The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Race
Culture
Family
Settlements
Born in Gamwich, later resettled in Tighfield
Meaning
Wiseman means either 'wise man' or 'fool'1

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 26 November 2022
  • This entry is complete

Wiseman Gamwich

Ancestor of Samwise Gamgee

The son of Hamfast of Gamwich, Wiseman was one of the earliest Hobbits to be recorded in the family line that would become known as the Gamgees. He was born in the year III 2800 (or 1200 by the Shire-reckoning), more than two centuries before the War of the Ring. Wiseman took his surname from the village of Gamwich where he had been born and raised, but in later life he departed to settle in Tighfield. He had a single recorded son, born when Wiseman was forty-six years old, whom he named Hob.

Wiseman's son Hob would acquire the name Gammidge (a corruption of Wiseman's own surname Gamwich), which would eventually change to Gammidgy, and ultimately give rise to the family name Gamgee. Through his son Hob Gammidge, Wiseman Gamwich was the great-grandfather of Hamfast Gamgee the Gaffer, and thus the great-great-grandfather of Samwise Gamgee of the Company of the Ring.


Notes

1

These two contradictory meanings arise - at least in actual English surnames - because sometimes the name 'wise man' was meant literally, but sometimes the name would be given ironically to an individual who was far from wise. This kind of ironic naming was quite familiar to the Shire-hobbits, so either interpretation seems plausible.

In reality, Wiseman's name was perhaps influenced by Christopher Wiseman, and old school friend of Tolkien's and fellow member of the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (or T.C.B.S.) during their schooldays, with whom Tolkien continued to correspond throughout his life.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 26 November 2022
  • This entry is complete

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2002, 2008, 2017, 2022. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Learn how DISC can help recruitment, team building and more in our FREE guide to DISC profiling.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Menu
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry