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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Bombadil’

Away from Bree, the hobbits are able to talk openly about their fears with Gandalf. Has something happened to the Shire?

Yes.

Yes.

But that’s okay! They have Gandalf! Everything will be just fine.

NO.

Gandalf means to leave the group, and instead have a long talk with Tom Bombadil. He has full faith that the hobbits can solve the problems of the Shire on their own. They’ve been through a lot worse, remember. Even though Gandalf’s pretty sure that Saruman is behind all of this, his time is over, and it’s the hobbits’ turn to shape their world.

Wait, haven’t they done that already? Yeah, whatever.

There’s a weird hint here about Tom Bombadil that I haven’t heard anyone mention before. Gandalf calls him “a moss-gatherer,” (WAIT, THAT’S IT!), and Gandalf is “a stone doomed to rolling.” No, Tom isn’t just a moss-gatherer. It’s an analogy, but one that makes me wonder if Gandalf and Tom Bombadil are closer in relation than most people think. What if they’re two beings, much alike, but going about their business in opposite ways? Gandalf is the hands-on one, and Tom prefers hands-off. That would lead me to believe that Tom is some sort of Maia, but that’s about all that I could conjecture. I don’t even think I’m right. It’s just an interesting connection that Gandalf draws.

Connections: I make them.

Connections: I make them.

Tomorrow will bring about a short end to this chapter, and thus bring one more question: will it be the LAST chapter, or just the SECOND TO LAST?!

Be on your toes, ladies and gents.

No one dies today.

“He turned Shadowfax off the Road, and the great horse leaped the green dike that here ran beside it; and then at a cry from Gandalf he was gone, racing towards the Barrow-downs like a wind from the North.”

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And so it is March. And so it will end.

We sit at page 986, some 24 pages from the end. There will be no blog in April.

Who knows that feel? This guy.

Who knows that feel? This guy.

Today’s page relays the stay of the four hobbits in Rivendell. Yes, by the end, they’re already thinking about leaving. And they stay for a few weeks!

First off, they celebrate Bilbo’s birthday (and also Frodo’s), which happens to be the day following their arrival. They spend the following days and nights telling Bilbo of their journeys, keeping track of where they leave off every time he falls asleep. After some time of this, Frodo begins to realize that it’s time to go home. He consults with Elrond, who agrees. Gandalf also has the itch to leave, and will travel with them.

And as far as I can see, there is only one leg of the journey left. The Shire is all that awaits.

Gandalf, meanwhile, has other reasons for leaving. He wants to see Butterbur in Bree, and I’m looking forward to the moment that I’ve heard quoted often where he makes a note of Tom Bombadil. The hobbits just want to go home, as anyone would after so long away. Events are always centered around Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, and this year makes it 18 since the very beginning of our tale. (Bilbo has turned 129.) Eighteen! Indeed, though many of those years were spent while Frodo lived peacefully in the Shire, time has gone by very quickly.

CA-CAW.

CA-CAW.

And what will they find in the Shire when they return? Peace and happiness, right? Right? RIGHT?!

No one dies today.

“Then he gave Frodo his mithril-coat and Sting, forgetting…”

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Some more goodbyes to come, but at least one hello.

That, and weird statuesque mind-reading thought conversations.

Learn from me.

Learn from me.

Now passing into the land just near the gate of Moria, it is time for Galadriel and Celeborn to cut off east and take the road over the mountains to Lothlórien. Before that, however, they sit with Elrond and Gandalf for another week and talk at night. They sit in the darkness and talk without speaking about the ages that have gone by. Remember, they’ve seen quite a lot.

After this week passes, and Galadriel and Celeborn make their farewells, the group journeys on to Rivendell. The four hobbits immediately set out to find Bilbo, and meet him in his little room, looking older and older.

So, what is it that Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, and Celeborn are doing? Well, there’s no doubt that they have a lot to talk about, and I would guess that they’ve reached some other plane in their time on this earth that allows them to commune together like this. The knowledge of all is unfathomable, and rumors have it that Elrond and Galadriel have some powers of the mind that few can grasp. The way I see it, it’s another way in which magic is nondescript in this world. We can’t understand it, and we’re not meant to.

It's not even an illusion.

It’s not even an illusion.

In the best ways, some things are meant to be unexplainable. Argue about that all you want with Tom Bombadil, but I think the mystery of the magic in Lord of the Rings adds an air of true magic, at least as it exists to me.

I’m getting a little weirdly philosophical in my endtimes. Maybe that’s the tired and loopy me at this hour, but what else can I do with conceptual ideas on pages like this? These are my feelings.

No one dies today.

“‘Do you know, I shall be one hundred and…'”

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And so we finally come to the last page of this chapter, and Frodo and Sam’s escape from Cirith Ungol. The vigilance of the statues at the gate can be felt once again, holding them back with an invisible force. Frodo collapses, unable to go any further. Sam once again pulls Galadriel’s phial out and its light shines bright across the courtyard.

YOU SHALL LET ME PASS!

YOU SHALL LET ME PASS!

This breaks the will of the statues, and Frodo and Sam sprint out. A bell and shriek sounds once again, but this time it’s answered from the skies above. The arch of the gate collapses just as Frodo and Sam run through.

To be clear, when I read this the first time, I thought that the entire tower was brought down. I guess that’s still possible – we’ll see what happens in the beginning of the next chapter – but it looks like my 7th grade mind exaggerated things a little bit. Either way, what gets me excited about this escape is the Indiana Jones-ness of it. Run out right before something falls on you, isn’t that the dream?

I guess you could call it that.

I guess you could call it that.

Whatever happens, it brings up the question of the nature of these statues, and how they interact with the tower and those around them. At a first glance, they appear to be a gate and alarm system. At least, it seems that way when Sam breaks in and the shriek goes off. On the way out, they seem to function differently, in this case to keep Frodo and Sam held within the tower. Most alarms won’t work both ways, so this one appears to have some amount of sentience. Then, is it their magic that brings the archway down? This is yet but another of the small unanswered questions hidden with Lord of the Rings.

Totally true answer: Tom Bombadil used to be one of these statues, but he escaped!

No one dies today.

“Out of the black sky there came dropping like a bolt a winged shape, rending the clouds with a ghastly shriek.”

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Mm…yes. Quite.

Haters gonna hate.

Haters gonna hate.

Everyone arrives at the foot of Orthanc, the black tower looming menacingly over their conversation. Gandalf leads the way up the stairs to the door, with Théoden following. He wants to bring Éomer along with. Gandalf brings Aragorn as his second, and expects no one else to join. Joke’s on him! Legolas and Gimli want to come, too, as the only elf and dwarf present. Okay, you guys.

Meanwhile, all the riders sit uneasily outside. Merry and Pippin are there, too, wondering if their presence is even necessary. Why did they come on the journey in the first place?

Cheer up, lads! Hasn’t this been exciting? The battles with orcs, capture-times with orcs, hanging out with orcs…wasn’t that all fun?

Perhaps not. Well, anyway, now is no time to be bemoaning their situation. Gandalf has warned against any sort of levity. In solidarity, perhaps I should end levity as well.

GOOD.

GOOD.

JK, levity is awesome.

Besides, what else are Merry and Pippin good at? Honestly, they’re the most comic-relief type characters in this book. Other than Tom Bombadil, of course.

Casual Tom Bombadil reference.

What do I want to say tonight? I feel like I have something…but I’m running out of ideas as I type. Bollocks.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-chiselled

Just like Chris Malleo.

“‘What did we come for? We are not wanted.'”

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The question remains: what has happened to Merry and Pippin? Gandalf keeps saying that they’re alright, but with no more explanation than that. Finally, Legolas wrings the answer out of him.

TELL ME YOUR SECRETS, TOWEL.

Merry and Pippin are with Treebeard and the ents. Simple as that. Yeah, ents! Gandalf has to explain that ents do, in fact, exist. Treebeard is the oldest, and their leader. Gandalf knows that the two hobbits met Treebeard at this very spot, and two days ago he brought them to his home. Gandalf is partially familiar with Treebeard, having passed him in the forest before, but without saying anything.

So…really, Fangorn isn’t that dangerous. It is “dangerous” in the way that anything can be dangerous, but the ents are generally peaceful and wise. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli need not fear.

Have Treebeard and Gandalf met? I would think so, at some point. They’re both crazy old. Gandalf calls Treebeard the oldest living thing walking in Middle-earth, which brings up the question of…Tom Bombadil. Let the debates rage. I at least think it’s easy to say, without any conflict, that Treebeard is the oldest thing outside of (possibly) Tom. Who knows what else, but the ents have been around for a long time.

Here’s Tom Bombadil, maniacally messing with everything ever.

Also, the end of this page is a meditation on “dangerous”. What is dangerous? What is danger? What is?

…what?

Suffice it to say, Fangorn is the kind of place where you’ll be fine if your intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don’t let them be misunderstood. We’ve already seen that Treebeard is actually quite nice, but even Merry and Pippin could tell that, when provoked, he and the ents could cause some trouble. So could anyone, really. I could. You could. Even kittens are dangerous.

Days Until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 36

“‘But now his long slow wrath is…'”

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Now, what’s this about Saruman? He and Treebeard used to be friends. Well, friends in the one-sided sense where Treebeard would tell Saruman stories of olden times. Saruman never really returned the favor.

Jerkface.

Nowadays, the (artist formerly known as the) White Wizard seems to be doing some experimenting with orcs, and not in any sort of a good way. Treebeard believes that his Uruk-hai are some sort of crossbreed between orcs and men, seeing as how they can withstand the sunlight unlike the usual orcs. Treebeard is certainly not a fan of evil genetic tampering, and Saruman hasn’t come to chat in Fangorn in quite some time. I think it’s safe to say that their relationship is strained.

First Mentions:

-the Great Ships: Coinciding with the arrival of wizards in Middle-earth, though probably not bringing them, ships came from over the sea. Elves? Probably elves. Or men. One of those. It was a while ago. People forget these things.

Here’s a thought: Treebeard wonders if Saruman was already turning evil at the time that he was heading the White Council. Probably. What’s more? I bet that he was collecting knowledge from Treebeard in order to add to his nefarious plans. It’s pretty clearly been a long con the whole time. Sawyer would be proud, and I don’t mean Tom.

Oh, and yeah, notice that all this means that Treebeard is older and wiser than Saruman. He’s like the Rauru of Middle-earth, but instead of not having hands, he’s a tree.

Hands are for squares.

Again, Treebeard is old. Okay, most elves are probably older, and who knows where Tom Bombadil actually fits into all this, but Treebeard is older than the wizards. That’s getting up there.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Angrenost

-Brm

Angrenost is another name for Isengard. “Brm” is “Brm”. Got it?

“‘Only lately did I guess that Saruman was to blame, and…'”

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