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Old 05-22-2006, 09:00 AM   #1
Celuien
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Of the Origins of Hobbits

The earliest origins of the Hobbits are shrouded in mystery, their tales lost in the mists of time. Though it is spoken that Hobbits are a branch of the race of Men, few know from whence they came in their beginnings long ago. But now, new discoveries have been made by the historians Nilpaurion Felagund and Celuien that have shed new light on the origin and development of the Hobbits.

For it is now known that in addition to the usually cited Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides, there was another branch on the Hobbit genealogical tree – a Hobbit group known as the Hobrogs. This little known division of Hobbit kind has been found to be the ultimate stage of the Hobbit lifecycle (egg/Hobbit -> Hobbit (in which form the Hobbit can remain indefinitely – even permanently) -> Hobrog -> egg or Hobbit) in which the Hobbit becomes an amphibious being. Thus, their name is translated from a word in the Hobbit language denoting Hobbit and Frog. Hobrogs may also change form, sometimes appearing as an almost entirely typical Hobbit, save for webbed feet, and sometimes as a curly haired frog, though this metamorphosis takes considerable time and energy to achieve. One point is clear, however. In any shape, the Hobrogs were always amphibious.

Hobrogs were known as beings of great power. But unfortunately, this stage (thought to be brought about by contact with rivers or other natural bodies of water), came to be feared by the Hobbits, and they sought to ignore and evade their destinies. Thus, they avoided water and the ancient legends of the Hobrogs passed out of knowledge. Until now. It is our goal to uncover the true history of the Hobrogs and undo the injustice that has led to their being forgotten by history.

Of the origins of Hobrogs:

This fragment of the Quenta Silmarillion, omitted from translations by Bilbo Baggins, sheds light on the origin of Hobbits and Hobrogs:
Quote:
And Melkor came into the waters and turned them to a dark and festering slime. Then Ulmo’s heart was troubled; for he loved the seas and rivers above all else in Arda, and he foresaw with the wisdom of the Valar that in time Men should come to fear the waters, though they were fair and filled with life, and he sought the counsel of Manwë.

And Manwë went to his seat on high Taniquetil, and long he pondered Ulmo’s trouble until lo! The Music of the Ainulindalë echoed again in his thought, and a vision of the Children of Iluvatar came to him. And he spoke to Ulmo of his vision.

“Fear not! For not the least of the troubles of Arda have gone unplanned for by Eru Iluvatar. Your love of the waters was known in the making of the Music, and has not been unheeded. There will come, in good measure, a branch of the younger Children, and they will take to the waters, and love them, and guard them from evil while their time lasts.”

And so when the Children awakened in the East of Middle-earth, the Hobrogs were among them, and as was foretold, their eyes fell first upon the waters, and they loved them. And they followed the waters to the West of Middle-earth, seeking the echo of the Music yet placed by Ulmo in advance of their coming. And so it came to pass that the Hobrogs, first of all the Mortal Children of Iluvatar, came into Beleriand, and there they met Ulmo, Vala of the Waters, and hearkened unto his words, and as they journeyed to and from the East, first brought word of the Valar to Men.
The Hobrogs were truly noble beings. In the First Age, they came into Doriath, where they aided in the defense against the Spiders of Nan Dungortheb. The Hobrogs were terrifyingly powerful hunters, said to have great ability in battles against large arachnids, which they easily (and literally) ate for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, and so forth. Indeed, they were so feared by Morgoth that he named his chief servants, the Balrogs, in mockery of the Hobrogs (though his reasoning was faulty, as the names are not connected linguistically). In the Second Age, they fought in the Last Alliance. They were grieved by the corruption of the Dead Marshes, though little is known at this point about their settlements in that region. And in the Third Age, though they were mostly in hiding and forgotten at this point in history, they played an important role. Hobrog settlements near Laketown allowed the transport of barrels from Mirkwood. And Hobrogs were entrenched in underwater Smials along the Brandywine, where they held great friendship with the Brandybucks (from whom they were largely derived). Other smaller settlements existed at the Grey Havens and along the Anduin into Ithilien, though less in known about their role in those locales.

And finally, two of the most famous Hobbits of the Third Age may actually have acheived Hobrog status at the time of their greatest fame. Note the following description of Gollum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Two Towers
Suddenly, with startling agility and speed, straight off the ground with a jump like a grasshoppen or frog, Gollum bounded forward into the darkness.
Note too, this passage from the diary of an Orc in Cirith Ungol, discovered and translated by Nilpaurion Felagund:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous Orcish Diary
Giant frog helps small tark in Torech Ungol. Licks chops. Shelob is now frog lunch.
This is clearly a reference to Sam's defense of Frodo. And so there is no other possible conclusion: Samwise Gamgee was a Hobrog who appeared in Frog shape to save Frodo during the encounter with Shelob!

The Hobrog contribution to Third Age life did not stop there. Hobrogs also kept the insect population near the Shire under control, greatly aiding Hobbit agriculture. They rescued drowning Hobbits who entered the water before being able to transform. And they generally helped keep Hobbit society running smoothly, though they usuallyacted from a distance as, unfortunately, the Hobbits grew distant from their origins and they forgot the nobility of the Hobrog stage of development.

That concludes our current research, though I can say that there is a developing chapter on the implications Hobrogs have for the Balrog wing debate to be fully presented at a later date.

Does anyone else have Hobrog discoveries to share?
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quite.

The plural of Hobrog is Hobbrim. The most famous of the old hobbrim is Kali (sometimes called Durshag) whose tale is told in "The Lonely Star" books two, three, and four. Kali played a minor but important part in events leading up to both the drowning of Numenor and the drowning of Beleriand.

Other notable Hobbrim in the tale include Phura and Azraph.
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:46 PM   #3
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Ah, thank you for the information, mark12_30. I was unaware of the important roles played by Kali, Phura and Azraph. It is a shocking omission from Hobrog lore, and must surely be corrected.

I was also unaware of the proper plural construction Hobbrim. It is, of course, more consistent with other accepted plural forms such as Naugrim and Rohirrim and I will use it in my future translations as they come to light.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:12 AM   #4
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Do Hobrogs have wings?
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:31 AM   #5
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This discovery might shed more light on the disappearance of the hobbits by the Seventh Age. In their form as Hobrogs, or, as Mark 12_30 clearly argues, hobbrim, they could have been more suspectible to the degrations of the environment wrought by man in that terrible age and thus fell victim first to genetic mutation and thence likely to extinction had it not been for one fortunate event in the Third Age when two hobbits imbibed ent draught.

Through the ages, this growth hormone was said to produce a branch of hobbit which became known to themselves as the Hobentrog, otherwise called by men in the vernacular the common tree frog, arising from the failure of men to correctly identify the plural as Hobentrim.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinlómien
Do Hobrogs have wings?
Ah, now that is a most fascinating question which has puzzled the students of Hobrog lore since the discovery of this species was made. The answer, of course, is both yes and no. After all, both of the original scholars on the subject are of Elven origin.

It seems that there is room for considerable debate on the topic of Hobrog wings. The annals of Hobrog lore pertaining to their participation in battle, as well as their journeys across the mountains of Middle-earth make ample reference to their possessing winged speed. It is well known that Hobrrim traveled quickly; indeed, even the Eagles found it difficult to match their pace. However, it is uncertain whether the winged speed mentioned was metaphorical or literal. Eyewitnesses report that the Hobrrim could fly through the air with the greatest of ease (this phrase is taken from a ballad of the Hobrrim which is said to survive in part in the lyrics to "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze," but the original, sadly, is lost to history), but this may have referred to the frog-form Hobrrim's ability to cover great distances in a single leap.

However, evidence for Hobrog wings exists in the naming of a place known as Nîn-in-Eilph. A large Hobrog settlement, abandoned by the Third Age, existed there. A number of unusual items were found at this settlement, including devices marked "Wing Brush." Furthermore, a scrap of paper referencing something called a Swobrog was found at that location. The meaning of the word was puzzling to us in the field of Hobrog studies, but after some time, we realized its relationship to Nîn-in-Eilph. Indeed, the place name includes a reference to Swans, and so, the word Swobrog may represent a mingling of the Hobrrim words for Swan and Hobrog.

It is not known if Swobrog was meant as a reference to the Hobbrim's residence at Nîn-in-Eilph, a nod to their potential occupation as swan-keepers, or a clue that a winged type of Hobrog once existed. However, Swobrogs are not my main focus of study. There may be other lore keepers who have more information on the topic.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:45 AM   #7
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bêthberry
Through the ages, this growth hormone was said to produce a branch of hobbit which became known to themselves as the Hobentrog, otherwise called by men in the vernacular the common tree frog, arising from the failure of men to correctly identify the plural as Hobentrim.
That is a very interesting discovery, and I must say that I believe it is absolutely correct. I encountered one of the Hobentrim quite recently! While strolling through a lovely set of woods near my home, I came to the edge of a pond and noticed a large green and brown frog. As I approached, the frog did not flee, but rather, and I say this with complete certainty, it winked at me. While all frogs possess some intelligence, this seemed out of the ordinary for a typical frog. Few attempt to communicate with humans.

Now that I think of it, even the colors in which the frog, or as I should more properly say now, Hobentrog, appeared are evidence of its identity, since it is known that green and brown were the preferred colors for the original Hobrrim.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:50 AM   #9
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And exactly what is the relationship of
burrahobbits to the hobrog (hobbrim)?
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuor of Gondolin
And exactly what is the relationship of
burrahobbits to the hobrog (hobbrim)?
Well, the original burrahobbit was a Hobrog of great fame in the Shire. His nickname of "Mad Baggins" referred not only to his adventures with the dwarves, but also to his habit of disappearing for long periods of time which he spent with the Brandybuck Hobrogs. Evidence is found in that riding in barrels to Laketown, as he did, was a known Mirkwood Hobrog pasttime.

It is also said that Frodo's parents were Hobrogs, and that they did not die in a boating accident as generally believed by less informed Hobbits, but instead quietly slipped away to join their connections in the Brandywine Hobrog settlement.

As for this burrahobbit, I would not presume to speak for him.
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Last edited by Celuien; 05-24-2006 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:58 AM   #11
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The question of wings or not is certainly related to their possible necessity, due to the nature of the Hobrog's foes. In the tale of the Entish Bow (sorry, I haven't had time to find the exact location of that portion of lore) we read of Balfrogs, almost certainly enemies of the Hobrogs, and since they have wings, the Hobrogs would hardly be able to survive without them as well. Obviously, the changes in their nature throughout the many long years since then have lessened their flight capability, but there are still frogs that can jump great heights and distances. I'm sure those were once Balfrogs...
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:08 AM   #12
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Fascinating investigative research by Celuien ,
and one hinting at a vast hobrog conspiracy
involving Meriadoc B., Ted Sandyman- obviously a
hobrog covert agent involved in the Drogo/Primula
coverup-, and a secret hobrog base along the Withywindle
directed by Drogo and Primula.Who was MB signalling when
he induced his agent PT to drop a message wrapped around
a stone down a shaft in Moria to the water far below? What
was the ultimate agenda of hobrog MB when they seized
power in the Shire behind their dupe front man mayor SG?
Was Tom Bombadil, as rumor has it, a collaborator
waiting to seize power with the hobrogs when
(as they hoped) the Sauron/Western forces exhausted
each other?
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