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
Any being with power enough to fight evil, who does not use that power, are themselves morally suspect in my book. I have little cocnept of 'neutrality', and even less so in such a dire situation as the one Frodo and his friends found themselves in.
The Old Forest certainly is hostile to outsiders, but does that make it "evil"? I would say no.

It seems obvious to me that many of the trees in the Forest are "aware" in the manner of sleepy Huorns or Ents; the Willow-man himself would seem to have no other classification.

Treebeard tells Merry and Pippin that there are parts of Fangorn that are dark and filled with malice, but he, as Bombadil, takes no action against the "rotten" trees. Treebeard clearly aids the Good side in the books, so does he get a condemnation as well?

Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
More, his infantile behaviour leads me to believe that there were a great many travellers he could have saved from Old Man Willow, but didn't. And that, ultimately, the Hobbits were merely the beneficiaries of his passing curiosity, as opposed to any genuine benevolence on Bombadil's part.
And, as master of his own domain, I tend to view a lot of the hostility of the Old Forest as elements of his own personality shining through, a bitterness he hides behind a smiling face.
Bombadil saved the Hobbits because he knew he should. He saw himself as a pawn, as he explained to Frodo.

'Did I hear you calling? Nay, I did not hear: I was busy singing. Just chance brought me, if chance you call it. It was no plan of mine, though I was waiting for you'.
Tom was not caught off guard: he was expecting to see the Hobbits.
I think that on its own his acceptance of the part he has to play is an indication of his "goodness".

Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
I just don't see how anyone could take this wandering spirit at face value. A spirit who lives in a forest rife with danger and active malevolence, a spirit who can control these malevolent entities, but refuses to outright destroy them.
That he doesn't destroy the Willow and similar trees is what sets him apart in the books. He does not "control", nor does he wish to. Nothing controls him, but the price of that is that he must confine himself in boundaries, not seeking out contact with Middle-earth's denizens. He understands that not all creatures are friendly toward one another, but that they still have their part to play in the world. Unless he is given a pressing need, he does not interfere.
That said, I do not think he would have allowed anyone who stayed into his boundaries to be killed. It's merest conjecture, but I don't believe any Hobbits had been lost, or even attacked in the Forest before, else Frodo and Co. might have avoided it, or at least discussed the matter more deeply.
Music alone proves the existence of God.
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