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The meaning of 'Drogo' is uncertain1
Pronunciation
dro'go ba'ggins

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  • Updated 3 September 2009
  • This entry is complete

Drogo Baggins

Frodo’s drowned father

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The second child, and eldest son, of Fosco Baggins and Ruby Bolger, Drogo was said to be a decent and respectable Hobbit, though he was rumoured to be a little overweight. He married Primula Brandybuck of Buckland, and they had one son, the famous Frodo Baggins the Ring-bearer.

Drogo often stayed with his wife's family in Brandy Hall, enjoying the fine food served by his father-in-law Master Gorbadoc. On one of those visits, when young Frodo was just twelve years old, Drogo and Primula went boating on the River Brandywine, and both were drowned in an accident. The details are mysterious: some said that Drogo was merely too heavy for the boat, others - less plausibly - that Primula had actually pushed Drogo into the river, and then been pulled in herself.

However Drogo and Primula were lost, they left Frodo to be raised at Brandy Hall. There Frodo lived for nine years until he was adopted by his father's distant cousin, Bilbo Baggins of Hobbiton. Thus it was that Drogo's son eventually became heir to the Ring, and set out on the long journey to Mount Doom.


Notes

1

Germanic Drogo means a 'ghost' or 'phantom', and Tolkien was surely aware of the linguistic connection (indeed he used the Old Norse form Draugr as part of the original etymology of the name Draugluin). It's far from clear, however, whether he intended Drogo Baggins' name to carry that meaning (or any meaning at all), and it's difficult to see how an interpretation as 'ghost' could be relevant in this context (except perhaps as a very oblique reference to Drogo's relatively early death).

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