What Happens To Harfoots If They're Left Behind?

Warning: Spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 3

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has many wondering what happens to Harfoots who are left behind as they migrate for harvest. The concern comes principally for Nori and the other Brandyfoots, who find themselves at the back of the caravan during The Rings of Power episode "Adar". Although Nori Brandyfoot has the mysterious yet powerful Meteor Man accompanying her family, many Harfoots who are left behind are not so fortunate, as The Rings of Power's third episode implies.


The Harfoots are named as one of the ancestors of Hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbits of the Shire should be more familiar to The Rings of Power viewers, who might be forgiven for mistaking Harfoots for regular Hobbits. There are three Hobbit breeds: Harfoots, Fallohides (from which it is thought Frodo from The Lord of the Rings descended), and Stoors. Harfoots are known for their browner skin and for living in holes called smials, which are used in The Rings of Power to great camouflaging effect. With little recorded in J.R.R. Tolkien's works about the Harfoots until the Third Age, The Rings of Power, which is set in the Second Age, has plenty of creative licenses to tell the stories of the early Hobbit ancestors, with Nori Brandyfoot being the key Harfoot protagonist.

Related: What Happened To The Harfoots (Did They Become Hobbits?)

The Rings of Power paints a bleak picture for any Harfoot who the migrating pack might leave behind. When Largo Brandyfoot hurts his foot, making it difficult to carry the Brandyfoot wagon, the family's fear of being "left behind" seems like a more existential fear of the unknown and strangers of Tolkien's Middle-earth. However, in "Adar" a more terrifying picture is painted for the left-behind Harfoots. In this the company of Harfoots remembers those who were previously left behind, one of whom was killed by a wolf, saying "we'll wait for you." What is more, the Harfoot leadership, headed by Sadoc Burrows, is unwaveringly committed to the survival of the fittest mentality. Those Harfoots who are left behind will most likely be lost forever, and that's just the way it is.

Is This How Harfoots Became Hobbits?

Rings of Power Harfoots

Some optimists have wondered whether those Harfoots who are left behind in The Rings of Power might eventually be the people who discover the Shire and become Hobbits, but the truth really isn't that simple. Not only does Middle-earth seem to be a perilously dangerous place to be for any stranded Harfoot cut adrift from the pack, but Tolkien's histories of the Hobbits suggest that it was a migrating Harfoot group in the Third Age that ultimately founded the Hobbit communities that are seen in The Lord of the Rings. In fact, in The Lord of the Rings the Hobbit oral tradition says that the Harfoots migrated west in the Wandering Days, with their first recorded history being in the Third Age, 1050.

The Harfoots settled in and founded numerous villages, according to the Hobbit histories, eventually landing in Bree in the 1300s. At this point, they were also joined by the Fallohides and eventually colonized the Shire in the Third Age, 1601. So it appears likely that the main wandering pack of Harfoots are the ones to eventually become Hobbits, which spells probable doom for all those left behind. Although the Harfoots are initially portrayed in The Rings of Power as an idealized, even humorous society, the more insidious undertones of their community are unearthing. The Brandyfoots are offered no real help after Largo's injury and Nori's kind-hearted treatment of Meteor Man is all but met with punishment. In The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Middle-earth is a dark and dangerous place for any Harfoot left behind.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power releases new episodes on Thursdays/Fridays on Prime Video