Barliman Butterbur was a Man of Bree and the owner of The Prancing Pony in the town of Bree.


Barliman Butterbur owned the Prancing Pony for an unknown period of time in the late Third Age. He was fond of Hobbits and had two hobbit employees: Bob, who worked in the stables, and Nob, a servant. He knew Gandalf very well as he frequently came and stayed at the inn from time to time over the years. During the War of the Ring, he forgot to send Gandalf's letter to Frodo, leaving Frodo uncertain as to Gandalf's fate and causing him to start his journey much later than the letter indicated. He did not remember it until Frodo and his companions arrived to stay at the inn, and even then it was long before the connection was made.

When Gandalf found out he threatened to burn up Butterbur but forgave him in light of his memory problems. He did, however, remember in time to produce Strider's credentials. Gandalf then blesses his beer for seven years after he learns that Frodo and companions are alive and well and with Strider.

In The Return of the King after the War of the Ring, Butterbur was amazed to learn that Strider, a former patron of his inn and for whom he thought was a mere Ranger from out of the wild, had become a King. When the hobbits visit The Prancing Pony in the third book, Bob went home after dark everyday, which Butterbur kept on forgetting.[1][2][3]


Barliman was a good-hearted fat man but notorious for his very bad memory, "One thing drives out another" he says.

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

Ralph Bakshi versionEdit

Butterbur appears in both Ralph Bakshi's animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit

Peter Jackson's film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, but in both adaptations most of his scenes, including the references to Gandalf's letter, are cut. Alan Tilvern voiced Butterbur (credited as "Innkeeper") in the animated film, while David Weatherley played him in Jackson's live-action film. James Grout played Butterbur in BBC Radio's 1981 serialisation of The Lord of the Rings.

Video gamesEdit

Voice Dubbing actorsEdit

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Spanish (Latin America) Yamil Atala
Spanish (Spain) Eduardo Muntada
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Mauro Castro
German Wolfgang Völz
Italian (Italy) Sandro Pellegrini
Czech Martin Zahálka
Hungarian Szélyes Imre

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Czech Ječmínek Máselník
Danish Bygmand Smørblomst
Finnish Viljami Voivalvatti
French Prosper Poiredebeurré
German Gerstenmann Butterblume
Hungarian Papsajt Ászok
Italian Omorzo Cactaceo
Portuguese (Brazil) Cevado Carrapicho
Portuguese (Portugal) Cervejeiro Carrapiço
Russian Барлиман Баттербур
Slovak Žito Maslík
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Cebadilla Mantecona
Ukrainian Cyrillic Барліман Баттербур


  1. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter IX: "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
  2. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter X: "Strider"
  3. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth