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Extant at the time of the War of the Ring, III 30191
Married into the Rumble family
Probably associated with Hobbiton2


About this entry:

  • Updated 18 February 2020
  • This entry is complete

Widow Rumble

Gaffer Gamgee’s little-known helper

" 'There is no need to come yet, if you don't want to,' said Frodo. 'But you know the Gaffer is close at hand, and he will be very well looked after by Widow Rumble.' "
The Return of the King VI 9
The Grey Havens

Sam's father Hamfast the Gaffer had been born in the year III 2926, so in the year that the War of the Ring ended, III 3019, he would have been ninety-three years old. In his old age, he was helped by Widow Rumble, a benefactor who is hardly mentioned elsewhere (though we do know from other sources that she was an old Hobbit-woman). She was perhaps one of the Gaffer's neighbours in New Row beneath Hobbiton Hill.



We have no dates for Widow Rumble, but according to Tolkien's notes for translators, she is described as being 'old' at the time of the War of the Ring. We could perhaps take her as being contemporary with her friend Gaffer Gamgee, who was born in III 2926, on which basis Widow Rumble would have been in her nineties at the time of the War.


While it's not stated outright that Widow Rumble lived in Hobbiton, her own considerable age, combined with her association with the aged Gaffer Gamgee strongly suggests that she lived relatively nearby, and possibly on Bagshot Row as one of the Gaffer's neighbours.


Tolkien specifically states that the name 'Rumble' held no particular meaning to the Shire-hobbits. In fact 'Rumble' is a real English surname, albeit a rather rare one, with two possible sources. Some instances seem to come from Germanic Rumwald, 'glory bold', while others are related to Old English Rumbold, 'large fold' (where a 'fold' is an enclosed area for keeping farm animals). The latter would presumably be more applicable to the Hobbits of the Shire, but if the name had ever carried any such significance, it was evidently forgotten by the closing years of the Third Age.

See also...

Rumble Family


About this entry:

  • Updated 18 February 2020
  • This entry is complete

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