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Battle of Bywater

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The Battle of Bywater was a battle between the Hobbits of The Shire and a band of Ruffians who followed "Sharkey" (Saruman). Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) himself slew the leader, a squint-eyed orcish-looking brute. Peregrin Took (Pippin) also took part in this battle. The courage and skill they had discovered during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields had made them confident in their abilities, and this enabled them to rally the Shire-folk against the invaders.

The Battle of Bywater occurred on November 3, 1419 by Shire-reckoning in the Shire Calendar and was the last military engagement of the War of the Ring.

Ruffians had been sent by Sharkey (Saruman) to supress the Hobbit revolt breaking out in Bywater. However, the Hobbits' scouts gave them advanced warning. The Hobbits then devised a plan to surround and trap the Ruffians when they arrived. Makeshift mobile roadblocks were made out of carts and wagons, and after the Ruffians reached the center of the town the road was blocked in front and behind them. The Ruffians then tried to fight their way out through the Hobbits, some breaking through. These were then encircled and engaged until the battle was won.

The Hobbits were informally commanded by Merry and Pippin. Technically, Pippin was still a Knight of Gondor, as King Elessar had not released him from service but granted him indefinite leave, and when he departed Aragorn reminded Pippin that his restored kingship now extended to the old northern lands which included the Shire. Therefore, Pippin loosely saw himself as fighting off the Ruffians with the authority of the King supporting him. Sam Gamgee also fought in the battle. Frodo was also present at the battle, though he did not fight: he spent the battle making sure that no Ruffians who threw down their weapons were killed (indeed, during his entire life, even when The Shire itself was invaded, Frodo never killed a sentient being).

The next day, Frodo, and his three companions, leading the Hobbits of the Shire, marched to Hobbiton. There Frodo confronted Saruman and exiled him from the Shire. Then Wormtongue killed Saruman by slitting his throat, on the very doorstep of Bag End. Before Frodo could react the Hobbits of the Shire shot Wormtongue dead with three arrows. Thus, the last stroke of the War of the Ring fell at the very door that Frodo had first set out from.