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Posts Tagged ‘Merry’

This ends now.

Home again.

Home again.

Sam, Merry, and Pippin ride home in silence. Merry and Pippin ride on ahead once they arrive back in the Shire, and Sam returns to Bag End. Rosie is waiting for him with dinner and his daughter. All is well.

That’s the end.

Admittedly, I find this post more difficult than what I have planned for tomorrow, because I’ve been thinking about those thoughts for quite a while. Today is, after all, just another normal post. Like the end of many chapters, it’s not even a full page, and the action is rather simple. If it weren’t the end of the book, there wouldn’t be much more to say. However, because it is the end, there’s more meaning.

I find the style of the narrative at the end very interesting. “And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within,” it goes. There’s a lot of “and” this, “and” that, and it feels like someone rambling on about unimportant events. It’s the start of Sam’s new life – the happy life he’s always wanted at home in the Shire. Things aren’t dramatic or epic. He can settle down to live happily.

This is part of the reason why Frodo had to leave. Frodo (like Bilbo) had a flair for adventure. Once dragged into the journey, he let it consume him. He learned an immeasurable amount about himself, but he was never able to shake the restless nerves that he grew to live with over the course of the tale. Frodo accepted that he must take the ring, and even volunteered to do so at the Council of Elrond. Sam, on the other hand, never really did that. He got lumped in with Frodo when Gandalf discovered him listening in, and Sam’s thoughts to keep him in good spirits on the road were almost always of home. He has an easier time slipping back to his good life at peace.

And so, the end isn’t a big deal. It’s the beginning of a new tale, but not one that will keep us gripped with excitement. We leave our heroes here.

...is the beginning.

…is the beginning.

Of course, this isn’t quite my end. I have a retrospective conclusion planned for tomorrow. What have I learned? What was it like? What are some cool/fun facts? What’s next? I’m going to post a big long bunch of thoughts tomorrow to say a lot about this experience.

Just over two and a half years ago, I sat down to write a blog. It went by incredibly fast. I regret to announce that – though, as I said, two and a half years is far too short a time to to write among you – this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

No one dies today.

“‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.”

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I started to feel the first pangs of emotion when reading/typing today’s page. This probably won’t be startlingly hard for me, but something feels so final about this. Two more.

Frodo, Sam, Bilbo, and the elves ride up to the Grey Havens, where Círdan, the shipwright, greets them. Standing by a white boat is Gandalf, dressed in white and with his ring showing. Merry and Pippin ride up quickly behind the group, having been summoned by Gandalf. He doesn’t want Sam to ride back alone.

Friends are good!

Friends are good!

The time comes for those leaving to sail away. The ship dwindles into the horizon, and Frodo sees the white shores approach sometime in the night through the rain clearing into a sunrise. Sam stands back at the Grey Havens with Merry and Pippin long into the night.

First Mentions:

-the Far Downs: Hills far to the west of the Shire. Downs are all over the place.

-Narya: Gandalf’s ring of the Three, the Ring of Fire. “Wielder of the Flame of Anor!”

I’m a little struck by the timeline here, but I think it’s purposefully contracted. The narrative makes it seem like Frodo’s journey across the sea takes but one night. I don’t think that can be possible, but it could be true…with some magic. All things are well in the word, after all, and the winds and waves should be with them.

And one line has always stood with me from this page: “…he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.” For some reason, I had always thought that those were the last lines of the book. They’re not; I learned that some time ago, but it always feels more final than what the end truly is. In truth, there’s somewhat of a short “epilogue” to follow with Sam returning to the Shire, but I guess I feel like the story ends with Frodo’s departure.

Some people argue that Sam is the real main character in this huge story of many. I don’t disagree, but I just like that line so much. It does feel like the end to me, and it’s what made me just a touch emotional today.

Feels.

Feels.

Okay, okay, I wasn’t crying or anything, but it felt…weird.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Narya

How cool is it, on the second to last page, that we’re still finding new things? Novel from beginning to end, this…um, novel.

We end tomorrow. (Conclusion to follow that.)

No one dies today.

“Beside him stood Merry and Pippin, and they were silent.”

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Before midnight! I can do this!

Anyway, today’s page is a little bit more about how bountiful this year is in the Shire. The ol’ 1420 vintage becomes a point of reference when discussing anything of value in the future. (By the way, it’s the year 1420 in the Shire reckoning.)

The next part deals with Sam’s romantic interests and living situation. Frodo wants him to come live at Bag End, but will that sit well with Sam’s new flame?

Only if there's dancing.

Only if there’s dancing.

Frodo has a solution: Sam will marry Rosie, and they will both come to live at Bag End! Apparently…that’s not as bad of an idea as I think it sounds.

First Mentions:

-Widow Rumble: An older hobbit woman who takes care of the Gaffer. Secret romance?

I forgot, there is also a brief mention that Frodo falls ill during the month of March while Sam’s away doing his Johnny Appleseed work. The date is significant somewhat, as the ring was destroyed in March of the previous year. I do not know, however, how this plays into things. Frodo is ill on March 13th, and the ring was destroyed on the 25th. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing, but all the days ran together in Mordor, so I can’t be sure exactly what was happening on that day (the 13th) back in that last leg of the journey.

Nevertheless, my chief concern of this page is with Frodo’s idea to have Sam and Rosie live with him. I mean, I hear Bag End is quite a large hobbit hole, but does it make sense for the married couple to come live with Frodo, the third wheel? Perhaps this is about Frodo being cared for, but I still don’t see how it makes sense. Sam is a gardener, after all, not a house servant.

Everyone could really use a butler built into your door.

Everyone could really use a butler built into your door.

Speaking of other living situations, Frodo and Sam were staying with the Cottons all this time while Bag End was being repaired and refurnished. Merry and Pippin brought over Frodo’s belongings from his house at Crickhollow. Sam does eventually go back to live with his father when Bagshot Row is rebuilt as well. I presume Frodo stays with the Cottons during the period in between.

No one dies today.

“And if Sam thought himself lucky,…”

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Jumping ahead doesn’t do this page service.

We’re rocketing ahead, learning all about how the hobbits rebuilt the Shire. When organized, they do a pretty good job.

No word yet on hobbit construction unions.

No word yet on hobbit construction unions.

By Christmastime (or Yule, as they call it), all the “new” buildings put up by the ruffians are torn down. Those bricks are put into new use in rebuilding and strengthening structures that were taken down or harmed by the ruffians. At least they can do some good! An entirely new Bagshot Row is built, allowing the Gaffer to live once again at the foot of Bag End.

The greatest loss is in plant life, specifically trees. This hurts Sam greatly. For a while, he can’t think of a way that the Shire will ever be regrown anytime soon. Then, he thinks of the gift given to him by Galadriel: soil of her land, to be used to grow great gardens wherever the land is barren.

Hey! The Shire is barren! What better use could there be for this soil? How appropriate! It’s almost as if Galadriel could see the future

Yeah, she can see the future. That’s what that whole mirror thing’s about. No doubt she saw this coming, and knew that this soil was exactly what Sam would need to make his garden grow. Remember, the scouring of the Shire is even briefly seen through the Mirror of Galadriel in the film. That’s its one onscreen reference. Galadriel easily could have seen it herself.

Make your garden grow, Sam.

Make your garden grow, Sam.

It’s no surprise that Sam is in charge of the rebuilding efforts. With Frodo off doing administrative duties and Merry and Pippin hunting down ruffians, Sam’s the one with the technical ability, heart, and nostalgia to take on putting the Shire back the way it was. He’s like Captain Planet for Middle-earth.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-levelled

Captain Samwise, he’s the hero! Gonna build the Shire back from zero!

No one dies today.

“‘On what?’ said Sam.”

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I believe this is our last chapter. In fact, it should be the last chapter, considering there are so few pages left, and the title of this chapter concerns our final set piece. It’s page 1021. It’s the Grey Havens. It’s the end times.

But much happier than that.

But much happier than that.

This page is centered on the cleanup from Saruman’s reign in the Shire. Frodo’s first act is to head to Michel Delving and release the hobbits imprisoned in the Lockholes. He finds Fatty Bolger, Will Whitfoot, and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, among others unnamed. Until Will Whitfoot is fit again to be the Mayor of the Shire, Frodo assumes the position of his Deputy Mayor. Merry and Pippin go around rooting out the remaining ruffians.

Most notable is Lobelia’s exit from the Lockholes, to great applause. She’s never been popular before. Unfortunately, she must learn of her son’s death, and she refuses to ever go back to Bag End, leaving it to Frodo. She also leaves him all of her money upon her death in the spring. The Bagginses and the Sackville-Bagginses can be friends again.

First Mentions:

-the Brockenbores: Tunnels in the north of the Shire where Fatty Bolger had holed up with some rebels.

-Scary: A small village in the hills where the Brockenbores are.

-Hardbottle: Another northern Shire village where the Bracegirdles live.

Reconciliation is nice, even when it’s with the Sackville-Bagginses. I have to admit, it’s a nice way to tie up the ownership of Bag End. With Lotho dead, and his father Otho gone some time before, Lobelia wants no part of Frodo’s belongings. It only feels right that Frodo can go back to living at Bag End after everything. After all, Lobelia wasn’t the one with the Baggins blood to make a claim on it. She does request that her money goes towards helping those hobbits left homeless by the ruffians, and that shows a kind side to her. Perhaps the terrors of Saruman’s occupation and her time in the Lockholes changed her.

And curiously, Lobelia’s umbrella is indeed referred to as such – her “umbrella”. The term “umberella” was used by Young Tom Cotton in telling the story of Lobelia’s capture. It must be a ruralism!

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-Brockenbores

-Hardbottle

I have yet to find myself a softbottle. I’ll let you know.

“Before the Year’s End the few survivors were rounded up in the woods, and those that surrendered were shown to the borders.”

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Cue dramatic entrance.

This is an appropriate time for a gif.

This is an appropriate time for a gif.

As our four hobbits sniff around the mess of Bag End, Saruman appears, laughing. He details how he made plans to come conquer the Shire after meeting the hobbits on the road. They all seemed so pleased with themselves, happy to return home. But Saruman? He has no home to return to. TIME TO MESS WITH THEIRS.

That’s basically the logic. He also goes on to say that he could have done much worse with more men and more time. Blah, blah, blah, monologue, monologue, monologue.

I find humor in the fact that this is all that Saruman is reduced to. He was once one of the most powerful beings in Middle-earth, but now he finds himself pleased with making mischief for revenge on four hobbits. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

He also totally fails to comprehend how his plans are already unraveling. The Shire is reuniting, and it won’t take long for the hobbits as a whole to rebuild what’s been destroyed. Saruman really wants to see the hobbits suffer, and he hopes that it will take more than their lifetimes to undo what he’s done. Too bad. It won’t take all that long at all. Hobbits are resourceful folks.

Everything is cool when we're part of a team.

Everything is cool when we’re part of a team.

What else is Saruman wrong about? He thinks his nickname, Sharkey, is a term of endearment. It’s not, really. Today there’s a small footnote that explains what I said earlier: “sharkû”, in the Orc-tongue, means “old man”. I don’t exactly see that as endearing. Blinded by pride, this one is.

No one dies today.

“‘Go at once and never return!'”

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For a brief moment, I entertained the idea of starting today’s post off with some admission that I’m actually Mark Zuckerberg or something, and this has all been an elaborate social media experiment. April Fool’s! But no, I decided not to do that.

BUT WHAT IF I REALLY AM MARK ZUCKERBERG…OR WORSE?

Please, be my friend.

Please, be my friend.

I’m not. Let’s talk about Lord of the Rings.

The four hobbits arrive at Bag End, but not before Ted Sandyman accosts them with mockery. The profiteer off the new mill laughs at them, calling Sam soft, and hiding behind his friendship with “the Boss”. He cowers when the full escort of hobbits march up behind Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, and that’s that. They approach Bag End, its yard filled with rubbish and hastily built huts.

One more thing: Sam notices that they cut down Bilbo’s party tree.

Gasp! The party tree! I have a special place in my heart for this tree, because one of my roommates, on a trip to New Zealand in college, collected a pinecone from the enormous tree that the scene in the movie was filmed under. We had it in our apartment for quite some time. It was awesome.

You know the tree.

You know the tree.

Meanwhile, Ted Sandyman fills in as one of our early antagonists who continues to suck. He’s benefited greatly from the changes in the Shire, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Thankfully, he’s just as cowardly as all the ruffians (well, Bill Ferny, at least), and backs down at the first sign of trouble. Too easy.

No one dies today.

“The place stank and was full of filth and disorder: it did not appear to have been used for some time.”

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