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"Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil" Topic

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Arjuna28 Jul 2022 9:40 a.m. PST

Just rediscovered an old blog post that gives gives old Tom a sinister Lovercraftian twist:

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian28 Jul 2022 9:51 a.m. PST


Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 9:52 a.m. PST

Most interesting.

Personal logo Aurochs Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 10:44 a.m. PST

And I am a secret admirer of Goldberry.

Arjuna28 Jul 2022 10:59 a.m. PST

And I am a secret admirer of Goldberry.

She is obviously a siren.
A Jenny Greenteeth in beautiful disguise.

Oh, I see Shadeirah from Excalibur has left you.
That makes your seduction easy for Goldberry.

You're doomed.
She will eat'ya.

Personal logo Aurochs Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 11:06 a.m. PST

Well, I blame Angus McBride and his picture of Goldberry.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 12:01 p.m. PST

Yeah… no. Goldberry means that Bombadil is "Master" of himself. He is not the master of anyone else. Nor does he have any ambition to be anything other than himself— which is why the Ring, which affects the will, has no power over him. The Ring can offer him nothing, because he has no desire beyond what he already is and already does. Thematically he is the Unfallen Man, but also he is in a way the idea of the Green Man turned friendly— Nature and wildness, that goes where it will and does what it will, but acts without either malice nor desire. It just is, and Bombadil just is, unconcerned with what is happening anywhere but where he is and when he is. Knowledgeable, yes. Wise, yes. Concerned— no.

Either all that, or he's just a child's puppet that got stuck into the story with some vague mysticism to explain him away. wink

But the blog post is certainly fun— a very dark version of Middle-Earth!

CeruLucifus28 Jul 2022 2:02 p.m. PST

Great speculation. Thanks for sharing.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 3:08 p.m. PST

I enjoyed that

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 7:08 p.m. PST

Grimdark Middle Earth.


forrester29 Jul 2022 2:46 a.m. PST

Entertaining but probably overthinking an episode that perhaps wasn't fully thought through, and can be sidelined without any effect whatsoever on the main story. Though a pity as this is the first bit the hobbits come to that is outside the cosy normality of the Shire.
Much as I am a fan, the people of Middle Earth can be quite static and incurious.
Apart from no-one noticing Bombadil, you have the dwarfs completely failing to investigate why Balin's colony in Moria has gone silent. It seems to take years/decades to react to anything.
Perhaps its a throwback to the pre 1066 world that provides so much of the inspiration, with people being strangers to someone the other side of the hill.

QUATERMASS04 Aug 2022 9:10 p.m. PST

Tom & Goldberry were always my favorite characters to me parzial's take is how I see him.

Maxshadow07 Aug 2022 1:00 a.m. PST

Yes I think Parzial summed him up very well!

David Johansen17 Aug 2022 4:59 p.m. PST

To my mind Tom is Ivultar, the creator's avatar in the world, a being of delight and music who knows it's all gonna work out. Oldest and fatherless.

Goldberry is a maiar or a half human half maiar.

The Hobbits are the descendants of the Entwives.

Marcus Brutus27 Aug 2022 12:19 p.m. PST

To my mind Tom is Ivultar, the creator's avatar in the world, a being of delight and music who knows it's all gonna work out. Oldest and fatherless.

Except that Tolkien makes it clear that Eru Iluvater is still interested and active in the created world. There is an unseen hand at work in the events of Middle Earth and it guides various events even though the actor behind it is never seen. Bombadil is completely uninterested in the outside world in away that seems quite foreign to this understanding.

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