Protection of The Shire

Discussion in 'Books' started by Radagast, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    The Tale of Years: Appendix B
    Was this a good decision by Aragorn? At the end of the Lord of the Rings, all the free peoples of Middle Earth are united together in friendship. Creating a 'barrier' between these other cultures and the Shire could create curiousity and might eventually lead to jealousy and/or resentment towards the Shire.

    We know that the Hobbits and Men of Bree could live peacefully together:

    So even though Hobbits had a passive and shy character, that in no way means they could not mingle with the race of Men. Plus, it is highly doubtful that any of the other races would move to the Shire to live. The extent of the outsiders would most likely be travellers. The Shire is located rather out-of-the-way, so even without this rule few Men would journey to the Shire. What reason would they have for going there?

    (Btw, I'm not saying I agree with this train of thought, rather I am trying to create some discussion. Let's get some responses:))
     
  2. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    This thing is for certain. The hobbits of the Shire did not want to the big people to come to the Shire and the big people didn't really want to go there. Also, the hobbits weren't as capable at defending themselves from men.
     
  3. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Is it for certain?

    For the most part, true. But the reasons for them not wanting big people present was because they were not from the Shire originally. Hobbits from Bree would be treated the same. I'm willing to bet once the 'stranger' becomes common and known, he won't be seen as a threat anymore.

    I addressed this train of thought, and I agree. Which helps towards the viewpoint of why Aragorn's edict would be unnessicary.

    First off, when you state "defending themselves from men", I see some errors.

    i) What group of men would physically attack the Shire? Yes, remanents of Sauron's forces may have still existed, but surely not anywhere near the Shire. Not only that, to get to the Shire, these groups of Men would have to get through Gondor and Rohan. Other than that, I see no evidence of any hostility left that would require the Hobbits to defend themselves.

    ii) From the Scouring of the Shire, we know that the Hobbits were perfectly able of defending themselves if they actually wanted to. All that was needed was a bit of experience from Merry and Pippen to lead the way, and they gave Saruman a bit of a lesson. Unless they were greatly outnumbered, which again, isn't probable, what would hinder them from properly defending themselves?

    Now that I am thinking, I see another solution that could work just as well, or even better:
    Why not have Aragorn continue to have the Rangers defend the Shire? This way, travellers would still be allowed and the Hobbits relations with the other cultures would not be hurt. Obviously, the Rangers safely defended the Shire for centuries when times were tough. Why not let them continue to keep an eye on the Shire, thus protecting it while letting others have access to the Shire, minimal as that traffic would be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2004
  4. isengard111

    isengard111 The Master Chief

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    (shrugs)

    Hobbits didn't want to mess with the rest of the world, so I guess that Aragorn put that rule into effect to ensure that. You never know who might go wandering around up there.


    "Why not have Aragorn continue to have the Rangers defend the Shire?"

    Who says they all left? Maybe some are still there, watching out for people.
     
  5. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Of course we can presume there would be some Rangers guarding the Shire. Aragorn would have to place some type of authority to make sure his rule was enforced. My statement wasn't clear I guess, I wasn't trying to point out that no Rangers were currently there. I meant why not have Rangers guarding the Shire without the Shire being off-bounds, which would of been a better idea.
     
  6. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    I cant imagine that this would have happened without the approval of the thain and the mayor of the shire. Probably i was just an intention of creating what the elves and dwarves had in a sort of private commune.Clearly the Hobbits governed themselves and were being given advanced responsibilities over the west of ME.
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Good point, never thought of the Elves and Dwarves. Of course, the Elves and Dwarves would most likely still allow visitors to their forests/caves, while preserving and maintaining their privacy. I see the situation with the Hobbits no differently.

    Those advanced responsibilities did not require the edict in any direct way. The only reason I can come up with is perhaps Aragorn gave the edict for a reward because of those advanced responsibilities.

    Hmm...
     
  8. asap

    asap New Member

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    Good point... also, it might have negative effects the other way round as well... the Shire hobbits have always been very suspicious about Big Folk, and the invasion by Saruman's men didn't improve their opinion of Men much either. Now, Merry and Pippin befriended Men, which could be a great start for good lasting relations between the two races. Unfortunately, with the seclusion following Aragorn's edict, it won't happen. Over time, hobbits will just grow even more prejudiced about men.

    Can we? I've gotten the impression that there weren't so many rangers left, considering they could only spare fifty to Aragorn's help in the end of ROTK... Also, I imagine Aragorn considered the Northern Rangers his most trusted and loyal comrades, I gather he had much more important assignments for them than the job of a plain border guard.
     
  9. gohekan

    gohekan The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I agree, what does the Shire have?I seriously doubt that any last remaining clan of Sauromon followers would try to take over the Shire.And as you said yourself , Radagast , they would have to go threw the men and elves to even get there, and for what?nothing.So i think let the Shire be.And if there is any sign of resistance then send the Rangers.Plus the Hobbits would like their privacy so why make everything difficult?Send Rangers to the front of the line and leave the Shire be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2004
  10. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Exactly. Eventually leading to:

    -------

    Valid point, I had not thought of that. But I would assume with the edict Aragorn would have to inforce it anyways with some sort of authority. Unless the Hobbits themselves organized a 'watch' party, the only other feasible conclusion is that Aragorn sent some of his Men to watch the Shire's borders. I'm of thought that the border guard position would be rather part time, not consistant, and at a rather low activity level. Therefore, could not the Rangers both complete their other important tasks, while keeping an eye on the Shire?
     
  11. LOTR Fan

    LOTR Fan Universals v. Particulars

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    I would imagine, barring that this is simply a hole in the plot line; that their "forced seclusion" was as a reward for the bearing of the ring. Certainly Bilbo and Frodo being allowed to sail from the Grey Havens was a result of their burden (and a little known fact - Sam sails off as well). Perhaps this was a way of preserving the sanctity of a people that for the most part had remained isolated from war, and pure in their own ideal (simple as it may be). The world of men had seen much corruption and thus was pollute the purity of the Shire, this edict would be a way of preventing such contamination.

    To sum up - I believe the edict had a two-fold motivation
    1) to honor the legacy of the brave Bilbo, Frodo and Sam (and to a lesser degree Merry and Pippin)
    2) to perserve the sanctity of the Shire and to keep any contaminating influence from polluting this simple and peaceful land/people
     
  12. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    1) It's an interesting way to honour them, but is a possible answer.

    2) The sanctity of the Shire had already been spoiled by Saruman. Although it may have been 'pure' compared to the rest of Middle Earth, it was no longer in the state of innocence it held before the War of the Ring. Whether the edict is in effect or not, the damage was done. Not only that, why would travellers be a contaminating influence? They were allowed access to the Shire before the War of the Ring, so why would it be any different after the War of the Ring, which may I remind, was a considerably better ME enviroment.
     
  13. LOTR Fan

    LOTR Fan Universals v. Particulars

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    Let me rephrase 2) perhaps to prevent any future contamination - - - - - - - - - if this is not acceptable, I will have to wait to see what others are thinking
     
  14. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Well, that is possible, I will admit that. But I will go back and quote myself to show how it is unlikely.

    Aragorn had a strong grasp on his kingdom. Any uprisings that would occur would be quickly put down. There was nothing to fear other than individual problems. These individual problems the Hobbits/Rangers would be able to take care of. The edict would not have been required.

    Another point I thought of. The edict would keep only the good natured people out. Any Men of negative attitude and actions would not bother to pay heed to the edict.
     
  15. LOTR Fan

    LOTR Fan Universals v. Particulars

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    I don't necessarily mean contamination as being in the form of attack - perhaps Tolkien envisioned a world that could be isolated, not only from war but from any outside influence - maybe the ideal he was suggesting for the Shire was the true life in a bubble; seeing as how Hobbits rarely cared for the outside anyway, they should be free from any outside influence; violent or othewise.
     
  16. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    After reading all this, my best guess is that Aragorn tried to make The Shire an independant enclave within Arnor, under the protection of Arnor. First of all, when no (Hu)man is allowed into the Shire, none can control it. Remember that Tolkien always depicts humans as in search of Power due to their short lives, amongst others. With the Shire as a No Go area, that could be prevented. And yes, the Shire is protected by Arnor, and certainly King Elessar wouldn't have the desire to take over the Shire, but there is no telling what would happen after his death.

    Also, I still believe most Hobbits were not too eager for men crossing the Shire. After all, they were also desribed as hiding for them. Now, the power is completely in hands of the Hobbits, with a backup from Arnor, so they can tell people to take another road in stead of going into hiding.

    Still, I believe that Hobbits weren't that strict in their border policy, I guess humans still visited the Shire occasionally, upon invitation. And for those who argue about Bree. I wonder whether it is in the Shire... I'm not sure about it, but I always thought it was on the junction between two old dwarven roads, just outside the Shire. In any case, I guess there is no stopping Dwarves using their old roads. And I don't see any reasons why a Dwarf shood be any better than a human...
     
  17. gohekan

    gohekan The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Exactly my point , couldnet have said it better myself.
     
  18. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    True about things happening after his death. But there are other ways to protect the Shire in the long run that wouldn't eventually kill off the Hobbits like this edict did. How about a tax to enter the Shire, proceeds going to the Hobbits themselves?

    Of course they weren't to eager about strangers, no matter what race they came from. Even Hobbits from Bree would be treated with a negative attitude. And sure, the Hobbits could tell the people to take another road by themselves, similiar to the elves monitoring there borders and not having an edict.

    Bree isn't in the Shire, if I remember correctly. And I agree, even with Aragorn's edict, the chances are it didn't work 100%. Humans probably still got in, unless there was a very strict enforcement in place.

    I also agree with the point made about the Dwarves. Is it fair to detour them from the path's that probably existed before the Shire actually did? (Not totally sure on that one, but I'm pretty positive that the Dwarves path would of been first. I'll have to research it up.) With another method (such as a tax, or the Ranger patrol) the Dwarves would still be allowed access to what is apart of their heritage.
     
  19. gohekan

    gohekan The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I never thought of taxing.But I still think that we need some sort of guarding service.
    I mean , if you were an enormous warrior and you decided to cut threw the Shire and a little hobbit walks up and demands your tax money , you probibably would go right threw.lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2004
  20. Kingpin1989

    Kingpin1989 New Member

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    Going back to the "only 50 Rangers" point, I seem to recall that Halbarad said that it was all that could be gathered in haste. I do believe that the edict was a bad idea, as it physically does very little to stop all but the law-abiding citizens from entering the Shire(as was previously stated in this forum).