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Mannix
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« on: 06 September 2008, 22:11:19 »

This is a thread for the discussion of the hobbit 'religion' and all that this entails. This is the discussion so far, taken from here:

- It was suggested that the hobbits deities not actually be deities, but rather 'saints' or 'guardians'. These could be living hobbits later deified. These would be a little 'more human' and a little 'less divine'. They could be semi-divine, holy, or revered individuals who might even have lived at one time.

- There is a possibility that these 'saints' intervene where demons are involved.

- There was then a suggestion that the hobbits also have mischievous spirits, similar to their 'good' ones. These rebels or tricksters could have become semi divine for the same reasons as the 'saints'.

- The following is quote from Judy concerning nomenclature of these guys.
Quote
Nomenclature ideas:

Senes (pronounced 'seenz' and suggesting 'senior ones')
Laire and Lairi (male and female versions, used as titles)
Gaef and Daem (ditto - archaic versions of "Gaffer" and "Dame")
Sanks (just as it sounds - a hobbitized version of the Tharian 'sanctified')

Those would be titles, but you could also do something completely different.  Hobbit clans/families are pretty important to them (Proudfoots, Underhills, etc.) so you could create a 'mythological' clan name that is given to all the hobbit 'saints', no matter their origins!

Thus:  "Dalireen Blessedvale", "Liran Blessedvale", "Duffin Blessedvale", "Odelve Blessedvale" (in charge of gardens and gardening, of course!) and so on.  They might then even be known as 'The Vales" for short...

Wait wait!  I just realized that Tolkien's demi-gods - from the Silmarilion for those of you who've read it - are known as the Valar!   There are some schools of thought which hold Tom Bombadil to be a Valar, for example.    So just how perfect would THAT be?

Can you not just hear a hobbit farmer in the tavern:  "By the Vales, Hubert, if this year's carroot crop does'na get topwilt like the last one, I'm set to marry  my Serribell lass... Hey!  Where'd my pint go?"

- It was then suggested that having them as 'small deities' isn't enough. I t was suggested that the hobbits not believe in the Twelve Gods.

- Then, it was suggested alternatively that the hobbits have a different view on the Twelve, but still believe in them. They would think they exist, but more often than not wouldn't think about the much. For example, they would use these gods in sayings or expressions. This idea isn't to take the place of the prior one, but instead they should be discussed.

All of the ideas above are not to be dismiss over a later idea. They should all be discussed to discern which would work for both the hobbits and Santharia. If anything above doesn't make sense, check this thread, or post here. Feel free to discuss any thoughts.
« Last Edit: 07 September 2008, 16:10:10 by Mannix » Logged

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Development Schedule ~ The Hobbit Deity Liran ~ Hobbit Beliefs Discussion
Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #1 on: 06 September 2008, 22:47:15 »

Well, to me the idea of "semi-divines", based on real people who have passed into myth and legend, works perfectly for the hobbits.  Think about how Frodo and Bilbo must have seemed to the hobbits who came after them.  If you look at Sam's deep sense of devotion to Frodo, for instance.  Sam idolized him, and when Frodo "went on", Sam passed on the stories to his children.  That kind of intense loyalty (a hobbit characteristic) makes it quite easy for them to develop a "larger-than-life" hero worship tradition.  So, they may not make a lot of fuss about distant gods, but reserve their devotion for their cultural "heroes",  probably poets, cooks, or even farmers (as opposed to great warriors, kings and queens, and other "powerful" people the way humans might.)

Just my two sans,


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« Reply #2 on: 07 September 2008, 03:53:45 »

I like the idea of Hero-veneration!
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« Reply #3 on: 07 September 2008, 04:06:31 »

That's hobbit heroes Deci. Heroes of pies and flowers, that sort of thing. buck
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« Reply #4 on: 07 September 2008, 06:39:25 »

I would expect such heroes of that nature for Hobbits at any rate Mannix.....
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« Reply #5 on: 07 September 2008, 06:43:15 »

Did someone mention pies?
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« Reply #6 on: 07 September 2008, 16:41:49 »

*Hides pie behind back* Pie, nobody said anything about any pie.
To get this discussion going I guess I’ll state my opinions on the above topics and post anything I don’t fully understand.

Quote
It was suggested that the hobbits deities not actually be deities, but rather 'saints' or 'guardians'. These could be living hobbits later deified. These would be a little 'more human' and a little 'less divine'. They could be semi-divine, holy, or revered individuals who might even have lived at one time.
I understand where Judy was coming from when she suggested this. Calling them deities infers that they are as ‘powerful’ or important as the Twelve. ‘Guardians’ is a word I really like for these guys. For example, Dalireen is said to be the guardian of children, guiding them when they are lost. I can really see Hobbits thinking of guardians for themselves. Again, the once living idea also works, as it is stated so in Dalireen, and I was planning the same for ex-Liran. I’d say this would prevent them from having ‘super-powers’, like moving the sun, but rather intervene with a soft tune to guide a child, for example.

Quote
There is a possibility that these 'saints' intervene where demons are involved.
This is my main concern. Demons just aren’t something I think is very hobbitish. As stated in the Dalireen entry, some surrounding humans believe in these ‘deities’ so maybe they could believe that they intervene with demons. I seem to remember someone suggesting that only the human children believe in them, and they are seen as a fairytale to that race. Personally, I love that idea.

Quote
There was then a suggestion that the hobbits also have mischievous spirits, similar to their 'good' ones. These rebels or tricksters could have become semi divine for the same reasons as the 'saints'.
I much prefer this to the demons idea. I think hobbits themselves would have a mischievous side, so it is only right that they have a mischievous spirit. I think it would make a great story, of a trickster hobbit that became semi-divine.

Quote
Nomenclature ideas:

Senes (pronounced 'seenz' and suggesting 'senior ones')
Laire and Lairi (male and female versions, used as titles)
Gaef and Daem (ditto - archaic versions of "Gaffer" and "Dame")
Sanks (just as it sounds - a hobbitized version of the Tharian 'sanctified')

Those would be titles, but you could also do something completely different.  Hobbit clans/families are pretty important to them (Proudfoots, Underhills, etc.) so you could create a 'mythological' clan name that is given to all the hobbit 'saints', no matter their origins!

Thus:  "Dalireen Blessedvale", "Liran Blessedvale", "Duffin Blessedvale", "Odelve Blessedvale" (in charge of gardens and gardening, of course!) and so on.  They might then even be known as 'The Vales" for short...

Wait wait!  I just realized that Tolkien's demi-gods - from the Silmarilion for those of you who've read it - are known as the Valar!   There are some schools of thought which hold Tom Bombadil to be a Valar, for example.    So just how perfect would THAT be?

Can you not just hear a hobbit farmer in the tavern:  "By the Vales, Hubert, if this year's carroot crop does'na get topwilt like the last one, I'm set to marry  my Serribell lass... Hey!  Where'd my pint go?"
This is probably my favourite idea. There isn’t much I can say about it. It even includes a guardian of gardening, which I was think of as well. It’s lovely Judy. :)

Quote
It was then suggested that having them as 'small deities' isn't enough. I t was suggested that the hobbits not believe in the Twelve Gods.
Now I can see what Arti meant when he suggested they not believe in the Twelve. The hobbits are said to not interfere with the ‘big folk’ so why should they have the same, or similar, gods. This is the entry for the hobbits, but I think this should be interpreted differently. For example, in the entry for Elving, at least that is where I think it is, it states that the elves are good friends with their hobbit neighbours. I believe that hobbits won’t really try to interact with ‘big folk’ but they still will. They are a friendly race that loves to talk. They would trade quite a lot with humans. When it says that they don’t meddle in the affairs of ‘big folk’ I believe this refers to fighting and the such.
Additionally, the hobbits are believed to have been much more numerous in number. However, over time there numbers have lessened and they have integrated into others society, especially human.

Quote
Then, it was suggested alternatively that the hobbits have a different view on the Twelve, but still believe in them. They would think they exist, but more often than not wouldn't think about the much. For example, they would use these gods in sayings or expressions. This idea isn't to take the place of the prior one, but instead they should be discussed
I do prefer this idea to the prior. It also gives a mean by which these ‘guardians’ can become semi-divine. Perhaps they shouldn’t even be in common sayings. Maybe they could just pop up in a few fairytales and the like. They could be in the tale, and the hobbits don’t see the reason to replace them. I’d say that hobbits could think they exist, but not worship them, not even ‘worship’ them like they do their own ‘deities’.

*Turns around and quickly eats the pie before anyone can stop him* Whos turn next? :)

Mannix
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« Reply #7 on: 08 September 2008, 00:18:25 »

Nice summation of the various concepts and discussions!


I agree that hobbits themselves wouldn't have much truck with demons.  They are just too dark and bleak and, let's face it, evil, to have a place in a hobbit's universe.  Mischief, pranks, and trickery, on the other hand....     

How about "Gygella Riddlevale", a female trickster Vale?  (or Vala for the females, if you like...) and her twin brother, Guffawn Riddlevale?     

And if you want to steal Odelve Blessedvale / Barkvale, feel free.   I have more names if you want 'em!

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« Reply #8 on: 08 September 2008, 11:32:28 »

At this point, I'd say that you just have to carefully consider the options here, Mannix, and decide a direction. Judy has an excellent concept and I think by merging her ideas with yours, you can come up with a solid foundation.

Personally, having a solid concept for a religion or belief system makes developing the tribe itself a whole lot easier! Essentially, when you develop the tribe, you have a nice set of beliefs that guide their behavior, dress, diet, housing and some occupations. Religion really is essential to tribe development. I had the idea of a Beastlord religion with the Kaaer from the very start and that helped me mold the tribe into what they are today. Without that, I would have had a bunch of inconsistencies. Once you have the religion in place, the tribe entry writes itself. Almost.  :P

Anyway...between myself and Judy, we'll help you along!  thumbup
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« Reply #9 on: 08 September 2008, 17:13:58 »

Thanks for your support you guys. It is good to get this straightened out. Love the names by the way, Judy. I'd like to start as well, but I still think we need to think about this belief in the Twelve. What are your opinions? I know Art said they shouldn't, and by the way, feel free to discuss this more Arti, your knowledge is appreciated. This is probably the one point that needs clarification.

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« Reply #10 on: 08 September 2008, 17:41:43 »

My two sans worth?   Ok, make it three, but here they are.

Ignore the Twelve to start off with.   Imagine you ARE a hobbit.   Involve yourself in growing food and eating it, crafting little clockwork toys and amusements for others, planning tea parties and nuncheons, brewing ale and cultivating your pipeweed, then sitting back and scribbling in your diary or journal at the end of a full day, toasting your furry toes by your own warm hearth.    What thankfulness might arise in your heart?  What petitions?  What would you be grateful for, and what might you request?   What would awe you enough about the generosity of Nature or the company of your fellows to praise a creative deity for?    Given that many gods are made in the image of their worshippers, ;)  a hobbit's focus of 'worship' and thankfulness will probably be rather hobbity (as we all seem to agree on so far)....

Now, which aspects would be represented by a divine or semidivine avatar?   Dance and singing obviously go together and have already been 'exemplified' by Dalireen.    Gardening and growing things are a must for Hobbits, and food  (both preparing and eating - possibly even digestion, though not elimination!)   

 But they are peaceful (though brave when needs must) so would have little regard for a war or conflict god, and do not think much about death and dying.  Nor does hunting appear to be a big priority (hobbits seem much fonder of the cultivated, agricultural life, where to say 'pig' brings an image of sausages sizzling, or breakfast bacon, rather than a snorting, pricklebacked tusker standing to bay at the edge of the snowy forest...  )

 Love, marriage, and procreation probably all go together in the homely, homey, hobbit heads - some full-busted, widehipped, sonsy hobbit matron with riotously curly hair and cheeks like Dogodan apples might be their ideal (hmmm:   Lofmoch Trothvale?  Jessa Waxethvale?  Fernseed Fertilevale? :D ) incarnation...     

OK!  Obviously, some of these 'areas of responsibility' will overlap with human ones, and with the Santharian Twelve.   When humans and hobbits began to come into contact and fraternize more lengthily, doubtless there was some 'bleed' and 'blurring' of concepts back and forth, so that eventually 'Lofmoch' and Jeyriall began to resemble one another more and more.  Possibly a 'new' Vale was added as hobbits began to think about the fun involved in having a Craftsman (a sort of humble,  home-i-fied Urtengor) Vale at whom they could swear when they banged their thumbs with hammers or dropped little clockwork pieces just at the wrong time - or use as another excuse for a party when they had finished their latest project?   Perhaps names got confused or changed over the years, so He begame known as Barrel Deftenvale, in a nod to the Dwarven 'Trum-Barol'/ Human 'Urtengor'.....     Hobbits, though, claim that 'Deften' refers to their Craftslord's ten deft fingers!  And so on....

Thus, we see, the hobbit beliefs evolve from their lifestyle (and viceversa), influenced by their contact with other races and religions, but not based upon such.   

What do you think? 
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« Reply #11 on: 08 September 2008, 18:11:53 »

So basically hobbit versions of the twelve, minus quite a few. That sounds pretty good. I like this idea. Lets see if the others do. Just to questions if this idea were to happen. How would these 'saints' become semi-divine, now that there aren't pre-existing gods? Second, what gods should be involve? Urtegor I see, and I guess Jeyriall would be similar this Odelve Blessedvale as well as Lofmoch. Just as Urtegor would also be similar to ex-Liran. Hmm, I really need to choose that new name for him...

Mannix
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« Reply #12 on: 08 September 2008, 18:21:06 »

That is actually a very good template for inventing religions for different tribes. I would not want the post to be lost in forum depths so perhaps we could affix it to the end of some sticky in the cosmology forum, perhaps as a source of inspiration?
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« Reply #13 on: 08 September 2008, 19:24:43 »

Hrm...I could have sworn I said something similar to this already... :D I am glad we're in agreement, then!  thumbup

@ Coren - I agree. I'll take the job of poking Arti about it as I happen to be the Cosmo board lackey in absence of Talia.  ;)
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« Reply #14 on: 08 September 2008, 20:02:37 »

Oh, Az, I thought you meant have the Twelve look the same,. but with different personalities and what not. If you meant the same as Judy, as in making the hobbit, sorry for the misunderstanding. But it's good we're all in agreement now.

Mannix
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