Did Hobbits have pointed ears?
From: The Tolkien FAQ by William D.B. Loos
Only slightly. Tolkien described Bilbo thusly for purposes of illustration in a letter to
Houghton Mifflin (c. 1938):
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 Annotated Hobbit cites this letter and includes a reasonable illustration based upon it.
(Note that Tolkien's use of the word "elvish" here refers to the Elfs of popular folklore, who
were often pictured with pointed ears. The Elves of Middle-earth (except for the Silvan Elves
in The Hobbit) were at the time of this letter known to only a few people.)
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 35 (#27)
- The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 35 (#27);
- Annotated Hobbit, 10 (Ch I, note 2).
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