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Encyclopedia > Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil is a supporting character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He first appears in Tolkien's fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, published in 1954 and 1955. In the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo Baggins and company meet Bombadil in the Old Forest. He also appears in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, a book of verse first published in 1962, purported to contain a selection of Hobbit poems, two of which were about him. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... A character of a book, play, movie, TV show or other form of storytelling usually used only to give dimension to a main character, by adding a relationship with this character, although sometimes supporting characters may develop a complexity of their own. ... John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973) was an English philologist, writer and university professor who is best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. ... The phrase, Tolkiens legendarium, is commonly used among individuals who study J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Eä as a reference to the many works related to the universe and its legends. ... Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ... The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English academic J. R. R. Tolkien. ... The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of three volumes of the epic novel The Lord of the Rings by the English author J.R.R. Tolkien. ... Frodo Baggins is one of the most significant characters in J. R. R. Tolkiens legendarium. ... In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional universe of Middle-earth, the Old Forest is a small forested area which lies east of the Shire. ... The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is a collection of poetry by J. R. R. Tolkien, published in 1962. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens legendarium, a Hobbit is an individual member of one of the races that inhabit the lands of Arda. ... Poetry (ancient Greek: poieo = create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ...

Character from Tolkien's Legendarium


Tom Bombadil
as depicted on the cover of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.
Name Tom Bombadil
Other names Iarwain Ben-adar (by Elves), Forn (by Dwarves), Orald (by Men from the North)
Titles Eldest, Master
Culture Hermit
Realm Eriador
Book(s) The Fellowship of the Ring,
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom! merry Tom! Tom Bombadillo!

Contents

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973) was an English philologist, writer and university professor who is best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. ... The phrase, Tolkiens legendarium, is commonly used among individuals who study J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Eä as a reference to the many works related to the universe and its legends. ... Image File history File links Db_tom_b-garland-hb1. ... The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is a collection of poetry by J. R. R. Tolkien, published in 1962. ... (In the context of property law, title refers to ownership or documents of ownership; see title (property). ... Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate), generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... This is a list of the known realms of Arda in J. R. R. Tolkiens legendarium. ... The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of three volumes of the epic novel The Lord of the Rings by the English author J.R.R. Tolkien. ... The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is a collection of poetry by J. R. R. Tolkien, published in 1962. ...

In The Lord of the Rings

Within The Lord of the Rings, Tom Bombadil is quite a mysterious figure. He lives a day's journey away from the nearest settlement with his wife Goldberry, known as the "Daughter of the River". Within the book, he is described as being "Master of wood, water and hill." He nearly always speaks or sings in stress-timed metre: 7-beat lines broken into groups of 4 and 3. He appears in three chapters, "The Old Forest," "In the House of Tom Bombadil," and "Fog on the Barrow-Downs." Behind Bombadil's simple façade there are hints of great knowledge and power. Goldberry is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


Tom first appears within the story after Merry and Pippin are trapped and squeezed by Old Man Willow and Frodo cries for help. He commands Old Man Willow to release them, singing him to sleep, and he shelters the hobbits in his house for a while. Here it is revealed that the One Ring has no power over him. He can see Frodo even when the hobbit wears the Ring, and Tom does not turn invisible when he wears the Ring himself. He even tosses the Ring in the air and makes it disappear, but then produces it from his other hand and returns it to Frodo. While this indicates a certain power over the Ring, this idea is dismissed within the second chapter of Book Two, "The Council of Elrond." Gandalf believes that Tom's carefree attitude could cause him to misplace the Ring, which could prove disastrous for the opponents of Sauron, the antagonist of The Lord of the Rings. Meriadoc Brandybuck, usually referred to as Merry, is a Hobbit, a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkiens universe of Middle-earth, featured as a central character throughout Tolkiens most famous work, The Lord of the Rings. ... Peregrin Took (T.A. 2990–?), better known to his friends as Pippin, is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkiens universe of Middle-earth; a Hobbit, and one of Frodo Bagginss youngest but dearest friends. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens legendarium, Old Man Willow is a fictional character, appearing in The Lord of the Rings. ... The One Ring, also known as the Ruling Ring, the Great Ring of Power, The Ring, or Isildurs Bane, is an artifact from J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth universe. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Eye of Sauron. ...


Before sending the hobbits on their way, Tom teaches them a rhyme to summon him if ever they fall into danger inside his borders again. This proves to be fortunate, as the four encounter Barrow-wights during "Fog in the Barrow-downs," the eighth chapter of the Lord of the Rings. After Tom saves them from the Barrow-wights, he gives each of them a long dagger taken from the treasure in the barrows. As the hobbits finally leave the Old Forest, he takes his leave of them, as he will not pass the borders of his own land, but before he goes he directs them to The Prancing Pony inn at Bree. Barrow-wights are wraith-like creatures in J. R. R. Tolkiens world of Middle-earth. ... A tomb is a small building (or vault) for the remains of the dead, with walls, a roof, and (if it is to be used for more than one corpse) a door. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, the Inn of the Prancing Pony was an inn where Frodo Baggins met Aragorn. ... Bree is a fictional village in J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth, east of the Shire and south of Fornost Erain. ...


In adaptations

In most film and radio adaptations of the story, Bombadil is notable by his absence (an exception are the Mind's Eye recordings). Both Ralph Bakshi and Peter Jackson have stated that the reason the character was omitted from their films was because, in their view, he does little to advance the story, and would make the movies unnecessarily long. Some of Bombadil's dialogue, as well as the scene in which the hobbits meet Old Man Willow, are transplanted into the scenes that Merry and Pippin share with Treebeard in Jackson's adaptation, included in the extended edition DVD. The minds eye (or third eye) is a phrase used to refer to ones ability to see things (such as visions) with the mind. ... Ralph Bakshi (October 29, 1938) is an American director of animated and occasionally live-action films. ... Peter Jackson CNZM (born October 31, 1961) is a three-time Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning New Zealand filmmaker best known as the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which he, along with his long time partner, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens adapted from the novels... In J. R. R. Tolkiens legendarium, Old Man Willow is a fictional character, appearing in The Lord of the Rings. ... Treebeard or (Sindarin) Fangorn is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth. ...


During the Fan Credits' Audio Commentary on the extended edition DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring, Elijah Wood pays a small homage to Tom Bombadil, by giving a "shout out" to him. Elijah then also takes note of his absence. Elijah Jordan Wood (born January 28, 1981) is an American actor and music executive. ...


See also: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, with special reference to Letters 144 and 153. ... The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (ISBN 0-618-05699-8) is a selection of J. R. R. Tolkiens letters published in 1981, edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and the biographer Humphrey Carpenter. ...


Tom Bombadil's nature

He is a spry fellow, with a quick, playful wit. It seems his only adversary is Old Man Willow, who holds dominion over miles of Tom's "country".


Tom Bombadil's origins in the cosmology of Middle-earth are unknown; he is arguably the only character in Tolkien's entire legendarium who does not neatly fit into any of the categories of beings Tolkien created. Speculative ideas about his true nature range from simply a wise Elven hermit to an angelic being (a Maia or Vala), to the creator, who is called Eru Ilúvatar in Tolkien's legendarium. Tolkien himself did not state if any of these were correct, but when a reader confronted him with the theory that Bombadil is Eru (God) (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, No. 153), Tolkien said that he was not. Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) order + λογια (logia) discourse) is the study of the Universe in its totality, and by extension, humanitys place in it. ... A map of the Northwestern part of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arda. ... Celeborn (portrayed by Marton Csokas), an Elf in Peter Jacksons adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring. ... The Maiar are a race from J. R. R. Tolkiens fantasy legendarium. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens mythology, the Valar (singular Vala) are the Powers of Arda, or direct representatives of Eru Ilúvatar (God). ... The creator god is the divine being that created the universe, according to various traditions and faiths. ... Eru, also called Ilúvatar (the All High or the Father of All as defined in the index of name elements in The Silmarillion), is the name in the legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien for the supreme God. ...


He appears in an unrelated Tolkien poem, written in 1934.[1]


Gandalf calls Tom Bombadil the eldest being in existence; this is also evident by his Sindarin name Iarwain Ben-adar (Eldest and Fatherless). Dwarves called him Forn (Scandinavian, meaning "Ancient" or "Belonging to the distant past"), Men Orald. All these names apparently mean "Eldest." However, Treebeard calls himself the eldest living being of Middle-earth and that he was there before anyone else. Bombadil is just called the "eldest." If Tom Bombadil is indeed not a normal being, but rather a supernatural being or "concept" this is not necessarily a contradiction (Treebeard is likely the oldest living being, while Bombadil could be an older supernatural being). Concerning Treebeard, Tolkien remarked: "[Treebeard] is a character in my story and even he does not know everything." It is possible, then, that Treebeard's knowledge omits Bombadil. Whatever the case, Tom Bombadil was almost certainly created to be an enigma. Sindarin is an artificial language (or conlang) developed by J. R. R. Tolkien. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, Dwarves are beings of short stature who all possess beards and are often friendly with Hobbits, although long suspicious of Elves. ... The race of Men in J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth books, such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, refers to humanity and does not denote gender. ... Treebeard or (Sindarin) Fangorn is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth. ... A map of the Northwestern part of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arda. ...


In reference to Bombadil, Tolkien himself said that some things should remain mysterious in any narrative, hidden even to its inventor. He also placed the fate of the Entwives in this category, as well as the Cats of Queen Berúthiel, although hints of the latter story have emerged in posthumously released materials. Destiny or fate refers to the inevitable course of events. ... An Ash Ent in the Lord of the Rings movie series Ents are a fictional race from J. R. R. Tolkiens fantasy world of Middle-earth. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Tolkien invented Tom Bombadil in honour of his children's Dutch doll. These predate the writing of The Lord of the Rings. Tom Bombadil was, however, part of The Lord of the Rings from the earliest drafts. The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English academic J. R. R. Tolkien. ...


Letter

In response to a letter Tolkien received from one of his readers, he described Tom's role in The Lord of the Rings:

"Tom Bombadil is not an important person — to the narrative. I suppose he has some importance as a 'comment.' I mean, I do not really write like that: he is just an invention (who first appeared in The Oxford Magazine about 1933), and he represents something that I feel important, though I would not be prepared to analyze the feeling precisely. I would not, however, have left him in, if he did not have some kind of function."

Tolkien did go on to analyze the character's role further :

"I might put it this way. The story is cast in terms of a good side, and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship, moderated freedom with consent against compulsion that has long lost any object save mere power, and so on; but both sides in some degree, conservative or destructive, want a measure of control. But if you have, as it were, taken 'a vow of poverty', renounced control, and take your delight in things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the questions of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless...

"It is a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war... the view of Rivendell seems to be that it is an excellent thing to have represented, but that there are in fact things with which it cannot cope; and upon which its existence nonetheless depends. Ultimately only the victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive. Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron."[2] Pacifist may mean: an advocate of pacifism. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Eye of Sauron. ...

Tolkien even seems to justify Tom Bombadil's presence:

"And even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally)."[3].

Tom Bombadil quotations

"Eldest, that's what I am ... Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn ... he knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless — before the Dark Lord came from Outside." — The Fellowship of the Ring
"Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!/ Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!/ Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!" — The Fellowship of the Ring
"Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow / Bright blue his jacket is and his boots are yellow / None has ever caught him yet, for Tom he is the master / His songs are stronger songs and his feet are faster." - The Fellowship of the Ring

Portrayals

Tom Bombadil as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game.
Tom Bombadil as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game.

Although Tom Bombadil was not portrayed in Peter Jackson's film trilogy of The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game, by Decipher, Inc. (which had full use of Weta Workshop props and costumes), does contain a Tom Bombadil card. The model portraying Bombadil on this card is Harry Wellerchew.[4] Image File history File links Bombadil. ... Image File history File links Bombadil. ... The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game (a. ... Peter Jackson CNZM (born October 31, 1961) is a three-time Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning New Zealand filmmaker best known as the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which he, along with his long time partner, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens adapted from the novels... The Lord of the Rings film trilogy comprises three live action fantasy epic films; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). ... The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English academic J. R. R. Tolkien. ... The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game (a. ... Decipher, Inc. ... Weta Workshop is a physical effects company based in Miramar, New Zealand, producing effects for television and film. ...


Bombadil has also appeared in a number of other adaptations, including the Mind's Eye radio adaptation. He was played by Norman Shelley in the 1955–6 BBC radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Norman Shelley (February 16, 1903 - August 22, 1980) was an English actor, best known for his work in radio, in particular for the BBCs Childrens Hour. ... During 1955 and 1956, a condensed radio dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings was broadcast in twelve episodes on BBC Radios the Third Programme. ...


Tom Bombadil is an NPC in the MMORPG game Lord of the Rings Online. He serves as a main character in Book 1 of the Epic-Quests, helping players cleanse the Great Barrow. NPC can stand for: National Panhellenic Conference, an organizing body of fraternal University campus organizations National Paralympic Committee, equivalent to the National Olympic Committee National Peoples Congress of the Peoples Republic of China National Provincial Championship, the name of a now-defunct domestic rugby competition in New Zealand. ... An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (LotRO) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth during the time of The Lord of the Rings. ...


Of note, Tom Bombadil makes an appearance in EA Games' The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II as a summonable hero for the forces of light. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) is a leading video game developer and publisher. ...


Influence

Nickel Creek, an American bluegrass trio, released an acoustic instrumental tune called "House of Tom Bombadil" on their self-titled album in 2000. Nickel Creek is a Grammy Award-winning American acoustic music trio with roots in bluegrass, which is now sometimes described as progressive bluegrass or progressive acoustic. ... Bluegrass has three principal meanings, the second two both deriving from the first listed. ...


Tom Bombadil is a Spanish Celtic folk band from Castellón de la Plana. The term Celtic music encompasses Irish traditional music and traditional musics of Scotland; Cape Breton Island and Maritime Canada; Quebec; Wales; the Isle of Man; Northumberland (northern England); France); Cornwall; and Galicia (northwestern Spain). ... Castellón de la Plana (in Valencian Castelló de la Plana) is the capital city of the province of Castellón, in the Land of Valencia, Spain, in the east of the Iberian Peninsula, on the Costa del Azahar by the Mediterranean Sea (40°N 0°W). ...


References

  1. ^ "Tolkien later wrote a poem about him called "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," published in Oxford Magazine in 1934, long before the writing of the Lord of the Rings began." An Essay by Gene Hargrove
  2. ^ Editor-Ronald McCloskey. J.R.R Tolkien - Mythos and Modernity in Middle-earth. John Peterson. Retrieved on July 3, 2006.
  3. ^ (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, No. 144.)
  4. ^ Kathy McCracken (July 22, 2004). The Making of the Weta "Book Cards": Casting and Costuming. Decipher Inc. Retrieved on July 3, 2006.

July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

External links



  Results from FactBites:
 
Tom Bombadil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2699 words)
Tom's gift of the Barrow-blades would have far-reaching consequences, as Merry used his to wound, weaken and distract the Witch-king of Angmar at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields; it turned out that the blades were especially endowed with spells intended for his harm.
Tom Bombadil's origins in the cosmology of Middle-earth have puzzled even erudite fans, as he is arguably the only character in Tolkien's entire legendarium who does not neatly fit into any of the categories of beings Tolkien created.
Bombadil could be part of the Music of the Ainur, which would explain why he was there in the beginning, but if he was indeed part of the music, it is not said why he exists.
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (508 words)
Tom Bombadil was, however, part of The Lord of the Rings from the earliest drafts.
Tolkien introduced Tom into The Lord of the Rings at a very early stage, when he still thought of it as a sequel to the The Hobbit, as opposed to the The Silmarillion (the tone was changed during the first chapters of The Lord of the Rings).
Tom fit the original (slightly childish) tone of the early chapters (which resembled that of the The Hobbit), but as the story progressed it became higher in tone and darker in nature.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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