|Other names||"Merry", "the Magnificent"|
|Birth||1382 SR/2683 TA |
|Death||Sometime between SR 1486-1495 |
|Height||Taller than average Hobbit|
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.
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, Fredegar Bolger, 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, 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 with them encountered Old Man Willow, 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 exposure to 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.
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.
Captured with Pippin by Uruk-hai, they were separated from the rest of the Fellowship. Merry aided Pippin in an attempt to deceive Grishnákh into thinking they had the One Ring, and he could have it. During the attack by Éomer and his Outriders they escaped into Fangorn Forest, meeting Treebeard. They thus became the first mortals for many centuries to encounter the Ents of Fangorn Forest. They were present at the Entmoot, and the resulting destruction of Isengard.
While Pippin and Gandalf headed away to Minas Tirith, Merry stayed with Aragorn and the Rohirrim, developing a close friendship with King Théoden. Out of love for him, Merry offered the King his service, which Théoden warmly accepted. "As a father you shall be to me", Merry said at that time, and Théoden responded "For a little while".
Merry was forbidden -- firmly but gently -- by the King to ride with them to the aid of Minas Tirith because he could not ride the mighty horses of the Rohirrim so fast and so far. Merry was disappointed until a young rider named Dernhelm offered to bear him on his horse. In this manner he rode to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, having a secret understanding with Elfhelm and several others of the Rohirrim.
During the charge and the commencement of the battle he was almost useless, hiding behind Dernhelm and shaking with fright and nausea. However, Dernhelm's steed, Windfola, threw them both upon the coming of the Witch-king. Affected by the Black Breath, Merry lay almost senseless on the ground, hearing the voice of Dernhelm standing over the body of Théoden -- who had been mortally wounded by the Witch-king -- defying the Nazgûl. He was startled as he opened his eyes to find that Dernhelm was really Éowyn, the King's niece. After Éowyn was thrown down, perhaps mortally wounded, Merry rose to attack the Witch-king to protect her. He stabbed the Witch-king through the calf with the Barrow-blade he still bore, thus breaking the spell of invulnerability surrounding the Wraith. He fainted as Éowyn finished off the Witch-king with a thrust into the head.
Almost killed by the Black Breath, he was revived with Éowyn by Aragorn in the Houses of Healing. Because of his condition he was unable to go to the Battle of the Morannon, but attended afterwards the burial of Théoden, at which he wept greatly. Upon his departure for the Shire, he was given a special horn by Éomer and Éowyn as a parting gift.
Upon the return to the Shire, he was, with Pippin, the primary leader of the uprising against Sharkey and his Ruffians. He was afterwards known as Meriadoc the Magnificent, and lived to be Master of Buckland. He lived to a ripe old age, coming down to Rohan (presumably after the death of his wife Estella Bolger) at the request of King Éomer, having lived 102 years. After the King died, he went to Gondor with his likewise aging friend Pippin, where they both died several years later, and were laid in Rath Dínen. It was said that they were laid beside King Elessar upon his death.
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|