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Old 03-27-2018, 08:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Eldorion View Post
Yes, in that I don't think there's any particular connection between the two, but no in that I think the reason they are similar is because that's how "magic" often works in Arda. As you point out, being able to know things despite distance in time and/or space is a common trait insofar as mystical abilities are concerned, not just for Bombadil and Tinuviel. Power expressed through song is likewise a common motif. Besides the fact that the universe itself was created through song, we see (for example) that Felagund "strove with Sauron in songs of power" while imprisoned on Tol-in-Gaurhoth (TS, Of Beren and Lúthien), in LOTR Gandalf "softly sang" just before unveiling himself with magical theatrics like rolling thunder and blotting out the sunlight (TTT, 6), and Sam invoked the powers of the Phial of Galadriel by singing a portion of A Elbereth Gilthoniel, the words of which came to him despite not knowing Sindarin (TTT, IV 10).

That's my take, anyway.
Indeed. I think the connection is exactly that - that's just the way magic/[skills, for those elves who dislike the word] works, and the kind of magic that is done. If you have inner power and you have the skill to use it to leave a physical mark on the world, why not heal somebody? That one is also seen with Aragorn and Elrond, possibly others. Why not use the ability for the good of your entrusted land or people, to keep order and monitor that over which you took responsibility? You've already mentioned Melian and Galadriel, maybe also Celebrimbor. If you want to be a good person, do good things within your power.

The other common theme of manifesting skill/power/magic is through creation, and that one is not as morally clear-cut - and also happens to not be something you'd associate with Tom Bombadil, which says loads more about the character that I want to analyze just now. Creations in themselves are not bad, and mostly good, but the circumstances surrounding the creation and the use of the object make it a questionable pursuit if goodness in the world is what you want to achieve. Of course you have completely innocent creations like the Elven-rope Sam carries from Lorien, and neutral creations like Dwarven weapons. And then you have Feanor's Silmarils, the Rings of Power, mithril products "made in Khazad-dum", the Nauglamir - you get the gist. Seems like the message is that creation is good, but "be careful what you wish for" as you do it. I have only just noticed as I wrote this paragraph that Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, though associated with plenty (lots of flowers, lots of food, enough of everything one could need or want), are never linked with creation. Maybe that's why Tom is the Master, not an owner, and why he lives as if apart from the rest of the world.

The obvious difference between Luthien's magic and Tom's is that we know where Luthien's power stems from: after all, she is the daughter of Thingol and Melian. Their descendants maintained a shadow of that power for generations. But whence comes Tom's hypnotic voice? I'll leave that one for other threads to battle out.
You passed from under darkened dome, you enter now the secret land. - Take me to Finrod's fabled home!... ~ Finrod: The Rock Opera
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