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Old 05-02-2001, 05:38 AM   #161
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I DO know what you're saying. That was a rather poor joke on my part. <img src=wink.gif ALT="">

Welcome to the Downs Belegheru!

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Old 05-02-2001, 08:50 AM   #162
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/bluepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Hmm. The theory of him being here before Melkor is ok, something I believe. But BoLT(I think it is BoLT) states that Melkor was the first of all the ainur to enter into Ea. This presents a problem since you are saying Tom is a maia.

Hope you stay a while. Post, have fun.

Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil be good to have been.</p>
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Old 05-02-2001, 02:05 PM   #163
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

What if Tom was not entirely truthful when speaking to the Hobbits?
He is playful and may have just been leading them on with all those claims of being oldest and fatherless. The elves and Gandalf know that Tom is very ancient, but unless Gandalf/Olórin actually remembers Tom from before the creation, they could be mistaken in how old he truly is. He seems to be truly ancient and has demonstrated some unique abilities, but he does not necessarily have to be all that the elves and Gandalf think that he is. He could be just be pulling a prank on them. Pretending to be older than he is. Waiting until The End, when he sees them again, and teases them about how they were so gullible. <img src=eek.gif ALT=":eek"> (Nothing sinister).
It wouldn't be the first time that they were wrong about people. Gandalf was fooled by Saruman as to the fact that he had become corrupt, and the elves did not recoginize Annatar as being Sauron. They were mislead maliciously, but it shows it can be done. Even to Gandalf.
Just because the Eldar bumped into Tom on their migration doesn't automatically make him older than them. He could have awoken after they did, just a lot further west. They were on the road a looong time.
Questioning the fallibility of the sources of the information on Tom only makes him much more of an enigma. <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

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Old 05-05-2001, 05:27 PM   #164
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

Plus, my feelings for Tom have gone back and forth over the years.
I liked him at first,when I was around 6, then hated him during my early teens.
Then back to loving him and then back to skipping over those segments where he appeared again.

Then with time, accepting and cherishing him as an integral part of the fabric of ME.
But I now who he is:
I think he is me being extraordinarily silly.
That makes my wife Goldberry and my father-in-law a rivergod.
And to think, I threw him in Lake Michigan when I first met her extended family.
Yikes!! He could have smote me down, battered hat, yellow boots and all!

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Old 05-09-2001, 07:14 AM   #165
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

<img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> <img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol"> <img src=laugh.gif ALT=":lol">

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Old 05-09-2001, 07:48 AM   #166
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I love Tom, but I do find some of his &quot;dialogue&quot; a little tedious. I have a new thought, though. Tom Bombadil is Richard Simmons's great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather! So much energy, trying to help people. It fits.

-*-The X Phial-*- "Yet more fair is the living land of Lorien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie beneath the earth!"</p>
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Old 05-09-2001, 12:58 PM   #167
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Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

How about this? Tom Bombadil as the Maia responsible for the creation of Hobbits.
He seems to be the ultimate version of a Hobbit, always singing and eating and running around communing with nature. <img src=wink.gif ALT=""> Not to mention darn silly yet tough as nails when needed in a pinch. (Take that old barrow-wight! Don't make me sing at you again!)

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Old 05-17-2001, 02:45 PM   #168
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> It's hard to say

I really think that TB was a Faery (or something like that)I mean it might seem strange but now that I've thought about it TB is the lord and master of the woodlands,and he even has power over the faery trees of the Old Forest(Old-Man Willow was a faery tree,).
So I kinda picture TB as some type of jolly faery that has control over nature,but he was probably a Maia.
Sam

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Old 05-20-2001, 12:32 AM   #169
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: It's hard to say

A Spirit!

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Old 05-22-2001, 02:08 AM   #170
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/sting.jpg" align=absmiddle> hard to say

i haven't yet read the silmarrilion fully so i can't really be sure about whether he was a maia or an ainur.
But i think that he was neither. he seemed to me as something completely diifferent.an exception to the rule.
he was like nature itself

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Old 06-08-2001, 10:36 AM   #171
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Who do you think Tom Bombadil really was

I have the ultimate information:
Tom is a Maia,a powerful one, but not the most powerful, more or less as powerful as olorin in valinor!!, not in ME where he have lived since the beginning, because u should remember the ainur used to live first in ME, because of that he has such a power there. Kinda Melian.
what a smart guy i am!!!!!

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Old 04-05-2007, 09:48 AM   #172
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Tolkien

Wow! I had no idea that Tom was such a huge topic of discussion.

I am glad that I am not the only one who has wondered who and what Tom might be. After having read all five pages of this thread, I am inclined to think that he is some kind of earth spirit, if anything. Discussing him is fun. I wish I knew what Tolkien was thinking when he put Tom in the books.

Probably something like, "Mwahaha, now I can plague the minds of all my readers with incessant curiosity and wonder as to who this character is..."

Now I am convinced. Tolkien was an evil genius.
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Old 04-05-2007, 03:44 PM   #173
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I do think he was in a class all by himself defying categorization. And no matter how many times I read the book, I still think he serves no real purpose and could have been left out without detracting from the book one iota. For me he adds nothing positive only poses disturbing questions that seem to contradict the rest of the book.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:10 AM   #174
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Been thinking about this one for a while - who hasn't? But it's clear to me now that Tom Bombadil is actually Eru Iluvatar, Creator of All.

Surely this theory has been brought up before, but I'm hoping that my tack is somewhat different (in the interest of full disclosure note that I did not go back and read each and every post on each and every 'Who's Bombadil' thread).

Tom's Eru. Tom is named Oldest, Fatherless. Goldberry simply states that, "He is." If that's not definitive, I'm not sure what is. But you know all of these arguments by heart. You probably have all of the counters memorized as well.

But he's not exactly Eru either, in the sense of being a God as we may think of it. It is actually Eru playing the part of Tom (and I think, even Goldberry, as such a god need not be limited, but see more below). I'm not sure if Eru as Tom even knows that he is the God of all at all. This may be due to the God self-limiting itself, almost like a self-induced lobotomy. Or, maybe Eru has gone what we would call insane, and so has set the world on auto pilot and has mentally retreated into the being that is Tom. Running the universe surely has its down days, and maybe Eru got so bored that It decided to go native, as that would be more fun, especially if It could somehow fool itself into playing at being a being like Tom. I would not limit the abilities of a god to not be able to pull off such a deception.

What got me a little down this path was remembering reading John Varley's Gaea Trilogy where the god of a world goes insane. Also, as Tolkien was a Christian, he read of Jesus, who was the God-Man. Jesus, during His earthly ministry, divested Himself of His God nature (or something like that - I'm not exactly sure how to best describe it, and note I mean no disrespect in any of these Christian comparisons) so that He could be like us (though still God). Whereas Jesus appeared as a human, I think that Tom appeared like those with whom he visited, which is why the Hobbits see him much like a large Hobbit than as a Man or Dwarf. His house is just a little too ready to receive four Hobbits for me not to suspect that he wasn't altering reality to fit the situation at hand. Had Elrond showed up, I get this feeling that the inners of the house would be a little different, and Tom might have appeared differently as well.

Also, in Christianity there is the concept of the Trinity, the Triune God. Not that it's easy to define, but as I understand this, there is one god, but three distinct beings in that godhood. Not three gods, nor three faces of one god. One god that can communicate with the other 'parts,' though they remain one, but distinct.

And so why not have Eru as a similar triune god? It could then express itself as male in Tom, female in Goldberry, and even nature in Lumpkin. How better to see how the theme played out than to plant oneself in the middle of Middle Earth, and then be able to relate to the characters within, whether sentient being, animal/plant, or element?

Anyway, that's my poorly worded take on Tom.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:25 PM   #175
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As an aside, I did not review this long thread, so apologies in advance if I repeat anything unnecessarily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar View Post
Or, maybe Eru has gone what we would call insane, and so has set the world on auto pilot and has mentally retreated into the being that is Tom. Running the universe surely has its down days, and maybe Eru got so bored that It decided to go native, as that would be more fun, especially if It could somehow fool itself into playing at being a being like Tom. I would not limit the abilities of a god to not be able to pull off such a deception.
If Tom is Eru's little joke, he's been at it quite a long time by the standards of his Children.

Quote:
But I had forgotten Bombadil, if indeed this is still the same that walked the woods and hills long ago, and even then was older then the old. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless.
FOTR The Council of Elrond

For Elrond to call a creature old means they are old. 'Oldest and fatherless' I've always taken to mean simply that the Elves had no idea who he was or where he came from: he was just there.
During the time Tom was hanging out in ME, Eru was getting things done; destroying Númenórë and approving the plan hatched by the Valar to send Maia to Middle-earth to lead the fight against Sauron, among others.
That said, if Tom is Eru, I don't know that I'd be inclined to think him insane or 'native', uncaring of the playing out of the Music. Not, as you say, that it would be beyond the abilties of an omnipotent Creator to accomplish the running of the affairs of the world from his 'summer home' in the Old Forest.

Now, one thing that's always intrigued me is Gandalf's views and words regarding Tom. At the Council, he says basically that Tom is the one being who could trusted to keep the Ring without succumbing to its power, so immune that he would be likely to throw it away. The proof of that the reader had already seen: Tom held the Ring, put it on, and immediately handed it back to Frodo with no hesitation. Gandalf clearly knows the same cannot be said for himself, Maia though he is. Over the years that's caused me to let go of the 'Tom must be a Maia' stance I used to have. Tom's power and will must be much greater than Sauron's.
Later, when Gandalf's work against Sauron is finished, he tells the hobbits:

Quote:
I am going to have a long talk with Bombadil: such a talk as I have not had in all my time. He is a moss-gatherer, and I have been a stone doomed to rolling. But my rolling days are ending, and now we shall have much to say to one another.
ROTK Homeward Bound

Gandalf is going to see Tom, and tell things he has told no one else? 'In all my time': does that mean 'since I have been here working agaist Sauron', or since I have been alive and conscious of my own being'? Why does Gandalf feel the need to do this? Could he be giving an account of his doings, failures as well as successes; a 'confession' if you will? And what does he expect Tom to say to him?

All that leads me to the conclusion that Gandalf appears to be reporting to his 'boss', and said 'boss' would have to be Manwë or Eru.
In the essay The Istari in Unfinished Tales, CJRT takes issue with the idea that Gandalf was Manwë, saying:

Quote:
Manwë will not descend from the Mountain until the Dagor Dagorath, and the coming of the End, when Melkor returns. To the overthrow of Morgoth he sent his herald Eönwë.
And surely, Manwë could 'debrief' Gandalf upon his return to the West, as he probably did.
Conclusion? It seems entirely possible to me that Tom could have been a manifestation of Eru.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar View Post
And so why not have Eru as a similar triune god? It could then express itself as male in Tom, female in Goldberry, and even nature in Lumpkin. How better to see how the theme played out than to plant oneself in the middle of Middle Earth, and then be able to relate to the characters within, whether sentient being, animal/plant, or element?
The idea of Eru splitting into male and female sections that seem deeply in love in with one another I find more than a little distubing.
One the other hand, why not? If Tom is Eru, Goldberry must be accounted for as well, and that's as good an explanation as any.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:40 PM   #176
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Thanks for the reply and for the citations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
As an aside, I did not review this long thread, so apologies in advance if I repeat anything unnecessarily.
Let's all say, "Sorry" to all of those that posted before us, then move on.

Quote:
If Tom is Eru's little joke, he's been at it quite a long time by the standards of his Children.
Can't a god do without a calendar? Surely Manwe was still at it, and all he got to do is sit and watch the wind.

Quote:
For Elrond to call a creature old means they are old. 'Oldest and fatherless' I've always taken to mean simply that the Elves had no idea who he was or where he came from: he was just there.
During the time Tom was hanging out in ME, Eru was getting things done; destroying Númenórë and approving the plan hatched by the Valar to send Maia to Middle-earth to lead the fight against Sauron, among others.
Can't a god do more than one thing at once?

Quote:
That said, if Tom is Eru, I don't know that I'd be inclined to think him insane or 'native', uncaring of the playing out of the Music. Not, as you say, that it would be beyond the abilties of an omnipotent Creator to accomplish the running of the affairs of the world from his 'summer home' in the Old Forest.
What I mean is that He may somehow be knowingly unaware that He's God. That, to me, is a form of insanity.

Quote:
Conclusion? It seems entirely possible to me that Tom could have been a manifestation of Eru.
At least it is possible.

Quote:
The idea of Eru splitting into male and female sections that seem deeply in love in with one another I find more than a little distubing.
One the other hand, why not? If Tom is Eru, Goldberry must be accounted for as well, and that's as good an explanation as any.
Why? God begets and creates, but also watches over and provides. To use biological gender terms for a superlative being is simply to show relationship. God need not mixes his/her/its genes, which is the only reason we have the two sexes (some species do just fine without). What struck me, in regards to Eru being Tom *and* Goldberry, is how well they interact when they serve supper to the hobbits. Don't have the text right here, but reread it and you see what I mean.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:45 PM   #177
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Interesting view of Bombadil as Eru, but there are problems.
In The Council Of Elrond:
(Glorfindel)
Quote:
...even if we could, (take the Ring to him unobserved)
soon or late the Lord of the Rings would learn of its hiding place and would
bend all his power towards it. Could that power be defied by Bombadil alone?
I think not...
(Eru less powerful then Sauron)?

And in Letters #144 JRRT sees Bombadil as renouncing control, taking a
"vow of poverty" in a form of pacivism. Not at all the continued involvement
in Middle-earth in the Third Age (sending the Istari, having the Ring fall
off Gollum's hand just in time to be found by Bilbo, putting elvish words
into Sam's mind) all of which would seem to have been either at Iluvatar's
instigation or at least valar initiatives approved by the One.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:27 PM   #178
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Quote:
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Interesting view of Bombadil as Eru, but there are problems.
Nothing we cannot account for.

Quote:
Could that power be defied by Bombadil alone?
I think not...
Conjecture. And I think that it wasn't that Tom wouldn't be able to stand against Sauron and his army. Tom just wouldn't care. He's not playing the game (at least in the role of Tom); he's watching. That's why Gandalf states that Tom would be an unsafe guardian for the Ring, and that even if everyone begged him to take it, he wouldn't keep it safe...which is expected as the Ring is a major player in the game, and how boring life would be without it.

Quote:
And in Letters #144 JRRT sees Bombadil as renouncing control, taking a "vow of poverty" in a form of pacivism. Not at all the continued involvement in Middle-earth in the Third Age (sending the Istari, having the Ring fall off Gollum's hand just in time to be found by Bilbo, putting elvish words into Sam's mind) all of which would seem to have been either at Iluvatar's instigation or at least valar initiatives approved by the One.
Again, Tom isn't playing. He as Eru may have already set those 'deus a machina' themes to play during their time regardless of where Eru was at at the moment. But just watching from the sidelines, from up in the peanut gallery, just wasn't as fun. Here in Middle Earth Tom could see how all of the playing, both major and minor themes and players, pan out. In Aman the Valar watched the paint dry; in Middle Earth one had the chance to get dirt under one's nails.

And here's the quote that I was looking for:
Quote:
Originally Posted by In the House of Tom Bombadil
Quickly he (Tom) returned, bearing a large and laden tray. Then Tom and Goldberry set the table; and the hobbits sat half in wonder and half in laughter: so fair was the grace of Goldberry and so merry and odd the caperings of Tom. Yet in some fashion they seemed to weave a single dance, neither hindering the other, in and out of the room, and round the table; and with great speed food and vessels and lights were set in order. (emphasis added)
Two halves of a whole, it seems.

And on that note, I'm calling it a night. Had too many consecutive sleepless nights, and it's starting to show. For a second my briefcase, on the seat next to me, appeared to be a shaggy black dog. I also thought I saw other posts to this thread, but when I turned my head, they were gone as well.

Weird.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:40 PM   #179
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I would be disinclined to think that Bombadil was in any way Eru, since it is plainly said that he would fall in the end before the power of Sauron and the Ring, "last as he was first." In letter 181, Tolkien said, "There is no 'embodiment' of the Creator anywhere in this story or mythology." I would say that pretty well eliminates the Bombadil as Eru concept (sorry, alatar). But it would not eliminate Bombadil "the enigma" as a powerful agent of Eru. I would be more inclined to think that if Bombadil is not a Maia, he is a Vala who, like Tulkas, came after the Ainur first entered Ea, and took up residence on Arda when it was finally formed, perhaps without the knowledge of the other Valar. He may have been planted in Middle-earth by Eru as a potential ace-in-the-hole, so to speak. Well, it's a thought.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:31 PM   #180
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It's simple

Bombadil is master. That is all we know and all we need to know.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:29 AM   #181
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I would be more inclined to think that if Bombadil is not a Maia, he is a Vala who, like Tulkas, came after the Ainur first entered Ea, and took up residence on Arda when it was finally formed, perhaps without the knowledge of the other Valar. He may have been planted in Middle-earth by Eru as a potential ace-in-the-hole, so to speak. Well, it's a thought.
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Very interesting. But then who is Bombadil and his mate. And River Woman?
Of course, the maiar seemed to vary in potency (Melkor vs. Sauron) so why not
a powerful maia as an "ace in the hole" or a mole? That sly Eru really plans ahead, eh?
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:05 AM   #182
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I would be disinclined to think that Bombadil was in any way Eru, since it is plainly said that he would fall in the end before the power of Sauron and the Ring, "last as he was first." In letter 181, Tolkien said, "There is no 'embodiment' of the Creator anywhere in this story or mythology." I would say that pretty well eliminates the Bombadil as Eru concept (sorry, alatar).
What would the mere 'author' know about any of this stuff? Never saw *him* post here on the Downs...probably doesn't even have any rep points...

But all of that in Letter 181 is just to throw you off. How much less would there be to discover if a letter had everything spelled out:
  • Tom is Eru
  • Balrogs are wingless (though tasty with BBQ sauce)
  • Folco Boffin was a spy for Saruman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordim Hedgethistle
Bombadil is master.
That's what Tom thinks and says when Goldberry's not in the room. Note that we first find him down by the Withywindle, running errands for her when we guys know that he'd rather be catching up on the local news with Farmer Maggot over a few pints.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:08 AM   #183
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Bombadil is master. That is all we know and all we need to know.
Agreed.
However - viewed purely as an entertaining thought-construct, regardless of its truth value, I find alatar's theory ingenious, especially the part about Fatty Lumpkin as the Third Person of the Trinity. After all, if the Holy Spirit can be symbolized by a pigeon, why not a pony? Both species have been used to convey messages...
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:18 AM   #184
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Sorry to double-post, but I missed alatar's last before posting mine.
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Originally Posted by alatar View Post
That's what Tom thinks and says when Goldberry's not in the room.
Actually, it's Goldberry herself who says that about him:
Quote:
Frodo looked at her questioningly. 'He is, as you have seen him', she said in answer to his look. 'He is the master of wood, water, and hill.'
And a little further down the page:
Quote:
'Tom Bombadil is the Master. No one has ever caught old Tom [...] He has no fear. Tom Bombadil is master.'
(Charming passage, by the way. Doesn't she sound like a woman who is really proud of the man she loves?)
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:22 AM   #185
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*Sighs*

alatar, alatar, alatar...are you being tongue in cheek regarding this topic? Be careful, or I may start quoting The Silmarillion regarding the balrogs flying "with winged speed".

Bombadil is not 'Eru's little joke'; he is, in fact, Tolkien's little joke. He is 'first' because he did indeed come far before the writing of LotR (Tom was that creepy little stuffed doll haunting the Tolkien's nursery). The ring does not affect him because he comes from outside of the story. He is a localized phenomena, a manifestation of something Tolkien felt important (the vanishing English countryside of his youth -- Bombadil is, for all intents and purposes, a version of the English Jack-in-the-Green), and Tolkien asked his publisher Unwin in a letter if he might include Bombadil for that reason, not because Tom had anything at all germane to do with the story.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:02 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Pitchwife View Post
Actually, it's Goldberry herself who says that about him:

(Charming passage, by the way. Doesn't she sound like a woman who is really proud of the man she loves?)
It's not what she says when there is company around that interests me, it's what she says when no one is there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
alatar, alatar, alatar...are you being tongue in cheek regarding this topic? Be careful, or I may start quoting The Silmarillion regarding the balrogs flying "with winged speed".
Wow! I'd hate to stare up at clouds next to you...

alatar - "That one...there!...looks like some guy painting the side of a castle with pompoms while a zebra in a hard hat in a jeep looks on while working at a laptop..."

Morthoron - "It's a cumulus cloud already!"




That all said, I'm just showing that even Tolkien didn't know that he was including Eru into the story, but he did, deny it as he might.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:22 AM   #187
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Wow! I'd hate to stare up at clouds next to you...

alatar - "That one...there!...looks like some guy painting the side of a castle with pompoms while a zebra in a hard hat in a jeep looks on while working at a laptop..."

Morthoron - "It's a cumulus cloud already!"




That all said, I'm just showing that even Tolkien didn't know that he was including Eru into the story, but he did, deny it as he might.
Hehe...it was a cumulonimbus, to be more precise.

To be honest, I don't see Eru in Bombadil, particulalry since Eru went out of his way to separate deities from mortal affairs in the Numenorean affair (that whole reshaping the earth and cataclysmic flood thing). The entire premise of LotR revolves around fate and providence -- indirect action on the part of the supreme being -- rather than direct and personal intervention. Even the Istari are reduced from their Maiaric states of perfection and ordered to kindle men's hearts, as opposed to matching Sauron power against power. That being the case, it makes little sense to have Illuvatar cavorting about in yellow boots with a nymphette tart waxing poetic on daisies and dogwood.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:35 AM   #188
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Agreed.
However - viewed purely as an entertaining thought-construct, regardless of its truth value, I find alatar's theory ingenious, especially the part about Fatty Lumpkin as the Third Person of the Trinity. After all, if the Holy Spirit can be symbolized by a pigeon, why not a pony? Both species have been used to convey messages...
And we Downers are particularly enamoured of ingenious theories.

Now, I was initially tempted to propose the Dustbroom Motivation. That is, when I read the very first post here, I saw a post desperately in need of a new broom to remove the code from previous forum software. Why, I couldn't even find the post topic amidst all that code! I thought maybe al was nudging our Moddess a bit, to tidy up her fora.

So I gave up and just looked back at alatar's resurrecting posts. Here's what intrigued me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by the blue wizard
Originally Posted by In the House of Tom Bombadil
Quickly he (Tom) returned, bearing a large and laden tray. Then Tom and Goldberry set the table; and the hobbits sat half in wonder and half in laughter: so fair was the grace of Goldberry and so merry and odd the caperings of Tom. Yet in some fashion they seemed to weave a single dance, neither hindering the other, in and out of the room, and round the table; and with great speed food and vessels and lights were set in order. (emphasis added)
Now, al finds this evidence of two halves. I find it evidence of . . . The Author In His Work.

This bit of Fred and Ginger reminds me of Beren wanting to dance with Luthien, and we all know how autobiographical that part of The Silm is. Just think of the Tolkien headstone.

So, I'm more inclined, if we are going to consider Tom as a creator in his works, to think that Tom just might be Tolkien himself in his works. After all, it would be his little joke to give himself such verse. He would also of course be first, as without him none of it would exist. And he would be immune to the Ring, as he would know the Ring was a fictive construct of his own creation, not some villain's. And it would be just like an Author to send his characters out on adventures while he stays home in his cozy study, dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's and proofreading.


*curtsies*
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:43 AM   #189
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So, I'm more inclined, if we are going to consider Tom as a creator in his works, to think that Tom just might be Tolkien himself in his works.
Nice theory, and nice arguments! There may even be anagrammatic evidence to support it. If we take the name TOM BOMBADIL and eliminate from it all the letters it doesn't have in common with JOHN RONALD TOLKIEN, we're left with... er...
MBMB.
Er. Wait. MBMB???
Oh well... I guess it was worth a try...
*prays for the earth to swallow him*

Seriously though, I've always loved the Ginger & Fred passage, especially since I've got married myself. Maybe the only example in Tolkien's works (or one of two - I just remembered Sam and Rosie) of a happy and working marriage on an everyday level we mortal hobbits can relate to. Yes, I can easily see that this is what T. wished his own marriage to be like - though maybe not what it actually was like in their later years.
MayBe MayBe...
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:08 PM   #190
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Ah ha! One anagram of Tom Bombadil is
Blab Do IT Mom (obviously a secret message for Goldberry
to reveal,....,,ah?

Of course, another anagram is Bad Limbo Tom (internet search
engines can come in handy). Clearly an indication he's
not Fred Astaire, or even Gene Kelly. At least Tolkien never called for
an interpretive dance performance of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry.
OR DID HE!
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:19 PM   #191
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Hehe...it was a cumulonimbus, to be more precise.
See what I mean?

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To be honest, I don't see Eru in Bombadil, particulalry since Eru went out of his way to separate deities from mortal affairs in the Numenorean affair (that whole reshaping the earth and cataclysmic flood thing). The entire premise of LotR revolves around fate and providence -- indirect action on the part of the supreme being -- rather than direct and personal intervention. Even the Istari are reduced from their Maiaric states of perfection and ordered to kindle men's hearts, as opposed to matching Sauron power against power.
How, in any way, if Eru is Tom, does Tom use his power to effect direct and personal intervention outside of his terrarium? He helps the Hobbits with Old Man Willow, gives them some advice (nothing Maggot wouldn't have said), and gets them out of the Barrow. Frodo might have gotten out by himself, and maybe, once the door was opened, got one or more of the others out as well. Who knows? But Tom wasn't doing anything that an elf or maia couldn't have done (except keep himself dry in a rainstorm...).

Quote:
That being the case, it makes little sense to have Illuvatar cavorting about in yellow boots with a nymphette tart waxing poetic on daisies and dogwood.
Your point is? What better way to spend the day? And he wasn't cavorting, because he is both creatures, in my view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bêthberry
And we Downers are particularly enamoured of ingenious theories.
Though maybe not particularly enamoured with ingenious Downers (in theory)...

Quote:
Now, I was initially tempted to propose the Dustbroom Motivation. That is, when I read the very first post here, I saw a post desperately in need of a new broom to remove the code from previous forum software. Why, I couldn't even find the post topic amidst all that code! I thought maybe al was nudging our Moddess a bit, to tidy up her fora.
Why people think the worst of me, I'll never know. Sometime's a post is just a post.

Quote:
Now, al finds this evidence of two halves. I find it evidence of . . . The Author In His Work.
Excellent theory; very insightful. And then for Tolkien to go on later and deny that Tom is divine (well, of course it's not...not in that way). Definitely would be a fun prank.

Even Peter Jackson did cameos.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:18 PM   #192
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How, in any way, if Eru is Tom, does Tom use his power to effect direct and personal intervention outside of his terrarium? He helps the Hobbits with Old Man Willow, gives them some advice (nothing Maggot wouldn't have said), and gets them out of the Barrow. Frodo might have gotten out by himself, and maybe, once the door was opened, got one or more of the others out as well. Who knows? But Tom wasn't doing anything that an elf or maia couldn't have done (except keep himself dry in a rainstorm...)..
But he does directly interfere by saving the hobbits: from Old Man Willow and once again with the Barrow Wights. He also sends out Fatty Lumpkin (Tolkien's version of Catholicism's Holy Spirit, obviously) to aid the hobbits' hapless horses (wayward souls in need of baptism, seemingly). That is hardly remaining aloof and netherworldly.

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Your point is? What better way to spend the day? And he wasn't cavorting, because he is both creatures, in my view.
Oh, I think it's clear he was cavorting. His love affair with Goldberry was obvious, and to consider it as homoerotic (or hermaphroditic) is indeed disturbing.

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Excellent theory; very insightful. And then for Tolkien to go on later and deny that Tom is divine (well, of course it's not...not in that way). Definitely would be a fun prank.

Even Peter Jackson did cameos.
So did Alfred Hitchcock (Jackson's a copycat). I like that theory by Beth, particularly since it jibes with my idea that Bombadil is Tolkien's literary joke.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:32 PM   #193
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But he does directly interfere by saving the hobbits: from Old Man Willow and once again with the Barrow Wights. He also sends out Fatty Lumpkin (Tolkien's version of Catholicism's Holy Spirit, obviously) to aid the hobbits' hapless horses (wayward souls in need of baptism, seemingly). That is hardly remaining aloof and netherworldly.
I understand what you mean, but what I mean is that Eru via Tom was obviously restrained in what he did - he veiled his full power. In the Barrow, he even asked Frodo help him get the others out. He does nothing that one or more inhabitants of Arda couldn't do, if not a whole lot less.

Quote:
Oh, I think it's clear he was cavorting. His love affair with Goldberry was obvious, and to consider it as homoerotic (or hermaphroditic) is indeed disturbing.
I think that the prefix you are looking for is "auto."

Maybe he's just demonstrating what real perfect love would be like. If he is Eru, then there's nothing icky about the whole thing.

Quote:
So did Alfred Hitchcock
Who? I thought that the originals were made by Ralph Bakshi.

Quote:
(Jackson's a copycat)
Not sure *what* he was copying...

Quote:
I like that theory by Beth, particularly since it jibes with my idea that Bombadil is Tolkien's literary joke.
Much agreed.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:10 PM   #194
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Even Peter Jackson did cameos.
I really, really, REALLY hope Eru is on a higher plane than Peter Jackson...
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:22 PM   #195
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I really, really, REALLY hope Eru is on a higher plane than Peter Jackson...
You wouldn't know that by reading through The Movies here.

Really, in the end it must be down to conjecture and personal interpretation, or the question would likely have been resolved to the satisfaction of most long ago.
Personally, I don't care much for 'enigmas', even in books. I like to be able to categorize things and make them fit in the world they inhabit. I know it can't always be done, but that doesn't stop me trying.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #196
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He's an ent

Old Man Willow is his old body...
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:04 PM   #197
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He's an ent

Old Man Willow is his old body...
Care to elaborate?
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:02 PM   #198
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Care to elaborate?
He's an ent that aint, or rather, a pent-up ent that lent out its cerements then went and spent time in a tent as an unfashionable, dissident gent. That's what he meant.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:06 AM   #199
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Though maybe not particularly enamoured with ingenious Downers (in theory)...
With some of us it is possible that enarmoured might be preferable.

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Why people think the worst of me, I'll never know. Sometime's a post is just a post.
Worst? Here I was thinking it was a valuable form of community service!

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And then for Tolkien to go on later and deny that Tom is divine (well, of course it's not...not in that way). Definitely would be a fun prank.
As we all know, Tom is divine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
it jibes with my idea that Bombadil is Tolkien's literary joke
Humour is the best antidote to horror.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
He's an ent that aint, or rather, a pent-up ent that lent out its cerements then went and spent time in a tent as an unfashionable, dissident gent. That's what he meant.
Venting or lenting, this is a bent rent.

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The best ones are those that allow us to keep trying.

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I really, really, REALLY hope Eru is on a higher plane than Peter Jackson...
The author of his works rather than in his works.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:06 PM   #200
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Again Tom Bombadil is Old Man Willow's Ent Spirit one day Old Man Bombadil(for he was an ent was walking around and saw Goldberry now unlike other ents who sometimes slow down and become treeish he fell in love and became super hasty and happy so hasty that in fact the spirit was ripped from the ent body which became bitter and angry and tom went and "put on his 'A' game" for goldberry

that is also why he can control tghe forest he is a treeherder
this is based on the ent creation theory yvanna put spirits into trees
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