Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search

A Conspiracy of Hobbits  by Dreamflower 5 Review(s)
PeriantariReviewed Chapter: 15 on 1/28/2006
This was one of my favorite chapters because PIppin telling Merry and them reconciliating (sp?) the fact that they both want to go is just key and it's just something i looked forward to the whole time.
I loved that paragraph about the instances where Merry was angry at PIppin and i felt so badly for Pippin when he was on his knees begging not to be left behind. Oh the angst that could be written. >=)
Poor Merry and his sleepless nights-- but i think it would've been wiser for him to let Pippin in the know and to tell him, convince Pip not to go... now so close to "moving day", it's too late for Pippin knows too much and wouldn't be persuaded otherwise.
I am so enjoying this fic.
So very much. :) You're a an amazing writer.

Author Reply: Reconciling, I think, *grin*.

Yes, this was key. As you said, if Merry had told Pippin, he would have had months to try and persuade him--however, he would also have had months of Pippin begging him to go, and I suspect that, more than anything kept him from it. And Pippin also knew that if Merry had enough *time* he might have figured out a way to slip off without him.

Merry *had* to be angry. For him to realize his efforts to protect Pip had been in vain must have just been the last straw. But the relief at having all the secrets between them out in the open--that helped him to get over his anger.

I am so glad you are enjoying this story. So much of what I later came to write was first planted in this story.

Thank you. *blushes*

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 15 on 11/7/2005
Finally! I've been waiting so long to read this chapter!

"Which left Merry and Pippin alone at Bag End."

This alone tells you something big is about to occur.


“Yes, Pip.” He didn’t turn around, but kept on with putting apples in a bowl.

“The way I see it, you have three choices: you can try to leave me;” Merry went still. “you can try to stop me, which means you don’t go either;” Merry stiffened. “or you can take me with you and Frodo when you go.”

Merry turned around in shock. “How long have you known?” he whispered.

“Ever since you were down at the Smials in spring, when Alyssum was born. I eavesdropped on you and Fatty.”

Merry dropped into the nearest chair. His face was white as paper, except for two bright red spots on his cheeks, and his eyes blazed. “You wicked wretch!”"

You set scenes up so well! And you worry about the amount of details you have in your descriptions. It's perfect! This scene reads like I'm watching it happen live before my eyes. My favourite portion is when Pippin explains Merry's three choices to him. Poor Merry! No wonder he went still and then had to drop into a chair and turned white!

"Now Pippin was in shock. He had not expected Merry to be *angry* at him. Not annoyed, or irritated, or fussed or upset--this was real anger. Only three times before in his life had it happened: when he was eight and climbed so high in a tree he could not get down; when he was eleven, and got himself lost in the back tunnels at Brandy Hall for two days; and when he was twenty, and on a dare from a couple of his Banks cousins, had gotten so drunk he nearly died. This makes four, he thought miserably. “Merry?”"

“You knew! All those months I was worried sick about leaving you, you knew!” Merry grabbed Pippin hard by both wrists. “You don’t have a clue as to what danger is involved here!”"

Wow - for Merry to be *that* upset at Pippin... that's a major event and speaks volumes as to how upsetting this entire thing has been for Merry. Keeping his Pippin in the dark must have been pure torture for him.

"Pippin wrenched his arms away. Now his own anger kindled. “You always think you know what’s best for me! You always try to protect me! It never occurs to you that I might like to make my own decisions once in a while! I love Frodo, too! You’re not the only person in the world who cares about him! And you were planning on leaving me without so much as a goodbye!”

“Well, obviously that would have been useless, since you knew exactly what was going on. Was it funny watching me suffer? Did you get a laugh out of all my sleepless nights? How do you think I felt, knowing I might never see you again? How could you *do* that to me?”

This was too much for Pippin. He burst into tears and threw himself at his cousin’s feet. “I’m sorry, Merry! Please, please forgive me--I can’t bear it if you’re angry! But I couldn’t take the chance you’d leave me. Life wouldn’t be worth living in the Shire if you and Frodo both left me!” Curled up on the floor, he sobbed so hard that his stomach hurt.

After several moments he felt Merry’s familiar hand upon his head."

There is such strong emotion running throughout this scene that it is extremely palpable. I can feel it on my skin as I read it and even as I reread it for the umpteenth time. Both cousins really lost it. Actually, I think they both needed this type of catharsis with each other after all these months of deceiving one another.

"“I’m sorry, Pip. I should not have been so angry. But I’ve been so desperately worried about leaving you.” He reached down and raised his cousin up for a quick embrace.

“”Yes. Well.” Pippin got back in his chair, wiping his face with a sleeve. “You don’t have to any more because you’re not.”

“Can we discuss that?”

“Of course we can. But the answer won’t change. No different than if Frodo tries to tell you that *you’re* not coming.”"

Such perfect exchanges between them! They know each other so well.

"“You do know that this journey could be more dangerous than dragons? It‘s not the kind of adventure we used to talk about having.”

“I know about--the Ring--if that’s what you mean.” Pippin’s face was sober. “I know what it will mean if it stays; I know that danger will follow after it when it goes.”

“I see. Well, I guess you’re in, though you may wish yourself out before it’s over.” Actually, they might all of them wish themselves out, but it was no longer an option."

Quoted just because I like this passage so much. Okay, I really like the entire chapter and am quoting just about the whole thing back to you, but that's what happens when you write such brilliant chapters. And this one was one of the best!

Still, I'm glad you have them admitting to each other the seriousness of the situation and just how dangerous it actually is.

Last bit of quoting, because we can't forget Freddie:

"...the amount of flour in their hair and clothing bore mute witness to the fact that at some point they had gotten a bit carried away.

Fatty looked at Merry and Pippin, looking more carefree than he’d seen them in days. “Well, Pippin, you must have confessed.”

“I’m sorry Merry, but he already knew.”

Merry laughed. “Well, that’s that then. A Bolger trying to talk a Took out of something--rather like a rabbit trying to keep a bull from charging, I’d say.”"

I love how Freddie gets to be there to witness the flour all over Merry and Pippin and see how the tension has cleared. I'm sure all three of them feel much better now that they don't have to keep so many secrets from each other. I know that *I'm* happier now that all of that tension is gone. Another scene that makes me want to get out my sketchpad and draw it. Of course, I'm not drawing any of these scenes until after I've finished with reading all of your stories. Rather selfish, but I don't want to take the time out to draw the scenes when I can be reading them instead. You've really outdone yourself with this chapter.

With the internet not working at home, I have been reading the Trilogy again at night (when not watching the movie version). I've found that having read your stories through once and now reading them again has enhanced my reading and understanding of the Trilogy as I read through it a second time. I'm picking up on more of the relationships between the four hobbits and more about their various personalities as well as some of the events. I've also found the reverse to be true. As I read the Trilogy again, I find that it has been helping me to appreciate your stories more and the care and detail to canon that you give them. This really has been an invaluable way to read and devour both the Trilogy and your stories. I must say that I am enjoying one as much as the other.

Author Reply: Wow!

I just don't know what to say after a glowing review like this. It makes me feel very warm and happy, yet a little bit humble as well, to know you liked it that much.

I will say that this chapter was a pivotal one for me, as well as for Merry and Pippin. It set up for me so much of what their past and their future would be in *my* stories and in *my* Shire. For example, that little paragraph about the times Merry had been angry with Pippin--until that came into my head, I had not realized that about them, that Merry was almost never angry with Pippin,and that the only times he had been before, was because of Pippin endangering himself. This just told me volumes, and ended up being the inspiration for three seperate stories: "The Dare", "The Brandy Hall Incident" and "A First Time for Everything". The fact that as soon as the secrets were gone their connection with each other was renewed, symbolised by their baking together--this was the first time, really that they got flour all over each other, but now it became something that happened every time. And some of their little phrases and things, all came together in this chapter of this story, and has guided me throughout all the subsequent stories I wrote, including all the stories you have read up until now.

And I cannot tell you how flattered I am that you say my story has helped your understanding of canon and vice-versa. One of the main reasons I write these stories is to explore aspects of canon that we know little about.

Wow! Thanks!

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/1/2004
Love that line about Tooks and charging bulls. Good analogy, and so true! There's no stopping a Took, especially Pippin. Merry angry would be a frightening sight, he's usually so level-headed. I can see why Pippin lost it, esp. after so many months of spying and worrying. But now they can gain up against Frodo!

Author Reply: Well, they both kind of lost it. But even an angry Merry can't deny Pippin for long. And we know Frodo doesn't stand a chance.

PervincaReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/1/2004
The chapter I've been waiting for! Poor Pippin. I never expected Merry to get that angry either, but I think he had perfect reason to! That last line was so perfect! Oh, I love Fredegar :P

Author Reply: Yes, Merry had to get angry, knowing that all those months of trying to be so careful not to give anything away was totally useless, and knowing that Pippin had to be aware of just how miserable he was.
Fatty was just as relieved as Merry and Pippin to have it out in the open finally--after all, he's been stuck in the middle. A Brnadybuck on one side and a Took on the other, never had a chance, poor fellow!

Grey WondererReviewed Chapter: 15 on 4/1/2004
Was so happy to come home and find more of this one. Also so glad that Merry's anger was short-lived. I could totally see his point, but hadn't thought about it until Pippin confessed. Until then, I was too busy feeling sorry for Pippin.Now, for the tricky part, getting all of this past Frodo! You are doing a wonderful job. Look forward to more.

Author Reply: Well, at first I had his anger pass *too* quickly, which my beta pointed out; but I didn't want it to last too long either, as they had to make it up before anyone else got home. And really, Merry is so relieved now to have the secrecy over. These two don't do well with secrets between them.
Getting it past Frodo: that's tricky for me. JRRT already did it, and I have to be able to keep in line with that. I'm starting to get rather nervous about it. I still have almost another week of events to cover, and it's got to mesh with canon.

Return to Chapter List