Squint-eyed Southerner

From Tolkien Gateway
Squint-eyed Southerner
Jon Foster - Squint-eyed Brute.jpg
"Squint-eyed Brute" by Jon Foster
Biographical Information
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Squint-eyed Southerner
"He looks more than half like a goblin."
Frodo Baggins[1]

The Squint-eyed Southerner was a brigand driven from Dunland whose name was not known. He served as an agent of Saruman - one of his most trusted informants, in fact; before being coerced by the Nazgûl. It was rumored there was Orc-blood within him (and therefore perhaps being one of the Half-orcs or Goblin-men).[2]


The Southerner at one point was stationed on the borders of the Shire to negotiate the purchase of "leaf" and other supplies which Saruman was storing in preparation for the war. Saruman had ordered the man to infiltrate the Shire and learn of any Hobbits who had departed recently in hopes of finding out who possessed the One Ring. The Southerner was well supplied with maps, lists of names, and notes concerning the Shire.

In September of T.A. 3018, the Dunlending was traveling back to the Shire when the Black Riders came upon him at the Tharbad crossing. When questioned, the Southerner told the Witch-king everything, betraying Saruman, which made the Witch-king realize Saruman was not a true ally. The Witch-king was made aware of the name Baggins and Hobbiton was singled out for immediate visit and inquiry.

The Witch-king put the Shadow of Fear on the Dunlending and sent him to Bree to listen for information of Baggins. The Southerner met up with Bill Ferny and at the Prancing Pony on September 29th, the two of them saw Frodo Baggins vanish into thin air. After reporting the information to the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths came to attack that night.[2]

Aragorn kept the hobbits safe through the night and the next morning the Squint-eyed Southerner was spotted inside Bill Ferny's house when the company set out to Weathertop.[1]

Nothing else is recorded of the Squint-eyed Southerner, however in 3019, many of Saruman's agents occupied the Shire and oppressed the Hobbits.[3] It is possible the Southerner was among them as many of the Men resembled him. The Men were driven out of the Shire in the Battle of Bywater on November 3rd.


"Just what my father meant to convey by the 'squint-eyed Southerner' at Bree I'm not sure. I don't think that he can possibly have meant that the man had 'slit-eyes' (goblin-like). He may have meant that he actually had a squint (optical disorder), but that seems unnecessarily particular. So the likeliest meaning, I think, is that the man didn't look straight, but obliquely, watchfully, sideways, suggesting craftiness and crookedness."
Christopher Tolkien[4]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

Squint-eyed Southerner in adaptations
Squint-eyed Southerner in The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game  

2001-2007: The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game:

A Decipher card identifies one of the Men at Bree in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring as the Squint-eyed Southerner.

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North:

A character called "the Southerner" (loosely based on the squint-eyed southerner) attempts to talk Harley Bramble into joining with a gang of brigands. After Bramble is convinced not to by Eradan, Andriel and Farin, the Southerner threatens that his powerful friends will trouble the trio. If the player returns to Bree after the mission to Gundabad, it will be revealed that a group of ruffians have attacked the town but have been defeated, with Bramble himself stating he made sure the Southerner will trouble Bree-folk no more.

2013: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:

A character credited as "Squint" appears in the prologue in Bree. Along with another character credited as "Bill Ferny Sr." (loosely based on Bill Ferny), Squint has seemingly tracked Thorin to the Prancing Pony (presumably to collect on the bounty put out on Thorin's head). The two Men are preparing to confront Thorin when Gandalf goes over and sits and starts talking with the Dwarf. When it becomes apparent the Wizard is not going anywhere, Bill and Squint get up and leave the inn.