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Old 09-28-2015, 08:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
There's sort of a clash between the idea, or concept, of Tom Bombadil at its core and the very basic necessity for him to take part in the story after all.
Tolkien addressed that in Letters #144:

Tom Bombadil is not an important person-to the narrative. I suppose he has some importance as a 'comment'...I would not...have left him in, if he did not have some kind of function. 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 against compulsion that has long lost any desire save mere power, and so on; but both sides...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 question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless.
So what you say about the Ring not affecting Tom because he has no desire for power is right. That aligns with Gandalf's remarks to the Council, that Bombadil "is his own master"; that is, power and domination, the Ring's powers and its tools, are unable to gain a foothold in his mind because there is no means of connecting to kindred thoughts within him.

Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
He does take a stand and a clear side. Obviously, he does so for a good and justified reason but I feel like that this does undermine the idea behind his character in some way. And to be clear, I don't fault Tolkien for that. I think it's more of a structural problem, if that makes sense. It's kind of a conundrum.
Being in the story, for whatever metaphysical reason, he must either aid Frodo or thwart him. Ignoring the plight of the Hobbits would have been a choice as well: a choice against the Good that Frodo served. I think Bombadil had existed in Middle-earth completely out of the histories, unknown even to most of the Elves. The few who knew of him didn't know what he was, or his purpose. Gandalf apparently did know, and his knowledge had to have come with him from the West. Tom, I think, knew that one day he would have his part to play in the greater history, but he only stepped into the story for as brief a time as was absolutely necessary.\, just long enough to get Frodo out of the Old Forest and the Downs.
Music alone proves the existence of God.

Last edited by Inziladun; 09-29-2015 at 08:47 PM. Reason: typo correction
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