The Hands that Heal

Author: Jeodo Brandybuck

Nominator: Marigold

2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Hobbits: Merry & Pippin - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: After the Quest, Pippin and Merry search for healing in the Shire, each one more worried about the other.

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Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 10

This is a wonderful Crickhollow story, a glimpse of Merry and Pippin getting their lives back, told in a very hobbity way. Frodo has sailed and Merry is not doing well. He is having trouble with the Shadow and his arm is troubling him and Pippin plots to take his cousin’s mind off his troubles. His machinations to distract Merry and to get him to take an interest in his life and the simple pleasures of the Shire are brilliant, ultimately inspiring his cousin to begin writing his celebrated volume on Herblore. Pippin is also not well. He has his own nightmares, and aches and pains from his wounds, and needs to be outside in the fresh air more, rather than staying indoors with Merry. Though he doesn’t realise it, his scheming to help Merry also winds up helping he himself, as Merry needs help with his new project and considers it just the thing to get Pippin out and about more. I think that one of my favourite aspects of this story is how well Merry and Pippin know each other. They are each able to manipulate the other for the other’s own good, without the other being aware that the same thing is being done to himself. I also really liked that when Merry first considers writing his book, he thinks that perhaps this might be a way to honour Theoden, a way to make up for never getting to sit with the old King and discuss Herblore. I loved the authors summation of how Merry saw Theoden: “Merry remembered the king with gratitude as a courteous and kind man who sought to set a frightened lad at ease by speaking of the simple things that Merry knew.” That is just perfect.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 4

I loved watching Merry and Pippin both scheming carefully to rebuild the other's interest in life. And, what's more, both doing it so skilfully that the other doesn't suspect that this is a mutual support society. The shadows and mists were creepily ominous and the advent of spring brightness and summer warmth cast them off delightfully. I really enjoyed this.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

In this story of Merry and Pippin in the painful months after Frodo left, we find the two of them fighting their own griefs by attempting to help and console one another. The sweet love and care they show one another, and Pippin's cleverness in disguising his intent are both funny and touching.