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Old 05-03-2015, 12:18 PM   #1
Lotrelf
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Tom Bombadil: Evil?

Hi, everyone!
Here is an interesting article about Tom Bombadil that deals with something different altogether. Would like to know your opinions on this. If it has been posted on the forum, I apologize for repeating the subject again, if not please let us know your views. Here is the article-
Loose Connections - Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:43 PM   #2
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Looks like tongue-in-cheek to me.

I like this theory better.
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:27 PM   #3
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Some of the poetry is pretty evil.
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:08 PM   #4
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I certainly agree with Inziladun that the article linked to by Lotrelf is “tongue-in-cheek”. The author, who goes by the name kim_515, works by stating details from The Lord of the Rings about Tom that are not facts.

For example, he declares of Tom, “yet no hobbit has ever heard of him”. On the contrary in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil Tolkien writes on page 3 about the first two poems in that book:
They also show that the Bucklanders knew Bombadil,² though, no doubt, they had as little understanding of his powers as the Shire-folk had of Gandalf’s: both were regarded as benevolent persons, mysterious maybe and unpredictable but nonetheless comic. No. 1 is the earlier piece, and is made up of various hobbit-versions of legends concerning Bombadil. No. 2 uses similar traditions, though Tom’s raillery is here turned in jest upon his friends, who treat it with amusement (tinged with fear); but was probably composed much later and after the visit of Frodo and his companions to the house of Bombadil.

² Indeed they probably gave him this name (it is Bucklandish in form) to add to his many older ones.
The author, kim_515, also writes:
Yet Merry – who knows all the history of Buckland and has ventured into the Old Forest many times – has never heard of Tom Bombadil. Frodo and Sam – avid readers of old Bilbo’s lore – have no idea that any such being exists, until he appears to them.
This is an argument from falsity and silence. Merry does not claim to have “ventured in the Old Forest many times”. Merry does remark, “I have only once or twice been in here after dark, and then only near the hedge.” That Merry has previously been in the Old Forest many times is only another unverified assumption by kim_515, and perhaps a false one. The idea that Frodo and Sam “have no idea that any such being exists” is probably true before they met him, which does not indicate they have never heard any stories about Tom. They and Merry would have thought the stories were false until they actually met Tom. Merry is rather incredulous about the stories he has heard about the Old Forest, distinguishing clearly what he knows from personal experience from the what he heard from others.

Before meeting Tom, Merry and Frodo (and perhaps Sam) are to be supposed only to have known of Tom as a being in traditional tales, like the Shire tradition that the Baggins were of Fairy descent or the stories of the Old Forest that Merry attributes to Fatty Bolger’s nurses but does not believe.

Then kim_515 goes on to claim:
Now, in his conversation with Frodo, Bombadil implies (but avoids directly stating) that he had heard of their coming from Farmer Maggot and from Gildor’s elves (both of whom Frodo had recently described).
Altogether false for the Maggot claim. Tolkien only has Bombadil even mention Maggot long after Tom has explained how he came to be nearby when help was needed and Tom never suggests that Maggot had any information about Frodo leaving the Shire. Pure sloppiness here on kim_515’s part.

Tom never implies that he had heard anything from Gildor’s elves. Nor does he even mention them. Tolkien probably intended news from Gildor
to be understood but the point of Tom’s explanation is that in the event Tom was there to help purely by chance, not by any plan of his own though he knew that the Hobbits were on the road and expected them to come by way of the Withywindle.

The final point is that kim_515’s words on the matter are:
Do I think that Tolkien planned things in this way? Not at all, but I find it an interesting speculation.
This is an obvious spoof essay and to be enjoyed as such.

The one point he makes that I cannot answer is why to Elrond Tom is under the name Iarwain ben-Adar a vaguely recalled being from long ago and Elrond does not apparently know that Gildor and his people are currently in touch with him. I can guess, if I want, that Gildor’s people was not particuarly friendly with Erond’s folk and kept such things secret among themselves and note that neither Gidlor nor his folk were said to be present at Elrond’s Council.

The commentary on the essay is very interesting. I find it a mixture of real believers in the theory, fans flabergasted by kim_515 daring to say such things, those who delight in the outrageousness of the theory, and those who damn him for it. The commentary may be more interesting than the essay, though mostly unintentionally so.

This is a good read though I agree that the spoof linked to by Inzalidun is somewhat better.

Last edited by jallanite; 05-06-2015 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
The one point he makes that I cannot answer is why to Elrond Tom is under the name Iarwain ben-Adar a vaguely recalled being from long ago and Elrond does not apparently know that Gildor and his people are currently in touch with him. I can guess, if I want, that Gildor’s people was not particuarly friendly with Erond’s folk and kept such things secret among themselves and note that neither Gidlor nor his folk were said to be present at Elrond’s Council.
That's an interesting observation, and something I'd not considered before.

When Glorfindel meets the hobbits and Aragorn, he tells them that:

Quote:
'Some of my kindred, journeying in your land beyond the Baranduin,learned that things were amiss, and sent messages as swiftly as they could.'
And news of Frodo's predicament was said to have come to Tom from Gildor, so why would Gildor not have mentioned that he also sent word to Bombadil? Maybe Bored of the Rings had it right in its version of Bombadil, and Gildor didn't want Elrond discovering Gildor's source of "herbs".

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
This is a good read though I agree that the spoof linked to by Inzalidun is somewhat better.
Ah, the Sarcasm Page is such a treasure trove. One day, I hope someone comes out with that Lord of the Rings Board Game for real.
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