Hobbits' Ears

Ok, it is time for some REALLY important and interesting debate.

WHY do so many artists draw hobbits with pointed ears???

I never found anywhere in the Tolkein works that said they had pointed ears.

What do you think, are they or are they not pointed?

Clearly not. Tolkein described hobbits (as well as the rest of the major races) thoroughly. He said nothing about pointy ears.

I think it’s an addition by illiterate artist. “Ooh, hobbits are cute little gnome-like creatures. They must have pointy ears.” We’re lucky they aren’t painted with little pointy shoes or wings or other such crap.

I guess the liscence come fromt he fact that Tolkien never said they DIDN’T have pointy ears.

Is this empirical? Didn’t Tolkien accompany his ms. of the Hobbit with several drawings?


There’s always a bigger fish.

Obviously the artist have too few brain cells left to read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings.

I once had an argument with a co-worker about how tall elves were. In Tolkein’s works, they are slightly shorter than humans. In traditional stories though, they are more fairy like in size.

It’s all just how you imagine things.

danielnsmith wrote:

You must’ve been really hard-up for things to argue about! :slight_smile:

If anybody knows–where in the LOTR are the Elves characterized as being shorter of stature than Men? In D&D yes IFAIK; it’s been a while since I read LOTR, but weren’t the (Tolkien) Elves of a more physically hardy stature and being than Men? IIRC, dosen’t Aragorn instill awe in Men (when he wants to) by his resemblence to the Eleven Lords of “old”? Galadriel is “tall and terrible”? I’ve never heard of Hobbits having pointy ears though. Where did I miss this (as I said, it’s been awhile)?

Yeah. Tolkien’s elves were not necessarily shorter. They were more lightly built. When the party is trying to retreat from the mountains after the snowstorm, the men Boromir and Aragorn try leading the party down the trail, bulldozing the snow out of the way with their bodies, but the elf Legolas leaps up and runs across the top of the snow.


IIRC, Tolkein’s dwarves weren’t what we think of as “dwarves,” either; they were somewhat shorter in stature, but were bulky, stout, strong men.

For anyone who is interested, Aussie director Peter Jackson (“Dead Alive,” “The Frighteners,” “Heavenly Creatures”) is making a live-action LOTR trilogy for New Line Cinema. The trilogy is being filmed over 18 months in New Zealand, then post-production is expected to take 18 additional months. He is using a combination of well-known actors and unknowns for the cast; for the nonhuman characters, he will be using new digital effects to “shrink” them in proportion to the humans. Some of the casting includes Sean Astin as Sam Gamgee, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Ian McKellen as Gandalf and John Rhys-Davies as Boromir. They have a website with info and conceptual art at www.lotr.net .

Rhys-Davies is Gimli, not Boromir. Sean Bean is Boromir.

>>Being Chaotic Evil means never having to say your sorry…unless the other guy is bigger than you.<<

—The dragon observes

After all the theology and nature of evil fluff, at last we get to discuss something really serious! :wink:

Phil, thanks for the backgrounder comments on the LOTR movie. Looking forward to it!

About hobbits’ ears: the origin of Elves, hobbits, orcs, etc. was in a UFP starship that passed through a space/time warp and crashed on Middle Earth in prehistoric times. The Vulcan contingent gave rise to the elves, the Andorians to the the hobbits (the blue skin was contra-survival in ME ecology and quickly was eliminated from the gene pool), and so on.

Yeah, Gimli, that’s what I said!

Oh, and if I recall correctly, it is implied in LotR that elves are of a tall stature, more like the Celtic and Germanic elves then the more modern fairy tale brownie style elves. The Celtic elves where about 6’6" and while slender, very strong and imperious…they were not nice. In fact a good book with Celtic style elves is Lords and Ladies by Pratchett.

>>Being Chaotic Evil means never having to say your sorry…unless the other guy is bigger than you.<<

—The dragon observes


And the sidhe figure prominently in Julian May’s Saga of the Pliocene Exile, although they call themselves something different, being as they are aliens and not the Good Folk.

Oooh, thanks for reminding me of Pliocene Exile, DrFidelius. It’s been a while; I’d about forgotten about it.


There’s always a bigger fish.

Leave it to a Curator of Anomalous Paleontology to bring up the Many-Colored Land and its Jungian denizens. :slight_smile:

The two races of aliens were the Tanu and the Firvulag, which are thinly disguised Irish tribal names, as are the majority of their leading members.

–Just an elderly bookseller :wink:

IIRC, There were two major elven groups in the ME universe:
Sylvan elves, who inhabited the Greenwood before Sauron (Necromancer) set up shop and made it the Mirkwood. (They still lived there afterwards, just more carefully)

The others were the Eldar elves who lived mainly in Lothlorien & Rivendell.

Again, IIRC, they spoke different dialects and had something of a contenious relationship.

This site seems to specialize in this type of questions, and answers the original post to boot:
Site: http://www.tolkien.cro.net/

On Hobbit’s ears: http://www.tolkien.cro.net/hobbits/ears.html

RE: the Silmarillion

There were three main “races” of elves (for lack of a better term):

  1. The Vanir, or High Elves, all of whom sailed west to the land of the Gods at the beginning of history and do not enter into any of Tolkien’s stories except the origin one. The Vanir are not to be confused with the Valir, the demigods who fashioned Middle Earth et al. and live in the land of the Gods.

  2. The Noldor, or Deep Elves, all of whom sailed west with the Vanir, but many of whom came back and established kingdoms during the First Age. (Silmarillion stories). At LotR time, the only survivors of this group were Elrond (descended from them on his elf-side) and Galadriel.

  3. The Teleri, or Followers. Some of these went west oversea; some did not, and some went partway. The Silvan (=woodland) Elves were the ones that did not. The Sindarin elves of Doriath were the ones that went partway, and their language is the Elvish of the LotR. (I can never hear the term Silvan Elves without mentally adding to it, “It’s Christmas Time in the Shire.” :))

The whole batch were called Eldar or Quendi, which were synonymous, though sometimes Eldar was used to specify the 2.5 groups that went west, as opposed to those Teleri that stayed. The original language, spoken by groups 1 and 2, was Quenya, of which there are a couple of short quotes and one song in LotR.

Two errors to my last post, based on further research into the original sources:

The first clan of elves were the Vanyar.

Among the Teleri, some didn’t go at all, some went partway, some went all the way. (No puns intended.) Those who stopped before crossing the Blue Mountains into Beleriand were the Nandor. Those who crossed into Beleriand but did not go overseas were the Sindar.