Brandywine Bridge

From Tolkien Gateway
Brandywine Bridge
The Lord of the Rings Online - Brandywine Bridge.jpg
Brandywine Bridge from The Lord of the Rings Online
General Information
Other namesBridge of Stonebows
Great Bridge
i Varanduiniant[1]
LocationThe Shire, where the East Road crosses the Baranduin
DescriptionStone bridge

The Brandywine Bridge, also known as the Bridge of Baranduin,[1] was the bridge on the East Road crossing the River Baranduin; it marked the eastern border of the Shire.[2] The Hobbits measured distances from the east-end of the Brandywine Bridge.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Originally called the Bridge of Stonebows,[3] 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).[4]

Although unmentioned in his memoirs, Bilbo Baggins undoubtedly[source?] crossed and recrossed the bridge in T.A. 2941 and 2942[5] on his adventure to the Lonely Mountain.

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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

"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.[1] 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".[9]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

The Bucklebury Ferry was said to be twenty miles south of the Bridge by Merry[10] but this was corrected to ten in the 50th Anniversary Edition.[11]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

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".[12]

2010: The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest:

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.[13]

External links[edit | edit source]