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In his famous series, The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about the One Ring, a magical ring that would rule over the Great Rings, each of which was given to one of the three known races. This happened around 1590 of the Second Age. One group of rings was given to Men, another to the Dwarves and the last one to the Elves. But, where are the Hobbits? Why didn’t they get some of the Great Rings? Well, we have done our research and if you want to know the answer, keep reading our article.
The Hobbits didn’t get a ring simply because they had not yet been discovered at the time when the Great Rings were forged. Sauron was not aware of their existence, so he could not even forge any rings for them.
In today’s article, we are going to explore the mythology of Tolkien’s Legendarium, or – more specifically the Great Rings and their distribution. You’re also going to find out some information on the Hobbits and their relationship with the other races in Tolkien’s stories and how the rings influence them. We have loads of information for you so be sure to read the whole article very carefully!
The Great Rings
The whole saga of The Lord of the Rings begins with one simple story, which went like this:
“It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest…fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf Lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And Nine…nine rings were gifted to the race of Men who, above all else, desire power.“
In the movie, it was depicted as being like this:
In short, Tolkien states that the whole saga started with the creation of the Great Rings. Three of them were given to the Elves, seven to the Dwarves and nine to Men; Sauron, secretly, forget the One Ring, which would rule over all of the other Rings, and planned on using it for his tyrannical goals. According to the established chronology, this happened in the year 1590 of the Second Age. This is an important date as it explains the answer to the next question.
Why didn’t the Hobbits get a Ring?
So, the Elves got the Rings, the Dwarves likewise and also Men. So, why didn’t the Hobbits, who are likewise a major race in Middle-Earth, get at least one of the Great Rings? Well, the answer is simple – because of the chronology!
When the Rings were forget, there were only three races – Men, Dwarves and Elves – so Sauron divided the Rings among the known races of that time. All the other races in the Legendarium came to be much later and were created by other races or evolved naturally from them. The Hobbits are, in fact, an offspring of Man but even they themselves don’t actually know when and how they became a distinct race.
The earlies mention of the Hobbits (also known as the Periannath) dates back to the year 1050 of the Third Age, which happened significantly later than the creation of the Rings. This is the main reason why the Hobbits didn’t get a Ring – they did not exist at the time.
Are the Hobbits resistant to the Ring’s powers?
The Great Ring, also known as the Rings of Power, are very powerful magical objects. They can easily corrupt the bearer with their powers and this is why they are dangerous in the wrong hands. Still, not each race is equally affected by the Rings. The Rings tend to amplify the bearer’s bad traits, which is why the Men bearing the rings became more lustful for power and might. On the other hand, the Rings also enabled Sauron to subdue the bearers and make them obey his One Ring.
Does that mean that all the races were like that? Well, not exactly. The Dwarves are a very good example. In The Simlarillion, Tolkien writes:
“Seven rings he gave to the Dwarves; (…) The Dwarves indeed proved tough and hard to tame; they ill endure the domination of others, and the thoughts of their hearts are hard to fathom, nor can they be turned to shadows.”
As you can see, even Tolkien himself admitted that the Rings couldn’t really corrupt everyone and that some races were more resistant. The diligent Dwarves are an excellent example – they would never fall under the Ring’s influence, although it would increase their lust for money and greed, which is their main bad trait.
So, where do the Hobbits come in? We’ll explain that on the examples of the two most famous Hobbits – Bilbo and Frodo Baggins!
Why did the Ring not affect Bilbo?
Bilbo Baggins has a long history with the One Ring and his story can serve as an excellent example on how the Ring affects Hobbits. Bilbo had the One Ring – i.e., the most powerful Ring of them all – for years without actually knowing what it was. Sure, he used its powers – they prolonged his life, made him invisible, enabled him to go on adventures – but he wasn’t really corrupted by them. Why? Because he was not a bad man. The Ring did augment his greed and lust for adventure, but it never really made him a bad man, which proves that he was, from the start, far more resistant to its effects than most other characters.
Why did the Ring not affect Frodo?
Frodo’s story is quite similar to Bilbo’s, as the One Ring played a vital part in his life; Frodo was the one sent to Mordor to destroy the ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Initially, Frodo wasn’t all that impressed by the One Ring, but as he put it on more than a couple of times (sometimes out of necessity, the other because he was drawn to it), his resistance faded, which ended in him almost succumbing to its powers and opting not to destroy it. He was resistant, but his constant exposure to the Ring’s powers increased his greed, which is why – almost – the whole mission failed. Luckily – it did not and we got our deserved ending.
Conclusion? Hobbits, who are depicted as benevolent, ordinary people are in fact more resistant to the Ring’s power, because they naturally aren’t bad people. They won’t be corrupted by its power but, as Bilbo’s example shows, they can be corrupted by its value and perceive it as a very valuable object they’d want to keep on their person, but that’s really nothing dangerous.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!