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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: TV Discussion: The Rings of Power:
Tom Bombadil Finally Steps Forth in The Rings of Power
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NecromancerRising
Gondor


May 29, 1:08pm

Post #1 of 43 (1353 views)
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Tom Bombadil Finally Steps Forth in The Rings of Power Can't Post

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/story/tom-bombadil-the-rings-of-power-first-look

Cool

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 29, 1:31pm

Post #2 of 43 (1262 views)
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Bombadil in Rings of Power (SPOILERS) [In reply to] Can't Post

Since the article is behind a paywall, here is a key excerpt:


Quote
Tolkien described Bombadil as “a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war.” But also, he believed the character would tip the scale of fate in favor of the hobbits and their fellowship as they stood against the forces of evil rising in the eastern portion of Middle-earth. “Ultimately only the victory of the West will allow Bombadil to continue, or even to survive. Nothing would be left for him in the world of Sauron,” Tolkien wrote.

This was the key for The Rings of Power showrunners. “We started thinking, What does he care about? And how can that be a doorway to drama?” Payne says. “We know he cares about the natural world. And we know he is a helper. He’s not going to push you, but he will help you. And so, traditionally, he lives in this place called the Withywindle, which is this sort of almost enchanted forest.”

For the series, Payne and McKay took the liberty of giving Bombadil a second home, on the outskirts of a region called Rhûn. “In our story, he has gone out to the lands of Rhûn, which we learn used to be sort of Edenic and green and beautiful, but now is sort of a dead wasteland,” Payne says. “Tom has gone out there to see what’s happened as he goes on his various wanderings.”

That’s the same place where the second season of The Rings of Power finds the halflings Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and Poppy (Megan Richards) as they escort the amnesiac wizard known as the Stranger (Daniel Weyman) toward discovering his purpose. At the end of the first season, the Stranger gave off some major Gandalf signifiers, using terminology that is particular to the wise old sorcerer played by Ian McKellen in the Jackson films.

Expect Tom Bombadil to offer the Stranger some rare compassion in this otherwise merciless place. As Payne explains: “When he finally crosses paths with the Stranger, you could say he has a desire to try to keep the destruction that has happened there from spreading to his beloved lands in the West. He nudges the Stranger along his journey, which he knows will eventually protect the larger natural world that he cares about. So I’d say our Tom Bombadil is slightly more interventionist than you see in the books, but only by 5% or 10%.”

Tom Bombadil is played on The Rings of Power by Rory Kinnear—perhaps best known as M’s chief of staff in the last four James Bond movies, Frankenstein’s creature in Penny Dreadful, and the British prime minister who commits an unspeakable act for a noble cause in the very first episode of Black Mirror. Most actors who take on a well-known genre character claim to be experts in that character. Kinnear, in his first interview about playing Bombadil, admits that he…did not.

This also seems to confirm that Nori's friend Poppy joins her and the Stranger in their journey to Rhûn, something I had expected to happen since the end of Season 1. How do we feel about Bombadil in Rhûn?

“Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved.” - Tony Isabella


TFP
Lorien


May 29, 1:41pm

Post #3 of 43 (1249 views)
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... [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose the decision makes a lot of sense in purely practical terms - Amazon has the rights to the LoTR/Hobbit books, and Bombadil is a [somewhat] familiar, well-liked, LoTR character who LoTR Elrond and Gandalf both make it clear that they've met met in the distant past and who would definitely be alive/in ME during the second age.

Assuming that the series makes it that far, Treebeard seems almost certain to pop up further down the line, for similar reasons.

Will they be able to do a good job of it? Well, who knows. I suppose my expectations of the series have probably declined to the point where I'm looking out for good bits rather than something that's overall good, or even more good than bad. It's very possible. e.g. the Hobbit movies were dismal, far worse than TRoP given the quality of the source material they had to work with, but they did a few bits well, including knocking it out of the park with the 'riddles in the dark' scene.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

May 29, 1:58pm

Post #4 of 43 (1238 views)
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To my surprise [In reply to] Can't Post

I find myself cautiously looking forward to it.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


OldestDaughter
Rohan


May 29, 2:08pm

Post #5 of 43 (1230 views)
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If they would bring in Treebeard, I would hope [In reply to] Can't Post

that he would look the same as he did in PJ's films. I know its different creators and not a direct continuation for the films, but the Balrog that appeared in season 1 looked identical to how it looked in the FOTR and TTT.

That being said, I'm really excited about Tom Bombadil showing up finally after not being in any of the films. I'm hopeful we will see Goldberry too, but who knows.




"Keen, heart-piercing was her song as the song of the lark that rises from the gates of night and pours its voice among the dying stars, seeing the sun behind the walls of the world; and the song of Lúthien released the bonds of winter, and the frozen waters spoke, and flowers sprang from the cold earth where her feet had passed."


TFP
Lorien


May 29, 2:19pm

Post #6 of 43 (1221 views)
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Treebeard vs Bombadil [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
that he would look the same as he did in PJ's films. I know its different creators and not a direct continuation for the films, but the Balrog that appeared in season 1 looked identical to how it looked in the FOTR and TTT.

That being said, I'm really excited about Tom Bombadil showing up finally after not being in any of the films. I'm hopeful we will see Goldberry too, but who knows.


i suppose the one thing about Treebeard is that to do him well, as a CGI creation, is still relatively expensive, even in 2024.

not so Bombadil, who is ultimately a fella in a blue jacket [tho he's shown here wearing other garb].


AshNazg
Grey Havens


May 29, 2:25pm

Post #7 of 43 (1223 views)
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Rhûn makes sense... [In reply to] Can't Post

Perfectly reasonable period for Tom to move his interest from Rhûn to exploring the west and eventually settle by the Old Forest. Maybe we will see him join the road trip and help the harfoots establish their home in The Shire? I'd personally prefer to see as little of him as possible to preserve that mystique, but I could also see him becoming one of the major characters in that storyline.

He looks a little wizardish doesn't he? I wonder if Gandalf is copying his style - perhaps a mentor/apprentice relationship. And I wonder if that's where Gandalf gets his hat?

I am a little disappointed by his look though. I'd have preferred brighter colours and generally less serious looking. He doesn't look a jolly fellow to me. But perhaps that attitude comes after he's found a wife and settled down.

Worth noting - he wasn't named Tom Bombadil until the Third Age. Do you think we'll see one of the Harfoots give him that nickname?


Eruonen
Half-elven


May 29, 2:40pm

Post #8 of 43 (1212 views)
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Maybe the ill effects of Sauron upon nature have changed his mood. [In reply to] Can't Post

After Sauron is defeated and he has migrated to the Old Forest area his mood is probably much more like we read in the books. He will later find Goldberry and will be very happy.


TFP
Lorien


May 29, 2:45pm

Post #9 of 43 (1205 views)
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Adar? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...
Worth noting - he wasn't named Tom Bombadil until the Third Age...


maybe. the older name that Elrond uses for him in LoTR semi-inconveniently semi-clashes with one that they've already used.

'Iarwain Ben-adar' means (ish) 'old[kinda] and without a father'.


TFP
Lorien


May 29, 2:58pm

Post #10 of 43 (1192 views)
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"wizardish" appearance [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...He looks a little wizardish doesn't he?...


I suppose in the back of my mind somewhere I at the time had a vague thought that the beefed-up Jackson version of Radagast owed a little something somewhere to Bombadil, above and beyond the mild similarity implied by what little you see of Radagast in the original text.


(This post was edited by TFP on May 29, 2:59pm)


Junesong
Rohan


May 29, 2:59pm

Post #11 of 43 (1191 views)
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Confirmed suspicion [In reply to] Can't Post

This confirms a (non Bombadil or Gandalf) suspicion that I've had for a while.

Poppy is going to follow Nori and the Stranger. ("Don't you leave her Poppy! I don't mean to...!")

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Lissuin
Valinor


May 30, 12:33am

Post #12 of 43 (1057 views)
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Tom will be a welcome relief during the coming darkness. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Tolkien offered a few clues in the 1954 letter to his proofreader, explaining why Bombadil chooses to break his neutrality and help the hobbits. “The story is cast in terms of a good side, and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship, moderated freedom with consent against compulsion that has long lost any object save mere power,” Tolkien wrote. To someone like Bombadil, he said, “the question of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless.”


Tom has always been for me the delightful opposite to an entity bent on absolute, crushing power - a reminder that life should be an inspiring adventure and a gift, with a generous sprinkling of "la-dee-da's" thrown in. Harfoots Nori and Poppy are just the sort of folk who will be able to appreciate that message. They can be our surrogates spending time with him. An intense tale like ROP needs the contrast of Tom's brand of deep wisdom delivered with lightness and compassion as a reminder to hope so sorely needed during dark time.
I have hope that these writers will give us that.


Archestratie
Rohan


May 30, 3:21pm

Post #13 of 43 (928 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

At least he doesn't look like he has a bird's nest in his hair. As long as they do him better than Peter did Radagast, I'll at least be interested enough to watch it.

My Low-Magic Fantasy Novel on eBook/hardback: The Huntsman and the She-Wolf

The Huntsman and the She-Wolf on audio Book.


DwellerInDale
Rohan


May 30, 4:52pm

Post #14 of 43 (907 views)
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Perhaps; perhaps not [In reply to] Can't Post

I note that in the article, neither Payne nor McKay mention Poppy or Nori. This might be one of those small mistakes that feature writers are prone to (i.e., assuming that Nori and Poppy are always a team). Although Poppy clearly worries about Nori, it would seem out of character for her to immediately break her promise to look after the other Harfoots and chase after Nori and the Stranger.


In Reply To
Poppy is going to follow Nori and the Stranger. ("Don't you leave her Poppy! I don't mean to...!")


Don't mess with my favorite female elves.









Michelle Johnston
Rohan


May 30, 7:01pm

Post #15 of 43 (885 views)
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Brown Lands and Entwives [In reply to] Can't Post

The story of the Stranger has so far been cellular and when he began heading away from the centre of the drama it became clear the Strangers arc would continue and develop into a sub plot, involving Rhun, in Season 2.

Khamul, a ring bearer, is likely to be part of the Strangers Arc but to place Tom in the East "in a desert wasteland" echoing the adjacent brown lands which are connected to Saurons scorched earth policy late in the second age then provides an opportunity to tell the Entwives Story and of course Treeboard knows Tom. Somehow placing the emphasis on the fallen Edenic quality of the East and the use of Tom feels much closer to the themes surrounding Radagast (his affinity with nature) rather than the more geo political Gandalf.

Something I liked about Season 1 was how they took Galadriels comments in Lorien about the rejection of Sauron and gave it a back story. Now they have made a link between Tom and the Stranger it will be fun to look for any small indications as to whether they have done the same with Tom and whoever the Stranger is and the Entwives (we saw Ents when the Stranger arrived).

Unlike the false floor they gave to get the story going in Season 1 this news feels excuse the pun more organic. But then every we have heard and seen in the trailer seems less forced and more connected to the very interesting story outlines that Tolkien gave to this period. Annatar the false angel etc.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.

(This post was edited by Michelle Johnston on May 30, 7:05pm)


DGHCaretaker
Rohan

May 30, 9:44pm

Post #16 of 43 (860 views)
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Radaghastly [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
At least he doesn't look like he has a bird's nest in his hair.


You forgot the bird droppings. Thanks so much for the reminder and imagery. ;)


Wainrider
Rivendell

May 31, 12:56am

Post #17 of 43 (840 views)
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Bombadil [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think they picked the right actor, though he's talented. Bombadil should be older and rounder and jolly, like Dom Deluise.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 31, 2:19am

Post #18 of 43 (827 views)
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Bless(ed) You! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I don't think they picked the right actor, though he's talented. Bombadil should be older and rounder and jolly, like Dom Deluise.



Maybe not an actor who's been dead for 15 years. There's been a lot of support from the fandom for Brian Blessed as Tom Bombadil.

“Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved.” - Tony Isabella


DGHCaretaker
Rohan

May 31, 5:35am

Post #19 of 43 (808 views)
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Jolly [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I don't think they picked the right actor, though he's talented. Bombadil should be older and rounder and jolly, like Dom Deluise.


I think of him built more like a smaller Paul Bunyan than Santa Claus.

I was interested in someone more grounded than skipping through the woods singing songs. As into faithful adaptations as I am, I know Tom Bombadil from the books simply would not work for me at all in a movie or TV series. Maybe a children's cartoon. I was interested in someone who could have a sincere conversation but with a detached, aloof amusement in his eyes and voice, imbued with the deep wisdom of infinite age. Someone who seemed completely independent from the fate of Middle Earth, and might call Eru his diminutive silly brother, but would look at Eru's water colors and other little projects from time to time with some gentle fondness to humor Eru about his efforts.

I looked at the article that published the pictures and thought nothing really of it until I saw the first complaints today about dissatisfied fans, and it clicked. What could they possibly have at this point that isn't a rush to judgement? Well, pictures. It was right there and I didn't see it, but I can understand it now. Tom's not smiling. Tom can be deeply sincere, and everything I wrote above could be there if he were just ... amused. Smiling that kind of smile you have for enjoying your child's nice new water color. Not jolly like Santa Claus. Just a wise, knowing slight smile.

This quote made sense:

Quote
[A fan] "expressed disappointment over Bombadil’s serious expression, which starkly contrasts with the character’s jolly demeanor from the books."


It was right there on the page and I didn't see it, but now I can't unsee it. It was a poor choice for first impressions.


(This post was edited by DGHCaretaker on May 31, 5:42am)


AshNazg
Grey Havens


May 31, 8:48am

Post #20 of 43 (782 views)
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Thoughts on casting... [In reply to] Can't Post

It was rumoured they wanted Matt Berry, which was a fan favourite. But he was busy.

I think they went with Rory Kinnear for a few reasons: two main ones being HIS EYES. Bombadil is described having kind, sparkling, rich blue eyes. And Kinnear's eyes are intensely blue in person. It's almost hypnotic.

Another reason is his character acting. I recommend the movie Men for this. He plays multiple quirky characters in that film and is a bit of a chameleon. It showcases his more eccentric side well.

I've heard that his Cornish accent on set was not great, apparently it's inconsistent and he slips into sounding Welsh at times. However, he could be planning to ADR the voice later and it's worth noting I myself am Cornish and have an accent, so the person telling me this is very familiar with how it should sound and may have just been defending my accent - the average viewer probably wouldn't notice if it was off.


(This post was edited by AshNazg on May 31, 8:49am)


Eruonen
Half-elven


May 31, 2:54pm

Post #21 of 43 (740 views)
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Good look at the Cornish accent for actors [In reply to] Can't Post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcMJWZBzYjU


AshNazg
Grey Havens


May 31, 3:59pm

Post #22 of 43 (723 views)
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That's what we call mummerset... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Wurzels (Combine Harvester) are from Somerset (not Cornwall) and the "Cornish" pirate voice you hear in movies originated from Robert Newton, who was from Dorset and greatly exaggerated the Dorset/Devon accent.

Mummerset (fake Somerset) is the accent a lot of actors use to sound 'Cornish' but it's very OTT and cartoonish. There's a series called Doc Martin that was filmed here, where some of the cast are more convincing. The people at the end of that video are proper Cornish.

I think to sound Cornish is more than just an accent, but the rhythm and way we speak as well as certain words and phrases we use. I don't know if we'll hear Tom Bombadil use any words like "Stank" or "D'reckly". But it would be interesting... It's hard to sound authentically Cornish without it.

"Awright me 'ansome? Wasson, Gandalf? We gotta make that ol' stank down to Mordor d'reckly and do proper job, me old bird! Giss-on 'en." **eats a pasty**


(This post was edited by AshNazg on May 31, 4:01pm)


Eruonen
Half-elven


May 31, 7:18pm

Post #23 of 43 (697 views)
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I can hear there is a delicate balance between Cornish as well as West Country [In reply to] Can't Post

and sounding over the top Pirate - 17th century.

When people do a generic US southern accent it fools some who don't know the reginal accents and it ends up a mish mash.


AshNazg
Grey Havens


May 31, 9:29pm

Post #24 of 43 (678 views)
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Tolkien loved Cornwall a lot... [In reply to] Can't Post

So the accent will be very fitting if it's done right.

The ancient Greeks/Romans called Cornwall Belerion - Which has been found in Tolkien's notes as an early name for Beleriand. Tolkien was fascinated by Cornwall's Anglo-Saxon history as well as its dramatic coastal scenery.

In 1914 Tolkien visited The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, and produced a number of paintings of the rocks and cliffs in the area (I've of course visited them all). He wrote beautiful letters to Edith describing his stay, and was even motivated to write a poem inspired by Cornwall - The Horns of Ylmir.

During a stay in 1932, Tolkien and his family met a man with a heavy Cornish accent that they found delightful. The family affectionately nicknamed the man 'Gaffer Gamgee' (Gamgee being a word for cotton-wool). It was around this time that Tolkien wrote Mr Bliss - Which included a character called Gaffer Gamgee, apparently inspired by their Cornish friend. Gaffer Gamgee of course made its way into The Lord of the Rings, so in some ways I regard Sam Gamgee as a fellow Cornishman, and have always read his dialogue in a Cornish accent, if you follow me. Smile

I could write a whole book on this subject - I didn't even touch on Cornwall having its own language and its own myths and folklore involving giants, changelings and Cornish Pixies - But this post is long enough so I'll end it there Laugh


(This post was edited by AshNazg on May 31, 9:37pm)


AshNazg
Grey Havens


Jun 1, 10:49am

Post #25 of 43 (618 views)
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Bombadil's voice in the trailer? [In reply to] Can't Post

The voice that says "Every soul in Middle-earth is in peril" sounds like it's attempting a Cornish accent. Not a very Bombadil line, but I think that is probably him.

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