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Old 07-08-2002, 12:46 AM   #1
burrahobbit
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Today I have completely changed my opinion of saying what Tom is. Do you know what Tom is?

Quote:
Goldberry: Tom is.
Before anyone thinks otherwise, I'm not saying this to be flip, it fits in later.

Let's figure out what we know about Tom.

Quote:
He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.
When did the Dark Lord come from Outside?

Quote:
Melkor too was there from the first
The Dark Lord came in right away. The Dark lord was the first in, even.

What else was around when the Valar came in?

Quote:
But when the Valar Entered into E they were at first astounded and at a loss, for it was as if naught was yet made which they had seen in vision, and all was but on pointto begin and yet unshaped, and it was dark.
Nothing else was around when the Valar came in, save only E itself.

How can Tom manage to be around before the Dark Lord when the Dark Lord was the first thing into E?

I would say, now, that it is because Tom is E, or at least an embodiment thereof.

Quote:
Power to defy our Enemy is not in [Tom], unless such power is in the Earth itself.
QUESTION: What is Arda?
ANSWER: Arda is song.

Quote:
None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master:
His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.
Quote:
E: The World, the material Universe; E, meaning in Elvish 'It is'
Tom is.

[ July 08, 2002: Message edited by: burrahobbit ]

I made this topic a year ago. Please don't just reply to say how awesome it is. A lot of people did that already.

[ August 23, 2003: Message edited by: burrahobbit ]
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:50 AM   #2
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Question

What are you trying to get at? Tom Bombadil, right? Tom was described by someone, I not sure who, as the one person who the ring had absolutely no affect on. So, he could have destroyed it. He was so in tuned with nature, and the good things in life. but, he was soo absentminded, or carefree, that he would mostlikely forget the ring, and it would be lost. That's the technical stuff I know about Tom. but other then that, someone lese wanna take a stab at it?
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:56 AM   #3
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Sting

* The familiar form of a grey-clad figure enters, encircled by rising wisps of pipeweed smoke. *

Well Met, burrahobbit: [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I've nothing to add except my compliments to you on a fascinating post.

* bows *

Gandalf the Grey

[ July 08, 2002: Message edited by: Gandalf_theGrey ]
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:59 AM   #4
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Sting

Quote:
I would say, now, that it is because Tom is E, or at least an embodiment thereof.
Burrahobbit, I'm with you about it! End of mystery!!! hehehe [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-08-2002, 02:37 AM   #5
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Sting

That makes absalute scence. I agree. Tom must be an enbodiment of Ea. Yay.

Does anyone have any other views to go ageinst this?
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Old 07-08-2002, 05:44 AM   #6
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Ea is itself only creation, and not capable of creating itself, or an embodiment of itself. The central point of Tolkien's belief and his mythology is that the created are formed after the likeness of the creator, so, Ea, since it was created by Eru, is modelled after him. And there we come to the point where we have to realize that everything is either modelled after the likeness of Eru directly, or at least 'has its utmost source in him'. So, basically, the same as you proposed for Tom applies for everyone in Ea, basically.
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Old 07-08-2002, 07:48 AM   #7
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Pipe

I guess that cancels out my theory of him being a Maia
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Old 07-08-2002, 11:39 AM   #8
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Eye

I love the mention of singing burrahobbit! That's a great point. I was thinking, when the hobbits were trapped by the wight, how could Tom rescue them so quickly. Frodo called, and Tom was there right away. That almost seems to indicate he's everywhere. I think 'Tom' is just a kind of raiment he puts on when he wants to be seen. Also, it makes sense that the Earth itself would not be affected by the ring. Yes, Tom could have destroyed the ring, but it wasn't his place to. This was a task for the children of Iluvatar to complete. I would imagine that Tom knew the will of Iluvatar better than anyone. He was allowed to interfere to save the quest just twice, but the rest was up to them. I don't think it's coincidence that Tom happened to be located right where he was. I think he knew a long time before exactly what would befall. Also,I recall Gandalf saying something like "he has removed himself to a little land, with boundaries he has set". It makes sense that as Middle Earth becomes less wide open and more populated, Middle Earth itself would recede. I agree with barrahobbit, Eru created Arda as not only an object, but a spirit in tune with his will, yet not at liberty to interfere with the children of Iluvatar unless allowed to do so by Iluvatar.
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Old 07-08-2002, 04:24 PM   #9
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Excellent post, burrahobbit!
Quote:
Tom has his his house to mind, and Goldberry is waiting!
So, Tom is the spirit of Ea, Ea is his house, and Goldberry is waiting!

[ July 08, 2002: Message edited by: Nar ]
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Old 07-08-2002, 06:10 PM   #10
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Sting

That's great and all Sharku but Burro's theory is the best one yet.
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Old 07-08-2002, 07:35 PM   #11
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It's often asked how Tom could be so absent-minded or naive that he wouldn't take the ring seriously, but if you consider his age, especially if burrahobbit is right (which is certainly a possibility), it isn't so strange. If he was there before Melkor, then Sauron is little more than a tadpole to him, and the ring of power some passing game.

Remember, he had seen Ea sundered by the Valar and the casting out of Melkor. Even if Sauron had gained mastery of Middle Earth, I doubt that it would've changed Tom.

Burrahobbit, your idea is growing on me. The music really draws it all together. Just the same, Sharku has made some very valid points. Ea is only a stage, a shadow of Eru's thoughts. How could it manifest itself in a being as powerful as Tom Bombadil? There are concessions to be made if we would find ourselves closer to the truth.

[ July 08, 2002: Message edited by: The Silver-shod Muse ]
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Old 07-08-2002, 09:43 PM   #12
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Eye

I don't believe burrahobbit is saying that Ea just up and decided to manifest itself. He's saying Eru created Ea as not just matter but as an actual sentient being capable of taking on form. That was the manner in which Ea (Tom) was created from the very begining.
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Old 07-09-2002, 08:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
I would imagine that Tom knew the will of Iluvatar better than anyone.
Could Tom be the embodiement of Eru?
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Old 07-09-2002, 08:45 AM   #14
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Most interesting idea I've heard yet for who Tom is. Most evidence as well actually. I'm inclined to believe it, although Sharku does have a point.

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Old 07-09-2002, 10:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
He's saying Eru created Ea as not just matter but as an actual sentient being capable of taking on form. That was the manner in which Ea (Tom) was created from the very begining.
Ah, I see. That does make more sense. My mistake. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-09-2002, 11:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Could Tom be the embodiement of Eru?
No. Tolkien explicitly denied this.

[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: Kuruharan ]
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Old 07-10-2002, 09:35 AM   #17
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Where? Is it in one of the letters? I haven't read them.
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Old 07-10-2002, 11:35 AM   #18
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Yes. In two letters he spoke about Eru physically living in the world.

Letter #181: "There is no 'embodiment' of the Creator in this story or mythology."

Letter #211: "The One does not physically inhabit any part of Ea."
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Old 07-10-2002, 11:41 AM   #19
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Sting

Try look at the thread "A good essay on Bombadil". There is an interesting article about Tom, with good arguments. It is worth reading, at least if you're interested in the enigma Bombadil is.
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Old 07-10-2002, 08:43 PM   #20
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Sting

Quote:
If he was there before Melkor, then Sauron is little more than a tadpole to him
Melkor and Sauron existed before Ea. Which is related somewhat to my question to burrahobbit: What of the discord of Melkor? The 'Morgoth element' that pervades all of creation? Do you believe this is also a part of Tom?
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Old 07-10-2002, 10:59 PM   #21
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Sting

I suppose that it would have to be, obloquy, though I am unsure as to how it would be manifest in Tom. Perhaps that is why he has limited himself to such a small area of Middle-earth.
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Old 07-10-2002, 11:32 PM   #22
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Ea itself is not in discord because of Melkor. I think that only pertains to the inhabitants of Ea. Ea was created from the flame imperishable. I dont beleive that flame was 'alive' and capable of being affected in any way except for by Eru. I think Ea itself is the flame imperishable. That is why Eru told Melkor he would never find it. It was not any small flame or object, it was all of Ea. Melkor never found the flame because he was looking at it with the wrong perspective from the start. The power of the flame is in Ea itself and it is under the control of Eru. I think that when Ea was created Tom was also created as an embodiment of Ea itself. But I think he is different from any other person or Ainur (I am agreeing with Phantom on this). Tom was everywhere at once and his body was just a raiment he put on. What Erus exact purpose was for creating Tom, I dont know. He seems to have been alone or only with Goldberry for most of his time in Ea. The only time he is recorded to even be a part of history is when he helps the hobbits and when Gandalf goes to talk to him at the end of LOTR (If Tolkien were to write one thing, I would choose to hear the conversation of Tom and Gandalf over anything else). So I dont think Eru would bring Tom into existence to only do those few acts.

Anyways, Ive gotten really off topic with most of my post and I am only writing what I think. It could be totally wrong or disproven in one of the books and I dont even know about it. I thought I would just share what I thought.
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Old 07-11-2002, 06:44 AM   #23
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Tim is the essence of nature, the essence of Arda. And Arda is music! I totally agree with you Burrahobbit!! This, in my eyes, closes the Bombadil argument once and for all!

Thanks Burrahobbit!
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Old 07-11-2002, 09:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Ea itself is not in discord because of Melkor. I think that only pertains to the inhabitants of Ea.
I'm afraid that I cannot agree with that statement. Ea was distorted by the work of Melkor, that is why it is called "Arda Marred."

"Some of those thoughts he [Melkor] now wove into his music, and straightaway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh to him grew dispondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard before foundered in a sea of turbulent sound."

"But the discord of Melkor rose in uproar and contended with it, and again there was a war of sound more violent than before..."

"...but Melkor too was there from the first, and he meddled in all that was done, turning it if he might to his own desires and purposes..."

"...the Valar endeavored ever, in despite of Melkor, to rule the Earth and to prepare it for the coming of the Firstborn; and they built lands and Melkor destoryed them; valleys they delved and Melkor raised them up; mountains they carved and Melkor threw them down; seas they hollowed and Melkor spilled them; and naught might have peace or come to lasting growth, for as surely as the Valar began a labour so would Melkor undo it or corrupt it. And yet their labour was not all in vain; and though nowhere and in no work was their will and purpose wholly fulfilled, and all things were in hue and shape other than the Valar had at first intended, slowly nonetheless the Earth was fashioned and made firm."

Quote:
I think Ea itself is the flame imperishable.
I also disagree with this. It sounds almost as if that says Ea is Iluvatar. Ea was created by the Flame Imperishable, but as a seperate thing.

"And I shall send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World and the World shall Be..."

The way that is phrased the Flame Imperishable is at the heart but is not the substance of the World. (And I don't think that Iluvatar meant that the Flame Imperishable was literally and physically at the heart of Ea, but in a spiritual sense. But that is just my opinion.)
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Old 07-13-2002, 02:25 PM   #25
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Sting

Arda is not exactly the same as Ea. Arda is the Earth, while Ea is the material universe. Ea was brought into being, and then Arda was shaped.

How do we interpret the Music of the Ainur? Is it symbolic of the entire timeline, from beginning to end? Or was Ea created complete with all of the various themes already interwoven? I believe the former is true. I believe that when Eru created Ea it was a pure creation -- I don't think he could have created something that was tainted. It was then given over to the Ainur to fashion physical representations of the music they had sung. It was thus marred by Melkor's theme of discord.

If this is the case, the significance of "Tom is Ea" is immeasurable. If Tom is the embodiment of Ea, and Sharku's contention is correct, then Tom must have come into being simultaneous with Ea itself. This means he existed before Melkor's "theme" began to mar creation. Does this mean that Tom is the only pure, untainted physical creation remaining? Does his diminished realm parallel the diminishing of Ea from its original perfection? Taking Sharku's post a bit farther, would Tom then also be a perfect reflection of Eru himself?

I doubt that this (burrahobbit's theory and the ramifications thereof) was Tolkien's conception of Tom, but you have to admit, it does fit startlingly well.
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Old 07-18-2002, 03:31 PM   #26
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burrahobbit, I understand your argumentation and it is fascinating, but I found a couple of quotes about Tom that contradict that theory:
Quote:
Out east my knowledge fails. Tom is no master of Riders from the Black Land far beyond his country. (Tom of himself in "Fog on the Barrow-Downs")
Quote:
I think that in the end, if all else is conquered, Bombadil will fall... (Glorfindel at "The Council of Elrond")
Eru would have to be greater than the Black Power, and those quotes indicate that Tom is not.
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Old 07-18-2002, 04:15 PM   #27
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I'm saying the Tom is the World, Estelyn, not that Tom is God.
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Old 07-18-2002, 04:22 PM   #28
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Oops, I misunderstood you - sorry! [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 07-21-2002, 04:07 PM   #29
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Sting

Quote:
The way that is phrased the Flame Imperishable is at the heart but is not the substance of the World. (And I don't think that Iluvatar meant that the Flame Imperishable was literally and physically at the heart of Ea, but in a spiritual sense. But that is just my opinion.)
If the heart of the world WAS the Flame Imperishable, in the literal sense, then it would be the molten core, correct? Is this the significance of Mount Doom? That Melkor wanted the Flame so badly, his servent (unconciousably or not) built his fortress around the only (or at least one of) the 'entrances' to the Flame? That was why the Ring could only be destroyed there. Not that it was made there, but that it was made OF the Flame, and only the Flame could retake it?

I don't ask to steer away from the original topic, just wandering. This Tom theory is great! However, another question: I understand he was bound, but why there? Why not Gondor or Fangorn forest or Lorien or even Mordor? These places seem a bit more signifacant than the Old Forest. Was he placed, or willingly moved, there just for the sake of saving the Hobbits from Death?

Sorry for all the questions, I just have an insatiable curiosty when it comes to Tolkien. Just don't know enough!
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:36 PM   #30
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If the heart of the world WAS the Flame Imperishable, in the literal sense, then it would be the molten core, correct? Is this the significance of Mount Doom? That Melkor wanted the Flame so badly, his servent (unconciousably or not) built his fortress around the only (or at least one of) the 'entrances' to the Flame? That was why the Ring could only be destroyed there. Not that it was made there, but that it was made OF the Flame, and only the Flame could retake it?
Well, I guess if it was, then it would. However, it wasn't so it didn't.

(It's so nice to have confusing use of pronouns isn't it [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img])

To more clearly answer your question, the Flame Imperishable could not have been in anyway related to the fires of Mount Doom because for the simple fact that it is hidden and undiscoverable to Melkor and his minions. (I'd insert the exact quote but I am unable to do so at the moment.)

Also I doubt that Sauron would be able to use the Flame Imperishable to forge the Ring. Probably Sauron would not have liked being in the actual presence of the Flame Imperishable. It is also virtually unthinkable that Iluvatar would allow Sauron to take part of his (Iluvatar's) power and use it to create a device of domination.

As for your second question, there is no real answer except to say that Tom was where he wanted to be for his own reasons. The relative importance of the place in the eyes of the rest of the world was irrelevant. He certainly had greater purposes (to himself) than saving hobbits, even if they were carrying the Ring.

[ July 21, 2002: Message edited by: Kuruharan ]
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Old 07-21-2002, 11:44 PM   #31
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I wouldn't underestimate the importance of the Old Forest. The Old Forest used to be the biggest thing going. Trees for farther than my eye has ever seen. Trees are amazing things. When a forest is gone it doesn't ever come back. That's important. The diminishing of the Old Forest and of Tom's realm is symbolic.
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Old 07-24-2002, 06:00 PM   #32
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burrahhobbit, young man, you are far too intelligent for your own good.
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Old 08-01-2002, 05:26 PM   #33
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thank you burrahobbit i had no idea the issue of tom was so deep..however does there occour any reference to him other than in the lord of the rings and if so wouldn't it seem than rather he signifying an all encompassing figure of humbly shrouded yet grandios figure in tolkeins work might he simply have been aliterary conveinence for tolkein as his hobbits wanddered away from there shire to encounter "the strange things" in the woods and barrows.... thank you again
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Old 08-01-2002, 05:31 PM   #34
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I'm not going to reply to this until it's written in English.
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Old 08-01-2002, 05:32 PM   #35
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"however does there occour any reference to him other than in the lord of the rings"
Ever hear of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil? No? Probably not because it has not been in print for several years. Solution? Go down to your local library and see if they have a copy.
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Old 08-01-2002, 05:57 PM   #36
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The got it stashed in a book called The Tolkien Reader now, but that too might be out of print. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:00 PM   #37
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Don't fret, it still is. I remember seeing Bombadil's adventures combined with another book a week or two ago, but I did not mention the book's name because I forgot it.

There, now you have two ways to get more Bombadil information: a) go to your library to see the original version, or b) go to your nearest bookstore.

[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Feanaro ]
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:07 PM   #38
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thank o bretheren for thy most gracious acceptance of my butchered postings would that I might master the language called english lowley american though i be
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Old 08-02-2002, 08:56 AM   #39
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Wonderful theory, burrahobbit! I am thoroughly amazed at your brilliance, thank you for sharing it with us!!!

I have, however, one question: Knowing that Goldberry is the River's daughter (a reference to her being a Maiar?) and assuming that as you say Tom is an embodiment of Ea, why would Tom marry someone (the River's daughter) that is something that he embodies... For if he embodies Ea, or is Ea, wouldn't he embody, or be, the River?

Forgive my stupidity if the answer is as simple as I suspect [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-06-2002, 12:57 AM   #40
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That is a good question, theWhiteLady. I've been thinking about it for a while. I noticed that you posted the same question over at MT. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] Don't worry, you aren't being ignored. It's just something of a philosophy question, and I don't have any training in that. Tom is and is not the world. He is a world and a person at the same time. Persons are allowed to marry.
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