The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Occupied the Shire between late III 30181 and 3 November III 3019
Race
Settlements
Headquartered in Hobbiton around Bag End, and also quartered at Longbottom, Sarn Ford, Waymeet and Woody End
Meaning
'Sharkey' is a reference to Saruman
Other names
At first called the Chief's Men

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  • Updated 28 May 2014
  • This entry is complete

Sharkey’s Men

The ruffians who took over the Shire

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The thuggish Men brought into the Shire originally by Lotho Sackville-Baggins to aid in his takeover. Lotho's headquarters were at Bag End in Hobbiton, and it was there that his Men were mainly concentrated, but they also set up camps throughout the Shire; we know of other encampments at Longbottom, Sarn Ford, Waymeet and Woody End.

After his defeat at Isengard, Saruman travelled to the Shire with Gríma Wormtongue. He became known there as Sharkey, and when he took over control from Lotho, the ruffians acquired the name of 'Sharkey's Men'. They continued to hold order under Sharkey until the return of the Travellers from the War of the Ring. Frodo Baggins and his comparions stirred the Shire-folk to rebellion, bringing about the defeat of Sharkey's Men - most notably at the Battle of Bywater - and ultimately the downfall of 'Sharkey' himself.


Notes

1

These Men first appeared in the Shire almost immediately after Frodo's departure; we don't have an exact date, but they seem to have arrived in late September or early October III 3018. They were originally under the control of Lotho Sackville-Baggins, and did not truly become 'Sharkey's Men' until the appearance of Sharkey (that is, Saruman) in the Shire about a year later, on 22 September III 3019.

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