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Gerontius Took

Other Names:
the Old Took
the Great Took (Letters only)

Location(s):
Great Smials

Race/Species: Hobbit

Title(s):
the Took
26th Thain of the Shire

Dates:
2790-2920 III (1190-1320 SR)

Parents:
father: Fortinbras I, 25th Thain of the Shire

Spouse:
Adamanta Chubb

Children:
Isengrim III, 27th Thain of the Shire
Hildigard
Isumbras IV, 28th Thain of the Shire
Hildigrim
Isembold
Hildifons
Isembard
Hildibrand
Belladonna
Donnamira
Mirabella
Isengar

Description:

Gerontius Took, son of Fortinbras Took I, 25th Thain of the Shire, is the 26th Thain of the Shire:
[The] mother of... Bilbo Baggins... was the fabulous Belladonna Took, one of the three remarkable daughters of the Old Took, head of the hobbits who lived across The Water, the small river that ran at the foot of The Hill.

The Hobbit, Ch 1, An Unexpected Party

[The Gaffer:] 'You see: Mr. Drogo, he married poor Miss Primula Brandybuck. She was our Mr. Bilbo's first cousin on the mother's side (her mother being the youngest of the Old Took's daughters)....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

'Gandalf, Gandalf! Good gracious me! Not the wandering wizard that gave Old Took a pair of magic diamond studs that fastened themselves and never came undone till ordered?.... Not the man that used to make such particularly excellent fireworks! I remember those! Old Took used to have them on Midsummer's Eve. Splendid! They used to go up like great lilies and snapdragons and laburnums of fire and hang in the twilight all evening!'.... Mr. Baggins was not quite so prosy as he liked to believe.... 'Dear me!' he went on. 'Not the Gandalf who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures. Anything from climbing trees to visiting Elves — or sailing in ships, sailing to other shores! Bless me, life used to be quite inter— I mean, you used to upset things badly in these parts once upon a time.'

The Hobbit, Ch 1, An Unexpected Party

A... rumour (probably started by the knowledgeable Sam) was spread about that there were going to be fireworks — fireworks, what is more, such as had not been seen in the Shire for nigh on a century, not indeed since the Old Took died.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

'Yes, it is all very dim, and stuffy, in here,' said Pippin. 'It reminds me... of the old room in the Great Place of the Tooks away back in the Smials at Tuckborough: a huge place, where the furniture has never been moved or changed for generations. They say the Old Took lived in it year after year, while he and the room got older and shabbier together — and it has never changed since he died, a century ago. And Old Gerontius was my great-great-grandfather: that puts it back a bit.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 4, Treebeard

The Old Took's advanced age at death appears to have become some sort of aspirational goal to the Hobbits in the Shire:

[Lalia the Great came] to an unfortunate end in 1402 at the age of 119.... So ended a reign and life that might well have rivalled that of the Great Took.

The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Edited by Humphrey Carpenter, Letter 214 to A. C. Nunn, 1958-59?

Bilbo was going to be eleventy-one, 111,... a very respectable age for a hobbit (the Old Took himself had only reached 130)....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

'Hullo, hullo!' [Bilbo] said.... '[Tomorrow's] my birthday.... Do you know, I shall be one hundred and twenty-nine? And in one year more, if I am spared, I shall equal the Old Took. I should like to beat him; but we shall see.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, Many Partings

'It will be Bilbo's Birthday on Thursday, Sam,' [Frodo] said. 'And he will pass the Old Took. He will be a hundred and thirty-one!'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 9, The Grey Havens

2790
... Birth of Gerontius, later known as the Old Took....

2920
Death of the Old Took.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 15Sep06, 27Sep06, 10May10

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