In the House of Tom Bombadil

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In the House of Tom Bombadil
Chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring
EventFrodo and company stay at the house of Tom Bombadil.
Date26-27 September 3018
LocationThe Old Forest
<  The Old Forest
Fog on the Barrow-downs  >

In the House of Tom Bombadil is the seventh chapter of the first book in The Fellowship of the Ring.


When the Hobbits entered Tom Bombadil's house, they were greeted by Goldberry, "daughter of the river", whose sweet voice they had heard. Goldberry was an elf-like woman with golden hair. Her gown was green infused with silver like drops of dew. She enchanted the Hobbits and even Frodo burst into song when he saw her.

Goldberry busied herself at the table. Frodo asked her who Tom Bombadil really was and she told him that Tom was the master of wood, water and till (farming, food). Further, he had no desire to own anything and he had no fear. After Tom came in and the Hobbits had had their supper, Goldberry retired for the night.

Frodo asked Tom if he had heard their cry for help or if he had just happened to come. Tom said that he had been expecting them. When Frodo asked him about Old Man Willow, he said that after dark was not the time to ask such questions.

All the Hobbits except Samwise had nightmares that night. Frodo dreamt of the Black Riders and a stranger. Pippin dreamt that he was back inside the willow. Merry dreamt of being drowned. Soon they realized that they were in the home of Tom Bombadil and all are reassured.

In the morning, the Hobbits had breakfast and it began raining. Since they could not go anywhere at this point in the rain, Tom began to tell them stories. He told them about the old forest and the trees that lived there. He told them about Old Man Willow, whose heart was rotten but his strength was green. Old Man Willow was full of hate. Tom told them about the great barrows and the barrow wights, evil spirits that roamed the hills. The Hobbits lost track of time and they could not decide whether it had been hours or days since Tom had started talking to them. Frodo once again tried to find out who Tom Bombadil was by asking him directly. Tom Bombadil was vague and Frodo learned little.

When Goldberry came in they had supper and Tom began to question the Hobbits. He asked Frodo to show him the Ring. When he put it on he was completely unaffected. Tom told them that they had to leave early the next morning and avoid the barrows. He taught them a rhyme by which they could summon him for help, and then he retired for the night.