Long Groping Arm

"Maddo" by J.R.R. Tolkien (1928), drawn to bring his son's bogey to the light and take away its terrifying power.

“Maddo” by J.R.R. Tolkien (1928), drawn to bring his son’s bogey to the light and take away its terrifying power.

When Michael Tolkien was around 6-8 years old, he had nightmares about “a gloved hand without an arm that opened curtains a crack after dark and crawled down” to get him. In Michael’s bedtime stories, his father J.R.R. Tolkien invented a cheerful fellow named Tom Bombadil. His jacket was blue and his boots were yellow and his nonsensical singing could to scare away ghoulish night terrors like the long groping arm of Michael’s imagination.

That would not be the end of the disembodied appendage’s troublemaking however. Years later it appeared in the Barrow-downs of Middle-earth “walking on its fingers” towards Sam Gamgee while he lay under the hilt of a pale sword as the prisoner of a fearsome Barrow-wight. Then again, a half century later, it showed up on my gaming table, adding the threat of my already engaged enemies to those in the staging area. Where is that merry old fellow now when I need him?

Card Info: Fog on the Barrow-downs #15

Artist: Mariusz Gandzel (has a full Middle-earth album with all his LOTR LCG work for FFG)

"Evil Things Stir" by Mariusz Gandzel (2015)

“Evil Things Stir” by Mariusz Gandzel (2015)

One comment

  1. […] would even rescue those he found in the bath. Instead, like other elements of his story such as the “long groping arm” of the Barrow-downs, Tolkien included spiders in The Hobbit to “thoroughly frighten” his son […]

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