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Old 06-07-2017, 10:16 PM   #1
Balfrog
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Bombadil’s Green Girdle

Ms. Seth’s last part on Color Symbolism & Tom Bombadil discusses his ownership of a ‘Green Girdle’. It seems that this particular piece of information (buried in poetry) has not had any attention paid to it by scholars or forum posters. Indeed perhaps not everything’s been caught by Tolkien scholars interested in this subject!

https://priyasethtolkienfan.wordpres...lorful-pair-5/

However those interested in medieval literature will certainly be fully aware of the implications – especially as Tolkien was a leading authority when it came to the ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ tale.

The green girdle was supposed to provide Gawain protection from the Green Knight’s axe blows – being a magical object of great power. Ms. Seth’s essay discusses how Tom may have acquired it and whether it also made him invulnerable. Also discussed is how the addition of a completely new line in the 1962 version of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil cannot possibly be viewed as an editorial slip.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:08 PM   #2
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I'll post, for courtesy, but the angle on the leading post, personally, is too analytical and too focussed on Academic emphasis, without enough fun and 'Bombadil' as he was sent to us via Tolkien, so I'll morph the emphasis, and happy to continue if you apply the KISS test (keep it simple stupid) or even if technical, make it weirder, or funner. Personal opinion only.

1. Tom Bobadil's apparent immunity to the Ring's invisibility effects imply hierarchy of Maia in terms of power and I see him as a Maia. It is implied that Galadriel and Gandalf, possibly Elrond would have the same capacity, as is anyone who could wrest the Ring off Sauron. Gandalf states in prose as does Galadriel that they could supplant Sauron with their own person, and become Sauronic over time in mood, emphasis of greed to dominate, and in all things sadistic and enslaving.

2. In Bombadil's proximity, Frodo has the Tol Erresea dream, implying, again 'line of Sight' of Bombadil with the Western Straight Road.

3. The term 'girdle' likens itself to the Girdle of Melian, with Bombadil's capacities about Forests as well, and

4. We know that he is 'Eldest' without clear implications about what that means, except that his housing of the Ring would not solve the 'Sauron' problem.

5. It is suggested tacitly in the prose that the Old Forest (might) have had unity with Fangorn's prior to the Numenoreans culling the treeline between Tharbad, up the Greenway to the Old Forest. I have long wondered if the Entwives went North, and if Bombadil knows their fate. There's some tantalising hints in the books of sightings of walking trees North.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivriniel View Post
I'll post, for courtesy, but the angle on the leading post, personally, is too analytical and too focussed on Academic emphasis, without enough fun and 'Bombadil' as he was sent to us via Tolkien, so I'll morph the emphasis, and happy to continue if you apply the KISS test (keep it simple stupid) or even if technical, make it weirder, or funner. Personal opinion only.

1. Tom Bobadil's apparent immunity to the Ring's invisibility effects imply hierarchy of Maia in terms of power and I see him as a Maia. It is implied that Galadriel and Gandalf, possibly Elrond would have the same capacity, as is anyone who could wrest the Ring off Sauron. Gandalf states in prose as does Galadriel that they could supplant Sauron with their own person, and become Sauronic over time in mood, emphasis of greed to dominate, and in all things sadistic and enslaving.

2. In Bombadil's proximity, Frodo has the Tol Erresea dream, implying, again 'line of Sight' of Bombadil with the Western Straight Road.

3. The term 'girdle' likens itself to the Girdle of Melian, with Bombadil's capacities about Forests as well, and

4. We know that he is 'Eldest' without clear implications about what that means, except that his housing of the Ring would not solve the 'Sauron' problem.

5. It is suggested tacitly in the prose that the Old Forest (might) have had unity with Fangorn's prior to the Numenoreans culling the treeline between Tharbad, up the Greenway to the Old Forest. I have long wondered if the Entwives went North, and if Bombadil knows their fate. There's some tantalising hints in the books of sightings of walking trees North.
And all this passes the KISS test...how, exactly?
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
And all this passes the KISS test...how, exactly?
Hello Nerwen hahahah

I didn't say it passed its own KISS test - perhaps it's polite to be welcoming of the opening poster....by mirroring (what I could - I don't have their training) of his/her gifted scholarship.

Do you think Bombadil's "Girdle" around the old forest likens itself to the Girdle of Melian?
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ivriniel View Post
Hello Nerwen hahahah

I didn't say it passed its own KISS test - perhaps it's polite to be welcoming of the opening poster....by mirroring (what I could - I don't have their training) of his/her gifted scholarship.

Do you think Bombadil's "Girdle" around the old forest likens itself to the Girdle of Melian?
Well, you could say "Bombadil is to the Old Forest as Melian is to Doriath", certainly- but I'm not sure whether his physical girdle (not mentioned in "Lord of the Rings" IIRC) should be seen as a reference to that.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ivriniel View Post
Do you think Bombadil's "Girdle" around the old forest likens itself to the Girdle of Melian?
It doesn't seem that Bombadil himself affects those wondering into the Old Forest.

When Frodo and his friends enter the Forest with a direction in mind, it appears that it is the collective will of the wood (ultimately, the Willow-man?) that decides they should be forced toward the Withywindle.
When they are saved by Bombadil, he tells the hobbits that event was "no plan of his". If his aiding them was something he had not directed, then neither was their being in the position to be rescued.
Also, the placing of a 'girdle' ala Melian would imply his claim of the Forest as a realm, and that was something contrary to his nature.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:28 AM   #7
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Rather than pull stray words out of a hat and put context where there is none, Tolkien the scholar would know the significance of Gawaine's green girdle is not its invincibility, but is rather symbolic of Gawaine's failure against the Green Knight.

Gawaine accepts the girdle from Lady Bertilak, and although he readily, almost fearfully, takes it, valuing survival over virtue (and surviving without honour is unchivalrous). Gawaine refers to the girdle as “falssyng" (which roughly equates to "treachery").

Thus, after the Green Knight forgives him for his treachery, Gawaine nobly wears the girdle ever after as the symbol of his loss of honour, evincing the quote "a man may hide his misdeed, but never erase it."

So for Tolkien to equate Bombadil's green girdle with Gawaine's green girdle is rather farcical, since neither match contextually except they are green and a girdle. Rather than pulling appalling parallels from one's appendages, take the line

"bright blue his jacket was and his boots were yellow, green were his girdle..."

as simply a metaphor for sky, grass and flowers.
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