Tom Bombadil image Creative Commons

The Mysterious Presence of Tom Bombadil

One of the mysteries of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is the character of Tom Bombadil. Who is this odd hill leaping, silly song singing, farmer in the dell? Is this cavorting yellow booted bumpkin a darling that Tolkien could not kill, a rustic mechanical who simply had to have a part in the great saga? Was Bombadil no more than a deus ex machina plot device, or does this ancient tree enchanter have a more important…