Tom Bombadil

Discussion in 'J R R Tolkien' started by Legolas, Jul 18, 2002.

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    Legolas

    Legolas something more magical

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    Hey TOm Bombadil Tom Bombadillo!

    Say, who likes this rather bouncy fellow with his blue jacket and boots of yellow? And who doesn't....?

    Whats the Deal with Mr. Dillo...how did he come to be the Master, and why, as the Master, does the ring not affect him. Why in a Middle-Earth of pain and destruction is he such a happy fellow?

    I like Tom...even tho he is a wee bit odd. It would have been good to have a Tom in the film tho, but I guess that would add another 30 minutes to the running-time...

    What do you think of the short little man who likes River-Daughters then? (who is the river-mother?)
    :flash:
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    skoon

    skoon Official keeper of Narim!

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    I dunno, the first time I read the book I found that his section really slowed it down. I found it more interesting reading it again after the movie for the fact that it wasn't in the movie & I wanted more. I think it would have been fun ro see Old Man Willow, but I guess they did leave it out as it probablly would slow down the movie & doesn't seem to add much. Sorry Tom!:(
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    Legolas

    Legolas something more magical

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    I found him confusing at first, I didn't really know what he was there for, he was like Superman, arriving just in the nick of time to save the hobbits. Then when I read the book again and took it all in better i kinda grew to like his character. :)
    :flash:
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    ray gower

    ray gower New Member

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    I think he did two things in the book:

    1/ He livened up what would have been a necessarily fraught but bookwise dull journey, with the Hobbits fleeing in fear of one danger, yet fearing what is ahead.
    2/ Proved that not everybody would be particularly worried about what happened elsewhere- Isolationism.
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    Shaun

    Shaun R.I.P. Ashes

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    I liked Tom, not totally though. Sometimes with all that singing he was annoying. But I liked him helping out the Hobbits. I didn't think his section slowed down too much compared to the rest of the first book.

    I agree with Ray's second point. The ring having no effect on him embodies his ideals. Also his proximity to the Shire, which its inhabitants are mostly isolated from the rest of the world, emphasises that.

    The reason that the ring doesn't have control over him is because he is a powerful and very old being. I don't think Tolkien ever tells us what exactly he is.
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    keltikkitty

    keltikkitty Got the tiger by the tail

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    I liked Tom personally. I was getting just a tad bored with their journey until he came along. He was funny and odd. He just brought something to the story.

    To me a story isn't just what the main characters do or say. It's also what the secondary characters say and do that affect the main characters and I think he had a good affect on Frodo and the gang.

    keltikkitty:aliengray
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    Legolas

    Legolas something more magical

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    I wonder, if Tom was included in the film, who would have played him in the film? someone small, fat and cheery faced perhaps...hmm...
    :flash:
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    Diamond9697

    Diamond9697 Lookin Good

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    I agree that the main thing he was in the book for was to have something between the time the Hobbits left the Shire and the time they got to the town. And to show the dangers that there to be found on this adventure from the very beginning. This wasn't so important in the movie so they just left it out although I think it would have been interesting to the the bit about the barrow-wraiths at least.
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    Stacy

    Stacy New Member

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    Tom is really interesting. He is one of the most important mysteries in Tolkien's books, because we don't know what he is. There are some people who say that he is a Maia like Gandalf or Sauron, but he is not affected by the power of the ring like they are. That suggests that he is something more powerful than the Maiar, maybe a Vala living incognito in Middle Earth perhaps?
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    imported_Data

    imported_Data 'meba

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    Maybe Tom wasn't affected by the Ring because he doesn't crave power at all, not even subconsciously.
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    Diamond9697

    Diamond9697 Lookin Good

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    that's an interesting thought...I mean he seemed more than happy to take care of his woods and his wife and he was content with that. The ring seems to affect most those who want something more than what they have.
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    Leyla

    Leyla The Great and Powerful Oz

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    Aah, good old Tom. A good old jolly chap was deffinitely needed for the book. Some one who was living happily and content with life - deffinitely a contrast to other characters. You need that one stable person.
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    Stacy

    Stacy New Member

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    I beg to disagree. The ring is supposed to corrupt anyone who comes by it, no matter if they desire power or not. Gandalf obviously didn't want any power, but he didn't dare to take the ring. As he said, as long as the ring was with them, it was a danger even to the Wise. I think it had no effect on Tom because he is a lot more powerful than he seems.
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    Leyla

    Leyla The Great and Powerful Oz

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    You're right, he must be. I wish we saw more of him - he doesn't even get a mention in the film.
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    Stacy

    Stacy New Member

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    Yeah, the movie shifted the focus off the hobbits and more on the humans. The book is supposed to be about how the hobbits, a diminutive and obscure race, could rise up and destroy the great evil of the Third Age. I didn't like the fact that they cut out the scenes where the hobbits are left to fend for themselves such as in the Old Forest or at the Ford of Bruinen. But then again, they had to cut something or else it might be 10 hours long...
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    Leyla

    Leyla The Great and Powerful Oz

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    Personally I wouldn't mind it being 10 hours long, but I may have got cramp sat in the cinema for that amount of time.
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    imported_Data

    imported_Data 'meba

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    Gandalf may have appeared as if he didn't desire power, but he was tempted. Maybe Tom wasn't tempted at all. If you aren't tempted by something, how can it corupt you?
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    Stacy

    Stacy New Member

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    The whole point about the ring is that it's supposed to tempt/corrupt everybody .
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    meaghan_maxwell

    meaghan_maxwell New Member

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    man I loved old tom!!!(actually,just having FINALLY gotten my hands on the books last week,I just finished his section) ^-^ and his Pony,Fatty Lumpkin!!!hehe.I love ponies
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    batteddy

    batteddy New Member

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    Tom Bombadil is, as Tolkein said, an enigma.

    But he is obviously VERY important and powerful to Arda.

    People have denied it, and exactly because they deny it I affirm it, but I believe Bombadil to be none other than Eru Illuvatar Himself.

    He is so ordinary, so happy, so...out of place in the World and yet so endeared to it...I can conclude nothing else.

    He is, after all Eldest of All, and was there to see the first raindrop, even there before Morgoth entered the world.



    People say Tolkein denied it. Yes, he claimed no embodiment for God in his Arda. And yet...Tolkein himself often changed his mind and contradicted himself and made changes to his mythology. Also, Tolkein implied (though he waffled on this) that even Tolkein himself was not entirely sure what Tom was. An enigma. Perhaps Tolkein did subconsciously put a manifestation of God, merry and simple and utterly transcendent of all other categories, into his World. Not necessarily an "incarnation" (Tolkein would have insisted on one (Christian) incarnation of Jesus Christ at a later age even in his fictional mythology) but a manifestation or an unexplained existence or symbol of Eru Himself.

    And it doesn't really matter what Tolkein said, by the way. Post-modern criticism of literature will tell you that once the author has written the text, they lose control over its "Truth". It then becomes an interaction with the reader (as vast fandoms indicate) and to me, the most meaningful interpretation, the most beautiful and sublime, is that Tom is Eru Illuvatur himself.

    He is not affected by the Ring. He enjoys his life in his little corner, and lets everything else run its course, helping Good but mainly letting them figure it out for themselves.

    At the Council they will not entrust the ring to him, and that makes sense...if he is God, even they might not know. And if they do, it still might not make sense if the ring must be Destroyed. They say that if he held the ring, there would be no place for him in the world anymore as Sauron would destroy all and then Tom "Last as he was First"...But this could perhaps be taken as a meaning that God cannot simply "hold" evil...it must be fought and destroyed in his Creatures...or else if all goodness in his creation is destroyed, God himself would cease to be the Good Creator, and would have lost his battle. Impossible? Perhaps, the point is such a loss was destined NOT to happen as good did triumph.

    What is Tom? He is.

    To me, he must be a literary manifestation of God. Uncertain, imprecise, and not fitting into the world. The Mystery of Mysteries, the Sign of Ultimate Contradiction. A kindly old man who lives in a forest singing ridiculous songs.

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