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The Old Forest
Sam, Merry, and Pippin prepare to depart with Frodo. Merry warns the others that the forest seems alive with noises, movements and sounds. As they move, the forest seems to close in on them. After some time they come to the River Withywindle, and Merry realizes that they have been traveling in exactly the opposite direction they had meant to go in. As they walk along the only path in sight the Hobbits are overcome with drowsiness. Unable to go on any longer, the Hobbits give in and fall asleep.
Old Man Willow then attacks the Hobbits, trapping and tormenting them. An old man named Tom comes along and sings a song about his girlfriend Goldberry. With his song, Tom commands Old Man Willow to release the captured Hobbits.
Tom then takes the travellers home with him. When they reach his house, they hear the sweetest voice singing and welcoming them from inside the house.
This chapter shows the mystical powers of the forest. It lures the travelers in and then makes them sleep. As if he is in collusion with the forest, Old Man Willow attacks the travelers. He does not relent until Tom comes along and sings his song.
Tom Bombadilís voice appears to have soothing powers, especially since he is able to free the captives with a song. Tom and his girlfriend Goldberry are creatures whose entire essence seems good. Tom will rescue the Hobbits again, and he seems oblivious to evil. Goldberry, the daughter of the River, has control over the rain and the streams.