LotRO: Dream BIG
(This post is an “I WANT” post that I’m going to fill with my opinions on why I should get what I want. I’m dreaming big and want this dream to become a reality. Fast!)
I want a Hobbit Captain. Plain and simple and I want it with every pore of my being!
A Captain, in our world of Middle Earth, is a leader of Men. That seems to be a prevailing thought in the argument against allowing Hobbits to be Captains. I ask, however, is that what Tolkien said?
“Do I not say truly, Gandalf,’ said Aragorn at last, ‘that you could go whithersoever you wished quicker than I? And this I also say: you are our captain and our banner. The Dark Lord has Nine. But we have One, mightier than they: the White Rider. He has passed through the fire and the abyss, and they shall fear him. We will go where he leads.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
We see in the above quote that Aragorn referred to Gandalf as their captain. He wasn’t of Man race as he was, I believe, of Istari (by this point?). Another rather common assertion against Hobbits as Captains brings up how a leader must endure much personal growth before earning the respect a Captain would be given. (paraphrasing) That certainly fits well with Gandalf at the time of this quote. It also fits well with two more Captain-ish roles taken from Tolkien himself, those of Merry and Pippin. They were captured by the Orcs, escaped captivity and lead an army of Ents to battle against Saruman himself. If their growth and actions didn’t earn them the respect befitting a Captain, I don’t know what could.
I believe Tolkien laid the ground work for Hobbits to be heros as well as leaders. Bandobras “Bullroarer” Took himself led the charge in the Battle of the Greenfields and slayed the Goblin King, Golfimbul. Later we see Merry again as a Captain using the Horn of Rohan to help Pippin, Frodo and Sam rally the Hobbits of The Shire to battle the Ruffians sent by “Sharkey” in the Battle of Bywater. Say what you will about Captains having to be of Man race, I just don’t agree that Tolkien was that exclusive with his definition.
Another common thread of thought against Hobbits as Captains is that Hobbits do not leave The Shire. They’re simple folk, farmers and cooks, lovers of pie and nappers extraordinaire. I’d completely agree with that if it weren’t for the Tooks of which our beloved Bilbo hails from, you know, the Hobbits who lived across the Water, being known for their love of adventure. That may not explicitly say that the Tooks left The Shire in search of adventure, but it certainly lends well to the idea. Again, Tolkien himself told of Hobbits leaving The Shire and doing very ‘unhobbit-like’ things.
I’ll admit to ‘cherry-picking’ my way through Tolkien’s canvas of Middle Earth to create, or, as I prefer to say, prove, my point that Hobbits as Captains could well indeed fit into the lore, but is this any different from what Turbine did in creating Forochel from a lore-hook? They expanded on brief mentions of Forochel and gave us a vast landmass full of people, struggle and Epic story. Speaking of Turbine and ‘the lore’, I have more points to ponder in my quest for a Hobbit Captain.
If we go back to the assertion that Hobbits are simple folk, farmers and fishermen and cooks with a love of pie, roasted boar and a good stock of pipe-weed we have to look in game and see how that holds up. How about the crafting system? If a Hobbit doesn’t leave The Shire how did they amass the knowledge to create such extensive and ornate weapons as a Captain’s Halberd of the Third Age? Or a Guardian’s Great Axe of the First Age? Aren’t these weapons beyond their simple knowledge (and how on earth do they even pick up and carry that Guardian’s Axe?) A club I can see but weapons that can be imbued with glowing special effects that can determine a monster type AND apply a specific damage type? Certainly that’s a bit much to expect of a simple hobbit blacksmith! The same can be asked of a hobbit tailor. How can they know what exquisite Elven armour should look like if they don’t venture past the bounds of The Shire?
A hobbit in game is not limited to living in The Shire and can elect to purchase a home in Bree, Thorin’s Gate or the Elven Falathlorn. They can also run just as fast as any man, elf or dwarf for as long as you’d like them to run. If you want a few more examples of a broad stroke, (I am aware that I’m using that loosely):
- Rune Keepers
- Mithril coins
- Swift travel
- Chicken play
- Horses in envelopes
- Hobby horses (the fiasco that was, then wasn’t)
- Apparel dummies
- Sara Freaking Oakheart
There are absolutely times when Turbine doesn’t stick to strict lore and I think that’s a great thing as I can’t imagine never having played as a chicken! ‘Least, I wouldn’t want to. I think the numerous arguments of ‘breaks the lore’ just don’t apply to Hobbit Captains if, for no other reason, you look at Rune Keepers. Turbine has shown time and again that they do have a bit of leeway to work with when developing content.
So, I implore you Turbine, PLEASE! Unlock the race class restrictions and give us Hobbit Captains!