Silver Sunday Spoon :)

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 1994
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 1994

Before I get carried away through chapter eleven… I thought I should make a post. The one thing that I find most pertinent through all the chapters I’ve read is that there is a character named Tom Bombadil. He is a jolly old man who really annoys me! I find it so irritating that he seems to be half elf and a quarter leprechaun, and an eighth human (grandfatherly), and another eighth of a timeless deity. He saves the hobbits from their early doom with the black-riders and some sort of mountain monster that hoarded lots of gold. Most importantly, however, he is the connection that bridges the hobbits out of the Shire and into Bree where they meet their next protector, Strider.

Now, the movie never shows Tom Bombadil whatsoever but now that I read through The Lord of the Rings (and in this moment reflect on it) I can’t help but notice that the hobbits are only responsible for themselves while within the Shire. Outside of the Shire they are escorted through the Dark Forest by Tom Bombadil and then out of Bree by Strider. I think these supporting characters play along well with the theme of destiny that Tolkien illustrates in the earlier chapters of the book between conversations of Gandalf and Frodo. As for Gandalf, he has not been seen yet since nearly a decade ago when he told Frodo about the dangers of the Ring. So, it is partially due to luck, rumor, and wizardly planning that these hobbits have any clue what to do next or where to go! Of course their goal is Rivendell but their simplicity is actually so refreshing. They are focused on making the world right and good again and that’s their only expertise.

Hobbits, especially Frodo, have a strong sense of mission and know basic survival skills and have a general sense of direction. In fact, I don’t think they’re much different from most Americans. I love how they’re in tune with their gut feelings about things and how they really look out for one another. Did you know that Biblo’s ale song is where the modern children’s poem “Cat and the Fiddle” originated? Yeah! I had no idea either. It’s incredible. As I was reading it, I really couldn’t believe what I was reading. I thought, “Am I reading this right? This is too weird!” and read it over… To think that someone derived a nursery rhyme from a drunken ale song sung by a fictional character and written by another is altogether mind-blowing.

So, I leave you with the second to last verse of the ale song where Frodo Baggins disappeared in his performance, the second time around:

“With a ping and a pong the fiddle-strings broke!

the cow jumped over the Moon,

And the little dog laughed to see such fun,

And the Saturday dish went off at a run

with the silver Sunday spoon.”  (p.156)

Till next time…

~Somiya


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