In The Lord of the Rings, Tom Bombadil is a mysterious character who aids Frodo and his companions on their journey. He and his wife Goldberry, the "Daughter of the River," still live in their house on the Withywindle, and some of the characters and situations from the original poem appear in The Lord of the Rings. In the book, he is described as "Master of wood, water and hill", and nearly always speaks or sings in stress-timed metre: 7-beat lines broken into groups of 4 and 3 (old English metre as first noted in Caedmons Hymn in the story of Bede. The metre was discovered in the 19th century). He appears in three chapters, "The Old Forest", "In the House of Tom Bombadil", and "Fog on the Barrow-downs". He is mentioned in the chapter "The Council of Elrond" as a possible keeper and protector of the One Ring. He is mentioned at the end of the story in "Homeward Bound" and "The Grey Havens". Behind Bombadil's simple façade are hints of great knowledge and power, though limited to his own domain. Tom first appears when Merry and Pippin are trapped by Old Man Willow and Frodo and Sam cry for help. Tom commands Old Man Willow to release them, singing him to sleep, and shelters the hobbits in his house for two nights. 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. While this seems to demonstrate that he has unique and mysterious power over the Ring, the idea of giving him the Ring for safekeeping is rejected within 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. Frodo spends two nights in Tom Bombadil's house, each night dreaming a different dream, which appear to be either clairvoyant or prophetic. The first night he dreams of fearful things, including Gandalf's imprisonment atop Orthanc in Isengard. The second night he dreams of a song that "seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain-curtain, and growing stronger to turn the veil all to glass and silver, until at last it was rolled back, and a far green country opened before him under a swift sunrise." 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 encounter Barrow-wights during the following chapter, "Fog on the Barrow-downs". After saving them from the Barrow-wights, Tom gives each hobbit a long dagger taken from the treasure in the barrow. As the hobbits leave the Old Forest, he refuses to pass the borders of his own land, but before he goes he directs them to The Prancing Pony Inn at Bree.
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The story begins in the Shire, where the Hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from Bilbo, his cousin[note 2] and guardian. Neither is aware of its origin and nature, but Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and old friend of Bilbo, suspects the Ring's identity. When he becomes certain, he strongly advises Frodo to take it away from the Shire. Frodo leaves, accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise Gamgee, and two cousins, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. They nearly encounter the Nazgûl while still in the Shire, but shake off pursuit by cutting through the Old Forest, where they are aided by the enigmatic Tom Bombadil, who alone is unaffected by the Ring's corrupting influence. After leaving the forest, they stop in the town of Bree where they meet Aragorn, Isildur's heir. He persuades them to take him on as guide and protector. They flee from Bree after narrowly escaping another assault, but the Nazgûl follow and attack them on the hill of Weathertop, wounding Frodo with a Morgul blade. Aragorn leads the hobbits toward the Elven refuge of Rivendell, while Frodo gradually succumbs to the wound. The Ringwraiths nearly overtake Frodo at the Ford of Bruinen, but flood waters summoned by Elrond, master of Rivendell, rise up and overwhelm them. Frodo recovers in Rivendell under the care of Elrond. The Council of Elrond reveals much significant history about Sauron and the Ring, as well as the news that Sauron has corrupted Gandalf's fellow wizard, Saruman. The Council decides that the Ring must be destroyed, but that can only be done by returning it to the flames of Mount Doom in Mordor, where it was forged. Frodo volunteers to take on this daunting task, and a "Fellowship of the Ring" is formed to aid him: Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Gandalf, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, and the Man Boromir, son of the Ruling Steward Denethor of the realm of Gondor. After a failed attempt to cross the Misty Mountains via the pass below Caradhras, the company are forced to try a more perilous path through the Mines of Moria, where they are attacked by the Watcher in the Water before the gate. Inside, they discover the fate of Balin and his colony of Dwarves. After repulsing an attack, they are pursued by orcs and an ancient, powerful Balrog. Gandalf confronts the Balrog, but in their struggle, both fall into a deep chasm. The others escape and take refuge in the Elven forest of Lothlórien, where they are counselled by Galadriel and Celeborn. With boats and gifts from Galadriel, the company travel down the River Anduin to the hill of Amon Hen. Boromir succumbs to the lure of the Ring and attempts to take it from Frodo. Frodo escapes and determines to continue the quest alone, though Sam guesses his intent and comes along. Meanwhile, orcs sent by Saruman and Sauron kill Boromir and kidnap Merry and Pippin. After agonizing over which pair of hobbits to follow, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas pursue the orcs bearing Merry and Pippin to Saruman. In the kingdom of Rohan, the orcs are slain by a company of the Rohirrim. Merry and Pippin escape into Fangorn Forest, where they are befriended by Treebeard, the oldest of the tree-like Ents. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas track the hobbits to Fangorn, and encounter Gandalf, resurrected as the significantly more powerful "Gandalf the White" after his mutually fatal duel with the Balrog. Gandalf assures them that Merry and Pippin are safe. They then ride to Edoras, the capital of Rohan, where they free Théoden, King of Rohan, from the influence of Saruman's henchman Gríma Wormtongue. Théoden musters his fighting strength and rides to the ancient fortress of Helm's Deep, but en route Gandalf leaves to seek help from Treebeard. Meanwhile, the Ents, roused from their customarily peaceful ways by Merry and Pippin, attack Isengard, Saruman's stronghold, and trap the wizard in the tower of Orthanc. Gandalf convinces Treebeard to send an army of Huorns to Théoden's aid. Gandalf and Rohirrim reinforcements arrive just in time to defeat and scatter Saruman's army. The Huorns dispose of the fleeing orcs. Gandalf then parleys with Saruman at Orthanc. When Saruman rejects his offer of redemption, Gandalf strips him of his rank and most of his powers. Pippin looks into a palantír, a seeing-stone that Saruman had used to communicate with Sauron and through which he was enslaved. Gandalf rides for Minas Tirith, chief city of Gondor, taking Pippin with him. Frodo and Sam capture Gollum, who had been following them from Moria, and force him to guide them to Mordor. Finding Mordor's Black Gate too well guarded to attempt, they travel instead to a secret passage Gollum knows. Torn between his loyalty to Frodo and his desire for the Ring, Gollum eventually betrays Frodo by leading him to the great spider Shelob in the tunnels of Cirith Ungol. Frodo is felled by Shelob's bite, but Sam fights her off. Sam takes the Ring and leaves Frodo, believing him to be dead. When orcs find Frodo, Sam overhears them say that Frodo is only unconscious, and chases after them. Sauron unleashes a heavy assault upon Gondor. Gandalf arrives at Minas Tirith to alert Denethor of the impending attack. The city is besieged, and Denethor, deceived by Sauron, gives up hope and commits suicide, nearly taking his remaining son Faramir with him. With time running out, Aragorn feels he has no choice but to take the Paths of the Dead, accompanied by Legolas and Gimli. There Aragorn raises an undead army of oath-breakers bound by an ancient curse. The ghostly army help them to defeat the Corsairs of Umbar invading southern Gondor. Commandeering the ships of the Corsairs, Aragorn leads reinforcements up the Anduin to relieve the siege of Minas Tirith, and the forces of Gondor and Rohan defeat Sauron's army in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Meanwhile, Sam rescues Frodo from the tower of Cirith Ungol, and they set out across Mordor. In order to distract Sauron from his true danger, Aragorn leads the armies of Gondor and Rohan in a march on the Black Gate of Mordor. His vastly outnumbered troops fight desperately against Sauron's forces. Reaching the edge of the Cracks of Doom, Frodo is unable to resist the Ring any longer, and claims it for himself. Gollum suddenly reappears, struggles with Frodo and bites off his finger, Ring and all. Celebrating wildly, Gollum falls into the fire, taking the Ring with him. With the destruction of the One Ring, Sauron perishes, along with the Nazgûl, and his armies are thrown into such disarray that Aragorn's forces emerge victorious.
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Eru is the supreme being, God. Eru is transcendent, and completely outside of and beyond the world. He first created a group of angelic beings, called in Elvish the Ainur, and these holy spirits were co-actors in the creation of the universe through a holy music and chanting called the "Music of the Ainur", or Ainulindall in Elvish. Eru alone can create independent life or reality by giving it the Flame Imperishable. All beings not created directly by Eru, (e.g. Dwarves, Ents, Eagles), still need to be accepted by Eru to become more than mere puppets of their creator. Melkor desired the Flame Imperishable and long sought for it in vain, but he could only twist that which had already been given life Eru created alone the Elves and Men. This is why in The Silmarillion both races are called the Children of Illvatar. The race of the Dwarves was created by Aule, and given sapience by Eru. Animals and plants were fashioned by Yavanna during the Music of the Ainur after the themes set out by Eru. The Eagles of Manwe were created from the thought of Manwand Yavanna. Yavanna also created the Ents, who were given sapience by Eru. Melkor instilled some semblance of free will into his mockeries of Eru Illvatar's creations (Orcs and Trolls).
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The first sources of light for all of Arda were two enormous Lamps: Illuin, the silver one to the north and Ormal, the golden one to the south. These were cast down and destroyed by Melkor. Afterward, the Valar went to Valinor, and Yavanna sang into existence the Two Trees, silver Telperion and golden Laurelin shedding light comparable to moon and sun. Telperion was referred to as male and Laurelin female. The Trees sat on the hill Ezellohar located outside Valimar. They grew in the presence of all of the Valar, watered by the tears of Nienna. Each tree was a source of light: Telperion's silver and Laurelin's gold. Telperion had dark leaves (silver on one side) and his silvery dew was collected as a source of water and of light. Laurelin had pale green leaves trimmed with gold, and her dew was likewise collected by Varda. One "day" lasted twelve hours. Each Tree, in turn, would give off light for seven hours (waxing to full brightness and then slowly waning again), so that at one hour each of "dawn" and "dusk" soft gold and silver light would be given off together. Jealous Melkor, later named Morgoth by Fëanor, enlisted the help of the giant spider-creature Ungoliant (the first great spider, ancestor of Shelob, and possibly a fallen Maia) to destroy the Two Trees. Concealed in a cloud of darkness, Melkor struck each Tree and the insatiable Ungoliant devoured whatever life and light remained in them. Again Yavanna sang and Nienna wept, but they succeeded only in reviving Telperion's last flower (to become the Moon) and Laurelin's last fruit (to become the Sun). These were assigned to lesser spirits, male Tilion and female Arien, after the 'genders' of the Trees themselves. This is why, in The Lord of the Rings, the Sun is usually referred to as "she" and the moon as "he". However the true light of the Trees, before their poisoning by Ungoliant, was said to now reside only in the three Silmarils, created by Fëanor the most gifted of the Elves.
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What can you see on the horizon? Why do the white gulls call? Across the sea, a pale moon rises, The ships have come to carry you home. During the Fourth Age, it was one of the last Elven havens as the remaining Elves of Rivendell and Lothlórien left Middle-earth. In the beginning of the first century, Fourth Age, it experienced a population growth as migrants from the east came to Mithlond. Not all Elves left Middle-earth immediately, many of the migrants made long-term temporary settlements.
Aside from Elves, Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins also went to Valinor from the Grey Havens, and a family tradition held that Samwise Gamgee, having been himself a Ring-bearer, albeit briefly, did likewise, in the year 1482 of the Shire Reckoning, Fourth Age 61. It was also told in the Red Book of Westmarch, that after Aragorn's death Legolas built a grey ship and left Middle-earth to go to Valinor, and that Gimli went with him.