The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, VII: The Stone Troll

This is a nonsensical poem composed by Samwise Gamgee and it is also found in The Lord of the Rings. Earlier versions by Tolkien called the poem Pero & Podex or Root of the Boot and had been written/published between 1920-1936.

A troll sat in his seat in a cave in the hills. He dwelt there alone. A fellow named Tom, wearing big boots, comes there and suspects the troll of gnawing on his nuncle’s bones, stolen from the graveyard. The troll question the loss of a bone, seeing as it is of no use just lying in the ground, but Tom insists that the bone still belongs to the dead nuncle Tim. The troll threaten to eat Tom as well, because he is tired of bones and skins, and meat is rare, and tries to catch him.

Tom slips behind the troll and gives him a kick. It just results in an aching foot, because the troll is harder than stone and the troll did not even feel it. Tom became lame on the leg returning home. The troll remains in the cave, with the bone.

Characters to note:

  • The Troll – A stone troll.
  • Tom – A man wearing big boots.
  • Tim – Tom’s dead nuncle.


I am not sure what this poem is trying to say, if it is even trying to say anything. It is nonsensical and simply show an attempt by Tom to get back Tim’s bone. The troll is quite passive and is still in the same position in the end of the poem as he is in the beginning. Tom however, are not able to retrieve the bone and get home with an injured leg. Possibly it is a depiction of “don’t bite off more than you can chew”.

Have you read this poem?  Please comment and tell us what you think of this story and if you have anything to add!


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