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The Party Tree

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Inger Edelfeldt - A Long Expected Party

The Party Tree was the tree in the center of a field south of Bag End. On preparation of the Bilbo's Farewell Party, a pavilion was erected that was large enough to accommodate it and it stood at the head of the main table during the celebration with lanterns hanging from its branches. Bilbo stood underneath the Tree when he announced he would be leaving the Shire.[1]

By November of 3019 the Party Tree had been cut down by Sharkey and his men and was lying on the field.[2] After the Scouring of the Shire, in place of the Tree, Sam planted the silver nut from the wooden box given to him by Galadriel. In the spring of 3020, the sapling of a mallorn tree emerged; it was the only mallorn between the mountains and the Sea, people came from miles around to gaze upon it.[3]

[edit] Inspiration

  • Possibly a willow hanging over the mill-pool at Sarehole, Warwickshire, England
"'They've cut it down!' cried Sam. 'They've cut down the Party Tree!' He pointed to where the tree had stood under which Bilbo had made his Farewell Speech. It was lying lopped and dead in the field. As if this was the last straw Sam burst into tears."
The Lord of the Rings, The Scouring of the Shire
"One incident in particular remained in his [Tolkien's] memory: "There was a willow hanging over the mill-pool [at Sarehole] and I learned to climb it. It belonged to a butcher on the Stratford Road, I think. One day they cut it down. They didn’t do anything with it: the log just lay there. I never forgot that.""
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Long-expected Party"
  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, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"