Hobbits unlike dwarves, elves, humans and orcs are the creation of JRR Tolkein, there is no historical influence to them. They are a race of short people who had hairy legs and don't wear shoes. Apart from that, there is no difference between them and humans. They are the main antagonists of the Middle-Earth stories. Hobbits are a hungry race of humanoids. They can eat up to seven meals a day.
In the movie, the hobbits are given Elvish swords which Aragorn has fgound. However, in the source book material, they are given Dunedain blades which they get from a barrow where they have met Tom Bombadil. The character of Tom is not in the films, an aspect that has disappointed many fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Some call Tom Bombadil an essential character whereas others are more dismissive of him. Tom Bombadil scenes supposedly reveal a lot of the magic and nature of Middle-Earth.
In the books, the Hobbits kill an Orc called Wormtongue, however in the film, he is killed by an arrow from Legolas.
Merry and Peregrin -Pippin- Took are adolescent hobbits, Pippin isn't even seen as being an adult even though he is 28 years old. Pippin and Merry are inseparable in the films up until the point Pippin looks at the Palantíri, a globe from Lord Sauron. Previous to seeing the globe, they encountered the Ents, large walking trees in Fangorn Forrest and accompanied the Ents as they took on Saruman.
When the Hobbits leave the Shire to begin their adventure, Fredegar 'Fatty' Bolger agrees to help the Hobbits in order to help them on their mission. Fatty would make noises at Frodos house so that other hobbits wouldn't become suspicious of what was going on with Frodo. Fatty is almost completely cut out from the films.
In the books, it is Glorfindel, an Elf who helps Frodo reach Rivendell when the Ringwraiths are chasing the Hobbits. This character is not mentioned in the films. It is Glorfindel who mentions that the Witch-King can't be killed by a man.
The adventures of the Hobbits is nearly over before its began when the Hobbits are nearly eaten by an evil sentient tree known as Old-Man Willow. Fortunately, Tom Bombadil had power of the tree and managed to save the Hobbits from being eaten after having fallen asleep.
Copyright: Tolkein Estates