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


May 29 2013, 10:01pm

Post #26 of 36 (105 views)
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Thingol and chocolate [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that why he keeps everyone out? We have all been discussing divisive political theory and its just the darn good chocolate? Who knew.

I do think that Tom and Gandalf would talk like old friends about those they knew in common...I doubt Tom would want too much shop talk, and Gandalf might feel blessed not to have to think upon it. Really a picture of those chatting and laughing that makes me very happy, a well-earned respite for Mithrandir after his many labors...and deep yet humble enough company to fit him.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 29 2013, 10:04pm

Post #27 of 36 (110 views)
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Agreed here too [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
exactly why I do not feel that the Maiar nor the Valar answer to the Tom question is correct nor satisfying. Tom is perhaps the biggest mystery in LOTR and Tolkien said he is an enigma. The word was chosen carefully as Tolkien often does, it does not mean that there is no answer to who is, but that it is a one of a kind answer to the mystery so when we go looking for an answer Maiar fails miserably at this point, it would make Tom all too common in my opinion, sure one could say his character is enigmatic for a "maia" but that is not what Tolkien is referring to when he uses the word enigma.




And as we know he pored quite literally over every word (and even among authors, individual words had unique power to JRRT) so indeed Tom as he is, is in there for a reason, and I would agree that it is a special and uncommon one.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


ltnjmy
Rivendell


Jun 4 2013, 5:52pm

Post #28 of 36 (84 views)
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GREAT thread and all of the postings were FABULOUS [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks All !!!Smile


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 7:45pm

Post #29 of 36 (76 views)
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Nice to see you! [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad you enjoyed it - do feel free to chime in someday! Wink

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


wildespace
The Shire

Jun 5 2013, 7:55am

Post #30 of 36 (74 views)
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A spirit of nature [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't see the reason to pidgeon-hole Tom into the Maiar category. Tom originated as a spirit of the English countryside (long before the writing of LotR), and I think he remained as such in LotR - a spirit of nature in Middle-Earth. Tolkien's writings reveal that there were other types of beings in Arda apart from the embodied Maiar. For example, we don't really know who Ungoliant was. Perhaps, when Arda was created, some of its primal aspects or elements became alive and sentient.

As I read Tolkien's Letters and other more obscure literature, the lesson I learn is that not everything is clear-cut, black or white, in Tolkien's writings.


(This post was edited by wildespace on Jun 5 2013, 7:59am)


Na Vedui
Rohan


Jun 5 2013, 9:21pm

Post #31 of 36 (73 views)
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Anomalies and ambiguities [In reply to] Can't Post

"As I read Tolkien's Letters and other more obscure literature, the lesson I learn is that not everything is clear-cut, black or white, in Tolkien's writings. "
This is where Middle-earth as an imagined world really scores (for me, anyway). As well as enough firm geography and detailed history to make it solid, there are anomalies, exceptions, alternative traditions - just like the real world. Alongside characters like Aragorn and Sauron who have a clear background history and agenda, there are puzzles like Tom B and the mountain Caradhras. Tolkien's migrations of peoples are realistically messy - some go West, some don't, some go halfway and then change their minds... Languages change and evolve. Not everything Tolkien says about a particular topic necessarily adds up neatly, especially if he had several stabs at it over the years. And so on. It all feels organic, rather than synthetic or "made up". Probably the fact that the creation of Middle-earth was a lifetime's work has something to do with it.


Dirhaval
The Shire

Jun 9 2013, 7:00pm

Post #32 of 36 (51 views)
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Bombadil: Power [In reply to] Can't Post

Umm. I cannot recall where it is mentioned; may be in the Return of the Shadow chapter in Fellowship. I think Gandalf
mentioned something in Two Towers when dealing with the Ents. That is the best I can do. I am listening now
the book that is on a youtube channel.


Dirhaval
The Shire

Jun 9 2013, 7:25pm

Post #33 of 36 (48 views)
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Bombadil: brooch [In reply to] Can't Post

My a lot great points. Some questions you ask of me. Forgive if I miss anything.

Quote
I am not sure the balrogs and other servants of Morgoth did much while their master was imprisoned -

I think the servants of Morgoth were very busy when Morgoth was in rehabilitation. My reasoning is that war soon
started when he returned, which denotes he had a good breeding program in place. Dragons don't just get breed rapidly.
Also, the balrogs came to a quick rescue of him from Ungoliant. Now, if my master was taken away, I would maintain
his house until he returned least he punishes me. I feel that the Underdeeps were extended during that time too. How
else did the Balrog of Moria travel that far underground?
**
It seems that every other ainur shows respect to Tom, even the more powerful Valar.

Quote
Valar? Where does that statement come from? *is curious*

I say this due to Gandalf showing great reverence to Tom. Is not Gandalf one the servant's of the pity Valar?

***


In Reply To
Tom goes about life bored until he meets Goldberry!

I don't know, he seemed pretty content to me... what are you basing this observation on?

I base my observation on that Tom sings about her regularly and mentions he has to get back to her.
That makes no sense if Goldberry and he were together from the start; that would entail possession without love or self-aggrandizement.
I feel Tom meet her later. Is not Tom and Goldberry Adam and Eve reincarnate? Adam was not the first individual in the Garden, neither was Eve.
For the first man was genderless. Adam is not named until after his ribbed is removed. Thus, that first man was "split" in two so to speak.
That is what Pope John Paul II says.
**

Yes, I agree with you now Tom could see Frodo since Tom could see in both worlds.

**

One more point that supports my first post of Tom:
One of his last acts was taking that brooch from the Barrow. Why did he do that? Why would this entity
want to "own" something, especially if it was to another? Any why did he say that he will remember the woman who
worn it last?
Think about it. Tom is stating he cares for no possessions since nothing possess him. He is taking the brooch as a "reminder"
of the one who owned it. He is giving that brooch a new purpose from that moment. He is saying that his memory of
the woman is not dependent on a material object, for if he loses that object will he "forget" her? That answer is no. I feel
such a moment was a huge part to Frodo. The Ring later possessed Frodo; Frodo forgotten about wind and grass. When
Frodo was rid of the Ring, he remembered. How can good memories exist if there cannot be a good future? When you possess
an object that object possess you for you impart some of your "stuff" into it. Since Tom may be was the first to enter Ea
he enjoyed Middle-Earth before anyone else. Lesson Learned: Give away all your possessions.







Dirhaval
The Shire

Jun 9 2013, 8:00pm

Post #34 of 36 (44 views)
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Bombadil: Maia or Not Maia [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I went to read that post. I say that the author brought up many points that supports Tom as a maia.
Remember. My point has very specific attributes for the reasoning. If one falters, then it all falls.
First, the singing. I feel since Tom was in Ea first he could sing to Ea without corruption of another. Since Ea is the embodiment of the Song.
Since he sang alone, ALL of his singing had a direct impact. It would not be "heard" by another maia or Valar. That is how
he could affect the barrow-wight and Old Man Willow by song alone. Not even Gandalf could do that. Recall that the Balrog said nothing
except may be the spell-battle at the door. Thus the singing aspect supports my view that Tom was the first to enter Ea.
Okay, the book mentions that the Valar were the first to enter Ea. Really, there are exceptions that do not get mentioned everytime it is told.
"Then Ea was shown. All stood in awe...except that guy with a feather in his hat and wearing yellow boots. He went running into Ea in a flash. Eru shook his hand in disappointment muttering to himself.
Then Eru beckon us to go into Ea......" That part of Tom surely gets left out by the fireside.

The author's point of the Ring's lack of influence over Tom is a major topic I have in mind to write about later. I mention this now. Gandalf and the others entered Ea
after someone else. You may have a fear that the one before knows something you do not know that may be used to control you. Thus you have a desire to
protect or to enslave. That is what the Ring needs as a seed. Since Tom was the first he had no fear, envy, or jealousy. What does the Ring do...makes you invisible.
Tom was already "invisible" when entering Ea first = no one was around to see him. He had no desire to be invisible, but the opposite. He wanted to be in Ea fully, thus there cannot be an ounce of desire for invisibility.

Another point of the author was Glorfindel's confusion of Tom. If that elf was in Valinor that does not mean Tom was ever in Valinor. Tom had better things to do than to visit it. Surely an elf of Rivendell
during the Second Age went to visit Tom out of curiosity right? Remember what Tom says, No one has caught him. Tom could stay hidden for anyone searching for him.

Now, one fact that I have not read or considered much myself. How could Tom "disappear" the Ring? If Tom was Ea itself, surely Tom could have transported the Ring to the roots of the Mountains right?


dik-dik
Lorien


Jun 9 2013, 8:48pm

Post #35 of 36 (36 views)
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Re: [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think the servants of Morgoth were very busy when Morgoth was in rehabilitation. My reasoning is that war soon started when he returned, which denotes he had a good breeding program in place. Dragons don't just get breed rapidly. Also, the balrogs came to a quick rescue of him from Ungoliant. Now, if my master was taken away, I would maintain
his house until he returned least he punishes me.


Oh, I agree that the residents of Angband were silently preparing for their master's return. But you implied in your first post that Bombadil was somehow in danger from the balrogs, and since I cannot imagine Bombadil going anywhere near Angband, I took your statement to mean that the servants of Melkor roamed Beleriand while Melkor was imprisoned. And that was what I disagreed with. :)


In Reply To
I feel that the Underdeeps were extended during that time too. How else did the Balrog of Moria travel that far underground?


What are Underdeeps? I've never heard that term before. I may well be mistaken, not having done any research on this, but I've always imagined the Moria balrog escaping on the ground rather than under it.


In Reply To
I say this due to Gandalf showing great reverence to Tom. Is not Gandalf one the servant's of the pity Valar?


Yes, Gandalf apparently serves both Manwe and Nienna. But I don't see how the fact that Gandalf was tutored by Nienna and in Middle-earth showed respect for Tom, means that the Valar themselves show respect to Tom, as you stated: "It seems that every other ainur shows respect to Tom, even the more powerful Valar."


In Reply To
I base my observation on that Tom sings about her regularly and mentions he has to get back to her. That makes no sense if Goldberry and he were together from the start; that would entail possession without love or self-aggrandizement.
I feel Tom meet her later.


Again I have difficulties following your line of reasoning. How does Tom meeting Goldberry later on in life (which mental image I share), in any way imply that Tom was bored prior to meeting Goldberry? (per your earlier quote that "Tom goes about life bored until he meets Goldberry!")

"A journalist once asked me what I would like my epitaph to be and I said I think I would like it to be 'He did very little harm'. And that's not easy. Most people seem to me to do a great deal of harm. If I could be remembered as having done very little, that would suit me." ~ Paul Eddington


Dirhaval
The Shire

Jun 9 2013, 9:12pm

Post #36 of 36 (52 views)
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Goldberry [In reply to] Can't Post

My reasoning that Tom's life takes a great turn upon meeting Goldberry lies in the poems
of Tom Bombadil, which are separate from Lord of the Rings, is Tom somewhat embodies the first man in the Garden of Eden.
Married men I know who first met the wife upon entering a new social group end up finding ways to be away from her.
Good discussion.

I am finding my source about the Underdeeps. Shelob travel above ground to get to Mordor.

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