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Hobbiton

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hill - Hobbiton-across-the-Water (Colored).jpg
Hobbiton
Physical Description
TypeVillage
LocationThe Westfarthing
RealmsThe Shire
InhabitantsHobbits
DescriptionA small village overlooked by The Hill
General Information
EtymologyWestron Hobbit + anglicized town (ton)
EventsScouring of the Shire
ReferencesThe Hobbit

Hobbiton was a village in the central regions of the Shire, within the borders of the Westfarthing. Hobbiton was located on both sides of the Water, approximately a mile northwest of the neighboring village of Bywater. The Bywater Road passed through both villages and connected them to the Great East Road to the south.[1]

The village was overlooked by Hobbiton Hill (usually called simply 'The Hill'), in which was Bag End, the ancestral smial of the Baggins Family and the famous Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. The dwellings were standard of Hobbits, referred to as smials or Hobbit-holes but there were also buildings of wood, brick, or stone. One of the more prominent buildings in Hobbiton was Sandyman's Mill which stood on the north side of the Water, near the bridge. The Old Grange was on the west side of the lane which ran from the bridge to the Hill where Bag End stood. On the southern side of the Hill were three smaller Hobbit-holes along Bagshot Row, on the south of the Water there were several other dwellings. The village also has their own Post Office.

After the War of the Ring, Hobbiton was devasted during The Scouring of the Shire. Lotho Sackville-Baggins had named himself Chief and rough-looking Men had come to Hobbiton on Lotho's invitation. Frodo and his companions were stunned to see their homes, trees and hedges all torn up.[2]

"It was one of the saddest hours in their lives. The great chimney rose up before them; and as they drew near the old village across the Water, through rows of new mean houses along each side of the road, they saw the new mill in all its frowning and dirty ugliness: a great brick building straddling the stream, which it fouled with a steaming and stinking overflow. All along the Bywater Road every tree had been felled."
The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"

After the Scouring of the Shire, Bag End was restored and new holes were dug along Bagshot Row. The new mill was removed. Samwise Gamgee spread Galadriel's gift of earth from her orchard around the Shire, paying special attention to Hobbiton and Bywater. He planted the mallorn seed in the Party Field by the Hill where the Party Tree had once stood. Soon Hobbiton was a peaceful and beautiful village once again.[3]

[edit] Etymology

The ending -ton, frequent in English place-names means "town, village".

David Salo has suggested it represents a speculative Old Hobbitish *Holbytlatun "town of hobbits". He also notes that the name suggests two things: It was probably the first or more distinctive settlement of the area (making "town of hobbits" a distinctive name); and that it was given to it by the Big Folk (perhaps the Dúnedain of the North.[4]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  4. David Salo, "Hobbitish Place-names" dated 23 November 1998, Elfling (accessed 25 July 2014)