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Discussing: hobbits, pipeweed, and coming of age

hobbits, pipeweed, and coming of age

Hello! I have a technical question about *points to thread title* hobbits, pipeweed, and coming of age. I've started beta'ing a hobbit story, and I'm a horrific nitpicker. Thus to my question: roughly at what age do hobbits start smoking pipeweed? Is it a coming of age thing that they start at 33? In the story, so far, there is a young Frodo and Merry at Brandy Hall, with hints at Pippin's appearance in the future. Frodo was born 1368, Merry 1382, and Pippin 1390. Frodo was 21 when Bilbo adopted him and he went to live in Bag End, Merry was 7, and Pippin was... well, not born yet. Is smoking pipeweed something that they take up in their teens (13-19)? Tweens (20s)? Past 33? If anyone has an answer to this, please let me know! ~Meril



Re: hobbits, pipeweed, and coming of age

Hi, Meril. I don't recall seeing anything definitive on this while I was researching pipe-weed for Resources, so I can only go on textual evidence. Concerning Pipe-weed in the Prologue of LotR nothing says re: the age at which hobbits might take up the habit. I skimmed through A Long Expected Party and found no references to any of the younger hobbits smoking. The first references (direct or indirect) that I've found to Frodo and the others smoking occur after they begin the quest, which would be in TA 3018 (S.R 1418 ). Frodo of course was well past his coming of age at 50, Sam was 38, Merry was 36, and Pippin was 28 - 5 years shy of his coming of age. In TTT: Flotsam and Jetsam Pippin produces two pipes in response to Gimli's request for one, saying:
... Here's one: my old wooden pipe. And here's another: an unused one. I have carried it a long way, though I don't know why. I never really expected to find any pipe-weed on the journey, when my own ran out...
Of course, how old his old pipe might be is impossible to say, but the fact remains that Pippin is still in his tweens and yet he obviously smokes. At what age he began, or if that is the norm for hobbits, is another question. If anyone else knows of more definitive information, I too would love to have it for Resources (and for my article on pipe-weed) One nitpick: pipe-weed is always hyphenated in Tolkien's writing. HTH ~Nessime



Re: hobbits, pipeweed, and coming of age

One nitpick: pipe-weed is always hyphenated in Tolkien's writing. Really??? Cool, didn't know that. Filing away in the dusty depths of my mind for future reference (and editing, when I get around to it). Lin



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