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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: The Arena:
Tom Bombadil vs. The Witch King of Angmar

Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea

Dec 16 2007, 6:28am

Post #1 of 19 (4439 views)
Tom Bombadil vs. The Witch King of Angmar Can't Post

WiKi used to be from Tom's neck of the woods. Did they ever meet? What would happen in a head-to-head between the ringlord and the singlord?

Where's Frodo?

Beren IV

Dec 16 2007, 6:37am

Post #2 of 19 (1137 views)
Ringlord and Singlord lol! [In reply to] Can't Post

My vote depends on where and when they meet. If the WK comes knocking on Tom's front door, Tom wins (and that's not because Goldberry is helping). If Tom goes somewhere else and meets the WK, then the WK wins.

Honestly, though, I don't think that the WK could catch Tom if Tom didn't want to be caught, and this is even more true of Goldberry. Either Tom or Goldberry would weaken until they are ineffective invisible spirits if the WK were to somehow despoil the entire Barrow Downs and Old Forest, but even all of the Nine together couldn't do that. They would also need an army of orcs to do the tree-chopping.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Dec 16 2007, 1:25pm

Post #3 of 19 (1183 views)
I'll give it to Tom, although I'm tempted to say a draw. [In reply to] Can't Post

But your premise is that Tom has some reason to fight, and if that is the case, I don't think he would have much trouble with the Witch-king. But he's not likely to fight the Witch-king, and the Witch-king is not likely to fight him. Indeed I wouldn't be surprised if the Witch-king knew all about Tom, or at least knew enough to stay well clear of him.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 16 2007, 1:45pm

Post #4 of 19 (1170 views)
Would he consider Tom to not be a "man"? [In reply to] Can't Post

That would explain why the WiKi would avoid him at all cost...

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915

The Shire

Dec 17 2007, 12:21am

Post #5 of 19 (1173 views)
Tom bombidil would win [In reply to] Can't Post


Yes, that is a Wario Hat.
And here is Wario:

Beren IV

Dec 18 2007, 7:59am

Post #6 of 19 (1212 views)
I can't imagine that the WK would think Tom a man... [In reply to] Can't Post

When the WK learned that prophecy, I am sure that he was thinking that it meant creatures other than the race of Men, i.e. Elves, Dwarves, Maiar, etc. He didn't consider the fact that female "Men" are usually called by a different name. Even so, it didn't matter, but this still made him wonder about the real meaning of the prophecy. Still, it wasn't the fact that she was a woman that she could harm him. What really bit him on the ankle (cough) was the he didn't imagine that some Hobbit might have gotten ahold of a dead Man's dagger, thereby dispelling his immunity to normal weapons, and followed him all of the way to Gondor!

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist

Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea

Dec 18 2007, 8:58pm

Post #7 of 19 (1202 views)
Old Tom Bombadil was a merry fellow ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Old Tom Bombadil was a merry fellow;
bright blue his jacket was and his boots were yellow,
green were his girdle and his breeches all of leather;
he wore in his tall hat a swan-wing feather.
He lived up under Hill, where the Withywindle
ran from a grassy well down into the dingle.

Dark came under Hill. Tom, he lit a candle;
upstairs creaking went, turned the door-handle.
"Hoo, Tom Bombadil! Look what night has brought you!
I'm behind the door. Now at last I've caught you!
You forgot the Witch King of Angmar of old
From beyond the mountains in his tower cold.
He's arose again. To Mordor he'll take you.
Poor Tom Bombadil, a wraith he'll make you!"

"Go out! Shut the door, and never come back after!
Take away burning eyes, take your hollow laughter!
Go back to Morgul-vale, or I shall cast you down
Unknit your undead body, steal your empty crown
Send your spirit wailing to the Dark Lord faster
Malice cannot harm me for here I am the master!"

Out fled the Witch King through the window leaping,
through forest, over hill like a shadow sweeping,
went he shivering back to Minas Morgul,
back to his slavery to the Lord of the Nazgul!

Old Tom Bombadil lay upon his pillow
sweeter than Goldberry, quieter than the Willow,
snugger than the Badger-folk or the Morgul-dweller;
slept like a humming-top, snored like a bellow.

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.

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Dec 19 2007, 3:35am

Post #8 of 19 (1109 views)
Excellent, Idril! [In reply to] Can't Post

Some actual use for Tom BombadilCool

For Gondor!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 19 2007, 5:00am

Post #9 of 19 (1114 views)
*Applause* / [In reply to] Can't Post



"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories

Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea

Dec 19 2007, 5:44am

Post #10 of 19 (1122 views)
We have a winner! [In reply to] Can't Post

Love the warm and cozy ending!

Where's Frodo?


Dec 20 2007, 4:29pm

Post #11 of 19 (1121 views)
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" [In reply to] Can't Post

Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay all over again.

And the same result. TKO in the seventh round.

The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”


Dec 20 2007, 5:10pm

Post #12 of 19 (1403 views)
If nothing else . [In reply to] Can't Post

Tom would sing tell WK's head exploded.

So it goe's to Tom

Never doubt that a small group of peple can change the world indeed,that is the onely thing that ever has......Margaret mead

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 28 2007, 4:33am

Post #13 of 19 (1140 views)
Excellent parody, Idril! [In reply to] Can't Post

Of "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil", for those unfamiliar with that poem Smile. The original uses a Barrow-wight; but this takes it up a level! Very clever!

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Jan 11 2008, 11:14am

Post #14 of 19 (929 views)
Tom B, without question! [In reply to] Can't Post

Short Answer:
Tom would wup the Witch-King (WK), no matter where they were, no matter what the Age of the world

Long Answer:
What do we know about Tom Bombadil? Numbers in brackets should direct you to stuff at the end of this message to support the below.

Tom was the Master of all things within the lands that he chose to remain within. It says as much in the LOTR chapter In the House of Tom Bombadil (1). Goldberry says it. I simply don’t accept that Tom’s personal power would somehow get flushed down the toilet should he choose to leave the area around the Old Forest. Indeed, when the Old Forest was a lot larger in Ages past, Tom didn’t still just hang around bit of woodland that would eventually become the Old Forest. The land he traversed must have been enormous during the First Age of the World and before. Elrond, during The Council of Elrond (4) makes it clear that the ‘forest’ once covered an area from, and including, The Shire all the way to Dunland.

Was Bombadil’s power less then? Did it grow as the land he travelled reduced? There is NOTHING to suggest this. And when Gandalf talks about Bombadil having set his own borders, again, there is nothing suggesting that this has in some way affected Bombadil’s power.

Indeed the only limits to Bombadil’s power are in the form of, firstly, the One Ring has no power over him – which in itself is quite a statement, for the Ring would gain power even over Gandalf if he tried to use it, which is why Gandalf is so reluctant to do so – and that should Sauron gain his ring back, then Bombadil would eventually fall “...Last as he was First...”, as stated by Glorfindel.

Some will be thinking “How would Glorfindel know?” Glorfindel was sent back to Middle-earth by the Valar to aid the Eldar against Sauron in the Second Age, before the Istari were sent to Middle-earth. He was conceived in the mind of Tolkien, at one point, as a potential Istari himself, before this elite group became ALL Ainur/Maiar, so Mr T invested a lot of wisdom and potency in him. He was also a great and close friend to Olórin/Gandalf for thousands of years. So I think we can take what he says on subjects we don’t fully understand at face value.

OK, Tom says himself that he is not master of the riders (2), but you don’t have to be master of your potential opponent in order to be able to wup them.

One of the most telling comments of the LORT is one by the narrator. This is important because it is no longer one of the characters saying something, who could after al be wrong, it is the narrator saying it, who has not axe to grind, no stake in leading us to believe one thing over another, and the narrator says in Flight to the Ford when Frodo is feebly telling the riders to back off, that he did not have “...the power of Bombadil...” (3). Therefore, I believe, allowing the obviously conclusion to be drawn, that had Bombadil been there, he COULD have command the riders to leave. All nine of them! Although this was before the WK gained extra demonic power at the attack on Minas Tirith, this is a VERY telling comment.

Another important pointer to the power of Bombadil arises on one of Mr T’s letters, Letter 144 To Naomi Mitchison (5) where he states that in a world ruled by Sauron, there would be nothing left for Bombadil. It is not clear from this whether he means Bombadil would fall, or whether or not he would simply ‘leave’ due to his inability to prevent the fall of the land to Sauron. Either way, it re-enforces the knowledge of Glorfindel, that Bombadil would be the last one around before Sauron’s complete domination of Middle-earth.

So the long and short of it is, Bombadil’s power is without question, and probably the greatest of any dwelling in Middle-earth, except a Ringed-up Sauron.

There are several more powerful, even when demonically enhanced, than the WK. Gandalf (Grey or White), Glorfindel, Saruman (White or Many-coloured), Galadriel, possibly Radagast (he WAS an Istari after all) and maybe even Círdan and Elrond. That’s already a substantial list, and who of them could claim the same over Bombadil. None.

Bombadil wins, every time. Hands down.



(1) In The House of Tom Bombadil
"...Tom Bombadil is the Master. No one has ever caught old Tom walking in the forest, wading in the water, leaping on the hill-tops under light and shadow. He has no fear. Tom Bombadil is master."

(2) Fog on the Barrow Downs
"No, I hope not tonight," answered Tom Bombadil; "nor perhaps the next day. But do not trust my guess; for I cannot tell for certain. Out east my knowledge fails. Tom is not master of Riders from the Black Land far beyond his country."

(3) Flight to the Ford
"Go back!" he cried. "Go back to the Land of Mordor, and follow me no more!" His voice sounded thin and shrill in his own ears. The Riders halted, but Frodo had not the power of Bombadil. His enemies laughed at him with a harsh and chilling laughter. "Come back! Come back!" they called. "To Mordor we will take you!"

(4) The Council of Elrond
"The Barrow-wights we know by many names; and of the Old Forest many tales have been told: all that now remains is but an outlier of its northern march. Time was when a squirrel could go from tree to tree from what is now the Shire to Dunland west of Isengard. In those lands I journeyed once, and many things wild and strange I knew. 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 than the old. That was not then his name. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless. But many another name he has since been given by other folk: Forn by the Dwarves, Orald by Northern Men, and other names beside. He is a strange creature, but maybe I should have summoned him to our Council."

"He would not have come," said Gandalf.

"Could we not still send messages to him and obtain his help?" asked Erestor. "It seems that he has a power even over the Ring."

"No, I should not put it so," said Gandalf. "Say rather that the Ring has no power over him. He is his own master. But he cannot alter the Ring itself, nor break its power over others. And now he is withdrawn into a little land, within bounds that he has set, though none can see them, waiting perhaps for a change of days, and he will not step beyond them."

"But within those bounds nothing seems to dismay him," said Erestor. "Would he not take the Ring and keep it there, for ever harmless?"

"No," said Gandalf, "not willingly. He might do so, if all the free folk of the world begged him, but he would not understand the need. And if he were given the Ring, he would soon forget it, or most likely throw it away. Such things have no hold on his mind. He would be a most unsafe guardian; and that alone is answer enough."

"But in any case," said Glorfindel, "to send the Ring to him would only postpone the day of evil. He is far away. We could not now take it back to him, unguessed, unmarked by any spy. And even if we could, 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. I think that in the end, if all else is conquered, Bombadil will fall, Last as he was First; and then Night will come."

(5) Letter 144 To Naomi Mitchison
Tom Bombadil is not an important person – to the narrative. I suppose he has some importance as a 'comment'. I mean, I do not really write like that: he is just an invention (who first appeared in the Oxford Magazine about 1933), and he represents something that I feel important, though I would not be prepared to analyze the feeling precisely. I would not, however, have left him in, if he did not have some kind of function. I might put it this way. The story is cast in terms of a good side, and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship, moderated freedom with consent against compulsion that has long lost any object save mere power, and so on; but both sides in some degree, conservative or destructive, want a measure of control. but if you have, as it were taken 'a vow of poverty', renounced control, and take your delight in things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless. It is a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war. But the view of Rivendell seems to be that it is an excellent thing to have represented, but that there are in fact things with which it cannot cope; and upon which its existence nonetheless depends. Ultimately only the victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive. Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron.

Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea

Jan 11 2008, 3:43pm

Post #15 of 19 (922 views)
Good answer! [In reply to] Can't Post

That's probably the most well-documented responses to an "Arena" matchup that I've ever seen!

*mods up*

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.

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(This post was edited by Idril Celebrindal on Jan 11 2008, 3:44pm)


Jan 11 2008, 6:17pm

Post #16 of 19 (940 views)
Impossible to determine [In reply to] Can't Post

This is impossible to determine as they are actually the same person. You don't belive it? Here's the proof!

Ya! Ya! Ya! Ya! Do you waaaaant...do you waaaaaant...to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy?

Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea

Jan 13 2008, 4:46am

Post #17 of 19 (863 views)
LOL! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know I've read that before but I forgot all about it when I posted this battle. Thanks for the refresher!

Where's Frodo?

One Ringer
Tol Eressea

Jan 30 2008, 1:33pm

Post #18 of 19 (4096 views)
Singlord . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

It has to be Bombadil! Has the Witch King ever made a duplicate of the One Ring? . . . . . . . . . . Well, the answer is simple, isn't it?

"Death is just another pathway . . . one which we all must take."

-Gandalf from "The Return of the King"


Jun 29 2013, 2:56pm

Post #19 of 19 (347 views)
tom bombadil [In reply to] Can't Post



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