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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Crtical Analysis of Tom Bombadil: Lesson Learned

Dirhaval
The Shire

May 26 2013, 8:21pm


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Crtical Analysis of Tom Bombadil: Lesson Learned Can't Post

Greetings. I like to share my point of Tom's origins. First, I have not read anything like my own analysis. Second,
I have read some other viewpoints of Tom on this site, but searching every thread about him is too much for me, so I have
not read everything. Third, Tom is a mystery that will be unsolved due to Tolkien's designs.

My readings: major writings of LOTR, Letters, autobiographies of Tolkien, all 12 volumes of the Historys (cure for insomnia),
Ralph Wood gospel (please watch his hour length seminar on utube, something about time or terror.

I have read analyses of Tom stating Tom is Middle-Earth incarnate, which explains his detachment of the Ring
and of his singing. Well, sorry I do not get any life lesson from that explanation; I will discard it for now.

PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I GO AMISS!

Gandalf states somewhere that there are two reasons why folks seek power: to control others, or to protect the weak.
Also, I believe the wizard says the best use of power is not to use it.

First, I feel Tom is the most powerful of the Maiar, which explains why he would be the last to be defeated by Sauron
and why he is still around not defeated by balrogs during Melkor's rehab in the Halls of Mandos.
I feel that each maia is attached to some element or ability. I feel Tom is one of the earth spirits, which explains
his power with the land and attraction to water.

He is the Oldest. That means he was the first ainur to enter into Ea. I feel that when Illuvatar showed Middle-Earth
to the Ainur explaining to them what it was Tom is running with glee towards it like a kid seeing an ice-cream truck.
Since Middle-Earth has "time" those outside of it cannot know the time elapsed until one enters into it. Thus, when the
others ainur entered "later" into Middle-Earth, Tom has already been there for who-knows-how-long. It could have been a million
"years" already. This is the lesson I get from my analysis, and why the Ring has no power over Tom. It seems that
every other ainur shows respect to Tom, even the more powerful Valar. Is that what you do when you enter
a new playground: have a sense of respect to those already there?

Think about it: You are a child who gets to play with every lego model ever made. You do this by yourself for ten years in isolation.
You build everything conceivable thing with the legos, but you cannot leave the space, let's say the size of a 20,000 seat arena.
But all the while you sing, since that is what you were doing before you enter Middle-Earth and you are by yourself. You
see you have power of the land, air and water. [Now I am not saying Tom reformed Middle-Earth to the extent of the later Valar,
but Tom could shape the land if desired, but I doubt he had that desire]. Life Lesson: it is good to share.

Then one day your cousins arrive. They start do this and that with the Land/Legos. Since you have already "owned" the Land
and had your joy with it, the Land has no power over you. "Go ahead and sink that land under the water, I grew every tree
on that land, so do was you wish. You cannot have what I had with it; full control and ownership with no one to challenge me."
Thus, you do not care much what happens to it. Tom goes about
life bored until he meets Goldberry! Tolkien was writing about, in my opinion, about his wife with Goldberry. Let me throw in
a true, but frazzle statement: Reality is boring. Think about it. How long would you long for another individual in your life
if you were lock away in a library with every book? It would happen eventually. Tom got bored in a way with Middle-Earth.
But with Goldberry, which he mentions frequently, he has a purpose. Life Lesson: Thus your purpose with others is to care for them.
May be Sam Gamgee was thinking about Rose at this point.

Why then did the Ring not have power of him? Tom had no desire to control or protect others. He did save the hobbits.
Tom has a conscience, which I have not read from anyone, but is missed. He did allow the Hobbits to mistakenly
travel to the Barrow-downs, which would have ended the quest. And it was by chance that Tom arrived in time to save them again.

Think about it: Tom put on the ring and did not disappear. The ring had no power, since Tom desired no power, since
Tom already lived on Middle-Earth before anyone else. Also, why Tom would be a poor caretaker of the Ring. He would
fight back Sauron, but would not care too much if defeated. Tom had no fear. The One Ring provides many powers.
The most powerful: Fear on the ringbearer. That is another topic that I have not read anywhere.
Remember, Tom let the Barrow-wights dwell nigh the Old Forest. He allowed evil to exist; evil has a right to "possibility" exist.

Tom could see Frodo with the Ring on Frodo's finger. How? Evil has to imbed itself into the material plane to act. That is to be seen
by the eyes, "it" must be attached to an object. We can be deceived by the eye. Since the land
had no power of old Tom, the evil in the Ring was impotent to Tom's vision, but Tom was aware of the evil.

Goldberry to me is more of a mystery than Tom. Daughter of the River. So she is a water maia?

One last point of Tom: Tom set his own boundaries in the Forest. Now, why would he do that?
That is easy. Tom is expressing his near omnipotent power by limiting himself. There are
not many ways to show power than to limit oneself using it. Tom is so powerful, he is saying:
"The limits I place on myself are not really limits at all. If you take away from something, that something
must be less than the missing part, unless all parts are equal. Two = Two. If you take away a "Two",
then you have either nothing or everything. Life Lesson: To get everything, you must take it away from yourself.

Enjoy!

Summary:
Tom Bombadil is an enigma left for us to unravel. My analysis of Tom supplies me with life lessons.
I have not read anything like most of what is above. My intuition was right before. When I read
Legolas and Gimli sailing west for the first time in year 1996; I predicted all three movies to be released
on the silver screen in ten years. Liv Tyler though was a sight unforeseen.

Will they film the First Age; Geez are you kidding? cha-ching.

Subject User Time
Crtical Analysis of Tom Bombadil: Lesson Learned Dirhaval Send a private message to Dirhaval May 26 2013, 8:21pm
    Interesting - geordie Send a private message to geordie May 26 2013, 9:35pm
        Your only comment is to ask for page references?? // CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 27 2013, 7:59pm
            yes. Why do you ask? // geordie Send a private message to geordie May 27 2013, 8:34pm
        Bombadil: Power Dirhaval Send a private message to Dirhaval Jun 9 2013, 7:00pm
    Welcome to TORN, Dirhaval! :) An intersting analysis. My two cents on your Bombadil observations: dik-dik Send a private message to dik-dik May 26 2013, 10:27pm
        Bombadil: brooch Dirhaval Send a private message to Dirhaval Jun 9 2013, 7:25pm
            Re: dik-dik Send a private message to dik-dik Jun 9 2013, 8:48pm
                Goldberry Dirhaval Send a private message to Dirhaval Jun 9 2013, 9:12pm
    He was a big fish in a little pond Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee May 27 2013, 10:52pm
    some thoughts elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 May 28 2013, 9:20pm
    Thoughts axewielder Send a private message to axewielder May 29 2013, 12:58pm
        Doubts CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 29 2013, 2:12pm
            Maiar-lite? axewielder Send a private message to axewielder May 29 2013, 3:20pm
                I made up the "Maiar-lite" CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 29 2013, 4:02pm
                    Maiar-Lite exceptionally apt term CG Brethil Send a private message to Brethil May 29 2013, 5:37pm
                        This is all well and true yet it seems to help to point out that Tom is not a Maiar axewielder Send a private message to axewielder May 29 2013, 5:56pm
                            Free will within constraints CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 29 2013, 6:21pm
                                agreed axewielder Send a private message to axewielder May 29 2013, 6:30pm
                            I like your extension of the logic here Axewielder! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil May 29 2013, 6:30pm
                                Trenchant observation, Brethil! CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 29 2013, 7:33pm
                                enigma is the perfect term axewielder Send a private message to axewielder May 29 2013, 8:21pm
                                    Agreed here too Brethil Send a private message to Brethil May 29 2013, 10:04pm
        I must say that theory doesn't convince me. dik-dik Send a private message to dik-dik May 29 2013, 2:19pm
            Thinking alike, Dik-Dik CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 29 2013, 2:40pm
                *shakes hands with CuriousG* ;) dik-dik Send a private message to dik-dik May 29 2013, 3:50pm
                some further thoughts elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 May 29 2013, 7:02pm
                    Tom's social circle CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 29 2013, 7:22pm
                        Curious point (haha) ;-) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil May 29 2013, 8:10pm
                            Another Switzerland CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG May 29 2013, 8:17pm
                                Thingol and chocolate Brethil Send a private message to Brethil May 29 2013, 10:01pm
        Bombadil: Maia or Not Maia Dirhaval Send a private message to Dirhaval Jun 9 2013, 8:00pm
    GREAT thread and all of the postings were FABULOUS ltnjmy Send a private message to ltnjmy Jun 4 2013, 5:52pm
        Nice to see you! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 4 2013, 7:45pm
    A spirit of nature wildespace Send a private message to wildespace Jun 5 2013, 7:55am
        Anomalies and ambiguities Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Jun 5 2013, 9:21pm

 
 
 

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