Look, sometimes you wake up in the morning and think, “What can I do today that would make J.R.R. Tolkien proud of me?” And your brain, rested and wise, supplies the only true answer:
You will rank hobbits by hotness because nothing on Earth (or Middle-earth) can stop you.
Disclaimer: This is a ranking of hobbits by hotness, not the humans who play them. They are being ranked on their hobbit forms. Take no offense, dear reader. We will also not be ranking any harfoots from Amazon’s upcoming Rings of Power series because we don’t know any of them well enough for that, alas. Maybe next year. Or not, seeing as they’re harfoots, not hobbits.
Note: Peregrin Took is not on this list because during the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he does not reach the hobbit coming-of-age of 33 years old (he does in the appendices, but that’s not where the bulk of his story can be found). He’s only 28 when the story starts, which puts him at roughly 16 or 17 years old in human terms. Ranking the hotness of a hobbit teenager (no matter the true age of the actor playing him) is not cool. Unless the person doing the ranking is also a teenager! Which I am not.
11. Odo Proudfoot
Look, while we must appreciate his declaration of “ProudFEET” at Bilbo’s birthday party, Mr. Proudfoot is clearly a hobbit with no love in his heart. His angry glare as he sweeps this stoop while Gandalf ambles past in his cart proves that he is a very bitter fellow indeed. He’s so bitter that he hides his own happiness! When Gandalf sets off some fireworks for hobbit children, old Proudfoot forgets that he should not laugh… and then promptly reverts to glaring when this is brought to his attention.
The overall effect here drops him pretty far down the list, since there’s not very much hobbit left in Gollum by the end. But he did help get that pesky ring into a very big fire, so he’s not bottom of the list. Helping to save the world bumps you up a place.
Deagol technically started most of the world’s Ring Problems when he scooped the One Ring off the bottom of a river bed, and while it’s true that the ring was trying to get found, it still bumps him down the list. Also, he wasn’t very good at sharing, which led to his unfortunate demise.
8. Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
Bilbo’s cousin is a genuinely nasty person. We know this because Bilbo takes every opportunity to let us know. (Is Bilbo an unreliable narrator? Well yes, but a cousin who takes every possible opportunity to loot your house for the purpose of looking richer isn’t a very nice cousin.) She’s not all the way down at the bottom because she didn’t bring about the end of the world, and also, she has spectacular taste in hats.
7. Gaffer Gamgee
Not necessarily a smokin’ babe, but we have no idea what the old Gaffer looked like back in his heyday. He’s a pretty okay dad, even if he does get a little bit caught up in the gossip of pub buddies. He does his hobbit job well. He’s just pretty okay all around. And he’s an inspiration to his kid.
6. Bilbo Baggins
Poor Bilbo could be higher on this list. He’s an adventurous spirit despite all intents not to be, and he’s always got a full pantry stocked. He writes stories (mostly about himself, but they say “write what you know” and it’s not his fault that he’s learned quite a lot in his travels). But he also stole a ring from some poor creature in a cave and then lied when questioned about it. Then he tried to take said ring back from his nephew, and the act made him decidedly unattractive. For about two whole seconds. Guess in this case, the ugliness on the inside really does show on the outside. Yikes.
5. Farmer Maggot
Farmer Maggot is fine. He’s got a proper hobbit job, he’s never short on mushrooms, and he’s got a very cute dog. Sure, he betrays the location of the Baggins family to a terrifying dark stranger on a horse, and he chases thieves away from his farm with a scythe, but those are reasonable actions in certain lights. And there’s still the dog to consider.
4. Meriadoc Brandybuck
Some people will cry foul that Merry isn’t in a top three spot, and they might have a point. But in the end, Merry is the perhaps the least “hobbit-y” of the Fellowship crew. He’s constantly looking after cousin Pippin to his own detriment. He shouts at Ents when they seem less than keen to help with the war effort. He insists on fighting in the battle he’s entirely too small for, which leads to him having a hand in Eowyn’s vanquishing of the Witch-King of Angmar. He’s just very insistent on being a rebel, and that’s a totally hot thing for a human to be, but probably less so for a hobbit? He’s still a handsome fellow, though.
3. Frodo Baggins
If we were ranking hobbits by the likelihood of drowning in the depths of their haunted eyes, Frodo Baggins would definitely take first place. If we were ranking hobbits by their ability to be elven and otherworldly with a melodic cadence to their voice, he would also take first place. But we’re ranking the hotness of hobbits as hobbits, and Frodo Baggins falls just a little outside of that brief. He saves the world (for the most part), which bumps him way up the list, and those eyes are gonna get you whether you mean for them to sway your rankings or not. So he comes in third with the acknowledgement that he’s far too pretty for a mere list to contain.
2. Samwise Gamgee
Sweet sunshine perfect soft boy who never did anything wrong ever including dropping eave on wizards. Excellent farmer, wonderful cook, lovely father, protects you with frying pans, cries when you’re sad because he feels your sadness, would literally die for you without hesitation and never regret doing so because he believes you are worth it. A++ please swipe right and give him all of your poh-TAY-toes for boiling, mashing, or otherwise sticking in a stew.
Which brings us to the #1 spot, who could only be…
1. Rosie Cotton
If you hadn’t guessed that Rosie Cotton took the top spot on this list, then shame on you. She is perfect. Her smile is like a blooming flower, and her curls are well-moisturized. She’s an excellent dancer. She’s neither a gossip, nor a ring thief, and she doesn’t make terrible split-second decisions all the time, like some other hobbits we could mention. Plus, she’s always ready to hand you a tankard of ale. Samwise Gamgee would die for you, but we would all die for Rosie Cotton, and should not pretend otherwise.
And that’s the list! It is accurate and brooks no argument. It is eternal. It is written on a door somewhere in Sindarin. Sorry, I’m just delivering the news.
This month, we’re celebrating the legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien with a look back at some of our favorite articles and essays about Middle-earth. A version of this article was originally published in September 2018.