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Old 03-03-2003, 11:01 PM   #31
Haunted Halfling
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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On this thought, (a worthy one indeed Saucepan Man!), I can only comment thus. As I watched the two separated friends, Merry and Pippin, as they were plunged into their individual tests in battle, I noticed that Merry does have great common sense, but somehow he is more drawn to serve and be a part of something larger than himself, whereas Pippin is more likely to act out of the direct and immediate influence of his heart. This could be a viewpoint based on the very different experiences they had; Pippin could NOT have served Denethor the way Merry did Theoden. Pippin ended up having to think for himself (very quickly!) and act on his own initiative regarding strategic decisions. Thus, I couldn't say decisively that Merry is the best choice of the two. I could say that if one carried the Ring, the other should be present in support. Merry could probably have kept a level head, but Pippin could think faster in a pinch, IMO. They complement each other much like Frodo and Sam do. So, I suppose I would ideally keep the hobbits together, but I can see Merry and Pippin doing what Frodo and Sam did in a way. I can especially see Pippin taking on like Sam to rescue Merry from the Tower if that turn of events did happen to occur, but, of course, Gollum would never have trusted either Merry or Pippin and thus would never have served them. I wonder if Merry or Pippin would have the presence of mind to make Gollum swear on the Precious to help them? The delicate task of "the taming of Smeagol" is one aspect of the quest that I think ONLY Frodo could have handled. Thus, at Mount Doom, I imagine one of them would be struggling with the influence of the Ring and the other would be fighting off a mad Gollum. In fact, I wonder if it would turn out the same here. Say Pippin is fighting off Gollum, and Merry is struggling with the Ring. One bad thing here is that I think Pippin would kill Gollum; he would know nothing of the pity of Frodo or Bilbo, or of Sam once he had once borne the Ring. I think the same is true of Merry. I do wonder if Sam, Merry or Pippin would understand the "pity of Bilbo" well enough to spare Gollum at the end had Frodo not shown it as he did. For we know, that if Gollum made it to the Ringbearer, whoever it may be, he'd have that Ring and the finger too if need be.

Which brings me to another question: would Gollum have plunged into Orodruin if he had NOT sworn on the Precious as Frodo made him do? There are a lot of variables here. It is hard to say what alternative would have been the best, except that I do agree with the Saucepan Man--the hobbits are best suited to it.

The other members of the Fellowship would be useful in this quest for support but not as Ring-bearers. Gimli seems the most resistant of the others, but the Dwarves have shown their attitudes with regard to treasure and possessions to be most stubborn and dangerous (i.e. Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit!), so I wouldn't risk it on empirical evidence of the Dwarven kind. Thanks for giving me lots to think about!

“…she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.”
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