The Shire, a beautiful fantasy location full of peace, prosperity and delightful people. If someone told me they wouldn’t want to live here, I wouldn’t understand why. The fictional location is so full of lush green and relaxation that I wouldn’t believe it was real. Per Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings; Fellowship of the Ring, “Hobbits only real passion is for food…” and “the brewing of ales and the smoking of pipe weed. But where our hearts truly lie is in peace, quiet and good tilled earth. For all Hobbits share a love of things that grow.”
I’m no gardener, in fact I’m pretty sure that pulling weeds is what happens when one goes to hell, but then again I’m from Arizona where it’s excessively hot and plants fight back quite hard when you try to get them to grow. Living in the Shire with beautiful weather, peaceful people and an abundance of great food just about fits the ticket for me, even if it means gardening and weed pulling. As I write this, it is 101 degrees Fahrenheit here in Arizona so I want nothing more than to sit outside enjoying a cool whisking breeze and reading a good book.
Further, the Shire is one of the few places in middle earth that is generally left alone. Where outside the shire there are orcs, dragons, and wars in abundance, the Hobbits enjoy a life of peace and happiness where they eat, drink, smoke pipe weed and enjoy each other’s company. As a man who deeply loves spending time with family and friends, it is a fantasy to live in such a place as the Shire where that is how most of the time is spent. I may have to be a farmer or gardener in this life but that wouldn’t be so bad considering the weather would be delightful year round.
Breathe in the above image. Go ahead, take a deep breath and imagine this is your home. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Lord of the Rings nerd but it looks stunning to me. A luxurious, yet simple Hobbit hole for me and my family to share, and a gorgeous garden to boot. I know the Shire isn’t real but someday I plan to visit New Zealand where the films were shot and visit a Hobbit hole or two. While I’ll never live in one, I can at least visit and imagine the peaceful life of being a Hobbit.
I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Fellowship of the Ring but I know that it’s more than the other two in the trilogy. The fact of the matter is I don’t like to watch individual movies from a trilogy. I prefer to watch the entire trilogy. It’s the same when I watch the Matrix trilogy (yes, I like all three. Sue me.) and with many other trilogies. With Lord of the rings, the problem for me is that they all came out with the extended editions of the films. “Problem” is a loose term here. What I mean is that I love these extended editions so much that I haven’t watched their theatrical counterparts since the extended editions released . My problem then comes from the fact that each of the extended editions is around 4 hours in run time and the films were already long to begin with. So, what inevitably ends up happening is I start watching Fellowship, run out of time and don’t get to watch the other two or don’t even finish it. This leads to me having watched the opening 30 minutes of the film, which takes place in the shire, far more times than I can count.
With a good 30 or more viewings of the shire portion of Fellowship, I am perhaps overly familiar with it. I found myself quoting the lines word for word when I popped it in recently. And guess what? I got about 40 minutes in, started writing this and now I’m thinking I won’t go back to watch it due to other priorities.
Another, reason I would make a good hobbit is because I know what to do with one of these.
In conclusion, the Shire is a stunning beauty, a backdrop of paradise. Some prefer to spend their time soaking in the sun on a sandy beach and sure, give me a 76 degree day on a San Diego beach and I will agree it’s nice. But, offer me the beach or a lush green landscape, tall sprawling forest trees, in a similar 76 degree climate, and I will pick the lush green climate every time. Sit around a fire in the evening, grill up some steak, dutch oven some peach cobbler, and enjoy the company of family and friends! That scene is indicative of a Hobbit life and to that I say, “A Hobbit’s life for me!”