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Mariët Theune - The Brandywine ferry.jpg
General Information
Other namesBrandywine, Branda-nîn, Bralda-hîm
Descriptionlong, golden-brown river
RegionsArnor, Arthedain, the Shire
GalleryImages of Baranduin
"And no wonder they're queer, ... if they live on the wrong side of the Brandywine River, and right akin the Old Forest. That's a dark bad place, if half the tales be true."
Daddy Twofoot, A Long-expected Party

The Baranduin was a river in Eriador. To the Hobbits of the Shire, the Brandywine (as they called it) was the boundary between the known and unknown, and even those who lived in Buckland on the immediate opposite shore were considered "peculiar".



Flowing out of Lake Evendim in northern Eriador, the river flowed eastward for about 60 miles before turning generally southward; after about another 120 miles it flowed through the easternmost reaches of the Shire, forming that land's eastern border, except for Buckland, which lies east of it. Its only major crossings in the Shire are the Brandywine Bridge (originally Bridge of Stonebows) on the East Road and the Bucklebury Ferry.

Skirting the Old Forest to the south, the river then looped south-westward, crossing an old road at Sarn Ford and flowed to the north of the depopulated region of Minhiriath before flowing into the Sea to the north of the forested region of Eryn Vorn.


After the realm of Arnor was broken up in T.A. 861, the river south of the Brandywine Bridge served as part of the border between Arthedain and Cardolan.[1]

Primula and Drogo Baggins, parents of Frodo, were lost along the river in a boating accident in T.A. 2980.


No tributares of the Baranduin are described except those near or in the Shire:

There is a Girdley Island in the river just above the Brandywine Bridge.


The name Baranduin was Sindarin for "golden-brown river", from baran and duin.[2]

The Hobbits of the Shire originally gave it the punning name Branda-nîn, meaning "border water" in original Hobbitish Westron. This was later punned again as Bralda-hîm meaning "heady ale" (referring to the colour of its water), which Tolkien renders into English as Brandywine.[3]

The word "Brandywine" both resembles the original Elvish name "Baranduin", and provides the Hobbitish meaning adequately.

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 765-6
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "On Translation"