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Battle of Greenfields

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Battle of Greenfields
Gregor Roffalski - Bandobras Took.jpg
Conflict: Series of Orc-invasions in northern Eriador
Date: T.A. 2747
Place: Greenfields, Northfarthing
Outcome: Victory for the Hobbits


Orcs of Mount Gram


Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took







Unknown, but severe

The Battle of Greenfields or Battle of the Green Fields[1] was the first battle fought in the Shire, and the only one until the Battle of Bywater.[2]




The Shire was generally untroubled by any harm for the first 1140 years of its history. Eriador was quiet until T.A. 2740, when Orcs of the Misty Mountains invaded several parts of Eriador.[3]

The Rangers of the North fought many battles trying to hold them back, but one party managed to reach the Shire.


Seven years after the start of the unrest, a band of Orcs of Mount Gram, led by their king Golfimbul, entered the Northfarthing.[2] Bandobras Took, who was living in Long Cleeve, crossed the river Norbourn to engage them in the region known as Greenfields, between the Norbourn and the Brandywine.[4] Large enough to ride a horse, Bandobras clove through the ranks of the Orc-band and knocked Golfimbul's head off with his club. The head landed in a rabbit-hole a hundred yards away, inventing, according to Hobbit folklore, the game of golf.[1] The rest of the orcs were routed.[5]


With the route of the orcs and the death of their king, the short uprisings in Eriador ceased.[4] The Shire, and Eriador as a whole, would not suffer from any more invasions until the War of the Ring.[2]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the first phase of The Hobbit, the battle was called the Battle of the Green Fields of Fellin, and the goblin king was called "Fingolfin". In addition to golf, chess was also invented, because the battle was won by "checkmate".[6] The reference to chess was likely removed because it was a philologist's joke that would have gone over too many heads: "checkmate" comes from Persian shah mat, "the King is Dead".[7]

The name "Battle of the Green Fields" first arose in the second phase. The reference to chess was removed at this stage.[8]

Portrayal in Adaptations

2003: Sierra's The Hobbit:

The first Hobbit outside Bag End recounts the story of Bandobras, followed by the accusations that young hobbits do not know enough about their history.[9]

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

In the evil campaign, the Goblins lay siege (and conquer) the Shire as part of their revenge; the Battle of Greenfields is not yet forgotten.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished Index", cited in: Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, page 24
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Prologue: Concerning Hobbits"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), Mr. Baggins, "The Pryftan Fragment"
  7. "Checkmate",
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), Mr. Baggins, "The Bladorthin Typescript"
  9. The Hobbit (2003 video game), "Hobbiton"
  10. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, Evil Campain Stage 3: "The Shire"