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talking with Tom Bombadi by breath-art talking with Tom Bombadi by breath-art
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 fašade 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.

other LOTR artwork of mine:
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TheAtomicDog Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2018
I smile at the lower primary image of Tom, seeming to be so menacing as he drags a hobbit by his leg. But sometimes rescues can seem harrowing at first.
Finduriel Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2016
Dear Breath-art,

I would like to use this illustration in my personal blog, for a series of articles made as a guided reading to 'The Lord of the Rings'. I will have no economical benefit on this use, will not modify your work, and will credit it properly.

This is an example on a previous article:… Bombadil is about to appear :)

Thank you for your attention,


P.S. I am honoured to own one of your prints. The Argonath watch me sleep everyday :)
hadydalaii Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2016
your style is incredible! adore it
bareankles Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
i wish you did more Harry Potter ones! Like you did with the whole hobbit story. I'll bet you could make some amazing tarot cards as well.
thredd Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015  Student General Artist
'And even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are. Tom Bombadil is one (intentionally).' 
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, No 144, dated 1954
SkyDragonElements Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i love tom bombadi!!! he's a wonderful ppl
ragekitten Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014
if this were a print i'd weep with joy....
LorenaAzpiri Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I love you and hate you! Man you are too good, your work is just amazing
kidskards Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
sell me this print PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE!!!!
Uber-Stooge Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
one freaky part of that book, love the art
niaomalley Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
Print? please please please? <3
LandGart Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The biggest mystery in all of his works, who/what IS Tom Bombadil?!  Your art is amazing, your depictions are wonderful!  I love how you are accurately creating the stories in image form, it's beautiful and inspiring.  I'm going to continue to stare at your gallery all day :)
Sorraia89 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
From what I could gather, it seems to me that him and Goldberry are Maiar. Beings that hold power close to the Valar.

Both Sauron and Gandalf are such being's. There are different level's of Maiar, upper and lower tier,s.
LandGart Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I believe Tom is much more than that and a Maiar is not as powerful as he is.  Also, Tolkien really never explicitly says what he is but it seems strongly hinted that he may actually be the spirit of nature itself.

Tom uses the ability of song to defeat the very strong adversaries he encounters where Gandalf and the other wizards frequently resort to using their sword and staff in battle even against each other.  Given the fact that in the Silmarillion song is what creates everything, I think Tolkien having Tom use song as his power is a very important clue to his origins.

Another key point is that the ring has no power over Tom at all.  Not only does he not desire it, but he even goes so far as to put it on with no effect.  Gandalf, Sauran, and Saruman are all not only under the power of the ring but strongly desire it.  

Also, Tom really cannot be a Maiar strictly because of his age and comments about what he has seen on the planet and when he was there.
Tom says he was there before Morgoth, who is a Valar and higher than a Maiar both in creation time and power, and were the first to Middle Earth.  Even Gandalf himself states that Tom is from a "generation" older than his.  This in my opinion is the strongest evidence that Tom cannot be a Maiar.
Airabee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
nice to see someone remember Bombadill!
Winter-Wisp Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Student Digital Artist
ho tom bombadill, tom bombadillo, 
through water wood and hill, tree and the willow
through fire sun and moon, harken now and hear us
ho tom bombadillo, for our need is near us
TheAtomicDog Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013
Fear no nightly noises, in the House of Tom Bombadil.
Arameldie Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like your style! Beautiful work :meow:
RebeccaTripp Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
So incredible!  I love how you are keeping the book and movie lore uniform.
KingPiece Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013
The only thing I can criticize here is that Tom's boots are the wrong color. Seriously though, this is marvelous. XD
FillMehGills Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
I can't get over how awesome your lotr fan art is. Although it's hard to pick, this just may be my favourite! Amazing job!
FrodoGamgee Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Student Artist
Little insight: Tom Bombadil is actually a Demi-god! Yeah, I know right? This explains his resistance to the ring and how he's the master of the forest. Lady Goldberry is also a demi-god, as is Sauron, and even Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, and the two blue wizards.
TheAtomicDog Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013

Not demi-gods. They are Maiar. Sub-gods.

These things:…)

FrodoGamgee Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Student Artist
'Kay, sorry. My bad :P
6kart Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
v5 guoshu
MadMouseMedia Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
there is just not enough art of Tom!
Leuthile Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Dude, I have a plan to buy all of your Middle-Earth related artworks. So please stop drawing them, because you'll make me go broke :D
bruno-matias Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I must confess I'm getting so anxious for watching your next Tolkien artwork :wow: Tell me you'll cover the WHOLE Lord of the Rings. Your work is beyond PRECIOUSSS! :love:
Love-Only-Knows Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey Dol! Derry Dol!
I love Tom Bombadil!!! ^^
Nortstar Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
wow it look really amaznig ^^
Lady-Lena-LaFaye Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your work is so detailed, this is fantastic. :heart:
rutacea Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
The magic cat sitting on a chair! So cute ^^
Sugarthemis Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
as always an incredible style ...
Darkendrama Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
I love all the amazing details.
thewarlock66 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
finally something with Tom
IndividualityA Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
:floating: Everything you make is so gorgeous! I'm really glad you're making LOTR themed peices like this, they are fantastic! :heart: I love Frodo in this one too, he's so precious!
SmilinSheckyRimshot Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Everyone who only watches the movies is like; What?
sakurasgream1972 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Your deries of works is amazing
periwinklepaints Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
aaah the Barrow-Whites! This is gorgeous!
CindysArt Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Amazing work!!! :clap:
FantasyWench Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Eeeee yaaaaay!
Huprus Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Fantastic work on Tom Bombadil!

Bombadil's powers over his domain, his deep control of the Ring and most of all the way he does his magic (by singing while not being an elf), make me think that Bombadil might be one of Maia, more powerful than Gandalf and Saruman, maybe equal to Sauron, or even superior. His policy (can't be bothered with anything outside of his domain) clearly reminds of Melian, another powerful Maia, that is not present in the LotR, but plays big role in Silmarillion. With no doubt, Bombadil is one of the most mysterious and contradictory characters Tolkien ever created.

I would absolutely love to see more new works on Silmarillion motives from you, your art is always stunning!
SchwarzerRitter Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Is that Tulkas, Tom is talking about?
Does that mean Tom IS actually Tulkas? Because I could see that happen.
PirateStann Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your work is truly incredible.
dr-annie Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Your work continues to inspire and amaze.
Sandstorm-The-Kind Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Student General Artist
This is amazing! And I love that you decided to do Tom Bombadil. Having not been in the movies, he tends to get thrown under the bus... Which makes me sad, because I thought he was such an awesome character. He provided comedy relief in the book, but he was also quite powerful. And he was, like, the only one that the Ring didn't affect.
Bearkat88 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2016
I'm happy that Tom, Goldberry (and the hobbits with Farmer Maggot scenes) aren't in FOTR. I prefer Tom and Goldberry where they are - on the page and in my mind's eye. They feel more sacred to me because of that.:-)
StudioGruhnj Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Professional General Artist
Wow, I am blown away!
MeganMouse Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Absolutely breathtaking
Fae-Ray-Anthem Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Jolly Tom Bombadil is merry fellow. Bright Blue his jacket is and his hat is yellow. He saw first rain drop and the mounds turn into mountains.
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Submitted on
February 8, 2013
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