What exactly was Tolkien thinking when he wrote in Bombadil? What is his purpose, his use? And where was he during the Silmarillion?
>What exactly was Tolkien thinking when he wrote in Bombadil?
Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
>What is his purpose, his use?
Ring a dong! hop along! Fal lal the willow!
>And where was he during the Silmarillion?
Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!
I think he represents the writer.
>he has a normal name
>says he was there before anything else
>the Ring doesn't affect him
He saves the day in what's arguably the creepiest part of the whole trilogy, so maybe one of his functions are comfort, a rest between the Withywindle and the barrow wights.
But if Bombadil was really a good guy through and through, couldn't he have helped them destroy the ring? Perhaps he is just a stoner who didn't give a shit.
>dancing prancing faggot out of nowhere
>brings the story that is already taking for fucking ever to get going before they even get to bree to a grinding halt
>completely and utterly pointless to the conclusion of the story
why do people complain that he wasn't in the movie again?
Because he was at least in the books, unlike huge plotfucks like;
>expanded shitty love story for aragorn
>elves at helm's deep
>cutting off sauron's finger to kill him
>the death of saruman
>3 spooky galadriel freakout
He probably hoped that people all around the world would sperg out about a bit part character 70 years later so he surrounded him with a little bit of mystery and made him all happy and made him sing.
This is my favourite fan theory....
>Do you remember at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest when Chief finally escapes the psychiatric hospital? And the last shot is of him running off into the woods...
>Well because he is as big as mountain he lives for a very long time. This is later alluded to in Gollum's riddles.
>He only appears small because post nuclear war everyone grows freakishly large, some immortal and some gain special powers.
>His language appears quaint and ridiculous because it is from an ancient time and he also spent a great deal of time mute in the company of the mentally infirm.
>Tolkien never explicitly described him as of native american descent but he is.
>Tom Bombadil is Chief Bromden.
>where was he during the Silmarillion?
Exactly where he was when Frodo & co. meet him.
Gandalf says, before he leaves the hobbits in Bree at the end of the story, that he is going to talk to Tom for a while. Gandalf says something like he has been a rolling stone for too long, while Tom has been a moss gatherer. Or something to that effect.
You really have to be English to understand his point. Only and English would make a character like that and think to put him in a story like this.
And only an English can understand why or what value he even has.
Do remember you're meant to read these books with a fine ale in your hands in the evening by a roasting fire. Ah, and October's in full swing too. Truly the finest time of the year.
I wish you all comfy.
I didn't like the bombadil part. Felt unnecessary that frodo immediately got lost and screwed over the second he left the shire and then the second he left toms nook he got captured by wraith and had to be rescued AGAIN. It seemed overkill.
to piss off post 90s grunge edgelords who worship tarantino movies.
he was just ahead of the curve
I got through the part where they stay at Tom's house for a while, and then they leave and immediately get fucked up by a Barrow Wight or something.
Then Tom retrieves them and they go back with him. It's not like I threw the book down in disgust or anything, but I didn't feel like coming back to it after that.
every story needs a deus ex character.
Jackson did the right thing by not having Tom in the movies.
Same thing with Saruman in the Shire, that sucked too.
Jackson should have removed the Army of the dead too. Apparently he didn't like it, but he still kept it in the movie and almost made it worse tnah it was in the book.
The ghost army was the thing that RotK noticeably worse than Two Towers. The great battle scene felt like a cheat.
At least in Two Towers the Deus Ex Machina Gandalf charge was set up so that the audience knew they had to hold out just until Dawn.
40 replies and no-one anywhere close.
Tolkien is on record saying that Tom Bombadil is meant as role model and antithesis to the posessive and dominating characters of Sauron and Saruman. Both the Maiar became enamoured of the material world but tried to control and twist it using "science" and industry. Bombadil illustrates how it is possible to love nature and study it without destroying or changing it: he is Master of the forest, but he does not own it.
not really a pleb, but it's kinda sad, because Tom Bombadil is like the only non-traditional story element in LotR. The rest is pretty straight forward/linear. So it's sad you didn't get to read the whole book because of 2 chapters, that are kinda different..
Old Tom Bombadil. Possibly the least liked character in The Lord of the Rings. A childish figure so disliked by fans of the book that few object to his absence from all adaptations of the story. And yet, there is another way of looking at Bombadil, based only on what appears in the book itself, that paints a very different picture of this figure of fun.
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is fat and jolly and smiles all the time. He is friendly and gregarious and always ready to help travellers in distress.
Except that none of that can possibly be true.
Consider: By his own account (and by Elrond’s surprisingly sketchy knowledge) Bombadil has lived in the Old Forest since before the hobbits came to the Shire. Since before Elrond was born. Since the earliest days of the First Age.
And yet no hobbit has ever heard of him.
The guise in which Bombadil appears to Frodo and his companions is much like a hobbit writ large. He loves food and songs and nonsense rhymes and drink and company. Any hobbit who saw such a person would tell tales of him. Any hobbit who was rescued by Tom would sing songs about him and tell everyone else. 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. All the hobbits of the Shire think of the Old Forest as a place of horror – not as the abode of a jolly fat man who is surprisingly generous with his food.
If Bombadil has indeed lived in the Old Forest all this time – in a house less than twenty miles from Buckland – then it stands to reason that he has never appeared to a single hobbit traveller before, and has certainly never rescued one from death. In the 1400 years since the Shire was settled.
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is not what he seems.
Elrond, the greatest lore-master of the Third Age, has never heard of Tom Bombadil. Elrond is only vaguely aware that there was once someone called Iarwain Ben-Adar (“Oldest and Fatherless”) who might be the same as Bombadil. And yet, the main road between Rivendell and the Grey Havens passes not 20 miles from Bombadil’s house, which stands beside the most ancient forest in Middle Earth. Has no elf ever wandered in the Old Forest or encountered Bombadil in all these thousands of years? Apparently not.
Gandalf seems to know more, but he keeps his knowledge to himself. At the Council of Elrond, when people suggest sending the Ring to Bombadil, Gandalf comes up with a surprisingly varied list of reasons why that should not be done. It is not clear that any of the reasons that he gives are the true one.
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). But that also makes no sense. Maggot lives west of the Brandywine, remained there when Frodo left, and never even knew that Frodo would be leaving the Shire. And if Elrond knows nothing of Bombadil, how can he be a friend of Gildor’s?
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He lies.
A question: what is the most dangerous place in Middle Earth? First place goes to the Mines of Moria, home of the Balrog, but what is the second most dangerous place? Tom Bombadil’s country. By comparison, Mordor is a safe and well-run land, where two lightly-armed hobbits can wander for days without meeting anything more dangerous than themselves. Yet the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs, all part of Tom’s country, are filled with perils that would tax anyone in the Fellowship except perhaps Gandalf.
Now, it is canonical in Tolkein that powerful magical beings imprint their nature on their homes. Lorien under Galadriel is a place of peace and light. Moria, after the Balrog awoke, was a place of terror to which lesser evil creatures were drawn. Likewise, when Sauron lived in Mirkwood, it became blighted with evil and a home to monsters.
And then, there’s Tom Bombadil’s Country.
The hobbits can sense the hatred within all the trees in the Old Forest. Every tree in that place is a malevolent huorn, hating humankind. Every single tree. And the barrows of the ancient kings that lie nearby are defiled and inhabited by Barrow-Wights. Bombadil has the power to control or banish all these creatures, but he does not do so. Instead, he provides a refuge for them against men and other powers. Evil things – and only evil things – flourish in his domain. “Tom Bombadil is the master” Goldberry says. And his subjects are black huorns and barrow wights.
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is not the benevolent figure that he pretends to be.
Tom appears to the Ringbearer in a friendly, happy guise, to question and test him and to give him and his companions swords that can kill the servants of another evil power. But his motives are his own.
Consider: it is said more than once that the willows are the most powerful and evil trees in the Forest. Yet, the rhyme that Bombadil teaches the hobbits to use in conjuring up Bombadil himself includes the line, “By the reed and willow.” The willows are a part of Bombadil’s power and a means of calling on him. They draw their strength from the cursed river Withywindle, the centre of all the evil in the Forest.
And the springs of the Withywindle are right next to Tom Bombadil’s house.
And then there is Goldberry, “the river-daughter”. She is presented as Bombadil’s wife, an improbably beautiful and regal being who charms and beguiles the hobbits. It is implied that she is a water spirit, and she sits combing her long, blonde hair after the manner of a mermaid. (And it is worth remembering that mermaids were originally seen as monsters, beautiful above the water, slimy and hideous below, luring sailors to drown and be eaten.) But I suggest the name means that in her true state, Goldberry is nourished by the River – that is, by the proverbially evil Withywindle.
In folklore and legend (as Tolkien would know well) there are many tales of creatures that can take on human form but whose human shape always contains a clue to their true nature. So what might Goldberry be? She is tall and slender - specifically she is “slender as a willow wand”. She wears a green dress, sits amidst bowls of river water and is surrounded by the curtain of her golden hair. I suggest that she is a Willow tree conjured into human form, a malevolent huorn like the Old Man Willow from whom the hobbits have just escaped. If she is not indeed the same tree.
So, if this is true, then why does Bombadil save and help the ringbearer and his companions? Because they can bring about the downfall of Sauron, the current Dark Lord of Middle Earth. When Sauron falls, the other rings will fail and the wizards and elves will leave Middle Earth and the only great power that is left will be Bombadil.
There is a boundary around Bombadil’s country that he cannot or will not pass, something that confines him to a narrow space. And in return, no wizard or elf comes into his country to see who rules it, or to disturb the evil creatures that gather under his protection.
When the hobbits return to the Shire after their journey to Mordor, Gandalf leaves them close to Bree and goes towards Bombadil’s country to have words with him. We do not know what they say.
But Gandalf was sent to Middle Earth to contend against Sauron and now he must depart. He has been given no mission to confront Bombadil and he must soon leave Middle Earth to powerless men and hobbits, while Bombadil remains, waiting to fulfill his purpose.
Do I think that Tolkien planned things in this way? Not at all, but I find it an interesting speculation.
To speculate further and more wildly:
The spell that binds Bombadil to his narrow and cursed country was put in place centuries ago by the Valar to protect men and elves. It may last a few decades more, perhaps a few generations of hobbit lives. But when the last elf has gone from the havens and the last spells of rings and wizards unravel, then it will be gone. And Iarwain Ben-Adar, Oldest and Fatherless, who was ruler of the darkness in Middle Earth before Sauron was, before Morgoth set foot there, before the first rising of the sun, will come into his inheritance again. And one dark night the old trees will march westward into the Shire to feed their ancient hatred. And Bombadil will dance down amongst them, clad in his true shape at last, singing his incomprehensible rhymes as the trees mutter their curses and the black and terrible Barrow-Wights dance and gibber around him. And he will be smiling.
>The spell that binds Bombadil to his narrow and cursed country was put in place centuries ago by the Valar to protect men and elves.
Except Tom establishes his own boundaries.
Also, wouldnt Saruman violated the no wizard policy when he invades the shire, which is already in motion before Frodo leaves for Rivendell.
>Perhaps he is just a stoner who didn't give a shit.
That's a pretty close explanation, actually.
He isn't affected by the Ring, so it has no draw over him, but this has the stipulation of him not understanding the necessity of the Ring's destruction. Gandalf said that Bombadil would be the last to fall if Sauron gets the ring back, and that means the struggle over the ring doesn't affect Bombadil. He literally would have just left the ring somewhere and forgotten it if he was in charge of destroying it.
I think it's pretty universal that the ascended beings never help, except for Oma Desala and Morgan LeFay. They help whenever they can get away with it.
And then there's these guys.
Bombadil, and really the first half of FotR, is all about transition from the story of the Hobbit, a fairy tale, to the genre of epic legend.
LotR is essentially a story where four young guys from an idealized English countryside find themselves stumbling into the middle of an Arthurian cycle or the Nibelungenlied. They're out of their depth, barely understanding what's going on, surrounded on all sides by larger-than life archetypes of noble kings and mighty wizards and monumental stakes of good and evil.
Tolkien knew people were expecting something more like his previous work, so when he started writing a sequel he knew he couldn't jump right into the epic shit that really interested him, so he introduces it gradually. The stakes are established early on, by the hobbits (and, to an extent, the reader) don't really know what those stakes mean in concrete terms.
So Tolkien gives the hobbits a fairy tale style adventure like Bilbo's, but it has markedly darker overtones. The Ringwraiths are shadowing them from the start, some great unseen conspiracy is working against them, and the threats they deal with are scarier and more serious then the ones Bilbo did, all culminating in Weathertop and the race to the ford, where Frodo almost dies and all hope momentarily seems lost. Then, at the council of Elrond, we finally get into the meat of the epic plot Tolkien wanted to arrive at.
In this context, Bombadil serves a few roles. He's a brief, pleasant roadblock for the scarier adventure Frodo and Co. are on; Tolkien I'm sure knew kids would be reading this after enjoying the Hobbit, so Bombadil offers some light at the end of the tunnel. At the same time, he helps establish the greater themes Tolkien wants to work on. The power of good and evil comes up with Bombadil's resistance to the ring, the ancient backstory of Middle-Earth is foreshadowed in the cryptic hints about Bombadils' origins and nature, etc, etc.
Even though he wrote Silmarillion which goes a long way toward explaining what's *really* going on (as far as the gods, magic, Elves, and so forth), Tolkien wanted Middle-Earth to retain at least some element of mystery.
Autists like you have ruined fantasy. You want it to just be your playground, where you just indulge in every boring video gamey trope forever. You don't want to experience things that are beyond your knowledge and control.
He makes the main characters feel safe like they won't ever feel again for the rest of their journey. Not even Sauron would bother them while they are with Tom Bmbadil. But it doesn't last; soon enough they have to continue and it's all downhill from there before it ends.
Sauron is more powerful than Tom. Tom is only godmode in his own little territory, and even then the Council of Elrond agrees that, if it came down to it, Sauron would wreck Tom.
You're out at the club and this fine chap slaps your Hobbit gardener on the ass.
What do you do?
>want to get into tolkin lore
give me the book order please.
no, not really. they've been maybe three ancients that helped (out of billions) and those three paid for it dearly, so no, Ancients never ever helps and are eternal dicks it would seem. although they could have collectively stopped any of the three had they wanted to so i guess they were never that big of a dicks.
sadly the ori could never use the praise power they got permantly. it was not unlike direct sunlight on a solar cell.
Bullshit, I read through the Tom Bombadil parts but they're wholly different from the rest of the book and essentially some of the biggest filler I've ever seen.
I purposely skip those chapters on subsequent reads and miss nothing. There's a reason Jackson left it out.