Smith Smithson

Smith Smithson is the principal character of the story Smith of Wootton Major by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Smith of Wootton Major by Roger Garland


Smith first shows up as one of the twenty-four children at the Feast of Good Children when Nokes was the Master Cook and Alf was his apprentice. Inside the Great Cake at the Feast is a Fay-star that Smith eats unknowingly. He did find a silver coin in his slice of the Cake, but kindly gave it to a girl named Nell who had found no lucky trinket.

Smith's tenth birthday was in the June following the winter when he had been at the Feast. On that day Smith arose before dawn and went outside. Feeling unusual, he began to sing and the fay-star that he had eaten fell out of his mouth. Without a thought he clapped his hand to his forehead and there the star stayed. While the star went mostly unnoticed it wrought changes in him that the villagers appreciated: His eyes had a shine to them, his voice became beautiful, and his work as a smith became very skilled (the best between Far Easton and the Westwood).

Because of the star upon his forehead Smith had access to the land of Faery. He went there when he could as a learner and explorer. Smith journeyed far and saw the Sea of Windless Storm, the King's Tree, the Outer and Inner Mountains, and the Vale of Evermorn where he was allowed to dance with the Elven maidens. One of the Elven maidens and the Queen of Faery called Smith "Starbrow" for the star they plainly saw upon his forehead.

On his last visit to Faery, Smith met the Queen herself on a high place under a night-sky filled with stars. Smith recognized her as the maiden with whom he had danced on the lawn in the Vale of Evermorn. On his return journey he met the King of Faery, who turned out to be Alf. Alf asked for the Fay-star to be returned so that it might be baked into Alf's Great Cake. Smith and Alf went to the store room and there Smith surrendered the Fay-star.

Alf let Smith choose the next child to receive the Fay-star. Smith chose Nokes' great-grandson, Tim of Townsend. When little Tim came to his Feast of Good Children, Smith could tell that the boy had indeed swallowed the Fay-star and thus became Smith's "heir".


village smith
Nell Smithson
Ned Smithson
Nan Smithson
Tim of Townsend