On Hobbits

Author: Aratlithiel

Nominator: Antane

2008 Award Category: Genres: Non-Fiction

Story Type: Non-Fiction  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Essay on Hobbits

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 8

Those who think of hobbits as sweet, innocent, childlike, jolly little fellows may be taken aback by the rather harsh assessment of them--or at least of the garden-variety hobbit--that opens this essay. And yet, while the average hobbit arguably has many fine qualities which Aratlithiel does not dwell on here, her critique is dead on--and I say this as a hobbit author and fan. As portrayed in LOTR, most hobbits *are* provincial, intolerant, complacent, and more than a little arrogant in their willful ignorance. The good Professor himself, in Letter # 246, described this tendency as ["a mental myopia which is proud of itself, a smugness (in varying degrees) and cocksureness, and a readiness to measure and sum up all things from a limited experience, largely enshrined in sententious traditional 'wisdom.'"] The essay then moves on to the author's chief topic: Just what makes Frodo & Co. so atypical...and wonderful. While she has kind words for all four Travelers, her highest praise is reserved for Frodo. As in all her fan fiction, Aratlithiel shows keen insight into Frodo's character. Particularly astute is her concluding observation: that his virtues are such that are rarely noticed or appreciated by most of those around him. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: stefaniab  ✧  Score: 4

Aratlithiel's short essay makes some important points about Hobbits as a society among all races in Middle Earth. She points out how all of Tolkien's main character Hobbits save Sam are rebels against the extreme insularity of their society. Finally, she shows how the strictures of Hobbit society ultimately work against Frodo's remaining in Middle Earth after the destruction of the ring.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

I've been bypassing this essay for the past couple months, preferring to read the short stories and a few others, sticking to the fiction and fantasy we all love. Now I've finally read it, and must rejoice that I did. My favorite character in the works has always been Aragorn, the high and noble spirit, the hidden king. But the one I write about most is--Frodo, and for all the reasons Aratlithiel gives here. I see this essay has been around for a time; I'm only sorry it has taken me so long to find it and finally actually read it.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 4

In this very personal essay, Aralithiel presents us with an intriguing insight into her answer to the question "What draws you to hobbits and Frodo in particular?" I particularly enjoyed reading her thoughts on the general character of Hobbits and the difference between that and the characters of the leading Hobbit protagonists – and also the differences between them. I always enjoy hearing about what attracts other fans in the fandom and this was no exception -- thank you!

Reviewed by: crowdaughter  ✧  Score: 3

Very interesting essay, especially on the part why Hobbits - and especially the Hobbit who chose to take the quest - are so fascinating. I especially liked the description of the Hobbits as a lot, and about Sam. Thank you!

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 2

Why do we love hobbits - Frodo in particular - let us count the ways. A wonderful essay on the subject.

Reviewed by: Galadriel  ✧  Score: 2

A fascinating personal discourse on why the author is drawn to Hobbits. Insightful and interesting, even to those of us drawn to other Peoples of Middle-earth.