From Tolkien Gateway
"Brandywine" by Jef Murray
General Information
Other namesBrandywine, Branda-nîn, Bralda-hîm
DescriptionLong, golden-brown river
RegionsBuckland, The Shire, Arthedain, Cardolan, Minhiriath
GalleryImages of Baranduin

And no wonder they're queer, ... if they live on the wrong side of the Brandywine River, and right agin the Old Forest. That's a dark bad place, if half the tales be true.

The Baranduin was a river in Eriador. To the Hobbits of the Shire, the Brandywine (as they called it) was the boundary between the known and unknown, and even those who lived in Buckland on the immediate opposite shore were considered "peculiar".


Elendil's people dwelt about the course of the Baranduin.[1]

After the realm of Arnor was broken up in T.A. 861, the river south of the Brandywine Bridge served as part of the border between Arthedain and Cardolan.[2]

When the Shire was founded, the river was its eastern border. In T.A. 2340 Gorhendad Oldbuck crossed the river and founded Brandy Hall, and Baranduin now separated the Eastfarthing from Buckland.

Primula and Drogo Baggins, parents of Frodo, were lost along the river in a boating accident in T.A. 2980.


Flowing out of Lake Evendim in northern Eriador, the river flowed eastward for about 60 miles before turning generally southward; after about another 120 miles it flowed through the easternmost reaches of the Shire, forming that land's eastern border, except for Buckland, which lies east of it. Its only major crossings in the Shire are the Brandywine Bridge (originally Bridge of Stonebows) on the East Road and the Bucklebury Ferry. The Girdley Island is just above the Brandywine Bridge.

Skirting the Old Forest to the south, the river then looped south-westward, crossing an old road at Sarn Ford and flowed to the north of the depopulated region of Minhiriath before flowing into the Sea to the north of the forested region of Eryn Vorn.


No tributares of the Baranduin are described except those near or in the Shire:


The name Baranduin was Sindarin for "golden-brown river", from baran and duin.[3]

Other names

The Hobbits of the Shire originally gave it the punning name Branda-nîn, meaning "border water" in original Hobbitish Westron. This was later punned again as Bralda-hîm meaning "heady ale" (referring to the colour of its water), which Tolkien renders into English as Brandywine.[4]

The word Brandywine both resembles the original Elvish name Baranduin, and provides the Hobbitish meaning adequately.

The word brandywine was actually the archaic English word for brandy as imported from the Dutch brandewijn. David Salo noted that it represents a possible Old English *baernedwin, meaning "burned wine", which would resemble quite closely the original Elvish Baranduin,[5] making Hobbitish Brandywine a legitimate corruption of S. Baranduin.