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Talking purse

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"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.

The talking purse was the purse of the troll William. When Bilbo Baggins tried to pick the purse from William's pocket, the purse suddenly squeaked "Ere, 'oo are you?". William was thus warned of the pickpocketing and captured Bilbo.[1]

The size of the purse was huge: it is told to have been "as big as a bag to Bilbo". Apparently "Trolls' purses" were known for their mischief.[1]

[edit] Background

Fans have suggested that the purse was perhaps not made by trolls, but that it was stolen and, because of it ability to speak (like the sword Gurthang), of dwarvish or elvish origin.[2][3][4] Elrond certainly guessed that the trolls had some plunder from Moria, although he was specifically referring to Glamdring and Orcrist.[5]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

The talking purse in adaptations
Talking wallet in The Hobbit (2003 video game)  

1989: The Hobbit (comic):

David T. Wenzel portrays the purse having holes resembling a shouting mouth.

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

Not only does the purse (called "wallet" in the game) talk, but it has eyes that open up when Bilbo touches it.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
  2. "Talking Wallet?", The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza: Forum (accessed 9 March 2013)
  3. "The talking purse", Minas Tirith Forums (accessed 9 March 2013)
  4. "The talking purse - anything in the mythology to explain what it is?", The One Ring Forums (accessed 9 March 2013)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
  6. "The Hobbit Game - Part 3 "Roast Mutton" (time 14:10)" dated 14 February 2013, YouTube (accessed 18 July 2016)