Publié le par Grimbeorn

Historically, the Hobbits are known to have originated in the Valley of Anduin, between Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains. According to The Lord of the Rings, they have lost the genealogical details of how they are related to the Big People. At this time, there were three "Hobbit-kinds", with different physical characteristics and temperaments: Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides. While situated in the valley of the Anduin River, the Hobbits lived close by the Éothéod, the ancestors of the Rohirrim, and this led to some contact between the two. As a result many old words and names in "Hobbitish" are derivatives of words in Rohirric.

The Harfoots, the most numerous, were almost identical to the Hobbits as they are described in The Hobbit. They lived on the lowest slopes of the Misty Mountains and lived in holes, or Smials, dug into the hillsides. The Stoors, the second most numerous, were shorter and stockier and had an affinity for water, boats and swimming. They lived on the marshy Gladden Fields where the Gladden River met the Anduin (there is a similarity here to the hobbits of Buckland and the Marish in the Shire. It is possible that those hobbits were the descendants of Stoors). The Fallohides, the least numerous, were an adventurous people that preferred to live in the woods under the Misty Mountains and were said to be taller and fairer (all of these traits were much rarer in later days, and it has been implied that wealthy, eccentric families that tended to lead other hobbits politically, like the Tooks and Brandybucks, were of Fallohide descent). Three of the four principal hobbit characters in The Lord of the Rings (Frodo, Pippin and Merry) certainly had Fallohide blood through their common ancestor, the Old Took.

About the year T.A. 1050, they undertook the arduous task of crossing the Misty Mountains. Reasons for this trek are unknown, but they possibly had to do with Sauron's growing power in nearby Greenwood, which later became known as Mirkwood as a result of the shadow that fell upon it during Sauron's search of the forest for the One Ring. The Hobbits took different routes in their journey westward, but as they began to settle together in Bree-land, Dunland, and the Angle formed by the rivers Mitheithel and Bruinen, the divisions between the Hobbit-kinds began to blur.

In the year 1601 of the Third Age (year 1 in the Shire Reckoning), two Fallohide brothers named Marcho and Blanco gained permission from the King of Arnor at Fornost to cross the River Brandywine and settle on the other side. Many Hobbits followed them, and most of the territory they had settled in the Third Age was abandoned. Only Bree and a few surrounding villages lasted to the end of the Third Age. The new land that they founded on the west bank of the Brandywine was called the Shire.

Originally the Hobbits of the Shire 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, the Oldbuck family later 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 (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.

The Hobbits' numbers dwindled, and their stature became progressively smaller after the Fourth Age. However, they are sometimes spoken of in the present tense, and the prologue "Concerning Hobbits" in The Lord of the Rings states that they have survived into Tolkien's day.[12]

Hobbits are fond of an unadventurous bucolic life of farming, eating, and socializing, although they will defend their homes courageously if the need arises. They enjoy at least seven meals a day, when they can get them – breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and (later in the evening) supper. They enjoy simple food—such as bread, meat, potatoes, tea, and cheese—and have a passion for mushrooms. Hobbits also like to drink ale, often in inns—not unlike the eighteenth-century English countryfolk, who were Tolkien's main inspiration. The name Tolkien chose for one part of Middle-earth where the Hobbits live, "the Shire", is clearly reminiscent of the English shires. Hobbits also enjoy an ancient variety of tobacco, which they referred to as "pipe-weed", something that can be attributed mostly to their love of gardening and herb-lore. They claim to have invented pipe-weed, and according to The Hobbit and The Return of The King it can be found all over Middle-earth.

The Hobbits of the Shire developed the custom of giving away gifts on their birthdays, instead of receiving them, although this custom was not universally followed among other Hobbit cultures or communities [10]. They use the term mathom for old and useless objects, which are invariably given as presents many times over, or are stored in a museum (mathom-house).

Some Hobbits live in "hobbit-holes", traditional underground homes found in hillsides, downs, and banks. By the late Third Age, they were mostly replaced by brick and wood houses. Like all Hobbit architecture, they are notable for their round doors and windows, a feature more practical to tunnel-dwelling that the Hobbits retained in their later structures.

The Hobbits had a distinct calendar: every year started on a Saturday and ended on a Friday, with each of the twelve months consisting of thirty days. Some special days did not belong to any month - Yule 1 and 2 (New Years Eve & New Years Day) and three Lithedays in mid-summer. Every fourth year there was an extra Litheday, most likely as an adaptation, similar to a leap year, to ensure that the calendar stayed synchronised with the seasons[11


    * Harfoots. The Harfoots were the most numerous group of Hobbits and also the first to enter Eriador. They were the smallest in stature of all hobbits.
    * Fallohides. The Fallohides were the least numerous group and the second group to enter Eriador. They were generally fair haired and tall (for hobbits). They were often found leading other clans of hobbits as they were more adventurous than the other races. They preferred the forests and had links with the Elves.
    * Stoors. The Stoors were the second most numerous group of Hobbits and the last to enter Eriador. They were broader than other hobbits. They mostly dwelt beside rivers and were the only hobbits to use boats and swim. Males were able to grow beards.

Along with dwarves and elves, hobbits have become a common feature of many fantasy games, both pen-and-paper role-playing games and computer games. Examples of games which feature hobbits include the Quiz Magic Academy series, Lufia: The Ruins of Lore, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, the Middle-earth Role Playing (MERP) System (by Iron Crown Enterprises), and Lord of the Rings RPG (by Decipher Games).

However the word "Hobbit" is a trademark owned by the Tolkien estate. For this reason Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy most often refer to hobbit-like creatures by another name, most commonly as halflings (alternatives include hin in the Mystara universe, hurthlings in Ancient Domains of Mystery, and Bobbits in the Ultima series. A notable exception is the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Creature of Havoc, which features them by name.

Fossils of diminutive hominids discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2004 were informally dubbed "hobbits" by their discoverers; some anthropologists consider them an extinct species Homo floresiensis.

The song "Secret Kingdom" on Newsboys' Go includes the line "Take us Hobbits out of the Shire".

"Stealing like a hobbit" is the name of a parody song by Luke Sienkowski that was the most requested song in 2003 on the Dr. Demento Show. (This might be a reference to the "Roast Mutton" chapter of The Hobbit, in which Bilbo Baggins tries to pick the pocket of a stone troll, or to a later chapter in which he infiltrates the dragon Smaug's lair.)

They also appear as an enemy in Overlord. They fit Tolkien's description quite well in the fact they had a love for food, ale and their houses were built into the side of hills.

Notes and references

   1. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), "A Long-expected Party", ISBN 0-395-08254-4
   2. ^ "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. [...] But what exactly our relationship is can no longer be discovered." Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), Prologue, ISBN 0-395-08254-4
   3. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. Guide to the Names of the Lord of the Rings, "The Firstborn"
   4. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, #131, ISBN 0-395-31555-7
   5. ^ “If you can’t distinguish between a Man and a Hobbit, your judgement is poorer than I imagined. They’re as different as peas and apples.” Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), Many Meetings, ISBN 0-395-08254-4
   6. ^ Humphrey Carpenter: J. R. R. Tolkien A Biography, George Allen & Unwin, 1977, p. 165.
   7. ^ Humphrey Carpenter: J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography, George Allen & Unwin, 1977, p. 172
   8. ^ Tolkien does not describe Hobbits' ears in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, but in a 1938 letter to his American publisher, he described Hobbits as having "ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'". (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, #27.)
   9. ^ The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, #27. The description specifically refers to Bilbo Baggins.
  10. ^ The ancient hobbit Gollum refers to the One Ring as his "birthday present" in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
  11. ^ *Tolkien, J. R. R. (1955). The Return of the King, Appendix D.
  12. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), "Concerning Hobbits", ISBN 0-395-08254-4

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