“I have a sword,” said Merry, climbing from his seat, and drawing from its black
sheath his small blade. Filled suddenly with love for this old man, he knelt on one knee,
and took his hand and kissed it. “May I lay the sword of Meriadoc of the Shire on your
lap, Theoden King?” He cried. “Receive my service, if you will!” “Gladly will I take it,”
said the king; and laying his long old hands upon the brown hair of the hobbit, he blessed
him. “Rise now, Meriadoc, esquire of Rohan of the household of Meduseld!” he said.
“Take your sword and bear it to good fortune!” “As a father you shall be to me,” said
Merry. “For a little while“, said Theoden.
(The Return of the King, pages 50-51)
Out of the Shire Comes a Rider of Rohan
His name was Meriadoc Brandybuck, but he went by the name of Merry. Now the
Brandybucks were hobbits from Buckland of the Shire, near the Brandywine River. Of
the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring, four were hobbits. Merry was one of
them. He was a friend of Pippin, as well as Frodo and Sam. Merry started out the journey
as a friend and for the adventure of it all. He ended up a mighty warrior of the Riders of
Rohan. How all this comes about is through that awesome fellowship mentioned before.
Of the four hobbits Merry had the distinct privilege of being one of the two hobbits
captured by Saruman's army of orcs.
As we go down the list of the Twelve Jesus chose to follow Him, we find that
some may have done so with less then pure motives. There were at least two zealots
among the Twelve, James and Judas Iscariot. James was one of the first to die for Jesus. I
always get confused between the James' listed as Jesus' disciples. One was a brother to
John while the other was not. Yet, all His disciples seemed to suffer persecution for
preaching the Gospel. I believe Foxe's Book of Martyrs lists only John as not being put to
death. (Allegedly he was thrown into a pot of boiling oil and survived, so was exiled to
the Isle of Patmos). To me this sounds a lot like Merry. For although he had common
beginnings, his communion with the Fellowship and dedication to the quest, brought
something out in him that was most uncommon. Although fearful and at times flippant,
Merry ended up as one who is valiant. James and John were common fishermen from the
poor town of Galilee. Through knowing Jesus, observing His commandments, and by the
power of the Holy Spirit, they became valiant. Jesus called them, "Sons of Thunder",
which may refer to their overzealous attitude, or prophetic of their unwavering love for
God. One of Merry's last feats, before returning to the Shire, was striking a blow to the
Nazgul. The feat was, in itself, ineffective, and almost cost Merry his life. It did,
however, afford Eowyn the pause needed to strike the deadly blow.
I like Merry because he was serious at times, yet playful. He wasn’t burdened
down, even in the end. What he became was due to those around him, and the task he
chose to do. So also what we become are defined by what we choose to do, if we are
"God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are
mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen,
yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are." (I Corinthians