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Big Feet

Registered User

Jun 23 2011, 4:48pm

Views: 3378
Big Feet

''He fits the ears, and he's got some very nice feet,'' Jackson says of his Bilbo. ''I think he's got the biggest hobbit feet we've had so far. They're a little bit hard to walk in, but he's managed to figure out the perfect hobbit gait.''

I'm sure this must have been discussed a few times in the last 10 years but I'll ask it here...
Why do they (PJ etc) think that Hobbits have big feet?
The Good Professor doesn't tell us that, but rather tells us that they can move silently, especially in the woods....which would naturally lead us to think that they would have smallish feet.

I'm sure the 'why' goes back to the Hildebrandts, who drew them with large feet....but why did they do it?

Hearing that the new Bilbo will have some of the largest Hobbit feet just makes me sad...because as a burglar, he should be even more stealthy, and as such, should have smaller feet.

Much too late by now...but think of all the time & expense that PJ/Weta could have saved by only making the Hobbit feet hairy, not hairy and clown like.

Has anyone ever asked PJ why his hobbits have big feet?

(This post was edited by oilfan94 on Jun 23 2011, 4:55pm)


Jun 23 2011, 4:52pm

Views: 3108
I agree,

never did like the big footed hobbits.


Jun 23 2011, 5:07pm

Views: 3095
Odo Proudfoot would be crushed. /



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"One of the strangest and most compelling science fantasy novels you will ever read."
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Jun 23 2011, 5:38pm

Views: 3077
Interesting thought...

Perhaps PJ thought it made them look cute(?).

Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing they evidently prefer.

I'm a user. I'll improvise. -Sam Flynn, TRON: Legacy

The Shire

Jun 23 2011, 5:46pm

Views: 3090
Technically they are shoes

Since the actors need to look like they're walking barefoot, they had to develop a shell for their feet, or shoes that look like hobbitfeet.

I assume Bilbo has the biggest looking feet 'cause Martin Freeman himself has a big shoe size.

Run you pigeon's, it's Robert Frost!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 23 2011, 6:14pm

Views: 3101
Yes, and in addition, I think it helps with

the proportions for the character. Along with the short pants and sleeves, the big feet help maintain the illusion of hobbit size even in scenes where there are no larger characters for contrast. It's subtle, but I think it does have an effect.

In theory, though, I do agree that the big feet aren't described by Tolkien, except in the case of Odo Proudfoot, who is described as having both his very large furry feet on the table at the Birthday Party. Speaking of furry, I also picture hobbits as having much more hair on their feet than they do in the movies, because it's described as being like the hair on their heads. But I imagine foot wigs might be a nightmare to maintain on set...although it might have meant we would have someone listed in the credits with a title like "Toe-Brusher". Laugh


"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


Jun 23 2011, 6:55pm

Views: 3070

As someone with large feet, I assure you we're quite capable of being stealthy. :)

It's more about the shape of the foot; I had a very clumsy aunt who had tiny feet. And being bare-footed in situations where others would have to be shod would be a huge advantage in being stealthy. And then there's walking on tiptoes when your foot is long enough to function more or less like a dog's back leg… Ahem!

While the hair on the feet is described like the hair on the head, I think that there's actually some biological difference that the production thought about—the hair on your head is different from the rest of your hair, you mammal you, so the production just extrapolated from that, I think, rather than taking it from canon. It works either way for me.

Mad Hatter of Middle-Earth

Jun 23 2011, 7:33pm

Views: 3075
They add a certain ingredient.

The big feet are (apparently) essential for a hobbit. Without them, hobbits are kinda like mini men (with pointy ears). I think they add a nice quality to a hobbit's character.

All you have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to you...


Jun 23 2011, 8:00pm

Views: 3059

From Tolkien's own description of Bilbo:

"I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of 'fairy' rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf)."
-Letter #27

I think bigger feet help with the portrayal of "shortish in the leg".

The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”


Jun 23 2011, 8:13pm

Views: 3065
I would have preferred even hair, like a dog's.

To the nasty, pubic looking stuff they gave us. Eww. I still have to close my eyes and look away when they show hobbit feet on the screen. TongueUnimpressed

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Jun 24 2011, 6:09am

Views: 3088
That's interesting

I didn't realise Tolkien had ever specified that hobbit ears were pointed.

It's nice to know that it's 'official'! Smile


Jun 25 2011, 12:17am

Views: 3029
Artists Tim Kirk

told me he was the first one to draw Hobbits with the pointy ears :)

Riddles in the Dark

Bilbo meets Gandalf

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

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Unused Scenes


Jun 25 2011, 12:44am

Views: 3060
I have no problem with the artists' choice

to make Hobbits with larger feet. It's part of their image now... and is supported by a few references. We've arleady heard about the Proudfoot... foot.


'ProudFEET!' shouted an elderly hobbit from the back of the pavilion. His name, of course, was Proudfoot, and well merited; his feet were large, exceptionally furry, and both were on the table.

His are the only ones we hear of being larger outside the Stoors:


The Stoors were broader, heavier in build; their feet and hands were larger...

Which, I think, is why a lot of people think someone else with foot-issues is from the Stoors clan:


He was a loathsome little creature: he paddled a small boat with his large flat feet...

Sweet little Gollum is from Hobbity kindred. So for me, between Mr. Proudfoot, the Stoors and Gollum... big hairy feet are the status quo.

I mean... size is relative, right? Big to us may be normal to them and not worth making an issue of. Not like, say, who grew and smoked the first leaf? ;)

And I think Peter's reference to Martin's Bilbo having larger feet, it's not because they chose to make them larger; it's because Freeman's physically got bigger feet the the other hobbity actors/actresses. I'm thinking Elijah still holds the record for the sweatiest ;)

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes

Grey Havens

Jun 25 2011, 5:20am

Views: 3037
Wow, this is strange...

Well before I ever saw PJ's films, I always thought of hobbits having big feet. Now I'm wondering where I got that idea from? Were they significantly big in the Rankin/Bass film?


Kangi Ska

Jun 25 2011, 7:40pm

Views: 3018
Source of Bigfoot

Bakshi's Lord of the Rings: Bilbo Baggins

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Registered User

Jun 27 2011, 1:36pm

Views: 3026
Hildebrandt Bros.

The Hildebrandt Brothers, who have been doing Tolkien art since the 60s or 70s, drew Hobbits with bigger feet...which I why I think they may have been the first to do so. But I think that many of their Hobbits or Dwarves were a bit cartoonish anyway.

My First childhood memories of Tolkien, come from the Hildebrandt images. My parent's hippy friends had all the images from a Hildebrandt calendar on their walls.

The Shire

Jul 5 2011, 1:26am

Views: 2987

I have wondered this to thanks for asking

"I am the best friend of Gwahir, disturb me and you will have the lord of the eagles to deal with"

Registered User

Jul 5 2011, 1:46pm

Views: 3030
What *IF* Maurice Sendak had done The Hobbit

I'm still amazed when I think about how close were were to having Marice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) illustrate The Hobbit....and how that would have shaped our views of this beloved tale.

If you don't recall, Sendak was asked to draw up a few sketches for The Hobbit. Apparently there were at least two, one of Bilbo & Gandalf and one of the Elves feasting. (Sadly, only the sketch of Bilbo survived). But the amazing part is that his sketch of the Elves was mis-labled as Hobbits, so when JRRT saw it, he said that Sendak didn't understand Hobbits at all.

Sendak and Tolkien were on different continents at the time, but before they could meet up, to sort out the misunderstanding, Sendak had a heart attack.

So if it were not for that little misunderstanding, we would likely have all grown up with The Hobbit, as illustrated by Marice Sendak.

And, on the one image that we have, it shows Bilbo with very hairy...but small feet.

Tol Eressea

Jul 6 2011, 5:57am

Views: 3014
Tolkien's own drawings of Bilbo

- appear several times in The Hobbit. 'The Hall at bag End' shows him best. Though it's dificult to see the pointed ears, it's clear that Bilbo's feet are not overly large in proportion. I blame the Hildebrandts, too, for this misconception.

BTW - in two of Tolkien's pictures, Bilbo is wearing boots! In a letter, Tolkien explains that they're dwarf-boots, which Bilbo got in Rivendell.

They have curly toes...


Jul 20 2011, 8:17pm

Views: 3062
I always imagined them larger

I think because of JRRT's description in the Hobbit, my earliest imaginings of hobbits' feet were something like rabbit feet. This may have been contributed to by the Eagle calling Bilbo a rabbit. I know that hobbit feet are the one thing that I think PJ got wrong visually: They should be MUCH furrier and hairier than what we see in the films. I'm guessing that another poster got it right: all that extra foot hair would be hard to maintain.

Most artists draw them like slightly larger human feet with little tufts of hair on top. I don't think of them as rabbit feet anymore, but I still think they were bigger and hairier than I usually see them depicted.