Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: The Shire Occupation (was The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind)

The Shire Occupation (was The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind)

In LotR - FotR - Chapter 5: A Conspiracy Unmasked we are told that Fatty (Fredegar) Bolger was given the task of remaining behind at Crickhollow:

Fond as he was of Frodo, Fatty Bolger had no desire to leave the Shire, nor to see what lay outside it...[snip]...he had never been over the Brandywine Bridge. His task, according to the original plans of the conspirators, was to stay behind and deal with inquisitive folk, and to keep up as long as possible the pretence that Mr. Baggins was still living at Crickhollow. He had even brought along some old clothes of Frodo's to help him in playing the part. They little thought how dangerous that part might prove.

There have been a number of discussions about "unsung heros", as well as our many gripes about the wonderful characters who were not included in PJ's LotR movies. It strikes me that Fatty Bolger rarely gets mentioned, yet his role did indeed prove to be fraught with danger, even later on when the Shire was invaded by Saruman's ruffians:

The day after the battle Frodo rode to Michel Delving and
released the prisoners from the Lockholes. One of the first that they found was poor Fredegar Bolger, Fatty no longer. He had been taken when the ruffians smoked out a band of rebels that he led from their hidings up in the Brockenbores by the hills of Scary.

    RotK -Chapter 9: The Grey Havens

What happened to change Fatty from the somewhat timerous hobbit he is at the beginning to a rebel leader?

I know we have lots of great writers of hobbit stories here at HASA. Any of you want to take this one on?

~Nessime



 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Wow Nessime... you may want me to try another hobbit story! Something dark and distressing... excellent challenge. Can I be a supporter for this even if I don't end up writing something? I think you're on to something.

~Thevina

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Excellent idea, Nessime!

Hm, who have we got? Ang, Ariel, Forodwaith... what other hobbitists have we got out there?

Thevina, if you're not going to raise your hand, then I charge you to find us some other hands!

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Excellent idea, Nessime!

Glad you like it Dwim!

I've enjoyed reading a number of good hobbit fics lately (who'd have *thunk* it? ) and a post at HA got me thinking about Fatty again. Then I bumped into these references to him while digging out some of the songs and poems for the Resources. I haven't thought about his role as a rebel leader in ages, and...well, it just clicked!

Thev, I agree with Dwim - you know plenty of others besides yourself who do hobbit stories. How about it?

~Nessime

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

This is a grand idea, Nessime. I'd love to see this written! Any other hobbit lovers out there?

Starlight

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

This is a grand idea, Nessime. I'd love to see this written! Any other hobbit lovers out there?

Lordy, I have no business at all giving in to another Nuzgul, but I love this one since the story was already germinating!

A few notes (& for God's sake, tell me to shut up if I'm boring everyone): I already have a 3-part fic plotted out showing Pippin, Sam, & Merry struggling to leave messages behind for their families. Merry, interrupted by his father, comes partially clean about what is going on.

Then I wanted to do one where Sarry confesses all to Esmie when the Ruffians come. The rest of the Brandybucks, led by Sarry's brother, refuse to fight; but Esmie, in secret contact with Paladin & the other Tooks, decides to covertly resist, & persuades Fatty to go lead his rebel band while she supplies them.

I think the two stories can each stand alone, so I could tackle the Fatty one first.

So, any thought on this particular idea?

Regina

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Thevina, if you're not going to raise your hand, then I charge you to find us some other hands!

I just have this mental image now of Thevina scouring the battlefields for lopped off hands (would Sauron's finger do?) ;-)

Avon

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

I just have this mental image now of Thevina scouring the battlefields for lopped off hands (would Sauron's finger do?) ;-)



Issue a beverage warning before posting something like this, PLEASE!

Now I'm going to go to bed with that image stuck in my head...

~Nessime

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

I think the two stories can each stand alone, so I could tackle the Fatty one first.

Do I take this for a yes?

Then I wanted to do one where Sarry confesses all to Esmie when the Ruffians come. The rest of the Brandybucks, led by Sarry's brother, refuse to fight; but Esmie, in secret contact with Paladin & the other Tooks, decides to covertly resist, & persuades Fatty to go lead his rebel band while she supplies them.

Sounds veeeery interesting...

Seeing as our dear Fredegar hasn't displayed other leadership qualities prior to this, I'm wondering exactly how Esmie manages to persuade him to become the Shire's version of Robin Hood.

~Nessime

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Yes, I'm in--but can we do a 6-month timeframe? Between this, playing pirate, & actually working (not to mention Tar-Miriel--Zim'll kill me if I don't finish her soon!), I need some room.

Regina

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

You'll see. Let's just say I see hobbit mothers as having something of the same ability to use guilt well as Jewish moms.

Regina

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

I just have this mental image now of Thevina scouring the battlefields for lopped off hands (would Sauron's finger do?)

LOL!! You all are funny. I'm afraid that my close friend who writes hobbit stuff only writes h/c. It seems that the other people whose work I've been drawn to and have gotten to know write about Men and Elves. Nothing against hobbits, of course... and I personally am trying to rectify the Dwarf-lacking situation. *sniff*

Avon, did you also envision me doing this in my lovely Eowyn dress wearing a blonde wig? No, perhaps nobody should envision that...

Perhaps I could bite this nuzgul if given a multi-month time frame. It might do me some good to get out of Rohan from time to time...

Smooches,
Thevina

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Just as a general thing, I tend to set most challenges to a three month time limit. However, if the original vict--volunteers would prefer something longer, that's fine. Just let me know.


Thev, would six months lure you in?

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Yes, Dwim, I'm in.

*admires nuzgul teeth marks, her very first*

I know these things are contagious, better warn Mr. Thev... he'll never have access to the computer again.

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Yes, Dwim, I'm in.

Yay, Thev!

I do think the hobbits are rather more closely akin to the Eorlings than to any other race of men. They do have a lot in common if you know where to look.

You may also tell Mr. Thev it's my fault and he has leave to scold me - if he can get near enough to the computer to post an e-mail!

~Nessime

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Ok, so we have Regina and Thev so far.

Who else? We need only three more hands. Nessime, are you going to let this one bite you as well?

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Nessime, are you going to let this one bite you as well?

I'm not sure yet...too many other voices keep whispering their stories in my ears, so I'm not hearing Fatty's voice yet. But I'm very curious to hear his story, so maybe if the others will quiet down long enough I'll get a chance to listen to him.

~Nessime

PS - The thought keeps coming back to me that Tolkien suggested some interesting connections between the Rohirrim and the Hobbits (language being one example), so maybe Hobbits aren't so foreign to me after all!

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

I do think the hobbits are rather more closely akin to the Eorlings than to any other race of men. They do have a lot in common if you know where to look.

Actually, the venom from the nuzgul bite must be working on me, because I've already been thinking about this story. Some of the most fun (albeit short interludes) dialogue I've had in "Daughters" is between Eowyn and Merry... I can easily see the connections. I would never deign to 'dumb down' the hobbits, especially those on the fringes- I won't touch Frodo and Samwise with a twenty-foot pole.

Once "Daughters" is done (and the end is in sight, thank the Horse's Mane!) I would like to give this one some quality attention- will be a good fulcrum to posit against the dwarf story. And egads... I may even try some poetry.

*watches everyone run screaming*




 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Dwim, do you think it would be a good move to broaden the appeal of this by opening it up to other unsung heros? Pehaps having a short list of unsung heros, one from each race or culture, to choose from would give writers more options.

Fatty Bolger is just one of many who gets overlooked, and yet his actions are truly heroic, in no small measure because they go counter to his personality (at least the part of his personality we see at the beginning).

Any thoughts?

~Nessime

 

 

Re: The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind

Hm. I would say don't open it up completely. Why not turn this into a "Shire Occupation" proposal? This would allow writers to concentrate on any of the hobbits they liked, whether or not they were resistance figures (Fatty, scarily enough Lobelia), sell-outs (Sandyman, and surely others), or just average Shirefolk trying to get along.

I really like the idea of looking at this era of the Shire, and of focusing on those who stayed behind.

Back to you, Nessime!

 

 

The Shire Occupation (was The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind)

I really like the idea of looking at this era of the Shire, and of focusing on those who stayed behind.

I really do to, so thanks for the suggestion. Farmer Maggot must have been up to something during that time period, along with his sons...Whoa, I felt that one bite!

Lobelia would make an interesting subject too. I wonder what she really thought about her son's activities (both before and after Sharky arrived). Hmmm...

I hadn't thought about the "sell-outs" before but that would make for an interesting contrast in views. Exactly why did Lotho get involved with the outsiders? Was it simple greed, or was something else going on, something more sinister?

Anyone else have one of the Shire folk they's like to see immortalized because of deeds, fair or foul, during the "Occupation?"

~Nessime

 

 

Re: The Shire Occupation (was The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind)

Anyone else have one of the Shire folk they's like to see immortalized because of deeds, fair or foul, during the "Occupation"?

I should probably throw my hat in the ring and say that this nuzgul has bitten and, despite efforts ranging from jaws of life to a bizarre attempt to shake it off that resembles the Mexican hat dance, it ain't going nowhere.

One of the characters that has always fascinated me is Robin Smallburrow, the shirriff who Sam talk to on the way to Hobbiton. He seems a basically decent hobbit, not heroic and not no-good, so I've always wondered why he didn't just quit being a shirrif.

Besides that, the Cottons seem to mobilize rather quickly. I find it hard to believe Rosie didn't have a brother or two involved in resistance of some kind.

Yes, you have me hooked. Now could someone answer me a rather simple question so I can get on about writing said beast: did Fatty marry, is his wife recorded, and what do we know about her?

Marta

 

 

Re: The Shire Occupation (was The Conspirator Who Stayed Behind)

Now could someone answer me a rather simple question so I can get on about writing said beast: did Fatty marry, is his wife recorded, and what do we know about her?

None is recorded, & given both his age in LOTR (a mere two years Merry's senior) & his ability to go to ground as a resistance leader, it seems likely he didn't marry until after the War.

The more interesting question IMV is whether or not his parents & sister Estella were involved in the resistance as well, & if so what their roles were.

Regina


 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to Prospective Challenges