Full Explanation Of The Harfoots In “The Rings Of Power”

The Harfoots in “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” are what on Middle-Earth? Even though Middle-earth is home to majestic Elves, powerful Men, digging Dwarves, and amazing wizards, the Hobbits are by far the most well-known inhabitants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical world. Hobbits are notoriously rural and strictly private people who keep to themselves, preferring a simple life of farming, gatherings, and friendly disputes within the cozy confines of the Shire. Rarely do Hobbits warm up to outsiders, and they rarely get involved in the larger tragedies affecting Middle-earth. Most Shire-people will assume you’re talking about Hilda Brandybuck’s award-winning black forest gâteau when you mention the “Tower of Barad-dûr” to them.

Traditional Hobbits are absent from “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power“. Thousands of years before The Hobbit and “The Lord of the Rings“, Amazon’s high-profile Middle-earth TV series is set, so there is no Shire, no protagonists who are Baggins, and no second breakfast. The Second Age of Middle-earth, where elves rule and men are just starting to gain ground in the social hierarchy, is the setting for “The Rings of Power“.

Even though Hobbits aren’t present in “The Rings of Power“, Amazon will debut live-action Harfoots. Despite not being Hobbits in the traditional sense, Harfoots play the same part as isolated country dwellers with little interest in life outside of their small borders. Harfoots will be unknown to both book readers and moviegoers because they are so infrequently mentioned in Tolkien’s stories. Here is everything we do know about the Harfoots from “The Rings of Power”.

What Do Harfoots Look Like in “The Lord of the Rings“?

There are exactly four entries about Harfoots in the index section that comes at the end of most editions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings“; none of them appear in the main text. At least Tolkien conveys a sense of their distinctive qualities and background. The origins of the Elves, Men, and Dwarves are meticulously detailed in Middle-earth lore, but the origins of the Hobbits are purposefully left unrevealed. “The beginning of Hobbits lies far back in the Elder Days that are now lost and forgotten,” Tolkien writes in the section of his “Lord of the Rings” prologue titled “Concerning Hobbits.” He continues by saying that because Hobbits had little interest in learning about the past, their records date from the Shire’s founding roughly 1600 years into the Third Age.

The Hobbit lore in “The Lord of the Rings” goes back to a time when the species was widely dispersed throughout Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains. Hobbits at this time were divided into three different breeds, with Harfoots being the biggest. Tolkien writes that Harfoots were the first to cross westward towards Eriador, where the Shire would eventually be established, describing them as having “browner of skin, smaller, and shorter.” The Harfoots are portrayed as a swift, barefoot people who live in the highlands and associate with dwarves, but who are otherwise largely ignored by the other notable races of Middle-earth.

Are Harfoots Similar To Hobbits?

In “The Rings of Power“, the answer is effectively “yes,” but the real situation is more complicated. Even though the term “Hobbit” hadn’t yet entered common usage in Middle-earth, Tolkien noted that Harfoots were a particular breed of early Hobbits and that they fell squarely under the genealogical “Hobbit” label. Indeed, Harfoots were probably chosen for Amazon’s “The Rings of Power” over other pioneering breeds due to their resemblance to the beloved Hobbits from “The Lord of the Rings“. According to Tolkien, Harfoots loved to dig tunnels and holes and were “the most normal and representative variety of Hobbit.” It’s important to note that “The Lord of the Rings” appendices reveal that other Hobbit breeds originally called Harfoots by the name “Hobbit.” All of which is to say that of the early Hobbits that “The Rings of Power” might use, the Harfoots are the Hobbittiest.

Harfoots won’t accurately depict Hobbit society and culture as depicted in “The Lord of the Rings“, as you might anticipate from a story set millennia earlier. Even more than in the case of Elves, Dwarves, and Men, the distinction between the eras will become apparent. On the other hand, count on those distinctively rural, isolated, and nature-friendly characteristics to stay. But really, does it feel like Middle-earth if you don’t have Hobbits or something similar in it? asked Patrick McKay, the co-showrunner of “The Rings of Power“, in an interview with Vanity Fair. This statement implies subtly that Harfoots will be treated as Hobbits in “The Rings of Power“, albeit ones who are wilder and less domesticated than those from Bilbo and Frodo’s era.

Story Of The Harfoots In “The Rings Of Power

The Harfoots didn’t enter Eriador until well into the Third Age of “The Lord of the Rings“, so in “The Rings of Power“, they ought to be living quietly and peacefully in the wilderness and perhaps engaging in infrequent interactions with dwarves (and Ents, judging by promo material). “The Rings of Power” has a clean slate to create a new story for the Harfoots because there is so little information available about this time in Hobbit history.

The Harfoots may be seen beginning the Shire’s construction in the “Rings of Power“. There are wonders in this world beyond our wandering, Elanor Brandyfoot (played by Markella Kavenagh) is heard thinking in the first teaser trailer released by Amazon. The line suggests that Elanor might go it alone and lead her people to Eriador and the Shire in search of a more long-term residence. The Hobbit breed most likely to settle down is the Harfoot, according to Tolkien, who then cryptically states: “Why they [Hobbits] later took the hard and perilous crossing of the mountains into Eriador is no longer certain.” Even though “The Rings of Power” comes too soon for that crossing to actually occur, perhaps Elanor’s tale will serve as the inspiration for their eventual migration.

Elanor and her friend will also come across a mysterious, fiery stranger who appears out of nowhere, as seen in the trailer for “The Rings of Power“. Amazon is in uncharted territory, but the Harfoots (at least two of them) obviously share a destiny with this magical newcomer from Middle-earth. Although Elanor is an adventurous person, the stranger could yank the Harfoots out of their comfort zone, just as Gandalf did for Bilbo and Frodo. The stranger’s identity is still a closely-guarded secret.

Notable Harfoots

The most famous Hobbit families from “The Lord of the Rings” (Baggins, Took, Brandybuck, etc.) descended more predominately from other breeds, and J.R.R. Tolkien never specifically mentions any early Harfoot characters by name.

The Rings of Power” are therefore the only source of notable Harfoots. Elanor Brandyfoot, who shares the same sense of adventure as Bilbo, Frodo, and the “conspirators,” is Markella Kavenagh, as was previously mentioned. Either Elanor is a prehistoric ancestor of Merry from “Lord of the Rings“, or the similarity between “Brandyfoot” and “Brandybuck” is merely a linguistic Easter egg. Elanor’s father, Largo, and mother, Marigold (Zwangobani), also make an appearance (Dylan Smith). Sadoc Burrows, who is portrayed by Lenny Henry as the Harfoot elder in “The Rings of Power“, is shown in the trailer to have knowledge of the flaming stranger falling from the sky (“the skies are strange”). Poppy Proudfellow, played by Megan Richards, is Elanor’s friend who sets out on a mysterious journey after a fireball man crashes into Middle-earth.

In “Lord of the Rings“, what happened to the Harfoot family?

The Harfoots began mixing with other Hobbit breeds as they left their original home and crossed into Eriador and the territory that would eventually become the Shire. As bloodlines merged, the term “Harfoot” eventually lost favor in favor of the all-encompassing “Hobbit.” The name may have vanished from history, but the Shire people in “The Lord of the Rings” are still heavily influenced by the Harfoot ancestry of many of the area’s first settlers. In light of this, it stands to reason that the Harfoot characters that “The Rings of Power’s” audience will encounter could be a character’s distant ancestor from “The Lord of the Rings“. The majority of the family trees Tolkien offers are only a few hundred years old.

Are They In “The Rings Of Power“? – An Explanation Of Other Hobbit Breeds

The three breeds of Hobbits that existed back when Middle-population earth’s was still divided were Harfoots, Fallohides, and Stoors. After the Harfoots, the Fallohides crossed the Misty Mountains, and they were reputed to be elven allies and natural leaders. Strong Fallohide characteristics were shared by the families of Baggins, Took, and Brandybuck. The Stoors migrated last because they were heavier, stronger, and had longer beards than the other variants. In Tolkien’s Third Age history, the Stoors were easier to distinguish than Harfoots because they chose a different route across the mountainous pass and ended up making friends with men, who gave their culture and language distinctive features that were still present in Frodo’s day. The most well-known Stoor-Hobbit in The “Lord of the Rings” was Sméagol, and it was well-known that they preferred damp, marshy terrain.

The Harfoots, Fallohides, and Stoors won’t necessarily be mentioned in “The Rings of Power’s” Second Age story because they didn’t start shuffling until the middle of the Third Age. However, since all three breeds lived within a relatively small area, Elanor and Poppy may run into some Hobbit cousins as they start to flex their adventurous muscles. Sadoc Burrows must be aware that there are other Hobbits in the area besides the Harfoots, so at the very least Fallohides and Stoors could be mentioned in conversation.