|Birth||Third Age |
The Squint-eyed Southerner was an outlaw driven from Dunland whose name was not known, he served as an agent of Saruman, one of Saruman's most trusted in fact (U.T.). It was rumored there was Orc-blood within him (U.T.), this may have been due to the cross-breeding experiments which Saruman was conducting.
- "Just what my father meant to convey by the 'squint-eyed Southerner' at Bree I'm not sure. I don't think that he can possibly have meant that the man had 'slit-eyes' (goblin-like). He may have meant that he actually had a squint (optical disorder), but that seems unnecessarily particular. So the likeliest meaning, I think, is that the man didn't look straight, but obliquely, watchfully, sideways, suggesting craftiness and crookedness."
- ― 'The "Squint-eyed Southerner"', Beyond Bree, May 1990, p. 9
The Southerner at one point was stationed on the borders of the Shire to negotiate the purchase of "leaf" and other supplies which Saruman was storing in preparation for the war. Saruman had ordered the man to infiltrate the Shire and learn of any hobbits who had departed recently in hopes of finding out who possessed the One Ring. The Southerner was "well supplied with maps, lists of names, and notes concerning the Shire." (U.T.)
In September of 3018, the Dunlending was traveling back to the Shire when the Black Riders came upon him at the Tharbad crossing. When questioned, the Southerner told the Witch-king everything, betraying Saruman, which made the Witch-king realize Saruman was not a true ally. The Witch-king was made aware of the name Baggins and Hobbiton was singled out for immediate visit and inquiry.
The Witch-king put the Shadow of Fear on the Dunlending and sent him to Bree to listen for information of Baggins. The Southerner met up with Bill Ferny and at the Prancing Pony on September 29th, the two of them saw Frodo Baggins vanish into thin air. After reporting the information to the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths came to attack that night.
Aragorn kept the hobbits safe through the night and the next morning the Squint-eyed Southerner was spotted inside Bill Ferny's house when the company set out to Weathertop.
Nothing else is recorded of the Squint-eyed Southerner, however in 3019, many of Saruman's agents occupied the Shire and oppressed the Hobbits. It is possible the Southerner was among them as many of the Men resembled him. The Men were driven out of the Shire in the Battle of Bywater on November 3rd.
- The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony", "Strider", "A Knife in the Dark"
- The Two Towers, "Flotsam and Jetsam"
- The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
- Unfinished Tales, "The Hunt for the Ring", "Concerning Gandalf, Saruman, and the Shire"
- Beyond Bree, May 1990, 'The "Squint-eyed Southerner"', pg. 9