‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’: Everything You Need to Know About the Harfoots

TL;DR: 

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will feature Harfoots.
  • Harfoots are the ancestors of the Hobbits featured in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • It’s unclear how big of a role the Harfoots will play in the Prime Video prequel.
Sir Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows, one of the Harfoots in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.' He's wearing a brown cloak and surrounded by trees.
Sir Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows | Courtesy of Prime Video

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is approaching its big debut, and on the heels of its new trailers and presence at San Diego Comic-Con, fans are learning more and more about the prequel. The Prime Video show will feature a number of characters and events familiar to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. That includes Harfoots, who may remind viewers of the Hobbits we know and love from the original Lord of the Rings trilogy.

‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ will feature Harfoots

Prime Video’s trailers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have highlighted what fans can expect from the upcoming series — and it looks like Harfoots will play a role in the show.

The Rings of Power is set during Middle-earth’s Second Age, so fans won’t see Hobbits like Frodo and Bilbo Baggins running around. However, the inclusion of Harfoots suggests we’ll get a look at their ancestors. And while they aren’t quite the same as Hobbits, their story could prove an informative lead-in to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

As Entertainment Weekly points out, the Harfoots are one of three groups who preceded the Hobbits of the Shire. The other two include the Stoors and Fallohides.

But who exactly are the Harfoots in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings, and how will they factor into The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

Who are the Harfoots in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings?

J.R.R. Tolkien never wrote a full-blown book about the Second Age or the Hobbits’ ancestors. However, he explored their history in his written works, often through notes and appendices. The Harfoots are probably the most relevant to the Hobbits fans recognize from The Lord of the Rings. In fact, according to Fandom.com, they’re the ones who eventually made a home out of the Shire.

The Harfoots started out beneath the Misty Mountains, and they lived in several places throughout Middle-earth before settling down in the Shire. Fandom.com suggests they were the most common Hobbit ancestor to come across, and they had good relations with the Dwarves.

That could be how The Rings of Power will introduce the group, as the Dwarves are set to play a big role in the Prime Video series. Given that the Harfoots aren’t featured as prominently in the Second Age, it’s less clear how they’ll factor into the prequel.

It’s unclear how big a role the Harfoots will play in ‘The Rings of Power’

Clearly, there’s plenty of history where the Harfoots are concerned, but there’s no word on how big a role they’ll play in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

As EW points out in its feature for the series, the Harfoots don’t play a prominent part in Middle-earth’s Second Age. Tolkien’s writings about the time period focus primarily on events involving Elves, Dwarves, and men. However, the prequel appears to include Harfoots and other types of halflings anyway.

Sadoc Burrows (Sir Lenny Henry), Elanor Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh), Marigold Brandyfoot (Sana Zwangobani), and Largo Brandyfoot (Dylan Smith) all look to be Harfoot characters in The Rings of Power.

It’s possible the writers will give them a new storyline, diverging from Tolkiens’ work to offer a more thorough history of the Hobbits’ ancestors. However, they may also stick to the sidelines while the wars between the other races rage. Those battles will no doubt affect the Harfoots, even if they aren’t in the middle of them.

We’ll have to see what path the Prime Video series takes the Harfoots down. Fortunately, it will be here sooner rather than later.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power debuts on Prime Video on Sept. 2, 2022.

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