The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power has introduced us to the harfoots, a precursor to the hobbit we came to know and love in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Far in the future from the events that are currently unfolding in the Amazon series, the hobbits live in the Shire, an idyllic and pastoral area that they are very reluctant to leave, and based on what we saw in episode three, fans are not surprised at all.
The harfoots in the series are a hardy people, they live out in the open rather than in hobbit holes, and are semi-nomadic. The various harfoot families band together and migrate as one towards the Vale of Anduin, avoiding being seen by the “big folk” due to their small size and vulnerability. This migrating period, known as the Wandering Days, is not easy for the diminutive people, and due to the nature of needing to move forward, they often have to leave the weak ones behind in some form of survival of the fittest.
In episode three Nori’s father’s bad ankle has the entire family worried as they know that without him to help pull along the cart the chances of them falling behind are strong. To rub salt in the wound (pun intended) the other harfoots gather to remember the ones that fell behind in the past, naming who they have lost and how.
In many instances, it’s down to unavoidable natural disasters, mudslides and storms, but in others, it’s simply a broken wheel. Though the harfoots seemed all jolly and community-minded in the beginning this is a brutal awakening that these people will do anything to survive, even if it means letting a friend fall behind.
Thanks to this rather dark addition to the race’s history, fans are now beginning to see just why the hobbits of the Shire are so unwilling to leave their cozy hobbit holes when you consider what their ancestors went through. This OP went into great length to discuss this theory and even points to how this practice in the past may be why the hobbits we meet in the Third Age actually do so well surviving in the wilderness.
Many fans think this theory rings true, that as a people who have been wandering for all this time, constantly facing danger, getting to settle down finally sounds well deserved.
It has even changed some people’s minds about the hobbits, they really earned wanting to just live in peace and quiet.
Though, there are some hobbits that still have those wandering feet, like good old Bilbo.
Gandalf may very well known this of them and how useful they can be on the road
Despite many thinking the harfoots mean, this user claims it’s just pragmatic. Harsh times call for harsh choices.
Though they may be far off yet, it’s nice to know that there is a peaceful future for the descendants of these characters.
But, for now, they are still on the road and many troubles await yet!
Though the addition of the harfoots hasn’t been welcomed with open arms by many in the Tolkien community, it is interesting to see the beginnings of the well-loved hobbits. And just as Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin have already proven, it’s certain that the harfoots in Rings of Power will also bring something to the table in the conflict that is brewing.