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Rivendell is an Elven city. Frodo is a Hobbit, and much shorter than the Elves. The railing should appear much higher than it is. Was this simply a production gaffe, or is there an in-universe reason for the railing being so low?

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    Maybe this is the hobbit wing of the city, for vertically challenged guests. – Steve-O Nov 29 '16 at 20:30
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    Elves are immortal in Tolkein, so it's possible this is a form of population control. – DukeZhou Nov 29 '16 at 23:30
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    Perhaps the lowest bidder was a dwarven construction firm. – T.E.D. Nov 30 '16 at 0:02
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    Obviously the building inspectors are lax in Rivendell about enforcing ordinances. Not only the low height but how about the gap that a child or small person could dive through. I would put STOP WORK order sticker on the whole city. – blankip Nov 30 '16 at 6:16
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    I've seen low railings used as a type of optical trick to make a building look taller. I can't say whether or not that was what the elves were going for in their design though. – martin Nov 30 '16 at 9:21
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There are a few possible reasons for this:

  1. The room was specially made for Bilbo, and therefore everything was proportioned for a Hobbit

  2. The room was a recovery room for Elves, and so the railings were lower so that they could see over them while laying in bed

  3. Elves are much more agile, and might prefer lower railings aesthetically. They wouldn't really need them to protect against a fall since they're not clumsy

  4. Peter Jackson simply overlooked it

  • 1
    Those all sound very likely! – BrettFromLA Nov 29 '16 at 21:32
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    I'd say 4 is unlikely, rather the opposite: Anything else would have looked pathetic... – Tobias Kienzler Nov 30 '16 at 9:36
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    Going by the general sense of the Elves, it would not surprise me if they built an entire wing specially for Bilbo and co, to make them feel at home. That would fit in with the characteristics of the Elves, in that perfection is easy and grand accomplishments are something that is done on a rainy day as a distraction. – Moo Nov 30 '16 at 9:55
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    A fifth possibility: Jackson didn’t overlook it, but didn’t have an in-universe explanation in mind either — he may have deliberately decided that the visual effect was more important than a small piece of in-universe consistency? – Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine Nov 30 '16 at 15:17
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    @PeterLeFanuLumsdaine That's precisely what I meant, though in too little words I guess ;) – Tobias Kienzler Dec 1 '16 at 7:16

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