|Brandywine Bridge from The Lord of the Rings Online|
|Other names||Bridge of Stonebows|
|Location||The Shire, where the East Road crosses the Baranduin|
The Brandywine Bridge was the bridge on the East Road crossing the River Baranduin; it marked the eastern border of the Shire. The Hobbits measured distances from the east-end of the Brandywine Bridge.
Originally called the Bridge of Stonebows, it was built during the days of power of Arnor. Marcho and Blanco with their Hobbit followers passed that bridge to settle in the Shire. The Kings of Arnor required them to keep the Great Bridge in repair (as well as all other bridges and roads).
Frodo Baggins and his companions did not use the bridge when they left the Shire in 3018. However, on their return trip they came to the bridge on 30 October 3019. To their surprise they found the bridge blocked on both ends with two spiked gates. Despite a sign proclaiming "No admittance between sundown and sunrise" the four hobbits made their way over the bridge, after dispatching Bill Ferny. They stayed the night at the guard-house before moving on to rouse the Shire.
In Fo.A. 15 King Elessar rode to the Brandywine Bridge and greeted his old friends (but did not cross into the Shire for he himself had forbidden men to enter the land in an edict of Fo.A. 6). At this meeting he bestowed the Star of the Dúnedain on Samwise Gamgee and made Sam's daughter Elanor a maid of honour to Queen Arwen.
"Stonebow" is from Old English stánbogan, meaning a stone arch. The only quotations for the word, in the Oxford English Dictionary and the online Bosworth Toller Dictionary of Old English, are from Beowulf, where it appears twice, at lines 2545 and 2718, describing the lair of the dragon who kills the hero.
In Sindarin, the name of the bridge was i Varanduiniant. i is the singular definite article "the", which causes the initial b- in Baranduin to take the lenited form v- (i.e., Varanduin); the final element iant means "bridge".
Other versions of the legendarium
Portrayal in adaptations
- The Brandywine Bridge is a landmark in the Bridgefields. Talking to a character near the bridge starts the quest "The Tale of the Shipwrecked Mariners".
- The meeting of Elessar and the Mayor in Fo.A. 15 is featured in a cutscene after the last mission. It is portrayed as a low, wooden bridge.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part One: The End of the Third Age: XI. The Epilogue"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, entry Bridge of Stonebows, p. 20
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "The 'Túrin Wrapper'" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 50, March 2013, p. 12
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Conspiracy Unmasked"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition, p.xvii
- "Brandywine Bridge" dated 8 August 2012, LOTRO-wiki.com (accessed 15 March 2013)
- "Lord of the Rings Aragonr's Quest Walkthrough Black Gates pt 2 ", YouTube (accessed 30 June 2012)