Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Will Feature Hobbit Ancestors Called 'Harfoots'

Who doesn't love hobbits? They deeply value second breakfast (and elevenses and luncheon and afternoon tea, and all those other vital meals), prefer to spend their days chilling and smoking Pipe-weed, and have extra-hairy, leathery-soled feet that do away with the need for shoes and socks. Alas, we can't all be hobbits. Just as bad, hobbits simply cannot play a major role in Amazon's "Lord of the Rings" prequel series, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," seeing as their historical anonymity was the key to their success in acquiring and later destroying the Dark Lord Sauron's Ring of Power by chucking it into Mount Doom right under his nose (er, eye).

With the first trailer for "The Rings of Power" due to debut at Super Bowl LVI this Sunday (February 13, 2022, for those who could use a reminder, like me), Vanity Fair has gone ahead and unveiled a collection of first-look photos and details for the much-discussed — and very costly — fantasy show. Sadly, for those who were secretly hoping they would get a sneak peek at Bilbo Baggins or Samwise Gamgee's ancestors, there are no hobbits on display in these images. However, the outlet has confirmed that "The Rings of Power" will feature a race of, if you will, proto-hobbits known as "harfoots" as part of its sprawling cast of characters.

Think of Them As the Show's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

"The Rings of Power" takes place thousands of years before the events of the "Lord of the Rings' trilogy during the Second Age of Middle-earth. "One of the very specific things the texts [by J.R.R. Tolkien] say is that hobbits never did anything historic or noteworthy before the Third Age," as co-showrunner Patrick McKay noted to Vanity Fair, before adding, "But really, does it feel like Middle-earth if you don't have hobbits or something like hobbits in it?"

As such, McKay and his co-showrunner (not to mention, writing partner and friend since high school), John D. Payne, decided to include the harfoots in "The Rings of Power." And no, they don't reside in the Shire, but the harfoots do lead a similarly quiet, secret pastoral life away from the greater events that transpire over the course of the show. They're even compared to the eponymous "Hamlet" characters from "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" in the way they avoid the spotlight and stay on the margins of the series' main storylines.

Megan Richards ("Wanderlust") and Markella Kavenagh ("My First Summer") will play a pair of harfoots on "The Rings of Power," as part of a sub-plot where the duo cross paths with what Vanity Fair has described as "a mysterious lost man whose origin promises to be one of the show's most enticing enigmas." (Feel free to guess away at who that might be.) Honestly, I'm just happy to know the series won't drop one of my favorite motifs of Tolkien's Middle-earth stories: hobbits —okay, "harfoots" — kicking back and politely minding their own business, only to get swept up in the rest of Middle-earth's nonsense and having to save the day yet again.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" will debut on Amazon Prime Video on September 2, 2022.