The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 8 November 2015
  • Updates planned: 1


A character in Sam's Troll-rhyme


Adventuring in the hills west of Rivendell, Strider and the Hobbits came across the petrified remains of the Stone-trolls encountered by Bilbo and the Dwarves many years before. There, Sam recited a rather gruesome rhyme that he had created himself, in which a character named Tom encounters a lone Troll gnawing the shin-bone of his uncle Tim. Understandably enraged by this, he aimed a kick at the Troll, but the monster's hide was as strong as stone, and so Tom earned himself a lame leg.

There's no suggestion that Tom actually existed outside Sam's imagination (though it's not entirely impossible that he based his rhyme on real events). To confuse matters, one of the three Stone-trolls that inspired Sam's recitation was himself named Tom, but this is simple coincidence: the Tom in the rhyme is very clearly not a Troll.



In principle uncle Tim might have been the brother of either Tom's mother or his father, but Sam clarifies the relationship in his rhyme, calling Tim 'my father's kin' (The Fellowship of the Ring I 12, Flight to the Ford).

See also...


For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2006, 2015. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.