Bombadil and Treebeard in Middle-Earth That is, according to the Council of Elrond at Rivendell, Bombadil is unlikely to be safe from Sauron if rejuvenation takes place (McCloskey, 2002). Oddly, Bombadil holds some control over even Old Man Willow, the creature that holds some power over the trees in Bombadil's country (McCloskey, 2002).
Middle-earth is the mysterious made-up setting in which the characters of J.R.R. Tolkien's story, The Lord of the Rings, conduct their lives. As is evident in the name, Middle-earth is a continent located in the central (the middle) of the fictional world; it is not the entire universe or world, yet the characters that inhabit Middle-earth engage in global scale battles and wars with immense and long-lasting stakes. Treebeard and Bombadil are two of the inhabitants of Middle-earth are outwardly as different as could be imagined; yet they share a capacity to deal with adversity and to survive in an arbitrary and hostile world.
The character of Tom Bombadil is an engaging fellow -- he is spry for his age, has a teasing wit, and speaks in a whimsical, jolly, and rhyming manner (McCloskey, 2002). Bombadil tends to narrate his life, speaking in the third person as though he was on the outside of his body watching himself engage in his life (McCloskey, 2002).
Treebeard is as down-to-earth as his name would indicate. He is of-the-earth, while Bombadil is ethereal and disengaged from the earth. As this author will show, those are the primary distinctions between the two creatures and they drive most of the lesser distinctions, such as their way of talking, their mode of moving, and their basic philosophies on life in Middle-earth.
Bombadil presents a bit of a conundrum because he is does not concern himself with the One Ring despite his knowledge about how it is positioned and the possible consequences that could be associated with it (McCloskey, 2002). Rather than just being a conceit, Bombadil's ...
Tolkien is not clear about Bombadil's origins in Middle-earth. But the reader does know that Bombadil considers himself to be the master -- the eldest (McCloskey, 2002). As evidence of his age, Bombadil claims to remember the first raindrop and the first acorn. He is so old, Bombadil asserts, that he knew the dark under the stars before it was cowed by the Dark Lord from the Outside (McCloskey, 2002). From this brief description, it should be clear that Bombadil does not fit into any of the neat categories of creatures and beings that were spawned by Tolkien (McCloskey, 2002).
Treebeard is concerned with the physical and tangible -- trees are the essence of life from Treebeard's perspective. Bombadil is disengaged with the physical, to the point that he eschews power and control, forces that are typically directed at possessions and status. Speculation about Bombadil's true nature range from angelic to holy. But during the Council of Elrond, Galdor wonders if Bombadil might be able to withstand Suron's powers because Bombadil himself my be made strong by the earth itself -- that is, Bombadil may be a physical manifestation of the properties that inherently belong to Middle-earth (McCloskey, 2002). So Gandalf's worry that Bombadil would loose the ring if he were given it for safekeeping is based as much on Bombadil's lack of concern about the worries and jeopardy of being mortal -- something he cannot share -- as it is his flightiness (McCloskey, 2002).
Tolkien asserts that if an explanation already exists for a perplexing creature…
That is, according to the Council of Elrond at Rivendell, Bombadil is unlikely to be safe from Sauron if rejuvenation takes place (McCloskey, 2002). Oddly, Bombadil holds some control over even Old Man Willow, the creature that holds some power over the trees in Bombadil's country (McCloskey, 2002).
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