Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by CC12 35 on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:46 pm

DAMNIT Mrs Figg your right !

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:57 pm

Very Happy

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by RA on Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:14 am

CC12 35 wrote:has any1 noticed how that smilie looks like a man hiding in a suit
Good point Nod 

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by malickfan on Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:50 pm

Tom Bombadil is the Brian Blessed of Middle Earth.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:39 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Only Eru can create. So Tom must be Eru or be a Creation of Eru. After that it gets a bit hazy.

Hey Petty, didn't Aule create dwarves?

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:56 pm

Yes and no. He created the form but as only Eru can give life the first dwarves were only given the appearance of life when really it was just the will of Aule driving them.
When Eru found out he put the dwarves to sleep and when the time was right he gave them true independent life with wills of their own.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:17 pm

Hey, I was just skipping around in Lost tales and found this that I feel applies to Tom.

Pg 65 bottom, The coming of the Valar,.

... Then came Aule and Palurien... about them fared a Great host who are the sprites of the trees and woods, of dale and forest and mountain side, or those That sing amid the grass at morning and chant among the standing corn at eve
These are the Nermir and the Tavari, Nandini and Orossi, brownies and fays, pixies, leprawns and what else they are called, for their number is very great...

pg 66...
born before the world and are older than the oldest, and are not of it, but laugh at it much, for had they not somewhat to do with its making, so that at the most part it is a play for them...

From LotR-   "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"
"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."

Does this not seem to partly at least describe Tom?
This again is interesting to me...

"He (Tom) knew the dark under stars when it was fearless. Before the dark lord came from outside."
        This suggests Morgoth, although Sauron could surely have been in middle earth before the trees or sun and moon I suppose. Seems Tom was there BEFORE Morgoth to me.
Does this suggest that he is indeed a Vala? Perhaps it does. I don't think Maiar  and the lesser spirits got to middle earth Before Morgoth.
It is of course possible I guess. The way I read BoLT#1 is that Morgoth beat the big nine there and had already done mischief , at least the Vala who are mentioned.  I need to reread the Silm to check that version I guess.


Did any other Valar live among other folks? I can't think of any. Ulmo of course was in the water near where folks lived but that isn't living down the road where other folks can come walking into his space.

I tend to go with Tom Being a  Maiar idea myself still, although there is no way to say without JRR telling us himself.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:21 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Yes and no. He created the form but as only Eru can give life the first dwarves were only given the appearance of life when really it was just the will of Aule driving them.
When Eru found out he put the dwarves to sleep and when the time was right he gave them true independent life with wills of their own.
I remembered that it was Eru who ok'ed Aules work and then had the dwarves go to sleep until the elves came. I guess I need to re read that again. So they were just mechanical you are saying?
Yes I guess I am remembering that now. I do remember Eru saying only he can use the secret fire but I stored it as somehow Aule gave them life of a sort...
Thanks Petty again.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:36 pm

That first part about Tom is very interesting but it does run into the second part you mention- that nothing beat Morgoth there that we know of, and its unlikely the 'Nermir and the Tavari, Nandini and Orossi, brownies and fays, pixies' would have been there already before the Divine spirits were.
But I might be wrong about that.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:40 pm

Right Petty, I agree it would suggest that he could not have been there first but... it could be and it just wasn't mentioned... As it is reasonable to imagine lots of things happening that weren't ever mentioned...

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:54 pm

Petty: Silm pg43
"...Aule made the dwarves even as they still are.. in the very hour Aules work was complete Illuvatar spoke to him: Why has thou done this... why attempt a thing beyond your power and authority?" For thou hast from me a gift thy own being only, and no more; therefore the creatures of thy hand and mind can only live only by that being, moving when thou thinkest to move them...

So you are right,
it is actually Illuvatar who gave them their permanent individual and inborn Lives.
I had remembered it a little differently, that Eru gave his blessing and made it permanent. If anyone outside of Eru could create life forms it likely would be Aule I suppose.


Last edited by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:57 pm

Music of the Ainur wrote:Right Petty,  I agree it would suggest that he could not have been there first but... it could be and it just wasn't mentioned... As it is reasonable to imagine lots of things happening that weren't ever mentioned...

and Tolkien does write;: "He (Tom) knew the dark under stars when it was fearless. Before the dark lord came from outside."
so it does suggest that he was there Before any of the major Vala...
I don't think he would be suggesting that it was Sauron he was there before. because of the "when it was fearless before the dark lord came from outside" part, but again no way to say for Sure.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:39 pm

Ive always read that as a reference to Morgoth as the first corrupt being. Saurons just an Emmisiary- Morgoth is the true Dark Lord in the same way Eru is the true One God.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:22 pm

I agree. Petty so... does that mean that JRR is saying that Tom was there before Melko ? It would seem so to me. He does write that passage in FotR in anycase.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:27 pm

I dont think Tolkien ever meant us to be able to say who Tom was for definite, but if I had to say what I thought he was I would say he was the Spirit of the Music.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:36 pm

I always took it to mean that Tom (Bombadil that is) had been a part of or in Erus creation from it's inception. Before the Valar shaped it into the world it became.

As such Tom might perhaps be said to be a manifestation of the world Eru created itself?

I'm a lot more shaky on the second part than the first though.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:37 pm

Thtas pretty much how I see it Blue, and as the world was sung into being it makes sense to me that he was in the music conceived by Eru from the very start, so was always there.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Ringdrotten on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:39 pm

I like how it's impossible to say who or what he is; it makes him one of my favourite characters Very Happy

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by halfwise on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:41 pm

hmm...something Tolkien never bothered to classify because he was unique?  that actually makes some kind of sense.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:47 pm

Eldorion wrote:I lean towards the theory that Tom is a Maia too, but its hard to say since the details of the very early mythology are pretty vague.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:He was there before the first rain drop and before the first things came in from the outside- so he must precede the entrance of the Valar into the Creation.

I have to disagree on this.  When the Valar and Maiar entereted into creation there weren't any raindrops or anything else because while Ea existed, the world (planet Earth) did not yet.  Tom did say that he had been around since the first evil things came in from outside, but this most likes refers to Morgoth's re-entry into the world after he had been kicked out by the Valar the first time.

If Tom is a Maia though, he most likely "went native" at a very early stage.  While the Valar were still living on the Isle of Almaren, before Morgoth destroyed the Lamps and the Valar moved to Valinor.

Eldorion I do agree that it appears that the water cycle did not begin until Morgoths mischief with heat and flame caused the water to rise in mists and vapors. however...

JRR writes in FotR: "He (Tom) knew the dark under stars when it was fearless. Before the dark lord came from outside."...
Tom was here before the river and the trees."... " Tom remembers the first raindrop, the first acorn.

So this to me suggests that Before the lamps, before the Two Trees or Sun and Moon and Before Melko ever came to earth from the outside (either outside of creation itself or at least not on the world of earth).
Tom was there already. Most defiantly very very early in the creation of middle earth if he remembers the first raindrop.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:57 pm

I agree it is impossible to say and that Jrr doesn't want to say exactly what he is. The thought that he was part of the early music I like too.

The more I think of Tom the more I dislike the omision of him from the movies. He is the one character that was not in awe of the ring. Was not Tempted by it. It didn't even effect him. He makes it disappear and jokes with it... PJ sucks for not using the Bombadil. Neutral 

Of course there were many many stupid revisions and silly crap before this but that was the first Major no no in my opinion. I really hated the stupid hobbits dashing about in the trees in the shire "evading" the wraiths too, gee if those wraiths are so inept why be scared of them? If you can just duck behind a tree and fool them Banghead 
That scene reminds me of the DoS scene under the mt. with smaug chasing while they all just skitter about. so very very weak...

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:59 pm

If you can just duck behind a tree and fool them - Music

It was the moment when they first meet the Rider and get away by cunningly throwing a bag into the bushes and the Rider goes leaping after it like a big puppy that I knew things were going very badly indeed.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:35 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Thtas pretty much how I see it Blue, and as the world was sung into being it makes sense to me that he was in the music conceived by Eru from the very start, so was always there.

I love how Tolkiens basically wrote his creation myth as a glorious piece of music ruined by Melkors introduction of dissonance. That certainly has some relevance to the evolution of church music and the use of dissonance by people like Palestrina.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:37 am

The part of that which really strikes me is how Eru absorbs the discordance back into the theme and makes it not only a part of the whole, but make the whole better by incorporating it.

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Re: Who the heck is Tom Bombadil?

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:22 pm

Of course there's that as well. Nod 

Still it's is an interesting view with Tolkien describing the dissonance as coming from outside the creation of God or Eru.

I love that chapter. In my opinion it's one of the best things Tolkien ever wrote.

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