Full Name: Meriadoc Brandybuck
Name Meaning: The Hobbitish equivalent, Kalimac, means "Jolly"
Aliases: Merry, Master Holbytla, Holdwine of the Shire, Master Perian, Master of Buckland, Meriadoc the Magnificent, Kalimac, Kali, Master Sluggard (by Legolas)
Birth Date: TA 2982
Date of Death: FO c. 65
Parents: Father, Saradoc "Scattergold" Brandybuck. Mother, Esmeralda Took
Spouse: Estella Bolger
Meriadoc Brandybuck was Frodo's first cousin once removed, and Pippin's first cousin. As a friend of the Bagginses, Merry was a guest at Bilbo's farewell party, but even before that day, he began to acquire some knowledge about Bilbo's adventures--and the Ring. One day Merry saw Bilbo disappear as the Sackville-Bagginses approached, and after they passed, Merry saw Bilbo reappear and put something with a glint of gold back in his pocket. Merry also managed to sneak a glance at Bilbo's book. Being very inquisitive by nature, Merry formed a conspiracy with his fellow hobbits Pippin and Sam. All three expected Frodo to leave the Shire, so when he finally made his decision, Merry arranged for Frodo to "move" to Buckland. The hobbits decided that Merry would meet them at the house at Crickhollow, while Pippin and Sam would accompany Frodo there.
In Buckland, the conspiracy was finally unmasked, much to Frodo's shock. The four hobbits left the next morning by way of the Old Forest, were trapped by Old Man Willow, and were rescued by Tom Bombadil. They stayed at Tom's house for several days, left, were trapped by a barrow-wight and were rescued partly by the valour of Frodo, but mostly by Tom's help. The companions travelled on to Bree, where Merry was the first to discover that there were black riders about. Strider became the hobbits' guide, and they eventually made it to Rivendell. Merry was not present at the Council of Elrond, and was quite put out when he learned that Sam had snuck in without permission. Both Pippin and Merry pleaded to be in the Fellowship of the Ring, and their request was finally granted.
At the Gates of Moria, Merry was the true key to the riddle "Speak friend and enter," as he questioned Gandalf about the line's meaning when all his companions were satisfied with Gandalf's interpretation. Merry received a small silver belt from Galadriel in Lothlórien, and also was garbed, along with the rest of the Fellowship, in a fine grey Elvish cloak clasped with a leaf brooch. At the Falls of Rauros, Merry and Pippin were taken prisoner by Saruman's Uruk-hai.
Merry managed to escape his captors, thanks to Pippin cutting his bonds with the knife of a dead orc. The hobbits both escaped into Fangorn Forest, where they encountered Treebeard, leader of the Ents. Treebeard learned of Saruman's treachery, and roused the Ents into storming Isengard, Saruman's fortress. Merry watched as the walls surrounding Orthanc crumbled under the flood that poured into the valley. After the filth of Saruman was somewhat washed away and the waters subsided, Merry rejoined Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf at Isengard, where he and Pippin were acting as door-wardens. Merry was also present during Saruman's last attempt to weasel his way out of Orthanc (Merry took offense at being called a rag-tag by Saruman). After Pippin and Gandalf rode off to Minas Tirith, Merry offered his sword to King Théoden and became the king's esquire. Merry disobeyed Théoden's command to stay in Rohan, and rode along with the king's company to Minas Tirith, hitching a ride with the rider "Dernhelm", who was really Éowyn in disguise. Merry fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where he assisted Éowyn in destroying the Witch-king. After stabbing the Witch-king with his short sword, though, he fell under the deadly Black Breath of the Nazgul, but was healed by Aragorn.
After the War of the Ring, Merry returned to the Shire and fought as one of the main commanders in the Battle of Bywater. When the battle was over, Merry lived at Crickhollow in Buckland. He and Pippin rode around the Shire with their fine armor and shields with foreign symbols, warming the hearts of the hobbits around them. Merry married Estella Bolger, sister of his long-time friend Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger. Merry died c. FO 65, and he and Pippin were laid among the great of Gondor until Aragorn died some years after. Then, it is said, the three friends' beds were laid next to each other one last time.
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