From Tolkien Gateway
Storming the Bank by Ted Nasmith

Sharkey's Men, known as the Chief's Men under Lotho in the Shire, were a group of Ruffians from near Isengard.

History[edit | edit source]

Sharkey's Men were a group of Ruffians under Sharkey that helped Lotho take over the Shire sometime before T.A. 3018.[1] They commanded the hobbits around, collecting the crop and surpressing any dissent. In T.A. 3018, Sharkey himself came, usurped Lotho, and the group's activities became harsher.

Many were killed in the Battle of Bywater; some were captured, and some fled. Those who died were buried in the Battle Pit.[2]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Ruffian is an English word that derives from the Middle French word rufian, which itself derives from the Italian word ruffiano (“pimp”). The word Ruffian is defined as a "scoundrel, rascal or unprincipled, deceitful, brutal and unreliable person."[3]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

John Bott portrays one of the Ruffians of the Chief's Men.

2003: Pán prsteňov (2001-2003 Slovak radio series):

The voices of two Ruffians of the Chief's Men are provided by Martin Vitek and Ivan Laca.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Ruffians of Sharkey's Men can be found in regions throughout central Eriador, including Bree-land and the Shire. They are classified as "Brigands", a common type of enemy found across Middle-earth.