16 June 2012

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 351: the Sackville-Bagginses

Lobelia and Otho in Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring

The Sackville-Bagginses were an obnoxious family of Hobbits living in the Shire, founded by Otho (son of Longo Baggins and Camellia Sackville). The family died out after just two generations.

Otho, founder of the Sackville-Baggins family of Hobbits, was the cousin of Bilbo Baggins. He is remembered as being greedy, ill-tempered, and offensive. He married Lobelia Bracegirdle and they had one son: Lotho, who took over the clan upon Otho’s death in TA 3012.  

Born in Hardbottle, Lobelia, a Bracegirdle, was known for having a shrewish temper. She married Otho Sackville-Baggins and bore him a son, Lotho. For most of her life, she tried to gain possession of Bag End from Bilbo and Frodo until the latter finally sold it to her in TA 3018. When Saruman took control of the Shire, Lobelia was imprisoned in the Lockholes after arguing with some of the Chief’s Men. Though she was a vindictive Hobbit, she was also tough; during the occupation of the Shire, she gained much respect from her fellow Hobbits, and upon her release from the Lockholes, she found popularity for the first time in her life. But she was so crushed by her son’s death that she returned Bag End to Frodo and went back to her family in Hardbottle. She died the following spring; upon her death, her money went to Frodo to be used to help those Hobbits left homeless by Lotho and Saruman.

Lotho was the son of Otho and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. The Hobbits of the Shire called him Pimple or Little Pimple, as his face seems to have been covered in blemishes. After the death of his father in 3012, he became the head of the clan and was soon after singled out by Saruman, who by now had taken an interest in the Shire. In 3018, he moved into Bag End with his mother, Lobelia. He began buying property – more than he could afford – and supporting outside Men, known as Ruffians or the Chief’s Men. He then imprisoned the Mayor, Will Whitfoot, and, naming himself Chief Shirriff, took over the Shire. But where most of the money for his land purchases had come from Isengard, Lotho soon found himself so indebted to Saruman that he could not prevent Sharkey’s Men from entering the Shire. And by this time, the wizard had no more use for the Hobbit. In September or October of that year, he was slain by Gríma Wormtongue at the order of Saruman.  

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