The Last Hour

Author: Citrine

Nominator: Lindelea

2005 Award Category: Genres: Drama (includes Angst): Gapfiller - Second Place

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: After The Last Debate, Merry and Pippin pass a little time before the Armies of the West depart from Minas Tirith.

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Reviewed by: Lindelea  ✧  Score: 10

It's the little details, thrown casually into the writing, that bring this story alive: Merry sitting on his "too-large bed", the buttons of his "not-quite-the-right-size shirt" too hard to manage with his right hand "still feeling chilled and half asleep" and then the mention of his arm aching with the effort. I could go on, for the first paragraph alone sets the scene so well. Details! I love details! Especially when they are not set forth in a boring, pedantic manner, but rather paint in the background to the scene so that the reader is *there*. The series of pictures of Pippin, "as solicitous as an old hobbit-auntie" and then striking a princely pose in his uniform, then taking off his helmet and climbing up on the bed to play draughts, all hobbity again, (ah, the "rustle and click" of the pieces in the silence of the room, more of those scene-painting details!) The progression of Merry's thoughts, hinted at but not explicitly stated until he speaks aloud. Lovely, subtle writing that pulls at the heartstrings. And the author has used a device I enjoy using, i.e. Pippin's resemblance to Frodo. Though there is nothing I know of in canon to support this, it is diverting to speculate on family resemblances. And what a description of Pippin, his adult, unblinking assessment of the situation at hand. Pippin makes *me* proud in this moment! And shortly thereafter, his "Botheration!" and the thoroughly hobbity speech that follows. And the moment of parting, deep feelings and light words. Ah, but this is a grand little story for hobbit fans, well-drawn, skillfully rendered.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 6

Another excellent short fic that peeks into the relationship of Merry and Pippin, as they wait for the muster. That hobbity sense of humor-in-tight-places is at work here, as is hobbit frankness when push comes to shove. I think the best line in that regard, comes as Merry sniffles on Pippin's shoulder, and as Pippin attempts to get him to stop, ostensibly for fear of his armor rusting and trapping him within it, the immortal lines are uttered: ""Or we could set you up as a statue." "Just what the city needs," Pippin laughed, too, though his face was wet. "A monument

to a rusted hobbit!" "
That hit just the right note, as they part ways for what might have been the last time. Well done, Citrine!
ADMIN note: excessive quote blocked from being scored

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

Throughout this piece I kept thinking of the statement made by I think Merry to Aragorn, that hobbits are no good at saying what needs to be said in hard situations because they tend to make a joke of everything. (I'm paraphrasing heavily here, of course.) Merry and Pippin do exactly that -- not a joke, but fill the silence with distractions -- until there's no time left. You captured this so well!

Reviewed by: SlightlyTookish  ✧  Score: 3

This is a lovely, sad story but also one full of touchingly humorous moments. I love the idea of Merry and Pippin playing draughts before the battle, it seems so hobbity to pass the time with a game rather than tears and gloominess. And the idea that Merry couldnt watch Pippin leave is heartbreaking.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

A very melancholy and bittersweet account of how Merry and Pippin spent what both must have feared would be their last hour together--ever. That they'd fill the time with draughts and pipe-weed is so hobbity, yet the deep feeling shines through.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 2

A wonderful, hobbity moment between Merry and Pippin, that might be their last. I love that Merry tells Pippin how proud he already is. What a sense of loneliness after Pippin has left. Poor Merry! Very nice!

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 1

Humour to ward off grief. And love shining through all.