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Gerontius Took

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Gerontius Took
Liz Danforth - Gerontius took.jpg
Biographical Information
Other namesOld Took
LocationGreat Smials, Tuckborough
BirthS.R. 1190
DeathS.R. 1320
ParentageFortinbras Took I
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Gerontius Took

Gerontius Took (S.R. 1190 - 1320, died aged 130), also known as The Old Took, was a renowned Hobbit and twenty-sixth Thain of the Shire.



Gerontius was the only son of Fortinbras I. He married Adamanta Chubb, who gave birth to twelve children: Isengrim III, Hildigard, Isumbras IV, Hildigrim, Isembold, Hildifons, Isembard, Hildibrand, Belladonna, Donnamira, Mirabella and Isengar.

After the death of his father in 1248, Gerontius became the twenty-sixth Thain of the Shire.[1] He was a friend of Gandalf, who gave him a pair of magic diamond studs.[2]

Gerontius Took reached the impressive age of 130, which made him the oldest Hobbit until his grandson Bilbo Baggins celebrated his 131st Birthday.[3] He also held the record of most offspring, until Samwise Gamgee bested him with Tom's birth in S.R. 1442.[4]


He was called The Old Took not because of his age, but because of his numerous younger relatives.[5]

The word element geron is Greek for old. Gerontius was also a Latin name of the Late Roman Empire, and is one of the very few Greco-Latin names appearing in Hobbit lore.

Gerontius is rendered as Geraint in Welsh, found as a royal name in The Mabinogion and in Tennyson's Geraint and Enid.[6]


In a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Kloos, Tolkien stated that when he wrote The Hobbit, he had imagined Bilbo's grandfather to be old, because both of his grandparents were around a hundred years old when they died.[5]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "Took of Great Smials"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "The Longfather-tree of Master Samwise"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 54
  6. Mark T. Hooker, Tolkien and Welsh, p. 133
Preceded by:
Fortinbras Took I
26th Thain of The Shire
S.R. 1248 - 1320
Followed by:
Isengrim Took III