The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Born IV 33
Race
Culture
Born in the Shire, but removed to the Westmarch as a young child
Family
Settlements
Meaning
'Elfstan' means 'Elf-stone' (probably a reference to Aragorn's name Elessar); 'Fairbairn' means 'fair child'
Titles

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  • Updated 2 August 2012
  • This entry is complete

Elfstan Fairbairn

A grandson of Samwise Gamgee

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Wardens of Westmarch

The son of Fastred of Greenholm and Elanor Gamgee, and thus the grandson of Samwise Gamgee of the Company of the Ring. Elfstan was born in Shire-year 1454 (or IV 33), and came to be known as 'fairbairn' (that is, 'fair child'). When he was just eight years old, his father was made the first Warden of the newly settled region of the Westmarch, and the family removed to Undertowers on the Tower Hills.

The name 'Elfstan' comes from Old English for 'Elf-stone', and is thus identical in meaning to Aragorn's Elvish title Elessar. He was thus presumably named for his grandfather's friend and companion (who was also High King at the time of his birth).

Elfstan would eventually succeed his father as Warden (we don't know exactly when this happened, but circumstantial evidence1 points to very roughly S.R. 1520 or IV 99; if so, Elfstan would have been approaching seventy when he inherited the position). He took 'Fairbairn' as his family name and established a line that would give rise to one of the most important and influential families in the Shire: the Fairbairns of Undertowers.


Notes

1

The evidence in this case is extremely circunstantial. This dating assumes that Elfstan's father Fastred was reasonably close in age to his wife Elanor (who was known to have been born in S.R. 1421) and that he had a typical Hobbit lifespan of about one hundred years.

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