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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
What do Tom and Goldberry add to LOTR?
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Jan 27, 4:40pm

Post #26 of 29 (398 views)
Who or what Tom Bombadil is, is like Balrog's wings.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Debate amongst yourselves. Wink

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.


Jan 27, 11:11pm

Post #27 of 29 (370 views)
Rookie perspective [In reply to] Can't Post

I only read the first two paragraphs of the original post here because I don't think I want more info at this time. (although it wouldn't be a huge disaster if it accidently happened). From my rookie viewpoint, even if Tom and Goldberry do not have another part in this great adventure I was pretty entertained by them so it was worth it by injecting them in the story for a short time. On the other hand, I will be a bit disappointed if I don't hear from them again, especially Goldberry. When I read about the talking raven in the Hobbit (can't remember his name) I hoped to hear more from him but didn't. If Tom and Goldberry don't come back I will be a little upset at Tolkien but I will just imagine that he was trying to imitate life. Sometimes someone pops into your life and make a big impact for a short time and then disappears, never to be seen again. Since those two were so fascinating I could understand why first time readers would be disappointed if they don't hear any more from them. At this point I'm keeping an open mind.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf (movie quote)

Chen G.

Jan 28, 8:23pm

Post #28 of 29 (317 views)
Actually [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
If i’m thinking that part of a story is “contrived” then I find it pulls me out of the story, and I start to think about whether I want to carry on reading.

Generally, when contrivance screws the characters over, people tend to accept it, or not percieve it as contrivance at all. I didn't come up with this: Vice Giligan did. Now there's a man who knows a thing or two about storytelling.

In Reply To
But I think Tolkien is talking (to me at least) about a second responsibility - a contradictory one, to be cautious about doing good.

Tolkien was actually quite specific on this point, and its a bit more nuanced than this.

His is essentially a conservative argument (and not an untrue one, one might add), that change - even good change, must occur slowly and gradually. Any change on a largescale societal or political level, done quickly, tends to result in bloodshed.


Jan 29, 12:09am

Post #29 of 29 (307 views)
A dump so impregnable, [In reply to] Can't Post

that the janitor has to become as much strong of mind to get there as superman would have had to be should he decided to take the kriptonite to the dump himself.

The mere existence of a contrivance talk should at least suggest that the readers might be making the wrong assessment about Frodo's part in the tale.

Just for the sake of argument, consider Beren. Like Frodo, he had an "institutional" mission, namely, capturing the Silmaril. But his personal mission was to keep Luthien. The Silmaril was incidental.

Certainly Frodo (or anyone else) would fail in his institutional mission. But he could have had a very personal mission in which he did not fail.

In LOTR Tolkien was constrained by the impossibility of taking things to Silmarillion level to an audience that would probably (so he guessed) never learn the inexorable ways in which the Valar deals with the affairs of Arda, but to us more advanced readers it is obligatory to consider how Manwë would deliver the prophetical doom of the end of the Third Age, as stated in the Music.

The end of immortal rule in Middle-earth was a decree, not a choice the powerful elves could take themselves, not the least because they would have to justify it to their mighty people. Entwined they were to the fate of Middle-earth even before the making of the Rings of Power. They would have to be relieved of their self-appointed duty by the true Ruler himself.

One thing is obvoius to me. That Aragorn is not operating at that prophecy level (he belongs to Ulmo's level,) then, just for speculation pleasure, how could Manwë deliver to the elves the certainty that mortals had now divine right to rule Middle-earth? Mandos is out of bonds in LOTR.

Could it be that Frodo's personal mission, which he alone could undertake because he was chosen by Manwë, was to become the one mortal ever to be a worthy claimant of the Ring? Could it be that in defying Sauron and taking the Ring to the very Sammath Naur he won the Ring at last?

Suppose that Frodo did not fail when he put the Ring on, but that the bearers of the three and Sauron suddenly understood that he could wield it as no mortal should ever be capable of. That would definitely mark the end of any presumption of dominion by the immortal, even if that moment lasted a split-second.

There is no direct evidence about this, but complete silence, except for a purgatory here, a contrivance talk there, but did Tolkien had any alternative, since preserving Frodo's aura of innocence was required because hobbits are after all, only hobbits, and LOTR does not allow for this kind of reasoning?

Sweet speculation, please never allow me to forget the possibility of you.

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