The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Extant at the end of the Third Age
Species
Culture
Raised by the Shire-hobbits
Settlements
Eventually stabled in Bree
Meaning
Uncertain1

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  • Updated 1 November 2021
  • This entry is complete

Wise-nose

One of Merry’s ponies

One of the five ponies owned by Meriadoc Brandybuck, and used by Frodo and his companions on the first stage of their journey out of the Shire. After passing through the Old Forest, the ponies became lost on the Barrow-downs, and when Tom Bombadil collected them together again, he gave each of them a name. One of those names was 'Wise-nose'.

With the other ponies, Wise-nose travelled as far as Bree, but before their masters could mount them again, the ponies were driven out of the stables to wander in the wilds of the Bree-land. Eventually the ponies found their way back to Tom Bombadil, who in turn sent them to back to Barliman Butterbur of the Prancing Pony inn, from whose stables in Bree they had fled.


Notes

1

Most of the names chosen by Tom Bombadil for the Hobbits' ponies, like 'Swish-tail' or 'White-socks', come from distinctive characteristics of the ponies in question, but 'Wise-nose' is a little more difficult to parse. It seems to be connected to Tom's comments about the ponies, saying that (compared to the Hobbits) they had '...more sense in their noses. For they sniff danger ahead...' (The Fellowship of the Ring, I 8 Fog on the Barrow-downs) Here Tom is talking about the ponies in general, but we might assume from this that Wise-nose had even more of this 'nose-sense' than the others.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 1 November 2021
  • This entry is complete

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