Have You A Tom Bombadil In Your Life?

Maybe it was an act of subconscious self-preservation but I had completely forgotten about the character of Tom Bombadil in ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ I’m now 150 pages into my re-read of the classic fantasy trilogy at a staggering pace of seven pages a day. Frodo, Samwise, Pippin & Merry should already have been dead about a million times over but for the heroics of Mr. Bombadil and his ethereal companion, Goldberry.

A quick flick through any of the LOTR fan forums will tell you that old Tom is a far from popular character. He’s described as annoying and irrelevant to the story. And, yes, his unending gibberish, nonsensical verses and desire to break into song and dance at every available opportunity would tend to grate on the nerves after a while. Even Tolkien said he only included him in the tale as he was a leftover character from an earlier short story.

This probably explains why Peter Jackson did not include him in the movies. Yet, without Tom there would be no movies. Frodo would never have made it to Rivendell, never mind the slopes of Mount Doom, as Tom twice saved the hapless hobbits from Old Willow-Man and the Barrow Wraith. As well as keeping them well fed, tending to their ponies and single-handedly getting them to Bree where they are handed over to their next saviour, the mysterious Strider.

Have you a Tom Bombadil in your life? That annoying, frustrating person who you want to strangle half the time, yet couldn’t cope without? I fear I may be one as well as knowing of others. Well, if you do, don’t be too hard on them. Bite your lip, count to ten, and smile. True friends come in all shapes and sizes but they share one common characteristic – they will be there when you need them most. Just like good old Tom Bombadil.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

24 thoughts on “Have You A Tom Bombadil In Your Life?

  1. Pleased to see you feature Tom in your post. It may have been an afterthought by Tolkien to include him but as you point out he is essential to developing the story -more to the point he is a character who lives in two worlds. He comes across as an eccentric nature loving character but in essence is a positive force for good that the story needs.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I actually really love Tom Bombadil! I think he is a great character and adds to the mystery if the magic in this universe. I agree he seems a bit irrelevant but the way he saves the day helps you understand how far the hobbits have come when he is no longer needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really love the Tom Bombadil passages in the book. He’s never made it into any of the adaptations as I suspect he would be difficult to pull off convincingly, and the Old Forest parts don’t really contribute to the story that much.

    Tom Bombadil was actually a Dutch doll that his son Michael had. Tolkien wrote two poems about him, which are in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and somehow he ended up in Lord of the Rings.

    I love meandering through the Lord of the Rings, sometimes I will reread passages I like, or even reread the entire chapter.

    In the extended film version of the Two Towers they give Treebeard some of Tom’s lines, and even have the Old Man Willow character.

    Liked by 1 person

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