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Discussing: Where did Hobbits come from?

Where did Hobbits come from?

I mean, I know stuff like they came from over the west of the Misty Mountains and settled the Shire and all that but *who* created them? I don't remember reading it was Iluvatar or maybe I missed it... perhaps they're a branch of Men? I know every other race and this is really bugging me! Help!

 

 

Re: Where did Hobbits come from?

To my knowledge, it is not stated anywhere explicitly. (But I think only Dwarves and Orcs are mentioned as *not* being directly created by Ilúvatar, which I consider that the default.) HTH - Barbara

 

 

Re: Where did Hobbits come from?

...who* created them? ...perhaps they're a branch of Men?
To answer the second question first, the strong suggestion is made that Hobbits are akin to Men. In the Prologue of LotR Tolkien wrote:
Of old they [Hobbits] spoke the languages of Men, after their own fashion, and liked and disliked much the same things as Men did. But what exactly our relationship is can no longer be discovered. 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 became even aware of them.
This isn't really definitive, but the suggestion is still there that they have some relationship to Men. I thought HoM-e 12: The Peoples of Middle-earth might have something more precise, but all I could find is along the same lines as this:
Yet plainly they [Hobbits] are relatives of ours [i.e. Men]: far nearer to us than are Elves, or even Dwarves. They spoke the languages of Men, and they liked and disliked much the same things as we once did. What exactly our relationship was in the beginning can, however, no longer be told. The answer to that question lies in the Elder Days that are now lost and forgotten for ever. Only the Elves preserve still any traditions of that vanished time, but these are concerned mostly with their own affairs. (HoM-e 12: The Prologue: ref. P5. manuscript)
This is slightly more definitive in that it states that they must be relatives of some sort. As for who created them, only one being had the power to create life. The Dwarves were made by Aulë, yet it is implicit that it was Iluvatar who gave them life of their own (ref. the Quenta Silmarillion: Chapter 2: Of Aulë and Yavanna)
And the voice of Ilúvatar said to him: '...Why dost thou attempt a thing which thou knowest is beyond thy power and thy authority? For thou hast from me as a gift thy own bring only, and no more; and therefore the creatures of thy hand and mind can live only by that being, moving when thou thinkest to move them, and if thy thought be elsewhere, standing idle..." Then Aulë answered: '...As a child to his father, I offer to thee these things, the work of the hands which thou hast made. Do with them what thou wilt. But should I not rather destroy the work of my presumption?' Then Aulë took up a great hammer to smite the Dwarves; and he wept. But Ilúvatar had compassion upon Aulë and his desire, because of his humility; and the Dwarves shrank from the hammer and wore afraid, and they bowed down their heads and begged for mercy. And the voice of Ilúvatar said to Aulë: 'Thy offer I accepted even as it was made. Dost thou not see that these things have now a life of their own, and speak with their own voices? Else they would not have flinched from thy blow, nor from any command of thy will.'
So while Aulë crafted their physical being, they were in essence puppets, nothing more. In accepting them, Ilúvatar made them sentient beings, with a life and will of their own. As for the orcs, they were not "created" by Melkor/Morgoth, nor by Sauron or Saruman. Like Aulë, they did not have the power or authority.
...this is held true by the wise of Eressëa, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves... For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblance of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindalë before the Beginning: so say the wise (Quenta Silmarillion: Chapter 3: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor)
Therefore, based on this textual evidence and in the absence of any statement by Tolkien to the contrary, we must infer that the Hobbits were created by Ilúvatar. ~Nessime

 

 

Re: Where did Hobbits come from?

I don't remember reading it was Iluvatar or maybe I missed it... perhaps they're a branch of Men? Tolkien said in his Letters that they were indeed a branch of Men. There is a footnote to Letter 131 "The Hobbits are, of course, really meant to be a branch of the specifically human race (not Elves or Dwarves) - hence the two kinds can dwell together (as at Bree), and are called just the Big Folk and Little Folk. They are entirely without non-human powers, but are represented as being more in touch with 'nature' (the soil and other living things, plants and animals), and abnormally, for humans, free from ambition or greed of wealth. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, p 158 In Letter 319 (p 406) he describes them as "a diminutive branch of the human race." Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Where did Hobbits come from?

Tolkien said in his Letters that they were indeed a branch of Men. There is a footnote to Letter 13...1
Thanks for adding this, Lyllyn. I kept thinking I'd seen something definitive like this before, but I don't have Tolkien's letters - yet. I'm getting there; I have almost all of HoM-e. Is this quote in the Resources entry re: Hobbits? You had added some quotes IIRC, but I didn't notice if this was included. ~Nessime

 

 

Re: Where did Hobbits come from?

Is this quote in the Resources entry re: Hobbits? You had added some quotes IIRC, but I didn't notice if this was included. It wasn't, but it is now. lyllyn

 

 

Re: Where did Hobbits come from?

Thanks for the info everyone!

 

 

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