Movie Reviews

I Can't Wait To Hear Rory Kinnear's Tom Bombadil Singing In The Rings Of Power

Summary

  • Tom Bombadil will finally appear in The Rings of Power season 2, showcasing his signature singing and whimsical nature.
  • Rory Kinnear will play Old Tom in the series, but the character must sing, or it wasn’t worth including him.
  • Bombadil’s singing adds a point of light to the dark tone of the show, providing a refreshing contrast to Sauron’s evil presence.



Tom Bombadil will officially be making an appearance in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2, and I can’t wait to finally hear him sing. This will be the first time the jovial, sing-song character will be brought to a live-action adaptation of Tolkien’s works since he was left out of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, Bombadil is frequently omitted for a good reason—he has little to do with the central plot, and his nature contradicts the darker tones of Sauron’s conflict. Still, I can’t help but be excited about this rare appearance.


Old Tom will be played by Rory Kinnear in The Rings of Power season 2, an actor best known for his work in Penny Dreadful, the recent James Bond movies, and the Black Mirror series. Kinnear also has an impressive career on the stage and proved his singing chops in the 2016 production of The Threepenny Opera. This makes me all the more excited for his role in The Rings of Power since it seems showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne prioritized finding an actor with a resonant singing voice when casting Tom Bombadil—and that’s precisely as it should be.

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Season 2- Release Date, Cast, Story, Trailer & Everything We Know

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 promises to continue the origin story of the powerful rings – and unleash Sauron at last.


Singing Is An Integral Part Of Tom Bombadil’s LOTR Character

Bombadil Sang Through Each Of His Scenes In The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of the Rings

Tom Bombadil from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings franchise
Custom Image by Alfredo Alvarado


Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books are full of his own lyrics, but the strangest of these were the ones sung by Tom Bombadil. The character was almost constantly singing, the words varying from lyrical gibberish to poetic interpretations of his thoughts. This is part of what I have always loved about Bombadil and is what has made him so memorable despite not serving an overt purpose to the plot. Aside from Andy Serkis’ narration of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring audiobook (which is phenomenal), I’ve only heard Bombadil’s songs in my head, but this won’t be true for much longer.


Showrunners McKay and Payne have already teased that Kinnear’s Tom Bombadil will sing in The Rings of Power season 2 (via Variety), and this is a significant relief. The Prime Video series has developed a reputation for making changes to canon, and while I am more tolerant of this than others, Bombadil is a dangerous character to mess with. The fact that he is present in Rings of Power at all is reason for concern since he will not be hidden away near his home in the valley of Withywindle. Instead, he will be somewhere new Rhûn. With such changes, a songless Bombadil would have been unacceptable.

Tom Bombadil Singing Risks Breaking The Rings Of Power’s Grounded Tone

It’s Tough To Blend Old Tom’s Nature With Sauron’s Growing Evil

The primary reason I was afraid that Kinnear’s Tom Bombadil wouldn’t be singing in The Rings of Power season 2 is that it doesn’t seem to fit with the tone of the prequel series. This is precisely why the character has been cut from past screen adaptations—a strange, pleasant character who sings nearly every word doesn’t mesh well with Frodo’s mad escape from the Ringwraiths. However, Payne has addressed this fact, noting that Bombadil’s singing will be used as a “point of light amidst an otherwise sea of darkness.


“You’ve got Sauron, who is not cloaked behind the guise of [the human refugee] Halbrand anymore. The audience knows he’s Sauron, so now we’re watching him maneuver as he’s manipulating [the burn-scar covered dark elf] Adar, who’s another big villain of the season.… Really, Tom is sort of a curiosity within that structure because while it is darker, Tom Bombadil is singing and saying lines that could be nursery rhymes from children’s poems. So he sort of defies the tonal shift of the rest of the season and is a real point of light amidst an otherwise sea of darkness.”


It also seems that Bombadil has been well placed in The Rings of Power season 2 since he will interact with The Stranger and the Harfoot Nori during their journey to Rhûn. While I have a problem with Old Tom leaving the Old Forest to take a look at the damage Sauron has done in Middle-earth (Bombadil is supposed to be wholly neutral), the lighthearted Nori is the best possible Rings of Power character for him to interact with. The Harfoots served as the “point of light” in season 1, so blending these features in season 2 makes some sense.

Tom Bombadil said in
The Lord of the Rings
that he has no power in the East thanks to Sauron’s influence. It’s likely that
Rings of Power
will use this opportunity to explain how the character came to know this.

If Tom Bombadil Didn’t Sing, There Was No Point Including Him

The Rings Of Power Can’t Include Tom Bombadil Just For The Sake Of It

Rory Kinnear as Tom Bombadil Stands Outside in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2


While I’m excited for an opportunity to see Tom Bombadil in a screen adaptation, it will only be worth it if Rings of Power has added him for the right reasons. Old Tom is older than Middle-earth itself, so he was certainly around during the Second Age. However, Legolas’ presence in Jackson’s The Hobbit movies proves that just because a character is technically around at a point in Middle-earth history isn’t a good enough reason to throw them into an adaptation. Bombadil must add value to The Rings of Power, and his singing is key to this.

Legolas’ presence in Jackson’s The Hobbit movies proves that just because a character is technically around at a point in Middle-earth history isn’t a good enough reason to throw them into an adaptation.


Singing just any old kooky song isn’t enough. I’m eager to hear Tolkien’s own lyrics featured in The Rings of Power season 2. Though the series’ writers will surely add their own verses (since Bombadil can’t sing about Old Man Willow in Rhûn), the legendary author’s art must be embedded within the character’s role. Otherwise, The Rings of Power season 2 would have been better off continuing the trend of leaving Tom Bombadil out entirely.

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