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The Life of a Bard  by Dreamflower 9 Review(s)
PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 11 on 1/11/2006
Yep--that's our Pip. He (and Merry) could charm the cream out of a cow. I am glad to see Paladin finally coming round.

LOL, why did I think that Menelcar and Pippin's transcribing would end up a jam session? I loved it.


Author Reply: "Charm the cream out of a cow"? What a neat and hobbity expression!

Paladin simply needed to understand a few things. Frodo telling him of Pippin's fears has finally enabled him to understand why Pippin has been so resistant to the idea of being Thain.

LOL! I'm glad--I don't think those two could spend very long together without singing and/or playing!

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 11 on 10/23/2005
*hugs Paladin* I'm so glad he went to hear Pippin play and sing! Now he can understand a bit more how much Pippin's music means to him and how good he is at it. It won't change things much, Pippin still must become Thain one day instead of a bard, but it helps to have his father understand him more.

"Frodo gave his older cousin the kind of look that Bilbo often had used when he thought others were being particularly dense; with Frodo’s piercing blue eyes it was even more effective."

Loved that line! I'm running out of things to say about Frodo. The way he makes Paladin understand why Pippin does not want to become Thain, his explanation about Pippin planning on leaving the Shire with Menelcar, and his defence of Menelcar... he really does have a way of making others understand.

“I can see that I may have to tell him some things that I had rather not.”

Can we see that? I'd really like to read that discussion between father and son!

There were so many things in this chapter that I liked, the way Menelcar observed the three hobbits comfortable friendship in the kitchen, Paladin's exchange with Frodo, Paladin's coming to understand his son and his music more, and Pippin's reunion with Merry.

A very satisfying chapter.

Author Reply: I really did want Paladin to have a chance to see his son in his element, happy and unaware of parental scrutiny. That was planned from the start, and Paladin can be proud of Pippin's abilities, and as he comes to think it over, he will also realize that it bodes well, not ill, for his future as Thain.

I could imagine Bilbo giving The Look, and easily see Frodo employing it to his own advantage, LOL!

I am glad that this is helping you to see Frodo in a strong and positive light. He's no wilted lily, and he is able to back up his statements with logica and fact.

I don't know. We'll see which way the bunnies hop...

I'm glad you liked this chapter...I moved things along rather quickly, and was for a while, afraid the chapter was a bit too abrupt.

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 11 on 9/29/2005
I catch my breath at a glimpse of Folco, and wonder if the story of Paladin's becoming Thain has been written and posted yet?

Author Reply: Yes, I try to get a bit of Folco into pre-Quest fics if I can.

Not as such; I've given a few hints here and there, as in this story and in my recent "To Lead His People". A little of the backstory to it will be in my new story for PippinHealers (aren't you on that list?). But the whole of it has not been written yet.

pipspebbleReviewed Chapter: 11 on 10/8/2004
“Come *on*, Menelcar! I want you to meet my Merry!”

*happy sigh* This was so utterly perfect. Thank you for another remarkable chapter. When you deliver, oh, how you deliver! :-)

Author Reply: *Blushes* Thank you.

Grey WondererReviewed Chapter: 11 on 10/8/2004
So true often times that those closest to us don't understand what we're thinking or what their words do to us. I am glad that Frodo was able to tell Paladin what Pippin could not. I am also pleased that Pippin will be spending time with his Merry. If ever two understood one another, it was those two. Lovely story.

Author Reply: Too often people assume that they *do* know what someone else is thinking when they are as about as far from the truth as it can be. That's when a third party can help. Frodo was glad to be able to do that.
And Pippin and Merry definitely need and understand one another, as Frodo could have told Paladin from the start.

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 11 on 10/8/2004
By far the best line was: "Menelcar blinked. They had just finished eating, and Frodo was planning to start cooking lunch already?" That had me rolling.

Well, Paladin took it a lot better than I thought he would. And I'm glad he stayed to hear his son play. And now that he knows the truth of what's bothering Pippin, he should be able to better handle his son in the future, especially after they have a good, long talk.

I'm going to be sad when Menelcar finally has to leave. It's interesting, after finishing "A New Reckoning" to see how hobbits received Men before the war, so open and trusting and curious.

Author Reply: Well, it fascinates me that hobbits basically have a meal every two hours. It can be really frustrating when you're writing along nicely, and you suddenly realize it's time for the characters to stop and eat--*again*! LOL! So this time I thought I'd have a bit of fun with it.

I do think that Pip and his father will be able to communicate a little better now; they have both been making some assumptions about one another that are not quite right.

I'm very sad that Menelcar has to leave, too. I've grown very fond of this character, and will be sorry when he has to depart.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 11 on 10/8/2004
I love Menelcar's viewpoint on the difference between hobbit gentry and Gondorian nobles.

It's probably very good for Paladin to see Pippin in a role that suits him, while his son does not know he is there - it will give him a moment to muse on the pressures he is putting on his son. Mind you - all parents put pressures on their children to conform to their own ideal of behaviour, and fathers and sons do seem to have an extra problem. It must be truly galling for Paladin to know that Frodo is probably more successful at influencing and guiding his son than he is.

Author Reply: I thought it would be fun to see hobbits through his POV. Of course, hobbits in the kitchen are a different matter altogether than hobbits in the parlor.

I did want Paladin to have a chance to see Pippin sing, and see how happy it made him. And it gave me a chance to have Frodo quietly let him know what was going on.

I think at this point in time, though it does stick a bit in his craw and pinch his pride, he is simply grateful to have Frodo's help. But imagine how betrayed he is going to feel in three years, when after all this, it seems that *Frodo* is the one who has spirited his son away.

SharonBReviewed Chapter: 11 on 10/8/2004
Ah, Frodo has good insight. Finally he has gotten the root of the problem to Paladin. Now hopefully those two Tooks can come to some terms over the responsibility issues they have. Although, as we know, in three years time Pip will do something that seem quite irresponsibile to Paladin again. But that always seems to be an issue between most fathers and sons. It is hard to let them go and grow in their own direction. Even harder when you live in a time of direct inheritance of positions of power like the Thainship.

Author Reply: Yes, I'm finding a little bit of delicious irony in this story, as Frodo is doing his best to keep Pippin from running off, when we know what is coming up the road, and how he will allow Pip (and Merry) to run off with him! But of course the matter of the Ring is a bit more dire.

Yes, the inheritance of position must have been very problematic for many youths in the past. I'm sure that there were more than a few who felt trapped or constrained by their destiny.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 11 on 10/8/2004
I'm just loving the details, and seeing hobbits (and meals) through Menelcar's eyes. What a great story!

Author Reply: Thanks. That means a lot coming from you!

Nothing more hobbity than mealtime! 8-D I liked the idea of Menelcar observing them and noting the differences between hobbits and Men.

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