Of the two young Hobbits of the Company of The Ring, Meriadoc Brandybuck was more or less the more savvy and mature. Known universally as Merry, the Hobbit, only nearly come of age on his quest and only barely when finished, would be known for his astonishing scholarship as well as his great deeds and heroism. Born in T.A. 2982 in Buckland, Merry was the exceptional only only child of the Master of Brandy Hall, Saradoc "Scattergold" and his wife, Esmeralda Took. Since Esmeralda was the sister of Thain Paladin II, Merry was also a cousin of his child Peregrin "Pippin" Took, who came to be his lifelong friend. Merry happened as well to be Frodo’s second cousin once removed, and both had visibly Fallohidish traits. As his nickname may imply, Merry had something of an irrepressibly optimistic temperament, making light even of grievous situations.
Encountering Frodo and his companion Samwise in Buckland, Merry and his cousin followed the two thereafter, twice nearly risking death in the Old Forest and Tyrn Gorthad and saved both times by Tom Bombadil, receiving guidance and Barrow-Blades from these ventures, before meeting a clandestine Aragorn in nearby Bree, where also Merry happened to encounter a hunting Nazgul while walking, alerting his companions and prompting them to flee and push through all of Eriador on foot. But they were then waylaid at Amon Sûl by the Nazgul and Frodo was wounded, and the company was forced hastily to Rivendell. There, Merry demonstrated his scholarly tendencies. He spent hours in Imladris libraries studying the maps of the lands which he would soon enter, bul had never known before. While the Council of Elrond involved him not and he was little involved with planning the coming quest of the Ring, he and Pippin’s insistent protests and brave spirits convinced Lord Elrond of their qualifications for said journey.
And on the journey itself, Merry seemed to suffer less from the same sort of natural errors which befell his comrade Pippin. However, they both were primarily observers for some time, and even he occasionally made the social error of professing his broad knowledge at inappropriate times, such as an incident where he felt compelled to teach King Théoden of Rohan about pipeweed at a precise time when Gandalf spoke to him of more crucial matters. But it should not be forgotten that even before reaching Minas Tirith, both Hobbits had been instrumental in negotiating the support of the Ents and their destruction of Isengard. In that time, he and Pippin drank Ent-draughts, and together they were the tallest Hobbits in recorded history, standing at the hight of an older Mannish child. Merry now used his talent for keeping his gestures and expressions in character with his heritage. Delivered from the wreck of Isengard by the Rohirrim and praised for their deeds, the Hobbits would unfortunately be split from one another as one left for Minas Tirith and the other remained in Edoras. There, Merry pledged his services to King Théoden, and won the old King's heart.
The Hobbit thus traveled alongside the Riders of Rohan as they sped southeast to relieve the besieged folk of Gondor. There at last, on the Pelennor Fields, Merry stood by Théoden‘s side even in the face of the Lord of the Nazgul. In a great feat of courage, Merry stabbed the Black Captain with his blade, shattering his defenses sufficiently for the Shieldmaiden Éowyn to behead the demon. Indeed, as the wraith's doom was prophesied, he was slain by no Man. In that most extraordinary of his deeds, Merry was afflicted with the black breath of the Witch-King and nearly perished. Only powerful healing herb Athelas in the hands of the newly-acclaimed King of Gondor, Aragorn Elessar, brought the Hobbit back from death in the Healing Halls of Minas Tirith. There, Merry met the young Bergil, son of Beregond, and he and the boy served to console one another in their mutual struggle.
For all his great works on behalf of all the Free Peoples, Merry was given rank—that of a knight-esteem of Rohan, and the name "Holdwine" in its language. Merry came thus to be a close friend of the young king Éomer and stayed familiar with Rohan for the rest of his life, visiting there often and mastering Rohirric. From these experiences, Merry noted the similarities between that language of the Rohirrim and the traditional Hobbitish dialect, and from these notes he produced a comprehensive volume entitled Old Words and Names in the Shire. Merry later developed expertise both in botany and chronography; on either subject, he wrote respectively the Herblore of the Shire and the important Reckoning of Years, which he compiled in Buckland early in the Fourth Age.
But Merry’s greatest accomplishment in the eyes of his own people was his efficient captaining of the Hobbitry-in-Arms during the waning days of the Scouring of the Shire. Although his farther away deeds were more profound in impact, the Hobbits were understandably more concerned with their own provincial matters. An older Merry succeeded his father Saradoc as Master of Buckland, and two years later that office was placed by King Elessar on the Royal Council of the Northern Kingdom, for Merry’s own sake; Pippin received similar prestige. The prime-aged Merry wedded Estella Bolger, and together they raised the Hobbit-boy Boromir as well as many more children. Finally, in F.A. 63, a now-aged Merry and Pippin resolved together to resign their offices and pass them to their children, and they did so the next year. Both left the Shire in the fashion of Bilbo Baggins, never returning again. And before riding on to Gondor, they passed once more through Edoras in Rohan where Merry could greet his old friend, King Éomer, for the last time. Éomer died that autumn, full of peace, with a fair reign behind him. The Hobbits then proceeded on to Gondor where they spent their last years in the royal company of King Elessar, where they lived in comfort and honor. At last, they passed away at similar times, and were laid to rest by one another in the Hallows, the House of the Kings.
- taller than the average Hobbit
- brown, curly hair
- Armour of the Mark - short jerkin of leather
- Barrow-Blade -magical eket of shadow-slaying
- pair of elven-boots
- Buckland Gate Key
- Elven-cloak - magic cloak of hiding
- Helm of the Mark - very small Rohirric war helm
- Long-stemmed wooden Pipe
- Shield of the Mark - small Round-shield
- Silver-Belt of Lothlórien
- Sword of the mark - Short-sword