|"Fatty Bolger" by Francesco Amadio|
|Birth||S.R. 1380 |
|Parentage||Odovacar Bolger and Rosamunda Took|
|Gallery||Images of Fredegar Bolger|
Fatty was a descendant of Hildibrand Took (T.A. 2849 - T.A. 2934), one of the many sons of the Old Took. He was the son of Odovacar Bolger and Rosamunda Took. Fatty was born in T.A. 2980 and his family was from Budgeford in Bridgefields of the Eastfarthing. He also had a younger sister, Estella Bolger (b. T.A. 2985), who would eventually marry Meriadoc Brandybuck.
Fatty was one of the Conspirators, the friends of Frodo who knew that he was in an important mission to leave the Shire, and they assisted him without his knowledge. Fatty, along with Folco Boffin and Frodo's close circle, in September T.A. 3018 helped him pack and send his things to Crickhollow, and stayed to celebrate his last birthday before his departure from Hobbiton; Fatty and Merry left the other morning for the house that Frodo had bought, in order to prepare it to be ready and habitable for his arrival.
Frodo eventually came to his house, along with Sam and Pippin. It was there when the conspirators revealed themselves to Frodo, and expressed their will to follow him in his mission. Fatty however was a typical hobbit who had never left the Shire and was unwilling to do so, but would play his role; he stayed behind to keep up the pretense that Frodo was there, by wearing his clothes and keep the house occupied, and deal with any "inquisitive folk".
After hearing that Frodo was pursued by the Black Riders, Fatty was given the option to flee with the others into the Old Forest, which however didn't seem more inviting to him (although Merry tried to persuade him that the Riders were far more terrifying than the stories about the Old Forest). Fredegar therefore opted to remain behind as a decoy for the Nazgûl and as a messenger for Gandalf in case he showed up.
The Ringwraiths did eventually come in the night of 30 September to Crickhollow for Frodo and the Ring. But Fatty, though frightened nearly witless, escaped to raise the alarm of Buckland, causing the Brandybucks to sound the Horn-call of Buckland. This caused the Nazgûl to flee, but they had learned that the Ring was gone.
During Saruman's rule of the Shire, Fatty led a group of partisans fighting against the Ruffians in the Brockenbores around the hills of Scary before eventually being captured. He was imprisoned in the Lockholes and starved, (and could no longer be called "Fatty") but was rescued after the victory of the Battle of Bywater.
The name contains ferdi "peace" and gar "spear".
Other versions of the legendarium
In early versions of the text (cf. The Return of the Shadow), his name was Hamilcar Bolger and was rescued by Gandalf from Black Riders before reaching Rivendell, narrating to the protagonists Gandalf's adventures. His larger role was later abandoned. 
His role survives as a minor anomaly in the published The Lord of the Rings - before the four Hobbits go into the Old Forest, they have six ponies prepared (Fatty was originally supposed to go with them). The number was corrected to five in the 50th Anniversary Edition.
Portrayal in adaptations
- Included as a promotional card for METW, Fatty Bolger is a character which can be brought into play in Bag End.
- In the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition), Bilbo greets Fredegar Bolger at the Farewell Party. The audio commentary reveals that he is played by Fran Walsh's uncle Tom.
2001-2007: The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game:
- A Decipher card portrays Fatty Bolger by Norman Cates.
- A Fredregar Bolger lives at 10, Bagshot Row.
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- Fredegar is a non-playable character that can be found at Crickhollow. The player meets with him during Book I: "Stirrings in the Darkness" where the player first learns about Frodo having the One Ring.
- At the auction of Bilbo Baggins' estate, Tosser Grubb jokes that a footstool a member of the Bolger family has bought is "something for Fatty to put his feet on."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "Took of Great Smials"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Conspiracy Unmasked"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
- An Introduction to Elvish, "Giving of Names"
- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. xxiii
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Note", p. xvii