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Hobbits , also known as Halflings, were an ancient mortal race. Although their exact origins are unknown, they were initially found in the northern parts of Middle-earth and below the Vales of Anduin.

Age and AppearanceEdit

Most Hobbits lived longer than Men, a race of which they were an off-shoot. The average lifespan of a Hobbit was about 100 years, though it was not unusal for a Hobbit to live as many as three decades beyond that. The time at which a young Hobbit matured and was accepted as an adult was 33, compared to a Man's 18 years. Thus, a 50-year-old Hobbit would only be middle-aged. The most distinguishing feature of Hobbits was their short stature. They were smaller than Dwarves and were usually between two and four feet in height. With the gradual passing of time, Hobbits became even shorter. By the Third Age, they were usually less than three feet tall. Hobbits' ears were slightly pointed and their large furry feet had leathery soles, so they generally didn't need (and rarely wore) shoes or boots. Tolkien wrote that a typical Hobbit had a "round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'." Hobbits were skilled listeners and had good eyesight. Although they were inclined to be fat and did not hurry unnecessarily, they were also nimble and deft in their movements. In The Hobbit, Bilbo manages to sneak up on the Trolls without their hearing him because he, like all Hobbits, could walk around very quietly. The Hobbits who lived in the Shire dressed in bright colors and were fond of yellow and green. Their hair usually ranges from a light or dark brown to blonde to a golden red and is almost always curly.

CultureEdit

Most Hobbits enjoyed farming, food, ales, parties and the giving and receiving of presents. They were usually friendly and happy-go-lucky, although they were often shy of Men. Hobbits prefer a quiet, normal, and peaceful life, which is why Gandalf was frowned upon sometimes, because he brought adventure to Bilbo. Many of them had seen him returning from his long journey to the Lonely Mountain with his steed laden with great chests of gold. They also have developed a keen taste in the smoking of Pipe-weed and blowing smoke rings. This was first started by Tobold Hornblower of Longbottom in the Southfarthing. They were very ignorant and knew little of the happenings of the world. They dwell in Hobbit-holes (known as Smials).

Hobbits, particularly those of the Shire are very insular and are suspicious of other people from other places and anything that disturbs the peace. Hobbits refer to people outside the Shire as Outsiders, being a very broad term, were simply those foreign to any region. Just as hobbits consider themselves to be right and proper when compared to the outsiders, others consider the hobbits to be the strange, little folk.

LifestyleEdit

Hobbits are fond of an unadventurous bucolic life of farming, eating, and socializing. According to Jackson's trilogy, they enjoy seven meals a day, when they can get them: breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and, later in the evening, supper. In the book, however, supper is simply an alternative name for dinner; Bilbo only served three official meals at his Birthday Party: lunch, tea, and dinner (or supper). They like simple food such as bread, meat, potatoes, and cheese, and also like to drink ale, often in inns — not unlike the English country folk, who were Tolkien's inspiration. They have also been known to have a particular fondness for cake. The name Tolkien chose for one part of Middle-earth where the Hobbits live, "The Shire", is clearly reminiscent of the English Shires. Hobbits also enjoy smoking herbs, which they refer to as "pipe-weed", out of long wooden pipes. This can be attributed to their love of gardening and herb-lore (as exemplified by Sam Gamgee). Another interesting fact is that hobbits have an inordinate liking of mushrooms, prizing them above many other foods. A common pursuit for younger hobbits is mushroom-hunting, and Frodo Baggins said he had stolen Farmer Maggot's mushrooms on at least one occasion. Some Hobbits live in hobbit-holes, known as "smials" which resembled the characteristics of the original places where they dwelt underground. They were found in hillsides, downs, and banks. By the late Third Age, only rich and poor hobbits continued to live in smials; the middle-class hobbits usually lived in large, low buildings, like Brandy Hall. Almost every building in the Shire has round doors and windows, a feature more practical to tunnel-dwelling that the Hobbits retained in their later structures.

AppearanceEdit

Hobbits are between two and four feet (0.6m-1.2m) tall, the average height being three feet six inches. They are not quite as stocky as the similarly-sized dwarves, but still tend to be stout, with slightly pointed ears.

They are fairly a human figure, not a kind of fairy rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur that are extremely small. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf)."

they dress in bright colours, favouring yellow and green. Nowadays (according to Tolkien's fiction), they are very shy creatures, but they are and have been capable of amazing things. They are adept with slings and throwing stones. Their feet are covered with curly hair (usually brown, as is the hair on their heads) and have leathery soles, so most Hobbits hardly ever wear shoes. Hobbits (Halflings) are often depicted with large feet for their size, perhaps to visually emphasize their unusual nature. This is especially prominent in the influential illustrations by the Brothers Hildebrandt and the large prosthetic feet used in the films by Peter Jackson. Tolkien does not specifically give size as a generic hobbit trait, but does makes it the distinctive trait of Proudfoot hobbit clan. Hobbits can sometimes live for up to one hundred and thirty years, although their average life expectancy is one hundred years. The time at which a young Hobbit "comes of age" is thirty-three. Thus, a fifty-year-old Hobbit would only look 26–30 years by human standards.

The Hobbits had a distinct calendar, every year started on a Saturday and ended on a Friday, with each of the twelve months consisting of thirty days. Some special days did not belong to any month - Yule 1 and 2 (New Year's Eve and New Years Day) and three Lithedays in mid summer. Every fourth year there was an extra Litheday.

BirthdaysEdit

The Hobbits of the Shire developed the custom of giving away gifts on their birthdays instead of receiving them. They use the term Mathom for old and assorted objects, which are invariably given as presents many times over or are stored in a museum (Mathom-house).

Instead of saying "one hundred and twelve" they say "eleventy two" and that with every other three plus digit number (although in Jackson's Trilogy, Bilbo tells the party-goers that it was his One Hundred and Eleventh Birthday).

Known HobbitsEdit

AppearancesEdit

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