The Shire, Home of the Hobbits.

The Shire was a fertile and well-tilled part of Arnor, but deserted during the waning days of the Kingdom when it was known as the splinter-realm of Arthedain. Where the Shire was had been the King’s hunting grounds. The Hobbits got official permission from King Argeleb II  to settle the lands. This was finally done in Third 1601 (Year 1 in Shire Reckoning) by Hobbits from Bree, led by the brothers Marcho and Blanco.

By 1630 TA almost all of the Hobbits of Middle-earth could be found in the Shire, which they divided into four Farthings and there were villages and folklands throughout.

800px-Map_Middle-Earth_A_Part_of_the_Shire - Copy


In the early years, The Hobbits of The Shire considered themselves as subjects of the King, and sent some support troops, a company of archers, to the great battles Arnor fought against Angmar. After the fall of Arnor, the Shire remained a minor but independent region and the Hobbits established a position with the title of Thain to fill the absence of the King.

The Shire’s small size, relative lack of importance, and brave and resilient Hobbit population made it too modest an objective for conquest. More important was that the Shire was guarded and protected by the Dunedain and Gandalf, who watched the borders and kept out intruders. The only strangers to enter the Shire were the Dwarves travelling through the Shire to and from their mines in the Blue Mountains, and the occasional Elves on their way to the Grey Havens.

The Shire did have hard times including The Great Plague of the Third Age in 1636.

Generally The Shire was untroubled by the wars in other lands and Eriador was quiet until Third age 2740 when a band of orcs from The Misty Mountains invaded the region and one party reached The Shire.

Led by their king, Golfimbul, the orcs entered Northfarthing, and were met by Hobbits led by Bandoras (Bullroarer) Took at Greenfields.


Bullroarer…was so huge (for a hobbit) that he could ride a horse. He charged the ranks of the goblins of Mount Gram in the Battle of The Green Fields, and knocked their king Golfimbul’s head clean off with a wooden club. It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole, and in this way the battle was won, and the game of Golf invented at the same moment.”


In 2758 of the Third Age, The Terrible Long Winter had a devastating effect on the Shire. During this cold period and the following famine of The Days of Dearth which followed until 2760 T.A., it is recorded that thousands of Hobbits died.

It was during this time that the wizard Gandalf came to the aid of the Hobbits and he became fond of them and began to follow their affairs closely. Gandalf was endeared to them by their courage and the way they helped one another throughout this awful period. It is admitted by Gandalf that it was their courage and resilience which eventually led to his choosing of Bilbo to join the Quest of Erebor.

And then there was the Shire-folk. I began to have a warm place in my heart for them in the Long Winter, which none of you can remember. They were very hard put to it then: one of the worst pinches they have been in, dying of cold, and starving in the dreadful dearth that followed. But that was the time to see their courage, and their pity one for another. It was by their pity as much as their tough uncomplaining courage that they survived. I wanted them to survive. […] And anyway you must begin at some point, with some on person. I dare say he was “chosen” and I was only chosen to choose him; but I picked out Bilbo.“…Gandalf speaking to Pippin.

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