[LMB] Cazaril vs the Ransom

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Tue Feb 4 07:06:30 GMT 2020

On Mon, Feb 03, 2020 at 09:16:35AM -0600, Tony Zbaraschuk wrote:

> > Merry and Pippin are even more elite than they seem in the text, or need
> > to be.  For a long time I thought they ended up as Master and Thain because
> > of their accomplishments (though there's a clue otherwise for Pippin in
> > "Scouring", mention of his father.)  But if you look at the
> > family trees, you see that they're the eldest/only sons of the current
> > Master and Thain.  Insofar as hobbits have princes, they are the crown
> > princes of the Shire and Buckland.
> >
> > Which makes it odd that Frodo never brought up "guys, don't you have
> > family responsibilities or something?"
> Pippin, and I think Merry, are both in their tweens -- hobbit coming-of-age
> is 33, and they're both in their 20s.  So they probably have some

Pippin is in his tweens, and mentions it to Denthor.  Merry's of age.

Frodo 1368, Sam 1380, Merry 1382, Pipping 1390, and the action starts in
1418 (Shire Reckoning, add 1600 for Third Age years.)

So Frodo let the hobbit equivalent of a teenager follow him toward
Mordor and into Moria. :p

I still find it odd that it barely comes up in the text.  The text makes
them feel like random spare gentry, not heirs to family and political

> > Frodo himself is wealthy and related to such people (second cousin-ish)
> > and probably 'head' of the Baggins clan (Tolkien said as much in a letter)
> > but mostly just looks like a rich dude.
> Bilbo presumably had some money to start with, or some land ownership,
> or _something_; we are told he gave away all his share of Smaug's
> treasure over the course of his life, but there seems to have been

I don't remember a comment on the Smaug treasure.  Frodo says Bilbo
deliberately gave all the *troll* treasure away.

Oh, RotK, when they've returned to Rivendell:

"To Sam he gave a little bag of gold. ‘Almost the last drop of the Smaug
vintage,’ he said. ‘May come in useful, if you think of getting married,
Sam.’ Sam blushed."

But that's Bilbo in Rivendell; he obviously didn't leave Frodo poor.

Bilbo's father had money and Bilbo's mother had even more money.  (_The
Hobbit_) There's never a mention of rent or tenants, just money, and
"running out of money" is apparently a plausible cover story for Frodo
selling Bag End.  Anachronistic though it might seem, this feels more
like Jane Austen and other 1800s fictional gentry, many of whom
literally lived off of money, or rather British government bonds
yielding 3-5% interest.

-xx- Damien X-)

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