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(This is another of my speculative pieces and nothing to do with Star Wars. This one is for an older trilogy.)

Old Tom Bombadil. Possibly the least liked character in The Lord of the Rings. A childish figure so disliked by fans of the book that few object to his absence from all adaptations of the story. And yet, there is another way of looking at Bombadil, based only on what appears in the book itself, that paints a very different picture of this figure of fun.

What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is fat and jolly and smiles all the time. He is friendly and gregarious and always ready to help travellers in distress.

Except that none of that can possibly be true.

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( 245 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 3rd, 2014 03:32 am (UTC)
As I was rereading Lord of the Rings, I came to the part about Tom Bombadil. I remembered how I had such an erie feeling about him, and Goldberry especially. When I started to reread it, I thought to myself, "no, they are good characters, they never did anything bad." But even knowing the whole story, I still feel very fishy about them. And I really think you are on to something about Goldberry being like a mermaid, because the only thing I can ever relate her with is a siren. The whole time that I read about the two of them, I keep finding suspicious things in the text. Good points!
Apr. 6th, 2014 08:46 am (UTC)
Oldest and Fatherless
I disagree, but must respect such a well-argued position. Certainly it can't be discounted out-of-hand.

I believe Tom to be the personification of the earlier notes of the Third Theme of the Ainur, which "began quietly amid the confusion of the Second Theme". If the Third Theme became Arda, then Tom is an integral part of Middle-Earth, and would have been there to see Melkor arrive. Moreover the Third Theme took Melkor's own notes and incorporated them into itself- this suggest's Tom's tolerance even for the most evil things.

Tom's nature is most tellingly exposed in Elrond's comment that "in the end, if all else is conquered, Bombadil will fall, Last as he was First, and then Night will come ... power to defy our Enemy is not in him, unless it is in the earth itself".

However, let's remember Tolkien's (admittedly not unassailable) statement that applicability, not allegory is intended in LOTR- KM's view is as good as anyone's (and better argued).
Apr. 18th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
he isnt what he seems but.....
He isn't evil at all he is actually God of middle earth. Tolkien has even made weird references to this. But this is a good fan fiction of him.
Apr. 18th, 2014 07:10 pm (UTC)
tom bombadil
I refused to watch the movies because Tom was not included. He is one of my favorite characters. Tom is neither good nor evil. He is beyond both. If you cannot understand that please study transcendence.
May. 7th, 2014 05:39 am (UTC)
Very well done
I've heard several interpretations on Tom, ranging from him being one of the Valar because of his penchant for controlling his environment through song, to being a whimsical addition, as Tom Bombadil was a recurring character in his Tolkien's stories for his children. This is by far the best I've heard yet, if not for its likelihood, then certainly for the intricacy and supporting ideas. I will certainly be thinking on this in my next read-through.
Tieshaunn Tanner
May. 9th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
The Spawn of Tom Bombadil
Two things I want to go through:

first, Treebeard is supposedly the oldest living being in Middle Earth... yet Tom is supposedly the oldest, ever.

So... Tom is not even considered to be alive?

Second, I propose that the Hobbits are actually the eldritch spawn of Tom!
Think about it - all races in Tolkien's verse were either created by Eru (except the dwarves, which were made by the smith god, then brought to life by eru) or twisted from his creations (Orcs, Trolls, etc).

Yet the Hobbits, do not. NO ONE knows where they come from. TREEBEARD has never heard of them.

And they live right next to a jolly old man who may or may not be a dark lord himself, and is so powerful, he doesn't even care for the Ring, which holds the power of a freaking Archangel!

How are Hobbits described? Short, jolly, round, they like to rhyme and eat and generally enjoy life...

Same as Tom Bombadil.

They are also, once, described as being "like the roots of trees". It is meant to say they are steadfast, grounded, but...
Tom's wife might or might not be a tree, and his servants in the forest certainly are.

So... are the Hobbits the unholy spawn of Tom Bombadil?

Even Sauron never made twisted versions of them. Did he simply not know of them... or did even Sauron say "Nope, I ain't touchin' that!"

Not to mention, they are surprisingly resistant to the power of the ring... much like the jolly, round man who is immune to it...
May. 11th, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure where you get the idea Bomadil is the least favourite character for fans of LotR, or that he is childish. He is a recurrent theme on the Tolkien listserv I have been on so ce 1997. This listserv was begun in the 1980s as a bitnet group and exists still with some of the original members still there. Bombadil is to us a fascinating conundrum.
John Fowles
May. 20th, 2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
a better view

"I believe that Tom represents an incarnation of God in a story in which God seems otherwise to be absent. In Tolkien’s legendarium, this is Eru, also known as Ilúvatar, the great creator of the world (see the Ainulindalë and Valaquenta). It would be more accurate to state that I believe Tom could be God. He need not be but the reasons for so believing are compelling and so I choose to believe."
May. 31st, 2014 11:02 pm (UTC)
Bombadil as the grand guardian
How about Bombadil being more down the line of a era neutral keeper of what Middle Earth was before any others immigrated to it's boarders? Tolkien certainly was well versed in the pre-Christian and Roman pantheistic universe and would want to have something in LOTR to represent and remind us of a pure and unsullied state, and his experiences in WWI in the trenches and seeing childhood friends die fostering a hatred of modern machines and order would certainly be well server in a character like Tom Bombadil. If that were the case then he might have Bombadil be the care taker of the untamed woods that would limit any outside contact that could destroy what little was left of Middle Earth's original unsullied state, even if it were a dark and different place totally foreign to all save perhaps Gandalf. The fact that even his small domain had been sullied by the Barrow-Wights and other late comers (or maybe a more complex past story line of misadventures on his part as he remembers lone dead fair lady from a looted bracket from one of the mounds being a clue) he may be preserving what was before for what could come once again after all of the late comers finally leave.
Jul. 14th, 2014 08:07 pm (UTC)
Tom Bombadil isn't evil... he is Tolkien
Tom Bombadil is Tolkien's representation of himself and his wife in the Third Age - just as Beren and Luthien are representations of them in the Second Age.
Oct. 11th, 2014 01:39 pm (UTC)
Sweet Jesus that is awesome. It all makes so much sense now.
Oct. 29th, 2014 11:29 am (UTC)
Seen via Twitter.

This is all kind of awesome
Oct. 29th, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
What if he is something Melkor introduced into the music. Morgoth couldn't create, but before entering Ea he changed the music and brought discord. All things in the music were supposed to come into physical being. Melkor just came into the world before Tom could assume his power, and has been bidding his time ever since.
Nov. 25th, 2014 12:56 am (UTC)
Then there is the appendices...which mention none if this. They tell the history of middle-earth long after Return of the King...
Dec. 19th, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC)
Tom Bombadil
Some of you see evil, while others see danger. I see another movie in the Middle-earth series.
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( 245 comments — Leave a comment )

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