The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Extant during the War of the Ring, III 3018 - III 3019
Probably a Hobbit1
The town of Bree in the Bree-land


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 March 2021
  • Updates planned: 1


A hand at the Prancing Pony

One of the servants of Barliman Butterbur at the inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree. He was apparently its ostler or stablehand; at least, every time he is mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, his duties seem to involve stabling of horses and ponies.



We know that Nob, Bob's fellow servant at the Prancing Pony, was a Bree-hobbit, but Bob's own heritage is never explicitly stated. Working in Bree, where Men and Hobbits lived side by side, he might conceivably have belonged to either of those peoples.

In the early drafts of the The Lord of the Rings, Bob was certainly a Hobbit, but so was the innkeeper of the Prancing Pony (variously named as Timothy Titus or Barnabus Butterbur in those early texts) so this is not conclusive. From his association with the Hobbit Nob, we might take it that Bob was intended to remain a Hobbit in the published book, but the two are never said to be related. In summary, it seems most natural to imagine Bob as a Hobbit, but it is not impossible that he was a actually one of the Bree-men.


In modern usage, 'Bob' is short for 'Robert', and indeed in earlier versions of the text Bob's name alternates with 'Rob', so a similar connection seems to be intended. The name Robert derives from Germanic words meaning 'fame bright'.

See also...

Appledore Family, Nob


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 March 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

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

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2002, 2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by myDISCprofile, the free online personality test.
Explore the benefits of using a personality profile to discover yourself and make the most of your career.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry