Tom Bombadil is finally making the leap from page to screen. The character, one of the most beloved in author J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, will be portrayed by Olivier Award-winning actor Rory Kinnear (James Bond films, The Imitation Game) in Season Two of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video. And fans can now get their first look at the character on screen.
An image of Rory Kinnear as Tom Bombadil in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Season Two
A timeless, mysterious, and jovial figure prone to cryptic expressions in singsong verse, Tom Bombadil plays a key role in many of the most important moments in the history of Middle-earth—the fantasy world in which Tolkien’s novels and stories, including The Lord of the Rings, take place. But generations of fans have noted the absence of Bombadil, as well as his trademark yellow boots and blue jacket, from any previous screen adaptation of Tolkien’s work. Kinnear, whose casting was previously announced with his role left unnamed, will be the first actor to portray Tom Bombadil on screen.
“There’s a reason why he hasn’t been in prior adaptations, because in some ways he’s sort of an anti-dramatic character,” executive producer and showrunner J.D. Payne told Vanity Fair, which debuted a first look at Kinnear as Bombadil. “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.” Fellow executive producer and showrunner Patrick McKay added, “Knowledge that’s not particularly relevant to anything that they’re doing or about to do.”
An image of Rory Kinnear as Tom Bombadil in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Season Two
Kinnear told Vanity Fair that when he was offered the part of Bombadil, he had not read any of Tolkien’s work. “I said, ‘I’ll go away and read it and get back to you,’” Kinnear said. “And I went downstairs to my partner, who did know the books, and does know the films, and I said, ‘I’ve been offered this part. Apparently it’s in the books. A guy called Tom Bombadil.’ She was like, ‘No way! You’re not playing Tom Bombadil!’ So I sort of knew instantly then that it had a cultural heft to it that I was going to have to be sensitive to.”
Prime Video previously revealed the teaser trailer for The Rings of Power Season Two, which will premiere on August 29. In it, the evil Sauron, played by Charlie Vickers, has taken on a new form as he continues his malevolent quest to dominate all life across Middle-earth.
An image of Rory Kinnear as Tom Bombadil in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Season Two
Additionally, Chris Smith, Tolkien publishing director at HarperCollins, revealed in Vanity Fair that Tolkien’s book The Adventures of Tom Bombadil will be rereleased in paperback by HarperCollins on August 20, just ahead of the Season Two premiere of The Rings of Power. “It’s my hope that with the introduction of Rory Kinnear’s portrayal of Tom Bombadil in The Rings of Power, that audiences strive to learn more about this character and his many adventures in Tolkien’s Middle-earth and the wisdom he imparts to all readers,” Smith said.
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