This question is prompted by a previous question ( When did Bilbo and Frodo learn that Gandalf was a Maia? ). My initial instinct was that Bilbo and Frodo had no idea what a "Maia" or "Vala" was. They probably knew more than the average Hobbit about these things, but I would guess they know less about their own universe than average readers of Tolkien legendarium questions on this site.

This question ( How well-known is the theology of Middle-earth, in Middle-earth? ) establishes that Faramir's men know of the Valar. One cries "May the Valar turn him aside!" when faced with an oncoming oliphant. Being Men of Gondor, which has a long history, they probably knew more than other Men or Hobbits. Clearly, many of the Elven characters (Galadriel, Elrond, Glorfindel, Círdan, etc) are also well aware of the Valar and Maiar and some of them were present for the events of the First Age.

Is there any evidence from the books or Tolkien's writings that the Hobbits had a good understanding of their own creation story? Do the Hobbit characters of Lord of Rings or the Hobbit discuss Vala, Maia, or events of the First Age, beyond simply recognizing that there are old, mysterious powers in the world that mostly outside of their experience and knowledge?

  • How is your question separate from that question? Besides being more specific? (Which would make it a dupe as we have a policy of duping the specific towards the general) There isn't evidence in the books of the Hobbits even recognising that they're being guarded by the Dunédain, let alone the fact there are mysterious powers... (Note I think it's a good question, just a duplicate of what's been asked, if you want more information place a bounty on the existing question.)
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 16, 2019 at 22:25
  • (Link to policy as I was too slow to edit here)
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 16, 2019 at 22:31
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    At least two Hobbits knew something about the First Age, possibly including theology, during at least one moment of the Third Age. In The Two Towers, Book Four, Chapter Eight, "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol", Frodo and Sam rest and compare their situation to that of Beren and Luthien trying to steal a silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth. Aug 17, 2019 at 16:22
  • And here is a link to a question about knowledge of Theology in 3rd age Middle-Earth, with an answer from me about Hobbit knowledge of theology. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/48262/… Aug 17, 2019 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Other Hobbits had probably same amount of information than normal men. Bilbo's books were finished after end to the Third Age.

Bilbo have translated Quenta Silmarillion from elvish. Atlease hobbits that went to the Great Smials during Fourth Age could have read about Ainulindalë, creation of the Middle Earth and about the First Age from the Red Book of Westmarch1.

  • 3
    The question asks what the hobbits new in the third age, not the fourth age. Bilbo did his writing in the third age, but no hobbits read it until the fourth (with the possible exception of Frodo while he was at Rivendell).
    – Blackwood
    Aug 16, 2019 at 23:29

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