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When the King Comes Back ( Brandy Hall )  by Dreamflower 3 Review(s)
GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 9 on 12/26/2005
Will Merry's and Pippin's rope burns ever go away? They must have been quite fierce to still be so noticeable after all these many months. It is a pity that the natural inclination is to make light or even hide such wounds rather than to show them as the badges of honour that they are that might help other hobbits understand how dangerous it was.

I do so adore your Berilac! I know, I mentioned him just a few short chapters ago, but he is such a great character! We really can see here the beginnings of his contemplations about what went on and his longing to have also helped and been a part of it, not for any accolades, but because he is a fine gentlehobbit. It is a measure of his worth that outside of his immediate family, Berilac is the first hobbit that Merry chose to honestly tell of his journeys, warts and all. Berilac is someone who would appreciate them and not pity Merry or scoff that he was making things up or embellishing.

These two hobbits grew up being close and I think still are, although they lack the special bond that Merry feels with Frodo, Pippin, and Sam. And actually, Berilac is the same age as Sam, no? Yet, when speaking with Merry now, it is as you have indicated and Berilac seems the younger of the two.

This was a splendid chapter!

Author Reply: No, those are scars, and they may fade a bit, but they will still be noticeable to those who look for the rest of their lives. My belief is that the rope burns are the worst *physical* scars, except for the one on his brow, that Merry carries. He was cruelly bound for the duration of their captivity, and unconscious much of that time, so they may have carried him by the arms, making them much worse. Pippin, on the other hand was only loosely bound at the wrists, once he had been able to cut them and replace them "just for show". However, he was more cruelly whipped, because of his escape attempt, so those scars are worse for him, in addition to any he received in battle. Merry's injury from the Witch King, on the other hand, was a psychic blow, and the results from it more dangerous and lasting, even though not visible to the naked eye.

Merry's not quite yet ready to reveal all to more than a handful of people. And you will notice the same reluctance here as with his mother. In spite of his experience with Eowyn showing him how tough the female sex may be, he still is hesitant to share the gory details in front of lasses. And with how sheltered hobbit lasses would generally be, he may have a point. If Berilac had been the only one there, he might have said more.

Berilac is very close to Merry in many ways, though he will never ever share the sort of closer-than-brother bond Merry has with the other three. But he's a good steady hobbit, and very representative of the Brandybuck traits of intelligence and loyalty. And yes, he's about Sam's age. But of course, experience has more to do with that at this point, and so he does seem younger now.

PervincaReviewed Chapter: 9 on 3/23/2004
Oh, this keeps getting more wonderful! Merry's wrath over that hobbit's words about Frodo was especially touching. To be honest, it's never something I ever considered - the fact that there would be no more Bagginses. I suppose the old Prof. set it up to be exactly that way.

I have a question for you - a request, if you'd like. I really loved the idea of the hobbits buying presents for their families in Minas Tirith. Would you mind if I used that idea in a story? I will give you complete credit for it, of course! It's just something that I can really imagine happening!

Author Reply: Yes, I noticed it when going over the family trees for characters. It just suddenly struck me that there were no more male Baggins after Frodo. Like you, I think it was probably deliberate, since JRRT wanted Sam to be Frodo's heir. But I thought that Merry would find this very sad once he realized it. I know I did. No more Bagginses in the Shire...sigh.
And sure, you can use the gift idea. It just seemed logical to me. I could see them trying to while away the time there before going home, and that was one thing they would obviously do.

Grey WondererReviewed Chapter: 9 on 3/23/2004
I love Merry's defense of Frodo and the way he warned his cousin not to talk down to Sam. Very honorable. I am enjoying this very much. It is a very good story.

Author Reply: I've always thought of Merry as naturally very honorable. Standing up for his family and friends would come to him as easily as breathing.

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