Forum: Prospective Challenges
Discussing: Master Meriadoc's Duty
Master Meriadoc's Duty
06 Jul 05 11:37 AM
Once upon a time, the question was asked: "Éowyn: Heroine or Deserter?"
And we got several excellent fics. And an essay. And I encourage everyone to read them, because they rock.
However, it seems we've mostly neglected to notice that Éowyn was not the only one that day who rode in total defiance of her lord's orders:
'"[I]n such a battle as we think to make on the fields of Gondor what would you do, Master Meriadoc, swordthain though you be, and greater of heart than of stature?"
"As to that, who can tell?" answered Merry. "But why, lord, did you receive me as swordthain, if not to stay by your side?..."
"I received you for your safe-keeping," answered Thédoen; "and also to do as I might bid..."' (RotK, "The Muster of Rohan", 83-84).
"To do as I might bid"—and although Théoden bid Merry remain behind, Merry most certainly did not. Yet he does not receive the same scrutiny for his motives and analysis of his obligations as Éowyn does.
So for gender parity, this is your mission, should you choose to accept it: Write a fic (or an essay) that examines Merry's obligations to Théoden. Any combination of characters is acceptable, but the story must address in some substantial fashion whether or not Merry is guilty of deserting his post and disobeying orders, even as Éowyn did.
Extra special bonus points for those who can reconcile Théoden's earlier release of Merry from his service with the later passage quoted above, where it seems as if "I release you from my service" does not translate into "You're your own hobbit again, free to do as you please."
Re: Master Meriadoc's Duty
14 Jul 05 7:36 PM
Reply To: 43071
I have some ideas on this that are slowly but surely shaping themselves into an essay. I want to re-read ROTK again before I write this, but if other people are interested, you can count me in.
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