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Topic: Extension Thread of the LOTR Book Discussion group

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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 8, 2014
Extension Thread of the LOTR Book Discussion group

Hello all,


Here is the Extension thread of the Book Discussion group.  Here can be discussed any other Tolkien source for questions that may arise within the Main Book Discussion thread. 


This is not a competing thread. 


All source material is "green lighted" here.  Shaping of Middle Earth, Unfinished Tales, Silmarillion, Hobbit, etc....and so on and on.


Each new chapter brought forward should have it's beginnings in the Main Book Discussion thread, then any "Overflowing" conversation, debate or cited material (other than LOTR itself) should be discussed here.


Between the two threads we should be able to accomplish brevity and good pacing in the Main Thread, and the leisurely and necessary investigations of questions brought up by the Main Thread without bogging down the Main Discussion group. 


Since this is the first post in this new Sister-thread, it may be subject to editing so that this Thread will keep updated and current. 


Thank you.


More to come....7/8/14

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 9, 2014
<Annotation to be added here>



Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 9, 2014
It looks like The Hobbit says basically nothing on the subject of evil trees going live; I saw just that in Chapter 8, Flies and Spiders, there is a reference to the quiet so deep that 'their feet seemed to thump along while all the trees leaned over them and listened'. But that seems to be it. And anyway I believe Ents or Huorns were not in existence externally (were not invented by Tolkien) when the Hobbit was written.



Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 16, 2014

The poems from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil give us some insight about both Tom and Goldberry.
Indeed Goldberry is a River-woman's daughter. As was previously mentioned, Goldberry makes an attempt to 'catch' Tom - she grabs him by the beard and he falls into the water, but releases him and swims back to her mother's house after some scolding. She leaves no impression whatsoever of having been romantically interested in Tom. In fact, after this, Old Man Willow and then Badgers also try to catch him. The Great Willow does this in the same manner as later he does it with the hobbits:

Up woke Willow-man, began upon his singing,
sang Tom fast asleep under branches swinging;
in a crack caught him tight: snick! it closed together,
trapped Tom Bombadil, coat and hat and feather.

But all Tom does is demands to be let out, and is obeyed immediately. Likewise Badgers that brought Tom inside their tunnels (he was hiding from rain in one of their holes) get a reprimand like this and set him free right away (and definitely feel ashamed):

Now, old Badger-brock, do you hear me talking?
You show me out at once! I must be a-walking.
Show me to your backdoor under briar-roses;
then clean grimy paws, wipe your earthy noses!
Go back to sleep again on your straw pillow,
like fair Goldberry and Oid Man Willow!'
Then all the Badger-folk said: 'We beg your pardon!'
They showed Tom out again to their thorny garden,
went back and hid themselves, a-shivering and a-shaking,
blocked up all their doors, earth together raking.

Then Tom is 'greeted' by Barrow-wight who was waiting for Tom in Tom's house. He too fails to catch Tom.

Hoo,Tom Bombadil! Look what night has brought you!
I'm here behind the door. Now at last I've caught you!
You'd forgotten Barrow-wight dwelling in the old mound
up there on hill-top with the ring of stones round.
He's got loose again. Under earth he'll take you.
Poor Tom Bombadilt pale and cold he'll make you!'

'Go out! Shut the door, and never come back after!
Take away gleaming eyes, take your hollow laughter!
Go back to grassy mound, on your stony pillow
lay down your bony head, like Old Man Willow,
like young Goldberry, and Badger-folk in burrow!
Go back to buried gold and forgotten sorrow!'

Out fled Barrow-wight through the window leaping...

I think that given the time this particular poem was written (1934; long before LOTR), it is very interesting to see Barrow-wight in existence already - the history of Barrow-downs wasn't invented yet and the significance of Barrow-wight wasn't at all as great as it has become later.
And so when it is said that no one has caught Tom, the meaning is not that nobody tried (as his outward appearance doesn't impress anybody), but that he cannot be kept - all recognize him as someone they must obey, but not until he speaks to them.

Goldberry is simply physically caught by him. Tom doesn't talk much to her about his love or anything of this sort. He just says that in the pools she will find no lover! Makes me laugh that he presents himself as a lover. (Well shouldn't there be some sort of a father to Goldberry, and conceivably other male river-folk?). She seems to say nothing in return... She acquiesces and that's it. I was thinking of all this as just some fairy tale, which ATB really is... Nothing to give much thought to. Then I recalled the piece from the Lay of Leithian where Beren and Luthien met in spring.

...He leapt towards her as she stayed
And caught and kissed that elfin maid.
As love there woke in sweet surprise,
The starlight trembled in her eyes...

Interesting (and similar) take on love!

Back to Tom, River-woman was sighing and Barrow-wight crying the night of Tom's wedding... I wonder if there is any significance to that?

On a very different note, Goldberry's name is pretty interesting, given that she is some sort of a water spirit. There are no berries under water, are there?

And just a couple of words on Tom and Farmer Maggot. I was wondering who visited whom? Tom seems not to go much beyond his Old Forest, and hobbits in general are afraid of that forest. From the poem Bombadil Goes Boating it appears that Tom visited the Shire and exchanged tidings with Farmer Maggot. Of course this is an externally later poem, and the mention of many LOTR things there is not surprising.

-- Edited by Lorelline on Wednesday 16th of July 2014 09:54:19 PM



Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 18, 2014

Side notes for Chapter 7 Book Discussion:


#1- About Tom Bombadil:

In Question #1, I state that Tom's name was given to him by the Bucklanders: This comes from a passage in the Preface in The Tolkien Reader which states: Nos 1 and 2 (which are the poems The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Tom goes Boating), evidently come from Buckland. They show more knowledge of that country, and of the Dingle, the wooded valley of the Withywindle, than any Hobbits west of the Marish were likely to possess. They also show that the Bucklanders knew Bombadil,..." Here a foot note (#4) states: "Indeed they probably gave him this name )it is Bucklanish in form) to add to his many older ones." Then the Preface continues thus: "though, no doubt, they had as little understanding of his powers as the Shire-folk had of Gandalf's; both were regarded as benevolent persons, mysterious maybe and unpredictable, but nonetheless comic.



While in Valinor:  Here is Curumo (Saruman) in the days before he left Valinor (according to this artist..not me by the way).  Image compliments of Deviant Art.  But it isn't too far fetched to imagine them beautiful before leaving the Undying Lands.





#1a- Goldberry's a flirt.  In the Tolkien Reader, in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil it states: 

    Old Tom in summertime walked about the meadows

    gathering the buttercups, running after shadows,

    tickling the bumblebees that buzzed among the flowers

    sitting by the waterside for hours upon hours.

    There his beard dangled long down into the water:

    up came Goldberry, the River-woman's daughter;

    pulled Tom's hanging hair. In he went a-wallowing

    under the water-lillies, bubbling and a-swallowing.

    "Hey, Tom Bombadil!" Whither are you going?"

     said fair Goldberry.  "Bubbles are you blowing.

     frightening the finny fish and the brown water-rat,

     startling the dabchicks, and drowning our feather-hat!"

     "You bring it back again, there's a pretty maiden!"

     said Tom Bombadil.  "I do not care for wading.

     Go down! Sleep again where the pools are shady

     far below willow-roots, little water-lady!"

     Back to her mother's house in the deepest hollow

     swam young Goldberry.  But Tom, he would not follow;

     on knotted willow-roots he sat in sunny weather,

     drying his yellow boots and his draggled feather.


Goldberry was like a beautiful feral water-monkey who flirted with Tom like a school-child.  Tom was no better being childish himself.  In their level of high spirited playfulness I can see them getting along famously, despite their obvious differences in appearance and age.

-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Friday 18th of July 2014 11:07:55 PM

-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Friday 18th of July 2014 11:18:44 PM

-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Friday 18th of July 2014 11:26:37 PM

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 18, 2014
Goldberry is a flirt indeed... As also are Old Man Willow, the Badgers, and even Barrow-wight lol! My take was that they all see him as an easy catch and maybe they are annoyed by his ridiculous songs. Well who knows?



Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 19, 2014
To me it always seemed that Middle Earth was full of Trash Talking wildlife. I don't know if Tom was in demand and that they all wanted to possess him somehow....they were all initiating condescending conversation with Tom and Tom was just a bigger Smart A@!* know what I mean. LOL. But I'm getting off topic here.

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Aug 11, 2014
I also wanted to mention that I am not a big fan of this 'Unseen world' theory - it is presented in LOTR but doesn't seem to appear anywhere else. And so not only Gandalf but also Thranduil (not an Exile but someone who lived in Doriath under Melian's protection and who probably saw, if not the Two Trees, then their light in the Silmaril) cannot see Bilbo. And we have to assume there wasn't a single Exile in his kingdom.

And anyway, 'transporting to the Unseen world' by The One ring or any other Ring of Power, resulting in invisibility, seems to be an unintended effect that they had on mortals. Of course The One ring wasn't designed for anyone other than Sauron himself.



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