"Butterbur and Bree have a paradox at their heart: they are open yet closed; hospitable yet suspicious; well-informed yet small- minded and ignorant. This incongruity is not without its causes. Bree is a welcoming place because it has to be – valuable income is generated from the business of Outsiders – but at the same time, Outside is also where all things dark and dangerous originate, things to be avoided at all costs. Pulled in both directions at once (and with no military strength nor any other means by which to defendthemselves), the underlying fears of the Bree-folk cause them tohold anything untoward or alien at arms length ... "
Chapter 3 : 'The Breelanders'