|"Brandywine" by Jef Murray|
|Other names||Brandywine, Branda-nîn, Bralda-hîm|
|Description||Long, golden-brown river|
|Regions||Buckland, The Shire, Arthedain, Cardolan, Minhiriath|
|Gallery||Images 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."
- ― Daddy Twofoot in The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Long-expected Party"
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".
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 Water - central Shire, from the northwest
- The Stock-brook - arises in the Woody End
- River Shirebourn - rises in Green-Hill country, tributary is Thistle Brook
- Withywindle - from the Old Forest
- River Norbourn - in the Northfarthing
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.
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, making Hobbitish Brandywine a legitimate corruption of S. Baranduin.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 765-6
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "On Translation"
- David Salo, "Hobbitish Place-names (1.21)" dated 23 November 1998, Elfling (accessed 23 September 2022)