J.R.R. Tolkien> The Lord of the Rings

The Thain was the ruler and military leader of the Shire. This was a largly honorary title, since the Hobbits tended to have little need for a formal government or armed forces. The first Thain of the Shire was Bucca of the Marish, who was elected by the chieftains of Shire in the year 1979 of the Third Age. His descendants, the Oldbucks held the title of Thain until they moved across the Brandywine river and became the Bucks. The Tooks then took over the role of Thain starting with Isumbras Took I, who was the thirteenth Thain. The last Thain of the Shire recorded was Peregrin Took (Pippin), who became Thain in the year 14 of the Fourth Age and was made a Counsellor of the Reunited Kingdom.

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