The Bombadil mystery

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The Bombadil mystery

Postby Juan José » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:39 am

:D :D HELLOOO!!! :D :D
I have a question for you, the question its not from Terry's books, its from Tolkien books. Yes, yes...I know this is a TERRY PRATCHETT FORUM, not a Tolkien forum...but I really want to make this question:

Do you know who TOM BOMBADIL really is??? I think I know, but I want to know what you think. OBVIOUSLY, only if you have already read the first book of the Lord Of The Rings. Its very funny because, one of these days some guys made an argument of this question...I want to make it here... :lol:
Well, so then tell me...is he a god? what is he? Then I'm going to tell you what I think the right answer is. BYE, I HOPE YOU ENJOY THE TOPIC.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:29 am

It's not a problem at all talking about other books and I know we have some Tolkien fans here (I'm sure Jan will enjoy answering this one :wink: )

I wasn't keen on Bombadil and thought he was a somewhat pointless diversion from the story. It's clear he's very powerful and extremely old. Possibly a god-like creature, but not in the sense that he seems to have very much interest in the world outside his own domain. :)
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Postby Jason » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:16 am

I really didn't like Tom Bombadil. I though the whole bit got in the way of the story and slowed it down too much.

I was glad when Peter Jackson and co decided to drop him from the movies.

I thought he was meant to be the "green man"?
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Postby Perdita X » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:13 am

He was Like a camp Ray Mears - wandering the woods singing hey derry dol etc nonsense

I didn't Like him either

If you google it you will find out just how many Tolkien anoraks there are out there (not like us !) - who perhaps should get out in the fresh air more often!

He was based on a dutch doll owned by Tolkien's children that Tolkien used to write poems about - I didn't dare read any further !!

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Postby Dotsie » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:43 am

I'm with everyone else on this one. Couldn't decide who he was, or even why he was there in the first place.
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Postby Trish » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:17 pm

Very true that Bombil's character did not move the story forward in any way.
While he was neither protagonist nor antagonist, I 'think' his function was as a sort of one-man Greek chorus.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:36 pm

Are you sitting comfortably children...? :twisted:

Well to start with I agree with all of you on Bombadil being a waste of space and I thought that when I first read LotR when I was 10 and I never changed my mind and generally skip the Old Forest leg whenever I re-read the Trilogy...

... but that doesn't mean he's not important in the scheme of things on Arda. Tolkien is a bloody nuisance over background and was always changing his mind and exceedingly vague about such unimportant but fascinating stuff like - can Balrogs fly? (no they can't as too many of them appear to die falling off tall mountains) - what are little Orcs made of? -(wouldn't we like to know? - ick! It's 'spirits' elves and later on men) - was Celeborn (Galadriel's hubby) a High Elf or a Dark Elf (who cares he's still a drip) and I won't mention the Ents...

However he did say (in letters) what Bombadil wasn't
So - straight from the author's mouth - he's NOT
a) a Maia (like Sauron, Gandalf and Saruman)
b) a Valar (like Morgoth (Melkor) or Mandos (Namo) or Varda (Elbereth Gilthoniel) and
c) he's especially NOT Eru Illuvator - the creator of Arda and so God

All Tolkien said was that Bombadil was the very first being on Arda before any of the aforesaid which has to make him a spirit of some kind. The Elves as the eldest sentient race in Middle Earth called him Iarwain Ben-adar which means Eldest and Fatherless - make of that one as you wish! :wink:
He lived with a minor spirit Goldberry who was almost certainly a Maia as she's the 'River's daughter' and the River is Uinen, also a Maia who was a servant of the Vala of the waters Ulmo.
We know he could 'do magic' because he rescued Frodo's friends from the Barrow Wight on the Downs and also the Ring held no power over him - which makes him more powerful than Gandalf because he was terrified of the Ring and wouldn't touch it with a ten foot barge pole.

So that's it really - he's some kind of unaligned powerful spirit who seems inherently benevolent. I think possibly Jason's right with the Green Man or some kind of Gaia for Arda who's more like a force of nature perhaps - but he's definitely not the Creator.

His presence/purpose in LotR is actually quite relevant to the story though intensely irritating in that he has to rescue the 4 Hobbits from Old Man Willow and later from the Barrow Wight. There's also a 'lesser' reason which actually is quite important to the nature of the Ring and to the story where Frodo - high on psycho-active mushrooms - dreams of Gandalf being rescued from Isengard where Saruman has imprisoned him. Not many people get the connection there, but it is an hallucination in which the combination of mushies and Frodo's anxiety for Gandalf (who was supposed to be with them) allows the Ring to manipulate Frodo's dreaming and shows him a 'true' vision almost in real time. So what? It means that the Ring was at least partially sentient and beginning to take hold of Frodo's mind. But not a lot of people know that... :P

Anyway - it's a really silly part of the story and not at all necessary which is why most directors (like Ralph Bakshi with the 70's animation and the BBC Radio version aorund the same time) like Peter Jackson cut it as it doesn't really add to the action or the main story...

... and yeah - I should get out in the fresh air much more often than I do! :lol:
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Postby Perdita X » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:44 pm

Jan , You must write for that website I googled before in your spare time!!!! :wink:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:50 pm

What spare time?

8) No comment!

But look at my website some time :wink:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby TheMole » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:53 pm

I think he is Sauron´s long lost twin brother.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:04 pm

:lol: Yeah - He's certainly the Dark Lord of iffy poetry :twisted:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby poohbcarrot » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:21 pm

Jan

My head's done in! :lol:
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Postby Juan José » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:30 pm

:D In my case, Tom is my favorite caracter of the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, but obviously I respect your opinion :D And you know why?...because Tom is not a God, is not a Sauron brother, it's like a joke...he is, believe it or not, he is :shock: ...TOLKIEN... :shock:
Tolkien wanted to have a part in his own book, I know it hears very stupid, but the way Tolkien describes Tom, is the way Tolkien used to see the life, and is the way Tolkien was too. Tolkien one day wrote something to explain Tom...but I didn't undesrtand nothing :lol: It was a very dificult english, but I thing he wrote Bombadil was not any god, just as Jan Van Quirm said. Only think this, Tom in some part of the book said he didn't was the proprietor or master of the woods and the lands, they only respected him...and he said he was before the first rain drop fall on the middle earth, and...if you see it in this way, Tolkien is the only man the really "could watch" the first drop...HE MADE THE MIDDLE EARTH.
Sorry if I made mistakes, and:


:wink:
THANKS TO HAVE A PART OF THIS TOPIC. :)
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Postby TheMole » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:28 pm

well, I always have thought that Tolkien was Gandalf, but I see your point
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:19 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:Jan

My head's done in! :lol:


Then, once again, my work is done here young poohbcarrot :twisted: PMSL

I think you may be on to something there JJ - and it fits what Tolkien said or didn't say as well. :P You would not believe the arguments TB causes on the Tolkien Lore forums (well Perdita would :wink: ) about Tom Bombadil, but he certainly wasn't part of the Valinor 'set' or one of Sauron's friends either. Perhaps Tom was the spirit of Arda itself and that too goes with the Tolkien persona as he had ultimate control of the world although he wasn't the creator he gave the credit too. Tom's still a pain in the bum though! :P
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