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Tom Bombadil

Does Tom Bombadil’s presence in The Rings of Power make sense?

Yesterday Amazon officially announced, via the well-known Vanity Fair magazine, the presence of Tom Bombadil in ‘The Rings of Power’, which will see the debut of its second season at the end of August. This news had already been anticipated by some leaks, but many thought it might be false, since this character, in addition to not being mentioned in the chronicles of the Second Age, is really complicated to bring on screen. Peter Jackson himself, who was supposed to include him in his LOTR Trilogy, has admitted in several occasions that he was afraid of transposing the character into a film version, but JD Payne and Patrick McKay took the risk in the conviction that Bombadil presence could not only be coherent, but will also give the show an added value.



Who is Tom Bombadil and what is his role in Middle Earth

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.” – In the House of Tom Bombadil – Lord of The Rings: The Fellowhsip of the Ring

This character has always been one of the most mysterious in the entire Tolkienian mythology, so much so that Tolkien himself has never precisely identified his race. He is often described as a magical and ancient creature, so old that many characters (including himself) call him ‘the oldest’, or ‘the first’. Further corroborating this thesis is his Sindarin name Iarwain Ben-adar, who means “Oldest and fatherless”. In the books, Tom Bombadil only appears directly in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’, when he saves the hobbits during their crossing of the Old Forest, where this character lives with his partner Goldberry. He is also mentioned in several other texts, but always through the words of other characters and therefore does not influence the events of Middle-earth in any way.

He is described as a pot-bellied, cheerful man who spends his days exploring the Old Forest singing. He is completely disinterested in the events of Middle-earth, and the One Ring has no effect on him, which is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating details of the character. Finally, it is important to remember that his voice seems to have the power to drive away evil spirits and evil intentions from nature itself, and it is thanks to this power that the Hobbits were able to arrive in Bree safe and sound.



Does his presence make sense in the show?

During the events of The Lord of the Rings, Elrond tells of Tom Bombadil’s travels among ‘woods and hills’, suggesting that the character travelled far before settling in the Old Forest. His presence near Rhun could be justified by this fact, but it is undeniable that the choice to bring him into play in this series may be a risky one.
We know from the books that Gandalf knows Bombadil, and this could be a link to the relationship that Tom himself and the Stranger will develop in the second season (obviously if the Stranger is Gandalf). Another important thing to note is the fact that the oldest creature in the world is a great connoisseur of Middle-earth, its history and secrets, which is why he could be an ideal guide for an Istar.

His presence within the series is bound to make many people debate, as well as almost all the other choices made by JD Payne and Patrick McKay, but we hope that the character will be well embedded within the plots of the show. Rory Kinnear is a terrific actor and his appearance as Tom Bombadil, although he has less of a gut than in the books, seems convincing. We just have to wait for the release of this second season, which promises to be dense and full of important new characters and storylines.

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Francesco - Role: Chief Editor Hi i'm Francesco, and i'm a proud member of FoF team since last year. My passion for Tolkien books started since i was 9, when my elder cousin gives me a DVD of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It was love at first sight, and then i read the books, and i fallen in love with Middle Earth much more. That tales of elves, dwarves, hobbits, human and orcs became, throug the years, a lifestyle to me, and have changed deep my life. To be part of this team is such an honor for me, and, as a journalist, im very proud to write about Tolkien for our fans and followers.

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