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Topic: Where did they come from?

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Posts: 619
Date: Aug 27, 2006
Where did they come from?

Maybe I have just been THAT lazy all these years, but I have never really cared until just now, where Hobbits came from. Could someone please tell me?

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Aug 27, 2006
well, you know Celethil when a mummy hobbit and a daddy hobbit love each other very much they spend some time together alone and after some a baby hobbit is born...that's where hobbits come from...

no really, here is what I can say on this:
Tolkien gives us a concise history of the Hobbits in the Prologue to THE LORD OF THE RINGS, where he writes that their beginnings "lie far back in the Elder Days". He tells us the Hobbits themselves had all but forgotten their earliest legends bythe end of the Third Age, and that they only recalled having left the Vales of Anduin when a Shadow fell on Greenwood the
Great. The Elder Days were sometimes applied to the First Age of the Sun and the ages preceding it because those were the periods when the Elves (the Elder Children of Iluvatar) were the dominant creatures in Middle-earth. But Tolkien also wrote that "Elder Days" properly applied to the first three Ages of the Sun. What then did he mean when he was speaking of the Hobbits' origins?
I think he had in mind a sort of dual meaning. In speaking of their origins, he meant that Hobbits had become a distinct group sometime in the First Age, but his references to their earliest legends were only to legends of the Third Age, because all previous legends had been forgotten.
In a very lengthy letter to Milton Waldman which Humphrey Carpenter suggests was written late
in 1951, Tolkien says this about Hobbits:

"In the middle of this [the Third] Age 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 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.
† 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...."

So Hobbits are human. They are Men. That means their ancestors awoke in Hildorien, and they participated in the Great Fall of Man, from which the Edain and a few other peoples fled early in the First Age. It would seem that the Hobbits themselves fled that darkness, but they may have taken a more northerly path and found themselves following part of the path of the Great Journey undertaken by the Eldar many ages previously.

It's interesting to look for parallels between the Hobbits and the Elves. The Hobbits, like the Elves, were divided into three kindreds: the Fallohides, Harfoots, and Stoors. The Fallohides, the more adventurous hobbits, were friendly with the Elves and could in some ways be equated with the Vanyar. Yet the most numerous Hobbits were the Harfoots, who abhorred water (whereas
the Lindar/Teleri, the most numerous Elves, loved water). The Stoors were the water-loving Hobbits and they also got along better with the Dwarves than others, whereas the Harfoots got along better with Men. So there are really few parallels between Hobbits and Elves.
But can we infer something about the Hobbits' ancient roots from their "historical" associations?
Perhaps. For instance, they probably at first entered Greenwood the Great from the southeast.
The Fallohides could there have been the leaders of the migration, and would have encountered the Nandor and Avari who were becoming the Silvan Elves. The forest itself was not then evil so the Hobbits might have felt quite safe living there, and they probably had little to do with the
Elves.
When Oropher of Doriath established his kingdom in southern Greenwood it might have been time for the Hobbits to move on, or perhaps they continued to dwell close by the Silvan Elves until Oropher started moving his people north. Then the Hobbits would have had to move as
well. Perhaps by the middle of the Second Age the Stoors were living close to the Anduin.
The Harfoots might originally not have been intimidated by water, but they may have suffered some great disaster that left them shaken enough to pass on a fear of water to later generations.
They would have had to cross Anduin by the ancient Dwarf-bridge that existed in the Second Age north of the Gladden River. This guess implies the Harfoots may have been the most northern branch of the Hobbits, which seems to coincide with what Tolkien says about their entry points into Eriador in the Third Age.
The time of the Hobbits' arrival in what came to be called Rhovanion is a mystery. However,
THE PEOPLES OF MIDDLE-EARTH tells us something about the history and cultures of the region known as Rhovanion in the Third Age. Edainic peoples had lived there since the First Age, and they in many places developed a close relationship with the Dwarves of Durin's Folk.
In time some of the Edain also came to develop a relationship with the Hobbits, living in joint communities or close by one another much as the Hobbits and Men of Bree did in the Third Age.
The most critical information to be gleaned from THE PEOPLES OF MIDDLE-EARTH is that Hobbits were not present among the Edainic communities prior to the War of the Elves and
Sauron. The Edainic civilization was destroyed, and it would be many centuries before these peoples recovered. Hence, the Hobbits must have arrived sometime after the war. Perhaps the war itself stirred them up and caused the migration.

There are no ancient records from the Edain of the Second Age. Hence, the only mention of Hobbits among any northern people is what Theoden alludes to when he meets Merry and Pippin. His people, being descended of the Ëothëod, survivors of the ancient Kingdom of Rhovanion, remembered some of the lore their fathers had brought out of the north. Before settling in the distant north, the Ëothëod lived for over a hundred years near the Gladden River at
a time when clans of Stoors still dwelt there. This is probably the source of Theoden's lore about the "Hole-builders".
Because the Host of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men marched south along the Anduin, one should expect Tolkien to have at least dropped in a casual mention of an encounter between the Hobbits and the Last Alliance if the Hobbits were living there. But there is no such reference. So it may be that placing the Hobbits in Greenwood the Great and the Vales of Anduin during the Second Age is incorrect.
If so, they would have had to enter Greenwood before Sauron settled on Amon Lanc, but how long could they have lived in the forest? Also, the ancient Dwarf bridge had become a ford by the time Gil-galad and Elendil led their armies through the Vales, so how would the Harfoots have crossed the river? Could they perhaps have suffered a disastrous crossing in the Third Age?
Thranduil's people were living in the Emyn Duir for the first 1000 years of the Third Age. The ancient Dwarf-road ran straight past their lands to some obscure point on the Celduin. Perhaps the Hobbits came up the Celduin from the Sea of Rhun, passed through Greenwood by the Old
Forest Road (the Men-i-Naugrim), and managed to find a way across the river at the Old Ford.
The Fallohides might thus have been the last group on the "march", and would have stayed in the forest.
Either way, the Fallohides appear to be the group who started the migration which brought the Hobbits over the Hithaeglir. Tolkien writes that Men were increasing in number and that a Shadow fell on the forest, so the Fallohides must have crossed the Anduin and settled among the Harfoots, who became concerned about the evil taking shape in Greenwood and crossed the mountains. It may be that memories of the War of the Last Alliance existed among the Hobbits, either drawn from ancient experience or from exchanging tales with Men and Elves in Rhovanion.
But what is certain is that the Stoors were the most southern branch of the Hobbits, and they probably had developed a trading relationship with the Dwarves of Khazad-dum before crossing the Redhorn Pass. The Harfoots and Fallohides may have been familiar to the Woodmen and the Elves of Thranduil's realm.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Date: Aug 28, 2006
I guess that's as good an answer as any. If I am reading your answer correctly then Hobbits are an offshoot of Men, which I had heard often but could not seem to find anything in the writing to back it up.

That answer still seems a little weak, as Hobbits appear to be quite different in their nature than men. And it just seems so very unlikely that they do not appear in the history of the Elves. Men could easily overlook the little people, but it just seems unlikely that Elves would, or the Ainur for that matter.

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Aug 28, 2006
I would say it is so because they developed differently. As the world changed and ages passed the Hobbits kept their close link to nature, still beeing hole dwellers, while the men became more and more distanced from nature, turning their attention to other things

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Aug 29, 2006
The Hobbits were overlooked by the Ainur becuase by the time Hobbits came about, the Ainur no longer interfered with the afffairs of Middle-earth and the Elves overlooked them becuase there were not a huge amount left, and the had very little contact with them as Hobbits rarely strayed outside there country.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Posts: 3118
Date: Aug 29, 2006
wait a sec Celethil
what do you mean by overlook?
and which Ainur? the Valar?
and even the Elves, why should they know more about Hobbits? The only Elves they met were probably Avari, Elves that made no contact with their long lost brothers in the west.
the Elves did know much, but not all.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Date: Aug 30, 2006
According to your post, you suggest that the Hobbits became a distinct group in the First Age. It seems unlikely that any Elves that encountered them would have not mentioned them in their history. The Ainur seem equally surprised about the Hobbits. When you say 'which Ainur', I mean all of them. There isnt much about them in the Silmarillion.

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
Status: Offline
Posts: 3118
Date: Aug 31, 2006
ok...
now...the Elves who perhaps recorded the existance of hobbits didn't have their recordings in the Silmarillion, so still...I keep my opinion

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