The difference between Harfoots and Hobbits is finally made clear during The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con. The difference between live-action Harfoots and Hobbits is finally explained at The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power’s SDCC panel. Based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy book series of the same name, Prime Video’s upcoming The Rings of Power series is set to return viewers to Middle-earth. Unlike Peter Jackson’s beloved trilogy, however, The Rings of Power takes place during the Second Age, thousands of years before Frodo and Sam set off on their journey to Mordor.
The Rings of Power also makes a crucial addition in terms of the races of Middle-earth. While many Lord of the Rings fans will be familiar with Hobbits, Elves, and Dwarves, The Rings of Power also features a number of Harfoot characters. Trailers for The Rings of Power have teased some of what’s to come from the Hobbit-adjacent characters, including Lenny Henry’s Sadoc Burrows and Sara Zwangobani’s Marigold Brandyfoot, and have made clear that Harfoots are different from the likes of Frodo, Sam, and the other Hobbit characters seen in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies.
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A Crucial Hobbit Mistake Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show, The Rings of Power, is avoiding a crucial mistake The Hobbit made in the design of its Middle-Earth creatures. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has showcased the first look at the orcs of the series, proving that the show is avoiding a crucial mistake from The Hobbit trilogy. The series is premiering in September 2022 on Amazon Prime and is set during the Second Age of Middle-Earth. With the release of the show getting ever closer, the first look at the evil creatures has been released to positive reception.
Thankfully, Amazon has taken the series in a direction that has avoided one of the mistakes of The Hobbit trilogy. The Hobbit films were released between 2012 and 2014 as a prequel series to The Lord of the Rings. The Rings of Power is again a prequel to both trilogies and will feature a lot of familiar creatures and locations from both series’. The main mistake that the orcs of The Rings of Power seem to have avoided is in their practicality. The Lord of the Rings trilogy featured a great many orcs, most of which were made using prosthetic makeup as opposed to CGI. However, when The Hobbit was released, many were disappointed at the main villains of the film Azog the Defiler and Bolg, two orcs, being completely CGI creations. With The Rings of Power though, this issue seems to have been rectified. In opting for practical orcs through prosthetics, the creatures will feel similar to The Lord of the Rings’ orcs, feeling much more tangible within the world and increasing the immersion of the audience. The central upside of this is that prosthetics simply look better than CGI orcs. Given the ever-improving skills of prosthetic workers since the 2000s and The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power’s orcs look amazing, whereas CGI often inevitably comes across as dated.
The issue with a lot of The Hobbit’s creatures was how they impacted the film series’ narrative and emotional stakes. In being complete CGI creations, despite always looking great, often the stakes of the film were lowered due to their obvious intangibility with other actors. The nature of the CGI orcs, especially in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, made them feel weightless. As they weren’t tangible people in prosthetic suits like a lot of The Lord of the Rings, the orcs seemed to float around the screen, making the action feel cheap and ineffectual.
Harfoots and Hobbits were made clear. In contrast to Hobbits, Harfoots are more migratory and nomadic, and they prefer to hide away from many of the darker elements of Middle-earth. That isn’t to say that the Harfoots don’t share similarities with Hobbits, however, with the group embracing their love of song, dance, and light-hearted humor. In the Lord of the Rings books, Tolkien describes the Harfoots as one of the three breeds of Hobbits, meaning the group isn’t an entirely new race that’s being introduced, but just a subset of an existing one. Despite still seemingly being under the Hobbit umbrella, the Harfoots in The Rings of Power do appear to be quite different than the Hobbits audiences have seen on-screen before, especially in terms of their nomadic lifestyle. Thankfully, however, the Harfoots’ love of song and dance is sure to make them feel familiar to fans of Jackson’s trilogy.