In the Prologue to LR, we are told that the three different Hobbit breeds, Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides, respectively, were friendly with Dwarves, Men ('Big People') and Elves, lived in the same type of terrain, and even had an appearance similar to these:
- The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller, and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; their hands and feet were neat and nimble; and they preferred highlands and hillsides. The Stoors were broader, heavier in build; their feet and hands were larger, and they preferred flat lands and riversides. The Fallohides were fairer of skin and also of hair, and they were taller and slimmer than the others; they were lovers of trees and of woodlands.
- The Stoors lingered long by the banks of the Great River Anduin, and were less shy of Men.
In the Prologue we also have:
- The Hobbits of that quarter, the Eastfarthing, were rather large and heavy-legged, and they wore dwarf-boots in muddy weather. But they were well known to be Stoors in a large part of their blood, as indeed was shown by the down that many grew on their chins. No Harfoot or Fallohide had any trace of a beard.
But why did Tolkien decide that the Hobbits in the Eastfarthing were Stoors in a large part of their blood, and how did he come up with the concept of Stoors (and the two other Hobbit breeds)? I will try to demonstrate that below.
The relevant elements that are mentioned in my quote above were not actually first conceived as being part of the Prologue, but in the drafts for what was the third chapter at an earlier stage, in which the Hobbits meet Farmer Maggot. However, in the very first version of the chapter (presented in The Return of the Shadow, The First Phase, 'To Maggot's Farm and Buckland'), the elements had not been conceived yet. Tolkien continued writing, and when he got to Tom Bombadil, these were some of his first thoughts for that chapter (presented in The Return of the Shadow, The First Phase, 'Tom Bombadil'):
- He [Tom Bombadil] turns out to know Farmer Maggot. (Make Maggot not a hobbit, but some other kind of creature—not dwarf, but akin to Tom Bombadil).
- Relation of Tom Bombadil to Farmer Maggot (Maggot not a hobbit?)
So when Tolkien first conceived Tom Bombadil as being related to Farmer Maggot, he got the idea that Maggot may not be a Hobbit after all. He then extended a part of the first version of the third chapter:
The Return of the Shadow, The First Phase, 'Tom Bombadil', note 7:
- Frodo Took’s words of Farmer Maggot, ‘He lives in a house’ (p. 92), were thus extended: ‘He is not a hobbit—not a pure hobbit anyway. He is rather large and has hair under his chin. But his family has had these fields time out of mind.’ And when Maggot appears (p.94), ‘a large round hobbit-face’ was changed to ‘a large round hair-framed face.’