If you ever have any doubt about whether or not Tolkien really had rich backstories for every single thing mentioned in his works, this page (along with yesterday’s) proves that he did. We’re learning a little bit more about Bree today.
The inhabitants of Bree don’t travel much, though some hobbits used to venture to Buckland or the Eastfarthing from the village, and hobbits in the eastern parts of the Shire would sometimes visit the taverns in Bree. This back-and-forth has waned over the years, though it is undeniable that the hobbits of Bree and Buckland share some of the same ancestry. Today, the Shire-hobbits tend to think of anyone outside the Shire as backwards, even though the hobbits of Bree live comfortable lives similar to those in the Shire.
Bree itself is surrounded by a tall hedge and ditch, much like Buckland, and the East Road runs right through it, from a gate in the west to another in the south. The gates are guarded at night. The growth of Bree, as I had thought, was due to the convergence of the East and North roads just west of the village. Though the northern road is rarely used now, tales told by all the various travelers passing though Bree at The Prancing Pony were said to be strange.
-Outsiders: The term given by hobbits in the Shire to anyone living outside its borders. Kind of a derogatory title.
-the Northern Lands: Abandoned lands to the north. Once the kingdom of Arnor. Now, nothing.
-the North Road: North-south road passing by Bree. Now called the Greenway by Bree-folk due to its overgrowth.
Bree is a crossroads town! It’s like the Midwest of Middle-earth.
Why must the hobbits of the Shire be so elitist? Aren’t we supposed to like them? I would understand if we were just talking about wayward hobbits roaming the countryside, but the divide between hobbits in the Shire and hobbits in Bree seems to come from the fact that the two groups don’t see each other as much anymore. But seriously, it’s just because of laziness! Hobbits are lazy, that’s a fact, and if the hobbits in the Shire or Bree would just work up the effort to travel for a single day, they could visit the other hobbits easily. Get it together, folks.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
It’s amazing what words I haven’t already used that you would assume I would have. Like that one.
“The Inn of Bree was still there, however, and the innkeeper was…”