Meriadoc Brandybuck, usually referred to as Merry, and in later life known as Meriadoc the Magnificent, is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, featured throughout his most famous work, The Lord of the Rings.
Merry, a Hobbit, was born in year T.A. 2982, and was the only child of Saradoc Brandybuck (T.A. 2940 – F.A. 11), Master of Buckland, and Esmeralda Took (T.A. 2936–?), the younger sister of Paladin Took, making him first cousins to Paladin's son Pippin, who was also his closest friend.
A lover of boats and maps, Merry was described as one of Frodo's closest friends and also related to him several times over.
In The Lord of the Rings, Merry was often considered, and was described by Tolkien as, the most perceptive and intelligent of the Hobbits: for example, even before Bilbo Baggins left The Shire, he knew of the One Ring and its power of invisibility. He guarded Bag End after Bilbo's party, protecting Frodo from the various and often unwanted guests. He had a knowing manner and an innocent, teasing sense of humour; in one incident, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins accused Frodo of being a Brandybuck and no true Baggins; Merry assured Frodo, "It was a compliment; and so, of course, not true".
Merry also was a force behind "the Conspiracy" of Sam, Pippin, Fredegar Bolger and himself to help Frodo. Thus, at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring, Merry was well prepared and organized — he assembled their packs and brought ponies. His shortcut through the Old Forest distanced them from the Nazgûl for a time, though they had to be rescued from Old Man Willow by the enigmatic Tom Bombadil. At the Barrow-downs, he acquired his sword, actually a long dagger forged in the kingdom of Arnor.
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