An important theme of this website is the idea that Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is more than just a famous and entertaining story. On the contrary, Tolkien’s writings appeal to European and American audiences in a way that is far deeper than that of other books and films that some might label as similar.
This significance is not accidental, nor merely a by-product of the trilogy’s great popularity. On the contrary it stems from Tolkien’s purposeful inclusion of many of the oldest tales and legends from Northern Europe. As one of the foremost philologists in the world, and as a devotee and chronicler of Viking Sagas and early fairie stories, Tolkien’s creation was, from the beginning, a reflection of our shared memories and cultural beginnings, as well as our overlapping languages that stretch back thousands of years through European pre-history.
As the subtitle of the “Tolkienism” subsection on this site states, “Tolkienism”, as used here, is about trying to live a life of sacrality in the profane world we have been born into. Tolkien foresaw the tragic effects mass industrialization and globalization would have upon society, and upon his beloved Britain. We today are smack dab in the middle of this period of mass industrialization and corporatist-capitalism, and their concomitant ingredients of mass immigration, deracination, and de-culturization.
It is therefore worthwhile to spotlight those examples of men and women attempting fight back against our artificial and mass-produced modern lives. The homes in this article are each examples of such actions. For what could be a more evocative rejection of modern society, as well as an example of Tolkienism, than to live in a modern day Hobbit Hole? Instead of a massive home in suburbia, identical to all the homes around it, a short drive away from the nearest mall- apart from the natural world our ancestors inhabited, these homes are organic, visceral reflections of the power of living within that world.
As we see in the profile below:
“The less Dan Price has, the more he ‘appreciates all the little gifts in life.’ He’s thrived on living by the ‘less is more’ adage, and now that he’s attuned himself to the hobbit life, he says he has no desire to return to his old ways:
‘I couldn’t live in a regular house ever again; it’s too much space, and too extravagant. I like tiny spaces. There’s just this wonderful feeling of coziness… almost a womb-like feeling.’
Earlier on, whenever he had the urge to downsize or rid himself of a luxury, Dan’s first reaction was that he couldn’t do it. But once he learned to ‘take the plunge,’ he found that he was rewarded with more clarity and happiness.
‘I started dragging less and less baggage around behind me. Imagine having only a few bills that are on autopay and that don’t get your heart to racing when you think about them. Imagine having no debt. No one owns me or my time. So I can go do as I please and try to help others whenever I can.’”
In Europe too, the phenomenon of modern-day Hobbit Holes is on display:
“Simon Dale, with the help of his father in-law, has single-handedly built this low impact Hobbit house in the woodlands of West Wales. The eco-house, which rose from a muddy hole in the ground and took three months to complete, came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) – demonstrating that you don’t need to be architectural school graduate to come up with the goods. There’s no need to be envious, however, because Dale will give you the plans and know-how to build your very own.”
If you are not up for building your own Hobbit Hole, there are also now companies that offer pre-fabricated versions that can be shipped to you and assembled. As we see in this article:
“Green Magic Homes creates prefabricated modular micro-houses, which are designed to exist as part of the landscape — just like the homes from the mythical Shire in “Lord of the Rings.”
The Green Magic Homes are made with fiber-reinforced polymer and layered under grass and soil, which allows homeowners to grow their own fruits and vegetables on the roofs of the tiny houses.”
The articles goes on to quote their prices, which come out to 34.74$ per square feet. Everything from three bedroom homes with swimming pools to a 400 sq ft one bedroom homes that would cost around 15,000$.
As the accompanying photos attest, these are beautiful homes that make the world just a little more similar to the sacred vistas of Middle-Earth, and bring a little bit more sacrality into our modern world.