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Hall of Fire this weekend: Concerning Hobbits

October 14, 2017 at 2:18 am by Demosthenes  - 

Barliman's Chat This weekend in The Hall of Fire, we’ll be turning our attention back to the prologue of The Lord of the Rings, examining the information presented to us about Hobbits.

“I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us.”

The Lord of the Rings: Prologue: Concerning Hobbits

In his introduction, Tolkien makes clear to us that Hobbits are like human beings. Yet, in some ways, that raises even more questions. In what way are they related to “the big people”? Why don’t they understand anything more complicated than a forge-bellows or a water-mill? And if they came to Eriador (and The Shire) from The Wilderland, where did they come from before that?

But, if the ultimate origins of Hobbits remain stubbornly vague, Tolkien is much more forthcoming about their recent history, their rural traditions and a mode of governance that blends elements of hierarchical clan-control and utopian hands-off democracy. At the surface, they seem to possess the modern society in Middle-earth, yet the least ambition of any of the free peoples.

If you’ve ever had a question you’ve wanted to ask about “the little people”, this is probably thew place to raise it.

Join us tomorrow in #thehalloffire when we will explore the world of the Halflings as we look at the Prologue of The Lord of the Rings: Concerning Hobbits.


The Shire: a view of Hobbiton from The Hill. Artist: Ted Nasmith.

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Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire on October 14, 2017 by