Tolkien Gateway

Sarn Ford

This article is about a ford near the Shire. For the ford in Beleriand, see Sarn Athrad.
Gandalf Crosses the Sarn Ford by Alarie

Sarn Ford was the stone ford on the River Baranduin, on the far southern borders of the Shire. It was guarded by the Rangers of the North. However, on 22 September T.A. 3018, the Rangers were driven off by the arrival in the evening of the Ringwraiths.[1]

A road beginning at Waymeet crossed the ford, which met the Greenway further south. By this road Khamûl the Ringwraith entered the Shire during the War of the Ring.


[edit] Etymology

Sarn Ford was so named by the Númenóreans, after Sarn Athrad in Beleriand.[2]

The name is a half-translation of the Elvish (Sindarin) name Sarn-athrad, meaning "stony-ford" (sarn + athrad).[3][2]

[edit] Inspirations

Perhaps J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired by the landscape of his childhood: "Hall Green village was only a little distance away [from Sarehole] down a lane and across a ford.".[4]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Sarn Ford (colloquial name for Iach Sarn or Athrad Sarn) is a ford maintained by an Arthedain garrison. The site is given a detailed description and history.[5][6][7]

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North:

Sarn Ford is the starting location of the game, shortly after the Nazgûl attacked the Rangers who guarded the Shire. Eradan, Andriel and Farin meet Halbarad, who sends them to Bree to warn Aragorn.[8]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 163
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 775
  4. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
  5. Mark Rabuck (1992), Northwestern Middle-earth Gazetteer (#4002)
  6. Wesley Frank (1995), The Shire (#2017)
  7. Wesley J. Frank, et al. (1997), Arnor: The Land (#2023)
  8. Offical Xbox Magazine Online, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, dated 28 April, 2011 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)