Where did Hobbits come from?

Discussion in '"The Hobbit"' started by Prince Ashitaka, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    I've read the Silmarillion which talks about the coming of elves, men and dwarves. We know that Aule made the dwarves and Eru made elves and men.

    But who made the Hobbits? There isn't any mention of this in the Silmarillion anywhere. You would think important characters Bilbo and Frodo being the protagonist in a book would mention where their specifies came from.

    Was this an oversight by Tolkien?
     
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  2. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    I don't think it was an oversight by JRRT.

    The Prologue relates that: "The beginning of Hobbits lies far back in the Elder Days that are now lost and forgotten. Only the Elves still preserve any records of that vanished time, and their traditions are concerned almost entirely with their own history, in which Men appear seldom and Hobbits are not mentioned at all. Yet..."

    In any case it's said (same source) that it's plain that Hobbits are "... relatives of ours (Men), far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves."

    I imagine that Hobbits awoke at the same time as Men.
     

  3. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    I just find it strange that Hobbits are not mentioned at all in the histories. I wonder whether a Valar may have created the Hobbit. Just like Aule created the dwarves in secret.
     
  4. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    I think it's believable and also... elegant (?) (or something) that the Hobbits or Little-folk (Children of Eru in my opinion, along with the Big-folk, or Men, and possibly the Bigger-folk, or mannish Giants) take so long to even keep their own histories that well, and yet ultimately they burst out into the wider world/histories in such a notable way!

    By finally helpin' huge (think "huge" Uma Thurman/Kill Bill style) with gettin' rid of Gorthaur.

    In short (pun intended), being a type of Man in my opinion, Hobbits were Children of Eru.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018

  5. Rána

    Rána Wayward

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    I have a theory that isn't really backed by any specific passages. It's more what I've pulled from the whole of the work. Hobbits share the Fate of Men (and their lifespans are similar) so I put Hobbits largely into the category of Men. They also share some of the defining characteristics of Elves and Dwarves too, however, that's where my theory starts to take shape.

    I believe that Hobbits are born of the plan of Eru following the creation of the Dwarves by Aulë, a mingling of the three peoples that demonstrate how all things flow from, and return to, Him. It seems most appropriate that Hobbits are (pretty much) completely overlooked by the other Free Peoples, but they serve the most essential function in uprooting the evil gripping Middle-earth in the Third Age.
     
  6. Merroe

    Merroe Active Member

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    In JRRT's letter No 131 to Milton Waldman, he wrote:

    In the middle of this Age the Hobbits appear. Their origin is unknown (even to themselves) for they escaped the notice of the great, or the civilised peoples with records, and kept none themselves, save vague oral traditions, until they had migrated from the borders of Mirkwood, fleeing from the Shadow, and wandered westward, coming into contact with the last remnants of the Kingdom of Arnor.

    Equally interesting in this context is a footnote thereto:

    The Hobbits are, of course, really meant to be a branch of the specifically human race (not Elves or Dwarves) – hence the two kinds can dwell together (as at Bree), and are called just the Big Folk and Little Folk. They are entirely without non-human powers, but are represented as being more in touch with 'nature' (the soil and other living things, plants and animals), and abnormally, for humans, free from ambition or greed of wealth. They are made small (little more than half human stature, but dwindling as the years pass) partly to exhibit the pettiness of man, plain unimaginative parochial man – though not with either the smallness or the savageness of Swift, and mostly to show up, in creatures of very small physical power, the amazing and unexpected heroism of ordinary men 'at a pinch'.

    So, I think that Rána has got it right here, when he stated: "I put Hobbits largely into the category of Men.".
     
  7. Rána

    Rána Wayward

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    I was recently reading through the Concerning Hobbits section of the Prologue in The Fellowship of the Ring I came across this section:
    It is plain indeed that in spite of later estrangement Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves. Of old they spoke the languages of Men, after their own fashion, and liked and disliked much the same things as Men did. But what exactly our relationship is can no longer be discovered.

    The Hobbit-Man connection is undeniable, it opens up to interpretation after that. I take a lot from comparing the personalities of Hobbits with the other Free Peoples and the way Hobbits seem to mysteriously appear in the Third Age.

    The "or even than Dwarves" part is interesting to me. I wonder if it simply means that one might look at a Hobbit and assume that they're closely related to Dwarves... or if it implies that there is a relationship between Hobbits, Elves, and Dwarves.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  8. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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    Keep in mind that Hobbits weren't originally intended to be part of the legendarium, and entered it more or less by accident, as Tolkien imported some characters from his great work. They probably would have remained a one-off, if not for the book's serendipitous publication, its success, and the demand for "more about Hobbits", which left Tolkien a bit nonplussed, as he stated in an early letter that he thought he'd said about all there was to say about them.

    We know he hated the twee 19th century picture of tiny Elves and fairies, for which he blamed Shakespeare, that went so much against the image of mysterious, powerful beings in the Northern legends he loved. I believe he (consciously or not) invented them to account for the stories of small, furtive beings, mostly hiding from humans, and separate from the "real" Elves.

    Of course, as indicated in several posts above, they eventually came to represent "us" -- our normal, low mimetic human selves. A stroke of genius, really.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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  9. Matithōne

    Matithōne New Member

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    I have this theory that Hobbits started off as a subset of men and later developed into their own race.

    In the beginning, the Hobbits could have been like a clan of men, similar to how there are seven clans of dwarves each with their own individual culture. Over time the Hobbits would have changed and evolved separately from men, and even formed their own three clans. The clans would have been those west of the Brandywine, who can't swim and don't like water; those just east of it who can swim; and finally the Riverfolk, who are known to be related to Hobbits but not quite the same thing.
     
  10. Rebecca Fike

    Rebecca Fike New Member

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    These are all fictional but I found it true, there is a video game too that is The Hobbit which is exactly opposite from this. Has anybody try this game before?