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I started reading LOTR again and got to the part where Tom helps Frodo and the Hobbits on the Barrowdowns. Tom picks a jewel and thinks of a woman - does anyone know who this woman was. Was it his wife? Does anyone know any of the history of Tom Bombadil.

Also can anyone out there compress the reasoning of having Tom in the book - apart from helping the Hobbits, and why wasn't there more of him later in the book.

Any info welcomed >^..^
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Tom picks a jewel and thinks of a woman - does anyone know who this woman was. Was it his wife? Does anyone know any of the history of Tom Bombadil.

He picked up a brooch, which was once worn by a lady of Arnor.

As you know, Arnor was destroyed by the Witch-King of Angmar and his thralls, the Barrow-Wights were restless spirits of ppl who had perished in that war. This is why Merry says :
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'The men of Carn Dm came on us at night, and we were worsted. Ah! the spear in my heart!'


For the history of Tom Bombadil, it is quite simple : he was oldest, he came to Arda before the Dark One came from beyond (Melkor), etc. This is already answered in here : Was Tom Bombadil important to

As for why JRRT put in Tom Bombadil, that is perfectly explained by JRRT himself in one of his Letters (letter #144 and #153), which you can also find in the thread I referred you to above.
'That was no Lady; that was his wife!' The lady in question was Goldberry, the Riverwoman's daughter, and the love of Tom's life. Did you forget who cooked the hobbit's meals, sang songs, and did the laundry while they visited in Tom's house, and for whom Tom had been downriver after water-lilies when he rescued the hobbits from Old Man Willow? :Goldberry:

I always figured it was to be a trinket for Goldberry rather than a reminiscence from an earlier age; but after I misread the question and wrote the above; I'm probably wrong and Virumor has the correct answer.
He gave the brooch to his wife, but originally it had belonged to a lady of Arnor. I can even give you the exact quote from the book :
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He chose for himself from the pile a brooch set with blue stones, many-shaded like flax-flowers or the wings of blue butterflies. He looked long at it, as if stirred by some memory, shaking his head, and saying at last:
'Here is a pretty toy for Tom and for his lady! Fair was she who long ago wore this on her shoulder. Goldberry shall wear it now, and we will not forget her!'


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I always figured it was to be a trinket for Goldberry rather than a reminiscence from an earlier age

It came out of the grave mound of a Wight. It doesn't come from an earlier age, it comes from the ruined kingdom of Arnor.

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I always figured it was to be a trinket for Goldberry rather than a reminiscence from an earlier age; but after I misread the question and wrote the above; I'm probably wrong and Virumor has the correct answer.

Consulting the books when you're unsure of something, does help.
Thank you for the help Virumor :o)