The Return of the King

The Return of the King

by

J. R. R. Tolkien

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Butterbur Character Analysis

Butterbur is the owner of the Prancing Pony, the inn in the village of Bree at which Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Gandalf rest on their journey back to the Shire. He is the source of some worrying news for the hobbits, intimating that the Shire is not the same as the way they left it and sharing stories of the ruffians who exert violent authority over Bree. Butterbur’s business struggled during the war, but it picks up on the return of the hobbits due to the villagers’ curiosity.
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Butterbur Character Timeline in The Return of the King

The timeline below shows where the character Butterbur appears in The Return of the King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 6, Chapter 7
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...Bree where they’re disappointed by the gatekeeper’s brusque welcome. The innkeeper of the Prancing Pony, Butterbur, greets them warmly but tells them that most rooms of the inn are empty these... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
Gandalf tells Butterbur to cheer up: more pleasant days will come soon. He says that many people will... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
...it when he gets home. After a few nights, the hobbits and Gandalf leave Bree. Butterbur says he should’ve warned them more about what’s gone on in the Shire. The hobbits... (full context)