Lothlorien - Place, History, Peoples, Time



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J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium location
Location Lorien 3019 TA.svg
Lothlórien (red) within Middle-earth, T.A. 3019
Typerealm of the Elves
RulerAmdír, Amroth (Second Age), Celeborn and Galadriel (Second and Third Ages)
Notable locationsCaras Galadhon, Cerin Amroth, Naith or Angle, the river Nimrodel, the river Silverlode
Other name(s)Lórien
the Golden Wood
the Hidden Land[1]
Locationwestern Wilderland
LifespanFounded circa S.A. 1350[T 1]
Abandoned by F.A. 119[T 2]
CapitalCaras Galadhon

In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendariumLothlórien or Lórien is the fairest realm of the Elves remaining in Middle-earth during the Third Age. It is ruled by Galadriel and Celeborn from their city of tree-houses at Caras Galadhon. The wood-elves of the realm are known as Galadhrim.

The realm, a broad woodland between the Misty Mountains and the River Anduin, is the Elven centre of resistance against the Dark Lord Sauron in The Lord of the Rings. Galadriel had one of the Three Elf-Rings, and used it to keep Sauron from seeing into Lothlórien. The Fellowship of the Ring spent some time in Lothlórien after passing through Moria. Galadriel prepared them for their quest with individual gifts.

Scholars have noted that Lothlórien represents variously an Earthly Paradise; an Elfland where time is different, reflecting the traditions of European folklore; and a land of light striving biblically with the darkness of evil.


Early in the First Age some of the Eldar left the Great March to Valinor and settled in the lands east of the Misty Mountains. These elves became known as the Nandor and later the Silvan Elves. Galadriel made contact with an existing Nandorin realm, Lindórinand, in what became Lothlórien,[T 1] and planted there the golden mallorn trees which Gil-galad had received as a gift from Tar-Aldarion.[T 5]

The culture and knowledge of the Silvan elves was enriched by the arrival of Sindarin Elves from west of the Misty Mountains, and the Silvan language was gradually replaced by Sindarin. Amongst these arrivals was Amdír, who became their first lord, as well as Galadriel and Celeborn, who fled the destruction of Eregion during the War of the Elves and Sauron. In the Third Age, Amroth, the former Lord of Lothlórien, went to the south of Middle-earth with his beloved Nimrodel, but drowned in the Bay of Belfalas after she went missing in the Ered Nimrais and never returned. Control of Lothlórien passed to Galadriel and Celeborn. Galadriel's Ring of Power preserved the land from death and decay, and warded off Sauron's gaze.[T 6][T 7]

As the War of the Ring loomed, the Fellowship of the Ring, emerging from the dark tunnels of Moria and seeing their leader Gandalf perish, was brought through Lothlórien to Caras Galadhon, and there met the Lord and Lady of the Galadhrim. The Fellowship spent roughly a month in Lothlórien, though it seemed to them only a few days. Before they left, Galadriel allowed each of them to look in the Mirror of Galadriel, giving them a glimpse of events in the future or at other times; she also tested their loyalty, and gave each of them a gift for their quest.[T 8]

After the fall of Sauron, Galadriel and Celeborn rid Dol Guldur of Sauron's influence.[T 9] Galadriel left for Valinor at the beginning of the Fourth Age, and Celeborn later followed her. The city slowly became depopulated and Lothlórien faded. By the time of the death of Queen Arwen, Celeborn and Galadriel's granddaughter, Lothlórien itself was deserted.[T 10]


Lothlórien lay in the west of Wilderland. To its west stood the Misty Mountains, with the Dwarf-realm of Moria, and on its east ran the great river Anduin. Across the Anduin lay the forest of Mirkwood and the fortress of Dol Guldur, which could be glimpsed from high points in Lothlórien. The river Silverlode or Celebrant flowed through Lothlórien and joined the Anduin; it had a tributary from the west, the river Nimrodel. The realm lay primarily to the north of the Silverlode, with a small strip of forested land to the south. The main part of the realm was the triangular region between the converging rivers called the Naith (Sindarin for "spearhead")[T 11] by the Elves or the Gore or Angle in the Common Speech. The tip of the Naith was called the Egladil (Sindarin for "elven-point").[T 8]

Caras Galadhon (from galadh ("tree") was the city of Lothlórien and the main settlement of the Galadhrim in Middle-earth.[T 12] Founded by Amroth in the Third Age, deep in the forest, the city's dwellings were atop tall mallorn trees; the mallorn had been brought to that land by Galadriel. The city was "some ten miles" from the point where the rivers Silverlode (Sindarin: Celebrant) and Anduin met,[T 12] close to the eastern border of the realm. In the trees there were many tree-platforms, which could be elaborate dwellings or simple guard-posts.[b] Stairways of ladders were built around the main trees, and at night the city was lit by "many lamps" - "green and gold and silver".[T 13] The city's entrance was on the southern side.[T 14]


Light against darkness: Haldir's description of how Lothlórien opposes Mordor echoes John's Gospel.[4]
St John the Evangelist by Domenichino, c. 1626

Land of light[edit]

The Tolkien scholar Paul H. Kocher writes that Galadriel perceives Sauron with Lothlórien's light, "but cannot be pierced by it in return".[5] The good intelligence has the "imaginative sympathy" to penetrate the evil intelligence, but not vice versa.[5] The Christian author Elizabeth Danna writes that the Elf Haldir's explanation of this [from a flet or tree-platform high above Cerin Amroth], "In this high place you may see the two powers that are opposed to one another, and ever they strive now in thought; but whereas the light perceives the very heart of the darkness, its own secret has not yet been discovered"[T 13] echoes a biblical description: "The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."[6][4] The scholar of humanities Susan Robbins notes that Tolkien, a devout Roman Catholic, associated light as the Bible does with "holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, grace, hope, and God’s revelation", and that Galadriel was one of the bearers of that light.[7]

Earthly paradise[edit]

Earthly Paradise: Lothlórien has been compared to the place dreamed of in the Middle English poem Pearl.[8] Miniature from Cotton Nero A.x shows the Dreamer on the other side of the stream from the Pearl-maiden.

Lothlórien is a locus amoenus, an idyllic land that Tolkien describes as having "no stain".[8] The Tolkien critic Tom Shippey notes that to get there, the Fellowship first wash off the stains of ordinary life by wading the River Nimrodel.[8] He compares this perfect place to the Earthly Paradise that the dreamer speaks of in the Middle English poem Pearl.[8]

But then, Shippey writes, the Fellowship have to cross a rope-bridge over a second river, the Silverlode, which they must not drink from, and which the evil Gollum cannot cross.[8] What place can they have come to then, he wonders: could they be "as if dead"?[8] He notes however that it might be old England, the "'mountains green' of 'ancient time'" in William Blake's Jerusalem.[8] As evidence, Shippey explains that when they come to the deepest part of Lothlórien, the Elf Haldir welcomes them, calling the area the Naith or "Gore", both unfamiliar words for the land between two converging rivers, the Hoarwell or Mitheithel, and the Loudwater or Bruinen, and then giving a third word with a special resonance: the "Angle". Shippey states that the name "England" comes from the Angle (Anglia) between the Flensburg Fjord and the River Schlei, in the north of Germany next to Denmark, the origin of the Angles among the Anglo-Saxons who founded England.[c] He suggests that Frodo's feeling that he has "stepped over a bridge of time into a corner of the Elder Days, and was now walking in a world that was no more" may be exactly correct.[8][1]

Elfland where time is different[edit]

Time in Lothlórien was distorted, as it was in Elfland for Thomas the Rhymer.[10] Illustration by Katherine Cameron, 1908

Shippey writes that in Lothlórien, Tolkien reconciles otherwise conflicting ideas regarding time-distortion in Elfland from European folklore, such as is exemplified in the medieval Thomas the Rhymer, who was carried off by the Queen of Elfland, and the Danish ballad Elvehøj (Elf Hill).[10]

The Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger writes that the Fellowship debated how much time had passed while they were there, Sam Gamgee recalling that the moon was waning just before they arrived, and was new when they left, though they all felt they had only been there for a few days.[11] She notes that Sam actually exclaims "Anyone would think that time did not count in there!", while Frodo sees Galadriel as "present and yet remote, a living vision of that which has already been left far behind by the flowing streams of Time" and Legolas, an Elf who ought to know how things work in Elven lands, says that time does not stop there, "but change and growth is not in all things and places alike. For Elves the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow. Swift, because they themselves change little, and all else fleets by. Slow, because they do not count the running years".[11]

Shippey considers Legolas's explanation to resolve the apparent contradiction between the mortal and Elvish points of view about Elvish time.[10] Flieger however writes that there is a definite contradiction between Frodo's position, that there is an actual difference in time between Lothlórien and everywhere else, and Legolas's, that it is a matter of perception. She considers Aragorn's view to reconcile these two positions, agreeing that time has passed as Legolas said, but that the Fellowship felt time as the Elves did while they were in Lothlórien. That is not, writes Flieger, the end of the matter, as she feels that Aragorn reintroduces the dilemma when he says that the moon carried on changing "in the world outside": this suggests once again that Lothlórien had its own laws of nature, as in a fairy tale.[11]

Verlyn Flieger's analysis of the paradoxes of Elvish time in Lothlórien[11]
Thomas the RhymerMortal enters Elfland.
Spends a few nights there.
Returns to find all friends dead,
dim memory of a man lost visiting Elfland.
flows much more slowly in Elfland.
Elvehøj (Elf Hill)Elf-maiden sings: "the swift stream then stood still"flows much faster in Elfland;
everything outside stops.
Frodo's viewLothlórien "in a time that has elsewhere long gone by".different epoch, long ago.
Legolas's viewBoth fast and slow:
Elves change little,
"all else fleets by".
different perception of time's speed.
Aragorn's 1st viewMortals feel time as Elves do while in Lothlórien.different perception of time's speed.
Aragorn's 2nd viewBut Moon went on changing
"in the world outside".
different actual flow of time
(as Thomas the Rhymer)

Flieger writes that while time is treated both naturally and supernaturally throughout The Lord of the Rings, his "most mystical and philosophical deployment of time"[12] concerns Elves. It is therefore "no accident",[12] she writes, that Frodo's has multiple experiences of altered time in Lothlórien, from feeling he has crossed "a bridge of Time" on entering that land, to seeing Aragorn on Cerin Amroth as he was as a young man, dressed in white.[12] Flieger notes that in The Monsters and the Critics Tolkien writes "The human-stories of the elves are doubtless full of the Escape from Deathlessness".[T 15][11] In her view, this explains the exploration of time in his mythology, death and deathlessness being the "concomitants" of time and timelessness.[11][d]


Lothlórien's appearance in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was based on Alan Lee's artwork.[13]

Lothlórien's appearance in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was based on the artwork of the conceptual designer Alan Lee.[13] Some of the Lothlórien scenes were shot on locations in Paradise Valley near GlenorchyNew Zealand.[14]

Middle-earth peoples

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The fictional peoples and races that appear in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle-earth include the seven listed in Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings: Elves, Men, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents, Orcs and Trolls, as well as various spirits, the Valar and Maiar. Other beings of Middle-earth are of unclear nature such as Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry.


The Ainur were angelic spirits created by Eru Ilúvatar at the Beginning. The Ainur who subsequently entered the physical world of Middle-earth were the Valar ("powers"), though that term came to refer primarily to the mightiest among them.[T 1] Lesser spirits were called the Maiar. Most of the Valar and Maiar withdrew from Middle-earth to the Undying Lands of Valinor, though some of the Maiar, such as the Wizards or Istari, Melian, the Balrogs, and the Dark Lord Sauron, assumed mortal forms to help or hinder the peoples of Middle-earth.[T 2]


Wizards like Gandalf were Maiar but took the form of Men.

The wizards of Middle-earth were Maiar: spirits of the same order as the Valar, but lesser in power.[T 3] Outwardly resembling Men but possessing much greater physical and mental power, they were called Istari (Quenya for "Wise Ones") by the Elves.[T 3] They were sent by the Valar to assist the people of Middle-earth to contest Sauron.[T 3] The first three of these five wizards were known in the Mannish tongues of the Lord of the Rings series as Saruman "man of skill" (Rohirric), Gandalf "elf of the staff" (northern Men), and Radagast "tender of beasts" (possibly Westron).[T 3] Tolkien never provided non-Elvish names for the other two; one tradition gives their names in Valinor as Alatar and Pallando,[T 3] and another as Morinehtar and Rómestámo in Middle-earth.[T 4] Each wizard in the series had robes of a characteristic colour: white for Saruman (the chief and the most powerful of the five), grey for Gandalf, brown for Radagast,[1] and sea-blue for Alatar and Pallando (known consequently as the Blue Wizards). Gandalf and Saruman play important roles in The Lord of the Rings, while Radagast appears only briefly, innocently helping Saruman to deceive Gandalf, who believes Radagast since he is honest, and fortuitously alerting Gwaihir to rescue Gandalf again. Alatar and Pallando do not feature in the story, as they are said to have journeyed far into the east after their arrival in Middle-earth.[T 3]

As the Istari were Maiar, each one served a Vala in some way. Saruman was the servant and helper of Aulë, and so learned much in the art of craftsmanship, mechanics, and metal-working, as was seen in the later Third Age. Gandalf was the servant of Manwë or Varda, but was a lover of the Gardens of Lórien, and so knew much of the hopes and dreams of Men and Elves. Radagast, servant of Yavanna, loved the things of nature, both animals and plants. As each of these Istari learned from their Vala, so they acted in Middle-earth.[T 3]


Demonic creatures of fire and shadow, Balrogs were fallen Maiar, loyal to the first Dark Lord, Morgoth. They participated in the wars of the First Age of Middle-earth but were mostly destroyed during the War of Wrath which ended the Age.[T 5][T 6] By the Third Age, the only remaining Balrog was "Durin's Bane," the Balrog of Moria, killed by Gandalf.[T 7]

Free peoples[edit]

The Free Peoples of Middle-earth were the four races that had never fallen under the sway of the evil spirits Morgoth or Sauron: Elves, Men, Dwarves and Ents. Strictly speaking, among Men it was only the Men of the West who were Free People, particularly the descendants of the Dúnedain of the Isle of Númenor, as most Men of the East and South of Middle-earth became servants of Morgoth and Sauron over the ages. The Ent Treebeard quotes lines from a traditional lay listing them [T 8]

First came the four, the free peoples
Eldest of all, the elf-children
Dwarf the delver, dark are his houses
Ent the earthborn, old as mountains
Man the mortal, master of horses

After encountering the hobbits Merry and Pippin, he consents that hobbits are a fifth free people, adding a fifth line, "Half-grown hobbits, the hole-dwellers".


The race of Dwarves preferred to live in mountains and caves, settling in places such as Erebor (the Lonely Mountain), the Iron Hills, the Blue Mountains, and Moria (Khazad-dûm) in the Misty MountainsAulë the Smith created Dwarves; he also invented the Dwarven language, known as Khuzdul. Dwarves mined and worked precious metals throughout the mountains of Middle-earth. The seven different groups of Dwarf-folk originated in the locations where the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves first awoke before the First Age.[2]


The Elves, or Firstborn, were the first of Eru's Children to awaken. Born under the stars before the ascension of the Moon and the Sun, they retain a special love for light and an inner spirit endowed with unique gifts. They call themselves the Quendi, or "Speakers", for they were the first to utter words; and, even now, no race understands language and song like the Firstborn. Fair and fine featured, brilliant and proud, immortal and strong, tall and agile, they are the most blessed of the Free Peoples. They can see as well under moon or starlight as a man at the height of day. They cannot become sick or scarred, but if an Elf should die, from violence or losing the will to live from grief, their spirit goes to the halls of Mandos, and as they are bound to Arda and cannot leave until the world is broken and remade. Elven skill and agility is legendary: for instance, walking atop freshly fallen snow without leaving a trace of their passing. On a clear day they can see ten miles with perfect clarity and detail up to 100 miles. These gifts come at great cost, though: they are strongly bound to Fate (see Mandos) and hated by Morgoth. No other race has been blessed and cursed more than the Quendi.[T 9]

The Quendi were sundered after the awakening and many sub-groups appeared. The First Sundering occurred when some left Middle-earth to live in the blessed realm of Valinor, while others stayed behind. This produced the Eldar, who accepted the call to come to Valinor, and the Avari who refused the great journey. Elves who stayed in Middle-earth and never saw the light of the trees became known as the Moriquendi or "Dark-elves". This did not imply that the Dark-elves were evil, they just never saw the light of the trees.[3]

On the journey to Valinor, some of the Teleri ("Those who tarried") abandoned the main group and those of them who did not mingle with the Moriquendi became the Laiquendi (Green-elves), the Sindar (Grey-elves) and the Nandor. These elves of the great journey who remained in Middle-earth were then called the Úmanyar (The Unwilling). The Eldar who reached Valinor were eventually divided into three distinct groups: VanyarNoldor and Teleri. These three groups became known as the Calaquendi or "Light-elves" because they beheld the light of the Two Trees of Valinor.[T 10] Later some of the Noldor went back to Middle-earth in their quest for the Silmarils, while the Vanyar remained in Valinor.[3]

The Silvan Elves, of Nandor and Avari descent, inhabited Mirkwood and Lothlórien.


During the time of The Lord of the Rings, Men in Middle-earth were located in many places, with the largest group of free men in the countries of Gondor and Rohan. When the island of Númenor fell, only the Faithful escaped and founded the twin kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. The Faithful were known in Middle-earth as the Dúnedain, and as leaders of these kingdoms, they were able to lead the resistance to Sauron, and preserve the Men of the West as Free People. There were also free men at the village of Bree, at Esgaroth, in Drúadan Forest (home to "wild men" known as Drúedain or Woses), and in the icy regions of Forochel. Those who served evil powers, such as the men of DunlandRhûnHarad, and Umbar, were not considered free men. Men bear the so-called Gift of Men, mortality. The descendants of the Dúnedain include the Rangers of the North and the Rangers of Ithilien.[4]


The Drúedain, one of the earliest varieties of men, lived in small numbers, often in tribes. They were little folk, shorter than dwarves, yet taller than hobbits. They were known for their voodoo-like magic, their black eyes (which glow red when they are angry), and their ability to sit for hours and days on end without moving or blinking. They grew little hair, except that on their heads and sometimes small tufts on their chins. They were short and stout, and other men tended to dislike them due to their harsh, rough voices. Their laughter, however, was full of mirth. It is said that their skill of stonework rivaled the Dwarves'. The Drughu were not evil. They were mortal enemies of orcs, defending the homes of their human neighbors with their own lives and with the aid of their magical Watch-Stones. The Elves of Beleriand developed a special fondness for them and valued their skill at fighting orcs.[5] [T 11]


Ents were an ancient race of tree-like creatures, having become like the trees that they shepherd. They were created by Yavanna and given life by Ilúvatar. By the Third Age, they were a dwindling race, having long ago lost their mates, the Entwives.[T 12][T 13]


Close kin of the Ents, Huorns were animated trees that possessed sentience. They were said to have voices but could only be understood by the Ents, not by the other peoples of Middle-earth. It is unclear if Huorns were simply trees that became aware or Ents that became more "treeish" over time (both varieties were thought to exist). Huorns were found in Fangorn Forest and possibly the Old Forest near Buckland. Legolas mentions that the Elves helped to wake up the trees. The Huorns decided the Battle of Helm's Deep, destroying Saruman's army of Orcs.[T 14]


Hobbits are a race of Middle-earth, also known as 'halflings' on account of their short stature, roughly half the size of men. They are characterized by curly hair on their heads and leathery feet that have furry insteps, for which they did not wear shoes. Many hobbits live in the Shire as well as Bree, and they once lived in the vales of the Anduin. They are fond of an unadventurous life of farming, eating, and socializing. There were three types of Hobbits: The Harfoots were the most numerous. The Stoors had an affinity for water, boats and swimming; the Fallohides were an adventurous people. The origin of hobbits is unclear, but of all the races they have the closest affinity to men, and in the Prologue to The Lord of the Rings Tolkien calls them relatives of men.[T 15]

Enslaved peoples[edit]

Enslaved peoples were those races that had fallen under the sway of the evil spirits Morgoth and Sauron, also known by the Free Peoples as 'Servants of the Enemy'. They included Orcs, Trolls and Men. The origin of Orcs and Trolls is unclear, but they were races that were taken by Morgoth and corrupted through sorcery into their final evil nature and appearance. Men were rarely corrupted by Morgoth or Sauron in the same way. Rather, their hearts and minds were corrupted by power and evil impulses, while they retained the physical appearance of men. Prolonged service to Sauron however, did turn the bearers of the Rings of Power from Men into the wraith-like Nazgûl. Those men who were the servants of Morgoth or Sauron were mostly from the east and south of Middle-earth.


Not all Men were on the side of good; the Men who lived in the east and south were under Sauron's dominion. They included the Haradrim or Southrons and the Black Númenóreans (and later the Corsairs of Umbar) who pledged their allegiance to Mordor, and many different Easterling peoples, such as the Balchoth, the Wainriders, and the Men of Khand, who attacked Gondor and Rohan on numerous occasions. The Men of Dunland served as agents to the traitorous wizard Saruman. In the First Age, some Easterlings were under Morgoth's dominion.[4]


The Ringwraiths (also known as Nazgûl or Black Riders) were once great Men until they were given Rings of Power by Sauron. These gradually corrupted them until they became slaves of the Dark Lord's will. Clad in dark hooded cloaks and riding demonic steeds or flying "fell beasts," the Ringwraiths forever hunted for the One Ring to bring it back to their master.[T 16][T 17][T 18]

The Dead[edit]

Also known as ghosts or shades, they were spirits of Men unable to pass on to the afterlife. Spirits haunted various regions of Middle-earth, most notably the Dead Marshes and the Paths of the Dead, which were guarded by the Dead Men of Dunharrow.


Orcs were a race first bred by Morgoth, which mostly lived in mountain caves and disliked sunlight. Many of them lived in the Misty Mountains while others lived in Mordor. They are also known as goblins. The Orcs were not created, since "evil cannot create, only corrupt" in Tolkien's philosophical perspective. One version of their origin, widely known in part due to its use in Peter Jackson's films, postulates that they were Elves who were corrupted and whose appearance was changed over time. However, Tolkien also wrote other accounts of their origin.[T 9]

Sauron and Saruman the wizard bred an unusually large and powerful type of orc, the Uruk-hai. Although most orcs did not like the sun and could not bear to be in it, the Uruk-hai could stand daylight.[T 19] Deformed Half-orcs also existed, crossbred from Men and Orcs.[T 20]

Tolkien uses the term "Goblin" mainly interchangeably with Orc,[T 21] though sometimes in The Hobbit for the smaller sub-races of Orcs native to the Misty Mountains.


Trolls were said to have been created by Morgoth "in mockery of" the Ents. They disliked the sun, and some types turned to stone if exposed to sunlight. Trolls dwelt in the Misty Mountains as well as in Mordor. Sauron bred the Olog-hai, large, clever, and resistant to the sun.[T 22][T 23][T 24][T 25]


Barrow-wights (from Middle English wight, a man) were dark spirits sent by the Witch-king of Angmar to possess and animate the bodies and bones of the former kings of the Dúnedain. These undead monsters haunted the Barrow-downs near Bree.[T 26][6]

Other beings[edit]

Tom Bombadil[edit]

Tom Bombadil does not belong to any of the peoples of Middle-earth; Tolkien calls him the spirit of the countryside.[T 27] Unlike the other races, he is seemingly unaffected by the One Ring and appears to predate the Children of Ilúvatar (Elves and Men). As to the nature of Bombadil, Tolkien himself said that some things should remain mysterious in any mythology, "especially if an explanation actually exists."[T 28][T 29][T 30]

Tom is also known as "The First", "Master Tom", "Old Tom", "Iarwain Ben-adar" (a Sindarin name meaning "The Oldest without a father"). The Noldor call him "Orald" meaning "Very Old", Dwarves call him "Forn" (meaning: The Ancient).


Spirits of nature tied to rivers and waterways. Only two are mentioned by Tolkien: Goldberry, the wife of Tom Bombadil, and her mother the River-woman. It is unknown whether these beings were unique, part of a larger race, or a form of Maiar.[7]


Giants other than Ents are referred to only a few times by Tolkien. Stone-giants of the Misty Mountains are said to lob stones at Thorin and Company in The Hobbit,[T 31] although they are mentioned quite vaguely. The film adaptation The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), by Peter Jackson depicts these giants somewhat as being part of the Misty Mountains themselves.


Smaug in fan art

Dragons are already present in The Book of Lost Tales. Tolkien had been fascinated with dragons since childhood.[T 32] Tolkien named four dragons in his Middle-earth writings. Like the Old Norse dragon Fafnir, they are able to speak, and can be subtle of speech.[8]

Glaurung, in The Silmarillion, is the Father of Dragons in Tolkien's legendarium, the first of the Fire-drakes of Angband. Tolkien wrote that Glaurung had four legs and no wings and could not fly, and sired the brood of Urulóki, wingless fire-breathing dragons.[T 33] He was bred by Morgoth from some unknown stock and was the first dragon to appear outside of Angband. Glaurung is the main antagonist of The Children of Húrin, and his deceptive actions led to the suicides of its main characters Túrin Turambar and Niënor Níniel.[T 34]

Ancalagon the Black (Sindarinrushing jaws from anc 'jaw', alag 'impetuous'[T 35]) was the first of the winged Fire-drakes and the greatest of all dragons, bred by Morgoth during the First Age, as told in The Silmarillion. Ancalagon is so large in size that his body crushed "the towers of Thangorodrim" when he fell on them after being slain by Eärendil.[T 36]

Scatha was a mighty "long-worm" of the Grey Mountains. He was killed by Fram in the early days of the Éothéod. After slaying Scatha, Fram's ownership of his recovered hoard was then disputed by the Dwarves of that region. Fram rebuked this claim, sending them instead Scatha's teeth, with the words, "Jewels such as these you will not match in your treasuries, for they are hard to come by." This led to his death in a feud with the Dwarves. The Éothéod retained at least some of the hoard, and brought it south with them when they settled in Rohan. The silver horn that Éowyn gave to Merry Brandybuck after the War of the Ring, crucial in The Scouring of the Shire, came from this hoard.[9]

Smaug of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, was killed by Bard in Dale, as told in The Hobbit. The Arkenstone was buried right in the pile he slept on, but Smaug never even noticed it. Smaug had only a single weakness: there was a hole in his jewel-encrusted underbelly on his left breast area. Bilbo Baggins discovered this, which led to Smaug's death above Esgaroth.[T 37]



This list identifies each item's location in Tolkien's writings.
  1. ^ The Silmarillion, "Ainulindale"
  2. ^ The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta", "Of the Maiar" and "Of the Enemies"
  3. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Essay on "The Istari" in Unfinished Tales.
  4. ^ The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII (The Peoples of Middle-earth), p. 384–385.
  5. ^ The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta"
  6. ^ The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion", Chapter 3 "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  7. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring, book 2, ch. 5 "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
  8. ^ The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book 3, Chapter IV 'Treebeard'
  9. Jump up to:a b The Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  10. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, The Sundering of the Elves, ISBN 0-395-25730-1
  11. ^ The Return of the King, Book 5, ch. 5, "The Ride of the Rohirrim".
  12. ^ The Two Towers, book 3, ch. 4: "Treebeard".
  13. ^ The Return of the King, book 6, ch. 6 "Many Partings"
  14. ^ The Two Towers, book 3, ch. 7 "Helm's Deep"
  15. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring, Prologue.
  16. ^ The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  17. ^ The Silmarillion, "The Akallabêth"
  18. ^ Unfinished Tales, 4. "The Hunt for the Ring" i. "Of the Journey of the Black Riders"
  19. ^ The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
  20. ^ The Two Towers, book 3, ch. 9 "Flotsam and Jetsam"
  21. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the RingThe Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), Foreword, ISBN 0-395-08254-4
  22. ^ The Return of the King Appendix F "Of Other Races"
  23. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring, book 2, ch. 5 "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
  24. ^ The Return of the King, book 5, ch. 4 "The Siege of Gondor"
  25. ^ The Return of the King, book 5, ch. 10, "The Black Gate Opens"
  26. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring, book 1, ch. 8 "Fog on the Barrow-downs"
  27. ^ Letters, #19 to Stanley Unwin, 16 December 1937
  28. ^ Letters, #144 to Naomi Mitchison, 25 April 1954
  29. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring book 1, ch. 6, "The Old Forest"
  30. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring book 1, ch. 7, "In the House of Tom Bombadil"
  31. ^ The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  32. ^ J. R. R. Tolkien (1947), On Fairy-Stories, Unwin Paperbacks (1975), p. 44; ISBN 0 04 820015 8
  33. ^ The Silmarillion, "Glaurung and his brood..."
  34. ^ The Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  35. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1987), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Boston: Houghton MifflinThe Etymologies, pp. 348, 362, ISBN 0-395-45519-7
  36. ^ The Silmarillion, "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  37. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1937), Douglas A. Anderson, ed., The Annotated Hobbit, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002, ISBN 0-618-13470-0


  1. ^ It has been suggested that his name is taken from the Slavic god RadegastOrr, Robert (1994). "Some Slavic Echos in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth". Germano-Slavica8: 23–34.
  2. ^ Evans, Jonathan (2013) [2007]. "Dwarves". In Drout, Michael D. C. (ed.). The J. R. R. Tolkien EncyclopediaRoutledge. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
  3. Jump up to:a b Dickerson, Matthew (2013) [2007]. "Elves: Kindreds and Migrations". In Drout, Michael D. C. (ed.). The J. R. R. Tolkien EncyclopediaRoutledge. pp. 152–154. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
  4. Jump up to:a b Straubhaar, Sandra Ballif (2013) [2007]. "Men, Middle-earth". In Drout, Michael D. C. (ed.). The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical AssessmentRoutledge. pp. 414–417. ISBN 1-135-88034-4.
  5. ^ Shippey, Tom (2005) [1982]. The Road to Middle-Earth (Third ed.). HarperCollins. pp. 74, 149. ISBN 978-0261102750.
  6. ^ Hammond, Wayne G.Scull, Christina (2005). The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion. HarperCollins. pp. 137, 142–146. ISBN 978-0-00-720907-1.
  7. ^ Rateliff, John D. (2007). Mr Baggins. HarperCollins. pp. 50, 59. ISBN 978-0007235551.
  8. ^ Shippey's discussion is at Shippey, Tom (2001). J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. HarperCollins. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-0261-10401-3.; it is summarized in Lee, Stuart D.Solopova, Elizabeth (2005). The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature Through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien. Palgrave. pp. 109–111. ISBN 978-1403946713.
  9. ^ Drout, Michael D. C.; Hitotsubashi, Namiko; Scavera, Rachel (2014). "Tolkien's Creation of the Impression of Depth". Tolkien Studies11 (1): 167–211. doi:10.1353/tks.2014.0008ISSN 1547-3163.

Tom Bombadil

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Tom Bombadil
Tolkien character
In-universe information
AliasesIarwain Ben-adar, Forn, Orald
Book(s)The Fellowship of the Ring (1954),
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962)
Tales from the Perilous Realm (1997)

Tom Bombadil is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He first appeared in print in a 1934 poem called The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, which also included the Lord of the Rings characters Goldberry (Tom's wife), Old Man Willow (an evil tree in Tom's forest) and the Barrow-wight, from whom Tom rescues the hobbits.[1] They were not then explicitly part of the older legends that became The Silmarillion, and are not mentioned in The Hobbit.

Bombadil is best known from his appearance as a supporting character in Tolkien's high fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, published in 1954 and 1955. In the first volume, The Fellowship of the RingFrodo Baggins and company meet Bombadil in the Old Forest. This idea and an appearance by both Old Man Willow and the Barrow-wight were included in some of Tolkien's earliest notes for a sequel to The Hobbit.[T 1] Bombadil is mentioned but not seen near the end of The Return of the King, with Gandalf planning to pay him a long visit.

Bombadil was omitted from Peter Jackson's film trilogy, and from some other film and radio versions of The Lord of the Rings, as not essential to the story. Commentators have debated the role and origins of Tom Bombadil. A likely source is the demigod Väinämöinen in the 1849 Finnish epic poem Kalevala, with many points of resemblance. Scholars have noted that he is the spirit of a place, a genius loci.


The Adventures of Tom Bombadil[edit]

The original version of Tolkien's poem "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" was published in 1934 in The Oxford Magazine.[2] The poem depicts Bombadil as a "merry fellow" living in a small valley close to the Withywindle river, where he wanders and explores nature at his leisure. Several of the valley's mysterious residents, including the "River-woman's daughter" Goldberry, the malevolent tree-spirit Old Man Willow, the Badger-folk and a Barrow-wight, attempt to capture Bombadil for their own ends, but quail at the power of Tom's voice, which defeats their enchantments and commands them to return to their natural existence. At the end of the poem, Bombadil captures and marries Goldberry. Throughout the poem, Bombadil is unconcerned by the attempts to capture him and brushes them off with the power in his words.[3][4]

Bombadil makes it clear that he found Goldberry in the Withywindle river, calling her "River-woman's daughter".[4] The Tolkien critic John D. Rateliff suggests that, at least in terms of Tolkien's early mythology, she should be seen as one of the fays, spirits, and elementals (including the Maia): "Thus Melian is a 'fay', (as, in all probability, are Goldberry and Bombadil; the one a nymph, the other a genius loci)".[5]

The later poem "Bombadil Goes Boating" anchors Bombadil in Middle-earth, featuring a journey down the Withywindle to the Brandywine river, where hobbits ("Little Folk I know there") live at Hays-end. Bombadil is challenged by various river-residents on his journey, including birdsotters and hobbits, but charms them all with his voice, ending his journey at the farm of Farmer Maggot, where he drinks ale and dances with the family. At the end of the poem, the charmed birds and otters work together to bring Bombadil's boat home. The poem includes a reference to the Norse lay of Ótr, when Bombadil threatens to give the hide of a disrespectful otter to the Barrow-wights, who he says will cover it with gold apart from a single whisker. The poem mentions Middle-earth locations including Hays-end, Bree and the Tower Hills, and speaks of "Tall Watchers by the Ford, Shadows on the Marches".[T 2][6]

The Lord of the Rings[edit]

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Tom Bombadil helps Frodo Baggins and his companions on their journey.[T 3][T 4][T 5] Tom and his wife Goldberry, the "Daughter of the River", still live in their house by the source of the Withywindle, and some of the characters and situations from the original poem reappear.[6]

Tom first appears when Merry and Pippin are trapped in the Old Forest by Old Man Willow, and Frodo and Sam cry for help. Tom commands Old Man Willow to release them, singing him to sleep.[T 3]

The hobbits spend two nights in Tom Bombadil's house. Here it is seen that the One Ring has no power over Bombadil; he can see Frodo when the Ring makes him invisible to others, and can wear it himself with no effect. He even tosses the Ring in the air and makes it disappear, but then produces it from his other hand and returns it to Frodo. The idea of giving him the Ring for safekeeping is rejected in Book Two's second chapter, "The Council of Elrond". Gandalf says, rather, that "the Ring has no power over him..." and believes that Tom would not find the Ring to be very important and so might simply misplace it.[T 4]

Before sending the hobbits on their way, Tom teaches them a rhyme to summon him if they fall into danger again within his borders. This proves fortunate, as the four are trapped by a barrow-wight. After rescuing them, Tom gives each hobbit a long dagger taken from the treasure in the barrow. He refuses to pass the borders of his own land, but he directs them to The Prancing Pony Inn at Bree.[T 5]

Towards the end of The Return of the King, when Gandalf leaves the hobbits, he mentions that he wants to have a long talk with Bombadil, calling him a "moss-gatherer". Gandalf says, in response to Frodo's query of how well Bombadil is getting along, that Bombadil is "as well as ever", "quite untroubled" and "not much interested in anything that we have done and seen", save their visits to the Ents. At the very end of The Lord of the Rings, as Frodo sails into the West and leaves Middle-earth for ever, he has what seems to him the very experience that appeared to him in the house of Bombadil in his dream of the second night.[T 6]

Concept and creation[edit]

An invention[edit]

Tolkien invented Tom Bombadil in memory of his children's Dutch doll.[7][a][9] These poems far pre-date the writing of The Lord of the Rings, into which Tolkien introduced Tom Bombadil from the earliest drafts.[T 7] In response to a letter, Tolkien described Tom in The Lord of the Rings as "just an invention" and "not an important person – to the narrative", even if "he represents something that I feel important, though I would not be prepared to analyse the feeling precisely. I would not, however, have left him in, if he did not have some kind of function."[T 8] In another letter, Tolkien writes that he does not think Tom is improved by philosophizing; he included the character "because I had already 'invented' him independently" (in The Oxford Magazine) "and wanted an 'adventure' on the way".[T 9]

An enigma[edit]

Tolkien commented further that "even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally)".[T 8] In a letter to Stanley Unwin, Tolkien called Tom Bombadil the spirit of the vanishing landscapes of Oxfordshire and Berkshire. However, this 1937 letter was in reference to works which pre-dated the writing of The Lord of The Rings.[T 10]

Tolkien said little of Tom Bombadil's origins, and the character does not fit neatly into the categories of beings Tolkien created. Bombadil calls himself the "Eldest" and the "Master". He claims to remember "the first raindrop and the first acorn", and that he "knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless—before the Dark Lord came from Outside". When Frodo asks Goldberry just who Tom Bombadil is, she responds simply by saying "He is", which some have taken as a reference to God's statement "I Am that I Am" in the Book of Exodus, but Tolkien explicitly rejected this.[T 9] Others, such as Robert Foster, have suggested that Bombadil is one of the Maiar, angelic beings sent from Valinor.[10]


The Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger writes that if there was an opposite to Sauron in The Lord of the Rings, it would not be Aragorn, his political opponent, nor Gandalf, his spiritual enemy, but Tom Bombadil, the earthly Master who is entirely free of the desire to dominate, and hence cannot be dominated.[11]

Sauron's opposite, as analysed by Verlyn Flieger[11]
SauronTom Bombadil
RoleAntagonistEarthly counterpart
TitleDark Lord"Master"
PurposeDomination of whole
of Middle-earth
Care for The Old Forest
"No hidden agenda, no covert desire
or plan of operation"
Effect of the
One Ring
"Power over other wills"No effect on him "as he is not human",
nor does it make others invisible to him
How he sees
the Ring
The Eye of Sauron desires
to dominate through the Ring
Looks right through it, his "blue eye
peering through the circle of the Ring"


Tom Bombadil may have been modelled on the demigod Väinämöinen from the Finnish epic poem Kalevala.[12] Painting The defence of the Sampo by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 1896

The Tolkien scholar David Elton Gay notes that Tolkien was inspired by the Finnish writer Elias Lönnrot's 1849 epic poem Kalevala, a work of modern mythology. Gay suggests with a detailed comparison that Tom Bombadil was directly modelled on the poem's central character, the demigod Väinämöinen.[12]

David Elton Gay's comparison of Tom Bombadil with the demigod Väinämöinen in the 1849 Kalevala[12]
VäinämöinenTom Bombadil
Oldest, immortal
Lives in a small forested country that he controls but does not own
Extremely close to his world, exemplifying "naturalness"[12]
Fearless, because powerful
Power through song and knowledge
Sings for the pleasure of singing
"Day by day he sang unwearied"Mostly speaks through song
As oldest living being, he saw creation,
heard names of all beings,
knows songs of their origins,
helped shape the land
"I am old, Eldest, that's what I am ...
Tom was here before the river and the trees"
"Tom remembers the first raindrop
and the first acorn"[T 4]

Multiple meanings[edit]

Jane Beal, writing in the Journal of Tolkien Research, comments that:[7]

By thinking in terms of the four levels of meaning found in medieval scriptural exegesis and literary interpretation, it is possible to consider Tom Bombadil literally, as a wooden doll that belonged to Michael Tolkien in the created world and as “Eldest” in the sub-created worldallegorically, as the spirit of the vanishing English countryside in the created world and a figure of the study of Zoology, Botany, and Poetry in the sub-created world, parallel to the first, prelapsarian Adam. Morally, Tom Bombadil is a storyteller, representative of J.R.R. Tolkien, the author himself. ... Anagogically, Tom Bombadil is also a figure of the second Adam, Jesus.[7]


In some film and radio adaptations of the story, Bombadil is absent (an exception is the Mind's Eye recordings, where he was played by Bernard Mayes, who also voiced Gandalf).[13] Peter Jackson stated that the reason the character was omitted from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was because, in his view and to his co-writers, Bombadil does little to advance the story, and would make the film unnecessarily long. Christopher Lee concurred, stating the scenes were left out to make time for showing Saruman's capture of Gandalf.[14][b]

Although Tom Bombadil was not portrayed either in Rankin/Bass's or in Jackson's films,[15] a Tom Bombadil card exists in The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game by Decipher, Inc. (part of the trilogy's merchandise). The model portraying Bombadil on this card is Harry Wellerchew.[16]

Bombadil has appeared in a number of other adaptations. He was played by Norman Shelley in the 1955–1956 BBC radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, a performance that Tolkien thought "dreadful"; in his view even worse was that Goldberry was announced as his daughter and Willowman "an ally of Mordor (!!)" (his emphasis).[T 11] He was portrayed by Esko Hukkanen in the 1993 Finnish miniseries Hobitit.[17]

Tom Bombadil is an NPC in the MMORPG game The Lord of the Rings Online, serving as a main character in Book 1 of the epic quests.[18]

The 1969 Harvard Lampoon novel Bored of the Rings parodies Bombadil as "Tim Benzedrine", a stereotypical hippie married to "Hashberry".[19]


  1. ^ Tolkien wrote: "The doll looked very splendid with the feather in its hat, but John did not like it and one day stuffed it down the lavatory. Tom was rescued, and survived to become the hero of a poem..." [8]
  2. ^ Some of Bombadil's dialogue, as well as the scene in which the hobbits meet Old Man Willow, are transferred into scenes which Merry and Pippin share with Treebeard in Jackson's adaptation, included in the extended edition DVD.



This list identifies each item's location in Tolkien's writings.
  1. ^ The Return of the Shadow, page 43
  2. ^ The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962) 1. "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil"
  3. Jump up to:a b The Fellowship of the Ring book 1, ch. 6, "The Old Forest"
  4. Jump up to:a b c The Fellowship of the Ring book 1, ch. 7, "In the House of Tom Bombadil"
  5. Jump up to:a b The Fellowship of the Ring book 1, ch. 8, "Fog on the Barrow-Downs"
  6. ^ The Return of the King book 6, ch. 7 "Homeward Bound" and ch. 9 "The Grey Havens"
  7. ^ The Return of the Shadow, pp. 42, 115 ff.
  8. Jump up to:a b Carpenter 2000, #144, letter to Naomi Mitchison, 25 April 1954
  9. Jump up to:a b Carpenter 2000, #153, draft of letter to Peter Hastings, September 1954
  10. ^ Carpenter 2000, #19, letter to Stanley Unwin, 16 December 1937
  11. ^ Letters, #175 to Mrs Molly Waldron, 30 November 1955, p. 228


  1. ^ The Oxford Magazine, 1934, cited in The History of Middle-earth, volume 6, page 116
  2. ^ Scull, ChristinaHammond, Wayne G., eds. (2014). The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. HarperCollins. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-00-755727-1.. They were later included in Tales from the Perilous Realm.
  3. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey (2002). J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography. HarperCollins. pp. 216–217. ISBN 978-0007132843.
  4. Jump up to:a b Shippey, Tom (2001). J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. HarperCollins. pp. 60–62. ISBN 978-0261-10401-3.
  5. ^ Rateliff, John D. (2007). Mr Baggins. HarperCollins. pp. 50, 59. ISBN 978-0007235551.
  6. Jump up to:a b Hargrove, Gene (2013) [2007]. Michael D. C. Drout (ed.). Adventures of Tom BombadilThe J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
  7. Jump up to:a b c Beal, Jane (2018). "Who is Tom Bombadil?: Interpreting the Light in Frodo Baggins and Tom Bombadil's Role in the Healing of Traumatic Memory in J.R.R. Tolkien's _Lord of the Rings_"Journal of Tolkien Research. article 1. 6 (1). Tolkien's inspiration for this character was a brightly-dressed, peg-wood, Dutch doll (with a feather in his hat!) that belonged to his second son, Michael.
  8. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey (1987). J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography. Allen & Unwin. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-04-928037-3.
  9. ^ Poveda, Jaume Alberdo (2003–2004). "Narrative Models in Tolkien's Stories of Middle Earth"Journal of English Studies4: 7–22. doi:10.18172/jes.84.
  10. ^ Foster, Robert (1978). The Complete Guide to Middle Earth. Ballentine. p. 492. ISBN 978-0739432976.
  11. Jump up to:a b Flieger, Verlyn (2011). Bogstad, Janice M.; Kaveny, Philip E. (eds.). Sometimes One Word is Worth a Thousand PicturesPicturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy. McFarland. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-7864-8473-7.
  12. Jump up to:a b c d Gay, David Elton (2004). Chance, Jane (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien and the KalevalaTolkien and the invention of myth : a reader. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 295–304. ISBN 978-0-8131-2301-1.
  13. ^ "Mind's Eye The Lord of the Rings (1979)". SF Worlds. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  14. ^ Jackson, Peter (2004). The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition Appendices (DVD).
  15. ^ Bogstad, Janice M.; Kaveny, Philip E., eds. (2011). IntroductionPicturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy. McFarland. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7864-8473-7.
  16. ^ McCracken, Kathy (22 July 2004). "The Making of the Weta "Book Cards": Casting and Costuming". Decipher Inc. Archived from the original on 19 March 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2006.
  17. ^ Mansikka, Ossi. "Tiesitkö, että ysärillä tehtiin suomalainen tv-sarja Sormusten herrasta, ja tätä kulttuurin merkkipaalua on nyt mahdotonta enää nähdä" (in Finnish). Nyt.fi. Retrieved 24 March2020Kirjafaneja riemastuttanee tieto, että Torikan versiossa nähdään myös Jacksonin hylkäämä Tom Bombadil Esko Hukkanen esittämänä.
  18. ^ "Tom Bombadil"Lotro. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  19. ^ Barnett, David (8 February 2011). "After Tolkien, get Bored of the Rings"The Guardian Books Blog. Retrieved 14 September2014.


Tom Bombadil's Song

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! My darling!
Light goes the weather-wind and the feathered starling.
Down along under Hill, shining in the sunlight,
Waiting on the doorstep for the cold starlight,
There my pretty lady is, River-woman's daughter,
Slender as the willow-wand, clearer than the water.
Old Tom Bombadil water-lilies bringing
Comes hopping home again. Can you hear him singing?
Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! and merry-o,
Goldberry, Goldberry, merry yellow berry-o!
Poor old Willow-man, you tuck your roots away!
Tom's in a hurry now. Evening will follow day.
Tom's going home again water-lilies bringing.
Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?

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!

O slender as a willow-wand! O clearer than clear water!
O reed by the living pool! Fair River-daughter!
O spring-time and summer-time, and spring again after!
O wind on the waterfall, and the leaves' laughter!

Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow;
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.

I had an errand there: gathering water lilies,
green leaves and lilies white to please my pretty lady,
the last ere the year's end to keep them from the winter,
to flower by her pretty feet till the snows are melted.
Each year at summer's end I go to find them for her,
in a wide pool, deep and clear, far down Withywindle;
there they open first in spring and there they linger latest.
By that pool long ago I found the River-daughter,
fair young Goldberry sitting in the rushes.
Sweet was her singing then, and her heart was beating!

And that proved well for you - for now I shall no longer
go down deep again along the forest-water,
not while the year is old. Nor shall I be passing
Old Man Willow's house this side of spring-time,
not till the merry spring, when the River-daughter
dances down the withy-path to bathe in the water.

Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!
By water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow,
By fire, sun and moon, harken now and hear us!
Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!

Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow,
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.
None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master:
His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.

Get out, you old Wight! Vanish in the sunlight!
Shrivel like the cold mist, like the winds go wailing,
Out into the barren lands far beyond the mountains!
Come never here again! Leave your barrow empty!
Lost and forgotten be, darker than the darkness,
Where gates stand for ever shut, till the world is mended.

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!

Hey! now! Come hoy now! Whither do you wander?
Up, down, near or far, here, there or yonder?
Sharp-ears, Wise-nose, Swish-tail and Bumpkin,
White-socks my little lad, and old Fatty Lumpkin!

Tom's country ends here: he will not pass the borders.
Tom has his house to mind, and Goldberry is waiting!

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One Poem by John Yamrus

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