The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

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  • Updated 6 January 2002
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Little Folk

A name among Men for the Hobbits

A term for the small race of people more commonly known as Hobbits, especially used by the taller Men (who were in turn referred to as the Big Folk).

The origins of the Little Folk are not well understood. They were evidently an ancient branch of the human race, but they developed in the mysterious East of Middle-earth, and how they came by their small stature and peculiar habits is unknown. By the time they entered history, in the year 1050 of the Third Age, they had already broken into three distinct groups, the Harfoots, the Fallohides and the Stoors.

Over the next two thousand years, the Little Folk spread slowly across the Western lands. By III 1601, they had acquired a land for themselves, that they called the Shire. Despite many hardships, the Shire would survive until the time of the War of the Ring and beyond. Tolkien's words in the Prologue to The Lord of the Rings suggest that the even today the Little Folk are not extinct, but continue a secret, hidden existence alongside us, the bumbling Big Folk.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 6 January 2002
  • Updates planned: 2

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