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{{disambig-more|Hobbits|[[The Hobbit (disambiguation)]]}}
{{people infobox
| name=Hobbits
| image=[[File:Inger Edelfeldt - A Long Expected Party.jpg|250px]]
| caption="[[:File:Inger Edelfeldt - A Long Expected Party.jpg|A Long Expected Party]]" by [[Inger Edelfeldt]]
| pronun=
| othernames=Halflings
| origin=
| location=[[The Shire]], [[Bree-land]]
| affiliation=
| rivalry=
| language=[[Hobbitish]] (a regional dialect of [[Westron]])
| members=[[Marcho]] and [[Blanco]], [[Sméagol]], [[Bandobras Took]], [[Bilbo Baggins]], [[Frodo Baggins]]
| lifespan=c. 96<ref name="LOTRProjectStats">{{webcite|author=Emil Johansson|articleurl=|articlename=Lord of the Rings in Statistics|website=[ Lord of the Rings Project]|accessed=09-September-2012}}</ref>
| distinctions=[[Gift of Men|Mortality]], diminutive stature, furry feet
| height=2-4 ft or 0.6-1.2 m (often less than three feet in later days)
| hair=Typically curly brown, rarely blond (until the [[Fourth Age]]), and white and grey in later years
| skin=Nut-brown to White
| clothing=
| weapons=
{{quote|In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.|''[[The Hobbit]]'', [[An Unexpected Party]]}}
'''Hobbits''' were a small race that typically dwelt underground, believed to be related to [[Men]].  They played little role in history, save during the [[War of the Ring]].
==Description and culture==
{{quote|There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly [[Eriador|West]]. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.|[[Thorin Oakenshield]]<ref>{{H|18}}</ref>}}
Hobbits were between three to four feet tall, the average height being 3 feet 6 inches, with short legs, slightly pointed ears<ref>{{L|27}}</ref> and furry feet with leathery soles, resulting in most never wearing shoes. Early in their recorded history, Hobbits were divided in three kinds with different customs and temperament. The '''[[Stoors]]''' grew facial hair and had an affinity for water, boats and swimming and wore boots; the '''[[Fallohides]]''' were fair, tall and slim, an adventurous people, friendlier and more open to outsiders. Finally, the '''[[Harfoots]]''' were the most numerous and instituted the living in burrows. In later days the Harfoot traits became the "norm".
Hobbits had a life span somewhat longer than Men of non-[[Númenórean]] descent, averaging between 90 and 100 years. The time at which a young hobbit "came of age" was 33.<ref name=FRI1>{{FR|I1}}</ref> The two oldest-living recorded hobbits (except [[Gollum]]) were The [[Gerontius Took|Old Took]] (who reached the age of 130) and [[Bilbo Baggins]] (who surpassed him at 131).
Throughout their history Hobbits had showed unparelleled skill, courage and also endurance and resistance in times of danger and terror. During their [[Wandering Days]] Hobbits demostrated an easiness to adapt to the environments they visited and adopted the customs and languages of the peoples they were in contact with. In the Shire, they had settled with a closed and comfort-loving lifestyle; they were fond of an unadventurous bucolic life of farming, eating, smoking [[pipe-weed]],<ref>{{FR|Hobbits}}</ref> socializing and talking about genealogies. Hobbits also liked to drink ale in inns, and ate at least six meals a day when they could get them. Every [[Highday]] and after noon, Hobbits celebrated a small holiday with evening feasts. <ref name=cal>{{App|Calendars}}</ref>
However, their hidden potentials resurfaced in difficult times; in the [[Long Winter]], [[Gandalf]] admired their uncomplaining courage and pity one for another, thanks to which they survived.<ref>{{UT|Erebor}}</ref> Another example of Hobbitish hardiness and resistant nature, was [[Gollum]], who despite using [[the One Ring]] for years, did not transform into a [[Wraiths|Wraith]] under the Ring's evil power (unlike the [[Nazgûl|nine Mannish Kings]]).<ref>
{{webcite|author=Stan Brown|website=FAQ of the Rings|articleurl= |articlename=Why hadn’t Gollum turned into a wraith long ago?}}</ref> These surprising Hobbit traits also were tested and proven during the [[Quest of Erebor]] and, most notably, the [[War of the Ring]].
[[File:Lidia Postma - Hobbits comparison.jpg|thumb|left|The three kinds of Hobbits]]
Hobbits were considered Men. Nearly all scholars agree that Men were closely related to Hobbits, far more closely than Men were to either [[Elves]] or [[Dwarves]].  It was thus commonly assumed that Hobbits were among the Younger [[Children of Ilúvatar]] and were the result of the same act of creation as Men.  This would imply that Hobbits had the [[Gift of Men]] to pass entirely beyond [[Arda]].
It is supposed that Hobbits branched out from Men as a race in the [[Elder Days]].<ref>{{FR|Prologue}}</ref> Their exact origin is unknown and they come into the records not earlier than the early [[Third Age]] where they were living in the [[Vales of Anduin]] in [[Rhovanion|Wilderland]], between [[Mirkwood]] and the [[Misty Mountains]]. They have lost the genealogical details of how they are related to the rest of mankind. While they stayed there, the [[Northmen]] knew them. Their descendants, the [[Rohirrim]], had that memory of the ''[[holbytla]]n'' and they remained an object of lore until they contacted them during the War of the Ring. Many old words and names in "[[Hobbitish]]" are cognates of words in [[Rohirric]], so much so that even someone without linguistic training could make out the relation ([[Meriadoc Brandybuck]] would later write an entire book devoted to the relationship, ''[[Old Place Names in the Shire]]'').
<!--"Events" in Eriador infobox links here-->
[[File:Robin Wood - Mathom lore.jpg|thumb|Robin Wood - [[Mathom]] lore]]
While situated in the Valley of the Anduin River the Hobbits lived close by the Northmen. Some time near the beginning of the [[Third Age]], they undertook, for reasons unknown, but possibly having to do with the [[Dol Guldur|rising evil power in Mirkwood]], the arduous task of crossing the [[Misty Mountains]], beginning thus their '''[[Wandering Days]]'''.  Some of the Stoors, however, stayed behind, and it is from these people that [[Gollum]] would come many years later.  The Hobbits took different routes in their journey westward, but eventually came to a land between the River [[Baranduin]] (which they renamed ''Brandywine'') and the [[Weather Hills]].  There they founded many settlements, and the divisions between the Hobbit-kinds began to blur.
In the year {{TA|1601}}, two Fallohide brothers decided to cross the River Brandywine and settle on the other side.  Large numbers of Hobbits followed them, and most of their former territory was depopulated.  Only [[Bree]] and a few surrounding villages lasted to the end of the Third Age.  The new land that they found on the west bank of the Brandywine is called [[The Shire]].
Originally the [[Shire-hobbits]] swore nominal allegiance to the last Kings of [[Arnor]], being required only to acknowledge their lordship, speed their messengers, and keep the bridges and roads in repair.  During the final fight against [[Angmar]] at the [[Battle of Fornost]], the Hobbits maintain that they sent a company of archers to help but this is nowhere else recorded.  After the battle the kingdom of Arnor was destroyed, and in absence of the king the Hobbits elected a [[Thain]] of the Shire from among their own chieftains.
The first Thain of the Shire was [[Bucca]] of the [[Marish]], who founded the Oldbuck family.  However, later on the Oldbuck family crossed the Brandywine River to create the separate land of [[Buckland]] and the family name changed to the familiar "Brandybuck".  Their patriarch then became Master of Buckland.  With the departure of the [[Oldbucks]]/Brandybucks, a new family was selected to have its chieftains be Thain, the [[Took family]] (Indeed, [[Peregrin Took|Pippin Took]] was son of the Thain and would later become Thain himself).  The Thain was in charge of [[Shire-moot]] and Muster and the [[Hobbitry-in-arms]], but as the Hobbits of the Shire led entirely peaceful, uneventful lives the office of Thain was seen as something more of a formality.
==Some well-known Hobbits==
[[File:Lorraine Brevig - Frodo and Sam in Ithilien.jpg|thumb|Frodo and Sam]]
* [[Bilbo Baggins]]
* [[Frodo Baggins]]
* [[Samwise Gamgee|Samwise "Sam" Gamgee]]
* [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck]]
* [[Peregrin Took|Peregrin "Pippin" Took]]
* [[Fredegar Bolger|Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger]]
* [[Otho Sackville-Baggins|Otho]] and [[Lotho Sackville-Baggins]]
* [[Lobelia Sackville-Baggins]]
* [[Gerontius Took|Old Took]]
* [[Bandobras Took|Bullroarer Took]]
* [[Sméagol]] (who became the creature [[Gollum]])
* [[Déagol]]
Though in ''[[The Hobbit]]'' it is mentioned that [[Gandalf]] "was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures," no female Hobbits are depicted in [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]]'s stories doing so; however Hobbit women do appear in his works, such as the formidable [[Lobelia Sackville-Baggins]] and Sam's wife [[Rose Cotton|Rose Cotton]].
== Etymology ==
:''This section explains the fictional etymology of the word in the linguistic context of Middle-earth; for the actual origin of the word see the section [[#Inspiration]] below''.
''Hobbit'' was derived from [[Old English]] ''[[holbytla]]'', "hole-dweller" which represents the [[Rohirric]] language.<ref>{{HM|RW}}, p. 144</ref> In a letter, Tolkien commented on the pronounciation of the word ''hobbit'': "I am sure many hobbits drop their ''h''s like most rural folk in England".<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], "[[Letter to Alina Dadlez (19 September 1962)]]" (letter); quoted in {{CG|RG}}, p. 1036</ref>
The relationship hobbit/holbytla parallels the original [[Westron]] ''[[Kuduk]]'' (Hobbit), derived from the actual Rohirric ''[[kûd-dûkan]]'' (holbytla, hole dweller). This name obviously derives from the times when the hobbits lived at the [[Vales of Anduin]] with the [[Northmen]].<ref name="Road">{{TT|III8}}</ref><ref name="Translation">{{App|F2}}</ref>
Hobbits were also called ''[[Halflings]]'' by the [[Dúnedain]], first when they still measured 2 [[ranga]]r tall; twice as high as a hobbit who would reach only 1 ranga. The word retained even when the later generations of Dúnedain became shorter. However, the term is slightly offensive to Hobbits, as to themselves they are not 'half' of anything, and certainly do not use the term to refer to themselves.{{fact}}
''Halfling'' represents a translation of [[Westron]] ''[[banakil]]''. In [[Quenya]] the word is ''[[perian|Perian(d-)]]'' pl. ''Periandi''<ref>{{webcite|articleurl=|articlename=Most expensive Tolkien bok in the world|website=[]}}, dedication to [[Elaine Griffiths]]</ref> and in [[Sindarin]] ''[[Perian]]'' pl. ''Periannath''.<ref>{{RK|Cormallen}}</ref>
*''See also: [[Wikipedia:Hobbit (word)]]''
{{quote|I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food [...]; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour [...]; I go to bed late and get up late [...]. I do not travel much.|[[J.R.R. Tolkien]]|[[Letter 213]]}}
Tolkien's etymology for 'Hobbit' is interesting as well: the word obviously constructed meaningless as a spontaneous inspiration, without prior intent, but it would have been natural for him to see in it the German prefix ''hob'' meaning ''small'' (e.g. ''[[hobgoblin]]'', ''hobbledehoy'' and ''hobyah''). However this prefix dates back "only" to the 13th century, too late by Tolkien's standards; thence when later he began to work out the language relations further (see: [[Mannish]]) he decided that it could be a derived form of an [[Old English]] word such as ''[[holbytla]]''.
According to Tolkien, the word ''hobbit'' came first, and then he decided to write ''[[The Hobbit]]'' around it. As a university lecturer, he was in the process of correcting reports when he started scribbling on a blank piece of paper and wrote, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit", and the rest of the story sprang from that.<ref>[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'', p.172</ref> The idea of a little hole dwelling creature was introduced to Tolkien by one of his students in a story he had written.
It was revealed recently that the word pre-dated Tolkien's usage, though with a different meaning).<ref name="annot">{{HM|AH}}</ref> Tolkien's concept of hobbits, in turn, seems to have been inspired by Edward Wyke Smith's 1927 children's book ''[[Wikipedia:The Marvellous Land of Snergs|The Marvellous Land of Snergs]]'', and by Sinclair Lewis's 1922 novel ''[[Wikipedia:Babbitt (novel)|Babbitt]]''. Tolkien wrote to [[W.H. Auden]] that ''The Marvellous Land of Snergs'' "was probably an unconscious source-book for the Hobbits"<ref name=annot/> and he told an interviewer that the word ''hobbit'' "might have been associated with Sinclair Lewis's ''Babbitt''" who enjoys the comforts of his home.
The name ''hobbit'' had previously appeared in an obscure "[[Wikipedia:Denham Tracts|list of spirits]]" by Michael Denham, which includes several repetitions. There is no evidence to suggest Tolkien used this as a source &mdash; indeed he spent many years trying to find out whether he really did coin the word. Denham's "hobbit spirits" (which are never referenced anywhere except in the long list) have no obvious relation to Tolkien's Hobbits, other than the name (which may possibly imply hob- "small"): Tolkien's Hobbits are small humans, not spirits. Nonetheless, some few people have suggested that the reference in the Denham list should invalidate the trademark.
== In popular usage ==
"Hobbit" is a trademark owned by the [[Middle-earth Enterprises]], as some of names, places and artifacts included in ''[[The Hobbit]]'' and ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]. For this reason [[Dungeons and Dragons]] and other fantasy tend to refer to Hobbits and Hobbit-like races rather as '''Halflings''' (''hin'' in the Mystara universe, ''hurthlings'' in Ancient Domains of Mystery).
''[ Homo floresiensis]'', a possible species in the genus Homo (thus, related to humans) discovered in 2004, has been informally dubbed a "hobbit" by its discoverers due to its small size.
[[Tolkien fandom|Fans]] have noted that in depictions and adaptations such as [[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (film series)]], Hobbits are shown with unusually large feet, a conception probably influenced by the widespread art of [[the Brothers Hildebrandt]]. However, Tolkien himself never mentioned that large feet was a general feature of Hobbits.<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=;post=365823;guest=38267446|articlename=Big Feet|dated=|website=[ The One Ring Forums]|accessed=2 September 2012}}</ref>
[[Category:Hobbits| ]]

Revision as of 18:49, 24 January 2019