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Frodo Baggins

Meaning: Wise by experience

Location(s): Brandy Hall, Buckland; Bag End, Hobbiton, Shire; Aman

Race/Species: Hobbit

Type/Kind: N/A

Title(s): Ringbearer

Dates: 2968-3021 Third Age

Parents: Drogo Baggins (f), Primula Brandybuck (m)

Siblings: None

Spouse: None

Children: None

*Of the three types/breeds of hobbit, the Fallohides are woodland dwellers and the least numerous. They are more adventurous and unconventional...slightly taller than their Harfoot cousins, and have somewhat fairer features. It is possible that this is type Frodo came from (being described as 'fairer than most' by Gandalf).

Said to resemble Bilbo, of whom was written "Not noted to be exceptionally tall or short, thin or fat, for a Hobbit..." He also had Bilbo's youthful appearance - "outwardly he retained the appearance of a robust and energetic hobbit just out of his tweens."

Ch 2, Shadow of the Past, FoTR, LOTR
Appendix C, RoTK, LOTR

Described by Gandalf to Butterbur:
'A stout little fellow with red cheeks...taller than some and fairer than most, and he has a cleft in his chin: perky chap with a bright eye."
Strider, FOTR

Frodo's name

"Frodo is a real name from the Germanic tradition. Its Old English form was Fróda. Its obvious connexion is with the old word fród meaning etymologically 'wise by experience', but it had mythological connexions with legends of the Golden Age in the North..."

Letter 168, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien


Frodo Baggins was born in the Shire on 22nd September 1368 (SR). He shares his birthday – though not date of birth – with his ‘uncle’ Bilbo Baggins (Master of Bag End in Hobbiton). He was orphaned at the age of 12, when his parents, Drogo and Primula Baggins, drowned in a boating accident on the Brandywine. Until the age of 21, he lived with various relatives in Buckland, and possibly at Brandyhall. In the year 1401, Bilbo and Frodo celebrated their 111th and 33rd birthdays, respectively. This was the day when Bilbo disappeared from the party during his Birthday Speech, by use of the Ring. Leaving Bag End to Frodo, he left the Shire to go on a last adventure and live out the remainder of his days with the Elves in Rivendell.

Between the time of Frodo inheriting Bag End and his leaving, he went off on many long walks and trips, quite often with his friends and cousins Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, but more often alone. He was often spotted “…far from home walking in the hills and woods under the starlight.” – “A Shadow of the Past”, the Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR.

When the time came for him to leave Bag End, and make for Bree with the Ring as Gandalf had instructed, he delayed going until the day after his and Bilbo’s birthday: this was his 50th, the same age as Bilbo had been when he set off on his own adventure (in “The Hobbit”).

On the 25th October 3018 (1418 SR), At the Council of Elrond in Rivendell, Frodo agreed to be the Ringbearer, and take the One Ring to Mount Doom in Mordor.

Six months after the Council, after many trials and sufferings, Frodo and his loyal friend Samwise were successful in their task, and the Ring was destroyed, and Sauron defeated, on 25th March 3019 (1419 SR).

Unfortunately, Frodo never recovered from the Quest, and after spending only two years back home in the Shire, Frodo left for the Grey Havens on 21st September 3021 (1421 SR), accompanied by Sam. When they arrived, Merry and Pippin also turned up to say goodbye, having been told by Gandalf of Frodo’s plans.

Frodo left with Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf and Bilbo for the Undying Lands, leaving behind his life in Middle Earth.

Further reading

This appears to be a popular essay which gives possible reasons as to why Frodo decided to leave Middle Earth after the Quest, a very interesting read:
Too Deeply Hurt

The Hobbit Companion by David Day is also worth tracking down and flipping through - the author has gone back to the roots of names and words to find out their meanings and Tolkien's reason for their use. (click here for a brief review of the book from the Tolkien Archives).

Lyllyn 12.17.02
Gandalf quote added Envinyatar 12.19.02
Etymology of name - Anglachel - 12.24.02
Bio extended, Sorrowful Eagle, 01.22.03

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