South Lane

From Tolkien Gateway
South Lane
General Information
LocationBetween Hobbiton and Bywater, leading south but unconnected to the East Road
DescriptionMinor roadway to the Cotton's farm

South Lane was a short lane in the Westfarthing of the Shire that led from the Bywater Road southward a quarter of a mile to the farmlands of the Cotton Family.[1] On 2 November T.A. 3019 when the Travellers were on the Bywater Road[2] and had dispersed the first small knot of Ruffians, Sam suggested that they set up a defence at the Cotton's home down South Lane. Merry rejected this idea because the Ruffians could too easily hem them in and then smoke them out. Eventually the Hobbits decided on more direct action.[3]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

In the manuscript for The Lord of the Rings Sam's suggestion to take the South Lane to the Cotton's farm was accepted. The Travellers went to the farm and the wary Cottons let them in. A fight broke out and six ruffians were killed. J.R.R. Tolkien rewrote this episode so that no ruffians were killed at the farm, instead the hobbits were trapped and planned to burst out. At this point Christopher Tolkien said his father realized that he had taken a wrong turning; there was no credible way for the hobbits to burst out unscathed.[1]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Cotton family live on 3 South Lane, a house near the edge of Bywater.