The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Extant at the end of the Third Age
Location
Watched the West-gate of Bree
Race
Division
Culture
Family
Settlements
Meaning
'Harry' is an abbreviated name, of uncertain origin1

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  • Updated 3 November 2017
  • This entry is complete

Harry Goatleaf

The keeper of Bree’s West-gate

The first of the Men of Bree encountered by Frodo and his companions on their travels - he was the keeper of the western gate in the great hedge that surrounded the township, and greeted them gruffly on their arrival at Bree. He was later present in the Prancing Pony, and his suspicious actions there were later explained when it was discovered he was under the power of the Nazgûl.

Some months after the hobbits' departure, Harry Goatleaf, together with Bill Ferny, joined with a band of brigands from the south, causing trouble that left five of the Bree-landers dead. After that, he left Bree with other ruffians, presumably to join Sharkey's Men in the Shire.


Notes

1

'Harry' is typically a familiar form of another name, usually 'Harold' or 'Henry' (or very rarely 'Harcourt'). Most of these names are of French origin, but 'Harold' can be traced to Old English Hereweald ('army leader') and is therefore perhaps the most likely origin of Harry Goatleaf's name. It should be noted that abbreviated names in the Common Speech do not always map onto their modern equivalents (to take a notable example, 'Sam' is short for 'Samwise', not 'Samuel'), so we cannot dismiss the possibility that 'Harry' was the short form of a name used among the Bree-men, but now long forgotten.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 3 November 2017
  • This entry is complete

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