The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Extant at the end of the Third Age
Location
The Bree-land, and possibly also the Shire1
Race
Cultures
Bree-hobbits, and possibly also Shire-hobbits
Settlements
Meaning
Presumably derived from the fact that Staddle lay under the Bree-hill2
Other names
Used as an alias by Frodo Baggins

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 21 August 2019
  • This entry is complete

Underhill Family

A Hobbit-family of Staddle

A common family name among the Bree-hobbits. They lived in the village of Staddle on the east side of the Bree-hill, and indeed it is doubtless from the placing of their homes on the slopes of that hill that they took their family name.

Underhill was also the identity assumed by Frodo Baggins after he left the Shire, a name in fact dervied from Underhill the place in Hobbiton. By coincidence, he encountered a number of true Underhills in the Prancing Pony in Bree, who were naturally curious to meet (as they imagined) a distant cousin. At least some of the Underhills played a part in the fighting in Bree during the War of the Ring, and one of them lost his life in that conflict.


Notes

1

It remains unclear whether there were any actual Underhills living in the Shire. Frodo Baggins took his alias from the hamlet of the same name that lay under Hobbiton Hill, but it's certainly not impossible that there might have been a real family with that name living in the Shire. It's notable, however, that none of the Bree-landers seemed to have heard of Underhills from the Shire before, not even those who had travelled there several times. This seems to suggest that there were in fact no true Underhills beyond the borders of the Bree-land.

2

At least, the Underhills of Staddle would have taken their name from the Bree-hill. The place named Underhill in the Shire took its name from Hobbiton Hill and it might be presumed that any Shire-hobbits bearing the name would take it from the same source. On the other hand, the Underhills of Staddle apparently thought it possible that an Underhill from the Shire might be a distant cousin. For the two families to be related, the origin of the name must have been from the same hill, which would imply that part of the family had migrated from the Bree-land to the Shire, or vice versa.

See also...

Bree-hobbits, Common Room

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 21 August 2019
  • This entry is complete

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