Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

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Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by TheUberNerdyKid on Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:09 pm

No matter how many times I read it in a wiki, I still really don't get it. Who/what is Tom Bombadil? Why is he classified as a Hobbit? How is he involved in the creation of Middle-earth? Why is he buddy buddy with Gandalf? MY BRAAAAAAIIIIN Banghead

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Amarië on Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:21 pm

He's DEFINITIVELY not a Hobbit! (Always take wikipedia articles with a grain of salt.)
Tom Bombadil is a figure Tolkien would make stories about for his children, and Tom being in LOTR is partly an inside joke between him and the kids.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:28 pm

Tom is a very powerful and mysterious Being, probably some kind of nature spirit, but nobody really knows as he was meant to be an enigma.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:22 pm

He's the alter-ego of the Witch-king of Angmar.

http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/theories/bombadil.htm
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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:27 pm

Razz that'll do it.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by RA on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:31 am

Tom is one of my favorite aspects of Fellowship and a wonderfully eccentric character.
A good example of what makes Tolkien's writings interesting.
I think he's a maia of some sort. Or something of the Earth, an aspect reminiscient of the Lost Tales.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by halfwise on Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:33 pm

He's somewhat equivalent to Carly Castle (if you really want your brain to hurt).

Amarie's response is the core of Tom's existence, Mrs's Figgs response is the overlay to fit him into Middle Earth.

But you MUST read the first half dozen or so chapters of Lord of the Rings to get an understanding of Tom Bombadil. Reading wikis and such is like trying to understand particle physics from popular books. It will never fit together unless you tackle it wholesale.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:43 pm

In Letters Tolkien says of Tom that he is the spirit of the vanishing countryside of his youth.
He seems to have been quite close to Tolkiens heart and Tolkien defends himself in Letters against accusations that Tom is irelevant or not needed by saying if he didnt have some meaning and purpose in the tale and world he would have left him out. Which seems fair enough to me. Very Happy

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by RA on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:05 pm

If we're talking strictly from a shallow reading point of view, where we ignore the subtext (and really all the interesting stuff) the interaction with Tom did result in Merry acquiring the sword used to slay the Witch King.
So even then, Tom Bombadil had a purpose.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:11 pm

And its where we discover a few interesting points about Frodo- just how suspicous of others motivations he has become, epecially where it concerns the Ring and that he is not a naturaly inclined hero- his first thought is of putting on the Ring and escaping from the Barrow and leaving the rest to their fate- and secondly he is braver than he thinks when in a pinch- which makes him more confident in himself afterwards- probabaly too cocky in fact or he would have been more careful at Bree.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:18 pm

Frodo started to get a bit snarky when Tom made the Ring disappear too.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by chris63 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:23 am

Hate it when Frodo gets snarky Smile

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by CC12 35 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:13 pm

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:28 pm

I think Frodo from the book could get quite snarky at times. Even irritable with Sam. But in the film he is gentler and kinder, so when he sends Sam away it makes it all the more dramatic the effect that the Ring has had on him. Its something about the film which I prefer. Its my personal taste. Some people prefer the tougher Frodo of the book. I think Elijah did a great job of playing a gentle soul.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by David H on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:31 pm

Mrs Figg wrote: Its my personal taste. Some people prefer the tougher Frodo of the book. I think Elijah did a great job of playing a gentle soul.

I;m glad you enjoy the movies, For me, having read the books well over a dozen times over 30 years, I;d grown to feel I knew Frodo like a very old friend. Changing him to make him gentler and 'nicer' gives him a Stepford Wives kind of creepyness Iprobably wouldn't notice if I hadn't got to know him before.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:49 pm

Stepford Wives creepyness? Shrugging

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by David H on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:09 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:Stepford Wives creepyness? Shrugging

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stepford_Wives

a 1970;s scifi thriller book/movie about a town where the men seem to be 'modifying' their feminist wives to turn them into 'perfect' submissive homemakers. gave me serious nightmares. affraid
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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:16 pm

pale I remember that film, its almost as good as Soylent Green.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:20 am

I think Tom Bombadil was one of my favorite characters in TLOTR.

I think Gandalf agrees, since after all the work was done that is where he wanted to go hang out. I hate that he was omitted in the movies. It was my first BIG problem with it, of course many "smaller" ones preceded this.

I don't think Pj could have someone in the movie that the ring didn't have such a powerful effect on. He just played with it. Great feel to his realm. As magical as Rivendel or Lothlorien to me.

I have read people saying no big deal to omit him because he was an anomaly and didn't quite fit in but... That is one of the things I liked about him. This loner spirit whose songs are the stronger whose feet are the faster. The eldest.
I read his origins were from a doll perhaps chris T. had but still, the movie was weaker for his ommision in my view.

Pj was fixated on the vision of creating the all powerful ring that everyone must lust over. So I guess Tom fell victim to this theme of un resist ability...Many ill conceived revisions arose from this view he chose to take. Faramir makes me cringe.
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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:56 am

From TFOTR ...
A man or so he seemed, too large for a hobbit,brown beard,he is the master of wood water and hill. Eldest that is what i am,Tom was here before the river and the trees.

Tom remembers the first raindrop, the first acorn.He made paths before the big people came and he saw the little people arriving.Before the Kings and the barrow wights...

When the elves passed westward,Tom was here already. Before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under stars when it was fearless. Before the dark lord came from outside.

...Out of nowhere he said " show me the precious ring" To his own astonishment Frodo handed it right to him...He put it to his eye and laughed.Tom put it round the end of his little finger and held it to the light. for a moment the hobbits noticed nothing strange about this.
They gasped , there was no sign of him disappearing. Tom laughed again and tossed it in the air and it Vanished with a flash. then leaned forward and handed it back to Frodo with a smile.
Frodo wanting to make sure it was the same ring put it on perhaps to anoyed that he would treat it so lightly, and slipped away unseen, Tom called to him, hey there,glancing towards him with a most seeing eye.

"Old Tom Bombadil's not as blind as that yet" Take off your ring, leave your game and sit down beside me.

I guess a guy like this just didn't fit the profile of the all powerful ring...Corrupter of all it touches.
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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:14 am

I think it was JRRT's way of inserting that there are some inherently powerful and good beings that evil has no power over. Even though I believe Gandalf said something about him not being able to resist an assault by Sauron...

Probably a Maia as was offered earlier in the thread. "before the dark lord came from outside" hangin out with the rivers daughter.

This sort of omission by the movies really bugs me. It is a root theme of Jrr that pj just tossed to the side as something minor he had the power to "improve" upon.

The diminishing of the Good powers and the promotion of the evil ones. JRR had a different view. He certainly didn't make the evil powers smaller or appear trifling , but he left me with the feeling that the Good forces were powerful as well... more powerful indeed.
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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:15 pm

Tom is my favourite character in the whole book. I was gutted when they left him out. The chapters from the moment they left Crickhollow to their arrival in Bree are my favourites. and they left ALL of them out. Mad I just hope that they actually filmed some of this but cut it, and one day PJ will do a mega EE version of Fellowship. thats my hope.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by azriel on Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:23 pm

To be honest Mrs Figg, you might as well ask for rain to go UP before you'll see PJ do an EE with Tom in it. If PJ couldnt keep true as poss to Tolkien when he had the chance why suppose he'l do it in an EE, PJ will probably miff that up also & have Tom kill Goldberry to claim the ring,forget he done that & be arressted by Elves & put in Orthanc to play with moths & Grima Wormtongue, or something equally daft.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Orwell on Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:09 am

Mrs Figg wrote:I think Frodo from the book could get quite snarky at times. Even irritable with Sam. But in the film he is gentler and kinder, so when he sends Sam away it makes it all the more dramatic the effect that the Ring has had on him. Its something about the film which I prefer. Its my personal taste. Some people prefer the tougher Frodo of the book. I think Elijah did a great job of playing a gentle soul.

I prefer the unbreakable bond between Sam and Frodo in the book. Whatever tension Smeagol's presence brought to bear on it, it never broke --- until PJ broke it! Suspect Tolkien's characters were real. They did not meet some artistic post modern fashion about what make good "characters" in stories. Nod

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:01 pm

I had never thought about it like that. thanks Orwie Mad

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