Elrond's foresight on Pippin

I guess Elrond had some foresight that Pippin would be a high risk as a member of the party. Mainly because of his age. My first thought was that young people generally tend to be curious and careless. Both fit to Pippin's character.
I can't help but think of him screwing up in Moria when he threw down a stone into the well which awakens the drums and the therefore the Balrog. So you could argue that Pippin caused Gandalf's death. Maybe that's why Elrond had a bad feeling about this.
Another almost disastrous incident was when he looked into the Palantir which almost gave away the whole plan to Sauron. It was only good fortune that Sauron did not ask the right questions.
One could also argue that Boromir died because Pippin and Merry were in the Company but I dont count that one.
Did he not also wake the Watcher in the water?
In what other occasions did the fool of a took put his foot into?
 
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Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Elrond might have had that sort of foresight about Pippin. But then again he might not. All those events seem to have happened under the 'Shadow' where Elrond has already said his vision has failed.

The other possibility is that Pippin is only 27 years old at the time of this conversation with Elrond. To Hobbits, age 33 was the age of adulthood, 'coming of age'. Elrond's doubt may just have revolved around the question, "Can I concur to an exercise of free-will and a decision of this danger and magnitude by someone who is not yet at the age of legal responsibility, without reference to their legal guardian?"

Merry was 35 years old at the time, so he had 'come of age'. This might explain why Elrond was more worried about Pippin joining the Company than about Merry?

Obviously, people below the age of adulthood can exercise free will, and can and do make many dangerous decisions, but should a responsible adult (Elrond - more than 6,000 years old) approve, confirm, or encourage this?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Elrond might have had that sort of foresight about Pippin. But then again he might not. All those events seem to have happened under the 'Shadow' where Elrond has already said his vision has failed.

The other possibility is that Pippin is only 27 years old at the time of this conversation with Elrond. To Hobbits, age 33 was the age of adulthood, 'coming of age'. Elrond's doubt may just have revolved around the question, "Can I concur to an exercise of free-will and a decision of this danger and magnitude by someone who is not yet at the age of legal responsibility, without reference to their legal guardian?"

Merry was 35 years old at the time, so he had 'come of age'. This might explain why Elrond was more worried about Pippin joining the Company than about Merry?

Obviously, people below the age of adulthood can exercise free will, and can and do make many dangerous decisions, but should a responsible adult (Elrond - more than 6,000 years old) approve, confirm, or encourage this?
Underage persons should not be expected but should still be taught how to do this. There can always be situations where an adult decission is needed when there is no adult around. Also "adult" is highly culturally relative. But you are right, respnsible adults should not send underage people on almost certainly suicidal missions.
 
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Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
I go back to the days when it was all underage young men who were sent to war - draft age in the US was 18, enlistees could be 17, and legal age was 21. It was because Vietnam vets protested that if they were old enough to die in a war, they should be old enough to vote for those who would send them, that changed the legal age to 18. It was precisely the rashness that was wanted in soldiers. But the Company was not going to war, and perhaps Elrond was thinking something else was needed for this mission.

And Flammifer, Pippin was 29, not 27. Merry was 33 or 34, since he was two years younger than Sam, who was born the same year as Faramir and so was 35 or 36 (after all, the story takes a whole year).

There is a fault in Elrond's reasoning - how much would Pippin, even as the heir of the Thain, have been heeded in the Shire since he was so young? He would have had to convince several older and solid citizens to support him, and even that might have been difficult.

Pippin throwing the rock into the well in Moria echoes Boromir throwing a rock into the lake, wakening the creature in the lake, and Boromir was 40. It isn't all a matter of age. I think Elrond was being protective of Pippin, with or without foresight, and also thinking of the Shire. Gandalf, though, says afterwards that the hobbits were prepared by their ordeals and their knowledge of and connection to the greater world to take care of the Shire without his help, so perhaps he had some foresight of what would be most likely to protect their land. Not to mention Merry and Pippin's roles in defeating Saruman, and saving Faramir and Eowyn.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
I go back to the days when it was all underage young men who were sent to war - draft age in the US was 18, enlistees could be 17, and legal age was 21. It was because Vietnam vets protested that if they were old enough to die in a war, they should be old enough to vote for those who would send them, that changed the legal age to 18. It was precisely the rashness that was wanted in soldiers. But the Company was not going to war, and perhaps Elrond was thinking something else was needed for this mission.
Stealthy spy missions are even less often given to children than plain fighting, as those require great self-control and high experience.

And children do make good messangers, actually that was most often the role given to them when fighting in the Warsaw Uprising, but also long before, as childrens' value in a direct fight is relatively low and so they could be send with a message towards safety at a relatively little expense for the fighting force, and they usually could run fast, easily hide in vegetation or climb up trees (or ruins), crawl through holes, and had the best chances to be overlooked or dimissed as uninportant by the enemy. Never heard a story of a child's warning being disregarded by adults, had it been a fire or a Tartars' raid they have reported.
 
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Flammifer

Well-Known Member
I go back to the days when it was all underage young men who were sent to war - draft age in the US was 18, enlistees could be 17, and legal age was 21. It was because Vietnam vets protested that if they were old enough to die in a war, they should be old enough to vote for those who would send them, that changed the legal age to 18. It was precisely the rashness that was wanted in soldiers. But the Company was not going to war, and perhaps Elrond was thinking something else was needed for this mission.

And Flammifer, Pippin was 29, not 27. Merry was 33 or 34, since he was two years younger than Sam, who was born the same year as Faramir and so was 35 or 36 (after all, the story takes a whole year).

There is a fault in Elrond's reasoning - how much would Pippin, even as the heir of the Thain, have been heeded in the Shire since he was so young? He would have had to convince several older and solid citizens to support him, and even that might have been difficult.

Pippin throwing the rock into the well in Moria echoes Boromir throwing a rock into the lake, wakening the creature in the lake, and Boromir was 40. It isn't all a matter of age. I think Elrond was being protective of Pippin, with or without foresight, and also thinking of the Shire. Gandalf, though, says afterwards that the hobbits were prepared by their ordeals and their knowledge of and connection to the greater world to take care of the Shire without his help, so perhaps he had some foresight of what would be most likely to protect their land. Not to mention Merry and Pippin's roles in defeated Saruman, and saving Faramir and Eowyn.
Hi Rachel,

Here is how I calculated Merry and Pippin's ages:

Pippin's age: Pippin was born in Shire Reckoning 1390 (Appendix C). Year 1 in Shire Reckoning is Third Age 1601. So, Pippin is born in Third Age 1390+1601=2,991. The conversation with Elrond is in December 3018. Pippin's age is 3018-2991=27 years old.

Although, we do not know when in 2991 Pippin was born, so he might be 28 by December 3018.

Merry was born in Shire Reckoning 1382. 1382+1601=2983 Third Age, as Merry's birth. 3018-2983=35 years old.

Of course, as we don't know Merry's birthday, he might be 36 by December 3018.

However, thinking about it, 1601 Third Age is Year 1 Shire Reckoning, so I probably should have added 1600 years to Shire Reckoning to get birth dates in Third Age, instead of 1601 years.

That would make Pippin 28 or 29 years old at the conversation with Elrond, and Merry 36 or 37.

So, I think you are right about Pippin's age, but I think Merry is considerably older than your 33 or 34?
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
I figured Merry's age from the part of Appendix B that tells about the Fellowship members after LOTR. From the last several entries for Merry and Sam where age is stated, I figure that Merry is two years younger than Sam. Since Sam is 35 - 36 (he was born the same year as Faramir and there were five years between Faramir and Boromir), that would make Merry 33 - 34. A four year age difference makes sense for best friends, more than eight, don't you think? One of the sources where I looked up Pippin's age said he was 29 when the Ring was destroyed. He tells Bergil in Minas Tirith that he is nearly 29.
 
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Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Sam was born in 1380 Shire Reckoning. Merry was born in 1382 Shire Reckoning (Appendix C - Family Trees). So, you are right that Merry is two years younger than Sam.

However Sam's age at the Council of Elrond is 1380+1600=2980 (Sam's birth year in Third Age Reckoning); 3018-2980=38 years old (or 39, depending on when his birthday is).

Either your calculation of Sam's age is incorrect, or JRRT has introduced contradictory evidence as to how old Sam is.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Hi Rachel,

My edition of TLOTR (UK, 1962, Ninth impression) makes no mention of the birth of Sam in Appendix B. The entire notation for 2983 is, "Faramir son of Denethor born". No mention of the Birth of Sam.

In Appendix C, Family Trees, the Birth of Sam is 1380 Shire Reckoning, which is 2980 Third Age.

Thus, Sam is 3 years older than Faramir.

What we might have here are edition issues. Which edition has "Birth of Samwise" stuck on to 2983 in Appendix B? In that same edition, what is the birth year given for Sam in Shire Reckoning in the Family Tree in Appendix C?
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
It's a Ballantine edition, with a 1973 introduction by Peter Beagle, mentioning the copyright renewal that year. It's a set I picked up at a second-hand bookstore a few years ago after my old Ballantine edition (from 1966) disintegrated. It may explain why I felt surprised that Faramir and Sam were born the same year, if it wasn't in my original copy.

It does give Sam's birth year in Appendix C as 1380 SR.

Now I have to rearrange my thinking.
 

TThurston

Member
Pippin threw the stone in the well of chamber of the crossroads in Moria, but it was Boromir who threw the stone into the water outside the west entrance of Moria (possibly alerting the watcher).
 

Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
A good argument for pacifism - isn't this the definition of war?
In my experience, we didn’t take any minors to war with us and we were all volunteers. We didn’t volunteer with the intention of killing others, but with the intention of standing between those who would kill, and those without the ability to defend themselves. Pacifism only really benefits the aggressors, because they can simply take over unchallenged.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
I go back to Vietnam days, when they were all minors, and mostly drafted - the guys I knew who enlisted did it to get a better chance of not being sent to war. As for what the South Vietnamese wanted, we never asked.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I go back to Vietnam days, when they were all minors, and mostly drafted - the guys I knew who enlisted did it to get a better chance of not being sent to war. As for what the South Vietnamese wanted, we never asked.
There are moments when all capable to walk do fight in any way possible to them - see e.g. Warsaw Uprising. But those are defence fights, not secret sabotage missions into enemy's territory.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
There are moments when all capable to walk do fight in any way possible to them - see e.g. Warsaw Uprising. But those are defence fights, not secret sabotage missions into enemy's territory.
Neither describes the US's recent wars, and that's what I was talking about. But specific politics is inappropriate here, and I won't take this further.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Neither describes the US's recent wars, and that's what I was talking about. But specific politics is inappropriate here, and I won't take this further.
I was talking about Elrond's agrrement to send Pippin along. This is both morally and strategically questionable. This was a difficult strategical mission, and a child endangers not only himself and his team but the whole success of it and as such he may be put into position of being the one who by his mistake brough destruction upon his whole culture, world and family. Not a position a minor should be put into by any resposible adult in circumstances when there are still a few other options available.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
Coming of age does not mean suddenly being grown-up. It's a legal term, meaning that at a certain age a person takes on certain privileges and responsibilities, such as voting or independently managing money or signing legal forms or fighting in wars. In some places, people acquire some of these rights responsibilities at different ages. Not being of age doesn't mean being a child. In the US, it used to be that people came of age for voting and legal decision making at 21, but be drafted or married at a younger age. Nowadays the age for most things is 18, but in many places certain things (marriage, drinking alcohol, driving) the age may be older or younger. And when I was a child, women never came of age for some things.

Pippin is not a child. He is lighthearted and impulsive (and so was Merry, who was past legal age), but apparently was able to decide to go with Frodo at least to Rivendell without a parent or guardian signing off. He is perhaps the equivalent of 18 or 19 in our time.
 

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
Pippin is not a child. He is lighthearted and impulsive (and so was Merry, who was past legal age), but apparently was able to decide to go with Frodo at least to Rivendell without a parent or guardian signing off. He is perhaps the equivalent of 18 or 19 in our time.
They were, of course, sneaking away in secret, so asking permission was right out anyway. But it's interesting that there was never a mention of whether Pippin might be in trouble when he gets home. And no mention of his family worrying about him, wondering where he's gone and whether he's even still alive. You couldn't avoid that in a realistic modern story, but it's perfectly appropriate for a fairy story.

In order to have adventures, you first have to escape your parents. It's their job to prevent such things, after all. Especially among Hobbits, and even, presumably, among Tooks, despite their shady reputation for running off at times. Only Sam ever gets anyone saying they were worried about him while he was gone. I wonder if Fatty Bolger had a private word or two with some family members. . .
 
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