What is the relationship between Bilbo and Frodo?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by Naz, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Naz

    Naz Guest

    Bilbo and Frodo?

    What is the relationship between Bilbo and Frodo? Are they cousins or are they uncle and nephew?

    In the copy of TLotR (4th edition) that I am reading at the moment, on page 40 it says of Bilbo:

    "But he had no close friends, until some of his younger
    cousins began to grow up.
    The eldest of these, and Bilbo's favourite, was young Frodo

    Then on page 51, when Bilbo is giving his birthday speech, he says:

    "For it is, of course, also the birthday of my heir and nephew,

    It seems strange that Tolkien would make such a simple mistake. Is there any text anywhere else that clears up this matter?

  2. Lillyaundra

    Lillyaundra the watcher of all things

    Bilbo never married so he had no heir. then he found Frodo. Frodo parents were killed in a boating accident and that left Frodo and orphone. Bilbo decieded to adopt Frodo and that is their relationship.

    I don't know exactly where it says this, but it is in the Hobbit somewhere....:rolleyes: Hope this answeres your question.:D
  3. Gawain

    Gawain Registered User

    You have read The Hobbit, haven't you Lillyaundra?
  4. Greenwood

    Greenwood The Guild of Ost-in-Edhil

    Appendix C in ROTK gives family trees. Frodo was a distant cousin of Bilbo. Bilbo adopted Frodo as his heir. I suppose because of the considerable difference in ages (Bilbo was older by 78 years), it was natural for them to think of themeselves as an uncle - nephew rather than cousins.
  5. Sherri

    Sherri Registered User

    I think that Frodo was Bilbo's first and second cousin once removed.
  6. Sherri

    Sherri Registered User

    I think that he just likes to call Frodo his nephew.
  7. Roseberry

    Roseberry Registered User

    Don't forget that "Uncle" can be an affectionate term as well as an actual blood relationship. Even though they were distant cousins, their emotional relationship required a different term than "16th Cousin 42-times removed Frodo."
  8. Elanor2

    Elanor2 Registered User

    I do not know if this helps, but I have observed that British (correct me if I am mistaken here) tend to call "cousin" to any family relative that is not a very direct relative, regardless of the "generation lines" (as in one line the siblings, in the second the sibligs' children, in the third the sibligs' children's children). Perhaps a British person can explain this better that I.

    Bilbo's mother and Frodo's grandmother were sisters, so Frodo is nephew to Bilbo on the mother side.

    Bilbo's grandfather and Frodo's father's grandfather were brothers(both in the father side). From what I call "generation line", they are distant uncle and nephew, but since this is a distant relationship, they would consider themselves "cousins".

    So, both would be correct.

    It all depends (I think) of what you undestand for "cousin" and "uncle and nephew".
  9. Sherri

    Sherri Registered User

    i believe that he would only be his nephew if one of Bilob's sisters was his mother. If My mother and your mother were sisters then we'd be cousins.

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