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The Life of a Bard  by Dreamflower 12 Review(s)
PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/1/2006
This is great! I am so lost inside the tale already. I imagine myself sitting there at the table eavesdropping on Menelcar and Pippin's conversation. Its marvelous how you weave the mingling of Big Folk and Hobbits in the Shire pre-Troubles/Quest. Looking forward to reading more!


Author Reply: Oh thank you so much, that's something I love to hear!

I think before the Troubles, that Men were rare in the Shire (due to the watchfulness of Rangers) but not completely unheard of. I am sure that from time to time a few might pass along the trade routes. However, it would be far more unusual to see one in other parts of the Shire. And hobbits are social and curious creatures; once they saw no threat was offered, they'd generally be friendly enough.

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/21/2005
Master Dodd is a masterful creation. One of the things that makes your stories so enjoyable is that all of the characters, both canon and O/C, are fully fleshed out individuals. You also have use the same trick that Tolkien himself employed - not having to give a complete visual description of an individual to make him or her fully realised. I can see and hear Master Dodd in my head, as I can Menelcar. Menelcar is an O/C? Incredible! Your O/C's are so well done that I do not even realise they are O/C's. The delineation between canon and O/C characters is blurred by your masterful quill.

It was very wise of both Master Dodd and Pippin not to divulge to this strange Man that Pippin is the son of the Thain, although they each did it for two completely different reasons. While both reasons were equally valid, they demonstrated what was of most importance to each. Master Dodd was protecting the Thain's son from a stranger while Pippin, being his ever-trusting self, only wished not to put the Man ill at ease.

How fitting that Pippin would not be taken aback by the presence of the Man. As you pointed out, Pippin is friends with a wizard, who would naturally be more impressive that a Man. I expect that Pippin and Menelcar had quite an enjoyable time chatting about tales of Dale. It must have been quite exciting for Pippin to hear tales of that city from someone other than Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, or a dwarf.

I'm afraid Menelcar has yet to learn that hobbits age differently than men do. He is expecting twenty-five year old Pippin to look like a twenty-five year old Man, and thus be old enough to accompany him as an apprentice. He's in for one big shock when he learns that not only is this twenty-five year old is the future Thain, but he is also still a minor according to the laws of the pheriannath.

I believe that I have neglected to say in my previous reviews how glad I am that Pippin can play the Tookland pipes. This is an excellent tie-in to the Scottish ancestry of the Tooks, as demonstrated so wonderfully by Billy Boyd's lilting Scottish accent and proven by references found by Peter Jackson to Tolkien's mentioning that the Tooks created the game of golf.

Now do we get to enjoy Menelcar's and Pippin's enthusiasm for their music?

Author Reply: I'm glad you like my OCs. Do you want to hear something ironic? When I first started writing fanfic, I was going to avoid OCs. Yeah, right, LOL! I still have to be careful though. Sometimes an OC will just try and take over.

Yes, two sides of the same coing, so to speak.

I can't see Pippin being intimidated by a Man after he's met Gandalf, LOL! And he's going to be fascinated by Menelcar's tales.

This is a major plot point. Menelcar's ignorance of hobbits over something so simply no one would think of mentioning it to him has the potential of getting him into a good deal of trouble.

It's also because I *love* the bagpipes myself, especially played as a solo instrument. Billy Boyd being a Scot is rather a bonus for me in that regard. But often when I'm listening to a Celtic CD, I envision Pippin playing.

Well, I do include a lot of songs...

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/27/2004
less chance of it coming to his father's ears
Ah, Pippin, why does this remind me of my brothers when they were teens?

The innkeeper's estimation of Pippin is a nice little character sketch.

"No use wasting music on an empty room."
...not going to throw all caution to the wind.

Very hobbity and practical!

Menelcar sounds quite like a few other professional musicians of my aquaintance, with his eye for the crowd whilst keeping up a pleasant conversation.

Glad the children slept in a little today so I could read more of this delightful story.

BudgieloverReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/25/2004
I just had to grin when I came to the section "Pip lit up with pleasure" - I could just see Billy Boyd as Pippin in that sentence. I also could see the Man having to sit on the floor to converse with the hobbits - a reversal of Frodo and Company among the Big Folk at The Prancing Pony. Master Dodd's caution of informing this stranger that Pip was the son of the Thain was very well thought out. Of course the hobbits would be cautious of Big Folk and protective of their leading family, and especially of Pip.

Author Reply: I think that sitting on the floor when visiting hobbits only makes sense for Big Folks, don't you?

Yes, Master Dodd would be a bit canny about that. Hobbits of the Shire don't deal much with Big Folk, and they would naturally be at least a little wary, even of someone they deemed as seemingly harmless.

MarionReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/25/2004
Oh dear,

Take: Pippin doesn't hates it when his father tells him "you will be Thain one day". Being a carefree bard might appeal.

Add to that: Menelcar thinks Pippin looks young for 25. He obviously thinks in 'manyears' and take Pippin along as a fellow bard without realising he is taking along a minor.

Result: recipe for disaster! (whee!)

Paladin IS the commander of the Hobbitry-in-arms... What will he do when his son-and-heir runs away with a bard, and a Big Folk bard at that?

Author Reply: Evil grin. LOL! Just don't get ahead of me!

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/24/2004
Perfect description of bagpipes! lol. They can sound either really amazing or really horrible. There's no in-between.

I like the mention of how Pippin doesn't abuse his position to get more ale than he's entitled to, though of course Pippin learned that lesson didn't he?

Author Reply: Having spent several weekends at a local Celtic fest, I can tell you that there are no end to the different ways some amateurs can mangle "Scotland the Brave." Then there are those who make it sound absolutely incredibly moving!

Yes, Pip's learned to be careful when it comes to drink. And he'll never forget his pact with Merry.

Anso the HobbitReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/24/2004
Of course Pippin would know how to play a bagpipe ;-). This looks interesting. I wonder how the evening will go... :)

Author Reply: Of *course* he would! *And* play well!! No tortured cats for our Took!

SharonBReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/23/2004
Ah another story. I've been missing out on ME the last few weeks, life does occasionally interfere with our hobbies. ;-) Great to see Pippin was not always so irresponsible beofre he left. Although he has spent himself out of money again.

Pip plays the bagpipes? I agree with the minstrel about how they sound played wrong. Maybe you can have Menelcar and Pip do a duet before the night is over.

Author Reply: Well, at least he spent all his money in a good cause--trying to cheer his sister up.

Well, I had Pip playing the "Tookland" pipes at Sam's and Rosie's wedding, so he had to have learned them by now to be good enough then. I do think a hobbit as musical as Pip would play more than one instrument.

RogerGamgeeReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/23/2004
I was waiting for this chapter to show up...good to see how Pippin manages to remain responsible - not taking advantage of his rank, even though he could. I'm curious to see how he and the minstrel get far, so good!

Author Reply: Well, in *some* ways he is being responsible, those you mentioned, at least; but sneaking out after both his parents told him "no" is not too responsible. Like many adolescents, he is a mixture of the two.
Menelcar is making a great many assumptions about hobbits. Not all of them are correct. But I think you can tell he likes Pip.

good_one_pipReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/23/2004
ohh, another pippin story! This ought to be fun! I've read some of the other reviews, and they say that you've tied in something from another story. I'm pretty new to this sight. What's the name of the story so I could read it? I like the idea of pippin as a bard, but it's too bad that Merry isn't with him.

Author Reply: I hope it will be fun!
The story some of the other reviewers mention is called "The Dare" and it takes place when Pippin was 20, Merry 28 and Frodo 41. (Or the human equivalent of 13,18, and 25 1/2)
The thing is, if Merry were with him, he'd never be bored enough to think of being a bard!

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