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Thread: Who exactly is Tom Bombadil?

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Some say he was a maia who descended into Ea with the other Ainur and chose to dwell alone in the form of a hobbit...
Some say he was Manwe,THE ELDER KING,in disguise...
Some even say that he was Illuvatar in disguise...
But who is he????????
The answer to 'who is Tom Bombadil' is easy. I don't know why so many people ask about him...

"Many readers have, for instance, rather stuck at the Council of Elrond. And even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally)." Letter 144

Tom Bombadil isn't meant to be part of any race. He is an intentional enigma.

There are many discussions on the internet going into far too much detail and coming up with no conclusive answer. I have come up with one in 2 minutes Big Smile Smilie
For more discussion on Tom Bombadil, see Was Tom Bombadil Important to.

And an for even older discusion see Tom Bombadil, of which the first post was lost when we changed forum formats a few years back.

I would advise you to go to the thread Tom Bombadil by Maid Marion, it is discussed at great length and there is really no need for multiple threads on the subject unless you really want to. Many gave their opinions and it is very absorbing. blush

Tom Bombadil.... the great unknown.... I love this character and really miss him in the films. Anyway, I have never reached to understand who he was.

I remember to have been discussing about this in another thread months ago... What a mistery!

In my mind Bombodil is akin to Yavanna, a Maia who decided to stay in Middle Earth ( as did Queen Melian ). He perhaps set up his realm in the Old Forest as a kind of Nature guardian, a precursor to the Ents perhaps. Who knows, maybe his meeting with Goldberry and his love for her kept him in the Old Forest and changed his plan to be a protector. His claim to be Eldest is the conundrum, Eldest of what? That's the real question. Perhaps he forgot what and who he really was and simply thought he was the first speaking being on the Earth. Also it would have been thousands of decades before he met an Elf as per the location of The Awakening of the Elves and their eventual relocation towards the West. We need to remember that not even the Valar knew the exact date of wakening of the First Born. Lots of questions and that's what's best about the enigma Tom Bombodilo.