Bill Ferny resided in Bree and was known as an sneering, nefarious character who would sell anything to anyone, including dealings with shady travelers from the South, the agents of Saruman and Sauron. Ferny lived near the South-gate of Bree.
In Bree, Merry saw Ferny selling information about the hobbits to the Nazgûl. Ferny may have also let loose the ponies that otherwise could have been used by the hobbits to leave the city. As a further bit of profit (and ignoring any loyalty to Saruman or the Black Riders), he sold a pony named Bill to Strider and the hobbits, for which he demanded twelve silver pennies, over three times its value.
Later, he supported Saruman's mechanization of the Shire, becoming a watchman at the Brandywine Bridge. Bill (the pony) repaid his former master for his mistreatment by kicking him. Ferny's ultimate fate is unknown, but as far as the folk of the Shire knew he was never heard from again.
Portrayal in adaptations
Ferny appears in The Lord of the Rings Online video game, spreading mischief in and around Bree. Early on, he is revealed to be in league with a band of brigands in the service of "Sharkey" (Saruman) that operate all over Bree-land. It is shown that he is intent in supporting an alliance between the brigands and some Orcs of the Misty Mountains, undoubtedly serving himself the most. He believes that such arrangement would allow him to pillage and plunder easier, hence his interest in it. Much to his chagrin, however, the alliance isn't forged.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Бил Папратак|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||比爾·羊齒蕨|
|Portuguese (Brazil)||Bill Samambaia|
|Spanish (Spain and Latin America)||Bill Helechal|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Білл Папоротень|