Fredegar Bolger

From Tolkien Gateway
Fredegar Bolger
Francesco Amadio - Fatty Bolger.jpg
"Fatty Bolger" by Francesco Amadio
Biographical Information
Other names"Fatty"
BirthS.R. 1380
ParentageOdovacar Bolger and Rosamunda Took
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Fredegar Bolger
"You would have done better to come with us after all, poor old Fredegar!"
Peregrin Took[1]

Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger was a Hobbit of the Shire. He was one of the close friends of Frodo who knew that he had the Ring and helped him with his mission to leave the Shire.

History[edit | edit source]

Ancestry[edit | edit source]

Fatty was a descendant of Hildibrand Took (T.A. 2849 - T.A. 2934), one of the many sons of the Old Took.[2] 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.

Fredegar was a good friend of Frodo Baggins. In T.A. 3001 he was a guest at Bilbo's Farewell Party.[2]

Conspiracy[edit | edit source]

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 next morning for the house that Frodo had bought, in order to prepare it to be ready and habitable for his arrival.[3]

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 pretence 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, but that didn't seem any more inviting to him despite Merry's attempts to persuade him that the Riders were far more terrifying than the stories about the Old Forest. Fredegar opted to remain behind as a decoy for the Nazgûl and as a messenger for Gandalf in case he showed up.[4]

Christina Wald - Fatty Bolger

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.[5]

Resistance[edit | edit source]

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.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The name contains ferdi "peace" and gar "spear".[6]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

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. [7]

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.[8]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

1995: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

Included as a promotional card for METW, Fatty Bolger is a character which can be brought into play in Bag End.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

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.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

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.

2013: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:

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."