- Feb 12 10:26 AMThe tweens and coming-of-age-at-33 tradition were Shire conventions.
Tolkien never said or implied that all Hobbit communities shared
them. He explained some of the differences between Gollum's people
(the Stoors of the Gladden Fields) and the Shire-folk in one of his
letters, especially concerning how families were governed and
birthdays were celebrated. Gollum's people did not observe the
custom of giving out presents to celebrate one's own birthday, but
rather of receiving them.
Gollum's folk are sort of the antithesis of the idealized Shire
culture, but they serve as an example of the variation Tolkien
conceived of within each race. Even the Dwarves and Ents experienced
variation in appearance and points of view.
Hobbits are really no different in that respect. I think the coming-
of-age at 33 issue is taken too seriously by many people. It should
not be identified with a biological point of maturity.
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