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Thread: Tom Bombadil

  1. #1
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    Tom Bombadil

    Do people like him or hate him? Just started painting him up, I have always adored him, absolutely nails as a character, what do people think of him?

  2. #2
    Librarian Snake Tortoise's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Hate would be too strong a word but when I read the Hobbit I didn't like him. I've only seen the first Hobbit film but before I go ahead and watch the next two I'll check if he's in or not. If he is I'm not watching them.

  3. #3
    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil isn't in either the book or the movie adaptations of The Hobbit, he's from The Fellowship of the Ring.

    To the OP, I think he's an interesting character, a little silly/whimsical, but then the books overall feel that way much moreso than the movies. I haven't ever played with him in a game, but I don't think I'd be interested outside of some very specific scenario games. I'd still like the models of him and Goldeberry to paint up, though!
    Last edited by Whitwort Stormbringer; 05-08-2015 at 06:04.
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Tortoise View Post
    Hate would be too strong a word-
    Have to disagree with you there.

    I almost didn't finish the Fellowship of the Ring because of Tom ^%&*ing Bombadil. Hate that guy.
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    Chapter Master C-Coen's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Don't have a problem with him myself - very fairytale-esque, and when you delve deeper into the issue, the theories of who he really is are quite compelling. A being of immense power, that chooses to sing songs and get flowers for his lady, occasionally helping some lost Hobbits, rather than conquering the world. Very typical Tolkien, where the simple life (see also: the Shire, to a certain extent Elves too) is valued above all.

    That being said, I don't think the film would have been improved by his presence. Barrow-Wights would have looked neat though.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    The theory's being "just who is he Goldberry?" "Well . . . He is". I think the barrow wights were needed to explain merry and his ringwraith killing dagger. I like tom, and I like his story from the perilous realm, the explanation for how he feuds with old man willow and how he met Goldberry.

  7. #7
    Chapter Master mdauben's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Tortoise View Post
    Hate would be too strong a word but when I read the Hobbit I didn't like him. I've only seen the first Hobbit film but before I go ahead and watch the next two I'll check if he's in or not. If he is I'm not watching them.
    Bombadil isn't from The Hobbit book, he appears in The Fellowship of the Ring book. There are a number if more light hearted, fanciful elements to the first few chapters of FOTR (silly names, talking foxes, etc.). The story really doesn't sober up until they leave Bree in the books.

    For good or ill Tom didn't make it into either the theatrical or extended cut of the FOTR movie. He certainly wasn't in any if the three Hobbit movies. Radaghast was the goofy comic character in that trilogy.

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    Last edited by mdauben; 03-08-2015 at 03:57.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    I appreciate Radagast was comic relief throughout 1, 2 and 3 but I don't think Bombadil needed to be a funny character too, they could of sobered him up for the film, had him grumbling in rhyme or something.

  9. #9
    Chapter Master mdauben's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Well, in The Hobbit and LOTR books Radagst never appeared. He was mentioned by Galdalf a couple times but we never "saw" him. Contrary, Bombadil never appeared in the movies, but was in the early part of the FOTR book. I felt the early part of the FOTR book carried on the more child like elements of The Hobbit, but then quickly became more serious. I'm not sure if that was a deliberate choice by Tolkein, to transition from the The Hobbit which was written for children to the more mature LOTR books, or if he just changed the atrmospher on the fly as he came to realize the story he wanted to tell in LOTR didn't work as a children's book.

  10. #10
    Chapter Master Col. Tartleton's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil is Eru Illuvatar.
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  11. #11

    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Tartleton View Post
    Tom Bombadil is Eru Illuvatar.
    Wrong. He and Goldberry were Maiar.

    The tone of LOTR changed on purpose - Tolkien was asked to write a sequel to The Hobbit so he adopted the same tone initially but as the quest continued, it got more serious. (By the way, the language in The Hobbit does the same thing).

    Once the quest is achieved and the hobbits return to the Shire, the folksy style makes a slight comeback, but too much has changed. It's part of the feel of the story and it is proof of Tolkien's mastery of the English language that he incorporates it into his storytelling, going from the small and informal to the lofty and epic depending on timing and perspective.
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  12. #12
    Chapter Master Col. Tartleton's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint View Post
    Wrong. He and Goldberry were Maiar.
    There's still the clear discrepancy between Gandalf being afraid of possessing the ring for fear of becoming like Sauron, his fellow Maiar whereas Bombadil was immune to it. I find it unlikely Bombadil was a Maiar, and the Valar are all accounted for.

    Goldberry probably is a Maiar.
    Last edited by Col. Tartleton; 09-09-2015 at 14:24.
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    He can still be something else. Gandalf mentions that Bombadil would probably fall if Sauron conquered the world. That means he's not Illuvatar.

  14. #14
    Chapter Master aprilmanha's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Quote Originally Posted by bittick View Post
    He can still be something else. Gandalf mentions that Bombadil would probably fall if Sauron conquered the world. That means he's not Illuvatar.
    I kind of like to think his is some kind of Earth god, like a Gaia, who just likes to hang out and look out for the hobbits since they have got the right idea about life.

    If he drew his power from the good living world then he would be near invincible and why things like the Ring are nothing to him. If Sauron took over though, the Good living world would be over run with the Evils and Industry and would destroy Toms power, weakening him

  15. #15

    Re: Tom Bombadil

    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Tartleton View Post
    There's still the clear discrepancy between Gandalf being afraid of possessing the ring for fear of becoming like Sauron, his fellow Maiar whereas Bombadil was immune to it. I find it unlikely Bombadil was a Maiar, and the Valar are all accounted for.

    Goldberry probably is a Maiar.
    Recall the words at the Council of Elrond. When Erestor says that Bombadil has a power over the Ring, Gandalf corrects him: "Say rather than the Ring has no power over him. He is his own master. But he cannot alter the Ring itself, nor break its power over others."

    The Ring was forged by a powerful Maia, Sauron, who used the furnaces of Mt. Doom to build it. To master the Three, Seven and Nine, Sauron had to put all of his power into it - so much that when it was destroyed, he became nothing more than a weak, wavering shadow of malice.

    A Maia of equivalent power would be immune to its power, but not superior to it. That is why the Council agreed that Bombadil would be unable to resist Sauron and his legions at the last, when all else was overthrown.

    Remember: Sauron put so much of his power in the Ring that he was able to recover from being drowned in the ruin of Numenor. He left the Ring in Barad-Dur before surrendering to Ar-Pharazon the Golden.

    After the Akallabeth, he took up his Ring and waged war on the Exiles, prompting the Last Alliance.

    Yet again his physical substance was destroyed and yet because the Ring was spared, so was he.

    So when Bombadil put the ring on his finger, he was really holding up the essence of an equal spirit - one that could not conquer him, but that he also could not conquer (especially because he had no desire to do so - remember Goldberry talking about him being master but not controlling everything - "that would indeed be a burden").
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 14-09-2015 at 02:59.
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  16. #16
    Chapter Master Getifa Ubazza's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    I love Bombadil. From what I have read. If it wasn't for Bombadil, we wouldn't have the Hobbit. If we didn't have the Hobbit, we wouldn't have got the LotR. So for that reason, I'm very grateful for Bombadil. I'm not sure he needed to be in the LotR books, but it made sense, to a point.

    Although I did find that part of the story kinda took me away from the story proper, but also made me very interested in knowing more about Tom, Goldberry and Old Man Willow.

    Swings and roundabouts I guess.
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  17. #17
    Chapter Master MOMUS's Avatar
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    Re: Tom Bombadil

    I have to say I really disliked TB when I first read the trilogy, he didn't seem to fit

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  18. #18

    Re: Tom Bombadil

    I always thought the point of Tom was to give insight into why the hobbits, like himself, could endure the corrupting power of the ring longer.
    Hobbits, like Tom, cared more for fun and food than power.

  19. #19

    Re: Tom Bombadil

    My dislike of Tom stems from something I've always hated in books that Tolkien is behind a lot of it. I hate songs in books. You can take pages telling me how beautiful it is but the moment you put lyrics on page, my hate flows.

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