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Established sometime after the foundation of the Shire in III 1601
The northeast of the Shire, on the border between the Northfarthing and the Eastfarthing
Probably 'town of Dwale'1


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  • Updated 8 February 2016
  • This entry is complete


A northern settlement of the Shire

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Map of Dwaling

A village or township in the northern reaches of the Shire, further north even than the Brockenbores or Scary. Since it is nowhere explicitly mapped, its location is hard to establish with certainty, but it appears to have fallen within the northernmost borders of the Eastfarthing of the Shire. The placename 'Dwaling' suggests that it was originally settled by a Hobbit nicknamed Dwale, meaning 'dull' or 'foolish'.



In notes for the Dutch translation of the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien suggests that the structure of the name 'Dwaling' implies that it originated as a settlement of an individual named 'Dwale'. He also implies that 'Dwale' originated as a nickname meaning 'foolish' or 'dull'.

It should be noted that Tolkien presents these ideas as speculations rather than definitive statements, so they may not represent the original inspiration behind the name. 'Dwale' is also an old word for the soporific herb belladonna, so perhaps that plant grew nearby, or the entire name 'Dwaling' might simply be an old form of 'dwelling'.

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