Thain of the Shire

Arvedui, the Last King of Arthedain, was lost in IIIA 1975, leaving the Hobbits of the Shire without a ruler. They remedied this situation by appointing the Thain of the Shire, a hereditary military position. The Thain was the master of the Shire-moot and captain of the Hobbitry-at-arms. During the War of the Ring, the position was held by Peregrin Took’s father, Paladin II. It may be that the Thain possessed an heirloom suit of armour, once worn in battle but in later days relegated to use in ceremonies and stored on display in the Mathom-house at Michel Delving (as was Bilbo’s mithril coat at one time).

Here, the Thain’s ceremonial armour has been brought out of the Mathom House and dusted off for a special occasion at the Three-Farthing Stone. The armour is a coat of gilded scales and mail and richly-oiled leather, all in the Hobbits’ favourite colours of bright green and yellow. An elaborately plumed helm and finely-embroidered cloak complete the outfit, designed to impress and show the status and wealth of the Thain.

I have a hard time picturing Hobbits wearing heavy armour, so this outfit came about as way for me to find a lore-justification for such a thing. As with most Hobbit-outfits that I put together, it is brightly coloured and there is something a little bit comical about it — this probably has to do with the way many helms look oversized when worn by Hobbits. Yet I think it still reflects something of the pomp and long history of the Thain’s position.

  • Head: Helm of the North-star (quest reward — Trollshaws [40] Master of the Risen), orange
  • Shoulders: Leather Shoulder Guards (crafted — tailor T2), Rivendell green
  • Back: Wrap of the Turning Leaves Wrap of the Turning Leaves (bartered — Harvestmath fall festival trader/cosmetic clothing), Rivendell green
  • Chest: Survivor’s Armour (quest reward — epic [50] Volume 2, Book 1, Chapter 8: Before the Doors of Durin), Rivendell green
  • Hands: Elven Cotton Gloves (crafted — tailor T3; purchased — Rivendell light armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), Rivendell green
  • Legs: Dwarf-make Protector’s Leggings (crafted — tailor T5; or looted — world drop/general), Rivendell green

Tips: If you didn’t have a chance to pick up the Wrap of the Turning Leaves during the recent Harvestmath festival, a great alternative is the Cloak From the Men of Bree (bartered — Bree-town Men of Bree vendor/Men of Bree reputation) or Golodir’s Wrap, Mantle or Cloak (quest reward — epic [50] Volume 1, Book 14, Chapter 1: The Heraldry of Lindon), all of which share the same skin (the infamous “bunny cloak”). An alternative to the Survivor’s Armour is the Hauberk of the Rugged Clansman (bartered — skirmish camp heavy armour quartermaster/Odothuilan campaign armour); it is the same chest piece but with a breastplate added. I selected the Helm of the North-star partly because it is a classic “funny LOTRO helmet” but also because the colour of its plumes is somewhat similar to the undyeable orange patch on the chest piece. Any appropriately-dyed “funny helmet” would probably work great as well.

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