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The Water

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The Water or the Shire-water[1] was the main river of the Shire, a tributary of the Brandywine.

The valley it formed was the Water-valley and a portion of the East Road ran parallel to the Water, along that valley.[2]

[edit] Geography

The Water arose to the north-west of Needlehole, and a little to its south formed Rushock Bog.[2] Before flowing through Hobbiton the Water was quite narrow and easily crossed by a plank bridge, and was shadowed by alder-trees.[3] From there, it flowed through Hobbiton and into the Bywater Pool at Bywater, where it was joined by a stream from the north. From then on, it flowed eastward alongside the East Road, which ran through the valley of the Water. It divided into two streams north of Frogmorton creating a watery region. It joined the Brandywine just north of the Brandywine Bridge.[2]

[edit] Inspiration

The naming of the Water may be a parody of some sorts of Celtic hydronyms that mean simply "river" or "water".[4]


  1. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p.66
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  4. Mark T. Hooker, A Tolkienian Mathomium, pp. 65-68.