'Show me the precious Ring!' he said suddenly in the midst of the story: and Frodo, to his own astonishment, drew out the chain from his pocket, and unfastening the Ring handed it at once to Tom.

It seemed to grow larger as it lay for a moment on his big brown-skinned hand. Then suddenly he put it to his eye and laughed. For a second the hobbits had a vision, both comical and alarming, of his bright blue eye gleaming through a circle of gold. Then Tom put the Ring round the end of his little finger and held it up to the candlelight. For a moment the hobbits noticed nothing strange about this. Then they gasped. There was no sign of Tom disappearing!

Tom laughed again, and then he spun the Ring in the air - and it vanished with a flash. Frodo gave a cry - and Tom leaned forward and handed it back to him with a smile.

Frodo later decides to play his own trick and puts the ring on his own finger:

He waited for an opportunity, when the talk was going again, and Tom was telling an absurd story about badgers and their queer ways - then he slipped the Ring on.

Merry turned towards him to say something and gave a start, and checked an exclamation. Frodo was delighted (in a way): it was his own ring all right, for Merry was staring blankly at his chair, and obviously could not see him. He got up and crept quietly away from the fireside towards the outer door.

'Hey there!' cried Tom, glancing towards him with a most seeing look in his shining eyes. 'Hey! Come Frodo, there! Where be you a-going? Old Tom Bombadil’s not as blind as that yet. Take off your golden ring! Your hand’s more fair without it.

These two paragraphs seem to show Tom is at least curious about the ring, which therefore seems to me it may have had a slight effect on him.

Is there any evidence that may back up my claim?

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    To me it sounds more like curiosity as to what the ring does / what it is. And amusement over what it does. – Thomas Sep 23 '15 at 17:10
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    On that note there is a possible answer to your question here: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/55831/… user8719 answer holds a comment of gandalf about tom and the ring – Thomas Sep 23 '15 at 17:14
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    @Thomas Yes, this. I imagine Tom holding more or less the same attitude toward a dung beetle rolling around his "treasure". It's fun to watch, and it's funny that he cares so much about something so worthless to the outside observer. – Doug Warren Sep 23 '15 at 17:17
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    It sounds to me like Tom is flirting with Frodo. – Rogue Jedi Sep 23 '15 at 17:26
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    It feels like Tom is a hacker and The Ring is a computer virus. He captures it without getting infected and plays with it to see what kind of exploits it uses. Then, he gets bored with it because it's less elegant than his own work. – Gary Botnovcan Sep 23 '15 at 21:14

The little information we have about Tom Bombadil suggests that no, he was unaffected by the addictive aspect of the Ring. Gandalf, who is usually right about things, suggests that Bombadil is immune to its effect:

[I]f he were given the Ring, he would soon forget it, or most likely throw it away. Such things have no hold on his mind. He would be a most unsafe guardian; and that alone is answer enough.

Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

But if you prefer, Tolkien himself states that Bombadil is unaffected by the Ring in Letter 153 (emphasis mine):

T.B. exhibits another point in his attitude to the Ring, and its failure to affect him. You must concentrate on some part, probably relatively small, of the World (Universe), whether to tell a tale, however long, or to learn anything however fundamental – and therefore much will from that 'point of view' be left out, distorted on the circumference, or seem a discordant oddity. The power of the Ring over all concerned, even the Wizards or Emissaries, is not a delusion – but it is not the whole picture, even of the then state and content of that part of the Universe.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien 153: To Peter Hastings (Draft). September 1954

Although it might be argued that Tolkien is referring to Bombadil not turning invisible, the fact that he immediately discusses the Ring's peculiar domination over others suggests otherwise, at least to me.

Concerning Bombadil's interest in the Ring, it's worth noting that the hobbits have just spent a good long while telling him all about it:

Tom now seemed wide awake and plied them with questions.

He appeared already to know much about them and all their families, and indeed to know much of all the history and doings of the Shire down from days hardly remembered among the hobbits themselves. It no longer surprised them; but he made no secret that he owed his recent knowledge largely to Farmer Maggot, whom he seemed to regard as a person of more importance than they had imagined. 'There's earth under his old feet, and clay on his fingers; wisdom in his bones, and both his eyes are open,' said Tom. It was also clear that Tom had dealings with the Elves, and it seemed that in some fashion, news had reached him from Gildor concerning the flight of Frodo.

Indeed so much did Tom know, and so cunning was his questioning, that Frodo found himself telling him more about Bilbo and his own hopes and fears than he had told before even to Gandalf. Tom wagged his head up and down, and there was a glint in his eyes when he heard of the Riders.

'Show me the precious Ring!' he said suddenly in the midst of the story: and Frodo, to his own astonishment, drew out the chain from his pocket, and unfastening the Ring handed it at once to Tom.

Fellowship of the Ring Book I Chapter 7: "In the House of Tom Bombadil"

Regardless of any magical addictive properties, if four people came into my house and told me a long tale involving a magic ring, the former property of the Lord of All Evil, that was being hunted by black-robed monsters, I would want to see it for myself.

No, Tom Bombadil doesn't seem to be affected by the Ring at all; if he was affected, it was to a vanishingly small degree.

Here is the passage in which Bombadil and the Ring come face to face:

Indeed so much did Tom know, and so cunning was his questioning, that Frodo found himself telling him more about Bilbo and his own hopes and fears than he had told before even to Gandalf. Tom wagged his head up and down, and there was a glint in his eyes when he heard of the Riders.

‘Show me the precious Ring!’ he said suddenly in the midst of the story: and Frodo, to his own astonishment, drew out the chain from his pocket, and unfastening the Ring handed it at once to Tom.

It seemed to grow larger as it lay for a moment on his big brown-skinned hand. Then suddenly he put it to his eye and laughed. For a second the hobbits had a vision, both comical and alarming, of his bright blue eye gleaming through a circle of gold. Then Tom put the Ring round the end of his little finger and held it up to the candlelight. For a moment the hobbits noticed nothing strange about this. Then they gasped. There was no sign of Tom disappearing!

Tom laughed again, and then he spun the Ring in the air — and it vanished with a flash. Frodo gave a cry – and Tom leaned forward and handed it back to him with a smile.
- The Fellowship of the Ring

We see something astonishing here: This object, in which the fate of the entire world is bound, is powerless in Tom's hands. He thinks so little of it that he treats it like a toy, a mere trifle, of no importance or danger. How are we supposed to make sense of this? Tolkien scholar Michael Martinez has a very plausible explanation, and it has to do with the Ring's modus operandi - appealing to the personality of the individual:

Given that Bombadil asked to see the Ring, and that he played with it and at one point had a gleam in his eye, I don’t see any justification for concluding that he was not tested by the Ring like others. Bombadil probably had the easiest test of all because he had already long before made his choice about mastery over others.

Bombadil allowed evil things to remain in his land — not because he wanted them there but because he did not want to destroy them. He probably set the boundaries of that land to keep those evil things from troubling Men and Hobbits (his neighbors).

Bombadil didn’t believe in creating prisons for the barrow-wights and... Old [Man] Willow; he just didn’t succumb to their evil ways. Hence, the Ring could have shown him a world where he roamed free and evil things didn’t bother him (and perhaps didn’t bother anyone else). Or the Ring could have shown him a world where he could “master” anyone and anything. The point is that the Ring definitely could have shown him something, even if it was more absurd and silly than what it showed to Sam.

And obviously, whatever the Ring showed Tom, he wasn't interested.

Tolkien explains why in Letter #144:

Tom Bombadil is not an important person – to the narrative. I suppose he has some importance as a 'comment'. I mean, I do not really write like that: he is just an invention, and he represents something that I feel important, though I would not be prepared to analyze the feeling precisely. I would not, however, have left him in, if he did not have some kind of function.

The story is cast in terms of a good side, and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship, moderated freedom with consent against compulsion that has long lost any object save mere power, and so on; but both sides in some degree, conservative or destructive, want a measure of control.

But if you have, as it were taken 'a vow of poverty', renounced control, and take your delight in things for themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless. It is a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war.

So the thing that makes the Ring so appealing to almost everyone else is the same thing that makes it powerless against Tom Bombadil. He has deliberately chosen to reject control over anything but himself. He himself is good, but he doesn't take sides in the battle between good and evil. He doesn't care about who wins or loses, because he has renounced power, control, and conflict. These concepts have no meaning to Tom. He is exclusively an observer, and his only interest is in things for their own sake. Tom doesn't approve of Old Man Willow's attempt to eat the hobbits, and he stops him from doing so, but he still respects Old Man Willow and his right to exist. The fact that Old Man Willow is probably evil, at least to some extent, doesn't enter into the equation.

The Ring is a device of power, and power is its only means of influencing and manipulating people. Tom Bombadil is diametrically opposed to power, and therefore, the Ring is powerless to corrupt or tempt him. It is interesting (and amusing) to imagine the Ring desperately trying to find a chink in Tom's armor, searching in vain for a way to reach him, and silently screaming with rage when he treats the Ring like a silly little toy. Because the Ring tailors its appeal to the individual's unique weaknesses (i.e., desires), and because Tom has no desires (aside from keeping his wife Goldberry happy), the Ring simply couldn't reach Tom. He is entirely beyond its influence, and it is just another piece of jewelry to him.

Gandalf clearly agrees with this assessment:

'He is a strange creature, but maybe I should have summoned him to our Council.'
'He would not have come,' said Gandalf.

'Could we not still send messages to him and obtain his help?' asked Erestor. 'It seems that he has a power even over the Ring.'

'No, I should not put it so,' said Gandalf. 'Say rather that the Ring has no power over him. He is his own master. But he cannot alter the Ring itself, nor break its power over others. And now he is withdrawn into a little land, within bounds that he has set, though none can see them, waiting perhaps for a change of days, and he will not step beyond them.'

'But within those bounds nothing seems to dismay him,' said Erestor. 'Would he not take the Ring and keep it there, for ever harmless?'

'No,' said Gandalf, 'not willingly. He might do so, if all the free folk of the world begged him, but he would not understand the need. And if he were given the Ring, he would soon forget it, or most likely throw it away. Such things have no hold on his mind. He would be a most unsafe guardian; and that alone is answer enough.'
- The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond

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    Note: Martinez comes to the conclusion that Tom was affected by the Ring, but not much, and certainly not as much as most of the other people who encounter it. I disagree with him - I see no reason to doubt that Tom Bombadil was virtually immune to the Ring's corruptive effects. – Wad Cheber Sep 24 '15 at 0:11

Yes I think Tom Bombadil was affected by the ring, because if he were merely just curious, he would have asked for it not demanided it of Frodo. In chapter 7 of the Fellowship of the Ring, In the house of Tom Bombadil, on page 174, it says; "'Show me the precious Ring!' he said suddenly in the midst of the story:" It is small, but it did have an effect on him.

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    Could you add the book and chapter reference for this quote? – amflare Mar 26 at 14:31

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