Smials

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"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole and that means comfort."
The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"

Smials were the hobbit-holes tunneled into earth mounds and hills.

For generations the Hobbits dug into the earth to live. By the later Third Age the poorest Hobbits still went on living in burrows of the most primitive kind with only one window or none.

For the most well-to-do hobbits, smials were luxurious versions of those primitive diggings of old. Their tunnels had rounded walls and branched to other rooms.[1] Smials included Bag End and the smials along Bagshot Row of Hobbiton, the Great Smials of Tuckborough[2] and Brandy Hall.[3] The latter two were large enough to have ample room for a hundred Hobbits.

When suitable sites for these large and ramifying tunnels were not everywhere to be found, many Hobbits lived in wood, brick or stone houses.[1] This was the case with some muddy regions of the Eastfarthing, such as the Marish.[4]

Etymology[edit]

The word smial is an invention of Tolkien based on the Old English word smygel. Smial is a translation of the Hobbitish word trân (Rohirric trahan "burrow").[5]

Tolkien explained in his Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings the origin of the name Sméagol in the lemma on smials:

"Smials. A word peculiar to hobbits (not Common Speech), meaning 'burrow'; leave unchanged. It is a form that the Old English word smygel 'burrow' might have had, if it had survived. The same element appears in Gollum's real name, Sméagol."
― Tolkien [6]

The names Smaug and Sméagol are etymologically related.

In real world[edit]

"Smial" is a term used by Tolkien fans to refer to divisions of Tolkien Societies.

See also[edit]

References

The Tolkien Society
President: J.R.R. Tolkien · Vice-president: Priscilla Tolkien · Chair: Shaun Gunner
Topics History (Letter to Vera Chapman and the Tolkien Society) · Archives · Awards · Enyalië · Smials · Tolkien to the World · Tolkien fandom
Chairs Vera Chapman (1970) · Keith Bridges (1970-1973) · Hartley Patterson (1973-1974) · Jonathan Simons (1974-1984) · Brin Dunsire (1984-1988) · Alex Lewis (1988-1992) · Amanda Fingleson (1992-1996) · Chris Crawshaw (1996-2008) · Matthew Vernon (2008-2009) · Sally Kennett (2009-2013) · Shaun Gunner (2013-present)
Annual Events Birthday Toast (3 January) · Tolkien Reading Day (25 March) · AGM and Springmoot (April) · Seminar (July) · Oxonmoot (September)
Conferences Oxonmoot (annual, 1974-present) · J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference (1992) · Tolkien 2005: The Ring Goes Ever On (2005) · The Return of the Ring (2012) · Tolkien 2019 (2019)
Publications Journals Belladonna's Broadsheet (1969-1970) · Mallorn (1970-present) · The Tolkien Society Bulletin (1970-1971) · Andúril (1972) · Amon Hen (1972-present) · Quettar (1980-1995)
Books An Extrapolation on The Silmarillion (1975) · The Trees, the Jewels and the Rings (1977) · Tolkien in Oxford: The Tolkien Society Guide (1978) · The Tolkien Society Songbook (1985) · Tolkien and Romanticism (1988) · Proceedings of the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference (1995) · The Oxonmoot Songbook (1997) · The Filking Songbook (2001) · The Tolkien Society Guide to Oxford (2005) · Proceedings of the Tolkien 2005 Conference (2008) · Tolkien 2005 Souvenir Book (2009) · Proceedings of the Tolkien Society Conference 2012 (2016)
Peter Roe Books 1. Some Light on Middle-earth (1985) · 2. Leaves from the Tree (1991) · 3. The First and Second Ages (1992) · 4. Travel and Communication in Tolkien's Worlds (1996) · 5. Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees, vol. 1 (1997) · 6. Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees, vol. 2 (1998) · 7. Tolkien, the Sea and Scandinavia (1999) · 8. The Ways of Creative Mythologies (2000) · 9. Tolkien: A Mythology for England? (2000) · 10. The Best of Amon Hen, vol. 1 (2000) · 11. Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees, vol. 3 (2001) · 12. Sindarin Lexicon (2001) · 13. The Best of Amon Hen, vol. 2 (2002) · 14. Tolkien: Influenced and Influencing (2005)· 15. Freedom, Fate and Choice in Middle-earth (2012) · 16. Journeys & Destinations (2015) · 17. Death and Immortality in Middle-earth (2017) · 18. Poetry and Song in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (2018) · 19. Tolkien the Pagan? (2019)