I guess this topic has raged many a forum, but I am fairly new in this world of global discussions. This question burns me for year, though. Who or what is Tom Bombadil. I cannot place him somwhere in the Tolkien hierarchy. He i'sn't human, for he is immortal. Same goes for Orc and Dwaven. Then maybe he is an elf... But his power is far too great, appearing from thin air, weelding the Ring as if it were a powerless piece of jewellery. Than maybe he is a Maia, the helpers of the Valar, as are the Istari and Sauron, for instance. But then again, even Gandalf and Saruman were affected strongly by the Ring of Power. Only conclusion could be that he is one of the Valar. But didn''t they all stay in the West? (save Melkor, maybe). And whats more, I can't fit the description of the two (Tom and Goldberry), if they were. There aren't too many Valar and they are all described in the Sil, but none fits a couple like Tom and Goldberry. Furthermore, Elrond knows him too, though by a different name; Iarwain Ben-adar. In that chapter, Gandalf describes Tom also to be reckless enough to lose the Ring. Not much of a Vala to me... What remains is an Ent and althoug Tom loves nature as much as Treebeard, I don't think he is... Any opinions?