The LOTR Movie Site
July 27, 2000

Regarding Bombadil's Absence

Much has been argued about Tom Bombadil's absence in the upcoming movie. I have read articles that say he is of little or no importance; and others that argue against that point. I, too wish to argue in favor of Bombadil. First of all, Bombadil, it seems, is one of the "Maiar"; as is his wife, Goldberry. Bombadil's power is stronger than even Gandalf's, he is not affected by the power of the One Ring, and handles it "as if it were a trinket". Gandalf, on the other hand, dares not to even touch it, as he fears the power may be too much for himself, and he too, may fall to its thraldom.This informs the reader that Bombadil's power is even greater than Gandalf's and it is hinted at (in other books, Silmarillion etc.) that He (Bombadil) may even transcend the Maiar, a "Being" who is even older than the oldest and most wizened wizard. The inclusion of Tom gives the reader something else to ponder on; that there are other beings in this Middle Earth other than Elves, Wizards, Hobbits, Orcs etc; who do not follow the rules, and can, sometimes bend them.

Bombadil plays a major part in the Fellowship of the Rings. He is in the story to teach the hobbits a lesson. That lesson is left for the reader to absorb and can mean many things. Tom teaches Frodo and the gang, humility, humbleness, grace, hospitality, and most importantly, that each Hobbit has within himself, the ability to overcome his "fears" and casting aside those "fears" he can conquer anything. Tom is the essential, but erratic, teacher. The hobbits needed to go through his habitat and fall prey to Old Man Willow. They needed to learn that not all things are as they seem. The fact that they were "lured" into a false sense of security by the tranquility of the River and the shade of the Willow Tree became part of their "lesson" on survival. It is fortunate that Tom ambled on by at this time...or...was this an accident...I think Not! Old Bombadil knew in advance of the hobbits arrival and was well prepared for them. But he had them learn this lesson about the "false sense of security" and "letting down ones guard" first, so that they would become more wary of the "real world".

Say what you will about Bombadil. But I for one think him to be a complete necessity of the trilogy. I have read the books (all of them, Silmarillion, Lost Tales too)) 3 Times! Once in my childhood, once in my teens and the last time in my twenties. Each time I read them; depending on my age at the time, they took on a whole new meaning and I was able to interpret things that I never caught the previous reading. I am now well into my thirties and I plan on re-reading all of them again.