I’ve covered plenty of Hobbit-related stuff coming out of New Zealand on FilmDrunk in the past. From their newscast in Elvish to their Hobbit money to their Hobbit-related passport stamps, no Tolkien reference is too dorky for our Kiwi friends, it seems. New Zealand’s fascination makes a sort of sense, considering Peter Jackson shot all of his Tolkien movies there, and prior to that, “Australia’s Maxi Pad” was known mainly her sheep pastures and general forgettableness, the Delaware of the Commonwealth. But now their drunken neighbors to the northeast are challenging their title of most pointless references to Tolkien. In its December issue, the Medical Journal of Australia is publishing a “study” by a father-and-son doctor team explaining how when the orcs, Gollum, and Smaug lost their battle to an army of dwarves, hobbits, and men (spoiler alert?), their poor diet may have been to blame.
The idea is proposed by Nicholas Hopkinson, a doctor at Imperial College London and his son Joseph.
They scoured “The Hobbit” for references to characters’ living conditions, habits and diet.
They used these clues to rate each character for levels of vitamin D, produced when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light or derived from foods such as oily fish, egg yolks and cheese.
Bilbo Baggins, the hero of “The Hobbit,” had a vitamin D-enriched life, they found.
True, Bilbo lived in a hole, but it had windows and he enjoyed sitting in the sun in his garden.
“The hobbit diet is clearly varied, as he is able to offer cake, tea, seed cake, ale, porter, red wine, raspberry jam, mince pies, cheese, pork pie, salad, cold chicken, pickles and apple tart to the dwarves who visit to engage him on the business of burglary,” Imperial College said in a press release.
In contrast, the villains spend most of their time in darkness, and their diet is poor or single-sourced.
“Systematic textual analysis of ‘The Hobbit’ supports our initial hypothesis that the triumph of good over evil may be assisted to some extent by the poor diet and lack of sunlight experienced by the evil characters,” the researchers conclude. [AFP]
Hardy har har, now line up to receive your richly-deserved melvining. I would worry that this very important work squeezed out some other research into early cancer detection or the treatment of Alzheimer’s, but I assume that even on its best day, the Medical Journal of Australia deals mostly with the treatment of snakebites and hangovers.
“Thet’s nawt a doctah. THIS is a doctah.” (*points to guy in an outback hat digging a shark’s tooth out of his friend’s leg with a buck knife*)