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Besides The Shire, in what other places can we find Hobbits living?

I am interested in communities but also about individuals who lived among other peoples around Arda. Do Hobbits ever step a foot on Beleriand? Is there a Hobbit town south of Gondor?

I have read that Gollum is from somewhere in the valley of Anduin. But I can't find a reliable source.

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The main source for the history of hobbits is the prologue to the Lord of the Rings. There are mentions elsewhere, including the Tale of Years, The Shadow of the Past and the Hunt for the Ring. The last of these is in the Unfinished Tales, and its canon status is questionable (never finished, several conflicting versions).

There are no records of hobbits entering Beleriand. However, the prologue notes that

Only the Elves still preserve any records of that vanished time, and their traditions are concerned almost entirely with their own history, in which Men appear seldom and Hobbits not at all.

My guess is that they didn't. The prologue makes it clear that hobbits are close relatives of men, and (like men) gradually migrated westwards. However, they seem to have moved west much later than the Edain; the first mention of hobbits in the Tale of Years is TA1050, almost 4,500 years after the destruction of Beleriand.

At various times, hobbits could be found living in Wilderland, the Vale of Anduin, the Angle (in eastern Eriador), Enedwaith (south of Cardolan), Dunland, Bree and (of course) the Shire. Most seem to have gradually migrated towards the Shire, but whether any settlements other than Bree and the Shire remained at the time of LotR is unclear. One version of the Hunt for the Ring states that the Nazgul went to the Vale of Anduin shortly before their mission to the Shire, and found the villages there to be long deserted. Another states that hobbits still lived there but that the Nazgul killed them. Notably, in 'At the Sign of the Prancing Pony' it is stated that

Nowhere else in the world was this peculiar (but excellent) arrangement to be found.

Here, the 'arrangement' refers to hobbits living alongside men, so if hobbits did still live elsewhere, they did so alone. Finally, the prologue states that

the regions in which the hobbits then lived were doubtless the same as those in which they still linger: the North-West of the Old World, east of the Sea.

I'd say that makes a hobbit village south of Gondor pretty unlikely, but I don't think we can be 100% sure.

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  • There's also that there are at least "folk-memories" of hobbits among men - people from Gondor and Rohan seem to recognize "halflings" when the hobbits turn up as part of the fellowship, which might imply that the hobbits formerly were encountered in those lands. – bob1 Mar 8 at 22:48
  • @bob1 Remember that the Rohirrim were originally from the northern Vale of Anduin and would have encountered Hibbits there. – Mark Olson Mar 9 at 1:28
  • @MarkOlson - good point, I had forgotten that tidbit. – bob1 Mar 9 at 3:59
  • Notably, Gollum was once a hobbit but not one from the Shire but the Vale of Anduin. He is very old though. – Amarth Mar 18 at 19:18

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