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J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hill - Hobbiton-across-the-Water (Colored).jpg
"The Hill - Hobbiton-across-the-Water" by J.R.R. Tolkien
General Information
LocationWestfarthing, the Shire
DescriptionA small village overlooked by The Hill
People and History
EventsScouring of the Shire
GalleryImages of Hobbiton

Hobbiton was a village in the central regions of the Shire, within the borders of the Westfarthing.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Hobbiton was located on both sides of the Water, approximately a mile north-west of the neighbouring village of Bywater. The Bywater Road passed through both villages and connected them to the East Road to the south.[1]

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, which eventually was demolished. On the south of the Water there were several other dwellings. The Old Grange was on the west side of the lane which ran from the bridge to The Hill.

The Hill overlooked the village and the neighbourhood called Underhill. In it was Bag End, the ancestral smial of the Baggins Family and the famous Ring-bearers Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. On the southern side of the Hill were three (later more) smaller Hobbit-holes along Bagshot Row.

The village also has their own Post Office.

History[edit | edit source]

Hobbiton was built on the both sides of the Water. Bungo Baggins built Bag End in the Hill. In T.A. 2941, the Unexpected Party occurred there[2] When Bilbo returned the next year he had to deal with an auction of his belongings since he had been presumed dead.[3]

To celebrate his 111th and Frodo's 33rd birthdays as well as his departure from the Shire, in T.A. 3001 Bilbo held a Farewell Party.[2]

During the War of the Ring, Hobbiton was devastated. 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.[4]

"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.[5]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

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).[6]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Hobbiton lies near the center of the in-game Shire region and is a major meeting point for travellers on the road.