A Decent and Respectable Hobbit
2010 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Drabble Series - First Place
Story Type: Drabble ✧ Length: True Drabble Series
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Drogo Baggins, a decent, respectable hobbit; there was never much to tell of him or was there? (A series of fourteen drabbles.) (Completed drabble series, written for the June 2008 Father's Day Challenge in the LOTR Community Challenges)
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 10
A good character study will make the reader see angles of a character that weren't apparent before; a really good character study will make you realize, "Hey, there's a character there to be studied at all!", where before, that hadn't been apparent. I don't know that I've ever read a story in which Drogo Baggins featured in even a minor capacity, though that may just be because I usually read about Dúnedain. There's so little material given about him, and what is given out is not the sort of thing that usually excites speculation - Dreamflower heads up her drabbles with the one descriptive quote we have, and basically undertakes a challenge: is there nothing more to be said of Drogo Baggins than this? She succeeds in making more of him than one would ever imagine - a lively, interested, honest, curious man, kind-hearted, and if adventure isn't necessarily for him, unlike others, he seems not to grudge Bilbo anything. I love the intervention of Lobelia in this story - it suggests a background for her own rather bitter and resentful attitude toward Frodo, and Otho's disdain for Bilbo. The last two drabbles bring us forward into Frodo's time frame as an adult, and give Drogo a place in his life that is as unexpected as it is sweet. A lovely series, Dreamflower, and highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 10
I've always felt there was more to Drogo's story than the seemingly throw away comment that he was a [decent and respectable hobbit]. And I can't think of an author better suited to flesh that story out than Dreamflower. Dreamflower has a gift for characterization in small moments, and this gift applies to both well-known and little known canon characters. It applies particularly well to hobbits, because in hobbits, it's the little differences that really tell the story. They may like to think they're decent and respectable and boring, but beneath it all, the little differences are made of sterner stuff. With Bilbo, Hamfast, Otho, Primula, and Frodo as foils, Drogo demonstrates that he is indeed respectable and polite. Primula's noting that he always does the "[respectable thing]" brought a smile to my face. And I love the idea that rather than confronting Lobelia and expressing that he has no interest in her (my thoughts shuddered at that one), he flees to Buckland and eventually finds Primula, who is definitely his match. But it's through Bilbo and Frodo that another side of Drogo emerges. He has a thirst for knowledge that parallels Bilbo's own curiosity, and he has a need to pass that knowledge on, as illustrated by his relationship with Frodo. And though he's taken from Frodo while the latter is quite young, Frodo clearly remembers the brief time he had with his father. A lasting impact from a most unique hobbit, for all that he was decent and respectable.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 10
A few years ago for Fathers Day (U.S.), Dreamflower wrote a series of drabbles in honor of one of the unsung heroes of the Shire, focusing on Drogo Baggins, father to our beloved Frodo. Unlike his far more famous son, Drogo was portly rather than slender, and uncomfortable on the water or in boats. But it appears that Frodo came by his intelligence and curiosity and love of learning honestly, as well as his faithfulness and devotion to duty. In this wonderful series we see the intelligence of Drogo Baggins, the alarm when he finds himself being pursued by Lobelia Bracegirdle, the fascination he feels when he sees Primula Brandybuck, the pain of lost babes, the pride and love he feels for the child that lived, the grief felt by those who loved him when he and his bride died, and the awareness Frodo felt at the end that he would soon be reunited with his father once again. Drogo is a living presence here, not merely a name on a page and the memory of hopeful scandal that he might have died deliberately. He is eager to learn, and then ready to teach; perhaps always respectable but also always loving, to the point he overcomes his fear of boats to delight his wife with an evening on the river. And we feel his readiness to receive his beloved son back into his embrace at the end. Thoughtful and gentle, these drabbles spell out a life experienced with respectability but also with faithfulness and love, followed by a watchful death as he never ceases to love--or to be loved by--his beloved son. I saved this for nearly the last, as I so wanted to end the MEFAs reading a fic that I knew I loved and wanted to honor. Thank you, Dreamflower, for so many stories that have reaffirmed our mutual love of the Shire and its most faithful son and his family.
Reviewed by: Tanaqui ✧ Score: 8
Dreamflower has created a wonderful sequence of drabbles telling something of the life of Frodo's father, Drogo. One of the things I like very much about this series -- which narrative drabble series often don't achieve -- is how the story is not merely chopped into one hundred word chunks but divided so that, while building to tell a complete story, each drabble is able to stand alone on its own merits as an example of the art form. The drabbles themselves, and the story, are delightful, providing a complete picture of Hobbit society, with all the gossip, social jostling and (attempted) enforcement of social norms -- and the personal and private triumphs and tragedies that hide behind those social facades. It's also not surprising that a writer as well verse in Hobbit-lore as Dreamflower would also make great use of relatively minor characters in ways that make the reader smile on appreciating how these scenes tie into canon. This was extremely enjoyable, and I shall never think of Drogo Baggins in quite the same way again!
Reviewed by: Celeritas ✧ Score: 7
Dreamflower has a knack for picking out hobbits that we know little to nothing about, but really should know a good deal about--and then telling us exactly what we need to know about them. In this case it's Drogo Baggins, who must have had some level of influence on his son (and indeed the rest of his family) before he died, but whose voice has to be--very delicately--teased out from between the lines. Dreamflower takes the little we know about him, and expands that information into a character who lived, loved, and died too soon. His relationship with Bilbo is founded on a common love of learning, he meets Primula when fleeing the attentions of a certain Bracegirdle--and, respectably, waits until he is absolutely certain of his affection before courting her, and his experiences with his son are briefly sweet. The last three drabbles reflect on his legacy in the characters we do see in canon. Like any good fic, this story makes you return to the original with new room for thought. Highly recommended!
Reviewed by: Virtuella ✧ Score: 4
Dreamflower turns her attention here to a very minor character, Drogo Baggins, father of Frodo. In a series of drabbles she explores his life and his personality, skillfully characterising him in a way that makes him plausible as the father of such an exceptional hobbit. All the drabbles in this series are delightful, but the ones that stand out most to me are the ones that speak of his courtship of Primula and the final one that shows us Frodo remembering the stone he gave to his father on his third birthday. Very well done!
Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel ✧ Score: 3
A really gorgeous drabble series exploring what Frodo's father Drogo might have been like and his relationships to both Frodo and Bilbo - the last couple are a bit bittersweet, but beautifully done.
Reviewed by: Nath ✧ Score: 3
Drogo Baggins is not a character I have given much thought to before, but reading this drabble series made me consider that though he was respectable enough to satisfying wagging hobbit tongues, he also managed to capture a Took lass's heart, so he cannot have been entirely dull.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 3
This drabble series breathes life into the minor characters of Drogo and Primula, fitting them nicely into the characterizations we know of Bilbo and Frodo. Fans of Frodo wont want to miss this one, as it gives a nice portrayal of the world he was born into.
Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty ✧ Score: 3
A lovely glimpse into various stages of Drogo Baggin's childhood and adult life. Frodo's father comes alive to the reader as rarely before under Dreamflower's skillful pen/keyboard. Now I know where Frodo inherited his renowned love of booklore and poetry from. A delight to read.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 3
A charming look at the barely chronicled life of a very influential hobbit - the father of Frodo, Drogo Baggins. Dreamflower brings out the strength and curiosity and intelligence behind Drogo's rather stolid Baggins exterior; and leaves us wanting more chapters chronicling Drogo's life.