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Tom Bombadil The Rings of Power

Tom Bombadil Finally Dances Onto The Rings of Power Stage

Get ready for some frivolity in the face of evil! Season two of The Rings of Power is bringing a beloved yet baffling character to life: Tom Bombadil. This whimsical enigma from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga will be stepping out of the books and onto the screen for the first time ever.

Bombadil is a woodland dweller known for his nonsensical songs, bright clothes, and mysterious power. He helps Frodo and the hobbits in a pinch during the early chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring, but his true purpose and origins remain shrouded in mystery. Both Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated film and Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning live-action trilogy left him out entirely.

Prime Picks Up the Mic

Rory - Rings of Power Season 2But hold on, Bombadil fans! Amazon’s The Rings of Power is giving him his moment in the sun. Actor Rory Kinnear (M in the recent James Bond films) will portray the character when season two premieres on August 29th.

The series takes place thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Ring, so Bombadil’s presence fits perfectly within the established timeline. Tolkien himself described Bombadil as “older than the old,” a being who existed practically since the beginning of time.

Why Now? Why Bombadil?

The showrunners, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, admit Bombadil’s inclusion presented a challenge. In the books, he avoids getting entangled in larger conflicts. “[He’s] not a character who has a particularly strong agenda,” says Payne to Vanity Fair.

So how did they integrate him? “We started thinking, What does he care about? And how can that be a doorway to drama?” Payne continues. The answer? Protecting the natural world.

In the series, Bombadil will have a second home outside a region called Rhûn, which has become a wasteland. This aligns with the second season’s storyline, which features the harfoot hobbits Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and Poppy (Megan Richards) guiding the amnesiac wizard known as the Stranger (Daniel Weyman).

A (Slightly) More Active Tom

Tom Bombadil the Rings of Power

Expect Bombadil to offer the Stranger some much-needed kindness. “He nudges the Stranger along his journey, which he knows will eventually protect the larger natural world that he cares about,” says Payne. So, this version of Bombadil might be a tad more proactive than his book counterpart.

Rory Kinnear brings Bombadil to life, but he readily admits he wasn’t the biggest Tolkien expert before joining the cast. “There are people who knew it from the books, people who knew it from the films, and there are those who had managed to get to 46 without knowing that much about it at all,” he says.

A Character Steeped in Lore

Kinnear dove headfirst into the lore after being offered the role. His biggest inspiration for Bombadil’s personality came from a surprising source: the ancient rock formations off the coast of Cornwall, England.

“The rock in Cornwall just sort of erupts out of the sea, and you can see all the layers of accretion,” Kinnear explains. He felt this imagery captured Bombadil’s immense age and wisdom.

While season two promises to delve deeper into the darkness with Sauron’s return, Bombadil serves as a welcome counterpoint. “Tom Bombadil is singing and saying lines that could be nursery rhymes from children’s poems,” says Payne. “So he sort of defies the tonal shift of the rest of the season and is a real point of light amidst an otherwise sea of darkness.”

Tom Bombadil brings both whimsy and mystery to The Rings of Power. While the showrunners may not answer every lingering question about the character, one thing’s for sure: his presence is sure to spark conversation (and maybe even a jig or two) among fans.

Source: Vanity Fair 


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