As soon as the Harfoots first appear in the show The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, we are given a great deal of insight into their culture. We see a few Harfoots disguised amongst the grasses, spying on two large hunters with ornamented antlers, and successfully remaining unnoticed.
You know, when I watched the first two episodes, I wondered if you would share your thoughts. It's unfortunate that the writing team seems to have studied and understood hunter-gatherer lives better than, you know, how to write a compelling screenplay. That's why I only watched two episodes. But I really enjoyed this, so maybe Amazon should hire you instead?
this is full nerd
Great stuff as usual Will
Complete side note but given their accents the Harfoots (harfeet?) struck me as an obviously romanticised version of Irish travellers rather than Hunter gatherers generally. with all the conversation around diversity and casting in the show it was interesting to me the creators felt no obligation to cast people from that community in those roles
In nature, there are predator species, who specialize in sprinting and killing, and prey species, which specialize in marathons and uh, digesting things. The Harfoots propose a prey *culture*, adapted to defense and evasion and making use of a wide variety of foraged items in creative ways. Whether this specialization is possible in human(like) cultures is, to me, a really interesting question that I'd love to hear your thoughts on.
My current intuition is no, for a culture to sustain, yes it can be *useful* in some situations to be good at evading the war-parties of 'carnivorous' rival cultures, but the main way humans defend themselves from rivals seems to be by maintaining formidable war-parties of their own and negotiating, and if they can't do that they eventually disappear.
But IIRC the show did not actually assert that the Harfoots' shy way of living was sustainable, IIRC the Harfoots considered themselves to be dwindling, didn't they? Like foragers disappearing as agriculture expands. Realistic if so.