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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Who or what is Tom Bombadil? (Page 4)
Author Topic: Who or what is Tom Bombadil?
Turogriest
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Gandalf and Saruman were both Istari and thats why they were affected. Maiar and Istari differ in several ways and then can be effected differently. Sauron was only effected by the ring beause he bound himself to it and it acted a his ticket to come back to the world in a physical and free-moving form. Maiar versus Istari: Istai were Maiar, their abilities were limited and they wer forced into Man form. They were sent by Illuvatar to help Man, by Illuvatar's will, Valar could not interact with men, and thereby couldn't be respnsible for the Istari's presence in Middle-Earth. Since the Maiar are defined as "servants and helpers" for the Valar, once they stopped obiding by the Valar's will, they were no longer Maiar, they were working dirctly undr Illuvtar, LIKE a Valar. I say LIKE because i wouldn't be as bold to say they were Valar. But to the point now, Sauron did not disappear, he was only consumed because he was linked... that is why it is possible he is a Maia and still unaffected. we know nt of the physical responce on Istari we just know, Saruman wanted it and Gandalf feared its possiblke effect on him.
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Rothrandir
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Personally I believe that not even the good Prof. himself knew what Bombadil was. He probably just started writing and Tom was created. He cannot be explained because there is nothing to compare him to and no catagory to classify him under. As far as the question: "Who is the goldberry?" I would guess the answer is that she is the daughter of Uinen, wife of Ossë, therefore answering the question, "Who is Golberry's father?" that being said, one would surmise that Goldberry at least, was a miair.

[ 02-18-2003, 10:02 PM: Message edited by: Rothrandir ]

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Master of Doom
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turogriest ,
quote:
Maiar versus Istari: Istai were Maiar, their abilities were limited and they wer forced into Man form.
The Istari were not influenced by the Ring because of those differences. Those differences would have no effect on whether or not they are influenced by the Ring.

quote:
the Maiar are defined as "servants and helpers" for the Valar
Where the hell did you get that? Maiar are the Ainur who aren't the Valar, the 14 strongest Ainur. The Balrogs are Maiar, and they aren't exactly "servants and helpers for the Valar," as you say Maiar are.
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Turogriest
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As per your first response: i think it would, but then again we do not know what affect it would have since there seemed to be none rather than lust which Saruman exhibited. If you were to have some proof to back up this response let me know. Being that your respopnse was a "i do not think so" response it has no merit, all that you did was say i was worng, please tell me why i am wrong, that would help.
As per your second response: For starters, the Balrogs were not Maiar, they were created in the depths of Angband aas says the Silmarillion, and Illuvatar created the Maiar. And secondly, the Silmarillion, page 30 in my book. The First paragraph. The entire paragraph reads: "With the Valar came oher spirits whose being also began before the World, of the same order as the Valar but a less degree. These are the Maiar, the people of the Valar, and their servants and helpers. Their number is not known to the Elves, and few have names in any of the tongues of the Children of Illuvatar; for though it is otherwise in Aman, in Middle-earth the Maiar have seldom appeared in form visible to Elves and Men." That is "where in the hell" i got that Sir.
And just to clear something up for you, get a copy of the Silmarillion, take a look at the Index, or read the Valaquenta and see that the Ainur consist of both the Maiar and the Valar for the Ainur are the "Holy ones" or as it is defined "teh first beings created by Illuvatar, the 'order' of the Valar and the Maiar, made before Eä." index, page 314 in my book.

[ 02-19-2003, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: turogriest ]

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Master of Doom
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quote:
Maiar are the Ainur who aren't the Valar, the 14 strongest Ainur.
In that quote from an earlier reply of mine I clearly state that Maiar are Ainur and Valar are the 14 strongest Ainur. Then, you said this:

quote:
And just to clear something up for you, get a copy of the Silmarillion, take a look at the Index, or read the Valaquenta and see that the Ainur consist of both the Maiar and the Valar
So after I clearly said that both Maiar and Valar are Ainur, you proved me wrong by saying that Maiar and Valar are Ainur. Wait a second, that's exactly what I said, but you just wanted to clear it up, because I obviously was wrong.

And then later, you showed off your intelligence once again. In my earlier reply I said
quote:
Where the hell
and then later you tried to quote me when you said
quote:
"where in the hell"
Next time you try to quote three words from me, please don't mess up and add a fourth word in the middle. I find that most people can correctly quote three words when they are looking at them.

Also you said
quote:
the Maiar are defined as "servants and helpers" for the Valar
And then later in you quoted the Silmarillion:
quote:
These are the Maiar, the people of the Valar, and their servants and helpers.
It looks to me that the Maiar are not just their servents and helpers, they are also the people of the Valar, considering it says that first. But what the text says doesn't really matter, does it?

And finally, my favorite quote from you.
quote:
And secondly, the Silmarillion, page 30 in my book.
Ah, I just love sentences without verbs. They facinate me. They make me laugh. They make me cry. They show off your intelligence.
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Master of Doom
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I can also prove that Balrogs were indeed Maiar.

This is from the Silmarillion, Page 31, "Of the Enemies":
quote:
Yet so great was the power of his (Melkor) uprising that in ages forgotten he contended with Manwë and all the Valar, and through the long years in Arda held dominion over most of the lands of the Earth. But he was not alone. For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remianed in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to his service with lies and treacherous gifts. Deadful among these spirits were the Valaraukar, the scourges of fire that in Middle-earth were called the Balrogs, demons of terror.

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Turogriest
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Fair enough. I did not realize that my grammar or literary style was under scrutiny and judgement in this, a forum to speak about topics revolving around Middle-earth, but I guess you will look for any error in my ways when you can find none in my arguments. Aren't we a bittesty when someone rivls are inane and quite stupid drivel. I have found that wherever I see the name Aragorn II i see filth of the most retarded sort. You did not say that the Valar and Maiar comprised the group that is known as the Ainur, but from that poorly consturcted phrase that you shat onto the screen it is hard to devise anything from it. I guess if you write things in unconventional means, you can then alter them to try to help you once proven wrong. And excuse my misquote won't you, aww I am dreadfully sorry I added the "in" my mistake you cry baby. "Maiar are the Ainur who aren't the Valar, the 14 stongest Ainur". This statement expresses very little and is quite unintelligiable, thank you for its submittance but i seems to express that the Maiar are the Ainur and the Valar are a seoperate grouop, so excuse me if I misread a poorly structured sentence so pick on the lack of verb again. You show you intellect quite well, firstly by being a horrible righter, and secondly by raising to the offensive when questioned. Be proud of yourself really. Is there anything that I left out, or dd I make a mistake somewhere? Please let me know you zealous ass.
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Turogriest
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Aragorn II are the Orcs Elves? They came from the Elves. They were Elves who were perverted and destroyed and over time became Orcs. Do you still call Orcs Elves, then why do you call Balrogs Maiar. If they were, which is inconclusive from the passage that you quoted and that I am quit familiar with, they were perverted and destroyed forms of Maiar. Tolkien refers to them as demons alone, as he does with Ungoliant, a demon and product of Melkor. So once these supposed Maiar were "perverted as is said on Page 47 of the Silmarillion, and became most like Melkor; do they still deserve the title of Maiar. I say no. To say that, then you must call an Orc an Elf. Plese calm down on the attitude as well, itsa discussion mind you. Everything will be OK no matter what the result of 2 people speaking on a subject we pretend to know about but are propably wrong, being that the only man who knows these answers are the author who is long gone.
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Master of Doom
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Turogriest ,

OK OK enough bad blood. I just want to clear some things up. We all know how Orcs came to be, but Orcs were changed over generations. There wasn't an Elf sitting around one day, then POOF he was an Orc. They probably came about after messing up the Elves over several generations. The Balrogs, on the other hand, were Maiar. I am pretty sure that you agree that they were originally Maiar. But they weren't really changed so much over generations as Orcs, they were just corrupted. So there were still the same beings. If an Elf turns evil, he is still an Elf. This is what I personally believe applies to the Balrogs.

And one last thing, I think my statement ,"Maiar are the Ainur who aren't the Valar, the 14 stongest Ainur", was perfectly valid. It's like saying "Invertebrates are the animals who aren't vertebrates, the more complex animals." That is essentially the same as my statement, just with the beings changed. It is clear that the invertebrates are animals, and they are the animals who are not vertebrates, which implies that the vertebrates are indeed also animals. And even if one should not catch onto this implication, then it is even more clear because of the way I used a noun in apposition saying Valar, the 14 stongest Ainur. That's the equivalent of saying, "My father, Arathorn, was chieftain of the Dunedain." It is clear that my father is Arathorn because Arathorn is in apposition of "My father", just as it is clear in my original statement that the Valar are Ainur, because "the 14 stongest Ainur" is in apposition of Valar.

That explanation was a bit lengthy, but I hope you can agree that my statement was correct, and we can stop arguing.

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Rothrandir
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sorry to interupt, but orcs are currupted men.

origionally, tolkien thought the orcs to be corrupted elves, but later changed his mind to some complexaties. (i.e. immortality...)

*edit* oops, i see i was beaten to it

[ 02-19-2003, 04:40 PM: Message edited by: Rothrandir ]

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Turogriest
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This topic can go no further i think. I agree with you now, and i see what you meant, i was only defending myself, and no hard feelings remain. Balrogs are a touchy subject, that is all i know. Where did you find trhe thing on orcs beign corrupted men, well if what you say is true, then someone should have told Tolkien to change the Appendix of LOTR and the Silmarillion.

[ 02-19-2003, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: Turogriest ]

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Master of Doom
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So we finally agree. Tom Bombadil is a crazy homeless man.
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Celebranthir
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I think that Tom is Iluvatar. The reason is that he is the only one who could handle the ring. But they could not give it to him because he would lose it and this is very God like.

----------
"I have no master.
I am chaos."

[ 02-20-2003, 07:19 AM: Message edited by: Celebranthir ]

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Kjartan Fløgelfrikk
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Celebranthir, I don't think Iluvatar would lose the ring like that. But Iluvatar isn't concerned with middle-earth, the valar are. (That doesn't mean I think Tom is a Vala)
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Rothrandir
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the ideas in the silm were developed before those in home. in home, orcs are said to be corrupted men.
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Turogriest
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With one source, original, saying one thing and another source, later thought of, says another thing, which should be believed really, it all comes down to what youhave more faith in. To argue this would be like arguing religion.
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Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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I've found a quote from BLT Volume 1 which could be very relevant here:

quote:
About them fared a great host who are the sprites of trees and woods, of dale and forest and mountainside, or those that sing amid the grass at morning and chant among the standing corn at eve. These are the Nermir and Tavari, Nandini and Orossi, brownies, fays, pixies, leprawns, and what else are they not, for their number is very great: yet they must not be confused with the Eldar, for they were born before the world and are older than its oldest, and are not of it, but laugh at it much, so that it is for the most part a play for them
It would make a lot of sense for Tom Bombadil to be one of these creatures. He is forever singing, and is associated with nature. The references to 'grass' and 'corn' indicate the passing of time in a subtle way, as well as the statement that these creatures came before the Eldar.

And there is nothing to say they could not have had children, hence Goldberry the 'river-daughter' - daughter of a river sprite?

The fact that the world seems 'a play for them' would very much be in accordance with Tom's attitude towards the ring. He sees all the affairs of Arda as mere trifles - because perhaps he is from beyond? He is one of these creatures?

However, this is an early writing, and Tolkien's ideas often changed. Most early ideas like this were later phased out, as Christopher Tolkien reflects:

quote:
In the later work there is no trace of any explanation of the 'pixie' element in the world's population: the Maiar are little referred to, and certainly not said to include such beings as sing amid the grass at morning and chant among the standing corn at eve.
There certainly is no explanation, but that does not mean that Tolkien discarded the idea entirely. Bombadil may well be a tribute to his earlier ideas.

But, he could still be a Maia. As is said, little is known of the Maiar, and just because they are not said to include such beings, does not mean they do not. Perhaps the Maiar are a later incarnation of these earlier pixie folk?

Or perhaps we need to look at the myths within the stories. The writers of LOTR would have known nothing about these hidden faery folk. Perhaps that is why we are not meant to know?

[ 05-03-2003, 02:15 PM: Message edited by: Silmarien ]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Vanima i metta nauva, nan anda ar sarda nauva i mallë.

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Viscount Værtalion
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the second part of that passage includes all the characteristics of Bombadil, but the first part i'm afraid has two faults (all i can see)A) if the pixies were so numerous why has there been no mention of them in Tolkien's work? and B) Bombadil's quite taller than our average pixie.
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Roll of Honor The Woodwose
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Just leave poor Mr. Bombadil alone! Can't he have some privacy?!

He is old, and very cool, but that's about all that can be known or was inteded to be known. I think the mystery is what makes him so cool!

Okay, in all seriousness, this thread has helped me see that it's not important knowing who or what he is and you all (well most all of you, some of 'em were just pathetic [] ) gave some very good theories about him. The answer is that we don't need an answer... IMO anyways.

Peace

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Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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Vartalion: the pixies etc were numerous in Tolkien's earlier conceptions of Middle Earth. By the time of writing LOTR most of the ideas concerning them had been discarded. However, there is a strong possibility that Tom Bombadil and Goldberry were carried through, even though numerous similar creatures were not.

Another explanation could be that there were in fact many of these creatures, but they hid themselves away. Unseen to men or elves, it is unlikely that these pixies would have a prominent role in the tales told by them. However, in revealing himself to the hobbits, Tom Bombadil allowed himself to be written into the history, instead of being just a hidden observer.

Of course, it could also be that these spirits were so commonplace that noone bothered to write about them - they did nothing of note. There's a few theories. Can anyone confirm/disprove them?

As for the height issue. Yes, Bombadil is taller than your traditional pixie. But Elrond's taller than your traditional Father Christmas elf. [] Remember not to take your perceptions of creatures in this world and put them into Arda.

The Woodwose: Shall we do as above then, and all be in agreement that he's a crazy homeless man? []

[ 08-31-2004, 02:56 AM: Message edited by: Aikanáro ]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Vanima i metta nauva, nan anda ar sarda nauva i mallë.

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Dark Lord Andúril
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Here is a post that I made in the nameless creatures thread, and I thought I might also be applicable here:

An interesting thread indeed. My opinion is that the Timeless halls were, quite literally, without time. Therefore, the "older than Sauron" concept would only be applicable under the aspect of a place where events can be measured within a timescale. Hense, in this particular example, the concept of being "older than Sauron" could in fact mean two particular things.

1. Either, the creature in question in fact came into being with the first vision that was proclaimed to the Ainur by Ilúvatar, after the singing of the three themes.

2. Or, that particular creature was in fact an Ainu who entered Arda before Sauron, thus making that creature, from the relativity of Arda as a whole, to be "older" than other Ainur who came after the creature in question.

I would personally lean toward the latter explanation as this would also account for Tom Bombadil's statement of being the "Eldest". In this example, he would merely be the Ainu that was the first to enter Arda, therefore, the first to be subject to the alien concept of time, creating a realtivity unequaled by any of the other Ainu, making his statementments correct.

Andúril

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"Why is the rum gone?"
"One: It is a despicable drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels. And two: I've created a column of smoke that rises a thousand feet in the air. My father's ships will be combing the area. Do you think there is even a chance they won't see it?"
".... but why is the rum gone?"

This is not advertising! Don't you dare click on this link to my forum... ;)

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Roll of Honor Gildor
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I have only skimmed over this thread, so I apologize if I am repeating anyone else's theories. But, I think that Tom may be a creation of the music of the Ainur, not one of the Ainur himself, but that they created him when they created Arda. Or perhaps Tom could be Iluvatar himself, but his form in Middle-Earth, as Jesus was to God. I believe the first theory to be more correct than the second, but I am not sure.
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Dark Lord Andúril
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Interesting second theory.

Perhaps Iluvatar represented God, Bombadil represented Christ, and what could be the holy spirit? The Valar?

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Roll of Honor Gildor
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Andúril, I was thinking about that more today, and I was trying think of what would represent the Holy Spirit, I think the Valar would be the most logical choice. But, I was thinking of something that has an affect on almost all people of M-E. But, I guess the Valar do that. It will be interesting to see what theories arise from this.
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Roll of Honor Herendil
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Letter #181:
quote:
There is no 'embodiment' of the Creator anywhere in this story or mythology.

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Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Who or what is Tom Bombadil? (Page 4)
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