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Size of the dwarves
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Axeman21
The Shire

Aug 1 2014, 7:58pm

Post #1 of 31 (4326 views)
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Size of the dwarves Can't Post

Having watched all the tolkin films to date can't understand how peter Jackson has madethorins company look very small. I The Lord of the ring films gimli is quite a bit taller than the hobbits, however in the hobbit films bilbo is as tall as the dwaves , and bilbo was never considered a tall hobbit


Elarie
Grey Havens

Aug 1 2014, 8:38pm

Post #2 of 31 (3826 views)
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I think it has to do with the actual size of the actors [In reply to] Can't Post

For example, John Rys-Davies (Gimli) is 6'1" and Elijah Wood (Frodo) is 5'6". When only the dwarves and the hobbits are in the shot, no camera tricks or green screens are used - they just shoot the actors as they really look in relation to each other.

For the Hobbit movie, finding 13 dwarves who were over 6' tall and who were also the perfect actors for the roles probably just wasn't feasible.


And once again the world has not arranged itself just for me.


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Aug 2 2014, 1:19am

Post #3 of 31 (3803 views)
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Middle-earth heights [In reply to] Can't Post

Let’s see
From the books the average Hobbit was 3’-4’. I think Frodo was probably about 3’6” or so?
The exception was Bullroarer Took at 4’5” and he could ride a horse. His height was exceeded only by Merry & Pippin.
The Dwarves averaged between 4 and 5’.
The Elves were a bit taller than Men, but not a lot. Although it’s thought that Galadriel was over 6’, and Thingol was unusually tall even for an Elf at nearly 9’.
The Men were most likely about the height of today’s with exceptions of the Numenoreans which were several inches taller. It’s said that Elendil was over 7’ tall (Elendil the Tall for sure).

So credit to Jackson: "Stand-up straight!!" "Get on your knees!" "Crouch damn you crouch!" "Hunch over just a bit!" etc.

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Bladerunner
Gondor


Aug 2 2014, 3:42am

Post #4 of 31 (3722 views)
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I think the dwarves look a little too diminutive in the films.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I imagine Tolkien's dwarves to be in the 5 ft range but incredibly stocky so that in weight they weren't much lighter than men and would be able to project a formidable physical presence when among men or elves.



Axeman21
The Shire

Aug 2 2014, 5:42am

Post #5 of 31 (3771 views)
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Size of dwaves [In reply to] Can't Post

Having watched the hobbit films several times in desolation of smaug in lake town when the dwaves are captured they look to be no more than 3 feet tall I feel Jackson has made a mess of these films, and as for the new trailer for the battle of the five armies we'll dwaves riding sheep what's that about


Axeman21
The Shire

Aug 2 2014, 5:43am

Post #6 of 31 (3702 views)
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Size of dwaves [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Jackson has made a mess of the hobbit films


Elthir
Grey Havens

Aug 2 2014, 2:32pm

Post #7 of 31 (3721 views)
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from the books, reaching new heights [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
From the books the average Hobbit was 3’-4’. I think Frodo was probably about 3’6” or so? The exception was Bullroarer Took at 4’5” and he could ride a horse. His height was exceeded only by Merry & Pippin.



Just to add some citations here: at least according to one note dated around 1969, JRRT ended up describing full grown males at an average of 3 foot 5 inches.

'... to this: Dwarves about 4 foot high at least. Hobbits were lighter in build, but not much shorter; their tallest men were 4 ft. but seldom taller. Though nowadays their survivors are seldom 3 feet high, in the days of the story they were taller which means that they usually exceeded 3 ft. and qualified for the name halfling. But the name halfling must have originated circa TA 1150, getting on for some 2,000 years (1868) before the War of the Ring, during which the dwindling of the Numenoreans had shown itself in stature as well as life-span. So that it referred to a height of full grown males of an average of, say, 3 ft. 5.' JRRT

That's quoted in The Reader's Guide to The Lord of the Rings, Hammond And Scull. Another contemporary note states that at the time of the story the average height of a male adult hobbit: Harfoots at 3 foot 6, Fallohides slimmer and a little taller, and Stoors broader, stouter, and a little shorter.

In The Hobbit it's noted generally that 'hobbits are smaller than the bearded Dwarves'.


Quote
The Dwarves averaged between 4 and 5’.



I had trouble finding a quote on the Dwarves in general, besides the one given in the 1969-ish description above.



Quote
The Elves were a bit taller than Men, but not a lot. Although it’s thought that Galadriel was over 6’, and Thingol was unusually tall even for an Elf at nearly 9’.




There are two late descriptions of the Eldar in general which make them quite tall -- but Thingol need not be that tall in my opinion: Thingol's height is never given outside of being the tallest of the Children of Eru... although of course, he would thus be very tall.

Anyway the more general descriptions are...

A Of Dwarves and Men: 'They were called 'Halflings'; but this refers to the normal height of Men of Numenorean descent and of the Eldar (especially those of Noldorin descent), which appears to have been about seven of our feet.'

B Eldarin men: no less than 6 foot 6, and taller for some kings and leaders (JRRT in reaction to an illustration) Eldarin women: seldom less than 6 feet (also noted by JRRT in reaction to an illustration)

These are both 'late' descriptions, but which came before the other I can't say. Men of high Numenorean lineage (includes Boromir): 6 feet 4 or 'man-high' according to the measure of the Dunedain and the Men of old -- 6 foot 4 is noted for Galadriel in Unfinished Tales as well (and arguably Celeborn too, given the description in The Lord of The Rings when the reader meets both Galadriel and Celeborn).



Quote
The Men were most likely about the height of today’s with exceptions of the Numenoreans which were several inches taller. It’s said that Elendil was over 7’ tall (Elendil the Tall for sure).



Elendil is tricky.

In one late text Elendil is well over 7 feet (nearing 8 feet!) although in another late text he seems to be 'only' 7 feet and matched by Isildur, considering: [Aragorn] '... direct descendant of Elendil and his son Isildur, both of whom had been seven feet tall, must nonetheless have been a very tall man…, probably at least 6 ft. 6; and Boromir, of high Númenorean lineage, not much shorter (say 6 ft. 4).'

Although some think the quote means Elendil was 'at least' 7 feet tall, for myself I don't imagine Tolkien thought of Elendil as nearing 8 feet here -- as he appears to in the text on the ranga (and so on) published in Unfinished Tales.


Here again, both descriptions of Elendil are 'late' and I don't know which came before the other Smile


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Aug 2 2014, 4:30pm

Post #8 of 31 (3698 views)
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Thanks for you thoughts Axeman [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Having watched the hobbit films several times in desolation of smaug in lake town when the dwaves are captured they look to be no more than 3 feet tall I feel Jackson has made a mess of these films, and as for the new trailer for the battle of the five armies we'll dwaves riding sheep what's that about

I think Jackson has made a mess of the hobbit films

I thank you! And Book Firsters the world over thank you! (And may we include LotR too?)

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Aug 2 2014, 4:53pm

Post #9 of 31 (3641 views)
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Thanks for doing all the research Elthir. [In reply to] Can't Post

 My thoughts were mostly from memory, and it seems for the most part I was fairly near the mark. But I don’t recall why I had 9’ for Thingol. (If Elendil was 7-8’ then my mind probably took upon itself to make him 9’, tallest of the Children.)

Cheers
BG

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Elthir
Grey Havens

Aug 2 2014, 5:05pm

Post #10 of 31 (3617 views)
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no problem... [In reply to] Can't Post

... an actually I did it a while ago... and there's more but the 'more' makes the matter more confusing.

I don't blame Tolkien though. After all we are chatting about some ideas he was still working on in private -- although he himself stated that some remarks about Hobbit height in the published Prologue were unnecessarily confusing.


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Aug 2 2014, 8:17pm

Post #11 of 31 (3606 views)
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thanks for that elthir [In reply to] Can't Post

adding to this the other elendil quote said he was greater than man high by almost half a rangar. Man high is 6 foot 4 inches and half a rangar ( a rangar is a numenorean measurement for the full stride of a numenorean man which is 38 inches) is 19 inches so that puts him at almost 7 feet 11 inches so say maybe 7 foot 8 inches or more. If it had been any less than 7 foot 8 inches then the description would have been by a foot or maybe quarter of a rangar etc. The 7 foot quote for him and isildur i always read as "at least 7 foot" you may ask how i can take liberty with a quote, the reason is this, elendil was called the tall because he was tallest of the exiles, so isildur could not be as tall as him, the 7 foot reference is a broad descriptive indicating the greatness of both their heights, hence the "at least"


Elthir
Grey Havens

Aug 3 2014, 2:48pm

Post #12 of 31 (3579 views)
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Celebrimbor of Gondolin [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The 7 foot quote for him and isildur i always read as "at least 7 foot" you may ask how i can take liberty with a quote, the reason is this, elendil was called the tall because he was tallest of the exiles, so isildur could not be as tall as him,...




I wouldn't quibble with the reasoning here but I would compare the matter of 'Celebrimbor of Gondolin' from a Tolkien Gateway quote... in other words, if and when you look for consistency between two given quotes, then yes you might find ways to reconcile them.

Thus the Gateway quote currently has Celebrimbor the Feanorean in Gondolin after the sack of Nargothrond, in effort to provide a history which includes a detail that the author himself published [Feanorean heritage, ROTK] -- with a detail the author never published [Smith of Gondolin, UT], but merely wrote at one point, and thus was still 'private' from his perspective.

In other words, the quote about Isildur and Elendil being 7 feet tall need not have been meant to go hand in hand with the tallest of the Exiles detail -- and unless this was published by JRRT himself [I'm not sure it was] he would not have to abide by it in any case.

I know 'Elendil The Tall' was published by JRRT. I'm not sure the reason why was published by the author.

Was it? Anyone? Smile


Elthir
Grey Havens

Aug 3 2014, 3:00pm

Post #13 of 31 (3570 views)
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PS on tallest exile [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to clarify: I do realize that neither Elendil quote [tallest exile and both he and his son were seven feet tall] was published by JRRT [well, if it proves to be certainly so] and so it's not exactly the same as the Celebrimbor example...

... but the point is: these two descriptions don't necessarily need to be taken as representing the same idea. I realize one can approach them that way, as you have done, but again, I'm just noting that the alternative of Tolkien changing his mind about Elendil is also possible here -- where both he and his son are said to be seven feet tall.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Aug 3 2014, 3:06pm)


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Aug 4 2014, 4:27pm

Post #14 of 31 (3546 views)
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Yeah, i had always hoped that they would [In reply to] Can't Post

exclusively cast tall actors, at least 6'2", for the dwarves, and shorter actors, 5'7" or so, for all the hobbits, including Bilbo (which is pretty much what they did with LotR). Martin Freeman was a great start, but, like you said, i guess it's nigh impossible to find 13 very tall actors who are perfect for their roles-- shorter actors seem much easier to come by ha ha.

I suppose dwarves are much like humans-- there are very tall dwarves, and very short dwarves.


Axeman21
The Shire

Aug 4 2014, 4:55pm

Post #15 of 31 (3589 views)
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dwarves too small [In reply to] Can't Post

having seen all th lotr films and the 2 hobbit films to date several times I cant help but feel jackson has made a cock-up on the hobbit films he has made bilbo look about 4-5 feet tall the same height as the company of dwarves. also if hobbits and dwarves were the same height the dwarves must be a lot more stocky they appear the same size Unsure. Considering the amount of money the films have cost could have done A BETTER JOB


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Aug 4 2014, 5:21pm

Post #16 of 31 (3587 views)
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Technically, they all should have been the size of Dwalin [In reply to] Can't Post

or larger, but they obviously felt they had to let that scale issue slide in order to get the right actors for the role, or spend considerable amounts of money scaling Bilbo down a bit in addition to already scaling Gandalf up. Now that would have complicated things, and made things even more frustrating for the actors. Considering that i wouldn't have anyone else playing Bilbo or Balin (one of the shorter dwarfs), i think they made the right decision.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 4 2014, 10:09pm

Post #17 of 31 (3635 views)
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Dwarf size comparisons [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's some extensive movie dwarf/hobbit height analysis I did a while back, with a few updates to incorporate both trilogies:

Quote
From the LOTR Prologue:

For they (hobbits) are a little people, smaller than Dwarves: less stout and stocky, that is, even when they are not actually much shorter. Their height is variable, ranging between two and four feet of our measure. They seldom now reach three feet; but they have dwindled, they say, and in ancient days they were taller. According to the Red Book, Bandobras Took (Bullroarer), son of Isengrim the Second, was four foot five and able to ride a horse. He was surpassed in all Hobbit records only by two famous characters of old....

Hobbits are anywhere from two to four feet (which is a pretty wide range) with Merry and Pippin being the tallest at roughly 4'6" or 4'7" after meeting Treebeard (being the two who surpassed Bullroarer). According to Sam at the Field of Cormallen, they're "three inches taller than they ought to be", which, assuming their ent-draught growth was immediate and not gradual, puts their original heights at about 4'3" or 4'4".

If we assume what seems to be the popular idea for an average dwarf range of between 4 and 5 feet, then there is actually quite a bit of room for overlap in hobbit and dwarf heights, with the tallest dwarves being roughly 6" taller than the tallest-ever hobbits, but the tallest hobbits being roughly the same amount taller than the shortest dwarves. And according to Tolkien, dwarves are more stout and stocky than hobbits of roughly equivalent heights.

Here's how our hobbit and dwarf actors measure up:

Hobbits - tallest to shortest

Dominic Monaghan/Merry - 5'7" (1.70m)
Martin Freeman/Young Bilbo) - 5'6 1/2"" (1.69m)
Billy Boyd/Pippin - 5'6 1/2" (1.69m)
Sean Astin/Sam - 5'6" (1.68m)
Ian Holm/Old Bilbo - 5'6" (1.68m)
Elijah Wood/Frodo - 5'6" (1.68m)

Average hobbit height: 5' 6 1/2" (1.688m)


Dwarves - tallest to shortest

Richard Armitage/Thorin - 6'2" (1.88m)
Graham McTavish/Dwalin - 6'2" (1.88m)
John Rhys Davies/Gimli 6'1" (1.85m)
Aidan Turner/Kili - 6' (1.83m)
James Nesbitt/Bofur - 6' (1.83m)
John Callen/Oin - 5'11" (1.80m)
William Kircher/Bifur - 5'9" (1.75m)
Peter Hambleton/Gloin - 5'9" (1.73m)
Dean O'Gorman/Fili - 5'8" (1.73m)
Jed Brophy/Nori 5.8" (1.73m)
Mark Hadlow/Dori - 5"7" (1.7)
Ken Stott/Balin 5'7" (1.70m)
Stephen Hunter/Bombur 5'7" (1.70m)
Adam Brown/Ori - 5'7" (1.70m)

Dwarf height range: 5'7" to 6'2" - a range of 7" from shortest to tallest


This puts the center of the movie dwarf height range at roughly 5' 9 1/2", which is 2.5" taller than Bilbo, so he is shorter than all but the four smallest dwarves, and none of the dwarves are shorter than him.

The overall height difference is slightly less in The Hobbit because in LOTR we had several hobbits to average but only one dwarf, and in The Hobbit we have several dwarves to average and only one hobbit. If we take both trilogies together, the largest hobbit/dwarf span (between Frodo and Thorin) is 8".

Now, since Merry and Pippin at somewhere over 4'5" were the tallest-ever hobbits, and if dwarves commonly range between 4 and 5 feet, what we have are two hobbits who would be average height for dwarves! So it seems that an average hobbit might well be the same height or just a little shorter than the shortest dwarves - which is exactly what we have here: Martin Freeman is the same height as the shortest of our dwarf actors, and has nearly the same height difference with the tallest of the dwarves as the hobbit/dwarf ratio in LOTR.

From this, we can conclude that MovieGimli was a fairly tall dwarf; nearly but not quite as tall as Thorin or Dwalin, while MovieBilbo is also a fairly tall hobbit, being about the same height as Merry was before he drank the entdraught.

Translating actor height to Middle-earth height gets a little tricky, because very few absolute heights are given, and most of what we get are general descriptions. The filmmakers have said that they think of 3'6 as being average hobbit height and that seems to be the assumed height for Bilbo. If this is true, then Thorin would be about 4'2" in the movie and Bilbo would need to be considerably shorter than Merry and Pippin were in the book. If instead of the filmmakers' 3'6", we assume that we are dealing with the "ancient days when hobbits were taller" and we take Merry's original height (pre-entdraught) as about 4'3" or 4'4" and consider Bilbo the same height, then we have the tallest dwarves coming in at just about 5'.

The scaling in the movies is consistent between dwarves and hobbits, but not between dwarves/hobbits and Elves/Men, because of the constraints of needing lead actors to appear in scenes together and not always being able to use scale doubles or build scale sets for every scene. It appears that most often they are holding to the assumption of Elves averaging at 6' or more (with some textual basis) and of Bilbo as 3'6" (literally a "halfling"), which means the movie dwarves are averaging closer to 4 feet than the 5 that many fans seem to prefer. As I don't know of any place where Tolkien himself comments on dwarf heights except in the quote I gave earlier, the filmmakers' interpretation seems to be arguably valid even if it doesn't fit the popular mental image.

It seems that of all the races of Middle-earth, people picture the dwarves as being the most uniform. We have evidence from both the books and movies of a lot of latitude in the heights of Men - anything from the "short, squat" Woses (who I've always pictured to be not much taller than 5') to the Dunlendings to the Rohrrim to the very tall Dunedain with their Elvish blood (who I assume to average around 6' or a little more). Tolkien tells us that the Hobbits' heights varied widely - from 2 to 4 feet on average, with a few notable characters exceeding that by several inches. I assume they were not the only tall hobbits ever, just the tallest, so likely there were some others who topped 4 feet by an inch or two but didn't set any records by doing so. The Elves are generally "tall", but we're not given a lot of exact information, although we do know that Galadriel was unusually tall for an Elf woman (I think I remember reading somewhere that she was well over 6 feet). I expect there is some range there as well. But when it comes to dwarves, I think we expect them all to fall into a much narrower overall range.

However, faced with the task of differentiating and casting 13 distinct dwarves, I think the concern was more toward character and less toward uniformity of any kind. If hobbits range between 2-4 feet with some exceptions, and Men range between 5 and 6' 6" on average, why should the dwarf range be narrower than either and without overlap? If anything, it's the narrow range of movie hobbit heights which is most unlike the book, since all the main hobbit actors cast are within two inches of each other in height.

I think they've done the best they can with the real-world limitations they have. It's one thing to set up a scene for one scale-adjustment (with hobbits and dwarves at one size and Men/Elves at the other), but it would be impossibly complicated to do it with three different size groups, at least without resorting to CGI doubles in nearly every scene. Keeping the real-life hobbit/dwarf actor height ratio makes it possible to film as many scenes as possible in a straightforward manner, which is better for the budget and also for the actors.


Silverlode



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Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 5 2014, 12:49am

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Wow, that's a comprehensive bit of research there! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is one of the few times I miss the 'modding-up' function from OldTorn.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 5 2014, 2:01am

Post #19 of 31 (3526 views)
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I've been adding bits... [In reply to] Can't Post

each time the topic comes around again and it is getting to be almost an essay. I don't usually repost the same thing over and over but hopefully it's of interest to the people who have joined since the last time we discussed this in detail and won't bore the oldtimers too much. It's beginning to make me think of the intro Victor Borge used to use for one of his classic routines.

"The ones of you who have heard it before may enjoy hearing it again. The ones who have not heard it before may enjoy hearing it again next time."

Cool

Silverlode



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"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Aug 5 2014, 11:49am

Post #20 of 31 (3501 views)
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i understand what you are saying about context of different writing especially if it was unpublished by JRRT [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Elthir
Grey Havens

Aug 5 2014, 6:47pm

Post #21 of 31 (3535 views)
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Hobbit heights [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
For they (hobbits) are a little people, smaller than Dwarves: less stout and stocky, that is, even when they are not actually much shorter. Their height is variable, ranging between two and four feet of our measure. They seldom now reach three feet; but they have dwindled, they say, and in ancient days they were taller. According to the Red Book, Bandobras Took (Bullroarer), son of Isengrim the Second, was four foot five and able to ride a horse. He was surpassed in all Hobbit records only by two famous characters of old...




Yet Tolkien himself says that these remarks in the Prologue are unnecessarily vague or confusing -- and explains them. 'In ancient days they were taller' refers to the part where Hobbits 'seldom now reach three feet'. This corresponds to the 'nowadays' in the following, Tolkien's attempt to unconfuse the Prologue...

'... to this: Dwarves about 4 foot high at least. Hobbits were lighter in build, but not much shorter; their tallest men were 4 ft. but seldom taller. Though nowadays their survivors are seldom 3 feet high, in the days of the story they were taller which means that they usually exceeded 3 ft. and qualified for the name halfling. But the name halfling must have originated circa TA 1150, getting on for some 2,000 years (1868) before the War of the Ring, during which the dwindling of the Numenoreans had shown itself in stature as well as life-span. So that it referred to a height of full grown males of an average of, say, 3 ft. 5.' JRRT

So the average Hobbit of the day [the time of these tales] was 3 foot 5 or 3 foot 6, considering the other late text by JRRT, which states: "Harfoots at 3 foot 6, Fallohides slimmer and a little taller, and Stoors broader, stouter, and a little shorter."



Quote

Hobbits are anywhere from two to four feet (which is a pretty wide range) with Merry and Pippin being the tallest at roughly 4'6" or 4'7" after meeting Treebeard (being the two who surpassed Bullroarer). According to Sam at the Field of Cormallen, they're "three inches taller than they ought to be", which, assuming their ent-draught growth was immediate and not gradual, puts their original heights at about 4'3" or 4'4".




But to my mind that's a notable assumption, considering the general heights given above.

Even the generally taller Fallohides were only a 'little' taller than 3 feet 6 here. Were Merry and Pippin ever noted as exceptionally tall Hobbits before the draughts? I think that Tolkien, at Cormallen, was noting that Merry and Pippin had grown an already notable amount, at this point, and as you allow, we could just as easily interpret this to mean they would still continue to grow, to ultimately surpass the Bullroarer at a later point.


Quote
If instead of the filmmakers' 3'6", we assume that we are dealing with the "ancient days when hobbits were taller" and we take Merry's original height (pre-entdraught) as about 4'3" or 4'4" and consider Bilbo the same height, then we have the tallest dwarves coming in at just about 5'.




But the filmmaker's 3 foot 6 is according to the ancient days when Hobbits were taller -- again because 'now' they seldom reach 3 feet but in ancient days they were 'Halflings' [relative to the Numenoreans at the time Halfling was coined]. And the very general range thus incorporates 2 to 4 feet.

Tolkien even describes Bilbo, or possibly Hobbits in general, at three to three and a half feet in an early-ish letter [before The Lord of the Rings was completed] -- so his 'highest' here is exactly the average that Tolkien would later land on for Harfoots -- 3 foot 6 and thus well below 4 foot 4.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Aug 5 2014, 6:57pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 5 2014, 7:27pm

Post #22 of 31 (3499 views)
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Hobgoblin comparisons [In reply to] Can't Post


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It's one thing to set up a scene for one scale-adjustment (with hobbits and dwarves at one size and Men/Elves at the other), but it would be impossibly complicated to do it with three different size groups...


That's exactly the reasoning Jackson gave in the commentaries for discarding the effects of the ent-draught on M&P in the theatrical editions.

Of course, even now I hear complaints about the "You bow to no one" scene where M&P are still the same height relative to Frodo and Sam as they were in the "You shall be the FOTR!" group shot. They often call for Jackson to correct it in the EEEEetcs.

I always remember Emerson's warning about "A foolish consistency" and let it go.

******************************************
“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.”
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Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Aug 5 2014, 10:03pm

Post #23 of 31 (3503 views)
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Let's not forget Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf towers over the Dwarves and Bilbo in the scenes at Bag End. Yet Tolkien specified that, "Gandalf even bent [i.e., with age] must have been at least 5 ft. 6 ... Which would make him a short man even in modern England, especially with the reduction of a bent back." (Quoted from notes by Tolkien written c. 1970, in John Ratliffe's THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT, vol. 1, p. 49). In the UNFINISHED TALES Tolkien also refers to Gandalf as slight and rather unimpressive-looking in comparison with the other Istari.

Ian is 5'11'', so essentially six feet, a bit too tall for Gandalf as Tolkien envisioned him, but special effects, practical and digital, could have reduced him.


Silverlode
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Aug 5 2014, 10:22pm

Post #24 of 31 (3482 views)
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There is also other contextual evidence to be considered. [In reply to] Can't Post

The context indicates to me that Tolkien's "dwindling" comment is meant to be taken as having occurred between the events in LOTR and our present day, since the conceit is that hobbits are still with us, though rarely if ever seen. He is speaking here in the present tense;


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"There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along...."



And having given a range of 2 to 4 feet, he goes on to clarify that they now occupy only the lower half of this range, in this sentence, which is also in the present tense:


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"They seldom now reach three feet; but they have dwindled, they say, and in ancient days they were taller."


And the very next sentence describes those days, with the formerly-tallest hobbit of all who grew several inches beyond the upper end of the average range, Bandobras (Bullroarer) Took. According to the Baggins family tree in the appendices, he died only 84 years before Bilbo was born. This is less than one hobbit lifetime. I do not think that is enough time for the whole hobbit race to have dwindled in size to any great extent.

Tolkien goes on to refer to Merry and Pippin in that paragraph as "two famous characters of old", which gives further indication that the story of LOTR takes place in those ancient times when hobbits were taller.

There is also the phrasing of the introduction of Bilbo in The Hobbit to be considered, which indicates that that story takes place in the height of hobbit culture, rather than their later diminished state:

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"By some curious chance one morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green, and the hobbits were still numerous and prosperous...."


My conclusion, therefore, is that in the present day, hobbits rarely reach 3 feet, but in the days of LOTR, they were at the height of their prosperity and occupied the upper end of the range Tolkien gives, with a number of them reaching 4 feet or, in a few cases, more.

This issue, like Balrog wings, is likely always to be a matter of interpretation, since Tolkien did seem to make contradictory statements. Whether they are the result of his own ideas changing (in my opinion, quite likely) or simply inattention to detail, they are there and part of canon. My point in my little essay on heights is merely to examine and compare the approach the filmmakers took to the available evidence. I conclude that there is sufficient canonic basis to allow for their interpretation, especially when mixed with a bit of real-world necessity.

Silverlode



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grammaboodawg
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Aug 6 2014, 1:16pm

Post #25 of 31 (3459 views)
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*mods up* Most Awesome! THANKS! :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 




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