Battle of the Bridge

From Tolkien Gateway
Battle of the Bridge
Place: The bridge over the river into the village of Ham, within the Middle Kingdom
Outcome: Victory for Farmer Giles and independence for Ham

Farmer Giles, his grey mare, Garm, and Chrysophylax

King Augustus Bonifacius, knights not previously eaten by the dragon, and men-at-arms


Farmer Giles

King Augustus Bonifacius


1 farmer, 1 horse, 1 dog, and 1 dragon

1 king, several knights, several men-at-arms, all on horses



The king's white horse sustained a nasty scratch.

The Battle of the Bridge was the name given to the confrontation between Farmer Giles and King Augustus Bonifacius that took place upon the bridge into the village of Ham.

On the king's side were knights, men-at-arms, and the king himself, all on horses. On Giles' side were the farmer's grey mare, his dog Garm, and the farmer himself. When the king was answered saucily he demanded "his" sword (Caudimordax, which earlier he had foolishly given to Giles); in response Giles demanded his crown! The king ordered the farmer seized, but at that moment Giles' reinforcement arrived – the dragon Chrysophylax appeared from beneath the bridge. Creating a great fog, the dragon roared for the king’s forces to fly away, and when he stuck his claw into the side of the king's horse it was Augustus Bonifacius who unwillingly led his men in their hasty retreat.

When the king returned to the bridge alone he could not bring Giles back under his thumb nor get him to fight in single combat. Giles bade the king to leave and that was that. The aftermath of this great battle was that the power of the Middle Kingdom came to an end over Ham and for miles around. Eventually a lay celebrating the Battle of the Bridge was written that included a hundred mock-heroic couplets.[1]