Frodo Baggins is a hobbit. His companions, Samwise, Meriadoc, and Peregrin, belong to this race as well.

Poor Frodo's description is completely unromantic: "A stout little fellow with red cheeks" (10.34). He may also be "taller than some and fairer than most [with a] cleft in his chin: [a] perky chap with a bright eye" (10.34); but Frodo is still a Hobbit, and that means he's short, plump, and a bit plain.

Frodo is an extraordinary Hobbit, that's for sure. We don't see any of the Boffins, Bolgers, or Proudfoots volunteering to carry Sauron's One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. At the same time, he's not as obviously heroic as many of the other people in the Fellowship, say, Aragorn or Legolas. So why pick a Hobbit hero as the center of the Lord of the Rings trilogies?

Hobbits, also known as Halflings, were an ancient mortal race. Although their exact origins are unknown, they were initially found in much of the north of Middle Earth. At the start of the Third Age, Hobbits moved north and west. Most of their race eventually founded the land of the Shire in the Third Age.

Most Hobbits lived longer than Men, a race to which they were clearly related. The average lifespan of a Hobbit was about 100 years, though it wasn't unheard-of to live a many as three decades beyond that. The time at which a young Hobbit matured and was accepted as an adult was 33, compared to a Man's 18 years. Thus, a 50-year-old Hobbit would only be middle-aged.

The most distinguishing feature of Hobbits was their short stature. They were smaller than Dwarves and were usually between two and four feet in height. With the gradual passing of time, Hobbits became even shorter. By the Third Age, they were usually less than three feet tall.

Hobbits' ears were slightly pointed and their furry feet had leathery soles, resulting in most members of their race never wearing shoes.

Hobbits were skilled listeners and had good eyesight. Although they were inclined to be fat and did not hurry unnecessarily, they were also nimble and deft in their movements.

The Hobbits who lived in the Shire dressed in bright colors and were fond of yellow and green. Their hair was usually bright golden brown and almost always curly.