Halflings

From Tolkien Gateway
Main article: Hobbits
A Ranger, A Wizard, A Burglar by Abe Papakhian

Halflings (S. Periannath) was a name for Hobbits used by Men; it was originally given to them by the tall Dúnedain who had stood two rangar tall, making the average Hobbit about half their height. The term first applied to the Harfoots who became known in Arnor around T.A. 1050 and later to the Fallohides and the Stoors.[1]

The name reached the Gondorians, which they learned from their northern cousins although they never had seen a halfling in person until the War of the Ring.[1]

The word halfling appeared in the final line of the rhyme from Faramir and Boromir's dreams, "And the Halfling forth shall stand." Boromir claimed to have understood little of the rhyme, but recognized Frodo Baggins as the Halfling when he stood up with the One Ring.[2] However, by that time the Gondorians were shorter than their ancestors since the line of the Kings ended, and the halflings were more than half of their height.[1]


It became known that a halfling bore the Ring, and Saruman gave orders to the Uruk-hai to capture any halflings alive and bring them back without plundering them. This led to the capture of Pippin and Merry, who were halflings, although neither of them was the Ring-bearer.[3] Peregrin Took became the first halfling who visited Minas Tirith,[1] whom the Gondorians recognised as a "Prince of the Halflings".[4]

Etymology

The name "Halfling" is a translation from the Westron banakil which means "half-man". It was translated into both Sindarin and Quenya as Perian.[5]

References