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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Great Poem Indeed

rangerfromthenorth
Rivendell

Jan 31 2013, 2:29am


Views: 155
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Great Poem Indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

Yet your quote holds little weight being that Tolkien wrote this of Tom before LOTR was written and before Tom was inserted into the world. In his poems The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, which most do not consider canon, Tom is indeed the spirit of the vanishing Oxford countryside, but as stated before, this letter referencing Tom in his poems was written by Tolkien in 1937, Lord of the Rings was not completed until 1949. So clearly in context it is not meant to explain Tom's origins in the world of Middle Earth being that it is reference to a place that does not exist in Middle Earth, Tolkien's answering of his friends questions was not in context of LOTR.

Take for instance, Tom originally had a peacock feather in his hat, but in adapting Tom, Tolkien decided that because peacocks do not exist in Middle Earth he had to change his feather to a swan's feather (Tolkien letters pg 318-319), in other words, Tom's insertion into the story was meant to be consistent with the given world, so much so that Tolkien saw it fit to even make a minor detail, such as to which type of feather was in his hat fit into Middle Earth. Tolkien was very deliberate with his creation.

On top of that, Tolkien has his characters directly allude to who/what Tom is on no fewer than four occasions, so Tolkien himself clearly thought about it and knowing that he adapted Tom already to consistently fit into the world, and that he asked about his origins within Middle Earth, it is not too far of a stretch to suggest that Tolkien had an answer, though he openly wrote that he left him as an enigma. This label though does not mean an answer does not exist but rather that Tolkien chose not to give it so that there would be a mystery in his world. And half the fun of a mystery is trying to solve it;-)


Subject User Time
Tom Bombadil As the Spirit of the Music of the Ainur rangerfromthenorth Send a private message to rangerfromthenorth Jan 17 2013, 4:27pm
    Thanks for this! Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Jan 17 2013, 8:57pm
    Great Theory Lost_istari Send a private message to Lost_istari Jan 18 2013, 7:56pm
        Thank you much rangerfromthenorth Send a private message to rangerfromthenorth Jan 22 2013, 2:07pm
        Agreed CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 23 2013, 5:53pm
            A quick thought on children of Ainur Lost_istari Send a private message to Lost_istari Jan 24 2013, 6:46am
    Excellent theory! FlyingSerkis Send a private message to FlyingSerkis Jan 23 2013, 9:13pm
        Thank You rangerfromthenorth Send a private message to rangerfromthenorth Jan 23 2013, 9:33pm
    Regarding Bombadil's boundedness Plurmo Send a private message to Plurmo Jan 28 2013, 5:59am
    I Know Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Jan 30 2013, 8:38pm
    "None has yet defined him, for Tom is an enigma" squire Send a private message to squire Jan 31 2013, 1:27am
        Great poem/ CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 31 2013, 1:34am
        Great Poem Indeed rangerfromthenorth Send a private message to rangerfromthenorth Jan 31 2013, 2:29am
            It is certainly a great topic to debate squire Send a private message to squire Feb 1 2013, 3:14am
                a "most" dangerous discussion rangerfromthenorth Send a private message to rangerfromthenorth Feb 1 2013, 3:32pm
                    ATB was published after LOTR. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 1 2013, 5:55pm
                        yes yes it was rangerfromthenorth Send a private message to rangerfromthenorth Feb 1 2013, 6:14pm
                        thats where the confusion came from rangerfromthenorth Send a private message to rangerfromthenorth Feb 1 2013, 6:22pm
                            Tolkien did alter the poem for its 1962 re-publication. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 1 2013, 7:51pm
                    Very nicely stated squire Send a private message to squire Feb 1 2013, 8:38pm
    This may interest you. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 1 2013, 5:46am

 
 
 

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