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who/what is Tom Bombadil

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Poll Question: can you answer one of the biggest mysteries of fiction
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
3 [20.00%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [6.67%]
1 [6.67%]
10 [66.67%]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sleeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2013 at 06:59
I've always thought he'd either be a Maia or a spirit that avoided being corrupted into a Balrog or some other monster by Melkor.

Can't be a Valar, there's only 14 of them, all named, and they stay in Valinor as the "Gods in Mount Olympus".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jim Garten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2013 at 07:02
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

if there was an option for damn annoying I would have picked it


I suspect Peter Jackson agrees with you

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2013 at 07:09
Is "I don't give a sh*t" an option?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2013 at 07:48
No
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CPicard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2013 at 10:18
My bet is that Tom Bombaldil is an alien, coming from another world than Arda (maybe Krypton?). That would explain why he doesn't fit in the racial classification of the Middle Earth universe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2013 at 19:51
Bombadil is Tolkien's private joke on his readers. Tolkien actually mentioned in his letters that Old Tom is  "the spirit of the (vanishing) Oxford and Berkshire countryside", a physical manifestation of the Oxfordshire Tolkien loved and remembered from his youth. Bombadil was added in because Tolkien thought his spirit was "important" and not necessarily germane to the story as a whole. Tolkien requested the addition of the character to Lord of the Rings in a letter to his publisher dated 16 December 1937.

In addition, Bombadil himself mentions in the book that he is the"eldest", which is literally true. Tom is neither Maia, Vala or Eru himself; in fact, he predates The Lord of the Rings and many elements of the Silmarillion as well, first appearing in a series of poems Tolkien wrote in 1934. Bombadil was originally named in honor of a doll in his children's bedroom.

Finally, the One Ring does not affect Tom because he is not part of the story, but rather an entity unto himself within a self-contained land whose boundaries he alone has set.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 05:11
good answer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 16:02
Originally posted by CPicard CPicard wrote:

Something else: J.R.R. Tolkien, creating a Gary Sue character acting as a Deus Ex Machina.


Huh? He doesn't do anything. That kinda precludes him from being a Deus Ex Machina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CPicard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 16:22
Originally posted by Equality 7-2521 Equality 7-2521 wrote:

Originally posted by CPicard CPicard wrote:

Something else: J.R.R. Tolkien, creating a Gary Sue character acting as a Deus Ex Machina.


Huh? He doesn't do anything. That kinda precludes him from being a Deus Ex Machina.


Whaaaaat? Hey, he offers the Hobbits some excellent meal. And food is something quite important for the Hobbits. Ergo, Deus Ex Cucina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 16:24
He does rescue them from a tree and a barrow wight, but those threats were not really necessary to the plot and seemed to only be there to give old Tom an excuse to show up, so not really a Deus Ex Machina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 16:32
Tom Bombadil was proof that Tolkien was a linguist first and a writer second.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 16:33
Let's call Treebeard "Exhibit B."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 16:34
The Ent language is one of the most interesting things in the book, I think.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 16:47
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

He does rescue them from a tree and a barrow wight, but those threats were not really necessary to the plot and seemed to only be there to give old Tom an excuse to show up, so not really a Deus Ex Machina.


Yeah. Neither that or the willow were central conflicts to the story. And even so his means of rescue didn't really involve anything out of the ordinary. You could argue the barrows was important because of the nazgul killing daggers, but still ya know?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 17:17
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

The Ent language is one of the most interesting things in the book, I think.


That's fine, but when you're knee deep in orc blood, you don't want 30 pages of a linguistics lesson.

Or a philosophy course.  Isn't that right, Ayn Rand?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 17:23
Originally posted by Epignosis Epignosis wrote:

Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

The Ent language is one of the most interesting things in the book, I think.


That's fine, but when you're knee deep in orc blood, you don't want 30 pages of a linguistics lesson.

Or a philosophy course.  Isn't that right, Ayn Rand?



I do! It's why I love Victor Hugo's lengthy digressions on the Paris sewers or the history of the octopus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 18:14
A variety of pickle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 22:13
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

Originally posted by Epignosis Epignosis wrote:

Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

The Ent language is one of the most interesting things in the book, I think.


That's fine, but when you're knee deep in orc blood, you don't want 30 pages of a linguistics lesson.

Or a philosophy course.  Isn't that right, Ayn Rand?



I do! It's why I love Victor Hugo's lengthy digressions on the Paris sewers or the history of the octopus.


Explains why you like Moby Dick then.  Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 22:15
Originally posted by Epignosis Epignosis wrote:

Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

Originally posted by Epignosis Epignosis wrote:

Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

The Ent language is one of the most interesting things in the book, I think.


That's fine, but when you're knee deep in orc blood, you don't want 30 pages of a linguistics lesson.

Or a philosophy course.  Isn't that right, Ayn Rand?



I do! It's why I love Victor Hugo's lengthy digressions on the Paris sewers or the history of the octopus.


Explains why you like Moby Dick then.  Dead


Indeed. I'm of the opinion that plot is only one feature of many that are important for great literature.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2013 at 22:27
Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

Originally posted by Epignosis Epignosis wrote:

Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

Originally posted by Epignosis Epignosis wrote:

Originally posted by thellama73 thellama73 wrote:

The Ent language is one of the most interesting things in the book, I think.


That's fine, but when you're knee deep in orc blood, you don't want 30 pages of a linguistics lesson.

Or a philosophy course.  Isn't that right, Ayn Rand?



I do! It's why I love Victor Hugo's lengthy digressions on the Paris sewers or the history of the octopus.


Explains why you like Moby Dick then.  Dead


Indeed. I'm of the opinion that plot is only one feature of many that are important for great literature.


That's fine, but don't bore me.
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