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Old 02-27-2008, 03:03 AM   #41
Estelyn Telcontar
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Rumil, you bring up an excellent point that I've never heard mentioned before - what did Merry and Pippin's families think of their sudden disappearance? As the situation was, the two couldn't have explained anything to them, so it must have seemed that they had fallen prey to the Black Riders or some other danger. I wonder how much - if anything - Fatty gave away after he alarmed Buckland.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:26 AM   #42
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Hi Esty,

yes this did make me wonder, after all Merry and Pippin were the firstborn sons and heirs of the two most powerful families in the Shire. Did they prepare the ground with their parents at an earlier stage of the 'conspiracy', or did they simply disappear?

I guess Merry must have had some talk with his father in arranging the house at Crickhollow for Frodo, which was probably Rory's property, I wonder if Pippin simply legged it!
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:57 AM   #43
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That raises all kinds of questions - to what lengths would the parents of Merry and Pippin have gone to find out what happened to their sons? I can't imagine them being so complacent, not even as Hobbits, that they would leave a stone unturned to find their offspring - in this case, even more importantly, the heirs. I know from personal experience that any danger to one's children turns parents into lions! Do you suppose that they waited a few days, as the irresponsible tweens often went off without bothering to notify them (I know what that feels like too! You learn to accept the axiom that no news is good news.) and by the time they got really concerned, Sharkey's men had taken over and they didn't have the opportunity to leave the Shire to search for them elsewhere?

Hmmm, this gives me some interesting ideas for my fan fiction...
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:02 AM   #44
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Hi Esty,

Took-Brandybuck missing persons search mission, I like it! I guess that Buckland would have been in much turmoil after the Nazgul riding down the gates and Fatty Bolger and his 'Fear, Fire, Foes!'. I wonder if Merry and Pippin were assumed missing in the confusion for a while?

I'd like to think that Merry at least left a letter for his family even if he didn't discuss the details with his father, who seems an unusually perpicacious sort of hobbit.

As for Pippin, I could well imagine,

"Gone off adventuring, back next year with luck, all the best, Pip"

Followed by extreme ructions at the Took household!

I'd think that when all the fuss regarding the Nazgul had died down (and Fatty had been restored to normal by a feast or two) that he would have informed the families what was going on in general terms at least. After all Maggot guessed shrewdly that the black riders were coming to find Mr Bilbo's treasure. Therefore the Shire in general would probably know that Frodo was being chased by the black riders, had left the Shire and was accompanied by Sam, Merry and Pippin. Eventually news would have filtered back from Bree that Merry and Pippin had been there at least and that the Black Riders had attacked. Then they were last seen setting off east with one of those unsavory Ranger types!

I wonder what the Gaffer and Rosie Cotton would have made of all that?

Your point about the Ruffians makes me try and remember when exactly they took over the Shire, can't figure it out at the mo, any idea?
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Last edited by Rumil; 02-27-2008 at 11:12 AM. Reason: extra thoughts
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:23 AM   #45
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Interestingly, checking out the derivation of 'Buckland', an actual British placename, I found that it was originally related to 'puck', a woodland spirit. We're in 'puck'land, on the borders of another, older, stranger world.

.
Actually, this is probably the wrong derivation - its more likely that Buckland derives from the Anglo-Saxon bocland, or 'book-land', ie land granted to them for which there is a charter/written record.
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About this time legend among the Hobbits first becomes history with a reckoning of years. For it was in the one thousand six hundred and first year of the Third Age that the Fallohide brothers, Marcho and Blanco, set out from Bree; and having obtained permission from the high king at Fornost, they crossed the brown river Baranduin with a great following of Hobbits.

Last edited by davem; 03-30-2008 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:40 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar View Post
Rumil I wonder how much - if anything - Fatty gave away after he alarmed Buckland.
There would be no point in Fatty Bolger keeping any secrets once the four companions had left The Shire. Word of the Black Riders asking about Baggins and of the raid on Crickhollow would spread rapidly. It would generally be assumed that Frodo had gone into hiding to avoid the Riders.

The events in Bree were extraordinary enough for messages to be sent to the Master and the Thain so in just a few days after Frodo leaving, the whole Shire would know that he and his friends had escaped the Riders and gone eastward with a Ranger.

In Rivendell, Elrond wanted to send Pippin back home to warn the Hobbits of the threat from Mordor, in a sack if necessary. When that proved to be un-necessary, he could have sent messages to The Shire instead. Some of Cirdan's people were at The Council and would have passed through, or close to, The Shire on their way home.

The families of Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin might have had news of them for the first three months of their adventures, whether Fatty kept secrets or not.
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Last edited by Selmo; 03-31-2008 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:33 AM   #47
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Elrond wanted to sent Pippin, the youngest of the four Hobbits, home to The Shire but then relented and allowed him to become one of the Nine Walkers.

Was he aware that, in Hobbit society, Pippin was not of an age (under 33) when he could make major decisions for himself?
I wonder how Elrond would feel if he later learned that he had sent a child into situations that meant almost certain death.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Selmo View Post
Elrond wanted to sent Pippin, the youngest of the four Hobbits, home to The Shire but then relented and allowed him to become one of the Nine Walkers.

Was he aware that, in Hobbit society, Pippin was not of an age (under 33) when he could make major decisions for himself?
I wonder how Elrond would feel if he later learned that he had sent a child into situations that meant almost certain death.
.
Good question. Elrond truly was against Pippin's going though, maybe he instinctivily knew that Pippin was youngest?
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:27 AM   #49
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So, random thoughts about this chapter:

1. The Narrator tells us the Bucklanders were no different from the folk of the Shire except in their relationship to boats and swimming. This seems quite contradictory with other parts of their introduction - Buckland seems a lot more hierarchial than say Hobbiton and its surroundings, and the Bucklanders seem more conscious of their own history and the outside world too.

2. Maybe the contrast between Buckland and the old Shire is so strong also because we are introduced to them under entirely different circumstances. We first come to Hobbiton on a beautiful day and celebrate a birthday party. Buckland, on the other hand, we arrive to in the dark, on the run, chased by the Black Riders. I bet Hobbiton would seem a little creepy too if we only saw it after sunset with the Nazgûl on our tail.

3. Random note: I always felt for Frodo very much when he feels sorry he's not actually moving to Crickhollow and that his friends went through so much trouble to make it home. This is of course alleviated later in the chapter when it turns out Frodo's friends know exactly what's going on.

4. Can't quote now, but Merry speaks as if Crickhollow was not to be just Frodo's new home but rather some sort of a bachelor commune. Seriously, three bathtubs?

5. I love this chapter as a portrayal of (and an ode to?) friendship. I bet there's a lot of discussion of that on his thread already and I don't feel like I have anything interesting to add - just, the Conspiracy getting unmasked always warms my heart very much, and I always related to poor Frodo in this chapter.

6. In Three Is Company, I pointed out Pippin's attitude towards Sam - jovial, teasing and a little patronizing. It goes on here, and I'm not entirely sure I like it. Sam never reacts to Pippin's quips in any way, which makes me think he's not entirely comfortable with them.

7. Is there a separate thread for Frodo's dreams? I hope so, because they are very fascinating.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:47 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Thinlómien View Post
The Narrator tells us the Bucklanders were no different from the folk of the Shire except in their relationship to boats and swimming. This seems quite contradictory with other parts of their introduction - Buckland seems a lot more hierarchial than say Hobbiton and its surroundings, and the Bucklanders seem more conscious of their own history and the outside world too.
Certainly they are closer to the borders and all; but I don't think the hierarchical part applies, really. I mean, yes, they are; while Hobbiton is more of a "bourgeoise suburb" (or rather, "urb" - there is nothing it would be "sub" to), there is the sort of "feudal" organisation here; nonetheless, it is by no means unique. If nothing else, the Tooks are the same, if not more so - tradition, nobility (the Thain), military. The Shire is a mixture of those, and who knows how things are in the places we have never visited (Northfarthing, Westfarthing. Southfarthing sounds like a patch of land parcelled among several big capitalists).


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Originally Posted by Lommy
Random note: I always felt for Frodo very much when he feels sorry he's not actually moving to Crickhollow and that his friends went through so much trouble to make it home. This is of course alleviated later in the chapter when it turns out Frodo's friends know exactly what's going on.
Indeed. For that matter, it is really fascinating that they went through so much trouble even though they knew it wasn't going to last very long. I can imagine many people, even friends, would still act in such a situation more like "ugh, this bookshelf is so heavy, we don't have to drag it all the way to the back of the futhermost room like it was in Bag End, let's just dump it here by the door and be done with it, Frodo is going to stay here only for a few days at most anyway".

On top of that, can you imagine that Merry had everything prepared also for the journey?!? A very effective conspiracy, indeed!

Speaking of which, I was also reminded why I always sort of liked Merry the most of all the Hobbits (at least on first sight). He is obviously super-clever and also acts according to that, and you can see it here in full.

Also, funny thing: the whole secrecy and preparation reminded me of how I felt only a couple of weeks back, when me and few other friends were preparing several surprise events for another friend who was about to get married. Now I kind of feel like I could imagine Merry and co.'s feelings when they were preparing the whole conspiracy business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lommy
In Three Is Company, I pointed out Pippin's attitude towards Sam - jovial, teasing and a little patronizing. It goes on here, and I'm not entirely sure I like it. Sam never reacts to Pippin's quips in any way, which makes me think he's not entirely comfortable with them.
Yes, I felt sorry for Sam sometimes in places like these and I got the feeling that he is the sort of equivalent of the kid in a group of schoolfriends who always stands in the back and sometimes even his friends are mean to him.

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Originally Posted by Lommy
Is there a separate thread for Frodo's dreams? I hope so, because they are very fascinating.
They certainly are. And now I remembered that there is quite a lot about them in HOME, in the Treason of Isengard, because they had been rewritten and switched and some were originally part of some super-creepy and cool things which didn't make it to the book (like, I think this particular dream about climbing up a hill and hearing the sea and thunder was, if I am not mistaken, somehow related to the episode when Gandalf and Fatty Bolger - whom Gandalf had saved from the Black Riders at Crickhollow - were defending themselves against the Riders in the White Towers, kind of like in the later version Gandalf would fight the Nazgul at Weathertop).

Speaking of Fatty: I think he is once again an interesting and slightly omitted character, and if you look at it, he certainly didn't suffer any less than the others. (I recall Esty had once written some nice fanfiction which kind of elaborated on it very nicely... I think it remained unfinished? It was here on the 'Downs, or at least a link somewhere.) But it is true that he is a bit of an afterthought also in the chapter, because he does not say anything until almost the end. Which is kind of a pity.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:25 AM   #51
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'A Conspiracy Unmasked.' What a great name for this chapter.

The name, and use of labeling Merry, Sam, Pippin and Fatty as 'conspirators' makes it sound negative. That's what one usually thinks of when there is a conspiracy. However, the conspiracy that gets unmasked turns out to reveal the strongest bonds of friendship between the hobbits. We see indeed what Tolkien meant about hobbits being tough and difficult to daunt in the prologue. None of the hobbits can possibly know the dangers they have chosen to go walking into, but fear of the unknown peril is not strong enough to turn their back on a friend in need.

Merry as the head conspirator winds up revealing he knows almost as much about the Ring as Frodo. Frodo has all the knowledge that Gandalf told him, but Merry caught Bilbo using it to avoid the S-B's. And he may not know that this is the most powerful of rings, but he knows the Enemy is hunting Frodo because of the Ring, a former treasure of Bilbo's.

This is the irksome part of the movies. I have no problem with condensing the time in the Shire down and introducing Merry and Pippin joining Frodo and Sam at Maggot's. I do think it's a shame Merry and Pippin get characterized as funny sidekicks for comedic relief. Pippin is the youngest hobbit, and shows he has a lot of growing up to do throughout the journey, but Merry is Frodo's closest friend. I can't imagine Frodo getting through this early stage of the book without Merry's knowledge and calm, cool demeanor.
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