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Old 09-05-2000, 12:20 AM   #1
Gwaihir the Windlord
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Elves and Men were created by Illuvitar. We know of their origins. The Naugrim, the Dwarves, were made by the Vala Aule, he desiring to make life of his own. Orcs were created in mockery of the Children of Illuvitar by Morgoth. The Ents were awoken by the Elves near to the waters of Cuivienen. So where did the Hobbits originate, and where do they fit in?

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Old 09-05-2000, 12:36 AM   #2
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Re: Where did the Periannath come from?

I don't know but I would like to know too......

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Old 09-05-2000, 05:35 AM   #3
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Re: Where did the Periannath come from?

Other than stating that the Halflings were a mannish breed, JRRT is silent on their origin. Unlike the awakening of men,elves, dwarves and the reference to ents, there is no separate tale regarding the arising ofthe Hobbits.

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Old 09-05-2000, 03:30 PM   #4
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Re: Where did the Periannath come from?

So you're saying that Hobbits were simply a 'sub-species' of Men?

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Old 09-05-2000, 04:05 PM   #5
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Hobbits

Yes. JRRT says precisely that in Letters by Tolkien. They are not &quot;immortal&quot; like elves and are clearly not dwarves or ents. JRRT says they are a form of man, notwithstanding the minor physical differences.

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Old 09-05-2000, 04:50 PM   #6
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Re: Hobbits

I'm afraid I just can't believe that. Hobbits, a breed of Man? What exactly does the Prof say in his Letters?

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Old 09-05-2000, 05:13 PM   #7
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Re: Hobbits

I buy the sub-species of Men arguement. They are man-like in all but stature.... and no mention was ever made of their separate creation.

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Old 09-05-2000, 05:39 PM   #8
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Re: Hobbits

While I haven't read the Letters, JRRT notes in the Foreward to FOTR, that &quot;It is plain that despite of later estrangement Hobbits our relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves or even Dwarves....But what exactly our relationship is can no longer be discovered.&quot;

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Old 09-05-2000, 05:57 PM   #9
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Re: Hobbits

Well, if that seems to be the general opinion, I'll believe it. But I never expected that turnout!

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Old 09-05-2000, 08:43 PM   #10
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Re: Hobbits

Yes, I buy that also, it is clearly obvious that Hobbits are manlike in more ways than not.
However I can't see how man could have naturally evolved towards Hobbit features. Normally in the history of evolution the human has grown bigger and more evolved. And however much I love hobbits ( dixit my nickname ) Hobbits are neither bigger versions of men or more evolved. If anything they are considerably smaller and with simpler and more natural tastes for life. Which I respect and actually wish we all followed ( the taste for life stuff, not the size LOL).
So if anything, Hobbits would be a genetic mishap from men which did not evolved but followed the direction of badgers who dig holes and enjoy a cozy life.

Well I am not sure about that last chapter...<img src=smile.gif ALT="">

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Old 09-05-2000, 09:31 PM   #11
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Re: Hobbits

Not necessarily so. Some sub-populations of men have evolved to a consistantly smaller stature which better suited their environments. Size-increase is only progress if it increases the likelihood of survival. Likewise, if by &quot;evolved&quot; you mean technologically advanced, there is no teleological plan to back that. While most Americans in the late twentieth century utilize higher levels of technlogy than did their forebears of the eighteenth century, the same could not be said of sixth-century Italians vis-a-vis their third-century forebears. Evolution is not a simple arithmetic projection, but rather a highly complex system of variables. Granted the right niche and time many things unexpectedly arise.
And you couldn't be more correct about badgers. But don't forget that although -- they are cozy and charming -- they are also vicious predators.

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Old 09-05-2000, 10:55 PM   #12
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Re: Hobbits

Maybe we could have Men and Hobbits sharing a common ancestor. Australopothicus, for instance...

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Old 09-06-2000, 01:52 AM   #13
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Re: Hobbits

hey Galpsi

Hobbits might not be vicious predators but our little friends in the LOTR proved themselves ruthless when confronted with danger which is the same with badgers.

When I was talking about evolution, I did not mean that men always evolve for the better but you have to admit that the modern man looks physically more evolved than our ancestors 20 000 years ago who hardly looked more developped than monkeys.

Therefore at one stage of the evolution, you can imagine that a group of small size men might have got isolated from the others and enter-breeded so as to produce with the years the Hobbits.

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Old 09-06-2000, 12:04 PM   #14
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origin of hobbits

Then they must have evolved very fast,since there can only be somewhat a 10,000 years between the creation of Ea and the Fourth Age(an Era must be somewhat 2,000 or 3,000 years,especially the latter ones).Besides,how can you explain their long lifespan? Only Nýmenorean
kings lived as long or longer.

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Old 09-06-2000, 12:22 PM   #15
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Re: origin of hobbits

It doesn't take very long for the stature of a population to change. Look at the size of people 150 years ago, Lincoln was huge at 6 feet 4 inches, now that's only a little more than average. Napoleon was average in the low 5's. If a group of people wants to hide, let's say, from Easterlings, it would be much easier for them to do so if they were small. The smaller Hobbits would be able to hide better, and thus have a better chance to pass on their genes. As they moved west there would be less and less trouple from Easterlings, so they would have time to relax and enjoy things more. They held on to old practices, living in holes and not trusting Men, just out of tradition I'd guess. It might be reasonable to assume that they stayed small because they wanted too, being untrusting of Big People and all. I realize that this wouldn't be the case in Bree, but it's a start.

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Old 09-06-2000, 12:55 PM   #16
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Re: origin of hobbits

&gt;&gt;since there can only be somewhat a 10,000 years between the creation of Ea and the Fourth Age&lt;&lt;

Only? Depends. Calculations are closer to the 750,000 year mark, and that's conservative in not counting the actual constuction and ordering of Arda let alone Ea which could add a lot more than that to the figure. Men awoke around 65,250 years, or thereabouts, prior to the Fourth Age. That's a long time for alot to happen. This of course assumes MYTHS TRANSFORMED is accurate.

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Old 09-06-2000, 02:18 PM   #17
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Re: origin of hobbits

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> It doesn't take very long for the stature of a population to change. Look at the size of people 150 years ago, Lincoln was huge at 6 feet 4 inches, now that's only a little more than average. Napoleon was average in the low 5's.<hr></blockquote>
Mind you, the significant chage which you remark in height is not due to a genetic development, but rather to increased intake of calories and especially of proteins (and especially during childhood). The Japanese made a similar (but even more rapid) surge in mean height during the post-war occupation because of the dietary influence of Americans. They took to eating much more meat and rapidly became (on average) much taller than most east-Asian peoples. A native-born Thai friend of mine, who has lived in the states since grade school was back in Thailand a year or so ago. Everyone thought he was Japanese because he was so big. (p.s., he might be 5'6&quot

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Old 09-06-2000, 02:55 PM   #18
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Re: origin of hobbits

That is correct, I was trying to use an example that most people would recognize. There are several groups of geneticly smaller people, but, alas, I do not know their names.

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Old 09-06-2000, 08:23 PM   #19
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Re: origin of hobbits

Posh. How can a discussion of genetics and Darwinism (even an articulate one) enter into a discussion of Middle Earth? Fiddle-faddle. Besides, how do you account for the hairy, leathery-soled feet and the beardlessness? What would you call a hobbit-human offspring? A three-quarterling? Confusticate and bebother genetics.

Nevertheless, Tolkien has left us in the lurch here. My own two cents is that hobbits do have a distinct origin, but that it is regrettably lost somewhere back in the Mists of Time. The Prologue seems to back me up on this: &quot;The beginning of Hobbits lies far back in the Elder Days that are now lost and forgotten. Only the Elves still preserve any records of that vanished time, and their traditions are concerned almost entirely with their own history, in which Men appear seldom and Hobbits are not mentioned at all. Yet it is clear that Hobbits had, in fact, lived quietly in Middle-earth for many long years before other folk even became aware of them.&quot;

I glean two important points from this passage: (1) there seems to be an implication that Hobbits did have a distinct origin, but that it is lost to us, and (2) that Hobbits were around for many years before the other peoples even knew they were there. A third, less convincing point, given the earlier post re: the length of an Age, is that if Hobbits have been around since the Elder Days, the window of possible evolution is cut considerably shorter.

Other passages hint at a distinct heritage before other folk were encountered -- the prologue tells us that prior to their meeting of Elves and Men, Hobbits spoke their own language, but after the meeting took up the Common Speech and writing and saved only a few of their old words and family names from their discarded tongue.

None of this tells us where Hobbits came from, but I like to think they are the result of a subtle, quiet, but gently rising theme in the music of the Ainur. Perhaps further investigation and inquiry will reveal a more practical answer.

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Old 09-06-2000, 08:57 PM   #20
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Re: origin of hobbits

I am afraid I do not see them as a rising theme in any Ainur music.

Two solutions then come to my mind. Firstly being a technical person I would obviously say the Hobbits are somewhere between Man and Animal on the evolution scale. Many parallels can be made to both...

Secondly why could Hobbits not have been created for the simple purpose of taking care of the shire as good gardeners they are. Or is that a little too simple ?


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Old 09-06-2000, 11:14 PM   #21
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Re: origin of hobbits

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I am afraid I do not see them as a rising theme in any Ainur music.<hr></blockquote>

They're in there somewhere. Just ask Eru.

Setting aside the creationism vs. evolution question for the moment, I would say that your second possible solution <u>is</u> too simple. After all, it was not an accident that the Hobbits became &quot;important and renowned, and troubled the counsels of the Wise and the Great.&quot; Who but Hobbits could have successfully carried the Ring to the Fire? Even besides that, they didn't come to the Shire until after a considerable migration from out of the east.


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Old 09-06-2000, 11:15 PM   #22
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Re: origin of hobbits

If they'd been created to ward the Shire, you'd think that Yavanna or whoever would've put them there instead of trusting them to eventually migrate there.
Or was the Spingle-Ring a memorial celebration of the voices of the Ainur?

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Old 09-07-2000, 02:03 AM   #23
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Re: origin of hobbits

<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Or was the Spingle-Ring a memorial celebration of the voices of the Ainur? <hr></blockquote>
I smell an article...

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Old 09-07-2000, 03:33 AM   #24
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Re: origin of hobbits

Yeah, well, whoever smelt it...

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Old 09-07-2000, 10:49 AM   #25
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Re: origin of hobbits

I don't see anyone speaking of their long age! if Yavanna or another ainu(maias were also ainus so maybe one of the stronger maias created them,though it was never mentioned in the ainulindale or the valaquenta,because some lazy elf editor didn't think it was important enough to remember them)had created them then why would they live that long?
after all living 100 or so years isn't that common.


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Old 09-07-2000, 03:25 PM   #26
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: origin of hobbits

Maybe a cross-breeding between Men and Dwarves. It's all I can think of. They look like Men, but have the height and some of the long life of Dwarves. That still doesn't explain their lack of beards, though.


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Old 09-08-2000, 01:53 AM   #27
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: origin of hobbits

I don't believe that I would make as much of the long lives of hobbits as you do. Based on some calculations I just did from the appendices, the average King of Rohan, a lesser man without Numenorean blood, lived 81.3 years if you don't average in those who met (usually violent) premature deaths. And the fact that these guys died violent deaths in their sixties and seventies speaks to their hale, hearty mettle at those ages.
A sampling of hobbit genealogies shows that Bagginses lived to an average age of 94.1 years (based on the first 15 sampled). Brandybucks averaged 94.3 years. A sample of Tooks (excluding Gerontius) avaeraged 103 years. (Even with the Old Took added, the average was still only 104.6 years.) Gamgees left inadequate data.
Using 97 years as an average hobbit age of death, possibly inflated due to noted Took longevity, This leaves only 15.7 years difference between the available samples of lesser men and those of hobbits. Granted the much greater diffrence between the average age of death of lesser men and those of Numenoreans or Dwarves -- both groups who might reasonably expect to live a couple of centuries, or more, without violent death -- hobbits don't strike me as terribly long-lived. Factor in their comparatively very healthy lifestyles and the discrepancy need not be understood as something innate to hobbits at all. All of Tolkien's peoples, members of a heroic past, were undertsood to be longer-lived then historical men.
I would argue that hobbits' life-expectancy argues much more nearly in favor of their kinship with lesser men than it does against it.

</p>Edited by <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000201>galpsi</A> at: 9/8/00 3:55:20 am
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Old 09-08-2000, 12:05 PM   #28
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: origin of hobbits

Good points, galpsi. I still say your flair for well-buttressed arguments and your personal passion and zeal for Springle-ringing make you the ideal candidate to write that article. <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

In FOTR, Ch. 2, Gandalf claims that he knows more about the origins of Hobbits than they themselves do. To me, this points again to a distinct event as opposed to some gradual happenstance of evolution.

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Old 09-09-2000, 02:27 PM   #29
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/onering.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: origin of hobbits

Distinct event or not,I think this question is to remain unanswered forever.

My tolkien favorites are <a href="http://www.tolkientrail.com/"target="web">the Tolkientrail</A>(michael martinez loved it!), http://www.barrowdowns.com/The Barrow-downs</A> and its http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/forum</a> and http://pub24.ezboard.com/bmountgundabad/Mount Gundabad</A>
"Quis,Quae,Quid
Quem,Quam,Quid"
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