Entertainment / July 15, 2022

Ok, why do The Hobbits have Irish accents?

Image: EW
Entertainment / July 15, 2022

Ok, why do The Hobbits have Irish accents?

Words: Ellen Kenny

The trailer for the new Lord of The Rings prequel series just dropped, and the Hobbits’ ancestors have some familiar accents.

The long-awaited Ring of Power is a TV prequel series to the Lord of The Rings film series. It promises to feature a lot of familiar faces, but the trailer reveals some familiar, and concerning, accents.

The “Harfoots” (at least, that sounds like what she’s saying) are the ancestors to the Hobbits of the original series. Unlike the Hobbits, however, it looks like the Harfoots are from Ballyhaunis rather than the Shire.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a fantasy series without a wispy Irish accent describing the magical “fields of grain”.

It’s an interesting choice to give the short, nomadic species Irish accents. We really will never escape our leprechaun branding.

In fairness, the actress heard in the trailer, Sara Zwangobani doesn’t have the worst Irish accent. It just sounds a bit like she heard the woman from the “Discover Ireland” tourism ads and turned it up to eleven.

Sara, if you couldn’t tell already, is not Irish. Nor are any of the other actors currently listed to play the Harfoots, hailing from America, Australia and New Zealand. So even if you’re not a fantasy fan, you can get excited for a whole range of attempts at Irish accents.

But we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, of course, and keep an eye out for the likes of Daisy Edgar Jones in Normal People as well as the likes of Tom Cruise in Far and Away.

Irish connection

The Lord of the Rings and Ireland have always been connected, actually. Many of the creatures featured in the story were inspired by Celtic mythology, and the landscapes described in the novels have clear parallels with the Burren in Clare.

Lord of the Rings author J. R. R. Tolkien even held a position in the English department of NUI Galway when he made the final edits and published The Lord of the Rings.

The Rings of Power will be out in September. So, be sure to have your “Best/Worst Irish accents” list ready for updating.

Elsewhere on District: The 5 best Irish accents in film and TV