The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
The only known member of this family, Malva Headstrong, lived during the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age (or the twelfth century according to the Shire-reckoning)1
Race
Culture
Settlements
Lived at Brandy Hall after her marriage
Meaning
Apparently 'wilful, stubborn'3

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  • Updated 27 January 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

Headstrong Family

An ancestral family of the Brandybucks

A little-known but important family in the history of Buckland. Two hundred and fifty years before the War of the Ring, the family was sufficiently prominent for one of its members, Malva Headstrong, to marry into the Brandybuck family. Malva's husband Gormadoc became Master of Buckland, famous for expanding Brandy Hall. All of the subsequent Masters, down to and including Meriadoc Brandybuck, were therefore descended in part from the Headstrong family.

Though the Headstrongs were clearly an important family historically, we have no record of any other member of the family in the centuries after Malva's time. At the very least this seems to suggest that the family had diminished in stature or size, and perhaps there were no Headstrongs left in Buckland or the Shire at the time of the War of the Ring.


Notes

1

We don't have specific dates for Malva Headstrong, but her husband Gormadoc Brandybuck lived from III 2734 to III 2836 (S.R. 1134 - 1236) so presumably Malva's own dates were comparable.

2

The fact that Malva Headstrong married into the Brandybuck family implies that she was probably from Buckland, but this is by no means certain, and it is at least plausible that the Headstrong family may have originated within the Shire itself.

3

While the name 'Headstrong' is not explicitly explained, it is a natural assumption that it carried the same meaning as the English word 'headstrong', that is 'proudly self-willed'. It is perhaps notable that Malva Headstrong's eldest son Madoc gained the sobriquet 'Proudneck', so we can perhaps imagine Malva as being literally headstrong, and passing that quality on to her son.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 27 January 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

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