Frodo Baggins has been taken by a Barrow-Wight. He awakens to find himself imprisoned in a barrow with Sam, Merry, and Pippin lying next to him. Then he remembered the rhyme Tom Bombadil had taught them. And what power is in that song! Join us as we conclude our discussion of chapter eight of The Lord Of The Rings, Fog On The Barrow-Downs.
His Songs Are Stronger Songs
Frodo was neither very fat nor very timid. And though both Bilbo and Gandalf thought him the best hobbit in the Shire, he and his companions were in a danger that he could not get them out of. Though his courage was strong and his resolve hardened him to fight, the memory of the song Tom Bombadil taught him was his best weapon. After singing those words a deep silence fell. Then he heard a familiar voice:
Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow. None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.
The Lord of the Rings, Fog on the Barrow-Downs, p. 142
Escape From The Barrow-Downs
Suddenly light – real light – streamed in and Tom came bounding into the barrow with a song that drove the Barrow-Wights away. Tom’s songs are indeed stronger songs! Frodo is a picture of King David in that he, upon finding himself in terrible danger, remembered the words (song) of Tom Bombadil just as David remembered the words of God:
Psalm 119:110-112 NASB
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
Yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts.
I have inherited Your testimonies forever,
For they are the joy of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, even to the end.
And as David wrote that he treasured God’s words in his heart (Psa 119:11), Frodo kept Tom’s song in his. This is a theme throughout the Middle-earth Legendarium: songs and proverbs memorized and recited in times of present need:
Middle-earth had its own proverbs, parables, sayings, and riddles of the wise. They took the form of poems and songs. Frodo’s counselors often recited their verses of ancient lore as they sought guidance for the present adventure.
Kurt Bruner; Jim Ware, Finding God in The Lord of the Rings, p. 24
What stood out to you in FOG ON THE BARROW-DOWNS? Let us know in the comments below.
On The Secret Fire Podcast we travel chapter-by-chapter and book-by-book through J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth viewing it through Christian lenses. We invite you to join us each week as we continue the adventure on the Arkenstone server in Lord Of The Rings Online.
You may listen to the podcast by using the audio player at the top of this post, or use the links below for other convenient ways to subscribe and listen.
Affiliate links are used on this site.