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The Dare  by Dreamflower 22 Review(s)
harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/14/2016
Good. It would serve them right. I hope their father soundly thrashes them, though knowing him, I doubt it. Someday I’ll make up for that.”

Pippin looked at Merry in surprise. “That sounds like a promise.”

And, since I am rereading your work in the order that you published it here I already know how Merry kept his promise.
It hurts to read but I applaud the complexity you put into the father/ son relationship here..and carry it on through to post quest.
Btw...I am making up for my years of lurking and not reviewing by making 2016 the year when I leave an appreciation for everything I read online. Please don't feel stalked or obliged to reply every time! Although, it is nice to know that you have seen the comment.

AspenJulesReviewed Chapter: 6 on 1/27/2008
Oh, that was good.

I kept meaning to leave reviews at the end of the chapter, but even knowing how it eventually turned out, I couldn't resist just clicking next at the end to keep reading.

It's nice to get the details of this story finally. And I liked Frodo standing in for Merry's parents... I'm glad that Merry and Pippin were able to have the time together.

So touching his chin to his chest would stimulate swallowing? I never knew that... And how does the burnt toast thing work? Kind of like charcoal? Isn't there a charcoal-ish remedy for poisoning? And what was the green liquid at the end of reviving him? Is it something specific and real or something general and vague that you created?

LOLOL, I guess enquiring minds want to know. Great story, Barbara!

Author Reply: I'm so glad you found it to be a "page-turner"! That's quite a compliment, and every bit as nice as individual chapter reviews!

Frodo would naturally do what he could for Merry in the situation--and by putting it the way he did, he brought Paladin to understand.

Yes, that's the solution SS came up with--she said it was something another doctor reccommended for patients who had vocal cord paralysis, as it seems to help the esophagus open a bit. Of course, he has to be able to swallow a little bit already, but SS said that was indicated by the fact that Poppy'd used the pipette to administer medicine already.

When I went to research first aid and folk remedies, most of them were either too modern or obviously ineffective--but the burnt toast one just kept turning up repeatedly in different sites. SS said that doctors sometimes use charcoal tablets, so presumably the carbon in burnt toast would work the same way.

The green liquid at the end is an actual medieval beverage called "sekanjhabin", made mostly with mint, vinegar and sugar. It's a great-tasting thirst quencher, and would act in some ways like Gator-ade in someone who was dehydrated. It's quite delicious, and I put the recipe in my story "Spring Quickening"

Queen GaladrielReviewed Chapter: 6 on 4/10/2006
Oh, Pippin! Dear me, what a thing to do! I can see why Merry would be angry, but I can't bring *myself* to feel anything but pity for him. Now, that's hard (the punishment), but I know he deserves it. And it was splendid of Paladin to allow them the time to say farewell, and to allow them to keep in touch.

Ha! Those rotten Bankses would fit right in with Lotho's crowd! Well, I have the satisfaction of knowing they and their father got what they deserved.

A very interesting tale!
God bless,

Author Reply: Yes, poor Pippin. But at least he's learned a hard lesson about taking dangerous dares. Merry would *not* have been angry, if Pippin had realized the consequences of his actions, but unfortunately, he didn't remember the bad parts. And *that's* why Merry got angry. Still, they straightened things out in the end, thanks to Frodo.

Paladin was glad to allow Merry time to speak to Pippin before they left once Frodo made him understand what was at stake.

Well, they do get their just desserts--eventually.

SlightlyTookishReviewed Chapter: 6 on 4/6/2006
Thanks so much for linking me to this! I've been meaning to read this for ages now, and I had a general idea of what it was about since I'd seen references to it in your other fics, and it did not disappoint. Those Banks brothers are awful! Just as bad as your Hyacinth - are you sure they really aren't *her* children? Lots of lovely Pippin h/c here, and I'm glad Paladin finally relented at the end and allowed Merry and Pippin to make up. Thank goodness for Frodo's intervention. I also liked seeing how resourceful Pearl was. I enjoyed this very much :)

Author Reply: I'm very pleased that it lived up to your expectations!

The Bankses are pretty dreadful, but I don't think there is a connection to Hyacinth. Poor Pippin is just unlucky in having so many awful relations, LOL!
But really, considering how many hobbits there are, and how many bloodlines the Tooks are related to, it's not surprising that he has a few bad apples in the family. After all, the Bagginses had the S.-B.s to put up with, LOL!

This was my very first h/c, and I really tried hard to get it right.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 6 on 12/9/2005
I know I have reviewed this powerful story before, but I wanted share a real life experience that just happened. Hopefully, this will help bring out just how serious and deadly alcohol abuse can be.

A week ago, we found out that my twelve year old niece's father was in trauma intensive care in the hospital for seizures and bleeding of the brain caused from too much alcohol over the years. Although he started to respond to treatment, his body was toxically poisoned and he had extremely bad sclerosis of his liver caused by the alcohol's effects over the years. I am sad to inform everyone that my niece's father passed away last night.

I hope that this story helps bring home the all too real dangers to anyone thinking that alcohol is nothing serious and makes them think twice about drinking.

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 6 on 10/26/2005
Just as Pippin’s first thought when he was troubled was to find Merry, Merry’s first thought was to find Frodo.
(I love these hints you drop about the cousins' relationships.)

He found him in the first place he thought to look--the library.
(How well Merry knows Frodo.)

(Good for Paladin! He makes his missteps, as we all do, but in the scene with Clodio he's magnificent!)

Frodo knew the proprieties.
(I love this intimation that there *are* proprieties, and properly-brought-up hobbits know them. It adds such a feeling of depth.)

Paladin was reminded very much of Bilbo, who could look just so, when he thought he was right.
(I like this bit of resemblance being noted. )

“If you send Merry away now, without giving him a chance to mend things with Pip, he is going to fret himself sick. I mean this.”
(Is there a story behind this? Is it silly of me to be curious, and want to know more about how Merry frets himself sick? Or is it just that I am always ready to read more Merry h/c?)

And Merry sounds quite vengeful... I don't remember if he carries out his promise in another story or not.

I meant to ask, what is Hyacinth's maiden name?

Thanks for a good read, very diverting, and I'm up past bedtime but at least I wasn't interrupted in the reading!

Author Reply: As I've said, the relationships for me are what it's all about. I could spend ages just talking about the discoveries I've made about their interactions, LOL!

Paladin's not perfect, but when it comes to dealing with people like his erstwhile brother-in-law, he has a sure touch.

Yes, there are definitely proprieties in hobbit society, and one of them of course, is that an outsider doesn't interfere in family business. Frodo shows that he *is* following the proprieties by establishing the fact that he is *not* an outsider when it comes to Merry, and that by involving Merry in Pippin's punishment, Paladin has given him this leeway. Frodo has taken it upon himself to stand proxy for Merry's parents, something he has a right to do not only by his close blood relationship to Merry, but also because he was at one time basically Merry's foster-brother. Not all of this needs to be stated, as Paladin clearly understands where Frodo is coming from.

I do like to put in reminders that Frodo's Baggins heritage is strong and important as well...

You know, I didn't have a specific story in my head for this, but that's a mighty fine bunny you just gave me. And there are some precedents--in the Brandy Hall Incident, Merry comes very close to making himself sick with worry over Pippin, and only Frodo's presence keeps that from happening.

He does. In fact, the story where this occurs is what drew so many requests that I wrote this one: "A New Reckoning", where Merry deals out his delayed vengence, don't remember the Chapter number, but sometime during the Ball.

Hyacinth was a Brockhouse.

I went to bed on time, but I'm up again, as you can see, LOL!

Very nice to get up and find a whole new batch of reviews at 2AM.

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 6 on 10/20/2005
Clodio is plum awful! The apple does not fall far from the tree, I see. And that nickname he has for his sister - yuck! I sincerely doubt he will give his sons the punishment they deserve, and any punishment they do get from their father will not be because he thinks they were wrong, but for embarassing him and making him go all the way to Tuckborough to bring them home in disgrace.

Once again, Frodo is amazing in his care, compassion, and diplomatic skills. He was absolutely right - Merry would have fretted himself sick had he not been able to set things to rights with Pippin before leaving. Frodo is an excellent "older brother" to both Merry and Pippin.

I'm so glad Merry and Pippin were able to see each other one last time before Merry left. Merry needed to apologise for yelling at Pippin and he also needed to hear Pippin admit that what he did was a stupid thing to do. It shows a lot about the strength of Pippin's character that Merry knows that had he promised, Pippin would never drink again. It also shows Merry's wisdom in not making him promise such a thing. The promise they made to each other will be difficult enough to keep, but there is not doubt they both will keep it. No doubt neither of them realises right now the full implications of that promise. It's also something that can bring them even closer together, if that's possible.

Merry will also keep his promise to one day punish the Banks brothers as they deserved. Anyone who knows his resolve and his total devotion and love for his Pippin know that. Merry will make the Banks brothers pay for what they did to Pippin. I would *not* want to be them when Merry does get even.

You should be very proud of this story. It is one of the finest fan fiction stories I have ever read. It not only deals with a very troublesome and real problem, but it does so responsibly and with love for the characters, dignity, and compassion. The only thing I am sorry about is that I have now finished reading it. I'd read it again right now, except I have so many more stories of yours to read again first, including my other favourites, A New Reckoning, It Takes a Took, and both versions of When the King Comes Back.

I really am totally enjoying reading these again! Having read them once and now reading them in chronological order adds even more meaning to them. I'm so glad you've written all of these stories and are sharing them with us!

Author Reply: Clodio is pretty dreadful, and rather pathetic. His jealousy of his sister and brother-in-law has poisoned his life and blighted his sons' lives. And I thought "Egg" was a pretty rotten nickname to stick one's sister with, LOL! They will be punished, and you are right about the reason, a totally selfish one.

Frodo is here showing an early sign of the wisdom that will eventually be his; it is not so far from being wise to being one of *the* Wise, though he must first be tempered at the Fire. Yet this wisdom is out of his love for both his cousins, and his determined protectiveness of Merry. Merry will always be in many ways his "baby brother", and he wouldn't hesitate to intervene on his behalf. It helps of course, that he can meet Paladin on equal terms. He is, after all *the* Baggins, the head of a family, and has been Master of Bag End for nine years now. And it also helps that Paladin was already feeling a bit guilty for the way he made poor Merry suffer.

The pact that they made is one they can reasonably, if with difficulty keep, though you are right in saying that at this point in time they do not realize all its implications. I thought long and hard about whether this pact would be canon--we know, for example that Pippin was looking forward to the beer at The Golden Perch. But that doesn't mean he intended to get drunk on it. And even though JRRT makes it clear that hobbits love their beer and ale, he never shows them inebriated,(except for one brief mention of hobbits and wheelbarrows after the big Birthday Party) so I didn't feel it was too big a stretch of canon to have them make this agreement with one another.

I have been very gratified by the reaction of many to this story. I did want to make a point about the dangers of underage binge drinking and peer pressure, but I also wanted to stay true to canon, and to the characters as JRRT wrote them. I am glad you thought I succeeded.

I am totally enjoying reading your reviews and responding to them. It's amazing to me to realize that I've been able to make things mesh in the stories, even though many of them were written in a different order than they occurred. You are the first person to tell me that you are making use of the chronology, and I'm so glad now that I put the effort into putting it up, as I was doubtful how useful it would be. I have come to realize that I am going to have to make tiny tweaks in a few stories, so that they don't clash with future ones, but I'm still surprised that those tweaks aren't more, LOL!

PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 6 on 5/30/2005
LOL...I suppose Merry's revenge can wait a while! I'll wait on it for a bit as I want to read more of your work between here and The Road to Edoras. I did like how Paladin responded to Clodio when he arrived at G.S. Excellent story!

Hope you had a great weekend!


Author Reply: Yes, well, "A New Reckoning" takes place just before "Road to Edoras". There are several stories that take place in that time frame; check out my Chronology if you would like to.

Clodio *is* rather a nasty piece of work, isn't he?

I had a nice weekend, even though I did have to work Sat. and Sun. I was off Fri. and Mon. I hope you had the same!

yelenaReviewed Chapter: 6 on 5/26/2005
WOW!!! This was my *first* story on storiesofarda, and it was brilliant! Well, besides the one a close friend of mine wrote.Good thing there's more (I read some previous reviews for fun.) I, personally, would not be able to take a character already developed and make him or her my own. I prefer to create my own characters.

Author Reply: I am glad that you have liked it, and are enjoying the stories--I have a goodly number of stories besides this. And there are some brilliant hobbit authors here on SoA, such as Baylor, Larner, Budgielover, Shirebound and Lindelea, all of whom are just a very few of my own favorites.

I write about canon characters--especially Frodo,Sam, Merry and Pippin--because it is a way to explore a bit about them, and to try and use what JRRT hinted at in the books and expand on them. I want to know more about them than he told us, so I have to kind of figure it out as I write. But some of the minor canon characters, such as Paladin or Eglantine, for example, are no more than a mention on the family tree, so they might as well be original.

But there are a lot of very good writers who only write OCs (original characters) for the reason you mentioned--they like the latitude of creating all their own material.

I hope that you enjoy reading many more stories on this archive. Stories of Arda is my favorite archive, and the main one on which I post, and I think all of the authors here and their stories are of very high caliber.

I will keep my eyes open for *your* stories.

SaoirseReviewed Chapter: 6 on 3/10/2005
O, Dreamflower! I *loved* this! What a wonderful, touching, and entertaining tale. Those Banks brothers! ARGH -- But what delightfully wicked characters they were! And poor Pip always trying to find a place in his heart for everyone -- so like him. And Merry's frustration with those brats was right from the startI really liked Frodo's stand against Paladin, and how the Thain reminded him of Bilbo when he had his mind set. I just loved the ending about how they both promised not to get drunk without each other.

But, I must say that my favorite part of all was when Merry slammed that dirty, rotten little Banks hellion up against the wall (repetitively) *waves little flag* Go Merry!!! (Too bad Paladin stopped him...)

Wonderful job! :)!

Author Reply: I'm so glad that you found the Banks brothers to be worthy villians. They did not, by the way, learn their lesson well enough. In my post-Quest story, "A New Reckoning" Merry finally gets a chance to keep his promise concerning them.

And they will finally get the rest of their just desserts in a story that will soon be forthcoming.

Thanks for the review! It's always lovely to see new reviews for a story that has been out for a little while. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

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