A wild rumor has begun circulating that Tom Bombadil might be appearing in Season 2 of Amazon’s The Rings of Power! The story comes to us from TheOneRing.net, who let the juicy tidbit drop in a recent episode of their TORNTuesday series on YouTube.
TOM BOMBADIL RUMORED TO APPEAR IN SEASON 2 OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER
In this episode of TORNTuesday, they stated that the character had not only been cast but that the actor has already been seen on the set of Season 2, which is currently filming. For any who want to watch the full video, we will link it here.
Though TheOneRing was not able to independently verify the rumor, Twitter user DrNosy (Another associate of TheOneRing) has backed up the story, and added that the production is using the code name “Errol Pram” for the character. Check out his post below:
So who is Tom Bombadil, and what does this mean for The Rings of Power Season 2?
WHO IS TOM BOMBADIL?
This is quite a valid question, actually, as the character has been ignored by most Tolkien adaptations thus far. Tom made no appearance in any of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings or Hobbit films, and frankly, nobody was asking for it. Tom is an enigmatic and silly character from The Fellowship of the Ring novel, whose presence adds very little to the overall story, so it’s no surprise that Jackson chose to remove him from the big screen adaptation.
In the novel, Frodo and his hobbit companions stopped at Bombadil’s cottage as they were traveling through the Old Forest near Bree, east of the Shire. Tom is an enigmatic character who is incredibly powerful, but who mostly just hops around singing nonsensical songs. He rescues the hobbits from the woods and invites them into his home for a dreamlike feast, where Frodo inadvertently tells him about the One Ring.
Tom then puts on the ring but does not disappear, and it seems to have no affect on him whatsoever. This interesting detail was later brought up during the Council of Elrond, where someone suggested that they might be able to use this and send Tom as the ringbearer into Mordor, but Gandalf quickly shut this idea down. Though Tom is a friendly and supportive presence, he ultimately doesn’t take part in the War for the Ring. So how might he appear in The Rings of Power, especially since the series takes place thousands of years before the events of the Third Age?
Well, interestingly enough, Tom is an old character, very old. In fact, he implies that he is one of the oldest beings in the universe, having lived in Middle-earth since before Morgoth and Sauron even arrived. In The Fellowship of the Ring novel, he states:
“Eldest, that’s what I am… Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn… He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless – before the Dark Lord came from Outside.“
—Tom Bombadil (The Lord of the Rings)
This is extremely interesting, as Tom is neither an elf nor a wizard, but something else entirely. Some have speculated that he could be one of the Maiar (like Gandalf or Sauron), but this is unknown. During the big roundtable conversation in Rivendell, Elrond reinforces the idea that Bombadil is very old, and that he is known by several other names:
“But I had forgotten Bombadil, if indeed this is still the same that walked the woods and hills long ago, and even then was older than the old. That was not then his name. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless. But many another name he has since been given by other folk: Forn by the Dwarves, Orald by Northern Men, and other names beside. He is a strange creature…“
—Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring
All of this might paint the picture that Tom is a very important character in the Tolkien mythos…but he’s not. He does little to nothing, in fact, and very little is known of him. Mainly, he just dances around and sings nonsensical songs like he’s been chomping mushrooms for the last 3 Ages. Yet hidden beneath that goofy hat and inebriated smile is a character who has existed for thousands of years and perhaps witnessed more than any of us could truly know.
So what does this mean for The Rings of Power? Well to start, Tom could absolutely appear in this show without breaking canon. Though it’s implied that he has settled down in the Old Wood by the Third Age and never travels beyond it, he was probably more mobile in the earlier ages in which this show takes place.
If Tom Bombadil does appear, it’s easy to imagine that he might pop up in the Nori and Stranger storyline, helping to guide them further east towards their destination of Rhun. In any event, the writers and showrunners have a great deal of freedom and liberties that they could take with the character without breaking the canon of the books or the movies. The real question is do they lean into his sillier, more whimsical side, or make him a more serious character? Time will tell.
Season 2 of The Rings of Power is currently in the works for Amazon Studios. The first season of the show is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.
What are your thoughts on the news? Would you like to see dear old Tom show up in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power? Do you think the rumor is legitimate? Let us know on Twitter!