The Trollshaws

“Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, were there were no people left, no inns,
and the roads grew steadily worse.”

The Hobbit: C2

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TolkienCanon3The Trollshaws was a people-less country in the southern reaches of the land called Rhudaur. A wild place of rock and trees, with rugged ridges and dense forest, it lay between the rivers Hoarwell and the Loudwater. It’s Northern border stretched as far the Enttenmoors and the Great East Road marked it’s southern border. In the latter days of the Third Age, it was a place of warning and fear, were ancient ruins haunted this empty land.

TrollShaws2The lands of Rhudaur, were once part of the Kingdom of Arnor, but the men of this land fell into evil and were seduced by the Witch-king of Angmar. The last Kings of Rhudaur were not of Númenórean blood, but were descended of Hill-men in service of the Witch-king. Under their rule the land became a vassal of Angmar, and thus enemies of the two remaining Kingdoms of Arnor, Cardolan and Arthedain. The men of Rhudaur built great fortresses on the hills of this land, though now only ruins remain.

It’s name during the latter part of the Third Age was rooted in the roving Hill-trolls, that came down out of the Enttenmoors to trouble the unwary traveler along the Road. However, during the last years of the Third Age, few trolls if any remained here, many having perished in The Battle of the Five Armies.

Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves upon the quest of Erebor, traveled through these lands on their way to Rivendell.

“At first they had passed through hobbit-lands, a wild respectable country inhabited by decent folks, with good roads, an inn or two, and now and then a dwarf or a farmer ambling by on business. Then they came to lands  where people spoke strangely, and sang songs Bilbo had never heard before. Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, where there were no people left, no inns, and the road grew steadily worse. Not far ahead were dreary hills, rising higher and higher, dark with trees. On some of them were old old castles with an evil look, as if they had been built by wicked people. Everything seemed gloomy and the weather that day had taken a nasty turn. “

From the The Hobbit in the chapter ‘Roast Mutton’


TrollShaws1Wet to the bone and unable to make a fire, the dwarves send Bilbo off to investigate a fire seen far off in the woods.

“As for Bilbo walking primly towards the red light, I don’t suppose even a weasel would have stirred a whisker at it. So naturally, he got right up to the fire – for fire it was – without disturbing anyone. And this is what he saw.
Three very large persons sitting round a very large fire of beech-logs. The were toasting mutton on large spits of wood, and licking the gravy off their fingers. There was a fine toothsome smell. Also there was a barrel of good drink at hand, and they were drinking out of jugs. But they were trolls.” Obviously trolls. Even Bilbo, in spite of his sheltered life, could see that: from the great heavy faces of them, and their size, and the shape of their legs, not to mention their language, which was not drawing-room fashion at all, at all.”

From the The Hobbit in the chapter ‘Roast Mutton’


Strider and the four hobbits travelling through the Trollshaws on their way to Rivendell came across a familiar site.

“The sun was now high, and it shown down through the half stripped branches of the trees, and lit the clearing with bright patches of light. The halted suddenly on the edge and peered through the tree-trunks, holding their breath. There stood the trolls: three large trolls. One was stooping and the other two stood staring at him.
Strider walked forward unconcernedly.’Get up, old stone!’ he said, and broke his stick upon the stooping troll.
Nothing happened. There was a gasp of astonishment from the hobbits, and then even Frodo laughed. ‘Well!’ he said. ‘We are forgetting our family history! These must be the very same three that were caught by Gandalf, quarreling over the right way to cool thirteen dwarves and one hobbit!'”

From the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the chapter ‘Flight to the Ford’


“By the late Third Age, the Trollshaws were infamous for being the haunting place of trolls,”


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 Posted by at 11:10 am