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The Two Towers

by: J. R. R. Tolkien

Pippin Took

Pippin, together with his companion Merry, represents the entire Hobbit race in the first half of The Two Towers, as Frodo and Sam do not appear in this portion of the story at all. Pippin is typically Hobbitlike in his kindness, humility, and ordinary mixture of flaws and fears. He is more clever and quick-thinking than he is bold or courageous—as when he engineers his escape from the Orcs not by attacking them, but by profiting from a knife that falls near his hand bindings. Still, even if Pippin is not a typical adventure hero, he shows a firmness of purpose and a quick-wittedness that make him a valuable member of the Fellowship.

The honorable Pippin is a highly likable character. He is thoughtful and generous, as when he loans his beloved tobacco pipe to Gimli, who yearns for a good smoke. Pippin likes to relax, as we see when Gandalf comes upon him and Merry smoking and chatting at Saruman’s headquarters. Pippin values companionship highly; one of his few moments of relief during his Orc captivity is when he happens to be thrown on the ground near Merry, with whom he is able to enjoy a brief conversation before being silenced. Pippin and his friend Merry are a refreshing presence in The Two Towers, largely because they are not superhuman or larger than life, as so many of the others are. Instead, these two hobbits are simple creatures with simple pleasures and failings. Their ordinary natures help us to identify with their mission, as we can picture ourselves in their places.