I know Tolkien states that there must be some mystery in any mythology, and the origin of Tom Bombadil is one of them, but I would still like to know the opinions of everyone on this matter. As for me, it seems probable that he is one of the Maia, for he does say that he remembers when the elves travelled west. —Unsigned comment by Aragorn47 (talk • contribs).
- He also says that he "knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless — before the Dark Lord came from Outside.". So he was in Arda before even the Ainur. This means he simply can't be categorised. I think, "cosmologically" speaking Tom is a fundamental part of Arda and the Music of the Ainur.--Aule the Smith 10:28, 10 February 2008 (EST)
- I agree with Aüle on this. Tolkien knew his own world so well that he just had to have some mystery. It seems clear to me that he is not of the Maiar because he remembers Melkor's coming. I believe he (along with Goldberry) is some kind of nature spirit. Ingwe 12:06, 10 February 2008 (EST)
- I agree with the final part of the theories which want Tom to be some kind of soul-less sprite, of different nature than the divine forces of Good and Evil and I wanted to expand it if there wasn't that in-use tag. Can we edit yet? Sage 08:39, 31 July 2008 (EDT)
- I planned to write something on the whole enigma part, but if you want to do it, go ahead. The "claimed" template was originally devised so that when someone is making large edits to an article, they don't get an edit conflict because someone else wanted to correct a typo. -- Ederchil 09:07, 31 July 2008 (EDT)
My preferred solution to the enigma of Tom is that he is the author incarnate, the creator of the legendarium who has taken bodily form to enter and live inside his own creation. In other words, he is Tolkien himself. This interpretation is consistent with most of the textual references, and flows naturally from Tolkien's strong Christian beliefs. As the creator he is of course older than anything in his created world, and because he actually has an existence outside his creation in a wholly different dimension the powerful evils of Middle Earth do not hold sway over him. Finally, the author of a story generally tries to let his characters run their own lives and make their own decisions, rather then forcing them to act according to his own wishes. This explains why Bombadil chooses to live an isolated life, away from and unconcerned with all the important persons and events of Middle-earth, and can not be relied upon as the solution to the problem of the One Ring.