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Thistledow

Thistledow in the upper anduin Vales

The village of Thistledow (originally derived from Thistle and Meadow) lay near a small confluence to Anduin, not far from its emergence into the great river. The area was filled with small groves, copses of trees and low-lying wetlands. Not far south of the hamlet lay a regular swamp, a home for mewlips.

The village sustained itself by hunting and particularly fishing, supplemented by what fruits and vegetables the hobbits could grow within the safety of the palisades. In the autumn trees with ripe apples and pears appeared around the village, and herbal gardens stood close among berry-laden bushes and the huts. The local hobbits had the same ‘green touch’ that the hobbits of the Shire would come to be known for. Therefore, the hamlet was far better tended than comparable human villages. There was, however, not the same sense of orderliness and cleanliness as in the later Shire. The villagers were more concerned with survival and daily chores than personal hygiene. Most looked like they hadn’t bathed lately, and many were downright dirty. The filth was only soil, mud etc, however. Real sanitary problems were not present, making the actual risk of infections and diseases quite small. Gold, other precious metals and the King’s currency was of little or no interest to the hobbits. Their society was driven by a bargain economy; what they needed from the outside they traded for particularly food items. This, for instance, was the case with a bit of iron now and then from the dwarves of Khazad-dûm, whom they had casual contacts with. Mostly, however, they were self-sufficient. The village was governed partly by a Thain elected among the adult hobbits, and partly by a council of elder hobbits, giving advice to the Thain and having power to demand the election of a new Thain. In this way, a Thain might go against the council in a matter, but should not do so often or without reason. It all was administered informally without written rules, during village meetings where issues were addressed. Serious feuds (e.g. actual crime) weres extremely rare, most often disputes concerned arguments within or between families concerning rights of ownership etc..

References

  • Fanmodules: Appearances I: The Anduin Vale Spirit by Michael Cole
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