Harvestmath Guises: Goldberry and Tom Bombadil

Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather,
Light on the budding leaf, dew on the feather,
Wind on the open hill, bells on the heather,
Reeds by the shady pool, lilies on the water:
Old Tom Bombadil and the River-daughter!

— Tom Bombadil’s Song, The Lord of the Rings 1:VI

On the border between the Old Forest and the Barrow-downs was the house of Tom Bombadil, who dwelled there with his wife, Goldberry. Bombadil and Goldberry are enigmatic. They do not belong the races of Men, Elves, Dwarves, or Hobbits; rather they seem to be spirits of nature clothed in corporeal bodies. Tom might be described as a sort of genius loci; he was the Master of the Old Forest and was “Eldest and Fatherless”. He had been in the world for an extremely long time, for he “knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless – before the Dark Lord came from Outside.” The lovely Goldberry, meanwhile, seems to have been a water-spirit. She was River-woman’s Daughter, away from whom Tom wooed her. River-woman was the spirit of the Withywindle, perilous and unfriendly, similar to the river-hags of English folklore such as Peg Powler and Jenny Greenteeth. Goldberry, the river-maiden, seems more benign then her mother, perhaps due to Tom’s influence.

Tom Bombadil was stumpy, taller than a Hobbit, but shorter than a Man, and had a “long brown beard [and] his eyes were blue and bright, and his face was red as a ripe apple, but creased into a hundred wrinkles of laughter”. Here we see him hopping down the Withywindle (having just finished tangling with Old Man Willow), bringing an enormous lily-flower home for Golderry. Jolly Tom wears his signature “old battered hat with a tall crown” decorated with a “long blue feather”, “great yellow boots”, and blue coat.

Goldberry, meanwhile, is visiting a pristine spring in the cool shade of the Old Forest. A light rain falls — it is Goldberry’s cleaning day! She wears a gown “green as young reeds, shot with silver like beads of dew; and her belt was of gold, shaped like a chain of flag-lilies”. She was slender and graceful, with long golden hair, and an almost Elvish quality, such that Frodo burst into song upon first seeing her.

Finally Tom and Goldberry reunite to cavort upon the grass in front of their cosy house. Tom has brought Goldberry’s flower inside to set in water and has presented her with a decorated note of affection — and he continues to sing her praises.

As evening comes on, warm yellow light twinkles from the windows of their house, and the couple comes in for a simple supper. Goldberry sits on a chair set amongst bowls of water-lillies, seemingly enthroned in a pool, while Tom putters around in the kitchen.

I’ve been eager to do Bombadil and Goldberry outfits for a while now, but I decided to wait until I could present them as Harvestmath guises since I felt it would be more natural to use funny props like the flower and the note of affection, as well as to use Dwarf and Elf toons to portray them in a bit of a comical way (even though, of course, they belong to neither race).

Tom Bombadil

  • Head: Traveller’s Cap (crafted — tailor T3; or looted — world drop), red
  • Shoulders: Gwir-palvais (looted — Rise of Isengard instance cluster), gold
  • Back: Cloak of Stealth (looted — world drop/general), red
  • Chest: Cel-crus (looted — Rise of Isengard instance cluster), navy
  • Hands: Ceremonial Gloves of the Poet’s Heart (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Moria cosmetic clothing – light), gold
  • Legs: Tavol-socas (looted — Fangorn’s Edge/tier 2), navy
  • Feet: Rhydhid-lhopan (looted — Pits of Isengard/tier 1 Fúshgraf), gold
  • Implement: Giant Flower (looted — spring festival/Green Flower Gift Box)

Tips: The Giant Flower has a chance to drop from Green Flower Gift boxes that can be obtained at the spring festival. The gloves used in this outfit have the same appearance as the other level 60 Mines of Moria instance cluster light armour sets and the Gloves of Lothlórien (crafted — tailor T6/Galadhrim reputation).

Goldberry

  • Head: White Rose Circlet (bartered — spring festival rewards vendor/cosmetics), white
  • Back: Summerdays Cloak (bartered — Lithe festival summer rewards vendor/cosmetics), dark green
  • Chest: Ceremonial Dress (bartered — Lithe festival Celondim quartermaster), default
  • Implement: Note of Affection (looted — spring festival/Blue, Green or Red Flower Gift Box)

Tips: The White Rose Circlet can be found inside gift boxes at the spring festival, but can also be bartered directly from the festival rewards barterers. The Ceremonial Dress comes in three different versions: a blue version, a white version, and a green version. They are all undyeable; the green version is obtained from the spring festival barterer in Celondim.

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12 Responses to Harvestmath Guises: Goldberry and Tom Bombadil

  1. Incedible! Amazing! And the rest of my limited vocabulary of superlatives! Really Starry I have no words. The way you managed to depict Tom is just perfect. The hat, the yellow boots, its completely fantastic! And it also looks good, it’s even an outfit that a dwarf would really shine in. Goldberry is well done, though our Lotro elves aren’t nearly as lovely as she is of course. Only thing I regret is the stupid green lighting in the Old Forest. But the pictures of them together still look colourful even so. How did you do that? Photoshop or someone to help you out on another account? This set goes to your gallery of fame as far as I’m concerned. It’s one of your finest again. Really well done!

    • Yay! 😀 You are far too kind Hymne, thank you so much!

      I recruited Mr Mantle to help out with the couples screenshots (even though he knows pretty much nothing about LOTRO or The Lord of the Rings he kindly tolerates my crazy interest). You’re so right about the stupid green light in the Old Forest. But for the shots in front of the house, I found that just at dusk/gloaming, the greenness and haziness are reduced if not eliminated, so it’s a great time to take pictures.

      Thanks again for your lovely comment, Hymne! 😀

  2. Devonna says:

    What a handsome pair. This has got to be my favorite of your “in guise” outfits so far. I love the screenshot where Goldberry is holding the note of affection. Adorable! Tom’s outfit is amazing. Love it 🙂

    • Thanks so much Devonna! I really had fun doing this one! I’ve got another “couples” guise coming up next week, even though RoR will be out and people will kind of have forgotten about Harvestmath stuff — anyway, hopefully it will also be well received! 😀

  3. That hat seems to have been made just for Bombadil. Your screenshots did a great job presenting him as bounding and completely Tom. I love the addition of the love note as well. 🙂 Beautiful!

  4. Aegthil says:

    I must say I do particularly like the way you weave your outfits into the lore, in a way that is detailed and accurate, but also a treat to read.

    I’m not exactly a fashion expert, but I am really impressed by the unique and wonderful way you present your outfits.

    Aegthil’s Fool

    • I am honoured that the Fool of such an esteemed Minstrel has stopped by! 😉

      Thanks so much Aegthil, and welcome to the blog! And I don’t know, I wouldn’t say you’re not a fashion expert — I mean I’ve seen pictures of you in those pink shorts and I’ve been awed and astonished ever since! 😀

  5. Awesome outfits:) And great screenshots too, I like the last one where it looks like Goldberry is pulling Tom’s beard:)

  6. Nathrien says:

    Starry, this is absolutely adorable! I love how brightly and colorfully you’ve cosmetically depicted Tom and Goldberry! The whole time I was reading this, I was imagining you making a short video of these two lore characters with Tom Bombadil’s Song playing in the background, as performed by the Tolkien Ensemble 😀

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