jrr-tolkien

anonymous asked:

Who or what is Tom Bombadil, according to you? Nobody really knows, or is just guessing. I wanna hear your opinion

the thing is, there’s such an abundance of fan theories and conspiracies about him that it’s easy to assume no one knows, my thoughts on bombadil are in line with what tolkien wrote himself. in a letter to a fan in 1954 he elaborated on him a little by saying:

“ I think it is good that there should be a lot of things unexplained (especially if an explanation actually exists); and I have perhaps from this point of view erred in trying to explain too much, and give too much past history. 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). “

he goes on to say  

“Tom Bombadil is not an important person – to the narrative. I suppose he has some importance as a ‘comment’. I mean, I do not really write like that: he is just an invention (who first appeared in the Oxford Magazine about 1933), and he represents something that I feel important, though I would not be prepared to analyze the feeling precisely. I would not, however, have left him in, if he did not have some kind of function. I might put it this way. The story is cast in terms of a good side, and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship (…) both sides in some degree, conservative or destructive, want a measure of control. but if you have, as it were taken ‘a vow of poverty’, renounced control, and take your delight in things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless. (…) But the view of Rivendell seems to be that it is an excellent thing to have represented, but that there are in fact things with which it cannot cope; and upon which its existence nonetheless depends. Ultimately only the victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive. Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron.

I also read somewhere, though unfortunately I can’t recall where exactly, that Tolkien’s children enjoyed the character of Tom Bombadil in his earlier poems, so Tolkien wanted to include the character for them more than anything else. 

If I had to give a definitive answer I’d think of him  as the reader, and the House of Tom Bombadil is meant to be a haven of safety and an eyrie from which the reader can follow the story without feeling threatened by some of its darker or more poignant parts. But the truth is I don’t even think about the character, I often skip over the parts in which he’s actively involved. He’s just an enigma,  as disconnected from the narrative of the book as he is from the mythology itself. Tolkien had his own reasons for including him, likely personal reasons as he never really indulged into the actual point of Bombadil’s inclusion, and I’m cool with that.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king
— 

J.R.R. Tolkien

I mainly posted this because I realized I don’t think I’ve ever even once seen this posted in it’s entirety on tumblr; Everyone just posts the one line, and even then half of those time’s it’s never even attributed properly.

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?…If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, Andrew Lang Lecture On Fairy-Stories, 1939

illicitemotions-deactivated2015 asked:

If you had a chance to go inside the world of either the Hobbit or Harry Potter, which one would you pick and why?

Harry Potter without a doubt, because people of color (and other minorities) exist in that world. They might not be the forefront of any of the Harry Potter books or movies (which is hella awkward considering that themes of racism and oppression that are all over the series), but at the very least, JK Rowling built a world in which I can earnestly imagine myself in. LOTRverse on the other hand, while an excellent fantasy/adventure, is written by a straight white man who would rather that everyone in his books looked and sounded like him. I very much enjoy The Hobbit and LOTR as literature, but I would never want to live in a world created by someone who’s never considered that a queer brown girl could be the rightful Queen of Gondor.