Who He Is: Tom Bombadil is a figure who is shrouded in mystery - no one is actually sure what he is or where he came from, but he claims to remember a time before the Valar came into the world. He rules a small, tucked-away land called the Old Forest alongside his beautiful wife Goldberry, a magical spirit of the river. He sings, dances, and lives a life of woodland whimsy, but he seems to foster a power beyond anything others have ever known, holding sway over the land and the forces of nature itself. Despite his unfathomable strength, he chooses to remain as a neutral force during all the clashes of Middle-earth.
What He Can Do: Older than all else, except perhaps Ilúvatar himself, Tom is even immune to the powers of the One Ring; Frodo offers it to him, and it has no effect on him whatsoever. Inside of his forest, Tom's power to control the land seems practically unlimited, and he is called "master of wood, water, and hill" by his wife. Along with being impossible to capture or imprison, Tom easily takes control over the deadly Old Man Willow when he tries to crush Merry and Pippin.
Memorably Powerful Moments: Tom's shining moment comes when he rescues the four hobbits from the wights in the Barrow-downs. The terrifying phantom-like creatures haunt the burial grounds and lure in unsuspecting victims to a gruesome end. The halfling companions are captured by these frightful specters and nearly become the victims of a dark, sacrificial ritual. Frodo interrupts this by cutting off one of the wights' hands and calling for Tom Bombadil's help. Tom appears in an instant and sings a song that banishes the wights in a glorious demonstration of his power.