Reading that Martin Freeman kept some souvenirs from filming the hobbit (his prosthetic ears and feet) had me thinking:

Was there any reference in the books that hobbits had pointy ears and over-sized feet?

I remember there being lines suggesting they had hairy feet, and thick soles to allow them to walk over stones. When reading the book I just assumed they had normal human feet like say Cody Lundin, someone who just walks barefoot a lot.

Are the over-sized feet created for the film so people don't think "why don't they just wear shoes?" And was there any suggestion that hobbits had ears different to humans?

  • 1
    should probably look at the artwork of Lee and Howe - that's where a good majority of the visual style for the films came from
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


Yes and no.

Tolkien drew a picture of Bilbo in his home (note the pointed ears and horned and hairy, but not oversized feet and toes);

enter image description here

And in his own words when asked for a pen-sketch of the typical hobbit;

I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of 'fairy' rabbit as some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach, shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf).

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 35 (#27)

As far as the feet are concerned, there are multiple descriptions of their hardness and hairiness but only one family is described as having feet that are large, the others are "neat and nimble"

“The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; their hands and feet were neat and nimble … the Stoors were broader, heavier in build; their feet and hands were larger … the Fallohides were fairer of skin and also of hair, and they were taller and slimmer than the others …”

The Fellowship of the Ring

  • 1
    Ha, that's funny, when I first heard Nicol Williamsons audio version of the Hobbitback in the 80s, I imagined a rabbit like creature. I guess that's what happens when you start out with "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit..." Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 16:55
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    And 'hobbit' sounds like 'rabbit' so one can see easily the assumption @MikeyMouse - very true! Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 17:31
  • Where is this picture from / where was it published?
    – unor
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 9:14
  • From "The Art of the Hobbit" by J.R.R Tolkien. The book features a wide range of original artworks by the author : amazon.com/The-Art-Hobbit-J-R-R-Tolkien/dp/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 9:50
  • When you go around barefoot all the time, there's less of a need to keep your toenails cut short.
    – Spencer
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 22:27

Their feet aren't necessarily oversized in the movies. All of the actors that played Hobbits are 5'7" and shorter. They might wear a size 8 or 9. The prosthetics may have upped them to a 12 or so, still in the realm of possibility.

  • This doesn't directly answer the question.
    – Blackwood
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 22:22
  • no, it addresses the assumption that the feet in the movie are oversized; they are not. Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 14:21

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