You know what surprises me most about masto? i haven't seen a single person here reference tom bombadil. seems like the sort of environment that would have some bombadil stans idk
@Taweret I will defend Tom Bombadil's inclusion in the story, which serves a few narrative purposes
@kara_dreamer go on
@Taweret so...the really interesting trajectory of the first (and honestly to me the most fascinating) book of "The Lord the Rings" is the slow journey of the hobbits out of lands that they know, into progressively more and more unknown territory. I'm enthralled by the way the hobbits keep going over what they know and don't know about what lies ahead. familiar lanes and woods give way to lore, and then mere rumor, and finally nothing but the wild unknown
Tom Bombadil is fortunately (conveniently, really) placed at the very margin of the hobbits' own knowledge. the hobbits have been getting by on guesses and their own folklore about the lands they're entering, up until now, but in the Old Forest they finally run out of luck
and then here comes this kindly old savior who doesn't merely _save_ them, but starts telling them tales of the world outside, of legends of great leaders of Elves and Men. they have a big long talk about stuff whose full meaning we only learn later
@Taweret so I feel like the Bombadil chapters give both the hobbits, and us, a chance to catch our breaths and realize there's more going on than just, you know, local trouble. there's vast history and tradition at stake
but the hobbits of course don't know that, all they know is they've been given this quest they don't understand and they've been chased by mysterious Dark Riders--and remember, in the original text, we had *no idea who these Dark Riders were*
Peter Jackson's movie pisses away all the suspense, it's so awful
@Taweret like, I still think Tolkien could have done better than he did. I honestly think he should have given Frodo even LESS information to start with instead of that big indigestible second chapter
the real value of "The Fellowship of the Ring" and how it starts is how Frodo is given something that he doesn't understand and then weird things start happening around him, and he's got to try to decide based on almost no evidence what the right course of action is. it's tense, it's engaging, because we don't know everything (and it actually hurts the story when Tolkien tells us too much)
@applebaps @Taweret *winces* yeah. I sort of feel like there's, like, almost an internalized abuse narrative in how geeks interact with their media. they want to like what they like, but they also want to like what's cool, because they've been hounded so much for liking stuff that's "nerdy" and "boring" or whatever
the fan culture around the Peter Jackson LOTR movies was so toxic. you couldn't say anything bad about the movies at all, because that would mean stepping on some nerd's validation
@applebaps this is 100 percent a really good observation and i think you are right
we cant just delve into ancient tales and high stakes. bombadil reminds us that this world is just as much about self-buckling shoes and fireworks and elf-songs as it is about epic battles and the end of the world
i like tom because anybody who comes into LotR wanting it to be 100% like the movies deserves to be thrown a bit. He's an important reminder of how the story was born, and that it changed as tolkien went on with the work
@demonsthenes13 @Absolutely_Blakely @Taweret in, like, a Dragon Ball series, the part of Bombadil would be played by some cuddly alien creature and everyone would be comically put out that he refused to deal with the Ring himself but would accept it anyway because I guess that's the Rules[tm]
I guess people are less accepting of fairy-tale logic these days unless it's given to them in a genre where fairy-tale logic is accepted
@kara_dreamer this take gets better the more i reread it
@kara_dreamer @Taweret ok I was trying not to brag in my toot but the undergrad director of English took the helm of our Science Fiction course from Orson Card (thank god). She is a medievalist so she made it into a Fantasy course instead, with the first half analyzing various medieval English romance/Beowulf, the second half analyzing LotR (I can only interpret LotR as Anglo-Saxon fanfic, since that is literally what it is). I will have to look through some boxes for my notes from that semester
@kara_dreamer @Taweret ok here is my notes from our Bombadil discussion. Excuse this for being only barely more comprehensible than if you just saw it written in my handwriting
I think I was wrong about the essay, but I'll send her an email b/c I'm fairly certain she gave us some solid analysis about Bombadil that isnt sufficiently explained in these notes, and obviously my notes are not as polished as what others have said in this thread & it's basically the same thesis
@kara_dreamer @Taweret I remember looking at his syllabus & being pretty glad that someone else was teaching the class by then. Although, I think it mainly focused on the obvious classics like the Time Machine, Do Androids Dream & I Robot. It was disappointing to not be "exposure to how great sci-fi can actually be" but if he had tried to teach his idea of "deep cuts" and "good modern sci-fi" it would have been much worse.
@Taweret bombadil is actually melkor that's my theory.
@Absolutely_Blakely i'm into this theory
@Taweret lmao i hope no one from the tolkien foundation finds this take and banishes me to the fucking void for it
@Absolutely_Blakely i legit like it
@Taweret they tend to crawl out of the woodwork when you make fun of him
me, I think he's ridiculous
@kemonine he lives in the woods with his platonic gf and he sings a lot
he mainly sings stuff like this:
"Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!"
@Taweret ho tom bombadil ho tom bombadilo is the only lotr quote i remember from reading the books in middle school
you haven't seen bomba.dil, there was an early falling out and it's a long story nobody likes to go into, so we just don't bring up Tom Bombadil
it's okay, nobody'll be upset or anything, but yeah, we just never mention that one specific Tolkien character and it's likely to be forgotten by the community over time due to the unpleasant associations
(this is entirely untrue and I am sorry for making up this much nonsense <3 )
@Taweret Nobody stans Fëanor because that guy was a huge asshole.
Túrin Turambar is a piece of shit, too.