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Harfoots

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The three branches of the Hobbits, portrayed by Lidia Postma

Harfoots are one of the three breeds of Hobbits.

The Harfoots were the most common and typical of Hobbits, and

Contents

Nature

They were browner of skin than the other breeds, had no beards, and did not wear any footwear. They were shorter than the other two kinds. They lived in holes they called smials, a habit which they long preserved.

The Harfoots liked highlands and hillsides, were accustomed to living underground longer. They were also on very friendly terms with the Dwarves, who travelled through the High Pass on the Great Road.[1]

History

In their earliest known history the Harfoots lived in the lower foothills of the Misty Mountains in the Vale of Anduin, in an area roughly bounded by the Gladden River in the south and the small forested region where later was the Eagles' Eyrie near the High Pass to the north.

They were the first to migrate westward into Eriador, beggining thus the Wandering Days of the Hobbit peoples[1]. They were first recorded in Arnorian records around T.A. 1050 and it was to them that the name Periannath (Halflings) was first applied by the Dúnedain of Arnor.

They tended to settle down for long times, and founded numerous villages as far as Weathertop. By the 1300s of the Third Age they had reached Bree, which long was the most western village of any Hobbits.[2]

The Harfoots were joined between T.A. 1150 and T.A. 1300 by the Fallohides and some Stoors. The Harfoots took Fallohides, a bolder breed, as their leaders.

When The Shire was colonized in Third Age 1601 most of its people were Harfoots.[1]

Etymology

Harfoots means "one with hairy feet", and is a translation of an archaic Hobbitish form of an old Westron name.

The ord is supposed to represent archaic English hǣr-fōt > herfoot > harfoot.

Tolkien noted that Modern English hair, though related, is not a direct descendant of Old English hǣr, hēr and therefore *"hairfoot" would not be a faithful translation.[3][note 1]

Notes

  1. However, Wiktionary shows hair as derived directly from hǣr.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 759