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Old 03-05-2019, 08:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
That's the "we can make it work" approach. In a post a few months ago in the CbC thread for this chapter, I think I had the same suspicion you've just voiced.
Ah, indeed. Quoting from there:

Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
So either Merry is misrepresenting when the Conspiracy was formed or Sam was not its chief investigator.
I never imagined Sam was their chief investigator. He may have been the chief information gatherer, but I don't see him as the brain and heart of the operation. The brain organizes others, commands others, keeps everyone on track. Can you imagine Book 1 Sam "organizing" Master Merry and Master Peregrin? Even the later Sam might have trouble doing that - though he was the brain of the operations on a couple occasions, and he spoke on equal footing with people much bigger than him in size and title, and of course eventually he becomes a very respectable hobbit. No, Merry is the chief organizer here, but he is trying to give Sam the credit for providing the critical information.

I agree too that they didn't know as much as perhaps Frodo understood them to mean. But they did know or at least suspect "a great deal" of what mattered and made a difference. It doesn't really matter what exactly is the Ring, how it was made, and where it has to go. What matters it that it explains the Baggins disappearance mystery, Gandalf's visits and more than just friendly concern, Frodo's odd behaviour, and that it's time for Frodo's friends to step up and "show their quality". They are overly adventurous hobbits, but they are still hobbits and their concerns are still limited to hobbit stuff. Certainly Merry is in part exaggerating, but I think he really believes his exaggeration because for a hobbit, what more is there to know?
"I have no great fondness for the universe, but I do live there." - Eliezer Yudkowsky
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