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Brandywine River

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The Brandywine dividing the Shire from Buckland and Bree-land, as seen in The Lord of the Rings Online.


The Brandywine was a river of Middle-earth in the land of the Shire and northern Eriador.

Flowing out of Nenuial (Lake Evendim) in northern Eriador, the river flows eastward for about 60 miles before turning generally southward; after about another 120 miles it flows through the easternmost reaches of the

Shire, forming its eastern border except for Buckland which lies between it and the Old Forest. Its only major crossings in the Shire are the Brandywine Bridge (originally Bridge of Stonebows) on the East Road and the Bucklebury Ferry.

Skirting the Old Forest to the south, the river then loops southwestward, crossing an old road at Sarn Ford and flowing to the north of the depopulated region of Minhiriath before flowing into the Sundering Sea to the north of the forested region of Eryn Vorn.

Frodo Baggin's father, Drogo Baggins, was said to have drowned in the Brandywine River with his wife.[1]


The name Baranduin was Sindarin for "golden-brown river". The Hobbits of the Shire originally gave it the punning name Branda-nîn, meaning "border water" in original Hobbitish Westron. This was later punned again as Bralda-hîm meaning "heady ale" (referring to the colour of its water), which Tolkien renders into English as Brandywine.

To the Hobbits of the Shire, the Brandywine was the boundary between the known and unknown, and even those who lived in Buckland on the immediate opposite shore were considered "peculiar".

No tributaries of the Baranduin are described except those near or in the Shire:

  • The Water - central Shire, from the northwest
  • The Stockbrook - arises in the Woody End
  • River Shirebourne - rises in Green-Hill country, tributary is Thistle Brook
  • Withywindle - from the Old Forest

There is a Girdley island in the river just above the Brandywine Bridge.

Rivers of Arda

Adorn | Adurant | Anduin | Aros | Ascar | Brandywine | Brilthor | Brithon | Bruinen | Celebrant | Celebros | Celon | Celos | Ciril | Duilwen | Enchanted river | Entwash | Erui | Esgalduin | Forest River | Gelion | Gilrain | Ginglith | Gladden | Glanduin | Glithui | Greater Gelion | Greyflood | Greylin | Gwathló | Harnen | Isen | Langwell | Lefnui | Legolin | Limlight | Little Gelion | Lune | Malduin | Mering Stream | Mindeb | Mitheithel | Morgulduin | Morthond | Narog | Nenning | Nimrodel | Nunduinë | Poros | Redwater | Ringló | Ringwil | River Running | Rivil | Sarn Gebir | Serni | Sirannon | Siril | Sirion | Sirith | Snowbourn | Taeglin | Thalos | The Water | Withywindle


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth pg. 72

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