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Old 01-10-2004, 04:42 PM   #1
Eomer of the Rohirrim
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Sting Frodo's clothes at Crickhollow

From A Conspiracy Unmasked;

He (Fredegar) 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.

Why was this part of the plan dangerous? As far as I can see, the only harm done was to Gandalf's morale for a day or two, after thinking Frodo had been harmed.
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Old 01-10-2004, 04:52 PM   #2
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
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It became very dangerous for Fatty Bolger to be disguised as Frodo when three Black Riders came to the house at Crickhollow. For more, read Chapter 11 of FotR, "A Knife in the Dark". Had he not been alert, he would have been killed before they found out that he didn't have the Ring.
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Old 01-10-2004, 04:59 PM   #3
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Sting

Ah, now I did read that chapter (funnily enough!) very soon after A Conspiracy Unmasked, however that thought never clicked.

For one thing, I never imagined Fredegar to be disguised as Frodo. I had thought Frodo's clothes could be in the cupboard for Fredegar to show any guests and be able to say "Frodo is not hear right now."

Besides, I wouldn't have thought that the Ringwraiths would recognise Frodo's clothes and thus confuse Fredegar for Frodo. I thought they entered the house with the purpose of killing whoever was inside.
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:38 PM   #4
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Sting

At the risk of appearing arrogant, I am bumping my own thread. This is probably bad manners and I apologise. However, I am interested in the thoughts of other Downers.

Please? [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 01-14-2004, 02:08 PM   #5
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Sting

I'd put in my two cents, except that I'd be repeating what Esty said. Impersonating Frodo was hardly a safe thing to do, what with Black Riders galloping through Buckland, the marish, and the Shire looking desperately for "Baggins".
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Old 01-14-2004, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
help him in playing the part
lol ! imagine Fatty stomping around in Frodo's much smaller clothes, buttons bursting and threads unravelling!

Actually, for some ridiculous reason, I always imagined Fredegar dressing a chair up in Frodo's clothes, and placing it in the window for all to see! I even went so far as to picture a broom being used for his head! It's absolutely insane that I never questioned this picture in my head.

But yes, I think that rather than the danger of dressing up as Frodo, the implied danger was that of merely being at Crickhollow when the Nazgl stopped in for supper. Probably one of the most frightening moments in the book, because of its believability.
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Old 01-14-2004, 03:06 PM   #7
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I also thought that somehow Fatty got into Frodo's clothes & wore them about so that people would think Frodo was still there (albiet much fatter on a supposedly tighter budget). Although Eomer of the Rohirrim brought up a good point, about the Blackriders probably not knowing that they were Frodo's clothes anyway. Perhaps they just figured the Riders would go by what they heard from the hobbits around there, or maybe it was just something that the conspiritors thought would be a good touch.
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Old 01-14-2004, 04:28 PM   #8
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Sting

"He (Fredegar) 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"

It was dangerous because he nearly got killed by Nazgul!
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:43 PM   #9
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Tolkien

I have always viewed it this way:

If my memory serves me truely, the Black Riders were asking for a Baggins, correct? Well, the hobbits knew that because of what Frodo had overheard before he left Bag End. Fredegar's disguise wasn't for the Black Riders, but for any hobbits who happened to see him in a window or something. Even though Fatty had been instructed to tell any visiting hobbits that Frodo was busy or sick, that doesn't mean that they might accidentally see him through a window. That way, when any Black Riders came and asked where Baggins was, the hobbits would say he was at Crickhollow.
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:28 AM   #10
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Sting

metropolis, I am aware that he almost got killed by the Ringwraiths. However, this would have happened regardless of the presence of Frodo's clothes.

Imladris, are you supposing that the local Hobbits would be deceived into thinking that Fredegar was Frodo simply by virtue of his wearing Frodo's clothes?
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:57 AM   #11
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Even though Fatty had been instructed to tell any visiting hobbits that Frodo was busy or sick
Well if Fatty was supposed to tell everyone that Frodo was busy or sick. Wouldn't a hobbit find it odd if they knocked on the door to have Fatty answer the door wearing Frodo's clothes which were way too small and his reply being he is sick?
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Old 01-15-2004, 02:55 PM   #12
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If I recall correctly, the hobbits around Crickhollow had never seen Frodo before thus wouldn't be aware that Fatty was not Frodo because they did not know how Frodo looked like. Since they would never get all up close and personal, they wouldn't realize it was only Fatty impersonating him. I'm sure if they saw a hobbit in different clothes they would have thought him to be Frodo.

I had always assumed that Fatty would take the disguise off when talking to visiting hobbits.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 5:43 PM January 15, 2004: Message edited by: Imladris ]
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Imladris, are you supposing that the local Hobbits would be deceived into thinking that Fredegar was Frodo simply by virtue of his wearing Frodo's clothes
I think that's what Tolkien was implying. Even if they weren't deceived by it, you have to realize that it's only a minor hobbit addition to the masterplan, hardly fool proof, & as simple as the hobbits themselves.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:25 PM   #14
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Hmmm. Well, for the size issue - these are *old* clothes of Frodo's, and it's stated that Frodo has gotten much thinner recently, what with all the walking (probably also with stress). So Frodo may have been fairly plump back in the day, so Fatty would be able to wear his clothes fairly comfortably.

I believe that what Fatty did was simply put on Frodo's clothes from time to time when he was messing around inside the house or in the garden. (A cap would probably go a long way towards obscuring the identity of the wearer). Crickhollow always sounded to me like a somewhat remote place, and Frodo isn't going to be exactly besieged by visitors - probably the only people who would see Fatty would be a few hobbits going by on the road at a bit of a distance, and maybe the butcher and the milkman, assuming they do home deliveries. None of these people are going to know what Frodo looks like, and they're not likely to be calling on him. They also don't know that Fatty is living there, so it's natural to assume that any figure they see is the Mr. Baggins who just moved in. So talking among themselves, word will get out that Frodo Baggins is at Crickhollow and remains there. That's the danger to Fatty right there - if the Black Riders heard that a Bolger was living at Crickhollow, they wouldn't think of it twice. It's the fact that Fatty is masquerading as a Baggins that makes the Black Riders likely to come knocking; and of course, had they gotten hold of him, they would have killed him regardless of his surname. But he would never have been in danger if it weren't for his impersonation.

Now as for why he would need Frodo's old clothes when he would only be seen at a distance - I can only posit that Frodo, being probably one of the wealthiest hobbits around, wore rather more expensive clothes than Fatty possessed, and it would look strange to outsiders if the once-wealthy Mr. Baggins was wearing common clothing. Perhaps Frodo wore brighter colours (being able to afford certain dyes used to say a lot about you) or maybe his cloaks and clothes were made of especially good fabric, but at any rate, people might have started to talk if the supposed Frodo had appeared in a ratty old cloak. They might not have had much communication with Hobbiton, but they'd know that Frodo was rich, and they'd have expectations as to how rich gentlehobbits were supposed to dress.
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:19 AM   #15
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Sting

Did the Crickhollow Hobbits know Fredegar? I can't remember where he lived.

Anyhow, surely it could have been just as dangerous if, say, the Crickhollow Hobbits had come up to Fredegar whilst he was in the garden, and discovered that it wasn't, in fact, Frodo Baggins. This would probably elicit murmurings throughout the village and possibly beyond that more strange Baggins-related happenings were taking place.

To get straight back onto the original question, it was already widely known that Baggins was coming to live in the house. The local Hobbits knew this already and could have told the Black Riders this without having to be reassured by the presence of some nice clothes from time to time.
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:31 AM   #16
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Silmaril

I think it's really the part that's dangerous, not the clothes. The clothes are just part of the part, so to speak. They bring the narrator to a convenient place to mention the danger to Fatty, in case we hadn't thought of it.

After all, Tolkien doesn't say "Little did they think how dangerous those clothes might prove." [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

--Belin Ibaimendi

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 1:32 AM January 22, 2004: Message edited by: Belin ]
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:38 PM   #17
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Sting

I had never thought of that. I suppose they could have put word around that Frodo was moving there and just left an empty house for the Riders to find.

It could be the answer. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Or is it? [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:45 PM   #18
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Bringing back an oldish thread for one comment:

Quote:
Crickhollow always sounded to me like a somewhat remote place
A good point. If my memory is correct, the book stated that Frodo purpusfully chose a house in a remote place, so a glimpse of a hobbit from afar of Fatty doing a quick bit of gardening might be all that was needed to 'prove' that Mr. Frodo was indeed still there. Besides, I'm sure Fatty had no objection to staying inside & eating most of the time [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img].
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Old 02-04-2004, 05:15 PM   #19
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Another line of thought on this matter...perhaps Fatty would have been safer leaving the Shire with the other hobbits instead of staying and making pretence to be Frodo. In "The Grey Havens" chapter, Pippin exclaims, "You would have done better to come with us after all, poor old Fredegar!" as Fatty is released from prison. Physically, he was much worse off than any of the hobbits who left the Shire.
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Old 02-04-2004, 07:48 PM   #20
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Yes, but could you imagine Fredgar at Elrond's homely home or even in the Fellowship? [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] Hmmm....maybe he could have been the one Elrond sent home like he was going to do Pippin.
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