Tom Allows The Wights To Exist

Discussion in 'Questions for Narnion' started by Vranda, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Vranda

    Vranda New Member

    I am listening as to catch up (44 episodes in two weeks!), so please pardon that this question is not current... but I have one issue that I can't seem to wrap my mind around concerning Tom and the Barrow Wights. If the Downs are part of "His Land", as he claims when escorting the Hobbits safely out of it after their rescue, and he warned the Hobbit's about the Barrows upon their departure from his home, it would seem obvious that he knew about the wights and their potential for "trouble'. As Tom is undoubtedly "good', and if the barrows are within his realm of influence, then what reason could he possibly have for allowing the wights to persist? He's obviously not opposed to banishing them, as he did exactly that during the Hobbit's rescue. Thanks for answering, and for this AMAZING walk through of my favorite novel!
  2. ForthDauntless3

    ForthDauntless3 New Member

    Given that this question refers to material we left a while ago, I'm going to risk angering the gods (or at least the mods) by proposing an answer.

    Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow. He isn't the type to smite every evil thing that walks (or shambles) into his lands. He's happy to leave well enough alone as long as the evil in question does not endanger him or those under his protection. The barrow wights aren't the only example of this live-and-let-live attitude within the text. Old Man Willow is definitely within Tom's domain, and in fact he's quite close to Tom's house. Nevertheless, Tom lets him live there and doesn't even smite the tree when it attempts to "eat" Merry and Pippin.

    One could justifiably argue that Old Man Willow is living and thus part of nature, while the barrow wights are not. Nevertheless, I think it's fair to say that, even though they are both bad news, neither is Evil. The barrow wights are essentially tormented spirits that have been locked in dead bodies by the power of the Witch King. He doesn't hesitate to banish one when it crosses him, but they mostly don't bother anyone and so he lets them alone.
    Philip and NotACat like this.

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