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Author: ignoblebard
Title: As a Father
Genre: Gen, Double Drabble
Prompt: Reminisce

Written for the November Challenge: Nostalgia

As the evening shadows deepened, Merry turned to the cheery warmth of his fire. He lit a pipe and shuffled through the latest pages of his book Old Words and Names of the Shire. Perusing his notations on the similarities between the Rohan and Shire languages, he began to reminisce about his brief days as a king’s squire - before the great battle, before he rode with sturdy Dernhelm who, before his dimming eyes upon the Pelennor, transformed into a shield maiden of Rohan. Before the grief of war laid its stern hand upon him, changing him forever.

He saw Théoden, old but hale in bearing, speaking so graciously to a little hobbit who was naught but baggage on the road to Edoras. Merry smiled to remember how bold he had been, drawing his sword and offering his service to the Rohan king, who accepted him gladly. Even now his heart swelled with love and pride to recall the king’s blessing as he knelt before him.

“You shall be as a father to me,” he had said.

“For a time,” Théoden answered.

Not for a time, Théoden King, Merry thought, a tear rolling down his cheek, not only for a time.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, not only for a time! Poor Merry...So many of these pieces are making me cry today...*hugs Merry*

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Nov. 30th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Kaylee, I'm glad you liked this. Sorry to make you cry but I was kind of aiming for that. :-)
Nov. 30th, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
Dear Merry. He truly loved Théoden as a father. This is a lovely scene.
Nov. 30th, 2015 11:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Shirebound. I've always been intrigued by the relationship between Merry and Theoden, how close they got in such a short time. I appreciate your comments.
Nov. 30th, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
I especially loved this:

"Before the grief of war laid its stern hand upon him, changing him forever."

A very poignant fic.

Nov. 30th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks Ness, I'm glad you like that line and found the drabble poignant. I'd like to have seen more interaction between Merry and Theoden in the book.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 30th, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
He really did, Mews. I think it's sweet that they found so much in common since they were so different. I'm glad you enjoyed this.
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:25 am (UTC)
Poor Merry. His loved Théoden dearly.
Dec. 1st, 2015 01:30 am (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, Addie. Working on his book has to have brought back bittersweet memories for Merry.
Dec. 1st, 2015 04:01 am (UTC)
:( :( poor Merry! But yes, thinking of the better times and the brief good time is what caused him to commit to the Mark for the whole of his life. Very nice drabble!
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Peri, I appreciate your comments. It seems Merry and Theoden had a very special relationship for their short time together. I like to think Merry always remembered him with nostalgia.
Dec. 1st, 2015 04:50 am (UTC)
Ah, Merry! So fiercely loyal to those he loves--even if they are long gone.

Yes, I can truly see Merry feeling like this, especially as he was occupied with a task that he may have felt was inspired by his old friend and King.
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Dreamflower. I thought Merry writing the book was probably, at least in part, a tribute to Theoden and Rohan. The similarity of the languages probably made Merry feel even more kinship with the Rohirrim. I'm glad you like this one and that you thought felt true to the character.
Dec. 1st, 2015 06:26 am (UTC)
The memory would stay with him--perhaps even, after a time, intensify, as he was less distracted by daily events in the Shire. It was a strong and lasting bond, wasn't it?
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:37 pm (UTC)
That's true, Himring, I'm sure the memories of the war didn't fade for the Fellowship once it was over and the loss was still keenly felt years later. Merry and Theoden seemed to have a very special, lasting bond. Thanks so much for your comments.
Dec. 1st, 2015 07:52 am (UTC)
The short time that Merry spent in Theoden's company left such a lasting impression, making this Hobbit from Buckland as true a son of Rohan as he was of the Shire. Makes me proud for him.
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Larner. I always liked Merry and it's so touching when he and Theoden have their time together. It always made me sad that Merry didn't have a chance to say good bye to Theoden, but he had some very nice memories.
Dec. 1st, 2015 09:00 am (UTC)
I always thought the same - that those who we love don't stop being what they are to us, death or not. This is beautifully done - Merry's memories of Theoden, and of himself, much younger and untouched by war.
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Starbrow, that's exactly how I see it. Our loved ones don't become less dear with the years but more. And sometimes these feelings hit us when least expected. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:23 am (UTC)
Nice memory! I loved Theoden, the brief time he was whole.
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Silver. Theoden is a great character in both the book and movies. I thought Merry would remember his time with the king very fondly. I appreciate your comments.
Dec. 1st, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
A father of the heart is a father forever, as Merry discovered. The time spent was as little in the span of days and much in the hall of memory.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 1st, 2015 11:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Erulisse. Their time together was brief but so important. I'm glad you enjoyed this and I appreciate your comments.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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