Howard Shore – The Shire (Concerning Hobbits)

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

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An evening pause: I am not a big fan of the movie adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I find them heavy and over-wrought, focused too much on special effects and what I call “cool adolescent stuff”, none of which has anything to do with the very real and human story that Tolkien created about the battle between good and evil.

This short piece from the music score, however, evokes everything about hobbits that Tolkien intended. As he has Gandalf say, in describing hobbits, “Soft as butter they can be, but sometimes as tough as old tree roots.”

And since hobbits and the Shire are nothing more than Tolkien’s metaphor for England and the British culture he knew from before World War II, this song also evokes the quiet majesty and humbleness of that now lost world, “a nation of shop-keepers” who, like the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings, were in the end able to stand firm and beat back the evil of the Third Reich despite overwhelming odds.

Hat tip Rocco.



  • Phill O

    Have to agree with you on your assessment of the movies. The Lord of the Rings was reasonably accurate, but the Hobbit was terrible.

  • steve mackelprang

    or perhaps the northern tribes beating back the Roman Empire

  • Rocco

    Bob your comments were spot on.

  • Jim Davis

    “And since hobbits and the Shire are nothing more than Tolkien’s metaphor for England and the British culture he knew from before World War II…”

    I think you meant World War I here.

  • No, I meant World War II. The trilogy was written just before and during that war. The world Tolkien was describing was the world of Great Britain between the wars.

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