Talk:Tom Bombadil

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What Gandalf Doesn't Say[edit]

Has any scholar who has discussed the mystery of Tom Bombadil commented on a peculiar aspect of the discussion at the Council of Elrond about Tom Bombadil? That is that Gandalf says nothing, although it becomes clear in Book Three that Gandalf has known Tom Bombadil, because he wants to have a long talk with him, as he has not had in a very long time. The elves speculate as to whether Bombadil can withstand the Ring in a long siege. Gandalf says nothing. My own conclusion is that there is a reason why Gandalf says nothing, rather than not saying much. Whether or not Tolkien knows who Bombadil is, Tolkien knows that Gandalf knows at least something about Bombadil that the elves do not know. He says nothing because he is sworn to secrecy, or because some things are not meant to be said in Middle-Earth. Has any scholar commented that Gandalf's silence is perhaps not the silence of lack of knowledge, but the silence of knowledge? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:11, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Hint: this is fiction. There is no underlying reality whose history the descriptions must conform to, so not every word or omission of the author need be significant. It's fairly clear (especially from Tolkien's reaction in his letters to various theories propounded by fans) that the text said what Tolkien felt to be important: that Bombadil was the wrong solution for hiding the Ring, and so we move on to Plan B, which is what the book is about. That Gandalf doesn't say it's the wrong solution, or push back against the Elves' judgment of Bombadil, doesn't really mean much in the context of the plot. You're free to read Inner Hidden Deeper Meaning (TM) into it, but on Tolkien's own protestation, it's likely not there. -- Elphion (talk) 12:19, 4 April 2016 (UTC)