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|Book(s)||The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)|
The Return of the King (1955)
Fredegar, also known as "Fatty", was a Hobbit of well-to-do families in the Shire. He was a descendant of Hildibrand Took (T.A. 2849–2934), one of the many sons of the Old Took. His parents were Odovacar Bolger, a member of the Bolger clan, and Rosamunda Took. Fredegar and his immediate family lived at Budgeford.
Fatty was born in T.A. 2980. He had a younger sister, Estella (born T.A. 2985); she later married Meriadoc Brandybuck, who was a distant relation. Fatty was also related to Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins and Peregrin Took. Fatty was among the 144 special family guests at Bilbo's Farewell Party in T.A. 3001.
Role in the War of the Ring
When Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin set out to take the Ring to Rivendell, Fredegar stayed behind in Frodo's house at Crickhollow in an attempt to keep up appearances and delay news of their departure, as well as give any message to Gandalf should he turn up. He was frightened half out of his wits by the arrival of the Nazgûl but escaped unharmed (although he was not able to communicate with Gandalf). Though he was a friend of Frodo's, Fredegar had no desire to leave the Shire.
During Saruman's rule of the Shire, Fatty led a group of partisans fighting against the Ruffians around the hills of Scary, before eventually being captured. He was imprisoned and starved, meaning that after his release nobody could call him Fatty any more.
In Peter Jackson's film adaptation, the entire subplot of Frodo buying a house in Crickhollow was dropped to both keep Jackson's portrayal focused and to avoid over-complicating the screenplay. He does, however, appear in a very brief cameo in the Extended Edition of the first film during Bilbo's birthday party, as Bilbo shakes his hand and identifies him by name.
In earlier drafts of The Lord of the Rings Fatty Bolger played a much larger role, but this was later abandoned.
- Tolkien, J. R. R., The Return of the Shadow: The History of Middle-earth Vol. 6 (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)