Pippin and Merry eavesdropping in Rivendell.
The Diary of Peregrin (Pippin) Took
What do you know, Gandalf’s arrived! The old wizard hasn’t been to the Shire for quite a while, I’ve heard. But he’s come today, of course, for Bilbo Baggins’s birthday. They’re old friends. Consider the word: old. How old do you think Bilbo’s turning? Guess. …well then, I don’t suppose you can guess, considering that you’re just a piece of paper. Very well, I’ll tell you. He’s turning one hundred and eleven years old. That’s older than…um…well, it’s rather old. I wonder if he’ll grow to be older than the Old Took grew to be? Oh crap. I just realized I used the word “old” 9 times in this entry. Oh, well.
I think I’ll go see what Merry’s up to. He usually has a fun idea. Good old Merry!
Everyone’s getting ready for the big party tonight. I can’t wait! Dancing, food, ale…who wouldn’t be excited? Plus, Merry and I have something extra planned. We’re gonna shoot off one of Gandalf’s fireworks! It’ll probably get us in trouble, but I’m sure it will be worth it!
I told you we’d get in trouble. Here’s the story. I hid in one of the tents until Merry called me out, which meant that Gandalf was away from his wagon, and it was time to take a firework. I’m the faster one, so I got into the wagon while Merry took position as lookout. Being the Brandybuck that he is, he was probably just looking out for food. He made the typical excuse that we didn’t have to worry about Gandalf seeing us, that he’d be too busy making sure he didn’t step on any of the children. Honestly, would you believe that? Knowing that, I hurried and picked out a reasonable firework. But Merry made me put it back and find a bigger one. Perfectionist… I picked a big red dragon firework that was in a corner of the wagon, wrapped up in an old cloth. Why do you suppose it was like that? Anyway, I jumped out of the wagon and we carried it into the tent. So we stuck it into the ground and lit it. I asked Merry what to do next, and he said he didn’t know. Great, it’s nice to know I can rely on Merry.
It seemed to work good enough, considering we were both blown aside as it flew into the air. It was amazing! Red sparkles in the sky… I wonder what happened to the tent…
Shortly afterwards, after the firework had faded into the sky, we were about to go get another one when Gandalf stopped us. He made us wash all the dishes! What’s that about?!
My, what a queer day this is turning out to be. Today was the day Merry and I went off to Farmer Maggot’s field to do some vegetable swiping. This is the best season for crops, so we weren’t as picky as we usually were. We took our time. We had plenty of it, since we’d gotten up early, early enough to find the vegetables we wanted, gather them up, and run home before Maggot let his dogs out. We were doing that last part when things got interesting. I was running ahead of Merry–I told you I was the faster one–when I suddenly ran smack into Frodo Baggins! Why in the Shire he was out so early I don’t know. After regaining my balance, I realized that Frodo had brought Sam Gamgee along. I didn’t have much time to think; we heard Maggot’s dogs barking. That’s odd…he must have seen us! It was too early for him to be letting them out. By the looks of Sam, he seemed to have a knack for carrying things. We were fast, but not fast enough to get home safe with all those vegetables. We shoved a bunch of them into Sam’s face, and told him to hold them. Then we ran off. Frodo followed. Took Sam a bit longer, though…which is probably why he accidently knocked us down a hill, bruising ourselves the whole way down(despite that, it was kind of fun…). Gamgees. Always the slow ones… Merry just called the roll down the hill a “shortcut”. Riiiight.
Well, I better put this diary down so that I can stand up and–
I’m hungry. What? The mushrooms? Don’t remind me, I’ll only get hungrier… But I should at least write down what happened. Maybe that’ll help get my mind off food. We had just come upon a splendid looking patch of mushrooms, and were picking them and putting them away when Frodo yelled at us to get off the road. Not sure what his deal was, but we did get off the road, and we hid under some tree roots, inspecting the mushrooms we had picked out. We’d only been there a matter of seconds when we heard the sound of hoofbeats–VERY close. Then, the thud of heavy feet hitting the ground. I sure hoped this guy wasn’t making a pit stop…all of a sudden, we heard a most bizarre, er…sniffing noise. All these bugs started crawling out of the ground! I was sure it was just a nightmare. I mentioned it to Merry, and he said I better check and see if I was awake. Then he pinched me. Hard. I don’t think I made that much noise, but all of a sudden the thing stopped sniffing and drew in a sharp breath. At this point I was sure I wasn’t dreaming. I picked up the bag of mushrooms and threw it far to the side. As expected, the dark creature sped off in the direction of the sound.
Now, I’m not positive that my hushed yell was the reason the rider became startled. See, I’d happened to glance over at Frodo, and I saw him holding this golden ring…maybe it was just my imagination. Either that, or it was Sam; I had noticed an odd smell… We better run now, so that thing doesn’t come after us again.
Okay, so it caught up with us. Here is what happened. We’d been running, all day apparently, for it had gotten dark. I can’t believe we missed elevenses, lunch, tea, dinner, and possibly supper! Anyway, we’d stopped to catch our breath, when Merry asked Frodo about the rider. Frodo didn’t say very much, just that he had to leave the Shire and get to Bree. Well, that sounded simple enough. Merry, being the navigator that he is, immediately suggested using the Bucklebury Ferry, which was located conveniently near our location. Interesting. So we made a run for it. We turned around a corner(as if there are actually corners in the woods), and ran right into a dark creature…rider…thing. Ahem. Naturally, we kept running. And running. And tripping over a protruding tree root. Hey I’m not clumsy, I’m just so fast that I can’t see where I’m going. Eventually, Merry, Sam, and I made it to the ferry. But Frodo was still back there! We could do nothing but wait, and shout words of encouragement. The cursed thing almost got him, but he made it. Next stop, Brandywine bridge. Then, Bree.
Bree! Finally! What a dreary place. It’s pouring rain outside. The people here are rather rude, too. On our way to the Prancing Pony Inn, we ran into some people on the street. One of them burped right in our faces! Boy, do I wish I had a mint right now. Too bad Sam ate them all. But he probably needed them more then I do now, if you know what I mean. Now we are sitting at a table in the inn with some drinks, waiting for Gandalf, who, as far as I know, was supposed to meet us here. I suppose he’ll pull that “A wizard is never late” excuse on us when he does finally get here.
…where’s the little hobbit’s room in this place? I’ll…be right back…
What do they put in their ale here?! These drinks go right through you, they do. I knew I should’ve listened to Merry…
Merry’s on his way back from the bar now. He’s got…WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE SHIRE IS THAT??!!
He’s got a very, erm…interesting…size drink there. It’s big enough to fill two hobbits! One second, I’m gonna find out what it is.
…A pint? I never knew ale came in pints! Ah, well I may as well get one for myself. There’s an empty seat at the bar; I better hurry.
Frodo sure has been acting odd lately. Earlier tonight, in the inn’s common room, he ran right up to me as I was talking about him. He tripped, fell, then became invisible.
After some shocked chatter from the folks around me, as well as some laughter from the drunks, I saw a shady-looking man grab Frodo–who had reappeared on the other side of the room. He pushed him roughly up the stairway.
Sam, not about to give up his best friend(not to mention the hobbit who had lent him spare underwear a great many times), dashed up the stairs after them. Merry and I, not about to let our money go to waste, hurriedly finished our pints, then grabbed what could be considered decent weapons.
We barged into the room.
That shady guy I mentioned? He’s not as shady once he has his hood off. His name is Strider. He took us next door for the night. And to think, we paid good money for a room at the inn! I slept like a rock. A very uncomfortable one. We woke up late in the night to see…what’dya know, the black riders! They went into the inn and stabbed our beds.
And I thought Fatty Bolger had problems…
Strider told us that the black riders were called the Nazgul. And he looked right drunk when he did, too. Maybe he was holding out on us…anyway, apparently the Nazgul were after the ring Frodo was carrying.
G’night. I need some serious sleep tonight.
We’re going with Strider, it seems. We’re all a little suspicious of him, but hey, at least he’s got a sword. Reasonable security, if you ask me.
Judging by the sun’s position, I’d say it’s about ten thirty. Time for second breakfast! Better put this diary down for a second…
I can’t say I approve of Strider’s knowledge of hobbit ways. He wouldn’t let us have second breakfast! It’s custom! The nerve! I tried to explain the mealtimes to him, but he just walked off. He threw apples at us, too. What a violent race men must be…
It’s not fair! It’s just not fair!
We stopped for the night at a creepy place Strider calls Amon Sul. I didn’t care what it was called, as long as I could sleep at least four hours.
…on a full stomach, of course.
Strider gave us swords. Mine seemed a little heavy at first, and I almost hit Merry with it. Oopsies!
Sam, Merry, and I all woke up in the middle of the night on account of our empty stomachs. Missing out on three out of six meals a day can really take a lot out of a hobbit.
So we cooked ourselves up some vegetables to tie us over until breakfast. At some point, Frodo woke up. We offered him some, but he started to yell, and he ran over and stamped out the fire. A pity…we were going to cook stew next.
Suddenly, we heard the sound of hooves not far off. The wraiths had found us! That explains Frodo’s little “anti-fire dance”. Time for the swords!
Almost hit Merry again. Maybe I need some practice here…anyway, when the wraiths approached us, Merry, Sam, and I all jumped aside. Or maybe we were flung aside? I forget. Like I said, I need more practice. All of a sudden, we heard Frodo yelling like he’d been stabbed in the shoulder. How ironic; turns out he had indeed. Strider chased the wraiths away. Let me think about this. If he alone can handle five tall cloaked…things…then, WHY’D HE GIVE US SWORDS?!
Now we’re rushing to Rivendell. It’s some Elvish place a good distance away. I hope they have decent food and bed there. Frodo is finding it hard to walk. What an injury that must be! Right now he’s riding on a pony we got in Bree. Sam named him Bill. Not Frodo, the pony. I swear, that thing is giving me evil looks…
We stopped late into the night; Frodo wasn’t faring too well. Merry and I kept watch while Sam and Strider went off to find a plant of some sort. Bill kept giving me evil looks. As if wraiths weren’t enough…
Some while later, Strider returned. With an elf, too! She spoke to Frodo, then put him on her horse. She and Strider talked awhile, then she rode off with Frodo.
Now I’m dreadfully confused. But we are still heading for Rivendell, and should arrive soon.
My feet hurt.
We’ve finally reached Rivendell. No words can describe the impression it makes. Actually, one can: wow. Never in my life had I expected to see anything as marvelous as this. It’s as if I’ve been welcomed into a palace, a great fortress of peace and harmony. Just being here can make someone feel as if everything will come together, that everything will be okay.
Oh yeah. The food here’s pretty good too.
All the…um…old people are here, too. Bilbo, Gandalf…well, how else am I supposed to describe them?
The master of Rivendell, an elf called Elrond, is trying to heal Frodo, who has been brought here safely by Elrond’s daughter, Arwen.
Time for lunch!
Great news! Frodo’s finally awakened! And there’s to be a feast tonight! Things sure are looking up.
I’ve also heard that tomorrow Elrond will hold a special meeting of great importance. Only a select few are invited to attend, Frodo included. Merry and I are not. But that’s okay; this place is so big, it provides excellent hiding places. Merry and I will have no trouble listening in.
Yay! We get to go on a special mission! …er, quest….thing. Oh, no, let’s not start that again. Anyways, they were talking about the ring at the meeting. Apparently, it belongs to the Dark Lord himself, who is trying to get it back so he can take over. And it was decided that the ring has to be destroyed, so that he can’t get it back. Frodo volunteered for this. I’m not sure why. Of course, I’ll be more than happy to help him out. It’s a good thing Merry, Sam and I were allowed to come along. Us hobbits have to stick together!
The other people coming along with us are Gandalf, Strider(who is actually Aragorn, the heir of some place called Gondor), Boromir(a man from Gondor, enough said), Gimli(a dwarf with a sharp axe and a quick temper), and Legolas(an elf. I keep worrying that he’ll trip over one of us hobbits).
We are to leave in a few days. I’ll be sure to pack plenty of food this time.
I’m bored. I’ve already tried the things that usually keep me entertained (such as tearing out pages of this diary, crumpling them up and throwing them at the back of Legolas’s head), but now I’m completely bored. Merry and I have run out of things to talk about. Nobody else says much, save for Gandalf and Aragorn, with an occasional word from Boromir, and an occasional boasting from Gimli. None of their conversations are very interesting.
A while back, however, Boromir did tell Merry and I that he’d teach us how to fight using our swords, should we ever need to. Sounds like fun! And it’s a good thing for Merry, too; now that I can finally learn how to handle a sword, there is an even lesser chance that I’ll accidently decapitate him.
Stopped to rest today somewhere on a mountain. Boromir gave us some swordfighting lessons. At lunch, too. I eat faster than Merry, so he was eating while we were fighting. I’m not so sure that was a safe idea. I think I have a knack for swordfighting! At one point, Boromir did come dangerously close to slicing my hand off, but not to worry; I paid him back with some good old-fashioned kicks in the shin. Merry joined in after laughing so hard that he almost choked on the apple he was eating. I knew eating while taking swordfighting lessons wasn’t a very good idea…
Suddenly, someone spotted some strange cloud-thing up in the sky. We were told to hide, which is an easy thing for a hobbit such as myself. Gandalf said they were spies of some wizard called Saruman. Great.
Boromir has been acting rather queer recently. He keeps looking at Frodo strangely. In fact, today, Frodo stumbled and dropped the ring in the snow. Boromir picked it up and was staring at it for quite some time, mumbling to himself. He did give it back to Frodo, but only after Aragorn told him to. Is the ring really that overpowering? Or is Boromir just a little messed up “upstairs”?
Yet another question added to my list concerning this journey.
I’m beginning to think I should have brought thermal underwear. IT’S FREEZING UP HERE! We’re on the immense mountain of Caradhras. Us hobbits have to be carried, the snow is so deep. We’re all miserable. Except Legolas, that is. He can walk on top of snow, no matter how deep it is. Gee, that really makes the rest of us feel so much better. If I could, I’d have Boromir put us down so Merry and I can throw snowballs at him. Are all elves show-offs?
Uh-oh. I’d better have Boromir put me down anyway. I have to “expel the draught”, if you take my meaning. I knew I should’ve gone before we left our last rest site!
I believe my face is now frozen in a worried expression. Fantastic. But it’s not as bad as poor Merry. He was in the middle of a yawn, and, well, you can guess the rest.
We haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep since Rivendell. It’s too cold to sleep, let alone move. I’m barely able to write. Infffffff—
Well, that was certainly a change of pace. We just got hit from above by a small avalanche. Aragorn, Boromir, and Legolas had to dig us hobbits out of the deep snow. Apparently this was the work of Saruman. Now it has been decided that we are going to turn around and go through some mines instead.
Okay, we’ve reached the door to the mines of Moria. ‘Speak friend and enter’ is inscribed on the door. Gandalf is having some difficulty figuring out the password. Now, I’m not fluent in Elvish, but you’ve got to be pretty dense to not be able to figure it out. The inscription basically tells you what to do, like directions of some sort. All you have to do is say the word “friend”, and you’ll be able to enter the mines. Easy enough. But I’m not saying anything; it’s actually pretty hilarious watching Gandalf struggle with this.
In the mean time, I think I’ll throw some rocks in the water.
…Darn! Why does Aragorn always have to spoil our fun? “Do not disturb the water”, he says. What’s the water gonna do, chase us down and beat us to a pulp?
Well, it looks as if Frodo got sick of waiting and finally told Gandalf how to get the door open. Here we go…
My head hurts! As soon as we entered the mines and realized there were dead folks scattered about, a slimy thing of a strange sort came out of the water and grabbed Frodo by the ankle. The poor guy was being flung around like an old rag being thrown away. So Aragorn and Boromir ran on outside and started hacking away at the beast with their swords while Sam yelled his head off. Merry and I, being the cowards we were at the time, just stood there staring.
Eventually the thing dropped Frodo, and Boromir caught him. They raced into the mines, and we quickly closed the doors behind them.
I mentioned something about dead folks earlier, right? Well, right after we came into the mines, we noticed there were, as I said, dead folks scattered about on the ground. That sure woke us up. Or it would have, had it not been for the thing in the water that we shouldn’t have disturbed.
I told you my head hurts.
Once again, we had to stop. Gandalf can’t seem to remember which way to go. I hate stopping. I feel like I’m being watched. And I’m HUNGRY.
I hope we’re not lost…
Well, Gandalf finally remembered which way to go, and we went along that path for quite some time, until we came upon a small room with a big stone in the center. After a closer look, it was revealed that it was a gravesite. Gandalf made me hold his hat while he looked at a very old book.
Who does he think I am, Sam?
Anyways, now we are waiting as Gandalf figures out what happened to the dwarves that were supposed to be here. There is a skeleton perched on a well in the far corner. I think I’ll go investigate.
Let’s see. This fellow has a shield, some light body armor, and…hey, what’s this?
….oops. The skeleton took a spill down the well. Quite loudly, as a matter of fact. Now Gandalf is mad at me. What for? Being the Took I am?
Uh oh. Someone’s coming! And I bet they’re not coming to greet us!
Okay, first, let me just say that this is not my fault.
A bunch of orcs barged into the room. We were immediately launched into a battle. Merry, Frodo, Sam and I did what we could. Being hobbits, we aren’t used to fighting. I suppose that’ll change soon enough.
As soon as we thought we’d won the fight, an enormous beast called a cave troll was brought in.
The fun never ends, does it?
Everything was going so fast, I couldn’t really keep track of what was going on. But at some point I heard a yell; it sounded like Frodo had been hurt.
…again. Poor guy.
The troll had rammed him into a wall and pierced him with its spear. Merry and I weren’t too happy about that. We jumped on the troll’s back and started beating at its head, while Legolas repeatedly shot arrows at it. After a while, the hideous thing fell, and Merry and I were thrown halfway across the room.
Which would have been fun, if not for the situation at hand.
Everyone immediately rushed over to Frodo, who had miraculously survived the troll’s blow. Turn’s out he was wearing some kind of special armor Bilbo had given him. Imagine that.
Better put this diary away for now; we’re going to make a break for the exit.
Gandalf’s gone, and I can’t help but feel that it’s my fault.
We had been running through the mines, when we were cornered by a bunch of orcs. For a brief moment, I was sure we were going to die. But then, the orcs retreated. I didn’t realize why until I saw an eerie red glow coming from not far off.
Gandalf told us to run. I was already doing so.
After stopping only to cross a broken stairway, we made our way to a narrow stone bridge. We turned around after we had crossed. Gandalf had stopped in the middle of the bridge.
It was then that I saw what we had been running from.
A huge shadowy creature loomed over Gandalf, breathing flame. A Balrog, Gandalf had called it. It wielded a fiery whip. We watched as Gandalf confronted the beast, only to be dragged down into darkness.
We immediately fled from the mines, weeping. Aragorn wouldn’t let us rest for a single second. He hurried us along. Apparently we are heading to someplace called Lothlorien.
Boy, am I going to miss those fireworks.
We are in Lothlorien, an Elf-dwelling. It is gloomy yet beautiful. We were greeted by Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel.
It was the Lady who was most mystifying. Bewitching, in a sense. I only wish I could describe Sam’s face when she looked at him. He looked as if he’d been caught red-handed stealing vegetables.
Believe me, I know the feeling.
After the meeting with the Lord and Lady, we ate a splendid meal.
I expect to sleep well tonight, too. Unless I have nightmares about the Balrog…
We’re now traveling in boats, southward on the river Anduin. I can’t help but laugh at Sam because he looks so nervous. You see, he can’t stand boats or anything that has to do with water. Merry and I are greatly tempted to push him out of the boat, but Boromir, who is steering our boat, keeps us at a distance.
Speaking of Boromir, he is still eyeing Frodo. It gives me the creeps.
Anyways, before we left Lothlorien, we were each given a gift of some sort. Merry and I each got splendid-looking belts, for example. All of us received some light elven cakes, called lembas. One alone is supposed to last someone for a few days, but I went ahead and ate five. Oh, well.
We just passed two great pillars of stone, fashioned to look like men. Boromir says they were great kings of Gondor, and he looks upon them with pride. Merry and I were filled with awe. It was almost as if the very likenesses of the two kings gave us hope.
Not much else is happening.
I’m getting hungry.
Reached dry land to rest (and eat, thank Elbereth). Gimli is complaining about the terrain ahead, and I can’t say it’s helping me too much. Neither is the fact that Legolas is worried about something. That can never be too good…
Uh-oh. We just realized that Frodo is missing. So is Boromir.
We all decided to go look for Frodo, seeing as he has the Ring and shouldn’t be off alone. Ironically, a bunch of orcs decided to attack. Merry and I had to hide somewhere. We found a little hollow behind a few bushes and hurriedly crawled inside.
We had only been there a matter of minutes, when Frodo came running and hid behind a tree directly across from our hiding place. Merry and I beckoned him to come hide where we were, as it was better cover. Much to our surprise, Frodo shook his head. I will never forget the look in his eyes. I just sat there, confused. After a few moments I decided to ask Merry what was going on (he’s always more ahead of things than I am). Merry said Frodo was leaving, going off to Mordor by himself.
We heard loud voices close by. The orcs were coming. If we didn’t do something, they would find Frodo. Merry got an idea. We started yelling at the orcs. If Merry’s plan worked, and we successfully distracted them, then they would chase us and not see Frodo.
It worked. We started running, leaving Frodo behind to do as he chose. Little did we know we wouldn’t see him again for weeks.
Merry and I kept running, but we were soon cornered. We drew our swords, but it proved pointless. The orcs were upon us. Suddenly, we saw the flash of a sword, and the orcs were brushed aside.
Boromir had come! He began slashing away at the orcs as we watched. But soon he was overcome. He blew the Horn of Gondor, several times, calling for help.
It never came. Boromir was shot by an arrow. To Merry’s and my astonishment, he kept fighting. We held our breath. Moments later, he was shot again. He fell, and looked up at us. In that moment I understood. He was determined to protect us, to guard us with his life. He stood up again and continued fighting. Everything seemed to be moving slowly…
Boromir was shot one final time. He fell to his knees. Merry and I just stood there, shocked. But then our shock turned to anger. We lifted our swords and charged at the orcs.
It was useless. They swept us up, unthreatened.
The last thing I saw was Boromir. Then everything went black.