Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why Hobbits seem happier than others in Middle Earth

Courtesy of the lotrproject.


Big Myk said...

I don't think one can conclude much from this chart except that Tolkien preferred writing about male characters over female. It says nothing about the actual populations of the various races of Middle Earth, but only gives numbers -- by sex and race -- of the actual characters which are identified in the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings and the posthumously published works including The Silmarillion.

Hobbits may be happier than other races, but not because there are more female Hobbits.

James R said...

Don't be too quick in dismissing Tolkien as preferring men. It may be he was only interested in movers and shakers. Remember the Third Age for humans was pre Title IX. Hobbits, on the other hand, had progressed much further in celebrating women. And when women are movers and shakers, as we know, everybody is happier.

Big Myk said...

I'm not altogether sure who were the movers and shakers among Hobbit women. The most intrguing woman in Tolkien's work is without question Eowyn. In a scene worthy of Shakespeare, disguised as a man, she confronts the Lord of the Nazgul who reminds her of the prophesy ("not by the hand of man will he fall"). She removes her helmet revealing her long hair and proclaims "You look upon a woman!" -- just before she decapitates him.

The other interesting women are elves. Luthien confronts Morgoth in the first age and steals one of the Silmirils from him. Elwing is the wife of Earendil who helps him go to Valinor to plea to the Valar for help against Morgoth.

The most interesting of the female hobbits is Lobelia Bracegirdle Sackville-Baggins. She is Bilbo's closest relative who expected to inherit Bag End and was upset when Frodo was named heir. It didn't stop her fropm walking off with Bilbos spoons whenever she had the chance. She, however, stood up to Saruman, and as a result was imprisoned in the Lockholes for quite a long time.

The other female hobbit of interest is Belladonna (Took) Baggins, Bilbo Baggins' mother. She was apparently an odd sort for a hobbit and was well-known to Gandalf. It was her Tookish side that grabbed ahold of Bilbo and got him to agree to go to Erebor.

Big Myk said...

I missed two other women of note of Middle Earth. One was Galadriel. Like George Washington, she distinguished herself by NOT doing something: she was offered the one ring and refused it. Here is the scene:

"You are wise and fearless and fair, Lady Galdriel," said Frodo. "I will give you the One Ring, if you ask for it. It is too great a matter for me."

Galadriel laughed with a sudden clear laugh. "Wise the Lady Galadriel may be," she said, "yet here she has met her match in courtesy. Gently are you revenged for my testing of your heart at our first meeting. You begin to see with a keen eye. I do not deny that my heart greatly desired to ask what you offer. For many long years I have pondered what I might do, should the Great Ring come into my hands....

"And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of a Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark but beautiful and terrible as the morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love me and despair!"

She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illumined her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

"I pass the test," she said. "I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel."

The other female -- worthy to stand among the great villainesses of histroy: Shelob.