December 3, 2019 Eric Blauer

Why Tom Bombadil Matters

Wake now my merry lads!

Wake and hear me calling!

Warm now be heart and limb!

The cold stone is fallen;

Dark door is standing wide;

dead hand is broken.

Night under Night is flown,

and the Gate is open!

-Tom Bombadil,

(FOTR by J.R.R Tolkien)

The older I get the more I’m drawn to the idea that there’s a realm within a realm where evil has no power. A place within the story that is beyond and before the story. A piece of heaven in hell. A figure that’s singing while the world is weeping. A man whose dancing and prancing, feasting and taking walks in the wood. Outside Bombadil and Goldberry’s land, there’s an apocalypse unfolding around a powerful ring but inside its merely a trinket with no use to him. Everything in the hinterlands is monumental, tragic and catastrophic…everything is so important and demands action. But here ancient evil spells are broken with a nursery rhyme. Here the kingdom is entered with the key of a child.

I think we often need to be reminded that this world is a small world within a grander world. This present darkness is fading, because a light from on high has dawned.

Hopefully you are able to hear him sing:

“Hop along, my little friends, up the Withywindle! Tom’s going on ahead candles for to kindle. Down west sinks the Sun: soon you will be groping. When the night-shadows fall, then the door will open, Out of the window-panes light will twinkle yellow.

Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow! Fear neither root nor bough! Tom goes on before you. Hey now! merry dol! We’ll be waiting for you!

Hey! Come derry dol! Hop along, my hearties! Hobbits! Ponies all! We are fond of parties. Now let the fun begin! Let us sing together!

Now let the song begin! Let us sing together Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather, Light on the budding leaf, dew on the feather, Wind on the open hill, bells on the heather, Reeds by the shady pool, lilies on the water: Old Tom Bombadil and the River-daughter!”

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About the Author

Eric Blauer I am barbarian, sage, saint, bard, husband and father. Bow my knee to only One, serve all, ruled by none.

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