Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Posts Tagged ‘Tolkien

Darker skinned Hobbits

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I remember reading The Hobbit as part of the English curriculum in primary school.  In, funnily enough, New Zealand where Peter Jackson has developed his own middle earth.

As this article reminds us:

In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien described three races of Hobbits inhabiting the Middle Earth fantasy world which is the setting for the movies, including harfoots, who “were browner of skin” than the others.

Yet here we have a casting person stating, sans instruction, all those seeking movie extra stardom should be of “light skin tones”.   Three cheers for Peter Jackson, the casting agent has been fired.

Seems Tolkien was more tolerant than the casting agent in question. 

Had Tolkien written a book with only blonde haired, blue eyed Hobbits and Peter Jackson was being true to the novel, I would not have a problem.  After all, filming “Roots” with caucasians in the lead roles would have been a little silly.  There is a need to be true to the story being told.

Had Tolkien not described his Hobbit’s complexions at all, then the casting agent would really have been drawing a long bow, for without a specific description who could claim to know what was in the writer’s mind at the time?  Would have been very unlikely – Tolkien describes to the nth degree, which is why I found The Hobbit far too slow to ever enjoy.  Perhaps I should try it again.


Written by Robyn Dunphy

November 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm