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Who Is Tom Bombadil? The Rings Of Power's Major New LOTR Character Explained

Summary

  • Tom Bombadil, an ancient and powerful character in The Lord of the Rings universe, will appear in The Rings of Power season 2.
  • Bombadil’s age and spiritual strength make him immune to the One Ring’s power, making him a captivating and mysterious figure.
  • Despite his remarkable abilities, Bombadil remains indifferent to the conflicts of Middle-earth, focusing on nature and his own lands.



The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 will include Tom Bombadil, a major character from Tolkien’s universe whose origins, purpose, and goals are elements of mystery. Since 2022 and the ending of The Rings of Power season 1, many have been eagerly anticipating news about the continuation of Amazon Prime’s Middle-earth series. In May 2024, these anticipations were answered by the first trailer for The Rings of Power season 2.

The trailer teased much of what to expect from the show, from the return of The Rings of Power‘s many cast members to the continued exploits of Charlie Vickers’ Sauron, now in his new elf-like form. With the release of the trailer, several other tidbits of news, updates, and behind-the-scenes looks were revealed concerning The Rings of Power season 2. That said, possibly the most exciting update yet comes with the revelation that a major Lord of the Rings character, Tom Bombadil, will appear in The Rings of Power season 2’s epic story.



Tom Bombadil Is One Of The Oldest & Most Powerful Characters In The Lord Of The Rings

Tom Bombadil’s Power Was Teased In The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

Concerning who Tom Bombadil is, the answer is – ironically – fairly vague despite his overwhelming popularity. Tom Bombadil is one of the most mysterious characters in the entire Lord of the Rings universe, which was only furthered by his absence from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies. That said, The Rings of Power will finally give Tom Bombadil an adventure in Middle-earth, where he will likely reveal himself as one of the oldest characters in the entire franchise.


In The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien’s first Lord of the Rings novel, Bombadil reveals himself to be older than almost everything in Middle-earth. He describes himself as “eldest,” telling the likes of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin that he remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. Bombadil goes one step further and states he remembers Middle-earth before Morgoth emerged, hinting he is even older than the Valar, the divine, immortal spirits that emerged well before the First Age.

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This incredible age that Bombadil claims to have also comes with his fair share of power. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bombadil’s control over the Old Forest is unrivaled. He saves the four Hobbits from Old Man Willow and, later, Barrow-wights with utter ease, proving his spiritual strength. Perhaps the biggest indicator of Tom Bombadil’s power, however, is that the One Ring does not affect him. Bombadil can wear the Ring without turning invisible, and even see Frodo when the latter dons the evil piece of jewelry.

The Ring’s persuasive effects have no power over Bombadil, making him more spiritually powerful than beings like Gandalf and Galadriel.

Tom Bombadil Doesn’t Get Involved In Middle-earth’s Events

Bombadil Is His Own Master, With Little Care About Middle-earth’s Politics

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Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury


Although Bombadil shows remarkable mastery over the One Ring, the being frustratingly cares little about the squabbles of Middle-earth. The defining characteristic of his character in Tolkien’s books is simple carelessness. While Bombadil cares a lot for his own lands, the lives of his wife, and even other beings like the Hobbits, he has never been inclined to involve himself in the countless wars that have been waged across Middle-earth. This is not to say that Bombadil is careless to the point of evil, as he will help those in need.

Inside the borders of his land, Tom Bombadil lives a mostly unassuming life, simply existing and caring for the surrounding nature.


Aside from these brief acts of help, though, Bombadil mostly keeps himself to himself. He confines himself to the borders of the Old Forest, as least in the Third Age of Middle-earth during the War of the Ring. Inside the borders of his land, Tom Bombadil lives a mostly unassuming life, simply existing and caring for the surrounding nature.

What Else The Lord Of The Rings Reveals About Tom Bombadil

Tom Bombadil’s Other Major Reveals Could Tie To Rings Of Power Season 2

Rings of power tom bombadil

Aside from his lack of care for Middle-earth’s politics, his age, and his immense spiritual power, Tom Bombadil is somewhat of a mystery in the world of The Lord of the Rings. One thing that has been revealed about Bombadil is that, upon entering Middle-earth, he spent a long time wandering the world. Bombadil settled in the Old Forest in the Third Age of Middle-earth, but in the First and Second Ages of The Lord of the Rings‘ timeline, Bombadil was known as a pilgrim, wandering the various realms, countries, and facets of the vast universe.


This ties into his appearance in The Rings of Power season 2. As highlighted in a Vanity Fair article accompanying Bombadil’s announcement for the show, it was confirmed that the character will appear in Rhûn and aid the Stranger and Nori in their eastern quest. Despite Bombadil dwelling in the West of Middle-earth, The Rings of Power season 2 takes place in the Second Age when he was still roaming the kingdoms.

Tom Bombadil will be played by Rory Kinnear in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2.


Another thing that has been revealed about Tom Bombadil’s character is his love of nature, which also informs his role in The Rings of Power season 2. Bombadil’s immense care for nature is his primary driving force in the Lord of the Rings universe, something Tolkien even once stated could push him to oppose Sauron, as “Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron.” (via the aforementioned Vanity Fair article) In The Rings of Power season 2, Bombadil travels to Rhûn to discover why that part of the world is dying, while the rest is filled with nature and beauty.

Tom Bombadil Is Still One Of Tolkien’s Biggest LOTR Mysteries

The Lord Of The Rings’ Acclaimed Writer Did Not Wish To Explain Tom Bombadil

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What makes Tom Bombadil so overwhelmingly intriguing, despite his mysterious origins, is J.R.R. Tolkien’s lack of desire to explain much at all about the character. Not only is the character a mystery to readers of the books and watchers of The Lord of the Rings TV shows and movies, but he also was to Tolkien himself. As revealed in the Vanity Fair article about Bombadil’s appearance in The Rings of Power, Tolkien included Bombadil as the personification of something he felt was important, though he hesitated to delve even further into this feeling.

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Considering that the battle between nature and industrialism has long been a running theme of Tolkien’s works, it is no surprise that Bombadil personifies the former. Beyond this, though, Tolkien never divulged exactly what Bombadil was, or his purpose in the story. In fact, Tolkien admitted that Bombadil has no purpose at all in The Lord of the Rings, he simply exists. This has rendered the character one of the biggest mysteries in the franchise, explaining his lack of mainstream appearances before The Rings of Power season 2.

Where Tom Bombadil Lives In Middle-earth

Tom Bombadil Has One Particular Home In The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

Frodo reading under a tree in the Shire from The Lord of The Rings

Finally, Tom Bombadil’s home in The Lord of the Rings is one of the last concrete details revealed about his character. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bombadil can be found living in a place called the Old Forest. This is located in the western parts of Middle-earth, between the Shire and Bree. Bombadil rarely leaves this forest, at least in the Third Age of Middle-earth, and it is where he first encounters Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam early in the story.


Interestingly, The Rings of Power season 2 will add a second home to Bombadil’s Middle-earth history. Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay explained that Bombadil has a home in Rhûn, where he will be located in the show. It is unclear whether his home in the Old Forest has been established yet, though it is unlikely given Bombadil was still regarded as a traveler in the Second Age. Aside from The Rings of Power‘s additions to Tolkien’s works, Bombadil’s primary home rests in the Old Forest where the being lives contently among nature.

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