Imagine a loner character in a medieval-based fantasy novel. I am going to go with a male since they are the most common offender. This guy has a small castle, a house, or even a hole, but this character does not need help from anyone…or does he?
If your character is a true loner, chances are he is going to have to give up the majority of his hobbies if he is in a medieval-like setting. This counts knights; if your character is a loner knight, chances are he will not get any of his knightly duties done if he actually lives alone.
On his own, he will have to…
- Care for the farm animals/garden
- Go to town to buy necessities
- Grind his own flour and make bread
- Cook every meal
- Clean dishes, the house.
- Chop wood
- Collect water from the well or river.
- Keep the fire going(even at night)
- Wash laundry by hand.
And while he is doing all those, he has to somehow be making money so he can buy things and pay taxes.
There is actually a really smart reason as to why in medieval times a man and a woman would get together and populate the human race like rabbits. One of those reasons is that you can pass down the work to children. One of the children might collect the eggs every day, while another one might chop the wood. Shared work equals less work for all and more time for hobbies.
The most likely way for your character to “live alone” is to have staff. If your character is wealthy, having staff who will do all the chores around the house will leave time for your character to do whatever (likely murderous) hobbies he may have. Better yet, because staff doesn’t count as “real people” to the high society, to everyone’s eyes he is still living alone.
Another common option is to have your character be a traveler of some variety. Have him stay at inns, and he can pay people to do all his chores. He could be completely useless and not even know how to make himself a meal, and no one would ever know.
The last common example is to have him be a street thief. Instead of doing the chores, he will simply steal what he needs.
If you are still deadset on your character being a loner, keep in mind that about 80% of his day will be chores. Making food, getting water, and so on.
As I have said previously, it is a myth that medieval peasants did not have hobbies or free time, however, if your character is, for example, a knight in training, his training will take up most of his day and he will not have time for chores.
If the character has no job, being a loner could work, but with one it will be hard to not depend on other people for at least some of the work daily life takes.