The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Founded the Shire in III 1601 (year 1 of the Shire-reckoning)
Race
Division
Culture
Apparently originated among the Bree-hobbits
Pronunciation
m'archo
Meaning
From Old English mearh (related to Welsh march), 'horse' or 'steed'1

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 1 November 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

Marcho

The founder, with his brother Blanco, of the Shire

Fallohides
Unnamed
parents
Marcho
Blanco

The Fallohide Hobbit who, with his brother Blanco, set out from Bree to settle the lands that were to become known as the Shire.


Notes

1

The two Hobbits who founded the Shire, Marcho and his brother Blanco, each have a name that means 'horse'. Tolkien chose the names to mirror those of Hengest and Horsa, legendary figures who led the Anglo-Saxons into Britain in the fifth century, and whose names also each mean 'horse'.

The Old English mearh that lies behind Marcho's name is the source of the modern English word 'mare', and can be seen in various forms throughout Tolkien's works. The noble mearas of Rohan had a name that derived from the same source, and at least two leaders of the Northmen (Marhari and Marhwini) had names incorporating marh-, which belongs to the same etymological line of descent.

Of course, Old English did not exist in the world of Middle-earth, and the names Marcho and Blanco are modernised forms representing these Hobbits' unrecorded 'true' names. Given the association with horses, we might imagine that those original names carried a similar connection (though presumably not in the sense of 'steed' or 'riding horse', as Marcho implies, because it was very rare indeed for a Hobbit to be able to ride a horse).

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 1 November 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

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

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2001, 2009, 2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Discovery aptitude and skill testing.
Personality is one part of understanding a candidate's suitability for a role, but aptitude can also be crucial.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Menu
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry