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Old 01-11-2016, 08:42 PM   #10
Inziladun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
I read nothing to convince me that Tolkien was being coy and evasive when answering questions about Tom's origins. I'm not an author, but I do have a few friends who are and I've talked to them about writing. I'll never fully understand what they mean, but in one form or another I've heard the same confession from them...As an author, they are not in charge of the story. They are not in control of which characters live, or die, or what happens. Tolkien wrote about being a "recorder," and about writing in the unconscious.
Bombadil existed for Tolkien before LOTR, and whatever Tom meant to him when he appeared in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil could certainly have carried over into the newer book without Tolkien's conscious purpose.
I have no authors I can personally ask about the subject, but Stephen King as one example has often said he wrote books without the faintest clue how they were going to end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
For whatever reason Tolkien inserted Bombadil into the Lord of the Rings. But Bombadil has no concern for The Ring and therefor is a character outside the story of the Ring. In revision (now talking about the conscious part of writing), Bombadil's left in the story, and as Tolkien responds in Letters was left (intentionally) as an enigma and mystery. This doesn't mean Tolkien was being coy and evasive in answering friends' questions about Tom's origins. To me, it's actually Tolkien being remarkably straight forward in answering that in the story of the Ring, Tom's origin is inexplicable.
Perhaps when T. said that he (like Eru with Aulë's Dwarves?) his thought was that he had written that part of the story with no conscious awareness of Bombadil's 'purpose' and place in the story, but now that he was there, he would be left as a sign that some things in Middle-earth, as in RL, were just not immediately congruous with the world in which they existed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
Tom's origins weren't seriously contemplated to fit the story of the Ring, because the matter of the ring would never be seriously contemplated by Tom. He gets left intentionally as an enigma, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing to be studied and "solved."
I go back to the thought that Tom got into 'the story' when he saved Frodo and Co. from the Willow and invited then to his house. He was not of their world, but to affect their parts in the tale as written by Tolkien/Eru he had to be part of it. For that brief moment Tom pushes 'fate' forward, the Ring toward its doom. He recognizes he has an appointed role.

Quote:
'Just chance brought me then, if chance you call it.It was no plan of mine, though I was waiting for you.'
(emphasis mine)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
I just had an amusing thought...Bombadil would drive Saruman nuts.
I like the picture of Saruman standing in front of Tom fuming, asking if he'd seen Frodo, lusting for the Ring, and Bombadil just singing "Ring a dong-dillo!" over and over again.
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