Ranks of skilled archers cleverly readying their bows. Organized groups of infantrymen waiting for the signal to attack. One word and any intruders will find themselves facing serious consequences.
It is hard to conjure up the imagery of an army within the Shire, based on the rather rustic and easy-going characteristics.
Yet, these are the Hobbits of the Shire – as penned by master fantasy writer, J.R.R. Tolkien himself. The nature-loving, food-consuming folk, conceal a fierce sense of love and loyalty to their own people and the land: giving rise to a modest force of defence that joins the ranks of the more popular – and significantly larger – armies in Middle-earth.
These same Hobbits – from whom arises the foolishness of Sam Gamgee, the narrow-mindedness of Hamfast, the antics of Bilbo Baggins, or the offensiveness of Otho and Lobelia – have, nonetheless, a fiery personality; a personality that mixes their love of living things with a steadfast resilience in conflict.