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A theory on Tom Bombadil
Started by: Tharkun

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Tharkun
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A theory on Tom Bombadil

(I decided to start a new thread so I wouldn't go grave digging the other one and this is a different perspective on the character anyway).

So I was on youtube today and I saw a comment on a random LOTR video where a Bombadil discussion had come up. He said he thinks Bombadil was Tulkas. He supported it saying that Tulkas was thought to have never left Ea after taking Melkor down and he often danced and laughed in battle similar to Bombadil.

I'd like to say I know some things to do with LOTR, but I know there are a lot more knowledgeable guys on this forum, so what are your opinions?


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Old Post Jun 4th, 2010 04:11 PM
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RichardBrittain
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Interesting theory, but... doubt it.

Old Post Jun 15th, 2010 04:42 PM
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ADarksideJedi
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Not sure but yes very interesting.


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Old Post Jul 16th, 2010 05:41 PM
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Exabyte
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Quite definitely not, I think.

First, I don't think Tom Bombadil was a Vala at all. (Most) Valar are proud and take themselves very important. They were all more or less involved in the war against Morgoth (especially Tulkas) and are definitely very concerned with what happens in Middle-earth. I can't imagine any of them condescending to live like Tom Bombadil, unobtrusive and isolated, dealing only with a few acres of sleepy nature and some Hobbit farmes (Farmer Maggot seems to be one of his favourite regular contacts). Valar prefer feeling important, talking among themselves only and occasionally being worshipped by the lesser or commanding them to do some important mission. Tom, on the other hand, seems hardly (seriously) interested in anything beyond his immediate environment. He doesn't believe in "important missions" (Gandalf, in reply to someone suggesting to give the Ring to Tom to take care of, suspects Tom would forget about it after little time and throw it away).

If he was an Ainu, I would rather assume he was a Maia. Whether due to their larger number, their lesser power or something else, Maiar seem to tend to have a more "local" (less global) perception of the world.

Second, Tulkas was a war god. Tom is the exact opposite of that. He is protective and loving, a (weird) pacifist. I can't imagine Tulkas' preferences change so dramatically: in the First Age (and before), he chose a muscular body, a red skin and had blond hair; and he was not exactly the brightest of the Valar. His favorite hobby is wrestling, he is irascible and rash. None of this is true for Tom. Finally, Tulkas was the last of the Valar to descend to Arda, so if Tom were Tulkas, he would probably not boast himself to be the "eldest and fatherless".

Side note: the eldest of all Ainur was actually Aluin, the lord of Time, but unlike his children (Danuin, day; Ranuin, month; and Fanuin, year), he never descended to Arda.


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Old Post Feb 14th, 2011 07:45 PM
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The_Innkeeper
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Exa just owned your theory, my friend.


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Old Post Feb 19th, 2011 02:06 AM
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Birch_Tree
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Could be Tulkas, but I doubt it. To many points against him. Similar arguments that are used to be claim that he is Aule could support the theory that he was Tulkas. For Tulkas to be Tom, Nessa would have to be Goldberry (maybe a better fit).

A few of your points contradict Exabyte, you claimed he was not the brightest of the valar (a fair point) but earlier you claim he could not be Tulkas because he would not take the ring seriously "As he cares little about either past or future, he is not a good councilor, but nonetheless a very hardy friend.". Sounds like the kind of guy who would not care about the ring.

You say "Tulkas was the last of the Valar to descend to Arda, so if Tom were Tulkas, he would probably not boast himself to be the "eldest and fatherless"." That is correct, last to descend. But he did exist from before Arda was created so is just as old as any of the other Valar (assuming eru made them all at once). So he could in a way claim to be eldest (equal) and fatherless (created rather then borned).

It must be remembered, that by the third age the valar has vowed not to interfere directly in the events of middle earth. The fact that Tom has restricted and isolated himself to a small area and interfered little could be seen as a way to remain in middle earth while remaining faithful to the vow not to directly interfere in Middle Earth.

quote:
Valar prefer feeling important, talking among themselves only and occasionally being worshipped by the lesser or commanding them to do some important mission.
" Not exactly true, quite a few of the Valar kept to themselves, the best example would be Ulmo who rarely visits Valinor, Námo and Vairë largely stay in their halls.

So a argument could be made that Tom is Tulkas, but I feel if the Tom is Valar argument is going to be made Aule is still the better fit.

Last edited by Birch_Tree on Apr 17th, 2011 at 09:55 PM

Old Post Apr 17th, 2011 09:46 PM
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The Rover

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If Tom Bombadil was supposed to be a Vala - which he doesn't appear to have been - then Oromë would be the best fit, seeing as it was he (and Yavanna, and later Ulmo) who are mentioned as having not abandoned Middle-earth to Melkor...but that was before the beginning of the First Age.

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Exabyte

Side note: the eldest of all Ainur was actually Aluin, the lord of Time, but unlike his children (Danuin, day; Ranuin, month; and Fanuin, year), he never descended to Arda.


...Huh? I don't think those early (and seemingly abandoned) concepts can really be called upon to aid in this discussion...


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Last edited by The Rover on Apr 18th, 2011 at 05:53 PM

Old Post Apr 18th, 2011 05:51 PM
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Exabyte
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by The Rover
...Huh? I don't think those early (and seemingly abandoned) concepts can really be called upon to aid in this discussion...

That is precisely why I called it "side note" and not "main argument".

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Birch_Tree
A few of your points contradict Exabyte, you claimed he was not the brightest of the valar (a fair point) but earlier you claim he could not be Tulkas because he would not take the ring seriously "As he cares little about either past or future, he is not a good councilor, but nonetheless a very hardy friend.". Sounds like the kind of guy who would not care about the ring.

True, not care about the Ring itself or any consequences; however, gladly join any "important mission" to destroy or protect it, I think.


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Old Post Apr 18th, 2011 09:56 PM
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Birch_Tree
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Exabyte

True, not care about the Ring itself or any consequences; however, gladly join any "important mission" to destroy or protect it, I think.


Yeap, giving half the chance Tulkas would have run to Mordor and dragged Sauron back to Valinor for judgment but they respected the will of Manwe and decision not to interfere directly in the affairs of middle earth.

But, I do agree that Tom is probably not Tulkas. Their personality do not seem to much.

Old Post Apr 19th, 2011 04:41 AM
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The Rover

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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Exabyte
That is precisely why I called it "side note" and not "main argument".


I don't really see why you brought it up, then... *Shrug*

quote: (post)
Originally posted by Birch_Tree
Yeap, giving half the chance Tulkas would have run to Mordor and dragged Sauron back to Valinor for judgment but they respected the will of Manwe and decision not to interfere directly in the affairs of middle earth.


I agree, almost all of Tolkien's later writings are in line with your basic assessment: They decided not to interfere directly in the affairs of Men and Middle-earth. It always ended in cataclysm when they did, anyway...


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Old Post Apr 19th, 2011 05:41 PM
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Birch_Tree
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Maybe tom is the Flame Imperishable, the flame was first sent into the void, and tom claimed to be the first....

Old Post Apr 20th, 2011 03:35 AM
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Stealth Moose
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Exabyte
Quite definitely not, I think.

First, I don't think Tom Bombadil was a Vala at all. (Most) Valar are proud and take themselves very important. They were all more or less involved in the war against Morgoth (especially Tulkas) and are definitely very concerned with what happens in Middle-earth. I can't imagine any of them condescending to live like Tom Bombadil, unobtrusive and isolated, dealing only with a few acres of sleepy nature and some Hobbit farmes (Farmer Maggot seems to be one of his favourite regular contacts). Valar prefer feeling important, talking among themselves only and occasionally being worshipped by the lesser or commanding them to do some important mission. Tom, on the other hand, seems hardly (seriously) interested in anything beyond his immediate environment. He doesn't believe in "important missions" (Gandalf, in reply to someone suggesting to give the Ring to Tom to take care of, suspects Tom would forget about it after little time and throw it away).

If he was an Ainu, I would rather assume he was a Maia. Whether due to their larger number, their lesser power or something else, Maiar seem to tend to have a more "local" (less global) perception of the world.

Second, Tulkas was a war god. Tom is the exact opposite of that. He is protective and loving, a (weird) pacifist. I can't imagine Tulkas' preferences change so dramatically: in the First Age (and before), he chose a muscular body, a red skin and had blond hair; and he was not exactly the brightest of the Valar. His favorite hobby is wrestling, he is irascible and rash. None of this is true for Tom. Finally, Tulkas was the last of the Valar to descend to Arda, so if Tom were Tulkas, he would probably not boast himself to be the "eldest and fatherless".

Side note: the eldest of all Ainur was actually Aluin, the lord of Time, but unlike his children (Danuin, day; Ranuin, month; and Fanuin, year), he never descended to Arda.


Here.

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Old Post Aug 16th, 2011 08:54 AM
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elrond72
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Not that one. Next you'll be putting a link in to the theory that Bombadil is the reader.

Old Post Dec 1st, 2012 04:20 AM
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