Lord of the Rings: Pippin was No Fool!
We see Pippin do many foolish things (the majority of which never happened) AND we don’t get to see some of Pippin’s moments of sheer brilliance!
I should start off by saying that I absolutely love the Lord of the Rings movies. Peter Jackson is a genius and they are hands-down the greatest Fantasy movies of all time. BUT, they still aren’t even close to as good as the books.
Obviously there are many differences between the movies and the books — that’s to be expected. However, some of those differences are massive and have pretty severe impacts on key moments/relationships in the books. In this series, we will be looking at many of those discrepancies. I can think of no better place to start than…
Pippin was No Fool!
Before they even leave the Shire, we see Pippin accidentally set off Fireworks at Bilbo’s birthday party (which he didn’t do in the books). Over the next 12 hours of screen time we see Pippin do several other foolish things and make several dumb comments (the majority of which never happened) AND we don’t get to see some of Pippin’s moments of sheer brilliance!
- Pippin didn’t stumble upon Frodo’s quest while he was stealing from Farmer Maggot. In fact, he was fully aware that Frodo was leaving the Shire well ahead of time and help plan for his departure (without Frodo knowing that his friends were on to him). Pippin had never stolen from Farmer Maggot, and in fact he was friends with the farmer (only young Frodo had ever stolen from him).
- Pippin never told anyone Frodo’s real name at the Prancing Pony, although he was telling the Mayor about Bilbo’s Birthday Party.
- Pippin didn’t suggest starting a fire at Weathertop — that was Aragorn’s idea. Aragorn knew that the fire would assist them against the Black Riders if they came.
- Pippin didn’t throw pebbles into the water outside of Moria — that was Boromir.
- Pippin didn’t knock a skeleton down the well in Moria, he dropped a pebble down it (still not a great idea) — but nothing happened until over a day later and we don’t know if that was Pippin’s fault or not.
- While the Uruk-hai were carrying Merry & Pippin to Isengard, Pippin intentionally dropped his elven-brooch in hopes that it would help Aragorn to track them.
- In The Two Towers, Pippin acted like he has the ring, convinced one of the orcs to pull them aside to search them, and then lead his and Merry’s escape once the Rohirrim attacked (Brilliant).
- Pippin was loyal to Denethor and kept his vow to serve him, all the way up to the point when Denethor gave into madness and resolved to burn Faramir alive — at which point Pippin found Gandalf, in the middle of the Battle of Minas Tirith, and brought Gandalf to the Citadel to save Faramir’s life.
- Pippin found Merry after the Battle of Minas Tirith and brought Merry to the House of Healing.
- Pippin marched to the Black Gates of Mordor in the Final Battle and represented all of the Shire in the last resistance against Sauron. He slayed an Olog-hai Troll and survived the battle.
- He was knighted in Gondor, overthrew Saruman’s forces who had taken over the Shire and served as the Thain of the Shire for 50 years.
- When Aragorn eventually died, he was buried next to Pippin — the greatest honor of all.
If I have not yet convinced you that the great Peregrin Took was no fool, then consider this — throughout the entire LotR Trilogy, how old do you think that Pippin was? 28 years-old (Hobbits don’t even come of age until 33). He was effectively the age of a high school Freshman. I teach a lot of High School Freshmen, and all things considered… I think it’s safe to say that Pippin was wise well beyond his years. For comparison, Frodo was 50 years old, Sam was 38 and Merry was 36. You’ve got two college students & a wise adult traveling with a high school freshman, and you consider the teenager to be a full because he drops one pebble down a well?
Pippin is bold and daring, witty and quick on his feet, and throughout the entire series he proves himself a loyal, respectable and kind-hearted friend and hero.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out the next story in this series: Gollum Never Framed Sam!