Pearl of Unexpected Price, A: 1. Author's Foreword

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1. Author's Foreword

Timeframe: Before, during, & after Bilbo Baggins’s birthday party, over the course of a year, in Chapter 1 of “The Fellowship of the Ring”

Foreword: While rereading The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien recently, I came across this nugget of Shire lore in one of his letter drafts:

If the master died first, his place was taken by his wife, and this included
(if he had held that position) the titular headship of a large family or clan . . . .

A well-known case, also, was that of Lalia the Great (or less courteously the
Fat). Fortinbras II, one time head of the Tooks and Thain, married Lalia of
the Clayhangers in 1314, when he was 36 and she was 31. He died in 1380 at
the age of 102, but she long outlived him, coming to an unfortunate end in 1402
at the age of 119. So she ruled the Tooks and Great Smials for 22 years, a great
and memorable, if not universally beloved, ‘matriarch’. She was not at the famous
Party (SY 1401), but was prevented from attending rather by her great size and
bulk. Her son, Ferumbras, had no wife, being unable (it was alleged) to find
anyone willing to occupy apartments in the Great Smials, under the rule of Lalia.
Lalia, in her last and fattest years, had the custom of being wheeled to the Great
Door, to take the air on a fine morning. In the spring of SY 1402 her clumsy
attendant let the heavy chair run over the threshold and tipped Lalia down the
flight of steps into the garden. So ended a reign and life that might well have
rivaled that of the Great Took.

It was widely rumored that the attendant was Pearl (Pippin’s sister), though the
Tooks tried to keep the matter within the family. At the celebration of Ferumbras’ accession the displeasure and regret of the family was formally expressed by
the exclusion of Pearl from the ceremony and feast; but it did not escape notice
that later (after a decent interval) she appeared in a splendid necklace of her
name-jewels that long lain in the hoard of the Thains. (Letters, pp. 294-295)

I have now grown this small seed into a whimsical Gothic blossom, one that indulges a certain black humor while examining Frodo, Merry, and Pippin as both cousins and friends, while providing a surprising answer as to why Frodo stayed unmarried. Childhood sweethearts and dangerous inheritances do not mix well, after all. I hope my creation would have met with the Professor’s approval; may my readers enjoy it as well.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Regina

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 12/01/12

Original Post: 06/09/03

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