Weekly Lore #7 — On Farmer Maggot

Farmer Maggot was the owner of Bamfurlong, in The Marish in The Shire. His farm was renowned for its mushrooms, which led to much trespassing by young hobbits, Frodo Baggins included. He was also known for Grip, Fang, and Wolf, the three fierce dogs he kept to discourage said young hobbits from stealing his mushrooms. Those who were familiar with him knew him to be very shrewd, and to have regularly gone into the Old Forest. He also a friend to Tom Bombadil, who said of him: “There’s earth under his old feet, and clay on his fingers; wisdom in his bones, and both his eyes are open.” Farmer Maggot provided much of Tom’s knowledge of recent events in the Shire. Maggot had three daughters, at least two sons, and at least two other hobbits working on his farm.

In LotRO:

Farmer Maggot is found at Bamfurlong, and bears the title of “Respected Farmer.” He is involved in a few quests, mostly involving either nearby bandits or early visits to the Old Forest. He also functions as a grocer, but does not sell the mushrooms his farm is known for.

Bamfurlong is also the subject of an early Burglar class quest, in which the player must prevent brigands from stealing Farmer Maggot’s mushrooms… and, naturally, pilfer some for him or herself.

[Spoilers Follow]

At the time of the Lord of the Rings, Farmer Maggot received two strange visitations in short succession. The first was a Black Rider, seeking news of Baggins. The second was Frodo Baggins himself, along with Samwise Gamgee and Peregrin (Pippin) Took. Maggot managed to successfully guess that the Rider’s errand had something to do with Bilbo’s adventure long ago, but he did not recognise that the Rider came from Mordor, nor that it concerned anything more important than simple treasure (or if he did, he did not say as much). He then provided transportation to the Bucklebury Ferry for Frodo & Co., along with a basket of mushrooms from Mrs. Maggot.

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