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Halflings

Main article: Hobbits

Halflings was a name for Hobbits used by Men; it was originally given to them by the tall Dúnedain who had stood two rangar tall, making the average Hobbit about half their height. The term first applied to the Harfoots who became known in Arnor around T.A. 1050 and later to the Fallohides and the Stoors.[1]

The name was used by Gondorians in the Third Age, which they learned from their northern cousins although they knew them only by name; they never had seen a halfling, until Peregrin Took became the first who visited Minas Tirith. By the War of the Ring however, the Gondorians were shorter than their ancestors since the line of the Kings ended, and the halflings were more than half of their height.[1]

The word halfling appeared in the final line of the rhyme from Faramir and Boromir's dreams, "And the Halfling forth shall stand." Boromir claimed to have understood little of the rhyme, but recognized Frodo Baggins as the Halfling when he stood up with the One Ring.[2] It became known that a halfling bore the Ring, and Saruman gave orders to the Uruk-hai to capture any halflings alive and bring them back without plundering them. This led to the capture of Pippin and Merry, who were halflings, although neither was the Ring-bearer.[3]

Etymology

The name "Halfling" is a translation from the Westron banakil which means "half-man". It was translated into both Sindarin and Quenya as Perian.[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", "Appendix: Númenórean Linear Measures"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-hai"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "On Translation"