At the end of their adventures, both Frodo and Bilbo documented their travels by writing a book. That got us thinking: Which science-fiction or fantasy books would a hobbit recommend? Thanks to their distinct personalities, we found a book each hobbit—and a few Harfoots—would likely love. Whether you're a fan of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, or the various adaptations we've seen on screen, these nine SFF hobbit- and Harfoot-approved books can help you find your next sci-fi or fantasy book to rule them all.
Bilbo Baggins: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
If anyone understands Roland’s heavy burden, it’s Bilbo. While the hobbit may not be quite as jaded as the gunslinger, there is a price to facing evil—one that changes who you are. As Roland chases the down the Man in Black, he has nothing but his courage and his wits to help him overcome and outthink his many opponents. He has to make hard choices as he faces monstrous enemies. Like Bilbo, Roland's obsession drives him forward, but his inner demons follow too.
Frodo Baggins: Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Frodo and Darrow both would have carved happy lives, never leaving their homes, but that was never their destiny. To protect the ones they love, they have to embark on perilous journeys and withstand the unthinkable. Through clever resourcefulness and pure determination, the Red Rising series sees Darrow forges forward, outmaneuvering enemies bigger, more cunning, and far more versed in violence, relying on his Howlers for strength and guidance all the way to the end. But no matter how far Darrow goes, or how much he changes, like Frodo, he longs for home and grieves the pieces of himself he lost along the way.
Samwise Gamgee: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Rosemary Harper and Samwise Gamgee have no business going on quests. In Rosemary’s case, she doesn’t exactly understand the complexities of interstellar travel. But like Samwise, she’s curious, determined, and thanks to her protective nature, learns to embrace the family dynamic of the Wayfarer crew. Throughout it all, no matter how much danger they’re in, it’s the comradery of the crew, the way they love and fight for each other, especially when times are tough, that sets them apart. After all, you have to see the importance of cherishing the happy moments. As Samwise says, there’s good in this world—and it’s worth fighting for.
Peregrin Pippin Took: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Arthur Dent had no intention of setting out into the universe. But in the beloved The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Arthur tries to make the best of the situation. He encounters aliens and robots while travelling through space with little more than a guide and a towel. His clumsiness gets him into plenty of trouble, but his tenacity and determination help him adapt in tricky situations. Despite their carefree attitudes, Arthur and Pippin are both more than they seem. They have a bumbling but cheerful nature and seem to take nothing very serious. But when given the chance, they prove that they are loyal, brave, and willing to take a stand.
Meriadoc “Merry: Brandybuck: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Merry and Tristan, the hero of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, have several things in common. They’re both only children, are curious about life beyond their world, and are a bit of an outcast. Almost from the moment Tristan begins his journey, things get complicated. The fallen star he’s supposed to retrieve in exchange for a kiss is not a rock, but a young woman, and she has no interest in his plans. After some bumbling missteps, Tristan propels forward as his curiosity, thirst for knowledge, and sense of duty help him overcome myriad obstacles that rise in his way. In the end, like Merry’s fierce battle at Eowyn’s side, Tristan is able to find the truth of who he is and what he stands for, which enables him to protect the fallen star and claim his rightful place in his family.
Farmer Maggot: The Martian by Andy Weir
Farmer Maggot knows how important it is to protect your crops. That’s why he understands the stress astronaut Mark Watney is under in Andy Weir's The Martian, when Watney is stranded on Mars after his fellow crew believe he’s dead. But Watney has a few tricks up his sleeve. He knows how to make things grow and he’s inventive. No matter how many problems the planet throws his way, he continues to fight for survival. While chasing off mischievous hobbits and surviving on an alien planet are a bit different, the resourcefulness Watney displays to care for his crops is enough to make any farmer proud.
Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
The Neverending Story
If Nori, a Harfoot in Amazon's The Rings of Power, found the same magical book that Bastien did in The Neverending Story, she would absolutely enter the world of Fantastica like he did. He has to save the world by giving the Childlike Empress a new name. But the road to her tower is perilous, and along the way Bastian faces both incredible highs and heartbreaking lows. And once he begins, he may never make it back.
Nori and Bastien never meant to end up in the middle of their adventures, but their curiosity and yearning to escape from the mundanity of their lives puts them both in fantastical positions where to avoid more damage, they have no choice but to see their choices through.
Poppy Proudfellow: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
The House in the Cerulean Sea
Poppy Proudfellow knows loss. That’s why, no matter how much trouble her best friend Nori gets into, she’ll always be there to help her. That’s also why she relates so much to Linus Baker. He just wants to do his job, follow the rules, and be left alone. But when he’s assigned a highly classified case by Extremely Upper Management, his entire world gets upended. As he evaluates six magical children deemed so dangerous, they’re kept top secret, he learns to set aside his fears and his penchant for rules. Because as Poppy already knows, sometimes protecting the things you love is far more important than doing what you’re told.
Sadoc Burrows: Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Kings of the Wyld
Clay Cooper and Harfoot Sadoc Burrows are old and grumpy, and they both just want to be left in peace. Clay was once one of the best—mean, brutal, feared—but now he and his band of mercenaries have gotten old. When a former bandmate begs him to help rescue his daughter, Clay does the only thing he can: gets the band back together. When it comes to doing what’s right, Sadoc is not one to stand by and let young Harfoots do the dirty work. Beneath their equally cranky exteriors, Sadoc and Clay care deeply and are loyal protectors. They may not be young, but they use their wisdom and skill to not only lead, but face the impossible.
Featured photo: Andres Iga / Unsplash