The connection of Smeagol's kin and hobbits

Ennikan

Member
After catching up and being current pre-Covid, I completely lost touch with the course for over a year - but have finally got back into the swing and once again am catching up. I'm still only on episode 150, where we're discussing Aragorn's fortunate finding of Gollum.

At one point the discussion revolves around Gollum's connection to hobbits, and Prof. Corey suggests that we ought to be careful not to connect the people's too closely, in fact I believe he said he thought we might be doing just that. This revolved around Gollum's changes over the years, his ability to use his teeth as a weapon as one example.

Today I was reading Appendix A, however, and I came across this on when reading on the fall of the Northern Kingdom:

"It was at this time that the Stoors that had dwelt in the Angle (between Hoarwell and Loudwater) fled west and south, because of the wars, and the dread of Angmar, and because of the land and clime of Eriador, especially in the east, worsened and became unfriendly. Some returned to Wilderland, and dwelt beside the Gladden, becoming a riverside people of fishers."

We know the Stoors are the descendants ancestors of hobbits, and who else could these riverside people be other than Smeagol's people? Certainly there could and would be changes from the time of the Stoors to the time of Smeagol and the Baggins family, but it seems the connection is undeniable. I don't in fact think it is overblown at all. (Maybe this was discussed later and I have not yet reached it.)

Of course the connection between the people's factors in later when Gollum and Frodo and Sam meet in Mordor - and the Prof. mentions this. It seems clear to me there is in fact a direct connection of the peoples.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
After catching up and being current pre-Covid, I completely lost touch with the course for over a year - but have finally got back into the swing and once again am catching up. I'm still only on episode 150, where we're discussing Aragorn's fortunate finding of Gollum.

At one point the discussion revolves around Gollum's connection to hobbits, and Prof. Corey suggests that we ought to be careful not to connect the people's too closely, in fact I believe he said he thought we might be doing just that. This revolved around Gollum's changes over the years, his ability to use his teeth as a weapon as one example.

Today I was reading Appendix A, however, and I came across this on when reading on the fall of the Northern Kingdom:

"It was at this time that the Stoors that had dwelt in the Angle (between Hoarwell and Loudwater) fled west and south, because of the wars, and the dread of Angmar, and because of the land and clime of Eriador, especially in the east, worsened and became unfriendly. Some returned to Wilderland, and dwelt beside the Gladden, becoming a riverside people of fishers."

We know the Stoors are the descendants of hobbits, and who else could these riverside people be other than Smeagol's people? Certainly there could and would be changes from the time of the Stoors to the time of Smeagol and the Baggins family, but it seems the connection is undeniable. I don't in fact think it is overblown at all. (Maybe this was discussed later and I have not yet reached it.)

Of course the connection between the people's factors in later when Gollum and Frodo and Sam meet in Mordor - and the Prof. mentions this. It seems clear to me there is in fact a direct connection of the peoples.
I thing Stoors are more antecedants of Hobbits, not descendants of them. Today's Europeans are also a mixed populations of three main ancestral groups: European Hunter-Gatherers, Anatolian Farmers and Steppe Herders from the East. But still there would be a difference between a modern Brit and an Anatolian Farmer from ancient Anatolia if they could meet together.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Yeah, question is what do we understand as a "Hobbit". IN my eyes the hobbits are the shire culture, and the gladdenfolk probably were culturally quite different from them. It is like comparing 16th century rural british with a very backwards and isolated baltic or germanic tribe.

They (the gladdenfolk i mean) might be genetically indestinguishable from hobbits, they might look like them, but they won't dress like them, live like them, talk like them think like them.They are not culturally hobbits.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
Yeah, question is what do we understand as a "Hobbit". IN my eyes the hobbits are the shire culture, and the gladdenfolk probably were culturally quite different from them. It is like comparing 16th century rural british with a very backwards and isolated baltic or germanic tribe.

They (the gladdenfolk i mean) might be genetically indestinguishable from hobbits, they might look like them, but they won't dress like them, live like them, talk like them think like them.They are not culturally hobbits
What you are describing is nationality more than race and even more than culture. Gandalf points out to Frodo that even in Bilbo's story there were cultural patterns that Gollum recognized, cultural ways they were similar, however distorted Gollum himself had become. And even Shire hobbits of 500 years earlier were probably rather different from the Shire we come to know and love.

The Shire is a blending of three strains, of which the Stoors are one. Most hobbits probably have bits of two or more. The Gladden hobbits might have more in common with the purer Stoors in the Shire than not, in some ways at least (affinity for the water, for example).
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
It is not nationality.Nationality would be if the shire was a state and one could become its citizen.If so then shire-hobbit and bree-hobbit would be closest to nationalities.But it isn't , both are hobbits in culture and call themselves hobbits.The Gladdenfolk did not call themselves Hobbits.Them having some similar traditions and cultural traits to their shire relatives still does not make them culturally the same.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
It's a culture in which different regions - even different parts of the same region - are isolated from and distrustful of each other. I think of Thomas Hardy's midlands or George Eliot's citizens of Middlemarch, who call themselves Englishmen, no doubt, but find outsiders suspicious, even when the outsiders have lived there for years.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
It's not only regions... btw 5-600 miles apart, it is also another time.By the time Smeagol was born in the Gladden fields the Hobbits had been in the shire for 800 years already. It's like southern Ireland and Belgium... you could call both "celtic" but it wouldn't make any sense.They probably were as different as modern germans and american Amish people.
 
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