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Bandobras was famous for averting a goblin invasion of the Shire at the Battle of Greenfields, and personally slaying the goblins' leader, Golfimbul. He took the Golfimbul's head off with a club. The goblin's head flew through the air for 100 yards and went down a rabbit hole; it is said that this is how the game of golf was invented.
Nothing is known about Bandobras' family, other than he had "many descendants", some of which were in the Long Cleeve.
Bandobras is a Germanic name meaning "arm-band".[source?]
Tolkien noted that the alliteration between Bandobras and Bullroarer was significant and that translators should attempt to keep it.
It is noteworthy that Tolkien believed while writing The Hobbit that "bullroarer" was an instrument of primitive peoples that made a roaring sound, as named by anthropologists. However he did not find it in any dictionaries, and is perhaps attributable to his own invention combined with false memory.
Other versions of the legendarium
In editions prior to the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Lord of the Rings, the Prologue gave Bandobras' father as Isengrim II. This was based on an earlier version of the Took family tree, but was never corrected.
It is possible J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired by one George von Hohenzollern, who, like the Bullroarer to Bilbo, held the image of the bold ancestor to Tolkien:
- "He [the Bullroarer] charged the ranks of the goblins of Mount Gram in the Battle of the Green Fields, and knocked their king Golfimbul's head clean off with a wooden club."
- ― "An Unexpected Party"
- "She [Tolkien's aunt Grace] alleged that the family name ["Tolkien"] had originally been "von Hohenzollern", for they had emanated from the Hohenzollern district of the Holy Roman Empire. A certain George von Hohenzollern had, she said, fought on the side of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He had shown great daring in leading an unofficial raid against the Turks and capturing the Sultan’s standard. This (said Aunt Grace) was why he was given the nickname Tollkühn, "foolhardy"; and the name stuck."
- ― Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
Portrayals 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.
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- The public test server is named Bullroarer after Bandobras Took.
- In Brockenborings there is a wooden statue depicting Bandobras just after he defeated Golfimbul. Every Spring the Shire celebrates Bullroarer Took Day when the Hobbits drink tankards of Bullroarer's Brew and also place tankards of the drink under his statue in his honor. Bullroarer's Brew was Bandobras' favorite drink and it was named after him. It is a beer brewed out of clovers.
- Besides inventing golf, Bandobras also invented fence walking. Every morning Bullroarer would drink his favorite beer and then walk across a fence. It is said that he did this to improve his balance. Hobbits would play fence walking as part of the Bullroarer Took Day celebration.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
- ↑ 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, p. 764
- ↑ Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, page 6