Amazon’s Lord of the Rings could feature a surprisingly controversial character

It’s time for Tolkien’s most enigmatic character to get the live-action treatment.

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Amazon’s Lord of the Rings has the potential to give fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work things that they didn’t get from Peter Jackson’s live-action Hobbit or Rings films. The series’ setting in the Second Age of Middle-earth means it’ll bring to life events and characters that no other Tolkien adaptation has up to this point, and that alone makes it a worthy project.

It could also put a certain prominent and fan-favorite Lord of the Rings character on-screen for the first time — one who continues to spark intense and interesting debates amongst Tolkien fans.

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

New Line Cinema

The Theory — Lord of the Rings fans have begun to speculate that the upcoming Amazon series could very well feature a brief appearance from none other than Tom Bombadil. The character, who makes a small but extremely memorable appearance early on in the Fellowship of the Ring novel, was not included in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film and, therefore, has yet to be portrayed in live-action form.

Unlike some other characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Tom was very much alive during the Second Age of Middle-earth as well, which means that him showing up in the Amazon series isn’t out of the question.

Merry, Frodo, Pippin, and Sam in Lord of the Rings.

New Line Cinema

Tom Bombadil in the Second Age — In Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin cross paths with Bombadil on their journey out of the Shire. He rescues them from an evil tree, lets them stay with him and his wife Goldberry for several days, and eventually saves their lives a second time. He’s then referenced a few times throughout the rest of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with Elrond not only admitting at one point that he’s aware of Bombadil but also stating that he’s met him.

It’s never revealed what race Bombadil is or what his origins are, and Tolkien intentionally left those questions unanswered. He’s a clearly powerful being, capable of commanding all the creatures and beings within his land without much effort. During Frodo’s stay at his house, he even went so far as to put on the One Ring but was not only unaffected by the Ring (he wasn’t corrupted or turned invisible), he was also able to see Frodo when the Hobbit put it on.

Lord of the Rings fans have spent decades theorizing about who Bombadil is, but there’s no way to know for sure because Tolkien designed it that way. All fans really know is that he’s a seemingly cheery, benevolent, and powerful being who also isn’t all that concerned with what goes on outside of his realm.

However, he’s said to have existed for thousands of years, and he’s definitely alive during the Second Age. That means he could quite easily appear as an ally to a hero in need at some point in the upcoming Amazon series.

New Line Cinema

The Inverse Analysis — There’s no telling if Tom Bombadil will actually appear in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series. If he does, the very decision to include him will likely be a divisive one amongst Tolkien fans, and the series’ writers will have to tread carefully when it comes to writing anything new for the character.

If done well, though, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings could very well give fans the kind of live-action Bombadil scene that previous Tolkien adaptations haven’t — and that’s an exciting prospect.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series has yet to announce an official release date.

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