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Meriadoc Brandybuck

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Merry by John Howe.

Meriadoc Brandybuck, called 'The Magnificent', was a Hobbit, the son of Saradoc Brandybuck. Merry (as he was often called), was the heir of the Brandybucks to Brandy Hall, and eventually became the Master there.


His life


He was a good friend of Frodo Baggins, who eventually became the Ringbearer, and Peregrin Took, a young relative. He was one of the few (if any) who saw Bilbo, Frodo's uncle, actually use the One Ring. He also managed to read, at least in part, Bilbo's book: There and Back Again, where he learned about the Ring.

He can easily be recognized as a very sharp Hobbit, and his tone throughout the Lord of the Rings depicts him as practical, loyal, resourceful, and the best able to cope with the sudden happenings that drew him out of his peaceful home. He was also praised by Aragorn II as having a 'stout heart'. He was apparently much trusted by Frodo, who sent him along with Fatty Bolger to Crickhollow to prepare his newly-bought home.

Actions during the War of the Ring

He was a part of and apparently led the Conspirators, a group of Frodo's friends (namely Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin Took, and himself) who sought to protect him (and the Ring). Eventually, they revealed themselves to him, and demanded to be taken along when Frodo left Crickhollow. Merry had already arranged for provisions and ponies, and so they were able to start right away.

During the following trip to Bree, Merry seemed to have a greater knowledge of the Old Forest than any of the other Hobbits, and endured, like them, through meetings with a Barrow-wight and Tom Bombadil.

Upon reaching Bree, Merry had an encounter with the Black Riders, and bravely followed them until he passed out from breathing the Black Breath. During the trip through the wild with Aragorn, then known as Strider, he often saw the most deeply into the others. After Frodo was wounded on Weathertop, he became the one who consulted most with Strider, and in a way became the spokesman for the Hobbits.

After reaching Rivendell, he, with Pippin, insisted on not being left behind on the Quest of the Ring. Therefor they were chosen as the eighth and ninth members of the Fellowship of the Ring.

At the gate of Moria, he was commended by Gandalf for being "of all people" on the right track with the riddle (though this was hardly his fault). His impetuosity in Moria was such that he nearly fell into an ancient well running ahead with Pippin.

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Captured with Pippin by Uruk-hai, they were separated from the rest of the Fellowship, but eventually escaped during the attack of Éomer (who had been exiled) and his loyal men.However a single orc survived the slaughter and chased them into the forest until he was crushed under Treebeards foot. They thus became the first mortals for many centuries to encounter the Ents of Fangorn Forest. Merry and Pippin then managed to persuade Treebeard and the other Ents at the Entmoot to attack Isengard .They were present at the destruction of Isengard, and rode to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields with Dernhelm , who was actually Éowyn, together with the Rohirrim. There, his deeds won great renown, for with Éowyn of Rohan he defeated and slew the Lord of the Nazgûl.However on his return to the Shire he found it under the rule of Saruman and his ruffians.He was then instrumental in the uprising of the Hobbits who overthrew the men and witnessed Saruman's death by the hand of Wormtongue.

Portrayal in adaptions

Merry was played by Dominic Monaghan in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. Many book-readers believe that, like Pippin, he was made far less competent in the movie than he was in the books: instead of a clever "Conspirator" who helped orchestrate Frodo's escape from the Shire, he was frequently a bumbler who had no idea what he was getting into.

Members of the Fellowship of the Ring
Frodo · Sam · Merry · Pippin · Gandalf · Aragorn · Legolas · Gimli · Boromir