Re: Tom Bombadil
Here are some of my theories. First Goldberry. Doesn´t desccription like mermaid, water-nymph, water spirit, syren, russalki become to her? She was deeply fond of water-lily's or nymphaea's. - the favourite flower's of that kind of creatures. Tom Bombadil was bringing them to her, when he first time met with the hobbits. And when the hobbits first time met with Goldberry, then the first thing they noticed, were water-lilys in containers that surrounded her. Next, when Tom Bombadil met her first time then she was sitting in the river or by the river and was singing sweetly. Again favourite action of those creatures. Like Lorelei. And she was called River-Daughter. Again very usual nickname to that kind of creatures. Of course she was without a fish tale, but her dress was silvery and green. Favourite colours of those creatures.
Now about Bombadil. I have abook – Finnish folk- and fairytales and in many tales there is a theme about little lost children in the forest and there was some kind of sorest spirit who always looked like a kind elderly merry man, who saved them, took those children home feed them and send them next day back to their home. His Job was take care of forest and animals. Doesn't it sound familiar? Tolkien knew very well scandinavian and finnish mythology and maybe that gave him an idea to create Tom Bombadil?