Tom Bombadil lives

Monday, August 06, 2007 at 11:12 AM

This past weekend, when it was too hot to even think about abandoning my air conditioner, I was left with one question: "What can you do for nine straight hours from the confines of your apartment?" My girlfriend had what is for me always the perfect answer: watch all three Lord of the Rings movies, back-to-back (extended editions, of course).

Yes, I had to return once again to the tale of Frodo Baggins and his harrowing journey to destroy the One Ring of Sauron. While its theme may be common (good vs. evil), the story is peerless in the intricate mythology that J.R.R. Tolkien crafted.

Several times during the movie, I was reminded of parts of the story that were, in my opinion, woefully omitted. That's right -- you can count me among those who mourn the loss of Tom Bombadil and his adventures helping Frodo and company escape Old Man Willow, a treacherous tree living on the outskirts of the Shire.

My Tolkien indulgence didn't stop there -- I started poking around in Book Search. After looking up "Bombadil" and finding some great books, I entered the name "Morgoth" (the first Dark Lord of Middle Earth) and discovered a brand new Tolkien book that's only recently been published. It turns out that in 1918, Tolkien started a story about a character who's only briefly mentioned in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This spring, his son Christopher pieced it together and published it.

Let's just say that my girlfriend knows what to get me for my birthday.

I've read the Lord of the Rings books more times than I can remember, but I never get tired of them, and watching the movies only whets my appetite for more. It's a good thing there's another book -- it's never long after I finish reading one that I'm ready to go back to the beginning and start all over again.


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