Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Shire

The Hobbit

The Shire- one of the more idyllic places in Middle Earth. A land of rolling hills, farms and hobbit burrows, lazy rivers and a peace that seems to pervade the land. It's hard not to read the descriptions in The Hobbit or The Fellowship of the Ring and not want to go there to experience this peace for oneself. The Shire is a varied place though, from Waymoot and Michel Delving in the west to Bridgefields and the Brandywine in the east. It is divided into Farthings -one for each cardinal direction- and is a pretty autonomous area within the ruins of the old North Kingdom.  

The Great East Road crosses through the middle of the Shire- one could go towards Bree and eventually the Misty Mountains, or towards the Gulf of Lune and the Grey Havens. I'd love to explore the hills and streams and chat with hobbits going about their business. I always imagined Hobbiton or Bywater to be industrious little places with a post office and a few shops (and of course a tavern or inn). 

Image result for shire map


One could of course always stop for a bite and a pint at The Green Dragon Inn or similar establishments. 

The Shire is a pastoral place and often sees dwarves on the road as well as elves in the forests. Frodo on his flight from the Shire encountered Gildor Inglorion  in the Green Hill Country near the Woody End, and Gildor sent word on throughout the land that Frodo was coming. And while not a part of the Shire itself, the Old Forest is a forbidding place, with the nature spirit Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry but also Old Man Willow and other things. 

There have been some great Tolkien artists over the years but my favorite is probably Ted Nasmith. And in my view he especially has a knack for the Shire and its rustic appeal. Below are some images of his that I think capture this land like few others.  

Bag End/ Hobbiton


ted nasmith one morning

This is a somewhat different view of the approach- in the distance you can see mountains and a winding river- I think this image provides a somewhat more wild view of the Shire. 

31 comments:

  1. I loved the way Peter Jackson brought The Shire to life in LOTR...it was beautiful and I could imagine living there peacefully! Beautiful artwork-I love the night scenes!

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    1. I love those night scenes as well. He has a way of drawing the stars in the night sky... and I agree, the Shire was done very well in the movies.

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  2. that's beautiful. I never tried the novels but I really enjoyed the movies and it's well done

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    1. I agree, the movies did well. And that artwork... love it!

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  3. LotR is still one of my favourite epic fantasy movies ever filmed. Though, I collected the cloth-bound series, I have not found the time to invest in reading the books. And I agree with chuckles: Peter Jackson did the Shire justice.

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    1. Yup, I agree. the movies did a great job- and if you ever get to read the books, I hope you enjoy. :)

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  4. Oh...such beautiful artwork. One of these days I will read LOTR...The Hobbit is the only Tolkein I've read O_O

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    1. I hope you like them if you get to them. Can you believe I've never seen the Hobbit movies?? I need to get on that. :)

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  5. Beautiful artwork. I love the idea of the Shire and thought the movies really brought it to life. Every time I mention wanting to move to New Zealand, but husband jokes that it's because I want to live in the Shire. :-) I wouldn't mind it really.

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    1. Ha ha New Zealand is beautiful and with the movie locations there- all the more reason! I wouldn't mind moving there- although it IS a ways away. :)

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  6. These are gorgeous! The Shire is always my favorite setting in the movie. It's so green and peaceful and just happy looking. I'd love to visit the set in New Zealand one day!

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    1. I would too. I've seen pictures and it looks so pastoral! And I agree- the Shire is a highlight of the movie!

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  7. Wow! This art is beautiful!! I wish I had that talent. LOL. I've actually only seen the LOTR movies. Would you recommend the books? :D

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    1. Yeah I would recommend the books. :) They're pretty good. Hee hee the movies are pretty great too though!

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  8. That does seem like it would be such a gorgeous place to visit! Gorgeous artwork too.

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    1. I love his artwork. He has his own style and while not all of it works for me, when he's on he's on.

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  9. Have you ever played Lord of the Rings Online the MMORPG? I loved running around the game and as a hobbit character you started in the Shire. It is beautiful, basically you get to explore areas that look like those pictures you posted above. And the music is also amazing.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Yes! I haven't played in a few years but I've run a Hunter and a Warden. I love that game and my favorite part is exploring- because Middle earth. lol I LOVE wandering the shire. So awesome.

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    2. Love this artwork, and especially Bag End!

      Don't know if I've told you before, but our family (except younger daughter) are all long-time gamers, and hubs & I have played LOTRO off & on since its second year. Yep, we're senior players, but its been proven that mmo's are good for hand-eye coordination and quick decision-making for AARP members πŸ˜€

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  10. Wow, I've never seen this artwork despite having read the Lord of the Rings trilogy a couple times! I guess I'm not *quite* as big a fan as you are, Greg. ;) I'm definitely going to look into more of Ted Nasmith's art now!

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    1. Oh Ted Nasmith! Love his art. And you know it's funny but I haven't actually read the books in ages! I should do a re- read one of these days. :)

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  11. Happy New Year, Greg. This is amazing art of The Shire. One thing I loved about the Lord of the Rings movies was the gorgeous scenery. Thanks for your recent visit.

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    1. Happy New Year to you too! I totally agree.

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  12. Such gorgeous artwork! The Shire is definitely the place I'd choose to live, out of all fantasy worlds/areas.

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    1. I think so too. I could settle down in the shire I think!

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  13. What beautiful pictures, I bought a couple of years back the Atlas of Middle Earth as I have always been fascinated by the maps in the books (and maps in general, yes I am a map nerd), Tolkien had such an imagination.

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    1. Same here! I think I have that Atlas, it's to look through. Love maps. :)

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  14. Oh wow! GORGEOUS Shire art! I love the Shire and it's like you said: once you read Tolkien's descriptions of it, it's impossible NOT to want to visit it yourself ♥ I think between that and Lothlorien, those are my favorite two places in Middle Earth! Oh and thanks for sharing that map, fantasy maps are the best :D

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  15. I love this post! I'm sad to admit that I've never actually finished a LOTR book, but I've always been enchanted with The Shire. It's always described so beautifully. I love these illustrations. Great post, Greg!

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  16. The Shire is one of my top 10 fantasy destinations. You picked really beautiful art! I'd love to visit the Shire - honestly, I'd just go for a tour of all of Middle Earth. But I'd have problems fitting into hobbit houses, it would be like the scene with Gandalf in Bilbo's home...

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  17. What beautiful illustrations! I've always been enamoured with The Shire lifestyle too - maybe I'll visit NZ again one day soon, to see Hobbiton for myself :-)

    If you'd like to add this post to my HLOTRreadalong link, I think it would be a great resource for some of our readers who like to read extra-curricular Tolkien stuff.

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