Hobbits, a short, peacefull race inhabiting a western region of Middle Earth called the Shire, are a strange people, considered unimportant by the other races. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach, as they eat six square meals a day. They dress in bright colors, and live in holes in the ground called Hobbit Holes, which are rather comfortable. They have brown, curly hair on their heads, and very rarely have facial hair, and have curly brown hair on their feet. They are usually from about two and a half to four feet tall, shorter than dwarves, and wear no shoes. They can walk incredibly quietly when it suits them.
No description of Hobbits would be complete without a description of the Hobbit Hole, the primary home of Hobbits. It is true that many Hobbits dwell in houses, but the Hobbit Hole is the most interesting and unique places that a Hobbit might make his abode. Perhaps the best description of a Hobbit Hole is found in Tolkien's The Hobbit: "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and a 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. It had a perfectly round door like a porhole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats-the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly straight in to the hill... No going upstairs for the hobbitr: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries,... wardrobes,... kitchens, dining rooms, all were on the sane floor, indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the left hand side,... for these were the only to have windows, deep set round windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river."
It must be taken in to account that this is arguably the nicest Hobbit Hole in the Shire. Notwithstanding, the above passage gives you an idea of what a Hobbit Hole would look like.
Hobbits living outside of the Shire primarily occupy three regions: Bree, Tookland, and Buckland. Bree is a small town in which Hobbits and Men live harmoniously (mostly). In Bree is the Prancing Pony, a reputable inn in which the Frodo, Merry, Sam, and Pippin met Aragorn. Many Dunadain stop to rest from their journeys in Bree. It's size decreased greatly after the fall of the Realm of Arnor, but Bree perservered. Tookland and Buckland were both thriving colonies housing the Took and Brandybuck families.
There are three divisions of Hobbits, the Stoors, Harfoots (Harfeet?), and the Fallohides. The Stoors were a bulky and manlike people, sometimes able to grow beards. They did not fear the water as the other two divisions did. Some Stoors remained in small villages on the banks of Anduin, instead of migrating to The Shire. The Harfoots had brown skin and hair, and were the smallest of the three. The Fallohides were the somewhat taller and thinner than the Stoors and Harfoots, and were thought to be more intrepid.
Hobbits enjoy peacefull activities, save wrestling, which is a favorite passtime of the Tooks. They enjoy pipe smoking, gardening, eating, and talking. Many enjoy a visit to the local inn, or a pleasant stroll.
Some locations important to Hobbitology are (in alphabetical order):
Bag End- The Hobbit Hole of the rich and eccentric Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, later the Hole of Frodo Baggins, and then the Sackville Bagginses, and later of Lotho and Saruman, and finally of Samwise Gamgee and his family.
Bree- A small town in which both Men and Elves dwell. The Prancing Pony is located here.
The Farthings (north, south, east, and west)- Divisions of the Shire
Hobbiton- A small town in the Shire, in which is located the Mill and Granary, as well as Bag End and Bagshot Row.
Michel Delving- The Mathom House, where Hobbits store old things that they don't need but don't want to throw away.
Shire- The green and peacefull land of the Hobbits in Eriador.
The Origin of the Hobbits is unknown, but these hole-dwellers appear in historical records in 1050 of the third age, when they lived in the Northern Vales of the Anduin. They were probably forced to leave that location because of the coming of Sauron to Greenwood (Mirkwood). Whatever the reason, the Hobbits migrated westward. The Harfoots were the first to cross the Misty Mountains, followed later (1150) by the Fallohides, and then by the Stoors (1300). Many Stoors remained in small villages along the banks of the Anduin.
The bulk of the Hobbits were then settled in Bree, among the Men of that region. The Hobbits founded the Shire in 1601, when they crossed the Brandywine river in search of good land. This date marks the begining of the count of years by the Hobbits.
Few important events occured in the Shire untill The Battle of Greenfields, in 2747, a small orc raid which was checked by the Hobbits, under the command of Bandobras Took, a large hobbit, large enough to ride a horse, who knocked off the Orc Cheiftan Golfimbul's head with a club. It soared 200 yards, and landed in a rabbit hole (thus was invented the game of golf). Later, in 2758, came the Long Winter, in which the Shire was afflicted by famine and wolves.
It is also said that the Hobbits sent a small band of archers to aid in the war with the Realm of Angmar, but none ever returned. Besides the above mentioned, Hobbits did not participate in the wars of Middle Earth. At one time, there was a Hobbitry at Arms, but as the Shire became more and more isolated, it was disbanded and thought useless.
Another esteemed Hobbit is Tobold Hornblower, supposedly the first person to grow pipe weed (for the purpose of smoking- it had been grown by the Numenoreans for it's sweet smelling flower).
The Shire was founded by Marcho and Blanco, brothers.
The first Thain of the Shire was Bucca of the Marish, the founder of the Oldbuck family (latter Brandybuck).
Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took are, of course, also famous hobbits, who all played important roles in the war of the ring, but more is said of them in the Persons Beasts and Monsters section.
One of a typical Hobbit's favourite activities is the smoking of a pipe. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Hobbits to the world is the cultivation of the herb Nicotinia as pipe weed. The herb had origonally been brought from Numenor. Smoking is enjoyed by Men and Dwarves also. Brands of Hobbit pipe weed include Longbottom Leaf, Southlinch, Southern Star, and Old Toby.
Hobbits are perhaps the most similar of Tolkien's races to ourselves. I will always find their eccentricity and jolly stupidity ammusing.