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Old 10th November 2007, 07:45 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

Hmmm, never contributed to this thread before but my suspicion is that Tom Bomabdil is in fact a very famous Scot. Billy Connely! He dances sings and makes merry a lot and most importantly he has been known to wear BIG YELLOW boots. Big boots shaped like bananas actually!

Umm they didnt actually discount him. In the extended edition when tree beard saves Merry and Pipin the poem he uses is actually from Tom Bombadil I dont know where or when.
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Old 10th November 2007, 09:28 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

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Originally Posted by Ice fyre View Post
Umm they didnt actually discount him. In the extended edition when tree beard saves Merry and Pipin the poem he uses is actually from Tom Bombadil I dont know where or when.
It's from the bit where he rescues the hobbits from Old Man Willow in the Forest....
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Old 11th November 2007, 10:32 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

JRRT put much thought over many years into his cosmology of Eru and Arda. After he had categorized the Creator, the Ainur, the Valar and Maiar, the Enemies, the Quendi in all their subcategories, the Naugrim, the Ents, Humans and their subcategories, and all creatures great and small... did Professor Tolkien feel that his world was bereft of mysteries? Linguists, historians, adventurers, and readers of all types have fallen in love with Arda and have tried to systematize it. I confess, that I have.

I worked on making my own Tolkien dictionary until I discovered J.E.A. Tyler's The New Tolkien Companion in 1981. Then I lived vicariously through Tyler's painstaking work.

Perhaps Tom Bombadil is Tolkien's reminder that there are things out there beyond our ability to understand and categorize. Eru's plans and Eru's purposes are too deep too fathom. Inscrutable.

How much fun is it when the supernatural is conveniently systematized?

Have you ever played Dungeon and Dragons? So many players know the rulebooks on the Planes, the Monsters, and the Gods through and through. They cannot be surprised by anything the DM throws at them. And if the DM creates something totally new and homegrown, the players throw a fit and cry foul because this new entity is not covered in the official published systematic cosmology. I ask you, how much fun is that?

C.S. Lewis put it this way in The Last Battle, "Do you think I keep him in my wallet, fools?" said Tirian. "Who am I that I could make Aslan appear at my bidding? He's not a tame lion." The words not a tame lion are repeated throughout the the series, iirc. The point is that if we can figure out every aspect of the supernatural and every characteristic of the divine, then the supernatural and the divine are not really special. In other words, the supernatural is not super and the divine is all too human.

Tolkien and Lewis were human. Yet is seems to me that they were not the tamest of writers.
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Old 11th November 2007, 10:04 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

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Originally Posted by Boaz View Post
JRRT put much thought over many years into his cosmology of Eru and Arda. After he had categorized the Creator, the Ainur, the Valar and Maiar, the Enemies, the Quendi in all their subcategories, the Naugrim, the Ents, Humans and their subcategories, and all creatures great and small... did Professor Tolkien feel that his world was bereft of mysteries? Linguists, historians, adventurers, and readers of all types have fallen in love with Arda and have tried to systematize it. I confess, that I have.

Perhaps Tom Bombadil is Tolkien's reminder that there are things out there beyond our ability to understand and categorize. Eru's plans and Eru's purposes are too deep too fathom. Inscrutable.

How much fun is it when the supernatural is conveniently systematized?
C.S. Lewis put it this way in The Last Battle, "Do you think I keep him in my wallet, fools?" said Tirian. "Who am I that I could make Aslan appear at my bidding? He's not a tame lion." The words not a tame lion are repeated throughout the the series, iirc. The point is that if we can figure out every aspect of the supernatural and every characteristic of the divine, then the supernatural and the divine are not really special. In other words, the supernatural is not super and the divine is all too human.

Tolkien and Lewis were human. Yet is seems to me that they were not the tamest of writers.
While no believer in the supernatural, nonetheless I hold the numinous in high regard, as it represents a very important emotional state; those who can genuinely feel the presence of the numinous or the sublime tend to be much more aware of the richness, subtleties, and texure of life, language, and thought. Certainly Tolkien and Lewis were well aware of this, and used it in their works. I'm not sure I'd put Bombadil in that category, but he may represent something equally subtle and complex.

As for the general idea of that which is symbolic of the numinous, your post reminded me of a passage from Edgar Allan Poe's "Spirits of the Dead" which has always seemed to me to represent the idea very well:

Quote:
The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!
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Old 6th April 2008, 08:03 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

Personally I think Tom was put in to make the reader think and to create discussions like this one at some later date. On purpose JRRT left it up to our own imaginations to figure out why, what exactly he is.
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Old 6th April 2008, 11:50 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

Tom Bomabdil was very interesting in the part i have read him so far. Havent finished the first book yet. Dont know if he appears again.


He saved me from the overly descriptive forest traveling that was so slow that it was driving me crazy

He was so strange and enigmatic that my interest in him peaked and made me go through the slow parts of the book easier.
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Old 7th April 2008, 03:25 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

That's strange, I actually really enjoyed the beginning journey from Bag End to Rivendell. I thought there was an innocent simplicity about it - it was sort of a rollicking adventure, and then they got to Rivendell and things got all grand and weighty. So originally I was a bit disappointed they left a lot of that out of the movie.

But I do love the movies .
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Old 7th April 2008, 10:21 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

I was very disappointed that Tom and the Barrow-wights were left out of the movies.
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Old 7th April 2008, 12:10 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

I have to say that was lame too.

They had in the movie alot of the semi boring random traveling but not Tom and Barrow-weights which was interesting.


Hilarious Joke :

It was good read when it was about Hobbish history,their villages etc but when they came into the forest, way too much info about how the forest looked. Like he had describe every millimeter.
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Old 29th November 2008, 11:50 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

Here are some of my theories. First Goldberry. Doesnt 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?
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Old 30th July 2009, 03:03 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

I'm ressurecting an ancient thread because re-reading the Silmarillion kicked off a train of thought.
Bombadil is a lesser Valar, i.e. he is an Ainur confined to the circle of the world.
I take my arguement for this from "Among them Nine were of chief power and reverence;"(p32) implying that there were others of lesser power and reverence. Certainly the sudden appearance of Tulkas to oppose Melkor argues that other Ainur would incarnate at need.
He is still working(p19) on the "minute precision"(p19) part of the shaping; perhaps looking for more things unknown to the Ainur?
This is based on the most slender of evidence but it would explain his immunity to the ring; he is from outside ME and so not subject to its laws.

I'm using the 1979 Allen and Unwin paperback Silmarillion.

Last edited by Darv; 30th July 2009 at 03:05 AM. Reason: Referencing
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Old 10th August 2009, 02:07 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

I've never figured out Bombadil, but I don't think he is out of ME. It seems he represents the "eldest," I think it is the way he is described - the human being in its ancient innocent state. The ring has no power over him because of his innocence, he is not tempted by power, even finds it ugly. Innocence has its strength but also its weakness. I believe Gandalf says he could not be the ring-bearer because he foesn;t realize its importance and would forget the mission.
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Old 18th November 2009, 11:48 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Re: Tom Bombadil

The decades-old "Bored of the the Rings" spoof by Harvard Lampoon calls Bombadil "Tim Benzedrino." Looking at Tom as a back-to-the-land hippie is kind of informative. There are, in any society, people who are so different from the rest of us that they don't even seem to breathe oxygen. Bombadil is one of these. Earthly power and earthly wars are so far beyond this radar that there would simply be no point to his getting involved.

Many artists are this way. A person of great creative whimsy who is unfortunate enough to be born into politically difficult times can be counted upon to do one of three things: 1) Collapse beneath it all, thus fading into non-being; 2) Manage, somehow, to keep being who they are; #3) Sell out, and enslave their unique creativity to the dark side.

Bombadil, within the context of the book, followed path #2.

And this is why I so missed him in the movie. To me, he represented what was GOOD about Middle Earth, what was worth fighting for...even if he himself was no soldier. The movie, however well produced, was basically about slaughtering orcs. I would have MORE than welcomed the extra 30 minutes it would have taken to bring Tom into the movie.

-- WB
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