Tolkien Gateway

Butterbur Family

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Butterbur was an old family of Bree, that had kept the inn there, the Prancing Pony, for years beyond reckoning. The innkeeper at the time of the War of the Ring was Barliman Butterbur.[1]

Portrayal in Adaptations

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North:

The family is mentioned by Barliman Butterbur, who tells the player that the Prancing Pony has been in possesion of the Butterbur family for many generations.[2]


Butterbur (Petasites vulgaris) is a fleshy plant with a heavy flower-head on a thick stalk, and very large leaves. It contains the element 'butter' also found in English place-names and surnames.[3]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
  2. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Prologue
  3. 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, pp. 754-5