Michael Martinez’s latest article at Sute 101 is up. It concerns Bree and the film. Read on:
Bree’s location at the crossroads of the great highways of Eriador probably ensured its survival throughout the Third Age more than any other factor. The highways ran from Fornost Erain in the north to Tharbad in the south, and from the Grey Havens in the west all the way to the Misty Mountains and beyond. The east-west road was (apparently) originally built by Dwarves, but the Numenoreans appear to have taken it over when they founded Arnor.
Bree’s heyday probably occurred from the years 1300-1600 in the Third Age, This was the period when the Hobbits migrated westward from Rhudaur to Arthedain and many of them settled at Bree. Arthedain was the strongest of the three Dunadan kingdoms in Eriador, and its Dunedain were the ancestors of Aragorn’s people. Other folk lived in Arthedain during these years as well, some partially of Dunadan descent, some descended of the Edain who settled in Eriador (mostly Beorians), and some descended of the Gwathuirim, the mysterious woodland folk of Enedwaith and Minhiriath who fought for Sauron in the War of the Elves and Sauron. The men of Bree were descended of this latter group, and they appear to have been the only large group of men (besides the Dunedain) to survive the fall of Arnor.