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January 11, 2002

Ol' Tom Bombadil's Importance
Lisa C.

I am re-reading the books for the fourth time. Thank you, Peter Jackson, for the movies! The stunning visuals is the main reason why I decided to re-read the books. Now, I like Tom Bombadil, but I do not really see how he could have been placed into the Movie without the Movie becoming overly complicated and chopped up here and there. I can understand that it would be quite difficult to introduce him to the general Movie audience, then not have him reappear ever again. However, I disagree with whomever said that Tom was of no importance to the trilogy. I find him to be just the opposite. He is there to teach the Hobbits a few lessons as they get on their way to their great adventure, remember these Hobbits are not "seasoned travelers". Tom's job is too get them "on their way" but also to make sure that they understand the "dangers of the road". Frodo and his friends need to learn that not all things are as they seem; thus they fall prey to Old Man Willow and the Barrow Wights, because they had let their guard down and were "lulled" into a false sense of security. Tom comes to their rescue, but they all learn a powerful lesson. Once they get to Bree, they seem to be more on their guard than when they entered the forrest. He also teaches Frodo a little "humility" by taking the ring, toying with it as if it were a mere trinket, and handing it back to Frodo, who's suspicion towards Tom, makes him try the ring on, of course Bombadil sees him while he's in his invisable state, and Frodo feeling a bit foolish takes the ring off and sits back down. Bombadils' power is stronger than any of the Maiar, the ring has no control over him. He even says that he was in these woods long before the first of any peoples had arrived, (Elves, Dwarves, Men, I am thinking he meant the Maiar as well, since that's how it sounded to me). Whatever Tom is (some say he is Eru) he is a very old and powerful being, he adds an air of mystery to the story, as we can never be sure exactly who and what he is, it is interesting how he reminices about the broach on the Barrow Downs, how "she who wore this was fair" and by giving it to Goldberry "she will always be remembered by Tom and Goldberry". (Goldberry, I think represents our idea of Mother Nature). Tom's reflection on the people of the ages, has us and the hobbits think about how short the ages of different civilizations really are, as they come and go, and in the end they are all just a fleeting memory.

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