Tolkien Gateway

Tobold Hornblower

Tobold Hornblower
Biographical Information
Other namesOld Toby
PositionCultivator of pipe-weed
BirthThird Age
DeathThird Age
Physical Description

Tobold "Old Toby" Hornblower was a famous Hobbit.


[edit] History

Toby came from Longbottom in the Southfarthing of the Shire. During his time the Shire-hobbits had the tradition of inhaling smoke of herbs, and Toby knew much about herbs; he was not a traveller but in his youth he travelled often to Bree. Merry Brandybuck speculated that it was in one of such travels when he first learned of the pipe-weed which he famously introduced to the Shire around S.R. 1070 (the Bree-hobbits claim to be the first smokers of that herb, which Merry accepts as true).

Toby however never revealed how he came by the weed until his death.[1][2][3]

His name, "Old Toby", was given to his variety of weed.

[edit] Etymology

Tobold is a form of Theobald which contains theud "people" and bald "bold".[4]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In a draft version of the chapter "The Road to Isengard", the name of this hobbit was Elias Tobiasson of Mugworth.[5] In Swedish, Elias Tobiasson is a normal name of a person.[6]

In another early version of the legendarium, Toby was named Tobias Hornblower, and his Westron name was Zāra-tōbi Raspūta.[7]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Pipe-weed"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Road to Isengard"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 31
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part One: The Fall of Saruman", "III. The Road to Isengard", p. 36
  6. Noted by User:Morgan (26 December 2010)
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "II. The Appendix on Languages"