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A Conspiracy of Hobbits  by Dreamflower 5 Review(s)
GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 23 on 11/10/2005
It must have been extremely difficult for Merry and Freddy to wait for Frodo, Sam, and Pippin to arrive at Crickhollow, especially since they were so much later in arriving than expected. I'm amazed Merry waited as patiently as he did, the way he is inclined to worry over Frodo and Pippin.

Pippin getting tipsy on the Elven drink - lol! It's a good reminder that he had only recently come to the age where he could have more than a half and was thus more likely to be susceptible to the effects of alcohol than the others.

"Wide-eyed he risked a look at Sam, who gave him a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder."

This is a wonderful moment. Sam demonstrates that warm sense of reassurance that is so comforting to Frodo later on. To see him give this same comfort to Frodo's younger cousin is a chance to see that it is not just with Frodo, but part of Sam's nature to be so comforting and reassuring in his firm but quiet way. We don't often get to see the closeness between Sam and Pippin, which makes this little moment all the more special.

One of the things I liked in the book is how Pippin was the one who knew his way around better than Frodo or Sam and how it was Pippin who took control of the situation with Farmer Maggot when Frodo was afraid. As you've pointed out, it's only natural that Pippin would have accompanied Merry on his jaunts hither and yon over the years, including to Farmer Maggot's. I would think that Frodo would have known the land in Buckland pretty well, too, between his having lived there for so many years and his annual trips there to visit. However, since he was such a young lad when he left Buckland to go live with Bilbo, it's doubtful that he would be as knowledgeable about the land as Pippin, who has had more time to visit with Merry than Frodo does.

"“Well, it’s time you made it up. Especially if you are coming back to live in Buckland."

Hmmm... a quote of a quote. lol! But I'm glad you included this quote from the books. It must have been so difficult for Pippin to keep up the pretense that he thinks Frodo is actually going to live in Buckland again. To turn it here toward an advantage is something I really enjoyed.

I like how scholarly you are making Freddy. Death is a very interesting concept for him to be reading about in that history of Numenor. And then to contemplate how the various races consider death, there's a lot of depth to Freddy. His relationship to the Bagginses is very clear.

You really are blending FotR and your world together quite seamlessly.

Author Reply: It had to have been hard; as much as Merry worries under normal circumstances, much less circumstances like this. But he did fall asleep for longer than he meant to, and that took up a deal of time. And I think, also that he worried that he would set out and somehow miss them along the way. But worry did win out in the end, and sent him out into the fog.

Yes, Pippin's mostly accustomed to ale, and unless Merry's around, limits himself to one even then. I don't think he realized how potent Elven wine (which I think may have been a form of mead from the description) was; being the smallest it would affect him most and first.

As you and I discussed in your last review, Sam and Pippin couldn't really *talk*; this was a way Sam could convey reassurance without saying anything, and I am sure it was much appreciated.

Frodo had often walked to Buckland after leaving there, but obviously had given a wide berth to any of the lands that were near to Farmer Maggot, so that area would not be as familiar to him as the route that would lead straight to Bucklebury. And of course you are right about Pippin's familiarity--as I indicated, he and Merry had conducted their own, more successful raids, never having been caught, plus which, when Merry deemed them too old for such diversions he had gone along with Merry on legitimate business.

I tried to choose quotes that would further my purpose, and not just fill it up with chunks of random quotes. I'm very glad you thought that one appropriate and apt. And yes, I did choose it for the very reason you mention.

I like to think of Freddy as having an imaginative and contemplative nature. He did not become a hobbit of action until the night of the Black Riders.

I am glad you think it seamless. I tried for it, except for the italics.

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 23 on 4/15/2004
I liked the way you looked into Merry's and Sam's thoughts in this one. Sam's especially were very cute and funny, he's so protective of Frodo. I always liked that line about how Sam wasn't inclined to trust anyone who had beaten his master, however long ago. It really says a lot about his dedication and loyalty, even at that early stage. From that point on, you know that if anyone messes with Frodo, they'll have Sam Gamgee to deal with. Ah, but the beer helps, doesn't it? :)

Merry also, I think showed considerable restraint for not strangling his cousins for the worry they caused him. It's bad enough worrying over someone coming home late when it's just a regular day, but to know that there is a very real possibility that something actually may have happened makes it a million times worse. But hobbits do show their concern by making light of a subject and Merry was always very good at that. You make your narrative and Tolkien's run together very well, almost seamlessly if not for the ilatics. Great job!

Author Reply: Yes, I always remembered that line as well, and thought I'd expand on it a bit; and yes, beer helps, especially a hobbit.

I think Merry was so relieved to find them, and of course, it was clear that *something* had happened--it just wasn't quite as bad as he thought it was.

Blending the narratives was the hardest part for me, I'm glad you thought it worked. ( And getting those italics to stay right when I posted. Seemed like *one* sentence in italics and the whole rest of the story suddenly would be. Confusing.)

Grey WondererReviewed Chapter: 23 on 4/13/2004
A very nice job of weaving the book into your fiction! It all blends together so perfectly and I am still enjoying this one very much.

Author Reply: Thank you. This has been the hardest challenge of the story--what to quote, where to quote it, and how much. Of course the closer to the end I get, the more I have to do it. I am glad that you think I am blending it well--it's made me very nervous. ( I can imagine an indignant JRRT thinking "she's got some nerve messing about with my words like that!" )

PervincaReviewed Chapter: 23 on 4/13/2004
Hehehehe, Pippin getting drunk off the drink the elves gave them :) The scene I particularly enjoyed in this chapter was Fatty's contemplation about the differing opinions of death. I never thought about how the hobbits regarded death, so you made a very interesting point there. I don't want this story to end, but I'm guessing you're nearing the conclusion. Please continue soon :)

Author Reply: It's pretty sure from the description that it was some kind of Elven mead--I think it might have had a nice little effect, especially on the youngest one.

Fatty had just read about Numenor, and I remember my reactions about it when I first read of it. Tolkien's idea that death was a gift from Illuvatar is so profound, it really made an impression on me.

And yes, I am drawing near to the finish line. These last few chapters have been hard. But now I have a bunch of new ideas. 8-)

Lyta PadfootReviewed Chapter: 23 on 4/13/2004
Fredregar's observation on how others view death was very well written. You really have your characterization down to an art.

Author Reply: Thank you, I'm not sure I can take credit. Fredegar has seemed to have developed himself--I start writing about him and then think where did that come from?
He is a scholar and philosopher, so he would be thinking about what he had read. The downfall of Numenor is so central to all of JRRT's work, I wanted to bring it in a bit.

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