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Hmm. hobbit=mixture of dwarf & elf? It could be, since there were elf-man combinations too. Interesting thought, any of the wise ones on this forum who can come up with a reason why this could not be true?
JRRT explained (italics as printed in Letters, stuff in parentheses are Tolkiens):
"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." JRRT
I am willing to be proven wrong, but I think that the prosthetic ears of Elijah Wood, Ian Holm etc are pure Hollywood.
Feet is a different matter, and if you don't wear shoes you don't lose the hair on them. And if you have hairy feet with leathery soles, you don't bother with shoes. Not a huge evolutionary leap in my view. I doubt you'll get anything authoritative on this...
In fact, Tolkien does state that Hobbits have somewhat pointed ears. "Only slightly pointed and elfish," I think he says; "elfish" not referring to his Elves, of course, but rather of the elves of folklore.
If I remember correctly, the only possible reference Tolkien makes to Elf-ears is (I think) the name of a certain group of the Eldar, which translated means something along the lines of "leaf-ear." That's seems a little shakey to me.
I think that the examples of Men being mistaken for Elves, even among and by Elves, (i.e. Turin) are more telling. If his ears had been pointed or otherwise significantly different from human ears, then it would have been very hard for anyone to mistake him for an Elf.
I guess it's all open to interpretation.
I am currently reading The Silmarillion (just started the chapter on the fall of Gondolin). The origin of most of the inhabitants of Middle-earth have already been discussed (Elves, Men, Dwarves, Ents, Orcs, etc) with one exception of particular interest in LOTR. Hobbits. I'm curious as to whether they are mentioned at all in The Silmarillion, maybe I haven't gotten to that point yet?
You wont find any reference to Hobbits in the Silmirillion bacause Hobbits didn't exist in the first age. They are descended from men and didn't really appear untill about Third Age 1000. They originated in the Vales of Anduin before migrating into Eriador in three tribes and setting up places like Bree, The Shire and Buckland.
I am not so sure that they weren't around during the days of the Sil. I remember that somewhere it is stated the hobbits origins began far out of memory in the Eldar days. If it is accurate to say that they are a kind of sub-group of man, wouldn't they have woken at the same time? They were probably hanging out the whole time around the Anduin, with everyone ignoring them. They stayed away from the "big folk", dwarves were busy in the mountains, none of the Noldor passed east out of Beleriand until near the end of Morgoth's power, and Morgoth himself would have had no use for a weak little race like that.
Remember that during LotR, few of the people of M-e, knew that there were Hobbits around.
"...and passed into a far distant country, even to the land of the Periannath, the Little People, the Halflings, who dwelt in the west of Eriador. And ere that day they had been held of small accountby Elves and by Men, and neither Sauron nor any of the Wise save Mithrandir had in all their counsels given thought to them."Silmarillion - Of the rings of Power
There is not much more said about the hobbits though, except for another short paragraph were in brief words it is mentioned that Frodo and Sam had the ring destroyed at Mount Doom.
That was a sort of mini-sequel, it hardly counts... We're talking about The Silmarillion in its main text during the First Age...
By the way though, the book does not contain the word Ent a SINGLE TIME... It once mentions something along the lines of 'and down from the mountains came the shepherds of the trees' near the end of the book when the armies of the Valar arrive and the Orcs haul out of Beleriand.