HASA Resources

Timeline Event

Saruman presides over the destruction of the Shire

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Dates: September 23, 3019 ~ November 2, 3019

Description:

'Hi!' cried Sam in an outraged voice. 'There's that Ted Sandyman a-cutting down trees as he shouldn't. They didn't ought to be felled: it's that avenue beyond the Mill that shades the road to Bywater.' ...

But now Sam noticed that the Old Mill had vanished, and a large red-brick building was being put up where it had stood. Lots of folk were busily at work. There was a tall red chimney nearby. Black smoke seemed to cloud the surface of the Mirror.

'There's some devilry at work in the Shire,' he said. 'Elrond knew what he was about when he wanted to send Mr. Merry back.' Then suddenly Sam gave a cry and sprang away. 'I can't stay here,' he said wildly. ... 'They've dug up Bagshot Row, and there's the poor old gaffer going down the Hill with his bits of things on a barrow. I must go home!"

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 7, The Mirror of Galadriel

'[Sharkey is the] biggest ruffian o' the lot, seemingly,' answered Cotton. ... 'All the ruffians do what he says; and what he says is mostly hack, burn, and ruin; and now it's come to killing. There's no longer even any bad sense in it. They cut down trees and let 'em lie, they burn houses and build no more.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 8, The Scouring of the Shire

'Take Sandyman's mill now. Pimple knocked it down.... But ... there was no more for the new mill to do than for the old. But since Sharkey came they don't grind no more corn at all. They're always a-hammering and a-letting out a smoke and a stench, and there isn't no peace even at night in Hobbiton. And they pour out filth a purpose; they've fouled all the lower Water and it's getting down into Brandywine. If they want to make the Shire into a desert, they're going the right way about it. I don't believe that fool of a Pimple's behind all this. It's Sharkey, I say.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 8, The Scouring of the Shire

It was one of the saddest hours in their lives. The great chimney rose up before them; and as they drew near the old village across the Water, through rows of new mean houses along each side of the road, they saw the new mill in all its frowning and dirty ugliness: a great brick building straddling the stream, which it fouled with a steaming and stinking overflow. All along the Bywater Road every tree had been felled.

As they crossed the bridge and looked up the Hill they gasped. Even Sam's vision in the Mirror had not prepared him for what they saw. The Old Grange on the west side had been knocked down, and its place taken by rows of tarred sheds. All the chestnuts were gone. The banks and hedgerows were broken. Great waggons were standing in disorder in a field beaten bare of grass. Bagshot Row was a yawning sand and gravel quarry. Bag End up beyond could not be seen for a clutter of large huts.

'They've cut it down!' cried Sam. 'They've cut down the Party Tree!' He pointed to where the tree had stood under which Bilbo had made his Farewell Speech. It was lying lopped and dead in the field.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 8, The Scouring of the Shire


Notes
The dates of this event are set to lie between the events Saruman comes to the Shire and Saruman slain by Gríma Wormtongue at Bag End.

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 22Aug06

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