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.
In addition to a host of new characters (and some younger versions of returning characters), 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.
As part of the show’s panel at SDCC, for which Screen Rant was in attendance, a number of the distinctions between 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.
While much of the action and fighting in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies was carried out by Men, Dwarves, and Elves, Hobbits always represented the pure heart of the story. It remains to be seen whether this remains true for The Rings of Power, but it will be interesting to see a variation of the Hobbit race come to life on the screen for the first time. Thankfully, audiences don’t have much longer to wait to see Harfoots in action for themselves, with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power set to release on Prime Video in early September.