|"Bree-land" by Matěj Čadil|
|Location||Around Bree-hill in Eriador|
|Major towns||Bree, Staddle, Combe, Archet|
|Gallery||Images of Bree-land|
Bree-land was a small inhabited region around Bree-hill, about forty miles east of the Shire, which contained a few settlements:
- Bree was under and on the western slopes of Bree-hill. It was the chief village of the area with the famous Prancing Pony Inn and was populated by Men and Hobbits. The East Road ran through Bree.
- Staddle on the south-eastern slopes of Bree-hill was populated by Men and Hobbits. Pipe-weed grew well on the south-slopes of the hill and was smoked by Bree-hobbits. Most of the Hobbits of Bree-land lived in Staddle in hobbit-holes but there were also houses for Men in Staddle. It was the only of the villages (other than Bree itself) visible from the East Road and was located north of the East Road.
- Combe was located north of the East Road in a deep valley a little further eastward from Staddle.
- Archet was located north of the East Road north of Combe among the trees probably on the southern edge of the Chetwood.
The origins of its inhabitants are obscure, but apparently they were Pre-Númenóreans, related to the Dunlendings, who had moved far to the North during the Dark Years, and the Bree-landers managed to survive through the violent history of Middle-earth until they were absorbed into Arnor. It was also the only place in Middle-earth where Men lived with Hobbits on a daily basis: the population of the Bree-land had become a mix of Men and Hobbits, who had migrated from Angmar around T.A. 1300. The ratio varied between each of the four townships of the Bree-land.
In any case, they were still thriving in Bree long after Arnor had collapsed and the memory of fallen kings faded into the grass. The now independent land enjoyed the (unknowing) protection of the Rangers of the North. After the War of the Ring, Bree-land became part of the Reunited Kingdom.
Other versions of the legendarium
J.R.R. Tolkien offered to construct new names for place names and to find places for them on the map of Bree in a letter that he wrote to Dick Plotz on 12 September 1965. As a consequence, it is possible that there were more settlements in Bree-land than the four, which were mentioned in The Lord of the Rings.
Portrayal in adaptations
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- Bree-land is a major region and one of the starting locations available to new characters. It encompasses not only the four villages and their immediate surroundings, but all the terrain from Buckland in the far west to the Weather Hills to the far east. The Old Forest, Barrow-downs, Midgewater Marshes and Chetwood are all included within its boundaries.
- During the War of the Ring, Bree-land is threatened by both Isengard and Angmar. Saruman's ruffians and half-orcs came up from the south and camp at Andrath and the "Bree-fields", while Angmar's Orcs encroach from the North Downs. Angmar also temporarily secured the allegiance of the "Blackwold" bandit gang, which sets off the events of the Bree-land introduction quests.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony", p. 149
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits", p. 4
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 276, (dated 12 September 1965)