Deleted ‘Lord of the Rings’ Character Restored in ‘Rings of Power’ Season 2

in Television

A close-up view of three people extending their hands towards the center, displaying rings. The background is earthy and adorned with fallen leaves. The individuals are dressed in intricate, medieval-style clothing, suggesting a fantasy or historical setting.

Credit: Prime Video

The upcoming new season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will feature a character that has been deleted from the J.R.R. Tolkien series in far too many adaptations: Tom Bombadil.

Galadriel riding horse in armor, Rings of Power
Credit: Amazon

The Rings of Power is Amazon Prime Video’s attempt to throw its hat in the epic fantasy ring that also includes HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon and Netflix’s The Witcher. The studio has already greenlit the J.R.R. Tolkien prequel series for five seasons budgeted at over $1 billion, making it potentially the most expensive television series ever produced.

As such, expectations for The Rings of Power have been sky-high. The first season of the show received an 83% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes and the polar opposite, 38% from audiences, showing how sharply it has divided fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise.

The Rings of Power season 2 will no doubt be wading back into the same contentious waters, but adding a fan-favorite (and previously largely unseen in live-action) character like Tom Bombadil may do a bit to help.

Durin and Elrond in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Credit: Amazon Studios

The Prime Video show takes place during the Second Age of Middle-Earth, thousands of years before the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and primarily draws background and inspiration from the appendices of Tolkien’s original writings.

While the series is not technically connected with the Peter Jackson adaptation of the trilogy, it portrays younger versions of some of the characters that appeared in his films, like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo), and expands on much of the backstory of the Dark Lord Sauron (who will be portrayed in season 2 by Charlie Vickers).

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Credit: Prime Video

Related: Confirmed: Groundbreaking ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Star Passes Away in Tragedy

In a dimly lit, rustic stone room, a bearded man in a wizard hat and robe stands next to a seated elderly woman. Various items, plants, and candles adorn the room, contributing to a medieval, magical atmosphere. Sunlight streams in through small windows.
Credit: Prime Video

According to a new feature in Vanity Fair, The Rings of Power season 2 will bring Tom Bombadil, a character who only briefly appears in The Fellowship of the Rings but has had an outsize impact in the minds of Tolkien fans ever since.

In the first novel of the trilogy, Bombadil (often referred to as simply “Old Tom”) rescues Frodo Baggins and his companions from a malevolent tree spirit named Old Man Willow and, later, from a barrow-wight. Alone among all beings in Middle-Earth, the One Ring appears to have no power over him, and his origins and nature were left ambiguous by the author himself.

A person with a large, bushy beard and long hair stands inside a stone-walled room. They are wearing a large, pointed wizard's hat and a robe. The room has a rustic, medieval appearance with wooden beams and various old items scattered in the background.
Credit: Prime Video

The Rings of Power showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay say:

Payne: “There’s a reason why he hasn’t been in prior adaptations, because in some ways he’s sort of an anti-dramatic character. 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.”

McKay: “Knowledge that’s not particularly relevant to anything that they’re doing or about to do.”

British actor Rory Kinnear will portray Tom Bombadil, who, judging by the first images of the character in season 2, has more than a few similarities to the wizards who will become known in the next Age of Middle-Earth. J. D. Payne went on to say:

“In our story, he has gone out to the lands of Rhûn, which we learn used to be sort of Edenic and green and beautiful, but now is sort of a dead wasteland. Tom has gone out there to see what’s happened as he goes on his various wanderings.”

Related: Viggo Mortensen Almost Died While Filming ‘The Lord of the Rings

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Credit: Prime Video

It appears that Tom Bombadil will cross paths with the Stranger (Daniel Weyman), a mysterious, nearly mute figure who arrived in season 1 and may or may not be one of the wizards of the Third Age. According to the showrunners:

“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. 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%.”

Tom Bombadil has not appeared in the live-action Lord of the Rings or Hobbit films, which Peter Jackson explained was largely due to his lack of narrative impact on the story as a whole. But Old Tom’s mysterious nature and lack of engagement with Middle-Earth at large has always been one of the most compelling things about the character, so it’s far past time we got to see some version of him.

Do you think that Tom Bombadil will work as a character in The Rings of Power season 2? Tell us why in the comments below!

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