Concerning Hobbits (of Color)

Okay it’s been a whole day and I’m still angry about that hobbit casting thing, so let’s lay down some Tolkien canon here.

Fact 1: Per Tolkien, there were originally three races of hobbit. The Stoors were a small group, they were broad and stocky, they grew facial hair, they liked rivers, and their skin color is not specified, so Tolkien probably meant them to be white (but there’s no reason they have to be, since again, not specified). The Fallohides were a tiny group, they were thin, pale and tall, they were bold and good with languages, and they like trees. The Harfoots were the distinct majority, they lived in holes, they had hairy feet, and they were brown. Tolkien is super clear on this. He explicitly calls out Harfoots as having browner skin than other hobbits when describing the races and he uses phrases like “nut-brown skin” and “long brown fingers” when describing specific hobbits to back it up.

Fact 2: Britain planted its ravenous imperial flag firmly in the soil of India three centuries before Tolkien wrote The Hobbit. He knew what a brown person looked like. He would know he was not evoking a slightly darker shade of Caucasian when he said a person had brown skin.

Fact 3: Bilbo, Frodo, and all of their friends are aristocracy. Sam is the only hobbit we ever meet who is an actual laborer. In Tolkien’s time, laborers worked in the sun and middle class and aristocracy stayed inside where there was something resembling temperature control. Apart from Sam and Aragorn, no one in the Fellowship (or Company) ever voluntarily got a sunburn. If Tolkien talks about brown skin he’s talking about brown skin, not a farmer’s tan.

Where does this leave us?

Well, Tolkien says that after colonizing the Shire, the three hobbit races mingled more closely and became one. This leaves us with two options.

Option A: He’s talking about that thing that sci-fi writers sometimes do where “everyone is mixed race.” So all three races would have smeared together into a single uniform color. What color? Mostly Harfoot, aka brown. The “strong strain of Fallohide” in the Tookish and Brandybuck lines means maybe they’re white-passing, but in this scenario all hobbits are brown.

Option B: He’s talking about a more melting-pot scenario where visual racial distinctions still exist but everyone lives side-by-side in a fairly uniform culure. The Tooks/Brandybucks having a “strong strain of Fallohide” means that they are themselves remaining strains of Fallohide, and are straight-up white. Merry, half Took and half Brandybuck, is thus white (possibly part Stoor, given Brandybuck comfort with water); Pippin, half Took and half Banks, is either white or biracial. The Baggins family, sensible owners of the oldest and most venerable hobbit-hole anyone knows of, are blatantly Harfoot, making Bilbo and Frodo (half Took and half Brandybuck respectively) also biracial. Fallohides being exclusively adventurous high-class types, and the Gamgees being staid low-class homebodies with a distrust of moving water, Sam is obviously Harfoot and thus completely brown. (Smeagol, a Stoor, is probably white, but as discussed above, doesn’t have to be.) In this scenario, a minimum of three of five heroic hobbits are various shades of brown, four out of five of them could be, and most background hobbits are brown.

In conclusion, if you think all hobbits are white, you are canonically wrong. If you geek out over Aragorn wearing the Ring of Barahir, rage about Faramir trying to take the Ring, and do not even notice, much less complain, that Sam, Bilbo and Frodo are being erroneously portrayed by white guys, you need to reexamine the focus of your nerdery.

recently there was a bit going around about, i believe, an indian woman who was turned down as an extra for shire scenes because she was “too brown”

and for all the reasons that’s nonsense and racist, another thing is that in canon, hobbits of the shire are descended from three ethnicities of hobbit: stoors, harfoots and fallohides 

their skin tones are literally described in the prologue of the fellowship of the ring – called “concerning hobbits”, which, in the lord of the rings trilogy, is one of the first scenes in the film, and is also the name of the jaunty musical theme you hear in shire scenes in the lotr/hobbit films

harfoots had dark skin, or at least darker than the stoors and fallohides, and the fallohides had lighter skin than the stoors, which means the harfoots are AT LEAST a few shades darker than your average white person

and the harfoots were the most numerous of hobbits, and the fallohides the least numerous and to have fallohide blood was a bit uncommon in the shire – most shire hobbits are primarily descended from the darkest group, the harfoots

tolkien wrote this

so what the fuck are they doing with tolkien casting

gedsparrowhawk  asked:

hi its me again from last night uh ive gone through a ton of your hobbit tag but can you just like tell me everything about what youve come up with about hobbits i think im in love

my time to shine has fucking come

(i mean i literally have drafts saved about hobbits and now i have an excuse to publish them like HECK)

of breeds:

so first of all, my hobbits are, in origin, of the middle-east/south asia/north africa. fallohides mostly pakistani/iranian/arab, stoors mostly desi, harfoots mostly egyptian/nubian. given that the original hobbit breeds have been mixed greatly over time, and most of the hobbits are of harfoot blood, most of their clothing and customs would originate from the original harfoot tribes, but there is still great mixing between all of them, and it culminates to make the present-day shire-hobbit culture. certain families who share a high blood percentage with an original breed do tend to keep the breed’s nowadays obscure traditions and decorations and such things

as for where hobbits came from, it’s pretty much an accepted fanon by now that yavanna created the hobbits, and i totally go for it. there’s also a theory that i came up with actually several years ago that the hobbits were actually once the entwives - yavanna created the ents, so it sort of fits with that idea too, though since hobbits are supposed, by the best of anybody’s knowledge, to be related to men, it’s sort of a defunct theory. but hey i still think it’s interesting and i’m proud of it cause i’ve never heard anybody say anything like it before and yeah

since i have to mention dwarves at least once in this post i’m gonna also say that i headcanon the stoors as having dwarf-blood in them - they are described as stockier, having had sometimes grown small beards, and having been the only hobbits to wear shoes, usually dwarf boots. they lived near some of the old dwarf clans and they had dealings with them, so all things considered, it just seems to be the natural answer to me. also since yavanna and aule created the hobbits and dwarves respectively, well, it also makes sense that they’d be able to crossbreed all right; maybe, even, part of yavanna’s purpose in creating the hobbits was so that her husband’s race, poorly equipped for breeding, might have help from these fertile creatures in increasing their less-than-impressive population.

you never fucking know

of gender culture:

all of my hobbits (okay most, there is the odd mutation as there is in any creature) are reproductively fantasy intersex - they can both sire and bear, as the terms go in hobbitish culture. because of this, their gender expressions are normally incredibly on the nonbinary side, but any expression a hobbit would use is considered normal. i’ll even give you a canonical aspect of this: hobbits have so many damn children that it would just make sense if the partners in a relationship could switch off every other child to give the other a break. (term being ‘crossbearing’. how fucking cute is that. a crossbearing couple)

so the general population of hobbits doesn’t realize that other races have separate sires and bearers, and those who do know.. are kind of on the wall about it, like they side-eye them and gossip quietly sometimes but mostly they don’t really care (cause most hobbits don’t care about the outside world)

there is a tendency for hobbits who have borne more than a few times to take on the role of matron. normally breasts will only grow while a hobbit needs them and then they will recede, but each time a hobbit gestates they will stay longer, so that if a hobbit had three sequential pregnancies, for instance, the amount of time it takes for their breasts to recede would lengthen, until they would not recede at all. so hobbits who continuously bear like 5+ children will keep the milk makers for convenience

EDITbilbruh gave me some awesome headcanons to add to this!! so when a hobbit child is born, they will inherit the surname of their bearer. hobbits also keep their own surnames when married.

also i think that the rangers’ and gandalf’s protection of the shire from outside sources is a lot to do with preserving their culture in addition to keeping them safe from unsavory-natured people. anybody who even knows of the existence of hobbits doesn’t know anything about their culture, except for in bree, where there are hobbits living. but bree-hobbits have different customs than shire-hobbits, and they and the bucklanders more than any others know the importance of keeping their biology and even existence a secret from the outside world.

of hobbit customs:

there’s not a lot to add to what we already know about what customs and culture hobbits have, but there’s a few things i will mention.

one, nose rubbing. hobbits that are well-acquainted will often greet each other by rubbing or touching their noses together. also used as just a sign of affection.

two, hobbits are just very affectionate in general and often will keep a hand or what have you on another that they know just to keep in physical contact. they probably have enhanced senses when they do this as well and it’s almost a form of bonding. for instance, couples, partnerships, good friends and what have you grow a strong mental connection over time in part because of the custom of keeping in physical contact.

three, flowering; the practice of making jewelry from flowers, ie flowery. very common pasttime among hobbits young and old alike, and often done while gossiping or having a pint after a day of work.

i also want to emphasize the importance of gardeners and farmers among hobbits - i believe tolkien described hobbitish culture as mainly ‘middle-class’ (though i don’t think of hobbits of having a class system at all), with some certain hobbit families being of higher rank than others based on bloodline, generally fallohide families, and also that the gardeners were indeed high of honor and it was the main hobbit profession, you would say. so i would just expound upon that idea a little - the farmers, gardeners, those who deal with the earth - are the most revered and respected.

so a big reason why workers of the earth are important is that hobbits recognize yavanna as their creator. they often use her name in day-to-day life - ‘oh yavanna!’, ‘by the green lady’, etc. they also recognize that her partner is aule who created the dwarves, and therefore recognize their connection with that race. so the dwarves in the blue mountains coming down to trade and whatnot is normal.

so… yeah that’s all i can think of at the moment, i might update this post later if i think of something else, or just make another post if i come up with something now. and thank you for the great question and also for being who you are and everything. good talk


The three groups of hobbits mentioned in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring - Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides.

The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; their hands and feet were neat and nimble; and they preferred highlands and hillsides…The Harfoots had much to do with Dwarves in ancient times, and long lived in the foothills of the mountains…They were the the most normal and representative of Hobbit, and far the most numerous.

The Stoors were broader, heavier in build; their feet and hands were larger, and they preferred flat lands and riversides….The Stoors lingered long by the banks of the Great River Anduin, and were less shy of men. They came west  after the Harfoots and followed the course of the Loud-water southwards. 

The Fallohides were fairer of skin and also of hair, and they were taller and slimmer than the others, they were lovers of trees and woodlands…The Fallohides, the least numerous, were a northerly branch. They were more friendly with Elves than the other Hobbits were, and had more skill in language and song than in handicrafts; and of old they preferred hunting to tilling.

[Fellowship of the Ring - Prologue - p20] 

Here’s the first batch (½) of archived posts from Askmiddlearth that relate to the Prologue. A heads up for any first-time readers out there - I cannot guarantee that these posts are spoiler-free, so read them at your own risk.

Now And For Always
  • Now And For Always
  • Sam
  • The Lord Of The Rings Musical

The Lord of the Rings Musical (x)

Track 12: Now and For Always

Sung by Frodo and Sam

[this is the part where Sam reassures Frodo as they near Mordor, as seen in Sam’s speech in the film]

Sing me a story of heroes of the Shire
Muddling through, brave and true
Stubborn as bindweed and tough as old brier
Never too showy or grand
Year after year they persevere
Now and for always
Harfoots who planted, and Stoor folk who ploughed
Bred to endure, slow but sure
Fallohide blood in your veins makes you proud
Sturdy and steady they stand
True to their aim to stay the same
Now and for always

Sit by the firelight’s glow
Tell us an old tale we know
Tell of adventures strange and rare
Never to change
Ever to share
Stories we tell will cast their spell
Now and for always

Sing me a story of Frodo and the ring
Fearless and bold

Tired and cold

Sword at his side
An elf blade called sting
Crossing a miserable land
Wouldn’t retreat
Just followed his feet
Now and for always

Sit by the firelight’s glow
Tell us an old tale we know
Tell of adventures strange and rare
Never to change
Ever to share
Stories we tell will cast their spell
Now and for always

Sing me a tale of the bravest of them all
Comrade and guide, at my side
Stouthearted Sam who wouldn’t let me fall
Holding my life in his hand
True to the end, no finer friend
Now and for always

Sit by the firelight’s glow
Tell us an old tale we know
Tell of adventures strange and rare
Never to change
Ever to share
Stories we tell will cast their spell
Now and for always

I cry every time I listen to this one.

Apparently Hobbits and Dwarfs could have met? Back in ancient (sorta) history I mean.

Hobbits originally lived between Mirkwood and the Lonely Mountain, but migrated to the West. 

The Hobbits moved away before Erebor was more than a mining colony, and it is possible that when Erebor was established as a Kingdom there weren’t anyone still alive who had actually met a Hobbit, but, (!!!) it is possible that there is a shared history here. 

Maybe some Hobbits stayed, or that some Dwarfs left with them. (Which could be why there are Stoors!)

I really like thinking about what Hobbits were like before they settled in the Shire. What similarities and differences. 

10 Typical Dutch Expressions

10 Typical Dutch Expressions

Ten typical Dutch expressions that will serve you well when working with managers or when you are a one of them yourself.

  1. Komt het gelegen? – Is it convenient?

This is the very gentle way to opening the conversation with somebody who is busy. The other person might answer: Waar gaat het over?- What is it about?

  1. Stoor ik? – Am I disturbing you?

You are very polite when you use this question, when…

View On WordPress

Made with WordPress