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Chance Encounter  by Dreamflower 12 Review(s)
LarnerReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/20/2006
Yes, the young King also needs comfort, which helps comfort Merry.

As for the plan to catch the conmen--excellent use by Aragorn of available talent, and his own ability to look as scurrilous as the least villain!

Author Reply: Absolutely. For Merry, giving the comfort also enables him to *be* comforted.

*chuckle* Yes, he can look a rogue if he wants to, can't he?

PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/20/2006
Yep--Legolas is busted. I know he did it out of love and admiration for the hobbits, but I have to agree with Pippin--lol, and Merry's reply to the discovery.

It's great to see you going into the storyline of Merry and Theoden's escort ( to the gate). I have often speculated on what Merry felt throught that time, but would much rather read your account of it. :-) The angst of remembering his last precious moments with Theoden King...the man (not hobbit) whom he loved like a father. That alone is mind-boggling.

I am so looking forward to watching those bumbling idiots fall right into Aragorn's trap. Go, Pippin!


Author Reply: Well, good motives or not, busted is busted, unfortunately. But fortunately, the hobbits were able to see the humor in it.

I'm glad you like my thoughts on how it could have been. I've always thought that Theoden must have reminded him of his own father.

"Bumbling idiots" is about right. And these " 'bumbles" *don't* bounce! LOL!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/19/2006
It's a shame the hobbits (why do my fingers keep typing bobbits?) can't accept that a bit of Elven singing maybe every third day would be a good thing. Winding down over the weeks. They all need sleep badly at the moment. Still, I'm not surprised that they want to be fiercely independent. It is disconcerting to have someone say that an elf could willing sacrifice a century or so to a duty - but that's immortality!

Merry looked up to see the young King gazing back at him, tears flowing freely.

"Oh!" he exclaimed softly. He leaned forward to lend what comfort he could. Something he sometimes forgot: his King was very young, younger even, than his Pippin.

Every now and then the sheer youth of some of those around them must have caught the hobbits out - as, I suppose, must the sheer age of others! But I like seeing the hobbits as the mature, responsible support for those who, although taller, are so young.

Pippin has a task ahead of him too! Though I'm sure the guards will do their best to keep him safe.

Author Reply: *snerk* "Bobbits". Probably the same reason I sometimes type "hoggits". Obviously we have evil keyboards, and the letters move around rather like the trees in the Old Forest!

I think they indicated that they would accept his help sometimes--but I think they would like to know about it, and most certainly *not* every night, LOL!

It is a bit disconcerting, but as Gandalf says "it's a short enough time for an Elf"--though I think even Legolas might have found it more of a chore than he anticipated if the hobbits *had* taken him up on it! Still, he did mean well. And I think at this point, he still has a few things to learn about his mortal friends. He would not make the same mistake a few years later, I don't think. But you are right about sacrificing a century or two to duty--or even a couple of Ages of the World, as have Elrond and Galadriel.

I like to think that just as Men sometimes misjudged hobbit maturity, due to their size and apparent innocence, I think that hobbits sometimes misjudged that of Men based on their ages. But Merry *is* older than Eomer--even though not by as much as he thinks, and age or no, Eomer is in need of comfort.

Pippin is quite up to his task!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/19/2006
"Yet Merry had also had a brightness to him; he lived up to
his name, with a sunny, easy nature. He rarely cried or had tantrums as a
child, and he loved to laugh. He had been so good for Frodo, who had needed
some sunshine in his life."

This is so very true! Frodo has always needed someone to bring sunshine in his life. And Merry was glad to do so. Let's hope the lingering shadow will finally withdraw! I really enjoyed reading your discription of the hobbits through Gandalf's eyes.

So, Pippin is the one to lure those man into a trap? He will manage, I'm sure. And I've no doubt that Aragorn, who put on his Ranger outfit, will be among those who keep watch. I'm curious about the outcome!

Author Reply: Merry was the sunshine in Frodo's young life, and will always be very special on that account.

I love showing Gandalf thinking about his hobbits--they were very dear to him, each and every one. I sometimes wonder if there was a secondary reason for allowing Frodo and Bilbo to go West--so that Gandalf would still have some hobbits by him!

Pippin is the one, all right. He is eager to do his duty!

GryffinjackReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/19/2006
Wow, what a chapter!

I think this was my favourite part:

"They slept with the most vulnerable on the inside, the protectors on the
outside. But whereas in the early days of their journeying, that had meant
Frodo and Pippin on the inside, with Merry on the outside next to Pippin,
and Sam on the other side of Frodo, now Sam was on the inside, and young
Pippin was one of the protectors."

I find that incredibly interesting and making a lot of sense. I just love the image and all that it means. I imagine it changed almost nightly, who was in the middle and who was on the outside. I wonder if Legolas got the full significance of it?

Gandalf's thoughts about the four hobbits are spot on. I love it when he ponders about them.

I knew the hobbits would be amused by Legolas' offer. They are too good hearted to get upset about it, ridiculous though it is. It really was quite endearing of the Elf to offer his next sixty or seventy years to them. Merry's comment was perfect; I doubt their wives would have approved. And if Legolas had to watch over all four of them each night though they were married ... no, I don't think I even want to go there. lol!

I do not envy Merry his duty to watch over a corpse. However, it is one final way that he can serve his king, so perhaps he will take some measure of comfort in that. As for Eomer, I am glad to see him moved to tears and equally glad that Merry was there to lend him some comfort. For such a young man to become king, especially when there is so much rebuilding to be done. You showed his youth very well. Although I at first tended to think of the Men as all being chronologically older than the hobbits, this is not the case. I first became aware of that when looking at the indexes and seeing that Frodo was older than Boromir. For Eomer to be younger than Pippin, well, in a way, he is both older and younger. He is younger chronologically and thus has less memories and less wisdom about the world in some respects, but in others, he is an older, seasoned warrior who has been an adult far longer than Merry has been. It must be somewhat confusing for Merry.

Thank goodness Pippin will have so many looking after him on his mission. He really is a wonder of a hobbit - both a knight trained to fight and do his duty and a hobbit full of love and wonder.

"As Pippin turned to leave, he felt Gandalf's hand on his shoulder. He turned and looked up.

Gandalf looked down at him, and smiled. "You will do. And be careful, my lad."

"Thank you, Gandalf. I will.""

I so enjoyed this chapter! Write more soon, please (though not until you finish writing my bunny)!

I love moments between Gandalf and Pippin! Gandalf is such a grandfatherly figure to the four hobbits, but especially to Pippin, who returns his affection.

Author Reply: It's an idea I've had for a long time: that before hobbits migrated to the Shire, being relatively small and defenseless, that they would sleep like that, to protect the most vulnerable among them. I am sure that it probably lingers among the rural lower classes, even though in the well-protected Shire the gentry usually sleep alone. But it's one reason I have the younger cousins always seeking the older ones' bed--it's kind of an instinct with them.

I always like to show Gandalf watching and observing the hobbits.

Well, they *could* have been angry, and nearly were, until the ridiculous aspect of it struck them, LOL! But they are very well aware that he *meant* well, an so don't hold it against him.

For Eomer to be younger than Pippin, well, in a way, he is both older and younger. He is younger chronologically and thus has less memories and less wisdom about the world in some respects, but in others, he is an older, seasoned warrior who has been an adult far longer than Merry has been. It must be somewhat confusing for Merry.

You hit the nail on the head. Even though a hobbit of twenty-nine is about eighteen maturity wise, he still has twenty-nine years worth of memory and experience. It's why my young hobbits sound a bit precocious--at five Merry may be the physical and emotional equivalent of a three year old, but he has the memory and vocabulary of a five year old, so he's not too young, for example, to learn to read.

I am so glad you liked the bit at the end. I kind of "framed" this chapter with Gandalf.

And don't worry--I'm still working on your bunny!

Pearl TookReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/19/2006
"In the way hobbits had, they slept huddled together. Although at home in the Shire they would have beds to themselves, Gandalf knew that for hobbits, sleeping alone was a relatively recent development, and in any time of stress hobbits naturally reverted to the older behavior."

I really like this, Dreamflower! So many of us have them huddle together but I don't think I've ever read an explanation. Very good!

" "Any future wives we might have might have something to say about that,"
chuckled Merry. Sam blushed, and Pippin elbowed him. Sam was the only one with a sweetheart at home.

Frodo shook his head, amused. "It does paint an odd picture in the mind. Did he propose to come live with us in the Shire?" "

" "Do you really want to spend the rest of your
life with an Elf staring at you all night long?" "

This is all wonderfully touching and totally hysterical all at the same time. Quite an accomplishment!

Author Reply: My explanation is that before they migrated to the Shire, the hobbits, a small and relatively defenceless burrowing race, would have huddled together for comfort and security. They've gradually grown away from this as the Shire became safer and more civilized, but in times of stress or danger, they would revert back to the earlier instinctive behavior.

"Touching" and "hysterical"--not two adjectives one sees together often, yet I take it as a high compliment if you think I have accomplished that. *blushes*

KittyReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/19/2006
Interesting look at how Gandalf sees the hobbits! And of course it is true.

Frodo was right: I understand, and his intentions were good. It's actually
quite heartwarming that he made the effort. But we can hardly get on with
our lives that way.
Even if it is not an option for the future, I find it touching Legolas would even offer to do it. It says a lot about his feelings for his hobbit friends that he would do that because he doesn't want so see them suffer.

Another touching part was Merry's attempt to comfort Éomer. And it shows Merry he doesn't need to be ashamed of his own tears, because he is not the only one who mourns Theoden's passing so deeply.

Ah, I loved the reappearance of the disreputable ranger! Now I look forward to what will happen with these men!

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/18/2006
I like your solution to the question of how Theoden was kept at the Citadel all that time. I often thought he'd had to be getting pretty rank by the time they came back for him. I feel sorry for Merry. Standing guard outside the tombs all day won't be easy on him and is likely to aggravate his dreams at night. The hobbits reacted to the news of Legolas pretty much as I expected they would. They couldn't really get *too* angry at him, but the disappointment that their respite was temporary is what would have hurt the most. Can't wait for Pippin to swindle those cons!

Author Reply: Well, I suppose the Gondorians could have embalmed him. JRRT indicates that like the Egyptians, the ancient Numenoreans went in for such things--but it wasn't much approved of by the Good Guys, so I think in this case Gandalf might have been allowed a little leeway.

It does have to be pretty depressing, but is a way he can still serve his King. He will only have to do it every third day, fortunately.

Yes, well, anger or amusement? Since they know he was only trying to help, they would be more inclined to amusement--especially at the thought of an Elf "staring at them" as Pippin put it, all night for the next sixty or seventy years, LOL! Legolas is very fond of them, but he still has a good deal to learn about mortals, poor guy.

Baggins BabeReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/18/2006
I had to smile at the thought of Legolas moving into the Shire with the hobbits for the next 60 - 70 years! As Merry says, I doubt their wives would be too happy about that!

Poor Merry - and that pulled me up short, to realise that Eomer is younger than Pippin. Although Pip is really a teenager and Eomer is a mature and battle-hardened soldier, but it made me stop and think.

I hope Pip is careful - and I gather Strider will be watching these awful Men as well. I don't envy them when he catches them! *evil cackle*

Author Reply: It gave me a chuckle too, when I first thought of his making the offer, way back when I wrote my second story. I always meant to show how it had come about, and this was my chance. It is a bit amusing to imagine him sitting over them night after night for years on end.

It's true--he's a year younger,according to the Tale of Years. And really, though Pippin is younger in the way Shirefolk reckon things, he still has the *memory* of a twenty-nine year old. So in one way, there isn't so much difference in how much older Merry is than both of them. And Eomer needs comforting.

You will soon see! *rubs hands in anticipation*

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 7 on 1/18/2006
Ohhhh, how I adore Gandalf's evaluation of the hobbits at the very beginning of this chapter. How lovely.

And this is just wonderful: Something he sometimes forgot: his King was very young, younger even, than his Pippin.

Author Reply: I enjoy showing Gandalf musing over his hobbits; and really of all the Fellowship, for Gandalf they really are--he's almost like a grandfather to them.

And Eomer *was* a year younger than Pippin--to Merry that alone would automatically put him in the category of people he ought to be protecting, though I am quite sure Eomer would be surprised to realize that, LOL!

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