The Rings of Power Season 2 Will Bring In Tom Bombadil

The Rings of Power Season 2 Will Bring In Tom Bombadil

After generations of adaptations skirted around him, Tom Bombadil is dancing a merry jig into the spotlight: when Amazon’s Lord of Rings show returns this August, it’s bringing the bizarre, mystically powerful forest-folk with it.

Vanity Fair confirmed that Bombadil will appear in season 2 of the Amazon streaming series, played by Penny Dreadful and Bond actor Rory Kinnear. “There’s a reason why he hasn’t been in prior adaptations, because in some ways he’s sort of an anti-dramatic character,” co-showrunner J.D. Payne told Vanity Fair. “He’s not a character who has a particularly strong agenda. He observes drama, but largely doesn’t participate in it. In The Fellowship of the Ring, the characters kind of just go there and hang out for a while, and Tom drops some knowledge on them.”

Tom is a strange, but supernaturally powerful being who Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin encounter early in The Fellowship of the Ring after falling foul of the tree-spirit Old Man Willow, and after staying at his house and meeting his wife, Goldberry, they are saved by him once again when they face the Barrow-wights haunting the Barrow-downs. But although his role in The Lord of the Rings is brief, he’s given a mysteriously fascinating backstory that makes him known to most of the races of Middle-earth in one form or another, and through ancillary works and Tolkien’s letters we learn tidbits of how Tom is one of the most ancient, and perhaps most powerful, denizens to step foot on Arda itself, deeply linked to the natural world.

Because of Bombadil’s vague nature, Rings of Power will be able to take a few liberties of its own in adapting the character, where he’ll play a significant role in the journey of Daniel Weyman’s similarly mysterious Stranger—the amnesiac man who spent much of season 1 hanging out with the Harfoots, only for us to eventually learn in its climax that he is indeed one of the magical Istari, the powerful spirits sent down from the cosmos to combat the threat of Sauron. Instead of meeting him in Buckland, on the outlying regions of what will eventually become the Shire by the time of the Third Age, the Stranger will find Bombadil living on the edges of Rhûn, the far-eastern land the Stranger and his Harfoot friend Nori planned to travel to in search of answers about the Stranger’s identity at the end of season 1.

“When he finally crosses paths with the Stranger, you could say he has a desire to try to keep the destruction that has happened there from spreading to his beloved lands in the West,” Payne added. “He nudges the Stranger along his journey, which he knows will eventually protect the larger natural world that he cares about. So I’d say our Tom Bombadil is slightly more interventionist than you see in the books, but only by 5% or 10%.”

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power returns for season 2 on Amazon Prime from August 29.

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