6) After Middle Earth: Detour to Darkness

Freesia barely had time to take a breath when the cold hand fell violently from her shoulder followed by the horrible sound of death. She turned quickly to see a Scar lying dead on the path. Eoborn had skewered it. Before she could release her breath, she saw that the Scar was not alone.

Several other Scars were running from toward them in the distance. They were surrounded.

Freesia didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t sure if she felt safe with Eoborn or not. He did save her life, but who knows his motivations? None of that would matter if they died now.

The fear and pain of never being able to return home was too much to bear. Freesia began to weep. There was nothing else she could think to do to save herself.

From beside her, Freesia felt Eoborn rush toward her. His strong arms wrapped around her small body and hefted her up onto his shoulder. With one arm holding her and the other swinging his sword, Eoborn fought his way through the surrounding Scars. Suddenly, Freesia wasn’t afraid, she knew that Eoborn was good, and he would save both of them. From the awkward angle she was at, she could see his brave, pained face. He looked honorable. Kingly.

The Scars gave them no choice but to run east. Freesia wanted to protest, but twisting around to see the pursuing Scars told her there was no way to reach the Shire. It scared Freesia to see so many dark creatures on the lands of Hobbiton. How was this possible?

They made it into the Maggot fields. Freesia hoped the tall crops would hide them and they might be able to slip away. The rustling of plants and horrible grunts of the Scars was driving Freesia mad. Strangely, amidst the horrible noises, another sound faded into the mix. More sounds. Dogs? Shouting.

Freesia tried to look around and see what was going on, when a small figure stumbled right into Eoborn. Because of the awkwardness of the little hobbit on his shoulder, Eoborn stumbled and lost his grip on her. Freesia fell to the ground, the air unable to keep hold in her lungs. The fear and oxygen deprivation was too much for Freesia to bear, she could no longer keep hold on reality and slipped into darkness.

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4) After Middle Earth: Pegrioc

Eoborn stared at Freesia, confused, who was looking quite terrified. “You alright?” he asked her.

“I…uh…who do you have in mind to go with you?” she asked, worrying he might say her.

“Well, I was actually under the impression that I should ask you to come with me.” Oh dear! Her worries had come true. She struggled to come up with an answer when he spoke again. “I feel that your knowledge of Middle Earth history would be quite useful and wise to have with me. I realize it sounds quite terrifying, but all I need from you is your mind.”

My mind? she thought, I’m just a girl! How can I bring anything to his journey that he can’t get from a man? I only just came of age a decade ago. Forty-four years is not very old in hobbit years. 

“I’m unsure. My family is back in the Shire, I don’t know how they would feel about this. I should really run it by them first.” Freesia looked down at her feet.

“Aren’t you quite old enough to make your own decisions?” he asked her.

“Well, somewhat. I am only forty-four and I am a girl.” she thought her answer was quite understandable, but his answer surprised her.

“Forty-four is perfectly old enough to go out on your own!” he said as if he was surprised at her answer, “I myself am only fifty. That is young for an elf-Dunedain hybrid.” he smiled.

Fifty? That is how old Frodo was. But I am still a girl. Girls don’t adventure, they stay home and take care of the family. Eowyn is the only exception. 

“Well, I don’t know why you would want a girl to come with you, but I suppose I could join you if that is what you really want.” she said, still hesitant to get into an adventure she had no way of knowing she would survive. She didn’t even know what exactly they would do to get the throne back.

“Great! Now, obviously we can’t take back Gondor just the two of us. I don’t suppose you know of any other hobbits that would like to join us? Maybe we can find a dwarf to join us.” Freesia could only think of one person that would like to join them.

Pegrioc.

Pegrioc was a descendant to Merriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, a distant relative to Freesia. Peregrin “Pippin” Took had a son who married Sam’s daughter. Merry and Pippin were distant cousins. Thus making Freesia and Pegrioc distant relatives, which isn’t very strange, almost all hobbits are distant relatives.

Pegrioc was very much like Pippin. Reckless, unintelligent, sarcastic and hilarious. It was quite attractive in Freesia’s eyes, though she couldn’t admit it to anyone but her inner thoughts.

“I do know of one hobbit that would enjoy the journey, but I’m not quite certain how beneficial to the purpose of this adventure.” Freesia told Eoborn.

“Well, more is always better. I couldn’t care if he was just there for the sake of the credit, having more people along with us will make the journey bearable. I am certain we will find others who would love to join us.”

Freesia wasn’t sure if she wanted to be excited or terrified. She had always dreamed of going along on Frodo’s adventure, but now that she had the opportunity, she couldn’t decide.

Well, for now they just needed to worry about inviting Pegrioc along without the Scars deciding to join them first.

In that moment, Freesia suddenly realized something inconsistent about Eoborn’s story. Orcrist was supposed to be buried with Thorin. Only a sick villain would dig up the king of Erebor for the sake of getting his sword.

What was she getting herself into?!

Top Lord of the Rings Moments

I recently saw a few blogs about the top Middle Earth moments, but was slightly disappointed with them. Yes, they had some good ones, but they left out some of the best parts and the reasons why they are the best. So, I decided to write the best parts of Lord of the Rings and why, mostly regarding the brilliant acting!

11: Gandalf vs. the Balrog

gandalf

Everyone knows the line that happens at this point of the Lord of the Rings movies. We’ve heard tons of jokes and seen tons of memes regarding Gandalf’s line “You shall not pass!” What makes this part so great? Personally, I think this part of the movie is Ian McKellan’s best scene containing his best acting. When he shouts that line, you can feel its power. It’s as if you are there in that moment, in Frodo’s place, witnessing it.

10: Boromir’s death

boromirdeath

This scene contains a lot of character building elements in it for a few different characters. I literally don’t understand why some people hate Boromir so much, it was temptation, it was his fatal flaw, but it did not make him a villain. When he speaks his last words, you see his true honor. It’s amazing he has any honor with a father like his. He was corrupted by what his father wanted.

In this scene, we also see Legolas’ reaction to death. He seems to be confused, looking at Boromir wondering what is happening. He never understood death and how it affects people when it’s someone they care about. Also, Aragorn is characterized even more so than before. We see his true kingliness come out.

9: Eomer finds Eowyn on the battlefield

eomer

This scene has always been one of THE best scenes in the entire trilogy. Karl Urban does some breathtakingly amazing acting. When he finds his sister, thinking she is dead, his cries of pain and despair are so heart wrenching it’s as if my own sister has died. His acting is just so brilliant! The look on his face when this happens is painful.

8: Hiding from the black rider

rider

This scene is the spark that starts the painful burden Frodo has to carry. As Sauron’s servant is so close, almost touching them, Frodo feels the evil temptation of the ring. He almost puts it on, if it weren’t for his friends by his side. When we see the bugs crawling out and running away because of the ring wraith, it makes you feel almost exactly like the hobbits feel. If even the nasty, crawly little bugs are running from this guy, that is not a good sign. This is also when Merry understands somewhat what is going on.

7: Pippin’s song

pippinsong

This scene has some major character changing elements in it. Pippin used to be a care free, not very smart hobbit. He didn’t understand the danger they were in, he didn’t understand why Frodo had to leave, or why he had to leave his closest friend to go to Minas Tirith. When he is before the father of the man who desperately tried to save his life, resulting in his death, all the understanding and emotion hits him. And this is why he volunteers to work for Denethor.

His character deepens the most in the scene with his song, because he has seen Denethor send Faramir off to his death, not even caring. It breaks Pippin’s heart. As Faramir and his soldiers are riding off toward Osgiliath, Pippin sings a song that basically explains the entire movie’s tone. The words touch my heart every time, not to mention how great of a singer Billy Boyd is! The whole thing is wonderful!

6: Sam’s speech 

sam

Yet another part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that everyone knows. Frodo has almost given up and Gollum has returned into Smeagol’s mind. Everything seems to be over and all hope seems to be lost. They were so close to Mordor and then they were taken to Osgiliath. Sam has to convince Frodo that it’s not over. They can’t give up and they WILL make it to the volcano. He does the one thing he can, he tells Frodo what they are holding on to that is keeping them going.

5: “The way is shut”

ghostking

The scene when Aragorn is trying to get the ghosts to serve their last duty in order to be freed is one that a lot of people think is strange. The fact that there are ghosts causes some people to not be sure how they feel about the movies. For some reason, ghosts put people off.

Nonetheless, this scene is a great one. Aragorn becomes so much more powerful and intimidating when he blocks the ghost’s attack with his sword. The ghost king’s reaction to the remade blade is almost funny, because he is so surprised. Yet, in order to keep himself just as threatening, the ghost king fades away, laughing. Which is yet another cool scene.

4: The beacons are lit

beacons

Again, another scene that is great thanks to Howard Shore’s brilliant music. I love watching, goosebumps forming, as each beacon lights and the music builds up. It’s great.

3: “No parent should have to bury their child.”

theoden

Yet another scene that is great thanks to brilliant acting. When Theoden is finally freed from Sauruman’s control, he finds out that his son died. Just the death of a child alone would break a man, but it is even worse as he realizes that he was not there for his son in his last moments, he didn’t even care because he was being controlled.

When Theoden says this line, and he begins to cry, it is yet another emotional scene that is so powerful. You can feel his emotions. Imagining being in his place, it becomes even more real.

2: The company is formed

Fellowship

The whole part of the first movie, from the forming of the fellowship up to the beginning of their journey is amazing. The hilarious moment when the three uninvited hobbits pop in. Pippin’s stupidity at the situation. It’s all great, but what makes this so amazing is when they, one by one, walk over the hill, the awesome music playing behind them, it’s just great. Music is one of the most powerful tools in provoking emotion.

1: Ride now!

death

It is no secret that this is almost the best part of all the movies. The power in Theoden’s speech is amazing. As he shouts those words, that will always be stuck in my mind, you just want to stand up and start shouting, “DEATH!” It’s almost disturbing…but anyone who has seen it should understand. It is so amazing.

0: Bilbo wants the ring

bilbowantshisring

I put this on here as zero, simply because it is not necessarily a great scene, it’s just hilarious and terrifying at the same time. When Bilbo reaches for the ring and his face turns into an almost Gollum-like face, you want to scream and then laugh your head off. I think everyone is in agreement that this is the scariest part of the entire trilogy.

Obviously, there are many many more great scenes throughout these movies, and don’t think I like any of the movie less than it deserves. The entire thing is amazing, and all the tiniest scenes affect me in different ways. Each character has their share of characterizing mastery, thanks to Peter Jackson and Howard Shore.

Honestly, I don’t really care what anyone now thinks of Peter Jackson after the Hobbit trilogy, he is still amazing and he did what he had to do in order to make amazing movies and form Tolkien’s brilliant literature into a reality. Middle Earth might as well be real, now that you can go and visit many of the areas that are now known as Middle Earth in New Zealand.

The Lord of the Rings will always be the best movie in the universe.

Chapter Four: A Short Cut to Mushrooms

Frodo woke up in a tree’s trunk, the elves were no where to be found from the night before they had spent with them. The elves had left them food. The plan was for them to head for Bucklebury. Pippin asks Frodo if he talked to Gildor, the elf, about the Riders they had run from. Frodo responds, saying that he did, which then Pippin asks if he talked with Gildor about the sniffing. “I’m sure it is very important.” Pippin said. We can see that Tolkien had meant to draw attention to that fact, therefore the sniffing is important.

Frodo worries about Sam, and he tries to convince Sam to go back by telling him about how dangerous it is going to be. Sam proceeds to explain how the elves told him not to leave Frodo, which surprises Frodo.

Already Sam is beginning to change. Frodo can see it in him, even though he looks just as his old self. Sam talks about the elves, speaking deeply about things Frodo didn’t expect to hear from his young friend. Just being in the presence of elves affected Sam, though he didn’t quite expect the elves to be what they turned out to be.

Sam tells Frodo that he now desires to keep going forward, not because of his previous desire to see elves, or dragons, but because he feels it is right. He doesn’t quite understand why, but he knows that he must. He feels like there is something he needs to do before the end.

After Frodo finishes breakfast, the three hobbits discuss their path ahead. Frodo makes an effort to avoid the road, even if it means walking through bogs. Pippin, who was the one arguing against it, finally agrees, stating that he will follow Frodo wherever he chooses to go.

The hobbits struggle through banks and bogs, getting caught up and stuck. As Pippin turns to look back in the direction they had come, he sees a horse and a dark figure standing beside it. The short cut did take a long time, but at least they avoided the black rider.

The detour takes much longer than anticipated, Pippin begins to complain again. Frodo, however, doesn’t want to get out into the open just yet.

At lunchtime, the hobbits begin to sing loudly, but are cut off suddenly by a piercing, evil scream, which is then answered by another. Frodo jumps up. Frodo understood, somehow, that there were words in the call, but he didn’t understand the meaning. All of them immediately think of the black riders, but do not speak of it aloud.

Before long, they stumble on Farmer Maggot’s farm; Pippin recognized it. They are getting close to where they want to go. Frodo sees the matter as another trouble. Pippin and Sam are confused at the statement. They believe farmer Maggot to be a good old friend and wonder why Frodo would think it a trouble to stumble on his land.

The reason for Frodo’s comment was from a childhood experience. When he was young, he would steal mushrooms from the farm. One day, Maggot showed Frodo to his dogs and told them to watch out for him. Frodo had been terrified of him and his dogs ever since. Pippin laughs and tells Frodo he will have to get over it, if he is to live in Buckland.

As they near the farm house, they hear Maggot call out to his dogs and they stop in fright, all except for Pippin. Farmer Maggot comes into view and simply asks what they are up to, and he recognizes Pippin right off. He tells Pippin he was just about to set his dogs out on strangers, due to the strange folk that had been wandering around.

Pippin asks to whom he is referring, and he tells him about the black rider he had seen.

Frodo mentions his fear of the dogs, and Maggot tells him they are harmless unless told to harm. When Pippin introduces Frodo as Mr. Baggins, it intrigues Maggot who tells them to come inside his home.

They go inside and discuss how they had come into Maggot’s land without his knowing, which they explain. The reason Farmer Maggot perked at the mention of Baggins was because of what the black rider had asked him.

Maggot tells the hobbits his whole conversation he had with the rider. It was much like that of all the others that had seen riders. The black rider had wanted to find a Baggins, but he knew that the only Baggins had left. The rider offered to give Maggot gold if he told him when he saw Frodo, he did not accept.

Maggot for some reason mentions all the rumors he had heard about the Baggins’. He tells Frodo he should have stayed in Buckland and he is smart to be coming back.

Farmer Maggot realizes it was not chance that brought the rider and Frodo through on the same day. Frodo laughs that he had been so scared of Maggot for thirty years and he wishes he hadn’t, for he could have had another good friend. Maggot realized that Frodo was probably planning on going to Buckleberry Ferry without being caught, which he is right about.

Frodo takes some convincing to stay for supper, only at the suggestion of Maggot taking them to the ferry by wagon does he accept.

As they ride the wagon, they don’t turn any light on. They worry that light will attract unwanted attention. It becomes very cold and the hobbits can’t even warm themselves by bundling up. They finally reach the ferry.

Suddenly they hear a horse coming. Frodo gets down and hides under blankets. Farmer Maggot demands to know the rider’s business. The rider says they are looking for Mr. Baggins, but it isn’t a rider at all! It’s Merry Brandybuck!

Merry tells them he had been looking everywhere for them. He had worried they had fallen in a ditch and thought they would never show up. After explaining how Maggot came to find the hobbits, Maggot tells them he best be off to go home.

Just before Maggot heads home, he hands Frodo a basket. Frodo laughs when he sees it is full of mushrooms.

Chapter One: An Unexpected Party-Part Two

The instant Bilbo disappears in chapter one, every single guest at the party bursts into conversation. Most of the talk was of how crazy Bilbo is. Frodo just sits and laughs quietly at the amusement of the guests.

As Frodo sits and ponders, he begins to think about Bilbo’s little trick a little harder. He realizes how much he cares for Bilbo. I like to think Frodo in that moment started to wonder what would happen to him if Bilbo really was gone. If Bilbo really had disappeared and would never return. That is what makes him realize how sad he would become if Bilbo left this world in such a quick flash as his trick.

Tolkien makes a large deal about the clothes Bilbo changes into when he returns to Bag End. He describes the nice, embroidered party clothes he removes and the old, tattered clothes that replace them. Thinking about this, ask yourself, Why would someone who has such nice and expensive things change into old, dirty clothes on such an occasion as an important birthday? No one would even change into dirty clothes on their worst day unless it was their last resort.

Tolkien explains further in a way that makes us realize that the clothes Bilbo puts on are the same as those he word on his adventures with the dwarves. Think about the symbolism behind the clothing. Bilbo had never really been one to wear expensive things and look fancy. We can tell this by the way he is constantly giving to those around him, thinking not of himself, but others. Also, it says that Bilbo rapped up his fine linen clothing and put it carefully away, this makes it seem as though he hasn’t even worn it before, he still has the packaging it came in.

The clothes he wore on his journey symbolize his old self. The part of him the was “more Took-ish.” These clothes show all the wear and tear of an adventure, of which you would never experience behind the borders of the Shire. This tells us that he is not planning to stay in the Shire, which we can also assume by the other things he was said to have gathered together upon returning to Bag End. Also, those old clothes represent his old self. Bilbo is choosing to embrace that of his past and leave what home he has already.

Bilbo soon verifies this theory himself as he converses with Gandalf. He tells Gandalf he is going on a holiday and doesn’t mean to come back.

Taking a step back for a moment: Before Gandalf shows up, Bilbo puts his ring in an envelope and sets it on the shelf, then just after he takes it out again. At this point for most people (who don’t already know the story by heart, but have read the Hobbit), we can tell that there is something about the ring that isn’t quite the same as it was in the Hobbit. Bilbo can’t seem to detach from the ring, but this could also just be a simple man who doesn’t want to separate from such a sentimental treasure.

During Bilbo’s conversation with Gandalf, we hear another famous line.

“I feel sort of stretched, Gandalf…like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Let’s analyze this a bit, shall we?

Think about it. When you take just a knife full of butter and try to spread it over your entire toast, it eventually thins out to the point where it has no point. It doesn’t give it the flavor you intended. Bilbo here could be meaning that as he goes along, spending his days in the Shire (gliding his knife across the bread), he feels that his knife is going to continue gliding through his life, never lifting itself off to obtain more butter, never adding more to his now dull life. He feels like all this time spent idling away is stretching him, making him become more and more thin as his adventurous life is left behind him. He is only spreading his butter, dragging it in circles, going no where. This is what he uses to describe why he needs to leave.

After such marvelous and terrible adventures. How can one go back to a normal life completely?

Tolkien writes in one line that, to me seems a bit humorous on his part. Gandalf tells Bilbo that no one will read his story (which we know is actually what the Hobbit book is, technically). This makes me laugh a bit, because we know that thousands of people read the Hobbit. It’s almost as if Tolkien is making a joke about how successful his book actually was. Just a random thought.

Bilbo then says that Frodo would come with him, if Bilbo asked him. But he also says that Frodo is not ready. I compare this to our existence before earth life. Not all of us are born on earth at the same time, obviously. So this represents that we will all have a chance on earth, just that some of us aren’t ready at the same time as others. Just like how on earth we don’t all progress at the same rate.

The next bit is almost word for word in the movie. Gandalf and Bilbo discuss the ring and what its fate is to be. Bilbo calls the ring his “precious” just as Gollum had. This definitely tells us something is up. The ring starts to look more and more like a poison. Or an addiction. If this ring is causing such a respectable man to become like such a sad, pathetic creature, then there is definitely something about that ring that is not right for the mind.

Bilbo and Gandalf soon agree to leave the ring with Frodo. This tells us a TON about the type of person Frodo is. They trusted him enough to leave him such a powerful and dangerous weapon. They had to have had total faith in Frodo as a person to take care of this ring. So they leave it for him (after Bilbo tries to take it with him first, of course).

Bilbo and Gandalf say their goodbyes and Bilbo is off, singing as he goes. Which song is a very deep sort of poetry. It ends with “And whither [the road goes] then? I cannot say.” This means that he has no idea where his journey is going to take him, but yet still he goes. No one knows where their road will take them, we simply have to follow and discover for ourselves where it will go.

The next day, after Frodo had discovered Bilbo left the day before (as Bilbo had told him he was planning on doing), Frodo finds that Bilbo had written out what things he owned that he was giving away. (He even gave things away to the Sackville-Bagginses!)

This chapter ends with a conversation between Frodo and Gandalf. Gandalf explains that Frodo is to soon go out into the world on a sort of small journey. They discuss what is to happen and Gandalf tells him that he will return one day to let Frodo know when it is the time to leave. And so Frodo waits until it is his time to go into the world.

Meriadoc: The Responsible Hobbit

Merry is the logical Hobbit between him and Pippin. He is constantly trying to keep Pippin out of trouble. Merry’s best attribute is his desire to fight for what is right. He sees all this fighting and death around him and all he wants is to help his friends.

The instant the black riders come after the Hobbits just outside of Hobbiton, Merry knows that there is something Frodo has that they are after. In the book, Merry actually knew about the ring, or rather saw what it did. One day, Merry saw Bilbo put on the ring, after that, he sent Sam to go investigate and listen to what happens in Bag End (that means Sam really was dropping eaves! 😉 ). Merry had an idea what was going on from the very beginning. It isn’t until later that he realizes the magnitude of the situation.

We get a clue at how ignorant he starts off. When at Weathertop, he foolishly lights a fire with his buddies, not realizing that he can’t have all the many regular meals whenever he wants anymore, especially when there are nine evil Sauron’s servants tracking them.

When Merry sees Frodo leaving the fellowship at Amon Hen, he immediately understands and tries to lead the orcs away from him. He completely disregards his own safety for the sake of his friend. He realizes later that his carelessness in his attempt to save one friend resulted in the death of another. This could be one of the reasons he was so fixated on helping his friends in battle, because he doesn’t want to feel as though he can’t do any good.

When Hobbits are with Treebeard, Merry is trying to convince Treebeard to fight with them. He figures that the size of the ents would be the perfect strategic advantage. When Treebeard takes an entire day, completely disregarding something that is so important to Merry, it frustrates him to the point where he feels that he really can’t do any good in this war that has taken over normal life. He pretty much gives up. Thankfully for him, Pippin managed to convince Treebeard to head toward Isengard, where he sees the destruction Saruman has caused.

If it weren’t for this tender mercy, Merry wouldn’t have ever made it into battle, defending what he believes in and helping his friends. Merry is an example of our willingness and drive to do what’s right and help others. We all want something, we all should want what’s best for those we care about.

Merry realizes fully the extent of the damage Sauron has brought to the world when he sees his closest friend forced to leave him. Seeing Pippin struggle against such evil, suffer from such a trial, he realizes how much he cares for Pippin and doesn’t want him to have to ever suffer at the hands of such evil.

Imagine. Remember the way Pippin reacted when he was holding the Palentir? He struggled, he couldn’t even let go. If this were your brother, sister, closest friend or relative, how would that make you feel? Personally, it would scare me to death! I would never want to see anyone, let alone my closest friend have to deal with such a thing.

You could compare this to seeing your family members go through trials. Maybe you have a family member struggling with addiction, or health problems, or maybe even lost someone you loved to a disease or an accident and it hurt someone you care about to the point where you don’t know what will happen to them or if they will recover from such hardships.

When you see your family suffer, it changes what is important to you. When once you only cared about all your meals and having a good laugh or pipeweed, you now want only to save your friends and family and get rid of what things cause them pain.

We see Merry’s enthusiasm best when he is with Eowyn on the way to Pellenor. He is training, practicing, and preparing to fight for his loved ones. His enthusiasm grows dramatically as he gets better and better and sees that he does have the potential to do good. When Theoden tells him that he cannot come to battle, it’s as if he is reliving the moment when he thought Treebeard would just take him home. Only this time he doesn’t have Pippin to say something clever to help him. He realizes how much he needs Pippin in his life only to feel like he will never see him again.

Eowyn becomes his next tender mercy. When he feels like no one will take him with them to fight, Eowyn sweeps in to give him his chance.

Through Merry’s characterization, we can see that we do have a chance to help our loved ones. We may feel like there is no way we can do anything for them. What can I do to stop someone from using drugs or alcohol? I can’t just tell them to stop or take it from them. I have no control over their choices. While some of that is true, we still have the power to be an influence and example in their lives. They know what they are doing is not right, but without you by their side, they might never stop or get better. Simply being there for them can do a lot. We just have to support them and help them when they ask for it.

Even though it isn’t likely for someone who is struggling to ask for help, we can still do something. Maybe drop a comment here and there. Mention little things that touch lightly on the subject and try to spark a conversation that will get them realizing they need help or asking for help. It is never too late.

Merry shows us that we should want what’s best for our family, biological or otherwise. There is always something we can do. We can’t give up on them. And even when we feel like it’s over, God will help us get back on the saddle. He will provide those tender mercies that will keep us going. And we will never have to worry about waiting on the edge of a battle we can’t escape.

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Peregrin Took: The Childish Cousin

We all have to admit it, Pippin is one of the best characters on The Lord of the Rings trilogy! Most of the time, he is the comic relief (and not the kind that pushes old ladies and scrambles for gold…I’m looking at you Alfrid..).

There are several instances when Pippin acts as the “class clown,” if you will. He dances on tables, singing about one of the Hobbits’ favorite pastimes, unintentionally cracks jokes about food and other things, and is overall a hilarious character!

When The Lord of the Rings starts off, Pippin is just as happy as can be. Doing everything he has ever done. That instant when he falls on top of Frodo in farmer Maggot’s crops changes the course of Pippin’s life, but he hasn’t realized it yet.

Imagine, you are living your life just as you always have, when suddenly, you are essentially kicked out your front door and forced to run off on a journey you don’t know when it will end. Only, Pippin doesn’t seem all that worried. He seems to think that, once they get where they are going, he can run right back home and goof off some more. He just follows Merry.

When Frodo offers to take the ring to Mordor, Pippin is simply hiding in the bushes because Merry wanted to spy. Pippin doesn’t seem to know what is going on. Hence the line, “You’ll need people of intelligence on this mission…quest…thing … right, where are we going?” He could be compared to the type of person who just “goes with the flow.” The innocent mind. The child without flaw nor worry.

Throughout a lot of the story, Pippin is just doing what he is told, following the fellowship, playing around. It’s not until Moria that he gets a hint of a clue. When goblins attack and Gandalf falls to his death, things suddenly become real. Bad things aren’t a distant issue left to the strong anymore. Pippin cries. Things look horrible, he isn’t even sure where he is going and when he will return. He realizes this then more than ever.

After the tears are shed, it’s almost as if things are back to normal. Life goes on. He is still sad about Gandalf’s death, but he leaves it in his mind as a painful memory, and just that. This is much like us and our thoughts of Christ. We appreciate his sacrifice for us and are sad it had to happen, but it doesn’t seem to affect us in everyday activities.

At Amon Hen, Merry and Pippin see Frodo, trying to leave. Merry understands what Frodo has to do, but Pippin doesn’t. Once Merry starts shouting at the orcs, trying to get them to follow them instead of Frodo, Pippin, again, treats it like a game. He goes back to his ignorant bliss. Once Boromir is being shot at by orcs, Pippin starts to realize that it is no longer a game. He tries to help save Boromir, and he fails. He sees Boromir die right in front of him. It is different from Gandalf’s death, Gandalf just seemed to fall out of Pippin’s life, Boromir was cruelly ripped from Pippin’s grasp, in a sense. Much like death in our daily lives is much different from the death of Christ.

And to make it worse, the orcs succeed. They take Merry and Pippin, and Pippin is terrified, not sure why it is happening.

Along the Uruk ride, Pippin is more terrified than he has ever been in his life. He sees Merry, head drooping as if he, too, is dead. Pippin begs for medicine to help him, much like we beg for something to cure us of all types of things. It isn’t until after the orc draught is rudely poured down Merry’s throat that Pippin realizes that’s not how it works. You can’t wish away the bad. You can’t sit around, hoping that someday things will get better. This is when Pippin does the only thing he can, he drops his leaf broach to be found if anyone is looking for them. He takes matters into his own hands and tries to do something about his situation.

Now lets jump to Fangorn Forest. This is where Pippin discovers that Gandalf is not dead. At this moment, Pippin is still wary of the evil that is going on. Finally, he realizes that those orcs are not the end of all the bad. Merry is there trying to convince the Ents to help them fight, and Pippin is just as ignorant as ever. He doesn’t quite understand that the war is still going, and only a battle has been won.

When Pippin finally realizes that there is something happening with Sauruman, he attempts to convince Treebeard to take them to where they can help. He doesn’t even realize himself how horrible Sauruman is. Seeing all the dead trees, Pippin also understands what Sauruman has become.

Who can forget Pippin’s encounter with the Pallentir?

Almost every character in the Lord of the Rings encounters some form of temptation, and all of them handle it in different ways. For Pippin, the Pallentir is simply an object of awe. He sees something magical and wants to know more. It’s much like any temptation any of us has that is based on curiosity. With reasons like, “I wonder what it’s like.” or “I just want to look at it.” Pippin uses the latter. That moment, when he looks into the Pallentir, Pippin has changed the course of his life with a single look.

Unknowingly, Pippin did something that caused even more hardship for, not only himself, but Gandalf as well. Much like we do with Christ. We sin, we experience pain, we repent, and all of it affects Christ. Each sin we commit adds to Christ’s pain, whether we realize it or not. When we do something wrong, we also unknowingly cause hardship and inconvenience in Christ’s life.

When Pippin has to leave Merry behind, things really become real for Pippin. Merry had always been there, telling Pippin what to do, protecting him, guiding him, doing everything for Pippin that he didn’t even try to comprehend for himself. You could say it’s much like leaning on the faith of another. For instance, our parents may know the Christ lived or know that there is a God, and we may simply believe just because they do. Once Pippin is left alone, out in the world by himself, he has to create his own faith. He has to learn and grow on his own, with no one to do it for him.

Once this finally sinks in for Pippin, he realizes that there is no going home, at least, not until the war is won. Again, he realizes that he has the power to do something. Upon meeting the father of his dear protector, Boromir, Pippin feels almost responsible. He knows that he couldn’t have done anything to save Boromir, but he can do something for his father. Several events occur during Pippin’s time in Minas Tirith that, one by one, cause him to realize who he is and what is really happening in the world.

Seeing Faramir walk into his death, Pippin feels all the pain of loss again. Almost as if Boromir has died again in front of him. With his new understanding of reality, he knows that Faramir is as good as dead. Seeing Denethor send his own son to death, without a care in the world, Pippin is horrified. This adds to Pippin’s new realization of what the world is like.

When you look at it, Pippin is symbolic of growing into adulthood. He starts off, almost like a child, not understanding what is happening in the world. He grows up, he learns, but he doesn’t understand the world. Then he experiences that one event that makes him realize he isn’t a kid anymore. Slowly, he learns more and more, sees more and more of the world, and realizes that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Many of us have experienced the exact same thing. Where we almost lose hope for humanity.

When Denethor almost kills his own son, Pippin tries his hardest to prevent it. When he finally realizes that he can’t do it alone, he goes to the only other person that can help, Gandalf. Just like in life again. We often go through trials and hardships, thinking that there is no way we can make it through. We may find ourselves trying so hard to help someone, and realize that we just aren’t strong enough to do it. That is when we turn to Christ, we ask for help and know that He will be there to help us when we need him. It is a beautiful relationship. Christ will always help us, he will always be there for us when we need him, we just simply have to ask.

Pippin is an amazing character. He represents so much in us. If we just reach out, search, and try to learn, we can become the greatest hero in our own way. We will all reach a point where there won’t be someone else providing for us, and we will have to learn to take care of ourselves while still including Christ in our daily lives. We have to ask him for the help we need and we need to be able to tell the difference. We can all figure it out, just like Pippin.