Thread: Bombadil and the North Kingdoms
  >>
The point was that Tom seems to have been living on the edges of the Old Forest at least as far back as the fall of the North Kingdoms. He also clearly remembers the women interred in the Barrow Frodo and co are captured in. So the question is did Bombadil aid the Dunedain when the Kings failed? Did the Dunedain, or some of, flee into the Old Forest? And if so was it chance or were they looking for Tom? Does Tom have the palantir of Amon Sul that he's forgotten about and uses as a door stop somewhere? These sort of questions.
I need Lore here (looking your way Eldo and GB) dates for the fall of the kingdoms, a general outline of what happened and who went where. Cardolan would seem to be the kingdom (fiefdom?) of particular interest to investigate. Ill have a root around myself when I get the time.
Its been a while since we did some proper Tolkien-themed book digging so offer your thoughts.
As a brief summary to the best of my memory:
[list:23pfc5p8][*:23pfc5p8]Rhudaur - overrun by the servants of Angmar, few to no Dunedain left.[/*:m:23pfc5p8]
[*:23pfc5p8]Cardolan - destroyed by Angmar after Rhudaur, survivors took refuge in the Barrow-downs. Most likely candidate for being Bombadil's friends.[/*:m:23pfc5p8]
[*:23pfc5p8]Arthedain - destroyed in the 20th century of the Third Age, survivors went east towards Rivendell.[/*:m:23pfc5p8][/list:u:23pfc5p8]
I'm a bit scratchy on the Rhudaur bit but otherwise confident that I remembered correctly. Hopefully someone can confirm though.
The bit about where the Rangers lived comes from an out-of-book note by Tolkien, quoted by David Salo on [url=http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.tolkien/browse_thread/thread/49f57646916170fd/ea3fa248fb334004?lnk=gst&q=a+short+but+hardly+legible+note#ea3fa248fb334004:23pfc5p8]Usenet.[/url:23pfc5p8]
Have fun in New York- from the point of view of being on the other side of the world New York is one of those places that is as much a myth and concept as an actual place. Closest I've got to it is playing GTA!
Anyway, I'm in Penn Station waiting to go home so in a few hours I can double check everything with my books, not to mention use a real keyboard.
Anyway, I'm in Penn Station waiting to go home so in a few hours I can double check everything with my books, not to mention use a real keyboard. [/quote:28dcx89x]
We might have walked past each other in Time Square just recently and not have even known it! I'm at a relative's house in New Jersey, and am doing a few jobs for him at his work-place in New York. Next time I go out in public, I'll be sure to wear a large sign around my neck reading "Durin."
I wish I had something of substance to submit to the actual thread topic, but I don't! I'll skedaddle.
Rhudaur was the smallest of the kingdoms that originated from the break-up of Arnor (TA 861). The other kingdoms were Arthedain and Cardolan.
The name Rhudaur appears to be dialect Sindarin for "Eastern Forests".
Rhudaur formed the eastern part of Arnor, and stretched from the Weather Hills with Weathertop (Amon Sûl) to the river Bruinen (Loudwater). It shared a long border with Cardolan along the Great East Road, and with Arthedain along the line of the Weather Hills.
The land between the rivers Hoarwell and Loudwater was also considered part of part of Rhudaur. It was called the Angle, and it is here that the first Stoor Hobbits came into Eriador around TA 1150. However, due to the increasing hostility of Angmar these Stoors fled the region around TA 1356, with some of them moving west to the Shire, and others moving back to Wilderland.
A village in RhudaurFrom the start of its existence, Rhudaur was unfriendly towards the two other successor states, and took part in a bitter conflict with Arthedain over the tower of Amon Sûl and the Palantír associated with the tower.
The last Kings of Rhudaur were not of Númenórean blood, but were descended of Men in service of Angmar. Under their rule the land became a vassal of Angmar, and thus enemies of Cardolan and Arthedain.
Angmar annexed and terminated the kingdom in TA 1409. By this time the Númenóreans were gone from the region, as well as most of the other inhabitants.
There is evidence that after the fall of Angmar at the Battle of Fornost the Angle became home to the remainder of the Dúnedain, and the Rangers of the North established several villages there, where their people lived until the resurrection of the northern Kingdom under King Elessar at the end of the third age.
Arthedain was one of the three kingdoms of Middle-earth that resulted from the breakup of Arnor during the Third Age.
During the reign of Eärendur his sons were in open discord, which erupted into civil war after Eärendur's death in TA 861. Amlaith, the true heir to the throne of Arnor, was opposed by his two brothers. Unable to resolve the situation, he was reduced to ruling the region of Arthedain, which consisted approximately of the lands west of Baranduin and north of the Great East Road. (His brothers created the kingdoms of Cardolan and Rhudaur to the south.)
The kingdom's capital was at Fornost, and Bree one of its important towns. Annúminas was in the territory of Arthedain, but mostly abandoned and falling into ruin.
In TA 1300 the kingdom of Angmar appeared at Arthedain's north-eastern border. Its King was the chief of the Ringwraiths, although this was not known to the Dúnedain. When this new threat came Cardolan placed itself under the suzerainty of Arthedain, which then began to call itself Arnor again. Cardolan repeatedly sent aid to Arthedain when needed but by TA 1409 Cardolan and Rhudaur were conquered by Angmar.
Arthedain kept up the resistance against Angmar for over 500 years but in TA 1974 Arthedain was overrun and Fornost fell into the hands of Angmar. It fell just one year too soon for help was underway from Gondor under the lead of Eärnur. This army reached Arthedain in TA 1975 and destroyed Angmar at the Battle of Fornost.
Fornost, Arthedain's capital cityIt’s last King, Arvedui drowned just before the battle was fought. The kings of Arthedain were also the lords of The Shire and the Shire chose the Thain to replace the kings.
The son of Arvedui, Aranarth decided not to rebuild the kingdom and so became the first Chieftain of the Dúnedain. From him Aragorn is descended.
See Kings of Arthedain, Chieftains of the Dúnedain
Cardolan was a successor realm of the Dúnedain kingdom of Arnor. After the death of its tenth King, Eärendur, his sons divided Arnor into the kingdoms of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan.
The borders of Cardolan extended from the river Baranduin (Brandywine) to the west, the river Mitheithel (Hoarwell) to the east and the river Gwathló (Greyflood) to the east and south. Its northern border was the Great East Road, but Cardolan also claimed the Arthedain-controlled Weather Hills, which contained the fortress of Amon Sûl (Weathertop) and its valuable Palantír. For this reason the Weather Hills were claimed by all three kingdoms - Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. This territorial dispute continued until Rhudaur became a vassal of Angmar after the line of the Dúnedain kings failed there.
When the kingdom of Angmar arose in northern Eriador, Cardolan became the most important ally of Arthedain. It had to fight the combined armies of both Angmar and Rhudaur. It soon became apparent that Cardolan could not hold back the forces of Angmar and in its last years the people became entrenched in their capital region, Tyrn Gorthad (the Barrowdowns). This position became untenable after Angmar sent evil spirits to inhabit the downs (the Barrow-wights). Arthedain could provide little aid, as it was itself under attack. Around TA 1409 Cardolan was destroyed, and its former inhabitants accepted the King of Arthedain as their lord. Arthedain managed to reconquer the land briefly, but few people wished to live there on account of the Barrow-wights, and so Cardolan was never re-populated.
Barrow-downs, Cardolan's capitalAfter the final fall of Arnor, and the destruction of Angmar at the Battle of Fornost, Cardolan remained an unpopulated area until the reestablishment of the northern kingdom under king Elessar at the end of the Third Age.
The name Cardolan appears to be dialect Sindarin for "Red Hill Land".
Hope this is helpful, they look better blown up.
Do you have dates for when the barrow-wights first appeared?
Tom would have been about then especially during those final years before the kingdom fell if the people were withdrawn to the Barrow-downs.
I always felt when Tom takes the brooch of the long forgotten women that there is something sad attached to the memory, more than remembering someone who is no more but as if there was a particular sadness attached to the woman herself and her life. Perhaps Tom was there when she was buried in her Barrow.
Tom seems to have unlimited power inside the boundaries that he set for himself. The most common theory is that Bombadil is a Maia, and perhaps the reason of why he has such powers might be the fact that he set himself limits in which he is master. "'Eldest, that's what I am... Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn... He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.'" - The Dark Lord, Bombadil refers to is probably Morgoth and not Sauron. But in that case, Tom was already there even before the Valar entered the world, dismissing the theory that he is a Maia. Bombadil could be part of the Music of the Ainur and that would explain why he was there in the beginning, but if he was indeed part of the music, it is not said why he exists.
Other possibilities (compatible with the above theory) are that he is an abstract, a concept: possibly the embodiment of Arda itself, a "Father Nature" if you will, or some kind of 'spirit' which (unlike the Maiar) was of non-divine nature. Not only does the Ring have no effect on him, Tom himself seems unable to affect the Ring in return which shows that Tom was outside the divine plan and struggle and had no position in it. During the Council of Elrond it is suggested that the Free-Peoples entrust the Ring to Tom, but this is rejected due to the probability that he would lose it, because according to Gandalf, such things had no hold on his mind. It is also stated that if Sauron were to regain the Ring Tom Bombadil would be the last to fall. It is also stated by Galdor that 'Power to defy our enemy is not in him, unless such power is in the earth itself. And yet we see that Sauron can torture and destroy the very hills.' implying that Bombadil is in some way connected with the very earth itself.
Gandalf calls Tom Bombadil the eldest being in existence; this is also evident by his Sindarin name Iarwain Ben-adar (Eldest and Fatherless). Dwarves called him Forn, Men Orald. All these names apparently mean "Eldest". However, Fangorn (Treebeard) calls himself the eldest living being of Middle-earth and that he was there before anyone else. Bombadil is just called the 'eldest'. If Tom Bombadil is indeed not a normal being but rather a supernatural being or "concept" this is, however, not necessarily a contradiction. Concerning Fangorn, J.R.R. Tolkien remarked,"Fangorn is a character in my story and even he does not know everything
To begin with, you should know that Tom was not only "Eldest" (as he says to Frodo) in terms of the characters in The Lord of the Rings, he was also most certainly one of J.R.R. Tolkien's earliest literary creations. Tolkien's biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, relates that Tom was inspired by a Dutch doll that belonged to the professor's eldest son Michael. This doll was said to have looked very splendid (it had a real feather in its hat!) but Michael's brother John did not like it and one day stuffed it down the lavatory. The doll was rescued, and survived to become one of the heroes of the spontaneous stories that were told to the children at bedtime.
Tom Bombadil is an enormous mystery. Many gave theories about his nature. Some think he is The Witch King, due to the fact that he saw Frodo when he was invisible (although this is very unlikely due to the fact the Witch King would have taken the Ring when he had it and/or killed Frodo, and wouldn't have given Merry the dagger that led to his downfall; also the One Ring has no effect on him.) Others think he is the reader, when Frodo put on the Ring the reader knows he's there, and Elrond doesn't trust the reader with the Ring. Or he is the embodied spirit of Middle-Earth's Nature. It is also believed he could be the Valar Aule. Some people think he is actually the great Eru Ilúvatar, God, born into flesh as Jesus Christ is believed to have been God Incarnated. Still others think that he is Tolkien himself. Nevertheless, Tom Bombadil was probably meant to be an enigma.
He could also be one of the two blue Istari, described in the book Unfinished Tales (p. 393). There are five wizards of the order of the Istari: one white, one brown and one grey, Saruman, Radagast and Gandalf respectively, and two lesser known wizards, Alatar and Pallando, cloaked in blue. As Bombadil wears a blue jacket, it could possibly signify he is one of these two Blue Wizards, plus the fact that he uses magic. This, however, is very unlikely, since Tolkien himself stated that these two Blue Wizards went into the Far East and did not return to the west. Furthermore, we know that both Gandalf and Saruman could be influenced by the Ring; it would seem very strange that their companion and equal would not be.
It is also theorized that Tom is a Maia, but this is unlikely due to the fact that that "Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn... he knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless — before the Dark Lord came from Outside."
Cold be hand and heart and bone
and cold be sleep under stone
never more to wake on stony bed
never, till the Sun fails and the Moon is dead
In the black wind the stars shall die
and still be gold here let them lie
till the Dark Lord lifts his hand over dead sea and withered land."
—The dismal, tortured chant of the Barrow-wight.
West of the Brandywine River beyond the Old Forest were the Barrow-downs, the most ancient burial ground of men in Middle-Earth. There were no trees nor water there, but only grass and turf covering dome-shaped hills that were crowned with monoliths and great rings of bone-white stone. These hills were the burial mounds that were made in the First Age of the Sun for the Kings of Men. For many ages the Barrow-downs were sacred and revered, until out of the Witch-Kingdom of Angmar many terrible and tortured spirits fled across Middle-Earth, desperately searching to hide from the ravening light of the Sun. Demons whose bodies had been destroyed looked for other bodies in which their evil spirits could dwell. And so it was that the Barrow-downs became a haunted and terrible place. The demons became Barrow-wights, the Undead who animated the bones and jeweled armor of the ancient Kings of Men who had lived in the First Age of the Sun.
The Barrow-wights were of a substance of darkness that could enter the eye, heart and mind and crush the will. They were form-shifters and could move from shape to shape and animate whatever life-form they wished. Most often the Barrow-wight came on the unwary traveller in he guise of a dark-phantom whose eyes were luminous and cold. The voice of the figure was at once horrible and hypnotic, its skeletal hand had a touch like ice and a grip like the iron jaws of a trap. Once under the spell of the Undead, the victim had no will of his own. In this way the Barrow-wights drew the living into the treasure tombs of the downs. A dismal choir of tortured souls could be heard inside the Barrow as, in the green half-light, the Barrow-wight laid his victim on a stone altar and bound him in chains of gold. He draped him in pale cloth and precious jewellery of the ancient dead, and with a sacrificial sword ended them.
In the darkness they were powerful spirits and they could be held at bay only with the spell of strong incantations. Note:Tom Bombadil could perform the following with a song. However, normally they could be destroyed only by exposure to light, and it was light they hated and feared the most. The Barrow-wights were lost and tortured spirits and their last chance to remain on Earth depended on the dark security of their burial vaults. Once the stone chamber was broken open, light would pour in on the Barrow-wights and they would fade like mist before the sun and be gone forever.
On September 28 (Third Age: 3018) Frodo Baggins and his companions; Sam Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck, and Pippin Took while passing through the Barrow-downs were captured one-by-one by the Barrow-wights and trapped in what was believed to be the cairn of the last prince of Cardolan.
There they were almost slain by a wight, three of the Hobbits had been lain in a barrow filled with a strange green light and were dressed in white robes and wore jewels and gold and had a sword across their necks. The wight had finished an incantation, and was preparing to finish them off when Frodo summoned up the courage to slice off its hand, he then called upon Tom Bombadil when the wight extinguished the dim light in the cavern.
Bombadil performed some kind of exorcism on the barrow, which caused the wight to flee with a shriek, he then gave the hobbits swords and then spread out the gold and treasures from the barrow on the grass so that the barrow's spell was broken and no Wight would return to it
It is possible that the Witch-king himself had visited the Barrow-downs, during the Ringwraiths search for Frodo and that it was he who had roused the Barrow-wights to be on the watch for trespassers on their land.
they may have been Maiar or possibly spirits of Orcs, fallen Avari, or evil Men.
 Other versions of the legendariumDue to his inspiration from Hrómundar saga Gripssonar, during the writing of The Lord of the Rings Tolkien at first foresaw a link between the Wights and the Ringwraiths, initially describing the Black Riders as horsed Wights, but the suggestion that they were the same kind of creatures was dropped in the published work. In the final work there remained a link between them: the wights were now spirits sent by the Witch-king.
 InspirationThe concept of a burial mound housing evil spirits was not a new one created by Tolkien. The Barrow-wights themselves are based on a similar creature in Germanic Mythology known in Norse as Draugar (the singular being Draugr).
They were said to be evil spirits residing in the bodies of dead heroes and kings and usually (but not universally) unharmed by conventional weapons. In such cases a hero of great strength and bravery. The defeat of a Draugr was not always permanent; they could return to plague the living if certain actions were not performed after the Draugr was vanquished. The usual means of destroying a Draugr was to cut off its head and to burn the body for only then would the evil spirit be prevented from returning to the body.
Another, probably related, creature from Germanic and Slavic folklore was the Mahr (also called an Alp), a vampire-like creature that was said to rise from its barrow after dark to plague the sleeping and drink their blood. The primary way to vanquish them was to open their Barrow to the rays of the Sun, much like the Barrow-wight from Tolkien's mythology.
A very similar creature in Japanese mythology is the onryo, as they are undead spirits which dwell in darkness and are seemingly affected by the Sun. The onryo of Japan are deceased women, and have returned to Earth on a desire for vengeance. These spirits can also possess the living, the dead, and the undead.
 EtymologyThe name Barrow-wights was based on the Old Norse Draugr. Barrow refers to the burial mounds they inhabited and wight is the modern derivation of wiht, an Old English word for "living being" or "creature" (it does not mean "spirit" or "ghost"; it is cognate to modern German "Wicht", meaning "unpleasant person". Tolkien borrowed this concept from Norse mythology, see e.g. Waking of Angantyr and Hrómundar saga Gripssonar
Frodo attacked by a Barrow-Wight
Anyway, that's just my interpretation, and it might not be correct, or even good for all I know. But the descriptions of Bombadil all put together make him look kind of God-like to me. Of course, there is one problem of him being the all mighty God though: He isn't all mighty. Actually, I've not thought about that before when thinking of him as a god. A mysterious character indeed.
Edit: Is it possible for moderators to move posts? Might be a good idea to move this answer further down, didn't know there was another post coming.
The Barrow-downs, or Tyrn Gorthad, was an area of low hills to the east of the Shire and the Old Forest, and west of the village of Bree . Made by men in the ancient days of the Northern Kingdom, many of the hills were crowned with megaliths and barrows, whence comes their name. They served as resting places for the men of the north, as well as the Dunedain, until evil spirits, sent by the Witch-king of Angmar, began to inhabit them. During the Third Age, the hills lay within the bounds of Cardolan in the region of Eriador.
After the breaking of Arnor, the area of the Barrow-downs became the capital of Cardolan. After Rhudaur fell to Angmar, the Dúnedain of Cardolan entrenched themselves here, but eventually the realm fell. After the collapse of Cardolan and the flight of the remaining Dúnedain, the area was left empty. To ensure that this place would remain uninhabited by his enemies, the Witch-king of Angmar sent evil spirits, known as Barrow-wights, to haunt the once-great tombs of the ancient men. After Arthedain claimed kingship over all of Arnor, there was an attempt by the Dúnedain to recolonize Cardolan once again; this ultimately failed due to the mysterious power of the barrow-wights
Hobbits at the Barrow-Downs
Ringdrotten and Chris may I direct you towards page 2 of the LoTR thread where you will find Bombadil and Goldberry- an interesting thread full of speculation on their origins and what they might represent- if you can think of anything to add to that debate give it a bump.
On the link Eldo suggested, they are wonderful arnt they. Look even better enlarged, you see
more detail. Would only download small pictures. Dont no why?
The City of Ruin Fornost, one of the cities constructed by the Dunedain
Ringdrotten and Chris may I direct you towards page 2 of the LoTR thread where you will find Bombadil and Goldberry- an interesting thread full of speculation on their origins and what they might represent- if you can think of anything to add to that debate give it a bump.[/quote:fgqysxr1]
You dont want me getting mixed up in that discussion do you Petty.
[color=#008000:fgqysxr1]GB[/color:fgqysxr1] and Eldo are far smarter than me, i think i will leave them to it
Found a nice picture of Goldberry thou
[quote="chris63":32e35798]Tom seems to have unlimited power inside the boundaries that he set for himself.[/quote:32e35798]
I've not seen any evidence for this claim. The closest such thing would be that the Ring didn't have power over Bombadil but, we must note, Bombadil did not have power over the Ring either. This claim is highly suspect to me.
[quote:32e35798]"He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.'".... But in that case, Tom was already there even before the Valar entered the world, dismissing the theory that he is a Maia.[/quote:32e35798]
I can't remember how many times I've read this, but it stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of that part of [i:32e35798]The Silmarillion[/i:32e35798] (though it's quite easy to misunderstand that book, I'll admit). Many of the Ainur entered the physical universe before there was even the planet Earth, but Melkor later left. The quote passage refers to Melkor's return to the physical universe after the creation of the Earth while the Valar lived on the isle of Almaren (cf. [i:32e35798]The Silmarillion[/i:32e35798], Of the Beginning of Days). The Bombadil as Maia hypothesis (one that, in the interest of full disclosure, I largely agree with) passes this hurdle.
[quote:32e35798]Other possibilities (compatible with the above theory) are that he is an abstract, a concept: possibly the embodiment of Arda itself, a "Father Nature" if you will, or some kind of 'spirit' which (unlike the Maiar) was of non-divine nature.[/quote:32e35798]
The idea of Bombadil as Abstract is not compatible with the idea of Bombadil as Maia, though it's a perfectly valid hypothesis. However, there is no precedent of such abstract ideas or spirits existing in Middle-earth that I can think of, which I think is a major problem to this hypothesis.
[quote:32e35798]Not only does the Ring have no effect on him, Tom himself seems unable to affect the Ring in return which shows that Tom was outside the divine plan and struggle and had no position in it.[/quote:32e35798]
Er, no it doesn't. That's a huge leap in logic that the author of the article doesn't even try to justify.
[quote:32e35798]All these names apparently mean "Eldest". However, Fangorn (Treebeard) calls himself the eldest living being of Middle-earth and that he was there before anyone else. Bombadil is just called the 'eldest'.[/quote:32e35798]
I've always taken this to mean that Fangorn was the oldest of being native to Middle-earth (older than the Children of Iluvatar) whereas Bombadil was a spirit (thus betraying my affinity for the Maia hypothesis), but, as the article points out, it's fully possible that Fangorn was simply mistaken. In any event I don't make much of the supposed contradiction.
[quote:32e35798]Tolkien's biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, relates that Tom was inspired by a Dutch doll that belonged to the professor's eldest son Michael.[/quote:32e35798]
It's worth noting that Bombadil is not exactly unique in his out-of-Middle-earth origins. Hobbits themselves originated separately and the character of Gollum was based on a poem that Tolkien wrote that initially had no connection to any of his stories.
[quote:32e35798]Some think he is The Witch King, due to the fact that he saw Frodo when he was invisible[/quote:32e35798]
That was a joke theory, posted on a Tolkien humor website. I've never seen anyone who suggested it in seriousness.
[quote:32e35798]Others think he is the reader[/quote:32e35798]
I strongly dislike this hypothesis. Such an abstract, fourth-wall-breaking idea just doesn't mesh with Tolkien's faux-historical style in the rest of LOTR.
[quote:32e35798]It is also believed he could be the Valar Aule. Some people think he is actually the great Eru Ilúvatar, God, born into flesh as Jesus Christ is believed to have been God Incarnated.[/quote:32e35798]
These theories both have several problems, documented elsewhere, not least of which is that neither a Vala nor Eru would have had such ignorance of the Ring. I also doubt that Tolkien, as a devout Catholic, would suggest that there was an incarnation of God prior to Jesus.
[quote:32e35798]Still others think that he is Tolkien himself.[/quote:32e35798]
See my response to the Bombadil as Reader hypothesis above.
[quote:32e35798]Tom Bombadil was probably meant to be an enigma. [/quote:32e35798]
Tolkien is on record stating that he wanted Bombadil to be an enigma to readers, though clearly "enigma" is not an in-universe classification and there's nothing wrong with speculation.
[quote:32e35798]He could also be one of the two blue Istari[/quote:32e35798]
I cannot think of a single piece of evidence for this hypothesis. It is also contradicted by Tolkien's statements about the Blue Wizards in unpublished notes.
I know this is long but I hope it was interesting to read. I had fun writing it. Bombadil is one of the more fascinating aspects of Middle-earth Lore, all the more so because he will never be resolved.
There is quite a strong resemblance, and Tolkien actually caught some flak for it from at least one Catholic reader who thought the same thing you did. Tolkien's full response (in Letter 153, if you have a copy of [i:31yns5fp]The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien[/i:31yns5fp]) is rather long but an extract reads: "As for Tom Bombadil, I really do think you are being too serious, besides missing the point.... We need not go into the sublimities of 'I am that am' - which is quite different from [i:31yns5fp]he is[/i:31yns5fp]." A footnote to this passage states that "If you say [i:31yns5fp]he is[/i:31yns5fp] there must be more than one, and created (sub) existence is implied."
[quote:31yns5fp]Edit: Is it possible for moderators to move posts? Might be a good idea to move this answer further down, didn't know there was another post coming.[/quote:31yns5fp]
GB can split the Bombadil stuff into its own thread if he feels it's too off-topic or deserves greater attention, but that's his call either way.
I have already made my (current) position regarding Bombadil (and Goldberry) very clear on the Bombadil and Goldberry thread, so I see no need to lose any sleep reposting that material. Anyone interested in my views can just pop over to the other thread and read it from the beginning. I believe my case is solidly based on the evidence presented in Tolkien's own words that demonstrate that Tom is a holdover from his earlier envisioning of a more Animist Middle Earth, which later evolved into a Classical Pagan/Catholic syncretism.
I admit though, that should any NEW evidence arise, I am open to changing my current views.
As far as the ending of the northern kingdom goes the important dates and events are; (all 3rd Age - Tale of Years)
1300- The Nazgul reappear. The chief of these comes north to Angmar.
1356- King Argeleb I slain in battle with Rhuduar.
1409- The Witch-King invades Arnor. King Arveleg I slain. Fornost and Tyrnn Gothad defended. Amon Sul destroyed.
1636- The Great Plague. It spreads north and west, and many parts of Eriador become desolate.
1940- Gondor and Arnor renew communications and form an alliance. Arvedui weds Fireil daughter of Ondoher of Gondor.
1974- End of the north kingdom. The witch-king overuns Arthedain and takes Fornost.
1975- Witch-King defeated at the battle of Fornost. He vanishes from the north.
1976- Aranath takes the title of Chieftain of the Dunedain.
Tolkien doesn't give much away about is going on between 1409 and 1636, presumably there was 20 years of sporadic fighting with the Witch-King and a slow decline of power. The plague seems to have been bad for the North Kingdom but it clearly survives as some form of functioning government, presumably largely confined in the western ends of their lands including around Bombadils area, as in 1940 it joins with Gondor once more.
I might dare to speculate here that the barrows were in use at this time and not the home of Wights. And further that the woman whose tomb it is Frodo is trapped in could be Fireil, married off to seal the new allegiance between North and South kingdoms. Certainly it seems an important tomb and well laid out with funeral riches.
Also following the official fall of the North Kingdom in 1974 the Dunedain survive. Where did Aranath take his title? Was he in the safety of Tom's lands at the time?
I refer here to Appendix A (Annals of the Kings and Rulers) which states that "In the days of Argeleb II [ruled 1589-1670] the plague came into Eriador from the South-east, and most of the people of Cardolan perished, especially in Minhiriath.... It was at this time that an end came of the Dunedain of Cardolan, and evil spirits out of Angmar and Rhudaur entered into the deserted mounds and dwelt there."
[quote:4kj4p69v]Also following the official fall of the North Kingdom in 1974 the Dunedain survive. Where did Aranath take his title? Was he in the safety of Tom's lands at the time?[/quote:4kj4p69v]
Appendix A also tells us that most of the Dunedain, including Arvedui's sons, escaped over the River Lune into Lindon. Presumably Aranath was there or in Imladris when he took up his new title.
Sorry if it seems like I'm shooting down your ideas - I think the Bombadil refuge theory has a lot of merit, particularly concerning the refugees from Cardolan, but I don't think it extends quite as far as you suggest.
Could you merge just the part about Bombadil's identity? I think petty's theory about Bombadil and the Dunedain merits its own thread so it doesn't get lost amidst pages of discussion of another topic, however interesting that one may be.
Speaking of which, I still disagree with you for reasons outlined in the other thread, but I'll try not to bring that in here.
Also the annals give the impression that sometime very shortly after the plague the wights came to the barrows. But Toms words to the hobbits ,"gold was piled on the biers of dead kings and queens; and mounds covered them, and the stone doors were shut; and the grass grew over all. Sheep walked for a while biting the grass, but soon the hills were empty again. A shadow came out of dark places far away, and the bones were stirred in the mounds."
This to me always suggested a passage of time from the last of the people to the coming of the wights. Long enough for the grass to cover everything and sheep to come and go. And the assumtion here is that plague wiped out the people. But Merry's dream whilst trapped in the barrow would seem contradict this. "The men of Carn Dum came on us at night, and we were worsted. Ah! The spear in my heart!"
The men of Carn Dum seemed to be responsible for the deaths of the barrows inhabitants not the plague- which means either the plague wiped everyone out and the burial has to be from an earlier time, or there were survivors to build the barrows still.
If its from an earlier time, as seems more likely, that rules the marriage bride out. Tom seems to remember whoever she was quite fondly. Do we have a date for when Cardolan might have been under direct attack from the Witch-King? That would help narrow down the likelihood for the barrows occupants given they were killed by men of Angmar.
Very true, but that alliance was made after the Kings of Arthedain had claimed lordship over all of Arnor again since the lines in Rhudaur and Cardolan had died out. This was also around the time that Arvedui laid claim to the throne of Gondor, so the northern line would want to make themselves seem as powerful and important as possible, regardless of whether they actually were.
Also, I suspect that there were more than a few hundred or thousand Dunedain since they lasted another thousand years, though I can't prove that.
[quote:23n7nm5m]But Toms words to the hobbits ,"gold was piled on the biers of dead kings and queens; and mounds covered them, and the stone doors were shut; and the grass grew over all. Sheep walked for a while biting the grass, but soon the hills were empty again. A shadow came out of dark places far away, and the bones were stirred in the mounds."
This to me always suggested a passage of time from the last of the people to the coming of the wights. Long enough for the grass to cover everything and sheep to come and go.[/quote:23n7nm5m]
I can't say for sure, but the full passage seems to associate sheep with Men, presumably as flocks: "Sheep were bleating in flocks. Green walls and white walls rose. There were fortresses on the heights. Kings of little kingdoms fought together, and the young Sun shone like fire on the red metal of their new and greedy swords." I suspect that this part of the passage refers to the early Edainic peoples of Eriador who first started burying their dead in the Downs. It is possible that the "Sheep walked for a while biting the grass, but soon the hills were empty again" sentence refers to the refugees of Cardolan who sheltered in the Downs. This is more in line with the account in the Annals.
Maybe that's totally wrong, but it makes a certain amount of sense to me.
[quote:23n7nm5m]And the assumtion here is that plague wiped out the people. But Merry's dream whilst trapped in the barrow would seem contradict this. "The men of Carn Dum came on us at night, and we were worsted. Ah! The spear in my heart!"[/quote:23n7nm5m]
It could easily have been both. Appendix A tells of the ravaging of Cardolan in the year 1409, after which the survivors sheltered in the Downs. but the plague in 1636 may have wiped out those that sheltered in the Downs (as well as those in Minhiriath). There could easily have been victims of both disasters buried in the Downs.
[quote:23n7nm5m]which means either the plague wiped everyone out and the burial has to be from an earlier time, or there were survivors to build the barrows still.[/quote:23n7nm5m]
I think the victim of Carn Dum was from an earlier time, but there may still have been burials in the early stages of the plague even if eventually everyone died or left.
[quote:23n7nm5m]Do we have a date for when Cardolan might have been under direct attack from the Witch-King? That would help narrow down the likelihood for the barrows occupants given they were killed by men of Angmar.[/quote:23n7nm5m]
As mentioned above, 1409 is the date at which the Dunedain of Cardolan "held out in Tyrn Gorthad (the Barrow-downs), or took refuge in the Forest behind." I think this line is the strongest piece of evidence for your theory.
Also, I'd like to say how much I love this thread! Studying the history of Tolkien's world is a great joy to me.
In 1409 the Dunedain defended the barrow downs as you say Eldo, but they did not lose- and the plague is not until 1636- I cannot see on the Tale of Years a date for the fall of Cardolan or when it became depopulated. And in 1601 King Argeleb II gives the Shire to the hobbits- so there is a fully functioning northern aristocracy at this date so I see no reason not to assume the Downs area was still occupied after it held out in 1409. So its possible Cardolan was not laid desolate of men until the plague or even the fall of Athedain.
The years of petty infighting between kingdoms Tom mentions may be the years between 1409 and 1636. I'd always assumed that to be an allusion to an earlier time period but now I'm not so sure. And the reference to sheep could be the plague survivors. If so then the last tomb was closed at the latest with the fall of Arthedain but more likely I think in 1636, the year of the plague. The survivors with their sheep seem not to have used the barrows for burial as Tom says the stone doors were shut before the grass grew over them and the sheep came. This would fit, a population decimated by plague would not be undertaking the sort of work required to raise a barrow.
The north kingdom doesn't fall until 1974 which leaves us with only the one year we know of when the Witch-king directly attacks Cardolan, 1409. But its not without the bounds of reason to suppose there may have been raids and the like and small skirmishes between Dunedain people and servants of the Witch-King between 1409 and the plague in 1636- so my guess for when the woman was entombed would be between those dates. But she may well have been directly involved in the defense of the Downs. As well as abundant gold, jewellery and pearls there are also swords in her tomb. Does anyone know if the Dunedain normally buried their women with weapons?
Yes - I don't think we have enough intelligent discussions on Tolkien matters on this Forum anymore. GB has let things become very loose. I also find it refreshing to hear Mr Tyrant make intelligent discussion points for once. I must henceforth (metaphorically at least) take him from the box I put him in.
... oh yes - on whatever you two have been discussing about Tom, I agree fully with both of you...
I took this quote from Eldorian from the T and G thread;as it is pertinent to what I have been saying about Melchizedek being an external source of inspiration for Tolkien from outside the legendarium.
[quote="Eldorion":1lqlz7vq][quote:1lqlz7vq]It is also believed he could be the Valar Aule. Some people think he is actually the great Eru Ilúvatar, God, born into flesh as Jesus Christ is believed to have been God Incarnated.[/quote:1lqlz7vq]
These theories both have several problems, documented elsewhere, not least of which is that neither a Vala nor Eru would have had such ignorance of the Ring. I also doubt that Tolkien, as a devout Catholic, would suggest that there was an incarnation of God prior to Jesus.[/quote:1lqlz7vq]
I respectfully want to add something here that may clarify your thoughts here. Incarnation literally means God coming as flesh. Roman Catholics believe in the Trinity existing before God came to earth in the flesh as a baby; as do many protestants. People have looked through the scriptures to try and find Jesus existing as God before he existed in the flesh. These happenings are called the Pre incarnate Christ. This is not to say another incarnation that happened, but of an example of the existence of the part of the Godhead that we would come to know as Jesus.
If you look to the other thread you hopefully can see who Melchizedek was. many of the believers that I have mentioned believe that Melchizedek did not exist in the flesh as a full man. He is seen as an enigma as your quote below these comments emphisises about TB
[quote="Eldorion":1lqlz7vq][quote:1lqlz7vq]Tom Bombadil was probably meant to be an enigma. [/quote:1lqlz7vq]
Tolkien is on record stating that he wanted Bombadil to be an enigma to readers, though clearly "enigma" is not an in-universe classification and there's nothing wrong with speculation. [/quote:1lqlz7vq]
What I am doing here is speculating. I believe there is strong reasons for me speculating in this direction. As to what Toklien did with this speculated source of inspiration for TB once he was incorated into the legendarium is anybodies guess.
I decided to post this here as it was linking both threads and that the other thread had been sullied by shameful spam.
ps, part of what made Melchizedek an enigma is that he was both a King and a priest whereas usually they were entirely separate.
pss @Petty, some believe that Melchizedek was also the founding inspiration for the Essenes whom you have an interest in.
Of course, even as a fairy story character (or archetype) he was given life and colour by Tolkien who, as we all know, had a genius for mixing the mundane, the earthly, and the marvelous in his more successful creations (characters). I think Tom sprang fully formed from Tolkien's quirky imagination, and everyone knows that the imagination draws from the pool of life's experience, whether from the conscious, the subconscious, or the great "unconscious" - the last mentioned to please GB, who likes that kind of thing.
Your thoughts on Essenes and good old Melchizedek (King Lear) are interesting but have no bearing on Tom, I'm afraid, my good fellows!
Actually, this sounds very reasonable and makes sense to me. Plain and simple But who knows, it's still fun trying to find other theories that fits Bombadil in with the history of Middle Earth anyway
Esoterics and Godgawds,
Ever silly people,
Emagine eggs are steeples,
Exactly makes me nodyawn."[/i:utzokr1w]
Pericles (before the battle)
No I don't understand it either, but it's clearly Esothink* Poetry. Hey guys! Keep it simple. Don't apply all your Esothink* to Tolkien, please. You blur my enjoyment, you Bloody Intellectuals. (I mean it kindly).
Ringdrotten! At last! Another voice of Pure Reason!
*Esoteric Thinking. (Part of the E.I.A. paradigm).
Actually, this sounds very reasonable and makes sense to me. Plain and simple But who knows, it's still fun trying to find other theories that fits Bombadil in with the history of Middle Earth anyway [/quote:1uoy75tx]
Think i have to agree with you there Odo
In a vain attempt to knock this thread into shape we have 1409 as the likeliest year for the barrows' female occupant if only because its the only definite date we have for fighting here with the men of Carn Dum. The apparent cause of death. And it makes sense that enough of the people of Cardolan held out in this year against the Witch-kings forces that they could continue with the practice of making burials in Barrows- no small undertaking- whereas its less likely they would be in a position to do so after the plague of 1636- and Toms words would seem to hint that no further burials took place after the plague (assuming of course the 'sheep' period refers to the period following the plague).
Anyone dug up anything on Dunedain burials yet? - assuming anything exists on the subject.
I'm thinking that the Old Forest once covered a huge region of Eriador and beyond. He may not have resided where he does until late in the (geological) piece. He may not have been known to the peoples of the Barrows, though he would perhaps have known something of them.
'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!'
As well as Toms description of the coming and going of the north kingdom earlier in the chapter which seems to be an eye-witness account.
We know the Dunedain lived and buried there dead there, we know they defended the Barrows against the men of carn Dum in 1409, which is the most likely date for the barrow the hobbits are, but the Dunedain lived in the forest and on around the barrows up until the plague in 1636. That's more than 200 hundred years, its hard to believe the Dunedain would not have encountered Tom or discovered his house.
So the question becomes the one you stated- did he have anything to do with them? I think the fondness with which he seems to remember the woman, knowing where she wore the brooch, hints that he knew her personally and not just as one of those people who came and went.
Could Tom have helped in the defense even, was he the reason they held out against Angamr's might? And the swords from the barrow have yet to be taken into account. They were forged specifically for the hurting of the Witch-king- its what Merry uses on the Pelennor. Why was this woman buried with such trophies? Did she wield such a sword and fell in the defense and was honoured for it?
It's clear that there were still people in Minhiriath - traditionally part of Cardolan - at the time of the plague, and you are correct that they may well have been in the Downs as well. Appendix A says that the Plague was the time "that an end came of the Dunedain of Cardolan, and evil spirits came out of Angmar and Rhudaur entered in the deserted mounds and dwelt there." This implies to me that the Downs became deserted at the same time that the Dunedain of Cardolan perished: further support for your theory.
[quote:5uhjtpld]The years of petty infighting between kingdoms Tom mentions may be the years between 1409 and 1636. I'd always assumed that to be an allusion to an earlier time period but now I'm not so sure.[/quote:5uhjtpld]
I had initially thought it referred to the period prior to 1409 when the Dunedain of the North were fighting amongst each other (before Angmar truly arrived on the scene), but I think it might well refer to some period during the First or Second Ages of which very little knowledge was retained during the late Third.
[quote:5uhjtpld]The survivors with their sheep seem not to have used the barrows for burial as Tom says the stone doors were shut before the grass grew over them and the sheep came. This would fit, a population decimated by plague would not be undertaking the sort of work required to raise a barrow.[/quote:5uhjtpld]
That seems more reasonable and textually sound than the idea that the Plague survivors were still burying their dead in barrows.
[quote:5uhjtpld]But its not without the bounds of reason to suppose there may have been raids and the like and small skirmishes between Dunedain people and servants of the Witch-King between 1409 and the plague in 1636- so my guess for when the woman was entombed would be between those dates. But she may well have been directly involved in the defense of the Downs. As well as abundant gold, jewellery and pearls there are also swords in her tomb. Does anyone know if the Dunedain normally buried their women with weapons?[/quote:5uhjtpld]
I don't know much about Dunedain funerary customs beyond the embalming of Kings in Numenor and Gondor, but the Downs represented a much older tradition, one used by the Edain before entering Beleriand in the First Age. I agree about the time period though.
Theology is not my strong suite so I appreciate all additional knowledge you bring, but it's my understanding that Jesus of Nazareth in the first century C.E. was the only earthy incarnation of the Godhead. I don't think Tolkien would write of another incarnation of the Godhead. I don't fully understand the part about Melchizedek though, so I may be mistaken about what Tolkien would or would not do, though I still find it more likely that Bombadil was an enigma.
[quote:15jnw0lb]What I am doing here is speculating. I believe there is strong reasons for me speculating in this direction. As to what Toklien did with this speculated source of inspiration for TB once he was incorated into the legendarium is anybodies guess.[/quote:15jnw0lb]
It's quite interesting speculation even if I'm not sure I agree with (or fully understand ) it.
Perhaps petty's passage do not confirm (though they [i:33s8uw5l]strongly[/i:33s8uw5l] imply), but Hobbitkind, at least, had confirmed contact with Bombadil. In "Bombadil Goes Boating", the second poem in [i:33s8uw5l]The Adventures of Tom Bombadil[/i:33s8uw5l] (ostensibly a collection of Hobbit poetry) Bombadil says:
[quote:33s8uw5l][i:33s8uw5l]'Maybe to Brandywine along the Withywindle;
maybe friends of mine fire for me will kindle
down by the Hays-end. Little folk I know there,
kind at the days end. Now and then I go there.'[/i:33s8uw5l][/quote:33s8uw5l]
The poem goes on at some length about Bombadil's journey down the Withywindle to its confluence with the River Brandywine (near the town of Haysend in Buckland), then up the River Shirebourne on the western side, through the Marish and past the town of Rushey to Maggot's farm, where he spent some time visiting. Along the way he talked with several other Hobbits.
It does show a sociable side to Toms nature. I don't envision him taking up arms with the Dunedain in the defence of the Downs. But as much as he seems uninterested in the worlds doings, he does interfere. He not only saves the hobbits lives twice he also provides Merry with the one weapon he will really need on the Pelannor when the time comes.
I could envision him before the Dunedain when into battle countering the terror of the Witch-king in men's hearts with songs of hope and sunlight. Or at most calling on the trees of the forest with song to aid the defenders.
It is odd however given how easily he casts out the wight trapping the hobbits that he allowed these burial mounds to be taken over by evil things in the first place. Presumably he could, if he had wanted to, have visited every barrow and 'cleansed' it.