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Thread: Pipeweed in Isengard

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Today I saw my neighbour smoking a pipe and I was wondering about something in LOTR. After the Ents overthrow Saruman's power in Isengard Merry and Pippin find a barrel of Old Toby Longbottom Leaf from the Southfarthing. If I remember correctly they made quite a fuss of it in the book at that point about who was having dealings with Isengard, since the Hobbits were supposed to be isolated and they were pretty much the only people who smoke pipeweed. But it stopped there. Nothing was ever mentioned about it later on and I'm still wondering what the meaning of it all was. Any thoughts on this?
Foreshadowing, subtle hints that Saruman was dealing in the Shire, which all came to the fore during the Scouring of the Shire.
When the four hobbits first re-entered the Shire and were spending that night in a house at the Shire end of the Brandywine Bridge, and after their meager dinner, Pippin said:
'Well now, what about a smoke, while you tell us what has been happening in the Shire? he said.

'There isn't no pipe-weed now, said Hob; 'at least only for the Chief's men. All stocks seem to have gone. We do hear that waggon-loads of it went away down the old road out of the Southfarthing, over Sarn Ford way. That would be the end o' last year, after you left. But it had been going away quietly before that, in a small way. That Lotho’’’'

'Now you shut up, Hob Hayward!' cried several of the others, You know talk o' that sort isn't allowed. The Chief will hear of it.....'
- from three pages into 'The Scouring of the Shire' found in RotK.
Oh right. Forgot about that. Thaks a lot!!