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Character Bios

Tom Bombadil

Other Names: Iarwain Ben-adar ('Oldest and fatherless' - Eldar); Forn (Dwarves); Orald (Northern Men)

Location(s): the Old Forest

Race/Species: Other

Title(s): Master of wood, water, and hill; Eldest

Dates: He is oldest...

Parents: ...and fatherless!

Spouse: Goldberry

"There was another burst of song, and then suddenly, hopping and dancing along the path, there appeared above the reeds an old battered hat with a tall crown and a long blue feather stuck in the band. With another hop and a bound there came into view a man, or so it seemed. At any rate he was too large and heavy for a hobbit, if not quite tall enough for one of the Big People, though he made noise enough for one, stumping along with great yellow boots on his thick legs, and charging through grass and rushes like a cow going down to drink. He had a blue coat and a long brown beard; his eyes were blue and bright, and his face was red as a ripe apple, but creased into a hundred wrinkles of laughter. In his hand he carried on a large leaf as on a tray a small pile of white water-lilies."
Book 1, Ch 6, The Old Forest, FOTR, LOTR

"'Tom Bombadil is the Master. No one has ever caught old Tom walking in the forest, wading in the water, leaping on the hill-tops, under light and shadow. He has no fear. Tom Bombadil is master.'"
Book 1, Ch 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil, FOTR, LOTR

"A door opened and in came Tom Bombadil. He had now no hat and his thick brown hair was crowned with autumn leaves."
Book 1, Ch 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil, FOTR, LOTR

"Tom Bombadil came trotting round the corner of the house, waving his arms as if he was warding off the rain - and indeed when he sprang over the threshold he seemed quite dry, except for his boots."
Book 1, Ch 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil, FOTR, LOTR

"Tom was all in clean blue, blue as rain-washed forget-me-knots, and he had green stockings."
Book 1, Ch 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil, FOTR, LOTR

"[The Ring...] seemed to grow larger as it lay for a moment on his big brown-skinned hand. Then suddenly he put it to his eye and laughed. For a second the hobbits had a vision, both comical and alarming, of his bright blue eye gleaming through a circle of gold. Then Tom put the Ring round the end of his little finger and held it up to the candlelight. For a moment the hobbits noticed nothing strange about this. Then they gasped. There was no sign of Tom disappearing!"
Book 1, Ch 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil, FOTR, LOTR

"It was a merry journey with Tom Bombadil trotting gaily beside them, or before them, on Fatty Lumpkin [...] Tom sang most of the time, but it was chiefly nonsense, or else perhaps a strange language unknown to the hobbits, an ancient language whose words were mainly those of wonder and delight."
Book 1, Ch 8, Fog on the Barrow-Downs, FOTR, LOTR

"'I am sorry to take leave of Master Bombadil,' said Sam. 'He's a caution and no mistake. I reckon we may go a good deal further and see naught better, nor queerer.'"
Book 1, Ch 8, Fog on the Barrow-Downs, FOTR, LOTR

"Old Tom Bombadil was a merry fellow;
bright blue his jacket was and his boots were yellow,
green were his girdle and his breeches all of leather;
he wore in his tall hat a swan-wing feather.
He lived up under Hill, where the Withywindle
ran from a grassy well down into the dingle."

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, TATB

Tom's names:

The source for Tom's other names is: Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond, FOTR, LOTR
The name 'Bombadil' is said to be 'Bucklandish in form', and most likely given to him by the hobbits of Buckland (Preface, TATB).

Altariel; 20th Jan 2003
TATB: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and other verses from The Red Book

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