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Dates
Race
Culture
Family
Settlements
Probably lived at Overhill near Hobbiton2
Pronunciation
Folco is pronounced 'fo'lko'
Meaning
Uncertain3

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  • Updated 15 September 2018
  • This entry is complete

Folco Boffin

A friend of Frodo Baggins

The only son of Vigo Boffin, who apparently lived at Overhill beyond the Hill from Hobbiton. He was born in the Shire-year 1378 (or III 2978, by coincidence, the same year that Boromir was born in Gondor) and as a child he was fond of old Bilbo, a fellow descendant of the Old Took,4 who lived in nearby Bag End. As he grew older he became a friend of Bilbo's adopted heir Frodo Baggins, and Folco was in fact the eldest of all Frodo's young friends and associates. As a close friend of both Bilbo and Frodo, Folco was naturally present at their joint Birthday Party in III 3001 at which Bilbo vanished dramatically from the Shire.

When Frodo moved out of Bag End some seventeen years after Bilbo's departure, Folco was among those who helped him prepare for the move, alongside Fredegar Bolger, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. While these other three went on to play a greater or lesser part in the events at the end of the Third Age, Folco left Bag End after lunch, and played no further part in Frodo's adventures.

Of Folco's later life we know almost nothing. Through his father Vigo he was a descendant of the elder line of the Boffin family, tracing his descent back as far as the patriarch Buffo Boffin. Thus when Vigo died in the Shire-year 1430 (or IV 9), Folco would likely have become head of the Boffin family in his father's stead.


Notes

1

We have only a date of birth for Folco, but we do know that he survived at least to III 3018 (Shire-reckoning 1418, when he would have been forty years old) because he helped Frodo Baggins move out of Bag End in that year. If he lived a typical Hobbit lifespan, Folco would have survived well into the Fourth Age, probably living until about the year IV 57 (or 1478 by the Shire-reckoning).

2

The folkland of the Boffins - the region where most of the family lived - was in the Yale, some thirty miles eastward of Hobbiton. Though we're never told precisely where Folco lived, there are clues that he did not dwell among most of his folk in the Yale. For example, when Folco was helping Frodo at Bag End, we're told that he '...went home after lunch...' (The Fellowship of the Ring I 3, Three is Company) which hardly seems as though it describes setting out on a thirty-mile journey.

Folco's father Vigo was associated with the village of Overhill, which lay much closer to Bag End on the other side of Hobbiton Hill. Given the apparent casualness of Folco's departure from Bag End, and his family connection to Overhill, it seems much more likely that his home was there rather than far away in the Yale.

3

Folco's name is not explained, but it appears to be an adaptation of Old English folca, 'folk, people' into the pattern of names preferred by the Boffin family. If this is correct, then Folco's name is cognate with that of Folca, a King of Rohan who was great-great-grandfather to Théoden. Given the shared linguistic roots of the Shire-hobbits and the Rohirrim, a connection like this is entirely plausible.

4

Bilbo was a grandson of Gerontius the Old Took, through his mother Belladonna. Folco's grandmother Donnamira was Belladonna's younger sister, making Folco one of the Old Took's many great-grandchildren. Thus Folco was Bilbo's first cousin, once removed.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 15 September 2018
  • This entry is complete

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