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Is there a Hobbit King?

Bernhardina
Rohan


Mar 3 2014, 2:26pm

Post #1 of 24 (430 views)
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Is there a Hobbit King? Can't Post

The King under the Hill :) no but seriously, I have only read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings once, so maybe I missed something. But all the other races seems to have Lords or Kings or Stewards to rule them all. Who rule the Hobbits? Is there a Hobbit king?
Or even democracy? Dreaming of Samwise Gamgee for president Wink



Angharad73
Rohan


Mar 3 2014, 2:47pm

Post #2 of 24 (279 views)
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There's the Thain [In reply to] Can't Post

... but I'm not entirely sure if he is some kind of ruler over the whole Shire or just a part of it and what his powers are.

Gerontius Took was Thain at some point, and he, of course, was the father of Belladonna Took, Bilbo's mother. And I think that Pippin Took became Thain at some point in the Fourth Age, followed by his son Faramir. Maybe the title of Thain was hereditary?


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 3 2014, 3:03pm

Post #3 of 24 (269 views)
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There were a number of "rulers" of the Shire ... [In reply to] Can't Post

With the term "ruler" being used loosely for some of them:

The Thain - Hereditary title (after it was given up by the Oldbucks), military leader of the Shire, Pippin became Thain after the War of the Ring

Mayor of Michel Delving - Elected (every 7 years), likely the most important Hobbit as Mayor of Shire, roles of Postmaster and First Sheriff, Frodo acted as Deputy Mayor for a time, but Sam became the Mayor for seven consecutive elections before sailing into the West

Master of Buckland - Head of Buckland family (hereditary), limited (if any?) power, leader of Buckland essentially

Warden of Westmarch - Hereditary, kept the Red Book, unknown if they had any other responsibilities

The Mayor, The Thain and The Master of Buckland all become Counsellors of the North-kingdom, as instructed by King Elessar.



(This post was edited by DanielLB on Mar 3 2014, 3:05pm)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 3 2014, 3:04pm

Post #4 of 24 (256 views)
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The Thain was hereditary. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Thain was ruler of the Shire until the restoration of the Reunited Kingdom.

At least one high office was an elected position; Mayor of Michel Delving, who also functioned as First Shirrif, head of the Watch. The Mayor of Michel Delving was also called Mayor of the Shire.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 3 2014, 3:12pm)


Elizabeth
Valinor


Mar 3 2014, 7:07pm

Post #5 of 24 (238 views)
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An aristocracy, but no "ruler". [In reply to] Can't Post

As others have noted, there was a Thain and a Mayor, as well as Master of Buckland. But although these were positions of respect with some ceremonial functions, they don't seem to have had any actual governing role. Hobbits seem to have been mostly cooperative and self-governing, unaccustomed to political control of any kind, which is why they were unable to respond effectively to Saruman's ruffians when they took over. It was respect for this kind of cooperative society that led King Elessar to issue the rule that no one from "outside" was to enter the Shire, including himself.








Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 3 2014, 7:34pm

Post #6 of 24 (232 views)
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The Shire [In reply to] Can't Post

Very well put Elizabeth. Also remember that there had been NO Hobbit murders in the Shire until the "Scouring", and apparently very little theft, save for Lobelia's umbrella :)


(This post was edited by Bracegirdle on Mar 3 2014, 7:36pm)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 3 2014, 9:00pm

Post #7 of 24 (221 views)
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The Shire had token allegiance to the Kings of Arnor [In reply to] Can't Post

 but when that line ended, there was no replacement to take over. Hobbits had old sayings about "when the King comes again" but they were largely self-ruled. When King Elessar united the kingdoms of the North and South, the Shire fell again under his rule, but he declared that men would not cross the borders of the Shire without leave and largely left the Hobbits to resume their usual order of governance.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Mar 4 2014, 2:58am

Post #8 of 24 (194 views)
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hobbit theft [In reply to] Can't Post

 
and bilbo's silver spoons.

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 4 2014, 3:54am

Post #9 of 24 (183 views)
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Bilbo's silver spoons [In reply to] Can't Post

and bilbo's silver spoons. ...

Wink My reference to Lobelia's umbrella: She used it to Shanghai (hide) the spoons. Bless her little SB heart.

Happy Ring-ing


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Mar 4 2014, 4:01am

Post #10 of 24 (173 views)
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ah [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i thought you were referring to one of bilbo's nephews. if i recall correctly, he had one who had a habit of taking umbrellas and not returning them.

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 4 2014, 4:15am

Post #11 of 24 (171 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

    Yes, that was Adelard Took. Bilbo gave him an umbrella as one of his 'going away' gifts, as Adelard took many of Bilbo's umbrellas.

A 'Shire Crime' I had forgotten. "Seven days in the Lockholes for you, bad boy!" Unsure


squire
Valinor


Mar 4 2014, 5:33am

Post #12 of 24 (192 views)
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Leading a Company of Archers vs. Presiding as Toastmaster-General: the Thain and the Mayor [In reply to] Can't Post

As others have noted, the Shire had two officers with some kind of general jurisdiction: the Thain and the Mayor.

I have a private theory - what used to be called a UUT, I believe - that the Thain carried a feudal military obligation to the old King of Arnor, whereas the Mayor was more of a bourgeois or civic officer, supervising the necessary civil services like the Post, the Bounders, and the Shirriffs. We don't hear much about Michel Delving, the Mayor's home base, but the name means "Great Burrow" and of course is used as the prison during the Chief's reign of terror. I have always imagined it as a kind of hobbit-city-hole, along the lines of Brandy Hall in Buckland, both aboveground and underground adding up to the biggest 'urban' settlement in the Shire, with a sizable marketplace and substantial transportation amenities for inter- and intra-Farthing commerce.

Without pushing Tolkien's gently-assembled house of cards too hard, I think this parallels the situation in early-modern Europe when the merchant classes in the cities began to chafe under the rule of the landed knightly class whose primary role was conducting warfare for the King and the higher nobility. The merchants arranged for their trading cities to be somewhat independent of feudal obligation (thus, the "City" in London, or the Free Cities of Germany) and elected their own executive to manage urban affairs and services. Since the Shire is patently so much more 'modern' than the rest of Middle-earth, it seems right that it should have a relatively modern office like the Mayor co-existing with the feudal leftover called "the right Thain of the Shire", as Farmer Cotton calls Pippin's father. The joke, of course, is that just as the Thain has nothing to do (so that Pippin reports his father as a mere 'farmer'), so the Mayor's primary job is to speak and dine at banquets - epitomizing the real "commerce" of hobbits: food and talk.

Oddly enough, we see an earlier example of this kind of Burgomeister in the Master of Laketown in The Hobbit; is he the literary ancestor to old Will Whitfoot?

As to any other political leaders of the hobbits, the Master of Buckland is a regional lord and it's not clear if there are any other 'family lands' as distinctive as Buckland, that would be run as local fiefs by a single family. For instance, although the Bagginses are clearly the heavyweights of the Hobbiton district, their distinction appears to be primarily social and monetary, rather than judicial or political.



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Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 4 2014, 2:36pm

Post #13 of 24 (156 views)
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This seems about right. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As others have noted, the Shire had two officers with some kind of general jurisdiction: the Thain and the Mayor.

I have a private theory - what used to be called a UUT, I believe - that the Thain carried a feudal military obligation to the old King of Arnor, whereas the Mayor was more of a bourgeois or civic officer, supervising the necessary civil services like the Post, the Bounders, and the Shirriffs. We don't hear much about Michel Delving, the Mayor's home base, but the name means "Great Burrow" and of course is used as the prison during the Chief's reign of terror. I have always imagined it as a kind of hobbit-city-hole, along the lines of Brandy Hall in Buckland, both aboveground and underground adding up to the biggest 'urban' settlement in the Shire, with a sizable marketplace and substantial transportation amenities for inter- and intra-Farthing commerce.



Yes. the Thain acts essentially as the Steward of the Shire, in the absence of the King of Arnor. He might also be responsible for adjudicating any "high crimes" committed in the Shire or against Shire-folk.

Another title falling under the Mayor of Michel Delving is Postmaster, carrying the responsibility of overseeing the Messenger Service. A mayor woud also often act as the auctioneer in a situation such as the auction of Bag End, which is why I expect to see the Mayor in TaBA, at least in the extended edition.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 5 2014, 9:41pm

Post #14 of 24 (118 views)
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Books too... [In reply to] Can't Post

I recall a present of a bookshelf for his 'own library'.Wink

Not sure which nephew though.....

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


dreamflower
Lorien

Mar 5 2014, 10:24pm

Post #15 of 24 (141 views)
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The Shire has no King, the Shire needs no King... [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, technically they did after Aragorn renewed the Northern kingdom of Arnor--but he never tried to rule the Shire, and his edict made them basically a free state, though a protectorate of Arnor if the hobbits came under threat by Men from outside.

Yes, the Thain was the steward of the Shire, but he only acted as such in an emergency.

The Master was in charge of Buckland, and de facto the parts of the Eastfarthing that bordered the Brandywine.

For both of them their more important role was as the head of their families. (BTW, Bilbo was family head of the Bagginses.) The title of Head went to the eldest male or his widow. Most hobbits were more or less ruled by their Family Heads.

The Mayor (who was technically called the Mayor of Michel Delving but in actuality was Mayor of the Shire) ran the Post Office and the Shirriffs and presided over ceremonial occasions. He was as close to a President as the Shire could have, and Sam Gamgee served seven seven year terms!


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 6 2014, 4:59am

Post #16 of 24 (100 views)
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Crime in the Shire [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I recall a present of a bookshelf for his 'own library'.
Not sure which nephew though.....
------------------------------------------------------------------

That was Hugo Bracegirdle, who was "worse than usual" at returning books.

Not sure of his exact relation to Bilbo; but Lobelia SB's maiden name was Bracegirdle.

And have we covered ALL the pre-War of the Ring Shire crime?
I recall post-war: I think it was Pippin who broke a "rule" by using to much wood as The Traveler's returned. Unsure


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 6 2014, 5:28am

Post #17 of 24 (103 views)
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The Mayor,, The Thain.. The Master of the Hall [In reply to] Can't Post

The Mayor (who was technically called the Mayor of Michel Delving but in actuality was Mayor of the Shire) ran the Post Office and the Shirriffs and presided over ceremonial occasions. He was as close to a President as the Shire could have, and Sam Gamgee served seven seven year terms!
--------------------------------------------------------------
It's stated in the LOTR prologue that Michel Delving was the "chief township of the Shire"; and this is where Will Whitfoot lived. So I suppose "Mayor of Michel Delving" and "Mayor of the Shire" would be interchangeable?

Could it be? That during Samwise's 49 year tenure that the mayor would be called "The Mayor of Hobbiton" (as Sam & Rosie lived in Bag End)? -- Naw!
(OK, sometimes I'm a pantry short of a smial.)

BTW Will Whitfoot was apparently very well liked and respected. (Most unusual for a 'politician' eh?)


(This post was edited by Bracegirdle on Mar 6 2014, 5:39am)


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Mar 6 2014, 10:48am

Post #18 of 24 (96 views)
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I wonder if anyone stood against Sam? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


dreamflower
Lorien

Mar 6 2014, 2:22pm

Post #19 of 24 (88 views)
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Being Mayor [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
It's stated in the LOTR prologue that Michel Delving was the "chief township of the Shire"; and this is where Will Whitfoot lived. So I suppose "Mayor of Michel Delving" and "Mayor of the Shire" would be interchangeable?







I believe so. Michel Delving was centrally located and apparently all the Shire's records were kept there. My guess (since JRRT nowhere addresses the subject) is that Sam would travel there when necessary, perhaps a couple of days a month, to file official records and such, but conduct most of his mayoral business from home.




Quote

BTW Will Whitfoot was apparently very well liked and respected. (Most unusual for a 'politician' eh?)




Just shows how much better hobbits are! Also how much simpler politics are when the job is so small. The Mayor was only responsible for 12 Shirriffs, the Post Office, and officiating ceremonial occasions such as festivals or weddings. Any "legislating" such as it was would have been dealt with by the Family Heads.

My personal opinion is that it was likely only the Family Heads who did any voting, not all hobbits.


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 6 2014, 7:15pm

Post #20 of 24 (72 views)
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Mayoral roundup [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I believe so. Michel Delving was centrally located and apparently all the Shire's records were kept there. .

Well, actually Michel Delving was in the west of Westfarthing, before the addition of the Westmarch,. Quite far from centrally located. The Three Farthing Stone was as close to the middle of the Shire as "no matter" and was east of Hobbiton which was about 40 miles east of Michel Delving.

Quote

The Mayor was only responsible for 12 Shirriffs, the Post Office, and officiating ceremonial occasions such as festivals or weddings.

Yes, the Mayor's most important resonsibility was to preside at parties and banquets.
As "First Shirriff" the Mayor was head of "The Watch" which included 12 Shirriffs (3 per Farthing), and the Bounders (a variable amount needed to bounce ne'er-do-wells and such from the borders).
The Mayor was postmaster and , of course, ran the Messinger Service which included The Quick Post which I envision as a Priority Service (extra silver penny please) possibly run like our old Pony Express minus the ponies.


Darkstone
Immortal


Mar 6 2014, 7:23pm

Post #21 of 24 (87 views)
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Hurrah!! [In reply to] Can't Post

And he is the Hobbit King!
Hurrah for the Hobbit King!

And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be the Hobbit King!

It is!!

Hurrah for the Hobbit King,
For the Hobbiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit Kiiiiiiing!!!

******************************************
Brothers, sisters,
I was Elf once.
We danced together
Under the Two Trees.
We sang as the soft gold of Laurelin
And the bright silver of Telperion,
Brought forth the dawn of the world.
Then I was taken.

Brothers, sisters,
In my torment I kept faith,
And I waited.
But you never came.
And when I returned you drew sword,
And when I called your names you drew bow.
Was my Eldar beauty all,
And my soul nothing?

So be it.
I will return your hatred,
And I am hungry.




elaen32
Gondor


Mar 6 2014, 9:15pm

Post #22 of 24 (69 views)
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Haha! You beat me to it Darkstone [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what first came into my head when I read the thread titleSmile


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Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Mar 6 2014, 10:50pm

Post #23 of 24 (65 views)
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I love that tune! [In reply to] Can't Post

 


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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Mar 8 2014, 12:18pm

Post #24 of 24 (67 views)
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*reaches up with lit Bic!* :D // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



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