I am, as a rule, both unimpressed by and unaware of the various This Days and That Weeks and so on. Who can keep track? Who cares?
But since I happened across this post at tor.com, sure, fine, it’s Tolkien Week this week, so have a post on hobbits. I mean, who doesn’t like hobbits, right? That line about second breakfast may be the most memorable line in the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy of films, complete with Pippin’s firm little nod that says This argument is unassailable.
- Aragorn : Gentlemen, we do not stop ’til nightfall.
- Pippin : What about breakfast?
- Aragorn : You’ve already had it.
- Pippin : We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?
Anyway, hobbits! The post at tor.com is satisfyingly long and goes into some depth about the origin of hobbits and their role in the Lord of the Rings:
Hobbits are beneath the notice of so many, right? We see it with the good guys and the bad guys alike. The Elves in Lothlórien know of them, but thought them long gone from Middle-earth (say, was Galadriel keeping her people in the dark about them?). To the Men of Rohan and Gondor they are halflings, “little people in old songs and children’s tales.” The three trolls don’t know what Bilbo is. Smaug’s never smelled one before. The Ringwraiths are sent to discover them because they’re an unknown quantity to their master. Sauron overlooks Hobbits big time, to his own uttermost ruin. Even Saruman, who at least knew about the Shire for far longer than his secret rival in Mordor, couldn’t be bothered with them until it was too late. …
Yet we, Tolkien’s readers, find Hobbits anything but inconspicuous. They are the story. They are our eyes on the wonders and terrors of Middle-earth outside their borders...
Click through if you have a minute, and happen to want to pretend that Tolkien Week is a real thing.