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Old 03-27-2002, 11:55 AM   #1
cmglmb
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Question At Tom Bombadil's House...

I am on my second journey through The Lord of the Ring's; The Fellowship of the Ring. I just finished reading Chapter 7, when Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin stay at Tom Bombadil and Goldberry's. My question's are, what is the significance of Frodo's dream the first night (it seems to be the reason Gandalf didn't return to The Shire to see Frodo off)? What about the others dreams? Bombadil then tells the gang stories the next day while it is raining. Bombadil even puts the ring on and doesn't disappear and even still, can see Frodo when he slipds the ring on. What is the significance of this? Why is Bombadil not affected by the ring? I recall something in the Appendice about Bombadil being of the first people to inhabit Middle-Earth and that Sauron's power doesn't sway the Eldar. There doesn't seem to be any further discussion of Bombadil or Goldberry again throughout the entire story. Only Gandalf goes to vist Bombadil at the end of Return of the King. What is then the purpose of these characters and the effect they seem to have on Frodo? I realize that Bombadil is an essential character if only becauses he saves the Hobbits twice but, why Goldberry? I'll stop with the questions now!!
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Old 03-27-2002, 12:39 PM   #2
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Many questions...lets see here. I believe that Frodo's dream is a vision of Gandalf on the tower of Isengard. It is a bit late though, as by that time Gandalf had already escaped.
Why is Bombadil not affected by the Ring? Not a clear idea there myself, but I think it comes down to the desire for power. Tom is master in the Old Forset, but he does not dominate...the Ring's power over a person is proportional to their desire to use it's power. If Tom has NO desire to use the Ring, it has no hold over him. That's what I think, anyway.
As for golberry, I don't know what her purpose is. I'm sure she has one. Mybe just to offset Tom's weirdness? I love him, but you have to admit, he's the Ned Flanders of Middle Earth.
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Old 03-27-2002, 01:32 PM   #3
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In order to answer why Bombadil didn't fall under the spell of the ring and desire to use it, one must first ask the question who was Tom Bombadil? Tolkien kind of left that up to the reader, and many have suggested that he was a Valar(manwe, or something). I personally have absolutely no idea but there are lots of people who have their own theories about the elusive Bombadil. Perhaps the kind of being he was had to do with the innate resistance to the evil of the ring he possessed.
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Old 03-27-2002, 01:33 PM   #4
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Tolkien himself described Bombadil as an enigma. There are many threads here that debate who or what he was, but if you start reading them you may end up even more confused than you are now.
As for the dreams, I believe they all dreamed of Isengard. Frodo's dream was of Gandalf stranded atop Orthanc, that was plain. Pippin dreamed of "branches fretting in the wind, twig-fingers scraping wall and window" an image similar to the description of the Ents tearing at the walls of Isengard. Merry's dream was of the sound of water falling "then spreading, spreading irresistibly all round the house into a dark shoreless pool." Very much what the Ents did to Isengard to clean it up after they conquered it. Sam was not at the conquest of Isengard and had no dream at all.
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Old 03-27-2002, 02:47 PM   #5
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So, on Goldbery /my fav of these topics/

I'm sure she was more than a washerwoman... I think she had a big part in another story, just Tolkein had /unfortunately!/ only one human life, so he couldn't write all he thought of...

For me she was always more interesting that TB, he's just to mystical to be a real mystery /does anyone understand what do I mean?/. She is presented as in close connection with the natural powers /daughter of river/ and water being a symbol of the magnificent beginning and river being the mystical way the human soul reaches its immortality in many cultures/religions.

So she's the best companion for 'the oldest' - she's the one through who the soul reaches something new, begins a new stage of existance /maybe, she had something to do with Frodo's character growth?/
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Old 03-27-2002, 02:57 PM   #6
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I'm more inclined to see Pippin's dream as a nightmare about Old Man Willow, possibly intentionally inspired by that shady character, but the Entish link's quite compelling as well.
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Old 03-27-2002, 03:39 PM   #7
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And Merrys dream might be a vision of the attack on him by the Nazgul in Bree. I dont have the book handy right now but when Nob finds Merry unconscious in the street in Bree after the Black Riders fled, Merry mutters something about drowning in deep water, and I seem to remember that the words he uses are reminiscent of his dream in Toms house. I like this interpretation because it suggests that Merry had a prophetic dream (as opposed to a dream about something that already happened), like Frodo but unlike Pippin and Sam.
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Old 03-27-2002, 07:12 PM   #8
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The Half-Hobbit's views on Frodo, Merry, and Pippin's dreams are very interesting. I tend to agree with Turambar, though.

How or why Frodo sees Gandalf's escape from Orthanc, I don't know. But I believe there are parallels with Merry's dream and the incident at Bree. Merry said when Nob found him:
Quote:
I thought I had fallen into deep water.
Regarding Pippin's dream, being swallowed by an enormous Willow tree is a devastating event. It would be no surprise if he was dreaming of the incident. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 03-27-2002, 07:24 PM   #9
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in some tolkien encyclopedia they say he is a maiar though i have long thought about his power over the ring.
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Old 03-28-2002, 12:10 AM   #10
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Ooh. The notion that Tom is Manw is an attractive one, but Goldberry would then have to be Varda! That would make no sense, because unless I missed something, Goldberry has nothing to do with the stars, but with water. Is it possible that Manw had himself a lady "on the side"? Manw as a sugar-daddy?! Riiiight.
Personally, I try not to stress so much over Tom and Goldberry's identity. I just enjoy them. Their house is probably my favorite place in all of Middle-Earth, and I would dwell there gladly, as long as no one asked me to help with the laundry, for I am Lush-the Infamous Clothes-Shrinker. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 03-28-2002, 01:31 AM   #11
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Staining an entire load of white clothes pink is always fun too. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 03-31-2002, 06:45 AM   #12
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The always returning Tom Bombadil-question [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

In the case of who he is, i do not know. Some guys thought about Tom Bombadil being Eru, because there a connection. When the hobbits ask Goldberry who TB is, she answers: 'he is'. In the Silmarillion it is said that 'Eru is'.
The only thing that is sure, is that TB ain't Eru: Tolkien said that himself after these guys asked him this. He said that TB is an enigma, but many still have doubt with this. Many people believe he is an earth-spirit and Goldberry a water-spirit. I guess they are Maiar, but not Valar.

As for TB having power over the Ring, I think Gandalf says enough:
1. When Elrond during the Council ponders the question if he should have invited TB, Gandalf answers: 'He would not have come'.

2. Erestor says that TB seems to have power over the Ring. Gandalf answers:

Quote:
'Say rather that the Ring has no power over him. He is his own master. But he cannot alter the Ring, nor break it's power over others...
3. Erestor at last asks if TB would take the Ring and keep it safe forever. Gandalf answers:

Quote:
'No,' said Gandalf,'not willingly. He might do so, if all the free folk of the world begged him, but he wouldn't understand the need...'

TB set bounds and beyond that bounds nothing really concerns him. He lives his life in his own 'land', where he is mightiest. Though nothing can harm him there, I think TB can't harm anything else either or undo any evil. And even is he can do it, I think he wouldn't. TB has no concern of what so ever outside his own realm where he is master. That's what I make out of these three quotes.

Inglorion made in a thread on the bd an answer that he's the opposite of Ungoliant: Ungoliant fights both good and evil, he just wants light. TB doesn't fight, except in great need and than only in his own way (like the singing by Old Man Willow).
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Old 03-31-2002, 10:33 AM   #13
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I think that becoming invisible from the Ring is a sign of weakness. Sauron never became invisible because he could master the power of the Ring. I belive that bombadil is too powerful a being to be controlled by any object.
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Old 03-31-2002, 12:12 PM   #14
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In any case not by the One Ring. Maybe if Sauron had made the One Waterlilly instead. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 03-31-2002, 12:17 PM   #15
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That's a good one.
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Old 03-31-2002, 01:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
he's the Ned Flanders of Middle Earth
Good description. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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