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  • Updated 18 June 2010
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Shire-thain

Titular leader of the Shire-hobbits

THE OLDBUCK LINE
Bucca of the Marish
Ten Thains of
the Oldbuck line
Gorhendad Oldbuck

THE TOOK LINE
Isumbras I
Eight Thains of
the Took line
Isengrim II
Isumbras III
Ferumbras II
Bandobras the Bullroarer
Fortinbras I
Gerontius
The Old Took
Isengrim III
Hildigard
Isumbras IV
Hildigrim
Eight other sons and daughters
Fortinbras II
Adalgrim
Ferumbras III
Three daughters
Paladin II
Esmeralda
Pearl
Pimpernel
Pervinca
Peregrin I
Faramir I
Further generations
of Shire-thains

The descent of the office of Thain of the Shire through the Oldbuck and Took lines, from Bucca the first Thain to Faramir I the last known. Names shown in bold held the office of Thain.

For nearly four hundred years after its foundation, the Shire had been part of the lands of Arthedain, and under the rule of that land's King. Ultimately, Arthedain fell to the forces of Angmar, and its last King, Arvedui, was lost, leaving the Shire-hobbits without a ruler. They remedied this by choosing a new leader from among themselves, Bucca of the Marish, who was given the title thain, a word simply meaning 'chief'.

Bucca and his descendants, a family known as the Oldbucks, served as Shire-thain for twelve generations. The twelfth Thain, one Gorhendad Oldbuck, left the Shire and crossed the River Brandywine to found Buckland. With his departure, the Thainship passed to a new line, the Tooks, and specifically to Isumbras Took I.

From Isumbras I, the line of the Took Shire-thains continued unbroken to the time of the War of the Ring and beyond. The last recorded Thain was Faramir Took I, the thirty-fourth to hold the title of Shire-thain. The fact that both he and his father Peregrin Took are recorded as the first of that name shows that there must have been more Thains after this time, and the tradition clearly lasted well into the Fourth Age.


For a list of the Shire-thains, see the entry for Thain of the Shire


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