Battle of Bywater
Conflict: War of the Ring
Date: November 3, 3019
Place: Bywater (just south of Hobbiton), The Shire
Outcome: Hobbit victory, death of Saruman and Wormtongue, end of the War of the Ring
Shire Ruffians
Meriadoc Brandybuck
Peregrin Took
Frodo Baggins
Samwise Gamgee
Gríma Wormtongue
Ruffian Leader
200 Bucklanders
100 Tooks
Unknown number of Hobbiton residents
100 Ruffians
19 Hobbits killed
30 wounded
70 Ruffians killed
12 captured
War of the Ring

Attack on the Woodland RealmWeathertopBalin's TombDurin's TowerAmon HenFords of IsenNear FangornCair AndrosHornburgIsengardIthilienBattle of OsgiliathDaleLórienMirkwoodPelennor FieldsCirith UngolBlack GateDol GuldurBywater

The Battle of Bywater was a battle for control of the Shire and the final battle of the War of the Ring.



The Battle was precipitated by Saruman's or Sharkey's take over of The Shire supported by Lotho Sackville-Baggins, and a band of Ruffians who acted as their enforcers. These events led to major changes in the shire which were resented by many Hobbits as industrious and destructive. When the Hobbits Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Sam returned to the Shire after their adventures, they did not like what they saw going on there either. Using the courage and skill they discovered in themselves while abroad, they were able to take-up leadership of the Hobbits who wanted to resist the tyranny of Sharkey and the Ruffians. Soon, the Shire-folk were rallied against the invaders and managed to assemble a force.

Gathering Hobbits for BattleEdit

Upon arriving in Bywater, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin were questioned by the Ruffian Leader as to their intentions. After he had insulted Frodo, the Leaders challenge of authority was met by Pippin, who declared himself as a messenger of the King, and drew his sword against him, Sam and Merry followed suit. The Leader and his men fled, leaving the four hobbits to raise the Shire, and to rally their troops. Merry used the Horn of Rohan to great effect, his call was met by many hobbits throughout that part of the Shire.

The BattleEdit

After returning, then being surrounded by a ring of hobbits, the Leader, now with more men, was pierced by four hobbit arrows as he attempted to break away and maim Merry. He died instantly. His gang was then rounded up and locked away. More Ruffians had been sent by Sharkey to suppress the Hobbit revolt breaking out in Bywater. However, the Hobbits scouts gave them advanced warning. The Hobbits then devised a plan to surround and trap the Ruffians when they arrived. Makeshift mobile roadblocks were made out of carts and wagons, and after the Ruffians reached the center of the town the road was blocked in front and behind them. The Ruffians then tried to fight their way out through the Hobbits, some breaking through. These were then encircled and engaged until the battle was won.

The Hobbits were informally commanded by Merry and Pippin. Technically, Pippin was still a Knight of Gondor, as King Elessar had not released him from service but granted him indefinite leave, and when he departed Aragorn reminded Pippin that his restored kingship now extended to the old northern lands which included the Shire. Therefore, Pippin loosely saw himself as fighting off the Ruffians with the authority of the King supporting him. Sam Gamgee also fought in the battle. Frodo was also present at the battle, though he did not fight: he spent the battle making sure that no Ruffians who threw down their weapons were killed as well as making sure that none of the hobbits who had joined the Ruffians were killed stating that no hobbit had killed another hobbit and that it was not going to start there.


The next day, Frodo and his three companions, leading the Hobbits of the Shire, marched to Hobbiton. There Frodo confronted Saruman and exiled him from the Shire. Then Wormtongue killed Saruman by slitting his throat, on the very doorstep of Bag End. Before Frodo could react, the Hobbits of the Shire shot Wormtongue dead with three arrows. The Battle of Bywater occurred on November 3, 3019 or SR 1419 by Shire-reckoning in the Shire Calendar and was the last major military engagement of the War of the Ring.[1][2]

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Chinese (Hong Kong) 臨水之戰
Croatian Bitka Po vodom
Czech Bitva o Povodí
Danish Slaget ved Bywater
Dutch Slag van Bijwater
French Bataille de Bywater
German Schlacht von Wasserau
Greek Μάχη της Βυωατερ ?
Italian Battaglia di Lungacque
Polish Bitwa nad Wodą
Romanian Bătălia de la Bywater
Russian Битва при Байуотере
Spanish Batalla de Delagua


  1. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter VIII: "The Scouring of the Shire"
  2. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth

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