I agree with Harad, that this is probably what happened, yet I am not sure if I agree with this statement
This depends on how well Tolkien followed the 'laws' of biology in his world. He states in a letter somewhere that some laws of biology do not apply in his world, because otherwise there could be no children born from elves and men. Thus, he may even have changed evolutionary laws (if he believed in them) as well.I agree that Gollum should have recognized Biblo's species if he had originally been a hobbit in "The Hobbit," as he was in LOTR. Note that only 500 years passed since Gollum went into the mountain. This is a drop in the bucket as far as "evolutionary" changes in Middle Earth.
hobbits come from doing the same thing over and over again. there are good hobbits and some bad hobbits..cheese is my hobbit
Originally posted by Gary Gamgee
yes Stoor's were a Hobbit 'race', I agree with you once more Harad.
As for the theory that gollum simply forgot what he was i don't see this as right. He remembers quite alot, like the riddle game (a part of Hobbit culture), Deagol, the river, his grandmother, how he was ridiculed and driven away and also in LOTR his 'good' side.
That is, the word hobbit was in former times only applied to the Harfoots.Hobbit was the name usually applied by the Shire-folk to all their kind. Men called them Halflings and the Elves Periannath. The origin of the word hobbit was by most forgotten. It seems, however, to have been at first a name given to the Harfoots by the Fallohides and Stoors, and to be a worn-down form of a word preserved more fully in Rohan: holbytla ‘hole-builder’.
From The Tale of Years:Gollum would not know the term ‘Hobbit’, which was local and not a universal Westron word. He would probably not use ‘Halfling’ since he was one himself, and hobbits disliked the name. That is why the Black Riders seem to have had two main pieces of information to go on: Shire and Baggins.
Those Stoors who return to Wilderland will become the ancestors of Sméagol’s people.c. 1150 The Fallohides enter Eriador. The Stoors come over the Redhorn Pass and move to the Angle, or to Dunland.
c. 1300 Evil things begin to multiply again. Orcs increase in the Misty Mountains and attack the Dwarves. The Nazgûl reappear. The chief of these comes north to Angmar. The Periannath migrate westward; many settle at Bree.
1356 King Argeleb I slain in battle with Rhudaur. About this time the Stoors leave the Angle, and some return to Wilderland.
It may be that the word Stoor was also a later invention as applied to the these southern Halflings. (Old English stor simply means ‘large, strong’.) Gandalf is saying that Sméagol and his folk seem to him to have been what would at the time he was speaking be called hobbits and the same kind of hobbits as the so-called Stoors of the Shire.I guess they were of hobbit-kind; akin to the fathers of the fathers of the Stoors, for they loved the River, and often swam in it, or made little boats of reeds.
Seemingly we are to imagine that Gollum, at least after considering the matter and having learned something about Bilbo from prowling around Laketown and Dale may have recognized Bilbo as the same kind of creature he had been. Bilbo (quite reasonably) did not recognize Gollum as a Hobbit.