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Who is the “Fifth Hobbit” from The Lord of the Rings, and why does he not appear in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy? Like the four Beetles or the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody, the names of the nine Lord of the Rings Fellowship members are engraved into public awareness, and each of J.R.R. Tolkien’s primary crew found their way into Peter Jackson’s record-breaking 2000s movie trilogy.
Unfortunately, a number of key supporting characters were left out. Tom Bombadil, Glorfindel (in the current timeframe), and a certain rotund Hobbit by the name of Fredegar “Fatty” Bolger are among the Lord of the Rings literary characters who have been jettisoned for live-action… And, unlike Glorfindel, whose sequences were given to Arwen, Fatty Bolger’s role in the Lord of the Rings was cut from Jackson’s films.
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During Bilbo Baggins‘ celebration speech, the Bolger family is mentioned, and effects designer Norman Cates plays an anonymous background Hobbit subsequently identified as “Fredegar Bolger,” but his brief role has no similarity to the book version. Another “Fatty Bolger” is revealed in the extended edition of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, who is barely more than a namesake.
The Role Of Fatty Bolger In The Lord Of The Rings Is Expounded
Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took have an unbreakable bond. They leave The Shire as a fearless quartet embarking on an adventure into the unknown, only to return irrevocably transformed, with no one in The Shire understanding their experiences during The War of the Ring. It’s strange to think about a fifth Hobbit infiltrating that select group. Fatty Bolger is a character who appears frequently in Tolkien’s works.As a member of the “conspirators” who uncover Frodo’s small, golden burden and his impending departure from the Shire in The Fellowship of the Ring. Sam, Merry, and Pippin are Fatty’s fellow Frodo-friends, and they all confront Frodo about the Ring, the voyage, the secret talks with Gandalf, and the Ringwraiths. Bolger is fully present throughout this pivotal dialogue, making him an unique example of a Hobbit who is aware of the War of the Ring rather than burying his head in potatoes and home-brewed ale.
During these passages, the five Hobbits had a strong bond, with Fatty Bolger being just as vital to Frodo’s first leg of the journey as the Ring-other bearer’s companions. Bolger is even invited to join them on their journey to Bree and beyond, but he politely declines because he is a fearful Hobbit who does not want to enter the scary Old Forest. There would have been ten Fellowship members if he had accepted. Despite this, Fatty offers to act as a decoy, putting the Ringwraiths off Frodo’s trail for as long as possible and showing a set of potatoes that any Hobbit farmer would be proud of…
Fatty Bolger reappears in the Scouring of the Shire chapters of The Return of the King, and that early taste of adventure must’ve rubbed off. Before happily reconciling with Pippin, the forgotten Hobbit is captured leading a rebel party against Saruman.
Fatty Bolger’s Exclusion From Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
Fatty Bolger’s omission from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy can be attributed to two causes. First and foremost, Jackson cuts both stories in which Bolger becomes relevant for pace reasons. Fatty Bolger accompanies Bag End’s most famous son to his new home in Crickhollow, then stays behind to fool Ringwraiths, in the original books, a year passes between Bilbo Baggins’ birthday party and Frodo leaving the Shire, creating the subplot where Fatty Bolger accompanies Bag End’s most famous son to his new home in Crickhollow, then stays behind to fool Ringwraiths. Frodo’s flight from the Shire is nearly instantaneous in Peter Jackson’s 2001 production of The Fellowship of the Ring, and there’s no group of “conspirators” anticipating what their friend is planning, rendering Fatty Bolger’s basic purpose meaningless.For similar reasons, The Return of the King omits Tolkien’s Scouring of the Shire plotline, omitting the one other scene in which Fatty Bolger might have appeared.
It’s also interesting noting how J.R.R. Tolkien, who isn’t famed for his brevity, reduced Fatty Bolger’s function in the book. The appearance of an extra pony in earlier printings indicates that the “Fifth Hobbit” was originally planned to accompany Frodo further. When Peter Jackson sat down to reduce The Fellowship of the Ring into a manageable film, it’s easy to see why he turned to Lord of the Rings characters that even Tolkien omitted.
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