Battle of Greenfields

From Tolkien Gateway
Battle of Greenfields
Conflict: Series of Orc-invasions in northern Eriador
Date: T.A. 2747
Place: Greenfields, Northfarthing
Outcome: Victory for the Hobbits


Orcs of Mount Gram


Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took








The Battle of Greenfields or Battle of the Green Fields[1] was the first battle fought in the Shire, and the only one until the Battle of Bywater.[2]



The Shire was generally untroubled by any harm for the first 1140 years of its history. Eriador was quiet until T.A. 2740, when Orcs of the Misty Mountains invaded several parts of Eriador.[3]

The Rangers of the North fought many battles trying to hold them back, but one party managed to reach the Shire.

The Battle

Seven years after the start of the unrest, a band of Orcs of Mount Gram, led by their king Golfimbul, entered the Northfarthing.[2] Bandobras Took, who was living in Long Cleeve, crossed the river Norbourn to engage them in the region of the Greenfields, between the Norbourn and the Brandywine.[4] Large enough to ride a horse, Bandobras charged the helm of the Orc-band and knocked Golfimbul's head off with his club. The head landed in a rabbit-hole a hundred yards away.[1] Dismayed by his death, the orcs fled.[5]


With the rout of the orcs and the death of their king, their short uprisings within Eriador ceased, and eventually their attacks on the region stopped altogether.[4] The Shire, and Eriador as a whole, would not suffer from any more invasions until the War of the Ring.[2]

Bandobras became a hero of Hobbit legend for his feat of arms, and was regarded in the Shire as one of the greatest Hobbits in history. To commemorate Golfimbul's head landing in the rabbit-hole, the hobbits invented the game of golf.[6]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the first phase of The Hobbit, the battle was called the Battle of the Green Fields of Fellin, and the goblin king was called "Fingolfin". In addition to golf, chess was also invented, because the battle was won by "checkmate".[7] The reference to chess was likely removed because it was a philologist's joke that would have gone over too many heads: "checkmate" comes from Persian shah mat, "the King is Dead".[8]

The name "Battle of the Green Fields" first arose in the second phase. The reference to chess was removed at this stage.[9]

Portrayal in adaptations

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

The first Hobbit outside Bag End recounts the story of Bandobras, followed by the accusations that young hobbits do not know enough about their history.[10]

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

In the evil campaign, the Goblins lay siege (and conquer) the Shire as part of their revenge; the Battle of Greenfields is not yet forgotten.[11]

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Gandalf mentions the battle to Bilbo, including the role of Bandobras Took, as part of an encouragement for Bilbo to go with the Dwarves.