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Title: The Annals of the West, Epilogue and Author’s Notes
Author: Dreamflower
Recipient: Celeritas AKA labourslamp
Summary: ”In Brandy Hall there were many works dealing with Eriador and the history of Rohan. Some of these were composed or begun by Meriadoc himself…It was probably at Great Smials that The Tale of Years was put together, with the assistance of material collected by Meriadoc.” (Prologue: Notes on the Shire Records) The Annals finally come to an end, and Merry ponders what he might do next…
Rating: G.
Word Count: total story count—13,570; Epilogue and Author’s Notes--567

The Annals of the West, Epilogue


Merry sat back with a sigh. It had taken four years to finish, and at the end, he had more questions than he had when he began. But the Annals were complete.

There had been another visit to Rivendell, thankfully shorter than the first. And there had been numerous letters to Gondor and to Rohan and even to Erebor. The Annals of the First Age were not here. He had left those with Erestor on his last visit there, so that the Elf could go over them for any errors Merry might have made, as those were based almost entirely on Erestor’s notes. He would retrieve them, he thought, on another visit. Celandine was already at work on copying the volumes of the Second and Third Ages. The copies would go to Bag End and the Great Smials when they were finished.

This was a mighty work, and he felt it would make Frodo proud. But life was moving on. Wyn had surprised him two years ago when she married Hending Greenhill, Fastred’s cousin. Last year Fam had wed Sam’s daughter Goldilocks, and this year Merry’s sweet baby Nephredil would marry Merry Gamgee in the late spring. Even more satisfying was the knowledge that Perry had finally settled into courting Primrose Took, and there might well be more than one wedding this year.

He had been very busy over the last four years, between his family and his writing and his duties as Master. But now the writing was finished. Perhaps he’d take more time for his herb garden, or take some quiet days fishing on the River. After all, a hobbit couldn’t spend all his days scribbling away.

But he took up the letter he’d recently received from Rohan. It seemed that some of the more rustic Rohirrim used the word “smygels” to describe a burrow. Now that word, he thought, is not too far off from “smial”…

AUTHOR’S END NOTES:

This story is a lot longer than I anticipated it being! And it took a great deal more research than I thought it would.

I owe a debt of thanks to danae_b for the work she did on her “Annotated Tale of Years”. Although my links to it no longer work, I am very thankful that I happened to have downloaded it a few years ago. I thought the file was lost, but fortunately found it on a back-up disc. I hope I can persuade her to allow it to be posted publicly once more.
ETA: I just discovered that Dana's Annotated ToY may still be found here on her website. This is a marvelous resource!

Other sources I used for this story:

The Thain’s Book: entry on the Dúnedain of the North
Travel Routes and Times in Middle-earth
Eowyn Challenge.net: The Hobbit: Bag End to Rivendell (I used the times and distances from The Hobbit rather than from LotR, as in this story, Merry and Estella stick to the road, and do not take Strider’s famous short-cut.)
The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary by Paul Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner

And most importantly, the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, most especially Appendices A and B, and to the Prologue: Note on the Shire Records

I hope no one thinks that four years is too short a time to complete a massive work of this sort. After all, canonically Frodo completed the entire Red Book in only two years.

There is a good deal of territory left uncovered in this story, but there was only so much I could do with a deadline looming over me! Perhaps I will one day fill in a few of the gaps.

Celeritas, I hope you enjoyed your Yule story!

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
labourslamp
Jan. 2nd, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
I did, and I have, and I hope to go back through and leave more detailed comments!

Thank you so so so so much for the lovely fic, and I just love the ending to this! Famous last words, Master Meriadoc, famous last words... :D
dreamflower02
Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
More detailed comments are always welcome! *grins shamelessly*

And I thought you might like that ending-- after all, that's in the Prologue too! (And someday a certain Fourth Age Brandybuck descendant might come across some of it!)
curiouswombat
Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
What an excellent story - thank you.
dreamflower02
Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear, for reading and commenting!
mrowe
Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
*heh* Merry truly is a scholar, judging by the ending... Quite a tale you have here; applause!
dreamflower02
Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
Well, that's all canonical according to the Prologue! I think that Merry learned something of scholarly ways from Frodo, LOL!

I am very glad you enjoyed it!
pandemonium_213
Jan. 3rd, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)
Celeritas received a truly wonderful gift, and it's a pleasure that it can be shared amongst many. I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to the Shire and to Rivendell. As always, your attention to detail brings characters, culture and environment to vivid life. There's much to love about this story -- Merry's voice, for one. You've captured the sense of age and maturity that one would expect for a hobbit of his years, and his relationship with Estella is wonderfully drawn: a mature couple who have been together for years and are still in love. Now that is romantic. The fade to black scene was very nice. :^)

I got a kick out of Merimas' very direct questions. He definitely sounds like a first-time reader of The Lord of the Rings. Also enjoyed the journey from the Shire to Rivendell through Estella's eyes and also got a hoot out of the "tra-la-la-lalley" explanation! :^D Also appreciated your weaving in Hildifons as part of the story, Erestor's reaction to his remembrance of "Trotter" and Merry's keen observation of how differences in spans of life may have an impact on the interactions of mortals and the Firstborn. Your expertise with hobbits really shines in this story, particularly the thrills that Merry and Estella got when they found mention of hobbits in the histories they were reviewing. A very natural reaction.

Most of all, I love your portrayal of Merry as having a scholarly bent. It's remarkable how a bit of text from Tolkien's writing, e.g.,

In Brandy Hall there were many works dealing with Eriador and the history of Rohan. Some of these were composed or begun by Meriadoc himself…It was probably at Great Smials that The Tale of Years was put together, with the assistance of material collected by Meriadoc.


...can trigger a creative mind into bringing forth such a rich story. I have always thought the quoted text above was intriguing, and you've taken it and run with it here. You mentioned that you might expand on The Annals of the West. To that I say...

Ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease!

Heh. If you guessed that this story rang my chimes, you would be correct. :^D
dreamflower02
Jan. 3rd, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Oh my! Thank you so much! I am very glad to know that this story rang your chimes!

I've always thought of Merry as very intelligent, and of course, very influenced by Frodo. In his youth, he was more a hobbit of action, but as he grew older that scholarly side of him would come out more. And, as we see, it's in the original text!

Very glad, too, that you liked my depiction of Merry/Estella. I'm quite fond of "mature couples who have been together for years and are still in love."

And of course, since Rivendell was involved, I had to include mention of Hildifons!

I am so happy to know you liked this!
(Deleted comment)
dreamflower02
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
I'm so very glad you enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun imagining just how it was that Merry somehow got hold of all that material in the Appendices!

And then there were the hints that he also wrote a book about the words of Rohan and the Shire in the Prologue as well...
blslarner
Jan. 5th, 2011 04:47 am (UTC)
Oh, how perfect an ending! Yes, not enough time to perhaps write as much as you'd wanted, but such a joy what you did write! Lovely! And I can so see him looking into the etymology of many of the words they use in the Shire in this manner!

Thanks for several hours of entertainment and instruction, and for such a wonderful journey of discovery seen through the eyes of both Merry and his delightful wife!
dreamflower02
Jan. 6th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
I did indeed enjoy what I did write, but yes, so much more that I *could* have! I am glad that you enjoyed it as well.

As for his looking into the etymology of words from the Shire and Rohan, well, that's in the Prologue as well: "He also wrote a short treatise on Old Words and Names in the Shire, showing special interest in discovering the kinship with the language of the Rohirrim of such 'shire-words' as mathom and old elements in place names."

Meriadoc was truly Magnificent!
someplacetobe
Jan. 5th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
I wanted to wait until I had read it all before commenting! Gosh, this was such an extensive story and it was wonderful to see it from Merry's point of view as well as from his wife's. I did think it mean of Pippin and Sam to drag Merry from the library but I admit that, in no small part, stemmed from my own desire to be in that library!

This was a wonderful, delightful read!
dreamflower02
Jan. 6th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much dear! I am very glad that you enjoyed it. I wish I could have made it even longer!
someplacetobe
Jan. 7th, 2011 11:36 am (UTC)
I wish I could have made it even longer!
So do I! I found myself missing it a li'l after I read it!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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