Scorpio’s World

Thoughts on Politics, Race, and Middle Earth

“Thoughts re J.R.R. Tolkien”

Posted by scorpiomkm on January 26, 2007

*My ‘Middle Earth’: 10 acres of Land at the foot of the “Mighty Misty Mountains”

After breakfast, which they again ate alone, they made ready to say farewell, as nearly heav a heart as was possible on such a morning: cool, bright, and clean under a washed autumn sky of thin blue. The air came fresh from the North-west. Their quiet ponies were almost frisky, sniffing and moving restlessly. Tom came out of the house and waved his hat and danced upon the doorstep, bidding the hobbits to get up and be off and go with good speed.

          They rode off along a path that wound away from behind the house, and went slanting up towards the north end of the hill-brow under which it sheltered. They had just dismounted to lead the ponies up the last steep slope, when suddenly Frodo stopped.

           ‘Goldberry!’ he cried. ‘My fair lady, clad all in silver green! We have never said farewell to her, nor seen her since the evening!’ He was so distressed that he turned back; but at that moment a clear call came rippling down. There on the hill-brow she stood beckoning to them: her her hair was flying loose, and as it caught the sun it shone and shimmered. A light like the glint of water on dewy grass flashed from under her feet as she danced.

                      ~ “The Lord of the Rings”, Chapter: Fog On The Barrow-Downs


One just doesn’t read Tolkien: You experience it.

Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin have just left the home of Tom Bombadil ~ himself involved in the Trilogy just this once, and whom remains somewhat of a mystery as to whether he was of the Human Race or perhaps a Maia. Regardless, Tom Bombadil was a “Master” of the ‘Old Forest’.

The four hobbits had just left the Shire headed for Rivendell, and already they were being pursued by “Black Riders” and needed rescuing by Tom Bombadil from the ‘Old Willow Man’ ~a malevolent ancient Tree.

How long the hobbits stayed with Tom is difficult to say for sure, as TIME in ‘Tom’s World’ moved at a somewhat different rate. But ‘leave’ the hobbits must; which is where the above Passage takes place.

Lady Goldberry mentioned in the Passage was the wife of Tom Bombadil. She was the daughter of the River-woman of the Withywindle. Goldberry was “Elven-like”, but was more accessible and easily encompassed by hobbit hearts.

This Chapter (“Fog On The Barrow-Downs”) along with the previous two (“The Old Forest” & “In The House of Tom Bombadil”) to me are the most mysterious and haunting of the entire book(s); for so much of what happened to the hobbits while either in the “Old Forest”, or staying in Tom Bombadil’s Home, or venturing through the Barrow-Downs  were all places borne from Ancient History. And it is this sense of ‘Ancient-ness’ so prevalent throughout the book that makes the Tale so wonderful and rich.

Tolkien wrote in such a way as to bring the READER into “The Fellowship of the Ring”. This wonderful ‘Gift’ of his allows one to feel dark forests and sleeping under a star-filled sky; or actually sense the dangers of “Black Riders” and Orcs all about; or identify with acts of Heroism and raw Courage.

Right now, even as the rain pelts my window … in my ‘Mind’s Eye’ I see four little Hobbits shivering under a tree or inside a cave to shelter for the night.

J.R.R. Tolkien: what an extraordinary man.


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