Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Rings Of Power Is Rumored To Have Cast Tom Bombadil For Season 2 (& Why That's Exciting For Tolkien Fans)

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is chock full of main characters, and the first season alone has a smorgasbord of leading roles. The Elves are led by important people like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), Elrond (Robert Aramayo), and Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker). Out on the island nation of Númenor, viewers meet the Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai Robinson), the yet-to-be-revealed villain Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle), and the future hero Elendil (Lloyd Owen) and his son Isildur (Maxim Baldry).

The Southlands are also populated with important individuals, including Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), and Adar (Joseph Mawle) — who has been recast for Season 2. Speaking of Season 2, the production crew has already made two separate announcements adding no less than 14 more recurring cast members along with the recast Orc leader. Oh, and we haven't even touched on the myriad of familiar faces in Khazad-dûm, the Harfoot community, Elvish Eregion, and elsewhere. The eastern region of Rhûn is supposed to factor into the show going forward, too, adding yet another dimension to the already exceedingly complex soup of characters and stories.

Suffice it to say, "Rings of Power" is overloaded with characters. And yet, the show just might be adding another familiar face — one that's larger than life itself — through the potential addition of a one-of-a-kind J.R.R. Tolkien character who was cut from Peter Jackson's trilogy and has remained an off-screen enigma ever since. We're talking about Tom Bombadil, folks. The Tom Bombadil. A new rumor has it that he just might be involved in Season 2 of the five-part series.

Tom Bombadil might dance his way into the Second Age story

To be clear from the get-go, the following is still very much so a rumor. Nevertheless, evidence has surfaced from the deepest corners of Tolkien fandom that Tom Bombadil just might be cast in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." The venerable fansite TheOneRing.net (TORn) has reported that a wild Tom Bombadil may appear in Season 2 of the show. While the fansite clarifies that this is still technically an unverified rumor, the report at the time of this writing is that an actor on set is being called "Tom," and the TORn source for the leak says, "It's 100 per cent Tom Bombadil."

One of the site's Discord moderators, DrNosy, added her own two cents, claiming she had heard from a source close to the production that the code name for the Tom Bombadil character is "Errol Pram." The first season was steeped in code names for characters and locations, so this wouldn't be anything new.

Taken together, the two rumors seem to indicate that there is a good chance we could end up seeing Bombadil in the show. The question is, why cast Bombadil now in a Second Age story thousands of years before Tolkien wrote about him and at a time when we know next to nothing about the character? (He's described as ancient, but his actual history is remarkably underdeveloped, especially for a famously detailed writer like Tolkien.)

Before explaining the potential upside that a Bombadil inclusion would bring to the story, let's consider just how challenging the task is to adapt him in the first place.

The challenge of writing Bombadil into the Rings of Power show

Tom Bombadil is a fan-favorite character from Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The ancient spiritual conundrum is cryptic, hilarious, and utterly disinterested in the larger LOTR narrative. The One Ring doesn't affect him, and he's so care-free that Gandalf warns against giving him the precious bauble for safekeeping because, in the Wizard's own words in "The Fellowship of the Ring" book, "If he were given the Ring, he would soon forget it, or most likely throw it away. Such things have no hold on his mind."

Despite his doubtful status as a potential ringbearer, Bombadil is a major factor early on in the written story, and he saves Frodo from a pair of unhappy misadventures with an angry tree and a Barrow Wight (i.e., a ghoul) before fading into anonymity. Gandalf visits him in the last pages of "The Return of the King," but even then, we don't actually see him again.

Peter Jackson cut Bombadil from his adaptation out of necessity, even though he did include a little wink-nod scene for the fellow in "The Two Towers" film. Tolkien himself talks in his letters about how Bombadil is an intentional enigma. And the truth is, Bombadil's entire persona is a bit absurd and not easy to adapt to a visual medium. On top of that, his role in "The Fellowship," while amazingly fun to read, is all too easy to cut when looking for ways to shorten the story. So what is the advantage of including Bombadil in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" show, then? There are actually a few different factors that could positively impact the decision.

Why Tolkien fans can be cautiously optimistic about a potential Bombadil appearance

It's no secret that "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has very few original characters that it can include in its Second Age world. The show has filled the gap with a lot of new characters for Season 1 (and spent a heck of a lot of time following them), but it would be nice to see more Tolkien originals in the mix.

In addition, the show is working with limited source material. According to showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne, "Rings of Power" is only allowed to work with the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" books. This leaves a lot of Tolkien's other Second Age content off-limits. It naturally makes a Third Age character from LOTR who technically exists in the Second Age, too (even if we don't know anything about that point in his life), an attractive option to make more connections with the original trilogy we all know and love.

There's also the humor factor. Tom Bombadil dresses in bright colors, dances everywhere, and sings all the time — nonsense stuff, like "Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!" The inclusion of such a ridiculous character could go a long way in lightening the mood in a Second Age story that has, thus far, been weighty, moody, and all-around serious at best.

Still, there's a big difference between a fun casting rumor and a bonafide, confirmed, and above all, well-executed character adaptation. If "Rings of Power" is indeed casting Tom Bombadil for Season 2, they have their work cut out for them. Hopefully, they keep the character's time on screen short and sweet, just like Tolkien does in the books. After all, with this guy, a little goes a long way.