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Old 19th August 2007, 10:26 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

I like Marvolo's theory that Tom B. is Tolkien's insertion of himself in the story.

However, I find him incredibly annoying and a throwback to the style and world of The Hobbit.

Should Batteddy be referred to the other thread about the conspiracy to spell the author's name Tolkein?

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Old 26th August 2007, 05:31 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

mhh I donīt think that Tomīs Aule... If heīs, why hadnīt Gandalf as one of the maiar, recognize him...?
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Old 27th August 2007, 12:09 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

I always thought of Tom as being the spirit of place, the genius loci of Middle Earth.
I also think that speculation on his nature are, ultimately, futile:

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And even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally).'
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
, No 144, dated 1954
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Old 28th August 2007, 12:26 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

2,222 posts Pyan, that's pretty speshal.
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Old 28th August 2007, 06:59 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

Thanks, Joke! I thought 1,111 was good - didn't expect to get to 2,222 so fast!!
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Old 18th September 2007, 01:13 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

in the book tom was confusing to me then in the game battle for middle earth 2 he jumps around singing im an irish leprecaun
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Old 18th September 2007, 01:40 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

The 'Tolkien Bestiary,' identifies Bombadill as one of the Maia, Like Sauron and the Istari.

He seems to have created his own fiefdom away from the world for his own reasons.

Gandalf was not tempted by the ring in the conventional sense, but by the fact that he would try to use its power for good, something it would not tolerate. If the consequences of such action would terrify Gandalf, I'm glad we never found out what they were.
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Old 18th September 2007, 11:00 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

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Originally Posted by The Ace View Post
The 'Tolkien Bestiary,' identifies Bombadill as one of the Maia, Like Sauron and the Istari.

He seems to have created his own fiefdom away from the world for his own reasons.

Gandalf was not tempted by the ring in the conventional sense, but by the fact that he would try to use its power for good, something it would not tolerate. If the consequences of such action would terrify Gandalf, I'm glad we never found out what they were.
Good info! I just read through that part of the books again and kept thinking - "The way that guy keeps singing and stuff... he must be one of the higher ups!" (The world has been created through song after all...I think)
I was even entertaining the thought, that he might be Radagast... or not... it was just him being so close to nature and stuff that the idea just popped into my head...

~Sira.
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Old 17th October 2007, 02:34 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

but no1 answered my question
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Old 17th October 2007, 02:37 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

Is the Tolkien Bestiary cannon or just someone making their own inference as we are doing?
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Old 17th October 2007, 11:18 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

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Originally Posted by Marvolo View Post
Is the Tolkien Bestiary cannon or just someone making their own inference as we are doing?
Not really cannon, though I believe Christopher Tolkien refers to it now and again (my memory may be playing me tricks on this one, though). Fascinating book, but not entirely accurate, I'd say.

Sorry... computer was locking up on me, and I had to go ahead and post without finishing.

Okay... There's quite a bit about Tom in both The History of Middle Earth (especially Vol. VI: The Return of the Shadow), but also in the Letters, particularly pp. 178-79 and 191-92:

Quote:
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 someting 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.
Which last sentence certainly indicates he was not one of the Maia.

As for the latter passage:

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As for Tom Bombadil [... l]ots of other characters are called Master; and if 'in time' Tom was primeval he was Eldest in Time. But Goldberry and Tom are referring to the mystery of names. See and ponder Tom's words in Vol. I p. 142. You may be able to conceive of your unique relation to the Creator without a name -- can you: for in such a relation pronouns become proper nouns? But as soon as you are in a world of other finites with a similar, if each unique and different, relation to Prime Being, who are you? Frodo has asked not 'what is Tom Bombadil' but 'Who is he'. We and he no doubt often laxly confuse the questions. Goldberry gives what I think is the correct answer. We need not go into the sublimities of 'I am that am' -- which is quite different from he is. She adds as a concession astatement of part of the 'what'. He is master in a peculiar way: he has no fear, and no desire of possession or domination at all. He merely knows and understands about such things as concern him in his natural realm. He hardly even judges, and as far as can be seen makes no effort to reform or remove even the Willow.

I don't think Tom needs philosophizing about, and is not improved by it. But many have found him an odd or indeed discordant ingredient. In historical fact I put him in because I had already 'invented' him independently (he first appeared in the Oxford Magazine) and wanted an 'adventure' on the way. But I kept him in, and as he was, because he represents certain things otherwise left out. I do not mean him to be an allegory -- or I should not have given him so particular, individual, and ridiculous a name -- but 'allegory' is the only mode of exhibiting certain functions: he is then an 'allegory', or an exemplar, a particular embodying of pure (real) natural science: the spirit that desires knowledge of other things, their history and nature, because they are 'other' and wholly independent of the enquiring mind, a spirit coeval with the rational mind, and entirely unconcerned with 'doing' anything with the knowledge: Zoology and Botany not Cattle-breeding or Agriculture. Even the Elves hardly show this: they are primarily artists. Also T.B. exhibits another point in his attitude to the Ring, and its failure to affect him. You must concentrate on some part, probably relatively small, of the World (Universe), whether to tell a tale, however long, or to learn anything however fundamental -- and therefore much will from that 'point of view' be let out, distorted on the circumference, or seem a discordant oddity. The power of the Ring over all concerned, even the Wizards or Emissaries, is not a delusion -- but it is not the whole picture, even of the then state and content of that part of the Universe.
The words of Tom mentioned above are: "'Don't you know my name yet? That's the only answer. Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?'"

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Old 18th October 2007, 04:38 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

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Originally Posted by j. d. worthington View Post
Not really cannon, though I believe Christopher Tolkien refers to it now and again (my memory may be playing me tricks on this one, though). Fascinating book, but not entirely accurate, I'd say.

Sorry... computer was locking up on me, and I had to go ahead and post without finishing.

Okay... There's quite a bit about Tom in both The History of Middle Earth (especially Vol. VI: The Return of the Shadow), but also in the Letters, particularly pp. 178-79 and 191-92:



Which last sentence certainly indicates he was not one of the Maia.

As for the latter passage:



The words of Tom mentioned above are: "'Don't you know my name yet? That's the only answer. Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?'"
And I thought Tolkien was wordy in his prose...

So, the long and short answer is, Tolkien didn't have it nailed down who T.B. was, and thought that philosophizing over it wasn't worth our time. So I'm done.

It was fun while it lasted.
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Old 19th October 2007, 02:00 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

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And I thought Tolkien was wordy in his prose...

So, the long and short answer is, Tolkien didn't have it nailed down who T.B. was, and thought that philosophizing over it wasn't worth our time. So I'm done.

It was fun while it lasted.
I wouldn't say he didn't have it nailed down so much as Bombadil is such a complex enigma that he can't be summed up easily. This is often the case with Tolkien (and a lot of the older writers of his ilk) -- there's a lot of meaning in very small, subtle things, but they're difficult to pin down to a simple explanation, and to go into all the symbolism of them is the sort of thing Tolkien was often quite reluctant to do (though he could do it quite eloquently, as can be seen by his essay "On Fairy-Stories") as he tended to think that it did damage to the artistry -- and therefore the impact -- of such symbols. I'm not at all sure I agree with this view -- for some, it may be the case, but I find that such examination can actually enhance the enjoyment of such works...
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Old 19th October 2007, 04:53 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

I think Tom's just a superfluous character, and I'm very glad he wasn't in the movie. It's a shame we missed out on the barrow-wights as well, but that can't be helped.
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Old 20th October 2007, 03:52 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

Tom is fun, but he doesn't really fit. However, how would you fit in the old forest and the barrow downs without him? I think he can handle the ring because he is unconcerned with things outside of his little area of interest. Besides, he only has it for a few moments. If he pocessed it instead of barrowing it and his little realm was threatened, the ring quite possibly could affect him.
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