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Named for the gem


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  • Updated 31 January 2018
  • This entry is complete

Pearl Took

Peregrin Took’s eldest sister

The eldest of the four children of Paladin Took and Eglantine Banks, and thus one of the three elder sisters of Peregrin Took of the Company of the Ring. Along with her parents and all her siblings, she attended Bilbo Baggins' famous Farewell Party in the year III 3001 (or 1401 by the Shire-reckoning) when she would have been twenty-six years old.

The year after Bilbo's party Pearl became enmeshed in the controversy surrounding the death of Lalia, at that time matriarch of the Tooks. In her later life, the irascible Lalia had become immensely fat, and had to be transported around Great Smials by wheelchair. Pearl was acting as her attendant2 when a disaster befell: she lost control of the chair and allowed it to run out of the Great Door of the Smials and career down a flight of steps, bringing Lalia's long life to an end.

When Lalia's son Ferumbras III took his place as head of the Tooks, Pearl was excluded from the ceremony for her part in Lalia's demise. It's recorded, however, that she was later seen wearing a magnificent necklace of pearls (reflecting her name), and it seems that Thain Ferumbras and his family were not perhaps entirely disapproving of her part in the imperious Lalia's downfall.

In the year III 3015 (S.R. 1415) Thain Ferumbras III died, leaving no issue. Though Pearl's father Paladin was descended from a lesser branch of the family, Ferumbras' lack of an heir meant that he succeeded to become Thain Paladin II. Though Pearl was his eldest daughter, Hobbit tradition had the title passing to the eldest male heir, and so after Paladin the next Thain was Pearl's younger brother Peregrin.



We know that Pearl lived until at least the year III 3002 (or 1402 by the Shire-reckoning). This was the year after Bilbo Baggins' Farewell Party, in which the then twenty-seven-year-old Pearl was involved in the scandal surrounding the death of Lalia, the old matriarch of the Took clan. After this we hear no more of Pearl's life, though given her youth at the time she almost certainly lived through the War of the Ring and indeed for decades beyond.


It should be said that the details of Pearl's misadventures are presented as rumour rather than fact (the Tooks having done what they could to conceal the details of the affair). We're given such a detailed account of the story, though, that it seems plainly meant to be taken as at least largely true. The entire account can be found in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, No. 214, probably dated late 1958 or early 1959).


About this entry:

  • Updated 31 January 2018
  • This entry is complete

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