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"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and 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."
The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"

Smials were the hobbit-holes, inhabited by the well-to-do Hobbits, luxurious versions of the simple diggings of old. Their tunnels had rounded walls and branched to other rooms. However suitable sites for these large and ramifying tunnels were not everywhere to be found and many Hobbits lived in wood, brick or stone houses. The poorest, however, went on living in burrows of the most primitive kind with only one window or none.[1]

The Great Smials of Tuckborough were large enough to have room for a hundred Hobbits.



The word smial is an invention of Tolkien based on the Old English word smygel. Smial is a translation of the Hobbitish word trân (Rohirric trahan "burrow").[2]

The names Smaug and Sméagol are related.

In real world

"Smial" is a term used by Tolkien fans to refer to divisions of Tolkien Societies.

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "On Translation"