22 Jun 2009

"Good Evening Little Masters!"

"That's right! Barliman is my name. Barliman Butterbur at your service! You're from the Shire, eh? " he said, and then suddenly he clapped his hand to his forehead, as if trying to remember something. "Hobbits!" he cried. "Now what does that remind me of ?"
(J.R.R. Tolkien - At the sign of the Prancing Pony)

Lets face it, Barliman Butterbur has a really weak memory. In Tolkien's story he forgets to send Gandalf's letter to Frodo back to the Shire , leaving Frodo uncertain about Gandalf's fate and forcing him to start his journey much later than the letter indicated when the Black Riders are already in the Shire. Finally he will remember it when Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry arrive to stay at the Prancing Pony in Bree, and even then it does take a long time before he is able to make the connection. When Gandalf finally arrives to the Inn he is furious with Barlinan for forgetting to send his letter, however Butterbur will be forgiven when Gandald finds out the halflings are alive and with Strider, Gandalf is so happy at the news that does even bless Barliman's beer in gratitude.

Barliman has two hobbit employees: Bob , a stable-hand , and Nob, a servant. Not much is known about Bob, however there is a bit more information about Nob which is a Hobbit of Breeland (born outside the Shire). On a rainy September night the four Shire-hobbits arrive at the The Prancing Pony. When Merry Brandybuck, goes missing after a night stroll, Nob is able to find him and bring him back to safety. Nob is also responsible for helping the Hobbit disguise their beds when the Black Riders are in Bree.