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Old 10-05-2015, 04:05 PM   #22
Haunting Spirit
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 87
Leaf is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
Very, very true. Yet Tom has often been compared to mythological beings like Nereus, the Norse satyr Miming in Saxo Grammaticus, the rural god Pan, and so forth. Such beings are pictured generally as living on their own or with their family and not interacting with mortals except when mortals force themselves upon them. They are not shown to want to boss any outsiders around.

Compare the cave of the nymphs in the thirteenth book of the Odyssey. These nymphs play no part in the tale of the Odyssey and are seemingly uninterested in what mortals or others are doing around then, save, I presume, when what others are doing affects themselves.

Then they might do something like afflict the countryside with a sea monster.
Thanks for those wonderful examples and your general input. You're right, those are typical mythological beings which can be compared to Tom Bombadil, in regards to their wish to be left alone by the outside world.

Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
But what would happen if Farmer Maggot found his farm seized by trickery by someone like the Sackville-Baggins and asked Tom Bombadil for help? Would Tom do anything? Presumably Maggot’s farm is within the area of land beyond which Tom will not go, as he visits the farm in the poem The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Would Tom have helped the Hobbits during the Scouring of the Shire if asked by Maggot, especially since part of the Shire and probably Buckland are within Tom’s territory? If Tom did help, nothing is said of it in The Lord of the Rings.
I don't want to take a guess on those hypothetical scenarios, but would rather like to point out that Tom, seemingly, didn't interfere in the conflict between the Old Forest and the Buckland-Hobbits. The Hobbits planted the "High Hay" as a safeguard from the Old Forest and the eastern lands. The trees "attacked" (i.e. they grew closer) the "High Hay" and the Buckland-Hobbits subsequently cut down and burned many trees in a great bonfire. As far as I can tell Tom didn't choose a side in that strange conflict. He did not try to restrain the trees in the first place, nor did he care for response of the Hobbit and the loss, as Treebeard would think about it, of many trees.

So, either the western borders of the Old Forest aren't identical with the borders of Tom's territory, or Tom is flexible about the borders of his realm and his appreciation for trees, or the Old Forest in general. What is the Old Forest to Tom? Is it a thing in itself that Tom wants to protect, akin to the agenda of the Ents, or is just a part of his domain that soley bears a functional meaning (providing his livelihood, lilies etc.) to him?

Last edited by Leaf; 10-05-2015 at 04:40 PM.
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