Hobbit Lore, Part IV: Concerning Appearance

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Hobbits generally grow to be between two and four feet tall, with only a few exceptions, such as Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took (4'5"), Meriadoc Brandybuck (4'6"), and Peregrin Took (4'6"). The average height is about three feet six inches, though it has dwindled through the ages and hobbits nowadays commonly measure less than three feet.
Although similar in height to the dwarves, hobbits are smaller and less stocky, having short legs and slightly pointed ears, though not as prominent as those of the elves. Their feet, also, are a distinguishable feature, having tough leathery soles and covered with thick curly hair, like that of their heads, which is commonly brown. Because of this, they do not wear shoes, preferring to go barefoot, and the art of shoe-making is one of the few trades not practiced among hobbits. Their hair color, as mentioned before, is mostly brown, varying in shades, and black is not uncommon. Golden hair was, at least, until the Fourth Age of Middle Earth.
Hobbits, in the dim ages of the past, were divided into three distinct breeds, each with its own customs and physical differences.
The Harfoots, by far the most common, were also the smallest and shortest, representing the 'basic' hobbit. Possessing nimble and neat hands and feet, they had browner skin than the other two breeds, had no facial hair, and almost never wore shoes.
The Stoors were largest and broadest, having heavy hands and feet. They were also the only breed of hobbit that could grow facial hair, making them very distinct. They also, on some occasions, wore shoes.
The Fallohides were the least numerous of the three breeds. They were the tallest and slimmest, having fair skin and hair.

Part I
Part II: Concerning Etymology
Part III: Shire Reckoning

Tolkein, J.R.R. The Hobbit UK: George Allen & Unwin, 1937
Tolkein, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings UK: George Allen & Unwin, 1954-1955

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