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Old 06-27-2010, 08:12 AM   #1
Eorl of Rohan
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Pet Theory about who Tom Bombadil is

This is not my theory, but a pet theory I heard from someone I play WoD with who is an intense Tolkien Fan. He believes that Tom Bombodil is none other than... the Witch King of Angmar.

That is, his HUMAN SIDE, which peeks out from time to time when he is not doped up by the evil influence of his ring.
He suffers from a split personality, a side-effect of the ring which could not completely take over the powerful will of the King of Angmar and satisfied itself with taking control of his evil side.

This explains why he:

(1) is not influenced by the One Ring (he is already possessed by one of the nine rings and is subservient to the One Ring, so he is not influenced by its temptation)
(2) would throw away the One Ring if he was given it for safekeeping (he is the good - or escapist, if you prefer it - side, why would he want to be involved in the matter of the One Ring?)
(3) lives alone in the woods with only Goldberry for company
(if you knew that insanity takes over you periodically, wouldn't you want to retreat to a deep forest to rest and get away from it all and treasure the few days of sanity that is granted you?)
(4) is able to dissipate the barrow-wights, and right after that, the Nazgul somehow know where the fellowship is and comes to attack them.

What do you think? I know, too far-fetched, but do you have any concrete proof that could disprove this theory?
I myself believe that Tom Bombadil is the embodiment of the Forces of Nature itself, but he claims that Tolkien was too much of a Christian to put so much power in Nature...

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Old 06-27-2010, 08:41 AM   #2
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I think I've actually heard that theory before, though I seem to remember it being presented in a joking fashion.

However, the indications are that the Witch-king, as all the Nazgûl, was completely conquered by his ring, and an extension of Sauron's will.
In the Unfinished Tales chapter The Hunt For the Ring, we are told:

Quote:
At length [Sauron] resolved that no others would serve him in this case but his mightiest servants, the Ringwraiths, who had no will but his own, being each utterly subservient to the ring that had enslaved him, which Sauron held.
(empahsis added)

Also,

Quote:
.....if one of [the Nazgûl], even the Witch-king their captain, had seized the One Ring, he would have brought it back to his Master.
It seems clear there was no 'partial conquest' of the WK's will, allowing for inner debate. That was Gollum's problem.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I think I've actually heard that theory before, though I seem to remember it being presented in a joking fashion.

However, the indications are that the Witch-king, as all the Nazgûl, was completely conquered by his ring, and an extension of Sauron's will.
In the Unfinished Tales chapter The Hunt For the Ring, we are told:

(empahsis added)

Also,



It seems clear there was no 'partial conquest' of the WK's will, allowing for inner debate. That was Gollum's problem.
I agree with you.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:22 AM   #4
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I agree with you.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
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I would agree as well, and add that there is nothing to support the idea in Tolkien's writings. Gollum's "split personality" is about as close as you get, and that is nothing more than an internal struggle. In order for the Witch King to be Bombadil, he would have to somehow be able to regain visible physicality, which he lost a long time ago to the fading influence of his ring (remember what Gandalf tells Frodo about the nature of the ring of power upon mortals who possess them). If we're talking about a literal split, ala the old Star Trek good-Kirk/evil-Kirk, there is absolutely nothing in Tolkien's tales that indicate a possibility of such an occurrence. It's an interesting notion, but not one that can really work, IMHO.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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(1) is not influenced by the One Ring (he is already possessed by one of the nine rings and is subservient to the One Ring, so he is not influenced by its temptation)
(2) would throw away the One Ring if he was given it for safekeeping (he is the good - or escapist, if you prefer it - side, why would he want to be involved in the matter of the One Ring?)
(3) lives alone in the woods with only Goldberry for company
(if you knew that insanity takes over you periodically, wouldn't you want to retreat to a deep forest to rest and get away from it all and treasure the few days of sanity that is granted you?)
(4) is able to dissipate the barrow-wights, and right after that, the Nazgul somehow know where the fellowship is and comes to attack them.
In answer to each fallacy listed above:

(1) Simply, the WiKi would not have returned the Ring to Frodo once he had it. That logically makes no sense whatsoever. He would have killed Frodo and that would have been that: the shortest Tolkien story on record.

(2) Nowhere is it said that Bombadil would 'throw away the Ring', rather, he would simply forget about it, lose it or mislay it as it had no power over him and he had no desire for it.

(3) What does living in the woods with Goldberry have anything to do with Nazgul? How, in any stretch of the imagination, does cohabiting with Goldberry make Tom the WitchKing? On the contrary, this proves that Tom is in no way related to the WiKi because a) the Nazgul are not shape-shifters, they remain in their formless nature throughout the books, b) they never appear in a beautiful guise, c) their spirits are only given form by the cloaks and helms they wear. They don't suddenly sprout beards and go in for garish apparel and yellow boots.

(4) It was daylight that destroyed the barrow wights. Gandalf employed the same tactics to turn the Trolls to stone in The Hobbit. The Nazgul were searching for the Hobbits in the area, and the Ring certainly acts as a beacon to draw them to their prey.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I agree with you.
I realise that may seem cryptic to the uninitiated.

So: there was recently a member by the name of MOON SHAH who had a most unusual conversational style, consisting as it did of replying, "I agree with you" to any post whatever.

Sadly, MOON SHAH was banned. Apparently the mods here don't like yes-men (or yes–bots, whatever).

...Anyway, carry on.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:47 AM   #8
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Cool theory!! Don't necessily agree with it, but definitely fun to ponder...!

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What do you think? I know, too far-fetched, but do you have any concrete proof that could disprove this theory?
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it estabished that Tom Bombadil existed long before the birth of the Witch King?
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:14 PM   #9
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Hey, maybe I am imagining this, but I have the insuppressible feeling that there was a thread posing exactly the same theory from long time ago somewhere here at the 'Downs...
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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Hey, maybe I am imagining this, but I have the insuppressible feeling that there was a thread posing exactly the same theory from long time ago somewhere here at the 'Downs...
Quite possibly, but that's not where it started. (Look at the date on the linked article– this "theory" has been around a long time!)
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:11 PM   #11
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Quite possibly, but that's not where it started. (Look at the date on the linked article– this "theory" has been around a long time!)
Oh yes. I knew I'd seen that before. The Tolkien Sarcasm Page is a goldmine.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #12
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My favourite crackpot theory is Gwahir = Manwe


But hey, lets roll with this...

Asfaloth was able to ride through the Ford because was actually Huan the hound of Valinor (who as we know was unusually large)

Unbeknownst to most of the Wise, the spirit of Aredhel slipped out of the Halls of Mandos during the Third Age, returned to Middle Earth and, realising that the Tooks were the Noldor of the Hobbit world, settled in the Shire as Belladonna Took. That's how Bilbo got his adventurous side and ability to hold out against the Ring.


Beren had an illicit relationship of an unusual kind during his wanderings (blame the mind tricks played by the haunted Taur-nu-Fuin) and the direct descendant of the resulting offspring was Beorn.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:42 PM   #13
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Shield

Tom Bombadil was Treebeard's third cousin twice removed on his mother's side, and his second cousin once removed on his father's side.

Glorfindel was Arwen's superhero identity.

Arwen actually convinced Elrond to let her marry Aragorn by threatening to elope with Pippin if she couldn't have her Ranger.

Sherlock Holmes was Gandalf's persona in Victorian England.

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Old 10-15-2010, 07:40 AM   #14
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Do you know Tom=Witch King crackpot theory has a continuation?


You all know this brilliant theory: Tom Bombadil and the Witch-king of Angmar are the same person.
I have written a continuation, freely plagiarizing the original, I must admit.
I aim to answer the question:

If Tom is indeed no other than the Witch-King of Angmar, then who is Goldberry?



Goldberry and Galadriel are the same person.


1. You never see the two of them together.

2. Note name similarities: both names start with G.

3. Galadriel has rare golden hair - exactly like Goldberry.

4: Hobbits perceive Goldberry as "a fair young elf-queen" - Now, isn't it damning? How many "fair elf-queens" are there in ME?

5. Goldberry poses as a "river-daughter", makes rain for her washing-days, likes water-lilies etc. Galadriel is in possession of the Ring of Water - which enables her water-magick both in the guise of Goldberry and as Galadriel.

6. Note that although Elrond admits knowledge of Tom Bombadil, he avoids to mention Goldberry. Of course, even if the double-life of his mother-in-law is known to him, he wouldn't speak of it!

7. Perhaps most damning, however, are Galadriel' words to Frodo: "Only thrice have you set the Ring upon your finger since you knew what you possessed."(LOTR, The Mirror of Galadriel") Now, how would she know that? Aragorn could have briefed her on the incidents in Bree and at Weathertop, but how would she know what happened in Tom's house? - Because she was there in person, that's how.

8. Have you ever wondered why Galadriel took time and effort to search the thoughts of even the least of the hobbits in the Fellowship? I think she was concerned that she might have been recognized as Goldberry and her double-life revealed.

9. In Lorien Galadriel says to Frodo: "I say to you, Frodo, that even as I speak to you, I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all of his mind that concerns the Elves."
Now, how is this possible? No, really?

The answer is simple, Ladies and Gentelmen, obviously she has some inside information about Sauron's plans and the source of this information is obviously her lover the Witch-King. Remember, he becomes a real chatterbox in his guise of Tom...

10. Want more? Please. Galadriel says: "Verily it is in the land of Lórien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. [Sauron] suspects, but he does not know – not yet.-LOTR"
Very well, Sauron doesn't know about Nenya, but the Witch-King does: "But the power of the White Ring the Morgul Lord would not defy, nor enter yet into Lórien."- (UT The Hunt for the Ring). Of course he knows about Nenya: he has seen Goldberry use it so many times! But naturally he can't tell Sauron about it, without disclosing his double life.

And note this "nor enter yet into Lórien" - it seems the WK and Galadriel had some plans for the future. Perhaps the WK planned to take Celeborn's place? After all, there is not a single Elf-chick that won't prefer a Man to an Elf (Luthien, Idril, Nellas, Finduilas, Mithrellas - the list is long). Men are hot -even the cold undead ones.

...Yep: I think we have an airtight case here.

....Of course, all this brings up the curiosity of motive. What would make Galadriel sport such a double identity? I suppose the proud Noldo Lady felt trapped in a loveless marriage with this boring and not-too bright pompous dude Celeborn, and tired of the fair, but lifeless, embalmed Lorien.
She used the guise of Goldberry to temporary put all cares behind and to feel happy, young and carefree. While on "vacations" in the woods of Cardolan, she fell in with the Witch-King, who had a similar agenda. They used to enjoy brief moments of freedom and happiness together, hidden in the magick Old Forest. No wonder the pair kept their relationship top secret from both Sauron and Celeborn.

And note: she left Middle Earth right after the Witch-King found his death at the Pelennor, leaving her husband Celeborn behind. No doubt, for Galadriel the life in ME had lost all its appeal without the joys of her "other identity" as Goldberry


And more:

It looks like Frodo was the son of Tom and Goldberry, that is Witchy and Galadriel.

He was born so small (hobbit-sized) because his dad was strictly speaking not really alive, so he only got half the necessary genes. Still he was "taller than some and fairer than most" and had such soulful blue eyes... Many an observer commented on his elvishness, and his "wraithiness" -"a hint as it were of transparency about him", and at the end, in line with his peculiar ancestry, he was to become "like a glass filled with a clear light"
Naturally, his mom Galadriel couldn't bring him along to Lorien at the end of her yearly vacations, so she put the baby into a basket and sent him floating down the Brandywine. Floating past the nearest settlement - the Buckland - the baby was saved and adopted by Bagginses, oblivious to his true lineage.

Do you think Frodo could ever succeed without the help of his parents?

Frodo had no idea, poor thing, why these two mighty people helped him all the time...His dad saved him from OMW and the Wights and later deliberately missed his heart at Weathertop and let him escape at the Ford and in the Morgul Vale. His mom even refused the Ring offered by her little son and gave him the Star-glass.
Frodo's niece Arwen presented him with her own ticket for the Paradise Island. All becomes so clear now...


Taken from Edelor's posts HERE
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:52 AM   #15
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But if Goldberry is Galadriel, then what's this business with the "daughter of the River-woman?" Might it not be that Goldberry is in fact Celebrían, that Galadriel is the River-woman, and the whole business of Celebrían going off to the West was a convenient fiction Elrond made up to cover for the fact that his wife left him and took up with this "Bombadil" guy? She may be acting as an informer for Mom, so she doesn't need to go trotting off out of Lórien....

*cough*
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:02 AM   #16
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Tom Bombadil is The Enviromentalist, the lover of Peace, he is the protector of Nature and the soul of the land, he is the song of the wind and the tune of the earth. Tom Bombadil is all of us or what we should be.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:53 AM   #17
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I think I've posted here before (too lazy to check) but I don't think so. Why?

1. Gandalf, Elrond and Glorfindel seem to know him. And Gandalf appears to trust him, though find him irresponsible.
2. If he really was the Witch-King, he would have just ripped Frodo and the others apart at the Willow and not saved their skins.
3. He certainly would not have handed Frodo back the Ring when he took it for a moment.
4. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil would turn into something else.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:57 AM   #18
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7. Perhaps most damning, however, are Galadriel' words to Frodo: "Only thrice have you set the Ring upon your finger since you knew what you possessed."(LOTR, The Mirror of Galadriel") Now, how would she know that? Aragorn could have briefed her on the incidents in Bree and at Weathertop, but how would she know what happened in Tom's house? - Because she was there in person, that's how.
Galadriel, as you yourself just acknowledged, is psychic. That's how. And if you noticed while reading the book, a lot of the time Elves just seem to 'know' things. Gildor Inglorion, anyone? He could be Gandalf's brother for all we know ( I say brother, because we see Gildor and Gandalf at the Havens)
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:36 AM   #19
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But if Goldberry is Galadriel, then what's this business with the "daughter of the River-woman?" Might it not be that Goldberry is in fact Celebrían, that Galadriel is the River-woman, and the whole business of Celebrían going off to the West was a convenient fiction Elrond made up to cover for the fact that his wife left him and took up with this "Bombadil" guy? She may be acting as an informer for Mom, so she doesn't need to go trotting off out of Lórien....

*cough*
Very good thinking there!

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Gildor Inglorion, anyone? He could be Gandalf's brother for all we know ( I say brother, because we see Gildor and Gandalf at the Havens)
Yep, he could be, you know. Firstly Gandalf means "ELF with a wand". Secondly Gildor himself cannot get his ancestry right: "Gildor Inglorion of the house of Finrod", when everyone knows Finrod died a bachelor. An impostor, no doubt. And thirdly both G and G display very similar attitude: going away at a crucial moment to mind their own business leaving others fight their battles.

And ah, please, no need to be serious about these crackpot theories. It is just for fun.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:42 AM   #20
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My pet theory is that Tolkien created Tom Bombadil in order to puzzle and vex readers for decades as they try to figure out what he really was.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #21
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Yep, he could be, you know. Firstly Gandalf means "ELF with a wand". Secondly Gildor himself cannot get his ancestry right: "Gildor Inglorion of the house of Finrod", when everyone knows Finrod died a bachelor. An impostor, no doubt. And thirdly both G and G display very similar attitude: going away at a crucial moment to mind their own business leaving others fight their battles.

And ah, please, no need to be serious about these crackpot theories. It is just for fun.
I was kidding too But Tolkien does seem to want to confuse us, no? Like the whole issue about Fingon's father and Galadriel and Celeborn's son?
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:35 AM   #22
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Gordis is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
I was kidding too But Tolkien does seem to want to confuse us, no? Like the whole issue about Fingon's father and Galadriel and Celeborn's son?
He sure does. All these inconsistencies could be explained away, if we are taking it seriously, or used in a crackpot theory.
By the way, your mention of Amroth reminds me of another possible candidature for Goldberry. And it is, of course... Nimrodel!

This maiden was surely strongly associated with the river.
She was quite likely fair-haired , like Goldberry.
Quote:
A light was on her hair
As sun upon the golden boughs
 In Lórien the fair.
mmm ... what else?

Perhaps Tom lived with several Goldberries?
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:15 PM   #23
Galadriel55
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I think that the history of Tom Bombadil and the King of Angmar give enough evidence that the two are not the sae person. Firstly, Tom is the most ancient living thing alive in ME (Treebeard also claims that). The Angmar King was a human, I think a dark Numenorian. Huans awoke after Noldor came back to ME. Numenor was created after Belleriand was destroyed.
Moreover, how can Tom be the king of Angmar when it's so far from the borders that he drew for himself and that he never crosses?
We know about the deeds of the Nazguls in the south (ie near/in Gondor). Tom would be absent from the Old Forrest for millenium if he was really the Witch King. (there is, however, no concrete evidence as to whether Tom was in his forest at that time).
Furthermore, after Sauron was destroyed and the hobbits and Gandalf were returning home, Gandalf says that he wants to have a chat with Bombadil. Assuming that we all trust Gandalf and that he knows that Bombadil is in his forest, Tom is not the witch-king. If he was, he'd be dead.
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