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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Tolkien Discussion Group
January 20, 2010
Topic: Hobbits
Kath McGill
AelKennyr Rhiano
Lihan Taifun
Fifi Wickentower
BelenosStormchaser Magic

According to the research of our hobbit expert, Kath McGill, "hobbits" are a subgroup of "halflings".
The Fallowhide clan of hobbits, which includes the Tooks, are the "adventurous" hobbits.
Hobbit houses are modeled after English barns. The round doors of hobbit houses are modeled after real round doors in Germany.
Because hobbits are small, they have high metabolisms. This explains why they eat so much.
"Longbottom leaf" is tobacco.
Some hobbits probably intermarried with humans, giving a mixed population nowadays. Other hobbits probably continue to live out of sight of humans.

{We find a small cushion, because our hobbit expert, Thain Kath McGill, can't fit on the big-folk sized chairs.}
So you want to know about hobbits?
Could we have a little background on hobbits? Their history?
Concerning hobbits. As Gandaf has said, he could study hobbits for over a hundred years, and they could still surprise him
What is known of their history?
In the beginning, the hobbits came down from the misty mountains, and the first settlement was Tuckborough.
There are several different types of hobbits, and halflings
The river folk, which Smegal and his cousin Deagal came from
The Fallwhides, which Bullroarer took, and belladona took came from, those were the more adventureous ones. Bilbo Baggans was related to Pergrin Took through Belladona Took, and the brandybucks, as well
Would the Brandybucks be related to the river group?
No. The river halflings were larger, and more stocky than the hobbits. They could almost pass for men,
The Brandybucks were halfings?
The brandybucks were hobbits
Are you making a difference between "hobbit" and "halfling"?
yes, Hobbits are smaller,
Wow, I missed that completely in Tolkien.
They can all, perhaps be classified as halflings, but not all hobbits are halfings, and not all halflings are hobbits
Oh, I always thought they were the same. That's why we brought an expert
Have you read the unfinshed stories?
Some, but not all, and a good long time ago
There are a number of books that were written, some after Jrr tolkens death, from his notes.
JRR wrote a series of short background stories, first to flesh out the characters, and some of them have the same character getting into different sitiuations, but in a way, it works out the same. Some of the characters are only mentioned briefly
He explores the race of men, but they are like an after thought. Hobbits have a very simple way of life, unless you have Fallowhide blood in you.
The hobbits are more interesting than the humans? :)
Oh by far! Hobbits are complex,
What difference does fallowhide blood make?
They have a passion for life. Fallowhide blood often has the predispostion... for adventure. Not all, but a good number of those with fallowhide blood have gone and done something very dangerous. The first being Bullroarer Took or Tuk
That would include Bilbo?
Yes. Bilbo is of Fallowhide through Beladona Took, and I dont have my linage chart out right now, or I could tell you exactly how everyone is related. Gandaf knew though
but we know they are ALL related
well, not all of them
and the hobbits all remember all their family history
There are definate differences between where they settled and how they developed, it wasnt just one or two that came down from the mountains to settle, but a whole community.
Tuckborough itself is very mountainous country,
In the beginning, the hobbit houses were in the ground, like the great smieal (sp) -- the home of Pippen Took was developed over the years to be a large home that had many winding passageways and dusty rooms.
Later, Hobbits took to living above ground, so it became that only the very rich, and the very poor would live underground. Hobbit homes vary in style,
not enough good hills to go around?
perhaps. It could be what materials were at hand, as well as ground saturation, or that they werent afraid of being discovered.
The round european doors were something that JRR saw in his travels.
So there were real round doors like that?
oh yes. Sir Jossy has seen many of them in the netherlands, and in germany
And here I was thinking a round door couldn't really be built. Where do the hinges go?
Yes, they can. You have to have very long hinges though. The hinge has to ballance the door,
And yes, the doorknob is in the center for alot of european doors as well. Germany has those.
JRR picked up what he had seen, and wanted to express the horrors of war, and he wove much into the letters that he wrote to his son. The word Hobbit, was thought to be of JRR Tolkien's creation, he had claimed that he had created it. However, he later admitted he had heard the word in his travels and adopted it, much like the term Muggle from JK Rowlings. Muggle means Mongral if your in some parts of England. but I digress
I never knew that

Hobbits are known for thier passions.
ahh.. now we get to the kinky bits
Most often, thought, in their passion for food, and eating, as we eat at least 6 times a day. There is a very practical reason for that. Small beings often have a very high metabolism
like hummingbirds?
Yes. Most of you are tall in RL, over 5 foot. I'm not only *short* in RL, but my legs are shorter from the knee down than most. Measure your inseam. Most people have the bulk of their height in their legs, some , like me, have it from the waist up to the back of the neck. In that regards, I have to take double the steps as a normal person to cover the same ground. Now, imagine being less than 3 foot tall, and having to walk a mile.
That makes the mile twice as long
The regular sride would cover about 24 inches, if not more. A hobbits stride is about 10 - 12 inches, if that. If you're a hobbit child, its even less because your about 14-18 inches high.
so they would appear to scurry along?
The constant eating is a direct result of trying to maintain body mass.
So lots of activity and effort needed to do the same thing as a taller being..
Hobbit children must be the cutest little things!
oh gosh yes! curly hair and huge eyes and infectious giggles. dressed up in the size of a teddy bear
In the same way, their digestive tract is shorter, and their stomach is much smaller.(except in the case of certain male hobbits who can eat 4 pieces of elven way bread)

Hobbits primarly are concerned about the here, and now. In the 4th age, Pippin used the great smeils to create a library. He was appointed by the king, to keep record, and he was the one who made the correction to the red book, finishing it to what we have today. But the other hobbits didnt have the same passion for that type of learning. He did marry, Diamond of Longcleave, and they had a son whom they named Faramir. Faramir grew up, and married Sam's daughter, Goldylocks. Thats in the apendix of the LOTR

There are many hobbits, here in SL, and many of those who are closet hobbits. People who have hobbit avitars, and wear them, but are too shy to be one all the time. There is a nice free one in Tuckborough at Sir Jossy shop,both a male and a female
I have one from Bilbo's Birthday
For a while, there was concern regarding the term Hobbit, and if people were allowed to use it here in SL.
What is the latest on that?
There was more going on, than that, it began with a false DMAC claim that was sent to LL, and LL paniced, they were told by WB to check into it, and let them know but LL decided to go THWOAMP and pull alot of stuff out of peoples inventory. But it wasnt something that they searched for, it was based on one individual who did it as a knee jerk reaction to being caught stealing from someone.
As my island was named in it, (though mispelt in the process and thats another story) my RL husband contacted WB who went WHA?
They had NOT told LL to do anything of the sort. They understood that SL is a virtual world, and they understood that the fans here, are the same fans that will want to go see the movie thats coming out this year called the Hobbit.
WB only is renting the rights to this stuff. specific stuff. In all, they didnt want to alienate the fan base, which they made the mistake of doing with B5. WB had nothing to do with what LL was doing. They had no knowledge, and they gave no direction for them to do it. it was LL removal team
The individual who wrote up the false DMCA, had it bite back
back to hobbits in Tolkien?

What happened to hobbits in the 4th Age?
Well, with the elves leaving, much of the magic in the world went with them. It's not to say that the race of hobbits died out with them, for, we have many "little people"
The evil of Sauron was vanquished, and in the 4th age of man, the hobbits that we know, worked with the king untill his passing. Merry and Pippin were laid to rest beside him. And Arwen spent her days in mourning until she faded. The golden leaves fell, and the age of man began
I thought hobbits just made themselves harder for the "big people" to find? They are probably still around, just no one sees them any more?
In RL, I know of about 5 people, that look alot like hobbits. under 3.5 feet, huge feet and elfish ears.
plenty of people that short ...
It's possible that hobbits and man began a new race. or kept to themselves in the wilds and fields
I have heard speculations that hobbits branched off from humans, sometime inthe 2nd Age
Is there any mention of man and hobbit marrying?
Yes, though it was frowned upon. It's more possible that there was a union between elf and dwarf
Have you ever been to england? Have you ever seen an english barn? American barns are these huge things. Well, I'm seeing field after field of cows, and sheeps, and I said to my friend, where are the barns? And she said, there is one. And it was a door in a hillside, with a wee window, and it reminded me of the hobbit homes, and they are like that all over england and scottland and ireland,and no doubt other parts of europe.
well it's pretty clear where Tolkien got his inspiration from then, isn't it
So, hobbit homes, are still there, and we see wee people walking about, so its entirely possible that Hobbits are walking among us now.
makes sense, really

Now, any questions? yes? no?
You have given a wonderful overview of Hobbits.
Is the race of hobbits as old as the elves?
No, the elves are older
What exactly were the hobbits smoking?
and wha is in their pipe???? pray tell ^^
Oh, pipes are many things, clay and wood, or a corn cob. People would think that a wood pipe would burn, but the tobacco burns at a lower tempature.
Corn is a new world crop, as are tomatoes and potatoes, and tobacco. Maybe those Teleri traders had been importing new world crops to Middle Earth
They would have had turnips
Longbottom leaf is a tobacco. It's not just tobacco that people smoke. Sailors would smoke rope, anything that when it burnt that would give a pleasing smell. Not all leaves that burn will do that.
and those ropes were made of hemp ... not good quality, but you gotta wonder
yes, and they would get three sheets to the wind
There are many herbs to smoke . coltsfoot, various flowers
There are many mushrooms and herbs that can be smoked. Poppy is another one. It's implied by Saramon that the halflings leaf had made Gandaf weak
perhaps this anyother reason for constant eating . . . lol
(meanwhile he had full casks of longbottom leaf which merry and pippin smoked through very quickly) Could account for Merrys twitchy behavior as well. No, wait, Dominic was twitchy in RL too from erm smoking too much long bottom leaf
Hobbits are like the small stones that precipitate the avalanch

I've had fun being a hobbit
It is fun having hobbits around
We can tell
A lot of time people freak out and think I'm a kid. Had to point out my feet your figure...blushes...I would think that it was obvious.
This is "the girl next door" avitar, with the shape of a pixie. It's the only way I can make the avitar small enough
I imagine hobbits as more ... well-fed
Well, this is SL food. No calories.
And still the high metabolism
Yeah I've been working out with the quarterstaff ....Oh , thats another thing, the weapons of the hobbits. People think that hobbits are push overs.
Saruman made that mistake ...
But during the Battle of Bywater, they kicked major ass. The reason why a hobbit can use a quarterstaff is because its much like a rake, or a hoe. The weight is the same, and they would be used to swinging it in the fields.
and you don't want to be on the wrong end of a rake, either
Yes, we can use short swords, but a rolling pin does more damage to the drunks head. And no home would be with out one. If anything hobbits are practical.
They find the food as they can, and eat while they can. mushrooms tomatos, cabbage
fresh - not preserved?
cheese, and pastrues
Didn't a few hobbits have hunting bows, at the Battle of Bywater?
yes, and they ate venison, so they were familiar with hunting. ... rabbit stew
Bet it took a couple of hobbits to carry a deer home
lots of deer in Bel's lands
They would drag it
Humans get a moose home, somehow
They had ponys.
Hobbits also interacted with beings that passed through their towns, including dwarves, and elves, and man. There were towns that were between the hobbits home, and the home of man, like Bree, and long distances were not uncommon.
So they had stamina, too
Wasn't it 20 miles between the farm where they saw the dark rider, and the crossing for buckleberry ferry to the next town
And they had been hiking for days already. (We are such city-folk, to be amazed at "hiking for days".)
My boss does at least 10 miles before he comes to work. He does charity walks
The journey of Frodo Baggans and the others took 13 months. Of course, they rode back.

Hobbits, because they are so singulary minded, were something that the ring could not understand. Greed wasnt something that was in their vocabulary

Sorry, folks,I have to get up in the morning. Please, continue as long as you like. Good night all