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Re: Eldest?

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  • michael_martinez2
    ... thing, ... spirit of ... creation of ME ... Bombadil doesn t precede the creation of Middle-earth. He says he was there before the Dark Lord came from
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 23, 2002
      --- In mythsoc@y..., SusanPal@a... wrote:
      > It seems to me that Bombadil's the one who may not be a "living
      thing,"
      > properly speaking -- he seems instead to be a kind of embodied
      spirit of
      > Middle Earth itself, maybe, although then how he precedes the
      creation of ME
      > is very tricky to work out.

      Bombadil doesn't precede the creation of Middle-earth. He says he
      was there before the Dark Lord came from Outside, and before there
      was the first raindrop, etc. I don't think Tolkien intended him to
      be an embodied spirit of Middle-earth at all, although he certainly
      could be that and still have awakened only after the Valar had begun
      shaping Arda.

      If I had to assign Tom a niche in Tolkien's cosmology, I would simply
      say he was a guardian spirit, not part of the Valar, not embodying
      anything, but simply there as a result of Iluvatar's will. The
      Silmarillion leaves plenty of room for Iluvatar to introduce things
      the Valar did not foreshadow with their Music, and which Iluvuatar
      did not reveal in his Vision.

      Can't speculate on whether the Ents -- as they emerged -- are a
      different evolutionary line of thought for Bombadilian principles. I
      don't think anyone has proposed that before. Certainly, Treebeard
      went through some radical changes. He was originally supposed to be
      an evil giant who captured Gandalf (and a Hobbit).

      It seems to me that the most likely placement for Bombadil is outside
      the well-documented ranks of creatures and spirits. If Tolkien had
      had to say, "This is what Bombadil really is within the sub-
      creational reality of Middle-earth", I think he would simply have
      declared Bombadil, Goldberry, and the River-woman to be of some
      separate class.

      The Ents and Eagles of Manwe were, after all, created by Iluvatar,
      who sent spirits to inhabit the bodies of trees and birds in answer
      to Yavanna's thought.

      Bombadil's self-appointed task was to watch over an unspecified
      region of territory which included at least part of the Marish, the
      Old Forest, perhaps Buckland, and the Barrow-downs. His country
      (which he referred to as "Tom's country") may have included other
      areas. Gandalf pointed out at the Council of Elrond that only
      Bombadil could see the borders he had set for himself.

      But whereas even the Ents and the Eagles staked out territories which
      were deemed inviolate by evil creatures, Bombadil coexisted with evil
      creatures. I think he only set his boundaries after the fall of
      Arnor, or perhaps after the fall of Cardolan. And I think his
      intention was to keep Men and Hobbits (and pehraps Elves and Dwarves)
      from straying too close to the pockets of evil which lingered from
      past wars. He not only knew the history of Arnor intimately, he and
      Aragorn seem to have known each other. And Gildor specifically asked
      Bombadil to help Frodo on his way.
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