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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
On Hobbits of Colour


Apr 4 2008, 12:50pm

Post #1 of 11 (782 views)
On Hobbits of Colour Can't Post

Don't think I am a race fanatic (considering my advocation of Lawrence Fishburne for Beorn. . . which I still stand by), but it is a much noted thing that the LOTR films are rather void of even background characters of colour. It occurs to me, however, that there were, in the books, a great many brown skinned hobbits, according to Tolkien's notes. Read the opening piece on concerning Hobbits, and one finds that the majority of Shire Hobbits were Harfoots, and that the Harfoots were brown of skin, while the Fallohides, with whom they often intermingled, were lighter. I hope they keep it in mind in filming, and allow for a little visual race diversity. . . I know, Dwarves and Elves are plenty diverse, but you know what I am talking about.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Apr 4 2008, 1:39pm

Post #2 of 11 (709 views)
And don't forget... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Dark Elves and Black Numenoreans.

Bilbo: Martin Lawrence
Gandalf: Morgan Freeman
Thorin Oakenshield: Samuel L. Jackson ("I'm sick of this #@*&$# dragon in my #@*&$# mountain!!")
Elrond: Lawrence Fishburne
The Great Goblin: Ice-T
Beorn: Mr. T
King Thranduil: Denzel Washington
Gwaihir: James Earl Jones
Bard: Will Smith
Carc: Danny Glover
Smaug: Eartha Kitt
Gollum: Michael Jackson
And the four Waylan Brothers could make up a good third of the Dwarves.

Oh, and:
The Trolls: Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short

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.”

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Apr 4 2008, 1:43pm)


Apr 4 2008, 2:38pm

Post #3 of 11 (553 views)
Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin Oakenshield: Samuel L. Jackson ("I'm sick of this #@*&$# dragon in my #@*&$# mountain!!")

"Hand me my harp."
"Which one is it?"
"It's the one that says 'bad m$%#&$f#@#$'"

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams

Advising Elf

Apr 4 2008, 4:27pm

Post #4 of 11 (518 views)
Don't you think MJ as Gollum might be too scary for children? // [In reply to] Can't Post


Yahoo!Group with good stuff to download:


Apr 5 2008, 2:38am

Post #5 of 11 (496 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I recall this from the book and I guess I aways imaged brown skin like tan... A short-dark-and-hobbitish sort of thing, not African American.

LOL nice cast above!!!

Tol Eressea

Apr 5 2008, 2:48am

Post #6 of 11 (496 views)
hahahahaha..... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was laughing by the time I read the part where you remembered to quickly and hastily throw in some trolls....

James Earl Jones as Gwaihir?.....haha, I always associate him with Lion King....I can't help it!! (old childhood favorite.....which I still watch often! Smile)

Tol Eressea

Apr 5 2008, 5:23am

Post #7 of 11 (486 views)
I love your cast... [In reply to] Can't Post

But no.... as ringbearer, I think Tolkien meant tan by brown, rather than an African race.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!

Tol Eressea

Apr 5 2008, 10:41pm

Post #8 of 11 (453 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

thinking about it, I'm not sure one way or the other. If Tolkien just meant tan, well then, I don't think the hobbits were from that widespread an area for any one bunch to be significantly more tanned than another. But then, seeing as all three would've probably stemmed from the same group of hobbits originally, I don't see how one group could be a completely different race to another. But then, it's all speculation.

*Jazminatar the Brown*

N.E. Brigand

Apr 7 2008, 6:32pm

Post #9 of 11 (456 views)
And remembering Cleavon Little... [In reply to] Can't Post

(Sorry, late seeing this one.)

The Trolls: Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short

...maybe the trolls could toss Bilbo into a singing bush, performing a spiritual, like "I Get No Kick from Champagne".

We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Mar. 31-Apr. 6 for "The Breaking of the Fellowship".


Apr 8 2008, 12:55pm

Post #10 of 11 (430 views)
To clarify [In reply to] Can't Post

Humans on the whole make up only one race, as Tolkien himself new. Men. Geneologists will bear this out, from our common ancestry in Africa, to our dispesement over the globe etc.

From the book's implications, they are brown by genetics not by tanning. . . as to them being African American. . . well, they predate America, and the current concept of Africa, so put that out of your mind. I am not suggesting that they be from Harad either, we know they are not. What I AM saying, is that the Harfoots were described as brown, and thus could be played by brown actors, simply ro make the background a little more diverse, and put to bed any lingering accusations ( I have heard them voiced, if you haven't, and understand where they are coming from, even though I disagree) of racism. Black and brown people come in many shades and hues, from Wesley Snipes black to Terrance Howard and Smokey Robinson black. Turns out even Caroll Channing had a black dad. We never saw that one coming. lol.

So no, I don't think the Shire should be turned into showtime at the Apollo, but since Tolkien himself opens the door to it, it would be a good thing if there was at least the appearance of some colour diversity in middle-Earth, and if the orcs and enemies were not the only charachters of darker hue.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Apr 11 2008, 5:49pm

Post #11 of 11 (449 views)
. [In reply to] Can't Post

They should only cast according to the description of the characters in the book. Otherwise, it would look like a politically-correct gesture rather than a consistent casting decision.


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