PART 1 – The Fellowship of the Ring
Before embarking on the tale itself, it is important to obtain some
background about the Hobbits.
At the time of this story, the Hobbits lived mainly in the Shire, and
Bree. They are called Halflings by Man, to whom they are distantly related, and Periannath by the Elves.
Although they originally had their own language, they have adopted the
Common Speech so that they can trade with their neighbors.
During this age of Middle Earth, the Hobbit race were to produce a few
individuals who were to have a great influence on the ways and future of all the other races in Middle Earth.
Normally, Hobbits love peace and quiet, and to work the land. They are little folk who barely reach the height of 4 ft., apart from Bandobras Took, who was actually
4 ft. 5 in. and able to ride a horse. Two other Hobbits, Merry and
Pippin, also grew beyond 4 ft., but the reason for that was the influence of Treebeard, the Ent, covered in the story.
There are three main breeds of Hobbit, Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides, the
latter being more adventurous and usually adopting the role of leader. One of the famous families of the Fallohides was the Tooks, to which Bilbo and Frodo were related. They enjoy wearing colorful
clothes, mainly yellow and green, and most are barefoot as Hobbits have tough, hairy feet. They have good-natured faces with rosy cheeks and bright brown eyes, and they love festivities involving good food and ale.
As will be seen in the story, there is something special and different about
the Hobbits. It is mixture of the courage of Men, the mysticism of the Elves, and the stoicism of Dwarves. This mixture was particularly obvious in Frodo, making him a natural choice to be the Ring bearer.
How the Ring came into Bilbo’s possession is described in detail in The
Hobbit. It came to Bilbo Baggins initially by accident, but it is clear that Frodo, through Bilbo, was destined to be the final possessor of the Ring.
This Ring had for many years been in the possession of Gollum, once a
Hobbit, but now a creature warped and twisted by the power of this Ring. Although he lost the Ring many years earlier, he still yearns to repossess it and is driven accordingly.
The prologue also gives information concerning the Shire where the bulk of
Hobbits live, and their other pastime of smoking pipe-weed.