A DARK VIEW OF TOM BOMBADIL. Annalisa sent me a link to this essay at the Loose Connections website entitled “Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil”. The essay argues that Tom Bombadil is not benevolent. “Evil things – and only evil things – flourish in his domain.” Every tree in the Old Forest hates humans. The barrow wights are evil, and the river Withywindle is “proverbially evil”. Why does Bombadil help the hobbits? The essay advances the theory that Bombadil’s motivation is that he will rule if Sauron is defeated. It concludes with a beautiful passage:

“And one dark night the old trees will march westward into the Shire to feed their ancient hatred. And Bombadil will dance down amongst them, clad in his true shape at last, singing his incomprehensible rhymes as the trees mutter their curses and the black and terrible Barrow-Wights dance and gibber around him. And he will be smiling.”

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