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A Different Kind of Quest  by Dreamflower 22 Review(s)
Celeste Lucretia BlackReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/14/2021

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: Epilogue on 1/15/2016
I love the way that Merry and Pippin pick up the genealogy like a litany. While I know that it was necessary to the story it always seems unfair the the hobbits are kept in the dark about Aragorn's hopes and dreams for the future.

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: Epilogue on 12/16/2005
This was a lovely ending to this story.

Even better than the pen and inkwell set that Merry and Pippin will give to Frodo was the gift that Gandalf has just given him by telling him that they will be back in Rivendell in time to celebrate Frodo's and Bilbo's birthday.

Author Reply: Thank you.

Yes, the idea of finally going home is one that appeals to them all.
And Frodo will be very relieved to see Bilbo once more.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I am eager to get started posting "Chance Encounter" which deals with the time period immediately preceding it.

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 3 on 12/16/2005
"Sam had been delighted by the idea of the mechanical oliphaunt."

I knew it! Sam and his oliphaunts!

That was very touching for Merry to want Frodo to hold the spyglass first. I can imagine the feeling Frodo had as he finally understood why Balin, Ori and Oin had not answered his letters. But notice that Merry did not allow Pippin to hold the spyglass; I suppose he's learnt his lesson from what happened the first time Pippin held his father's spyglass! lol!

"“Look, Frodo!” exclaimed Pippin. “There’s a flute almost like the one you gave to Folco for your birthday!”

Merry laughed. “Looks like Fatty and I are going to owe Folco an apology! We never believed that it really was made from an oliphaunt’s tooth!”"

Alas, Folco! And the four travellers had no way of knowing what ill had befallen him! You always work in such clever tie-ins to your stories; it's like a small gift to spot one.

How like Frodo to refuse the stipend, and Sam to follow Frodo's lead. It was very clever of Legolas to think of how to get Frodo to come around so that he and Sam would get at least a small stipend.

“To my father and friend. M.B.”

This is such a beautiful inscription! There is no greater honour that a child can give to his or her father. Saradoc will be extremely touched by it.

Purchasing all of those toys and then donating them to the war orphans was such a thoughtful thing for Merry and Pippin to do, both for the orphans and for the old woman and her family. And the "Tookish lamb" - how cute!

The enthusiasm and warmth that you give to your hobbits is quite palpable and charming. It's impossible not to want to give them hugs, as the members of the fellowship have found out.

Well done!

Author Reply: Yes, I think Sam's probably been fascinated with the idea of oliphaunts since his own faunthood, LOL.

(There is an adorable Marigold's Challenge story--I wish I could remember the author--where Pippin finds an orphaned baby oliphaunt on the Pelennor one day. You can imagine Frodo's and Merry's reaction to the inevitable "Can I keep it?" And then imagine Sam's. *chuckle*)

Merry remembered how hard Frodo had tried to find one for him, so of course he'd offer his older cousin a look. And I would bet, remembering the first incident, that Pippin would have turned down a chance to look, for fear of that very thing.

I am quite sure that from time to time the hobbits would speak of their friends at home, especially now that the Quest is over. I am glad that you found the reference touching--I just felt like putting a tiny bit of irony in there. And I do like to have references pop up from time to time, though I try not to make them too obscure for a first time reader to puzzle over.

Frodo's still working his way through the guilt he feels about his so-called failure at the Sammath Naur. It's not yet eating him up the way it will when he gets home, but it's there, under his skin already. And the idea of "reward" or "gratitude" disturbs him.

Saradoc will indeed, be touched by the inscription. He and Merry have always had a warm relationship, relatively unshaken by the sorts of tweenaged difficulties Paladin and Pippin had.

I'm so glad you liked the "Tookish lamb". I just thought a lamb would be a perfect stuffed toy for a baby hobbit.

And don't forget Legolas! *giggle* I didn't realize until they were there in the widow's little home what they were going to do--but then when I saw the pile of toys there, it suddenly struck me as just the sort of impulse those three would give in to. And then, meaning at first only to benefit the widow by buying all her toys, realize what good they could do with them!

Hobbits just *are* charming--I love them, and would probably just hug them myself if any ever came my way...

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/16/2005
This story is progressing nicely!

I expect all four hobbits, as well as Legolas and Gimli, get tired of the people of Minas Tirith gawking at them and treating them special. I am a bit surprised that Girion referred to the hobbits as "pheriannath" rather than as "hobbits." Being a Man of Dale, he would have grown up with stories about Bilbo and the defeat of Smaug, plus there is some interaction between hobbits and dwarves anyway. And I do not think he knows Merry and Pippin well enough to joke about the way the Men of Minas Tirith refer to them. Not a big issue, really, just surprising.

The presents you came up with are wondeful! I especially liked the oliphaunt. However, I suggest that Pippin keep it tucked safely away from Sam, lest he want to keep it for his own! lol!

I should very much like to see the Tookish monagram. Have you designed one?

"In the end, he negotiated a price of twelve silver pennies for Merry’s spyglass, and thirty for Pippin’s choices, for both the toy and the pocketwatch."

I'm sorry about this next part, but it just does not make sense to me. If Merry got a pocketwatch for his father when Merry came of age because a spyglass' cost would have been too much, and Master Girion's spyglass is only twelve silverpennies now, and Pippin is getting a smaller version of the toy oliphaunt, then I can't see that a smaller toy oliphaunt and a pocketwatch would cost thirty silverpennies. Even if Pippin's pocketwatch were just as expensive as Merry's spyglass (which is shouldn't be since Merry got a better spyglass than the one Saradoc previously had and Merry already established that pocketwatches were cheaper), that would still mean that the smaller toy oliphaunt for Pippin's niece cost eighteen silverpennies, which is one and one half times as much as the spyglass which cost so much. It just doesn't make any sense. I suggest that Master Gimli needs to go back to his fellow dwarves for some negotiation lessons.

I truly like how your Legolas is not only a deadly marksman with his bow, but also so gifted in the arts. The way he sings and composes songs, and now draws and designs jewelry. It really adds another dimension to him, and as old as he is, he certainly has had the time to learn such arts.

Esmeralda's necklace must be beautiful and Eglantine will really enjoy the charm bracelet with a charm for each of her children. Even though Tolkien has said that Peregrin's name is not derived from a falcon, but rather means a traveller in distant lands, the falcon will certainly make her think of the name "Peregrin" and is a good symbol to use to represent her son.

I love the way you have Merry describe his mother as looking very much like Pippin, only prettier! After all, Merry favours the Brandybuck side while his mother *is* Pippin's aunt and a Took. That happens sometimes in families, where there is a close resemblance between a child and his or her aunt or uncle. But now you have me curious, does Pippin look like his own mother and/or father? What about his sisters?

"Gimli was grumbling as they left the shop. “This is absurd. Having to force people to take pay for their goods. No Dwarf should have to be so humiliated by haggling backwards like that!”"

It must be a Dwarf's worst nightmare come true! Poor Gimli! Now we know just how dear the hobbits are to him, if he is willing to go through this sort of humiliation.

I haven't had this much fun on a shopping trip in I don't know how long!

Author Reply: I am quite sure they did as well. The price of fame, of course, and no more pleasant then, though less complicated. At least, since there were no cameras, they didn't have papparazzi chasing after them, LOL!

Girion has lived in Minas Tirith for a very long time, probably since not long after finishing his apprenticeship. (As with some of my minor OCs he has a backstory, but I was very firm with him that it was *not* going to interfere with the rest of the story.) He simply would have picked up the local speech. And of course, "pheriannath" is how everyone else is referring to them.

Since I envision the Westron letters as being derived from the Elven (for JRRT says that's where all writing originated in M-e) I kind of see a simplified Tengwar "T" and "K" joined together.

The pocketwatch Pippin bought is far more expensive than the one Merry was able to find in the Shire (probably at Brownlock's, since he had to settle at the last minute). The one Pippin bought was gold with silver inlay, and of course there was the engraving as well. The oliphaunt was probably a good bit less. But the cost Gimli was able to get Master Girion to agree to was really in no way reflective of their true value. For one thing, as I have indicated, luxury goods were not moving, and for another, Girion is still trying to cut Merry and Pippin a break. I am sure that Gimli was well aware of both factors when it came to the bargaining, and that the subtext of their haggling must have been very interesting and frustrating to both sides, LOL!

(By the way, I've recently seen in RL some of an affirmation of the way things worked economically in Minas Tirith after the War. Here, after the storm, and even with strict rules about price gouging, certain necessities, such as gas, groceries, building materials, etc. went up in cost, while stores that sold things like jewelry and fancy clothing and expensive electronics had to drastically reduce their prices, because people weren't in any mood to buy them.)

I figure with the amount of time Elves have on their hands, they probably have a good many hobbies. And we know that they are really meant to represent creativity.

I knew that the meaning "traveller" was behind Pippin's name, but the falcon derives its name from the same word--so I felt that it would also be a secondary meaning for his name. (Just as "pippin" not only means an apple, but something that is very precious. The derivations are entwined. Think of the phrase "apple of his eye"--and *that* means the pupil of the eye, by the way!)

Pippin very much favors the Took side of the family. In fact, I see his appearance as well as his temperament, being the quintessential Took. As Frodo and Merry have told one another, "They don't come any more Tookish than Pippin". Of his sisters, I think Pervinca favors her father, Pimpernel her mother, and Pearl is somewhat of a combination of them both.

Poor Gimli, yes! As I said, the subtext of the haggling must have been interesting!

It's very great fun to shop with hobbits--beats braving the crowds at a mall any day, LOL!

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/16/2005
Hobbits going shopping - what an unusual subject! A strange thing I never would have guessed them to want to do, although now that the war has been won and they are cooped up in Minas Tirith, it makes some sense to want some rememberances of their travels to take home to their families.

That rankled me, too, the way Aragorn would not let the hobbits return home, but gave them no reason or idea as to how long they would be stuck in Minas Tirith. Had they known, they would have been glad to stay, but being kept in the dark, it's only natural for them to feel as you portray them. Of course they want to go home to the Shire. Who wouldn't? It's not even my home and I *still* want to go there! lol!

I agree that Legolas and even Gimli would also be homesick about this time. They've been so far from home for so long now and as you said, there are few trees and greenery in Minas Tirith for Legolas to enjoy. At least Legolas has been able to see others of his kind during the Quest, but, Gimli hasn't seen a dwarf since they left Rivendell.

"“Good morning, Merry and Pippin,” said Legolas, crouching down next to them. Gimli grunted a greeting and sat down on the other end of the bench.

Merry fought down the urge to say “What’s good about it?” and muttered a brief “Hullo.”

“What’s good about it?” said Pippin sullenly.

Merry moaned. A Pippin miserable enough to be rude to his friends was a miserable Pip indeed. Besides, he’d thought of it first."

This was an excellent exchange! I guess in some ways, Pippin really is still a tweenager, although I wouldn't put it passed him to say it even as an adult. And Merry, to hold his tongue and not make the rude comment but to then be slightly irked that he had thought of it first! lol!

"“And we want to go *home*!” said Pippin firmly. He did not look so much mournful at this as determined. Merry’s scowl re-appeared."

Trust Pippin to be direct about it. At least he apologised for the outburst. More of that Tookish moodiness, from both cousins.

Why would Merry suddenly think of that spyglass, I wonder? You know, since Pippin is the one who broke it, I should think he would at least offer to pay for half if not all of the cost to replace it. It must really have had an impact on Pippin for him to remember what it was like to look out the spyglass as well as breaking it, given that he was the equivalent of 3-4 Man years of age.

"“My dear hobbits!” interrupted Gimli. “Do not, I pray you, get off the subject. You were telling us of this marvelous Dwarven spyglass.”"

lol! How like Gimli to care not a lick about the geneology but to want to hear more about something made by Dwarves! Very in character. I really like the voice you give him.

Sorry I've not been reviewing much of late, but I had some family matters to attend to. But now that I'm back, you can count on getting more reviews on your excellent stories. Poor you - more reviews when you haven't caught up on my previous ones yet! Such is the fate of a great writer whose stories compel me to review. lol!

Author Reply: You know, *that* sort of shopping just seems to me a very hobbity thing to do, giving that presents make such an important part of hobbit culture. But they'd not, as yet, had a chance to think of doing so in the City.

From the very first time I read the books, there were a few things that rankled me about certain characters. One was Gandalf's tendency to keep important information to himself. And the other was this, Aragorn telling them they couldn't go home, without telling them *why*. (I *know* the story-external reason--JRRT wanted to keep certain things in the plot secret from the readers--but I still found it very irritating; still *find* it, actually.) And my upcoming story will also deal with this self-same plot point. After 38 years of brooding about it, I'm far less forgiving of Aragorn than the hobbits were, LOL!

You know that my Pippin, in spite of his general cheerfulness, still has his occasional moments of tweenaged moodiness. And this time, Merry, who usually is trying to cheer him up, happens to be in a bad mood himself, so they are indulging in a bit of mutual self-pity here. And of course Legolas and Gimli had probably *never* seen *both* of them cross and depressed at the same time.

And you're right, the Elf and Dwarf are probably homesick themselves. But being far older and more experienced in the ways of the world, they endure it a lot better.

I don't think Merry has ever completely forgotten the spyglass, and Legolas' question probably sparked something to bring it to the front of his mind.

Pippin didn't offer to pay half, because he knows just how personal this is to Merry: to keep a promise he made to his father. Pippin's part in breaking it was incidental to the way Merry has made it a personal mission in his life. I am sure that even three years after coming-of-age, he was probably *still* checking with the merchants from Bree. Only the Conspiracy and the Quest had probably driven it from his mind. You know how single-minded that Brandybuck can be, LOL! Pippin, knowing Merry as he does, would know an offer to help pay would be rebuffed.

Yes, I think Gimli would have been much more interested in the Dwarven artifact than in hearing more about Merry's and Pippin's family trees--about which he has probably heard more already than he ever wanted to know.

I just figured you were busy with RL. It does have this ugly way of interfering in time that would be better spent in Middle-earth.*grin* And I shall certainly try to catch up on any reviews I missed. RL has been rather interfering to me lately as well.

SaoirseReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/1/2005
Aww... the very ending was just perfect! And I loved this:

'Merry fought down the urge to say “What’s good about it?” and muttered a brief “Hullo.”

“What’s good about it?” said Pippin sullenly.' LOL Very like those to to be thinking and having the same thoughts... and then Pippin being the one without enough sense to hold it in, lol (reminds me almost exactly of my sister and I ... I'm the one with no sense, lol) ;)

And I also loved the part when Gimli was saying something about he was sure that the spyglass looked like the one his 'great-grandfather' and then Merry corrected him with 'great great' lol!

And there was one more part...argh I am so forgetful...what *was* it? O, well...I can't remember but I also loved the gifts that Merry and Pippin had picked out for their families, very thougthful (and they also sounded v. beautiful). O, and lol! Trust Merry and Pippin to be able to cajole (and confuse) Sam into anything! Those little devils... they'd be able to convince a farmer the sky was green and the grass blue! -- O and another thing the idea of giving all those toys tot he orphaned children! How thoughtful of them :)

And lastly, the whole idea for this story was nice, I enjoyed the interaction of the hobbits with Legolas and Gimli, and the people of the White City. Great job! :)

Author Reply: It's so nice to get a review for a story that's been out for a while!

I had a good deal of fun with this one, myself. I had put a couple of anecdotes in one of my other stories about these gifts, when Merry gave his to his parents. And I had already described them. That was in my two very first stories. So when Marigold gave me my story started for the challenge, I knew what it would be.

I love having the hobbits interact with the others of the Fellowship. They have truly become a family to one another.

KittyReviewed Chapter: Epilogue on 9/9/2004
So, now I have catched up with reading.

This was very nice. I love the way how you take up such little details from your earlier stories and turn it in little fics like this one!

*lol* Of course, this was the only way to convince Frodo to take some reward - he would do everything for his Sam! It is a pity I can't see Frodos face when he gets his gift from his cousins. Surely he will be pleased. And I was happy they have purchased all the little stuff animals and dolls from the widow. As they said, the poor woman needs the money. And the children will be happy, too. Ths was a very nice idea!

Author Reply: Thank you. I find that doing that sort of helps tie up loose ends, and keeps these little details from hijacking the main story.

Yes, Frodo is stubborn, isn't he? But he's not going to deprive Sam if he can help it. I am sure Frodo is going to like the pen-and-inkwell set: I know I would!

When I went into the widow's room with the three friends and saw that pile of toys, I suddenly knew what would have to happen. It was kind of an impulse just as much on my part as it was on theirs!

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: Epilogue on 9/8/2004
And a perfect little ending! It's a good thing that shop owner didn't have two of those pen and inkwell sets. ;)

Author Reply: LOL!
I'm glad you liked the ending. I'm always a wee bit afraid with epilogues that I am gilding the lily--but some stories just cry out for them.

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/8/2004
Sam is forever in the position of getting Frodo to take what's due to him, lol! I'm surprised Merry and Pippin didn't think of it themselves, but sometimes it takes an outside observer. That little trick of Legolas's will work perfectly. Frodo won't be able to stand the thought of Sam going without.

Author Reply: That's part of what Sam is for--to get Frodo to pay attention, and realize that sometimes it's not about him. I'm sure Merry and Pippin would have thought of it eventually, but Legolas, as you said, is an observer.

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