Anke Eissmann – Flotsam and Jetsam (detail)

Who is Merry in the movie?
In ‘The Two Towers’ Merry and Pippin took part to the destruction of Isengard with the Ents and in the beginning of ‘The Return of the King’ they are found there by their friends. They take them to Edoras where Théoden makes Merry an esquire of Rohan. He rides in secret with Éowyn to Pelennor Fields where they kill the Witch-King. He fights at the Black Gate for the freedom of Middle-Earth and after the war and Aragorn’s coronation he goes home with the other hobbits. Later he rides to Grey Havens to say good bye to Frodo.

Who is Merry in the book?
In ‘The Two Towers’ Merry and Pippin took part to the destruction of Isengard with the Ents and in the beginning of ‘The Return of the King’ Merry rides to Helms Deep with the Rohirrim where Théoden makes Merry an esquire of Rohan. Merry rides in secret to Pelennor Fields where he kills the Witch-King with Éowyn. During the battle at the Black Gate Merry is nursed in Minas Tirith and after the war he goes home with the other hobbits and leads the Scouring of the Shire with them. He lives a happy life and later goes to the Grey Havens to say good bye to Frodo.

Changes in The Return of the King

In ‘The Return of the King’ Merry’s character is quite the same as in the book, only his part in the story is smaller. In the book the pretty long descriptions of Merry’s journeys give a better view to Merry’s toughts and feelings. The friendship between Merry and Pippin is very clear in the movie but it has even more depth in the book where also the meaning of their parting is more clear. Also the relationship between Merry and Théoden suffers a lot in the movie.

The Scouring of the Shire didn’t make it to the movie and that’s where the book really shows how Merry as well as Pippin and the other hobbits have changed and grown during their adventure. The carefree hobbits who hardly made their way to Bree are now brave and self-confident leaders ready to fight for the Hobbits and save the Shire. During the adventure Merry meets many great people, goes through many dangerous situations and finally by riding to war without any of his friends he has to face his fears and take care of himself. All this makes him self-confident and ready to defend his home and friends. He still keeps the joyful “hobbit mind” and after the war in the Shire he’s described as “lordly” and “unchanged otherwise, unless indeed more fairspoken and more jovial and full of merriment than ever before.” [6.IX.]

The Movie
Merry is in Isengard with Pippin eating and smoking pipe when their friends come to talk with Saruman. Grima kills Saruman and the group goes to Edoras. Later at a celebration in Edoras Merry and Pippin have a good time singing and drinking. At night Pippin looks into the Palantír and he has to leave to Minas Tirith with Gandalf. Merry understands the situation and that the enemy now thinks Pippin is the hobbit that has the Ring and he scolds Pippin a bit why he always has to look. When Pippin leaves Merry runs up to watch them riding away and he tells Aragorn how he always got Pippin into all kinds of situations but also was there to get him out of trouble.

The Book
The events of Isengard took place already in ‘The Two Towers’ and he has already departed from Pippin. In the beginning of ‘The Return of the King’ Merry rides to Helms Deep with Aragorn in the company of the Rohirrim. Merry misses Pippin and feels useless and just tries to hang on.

John Howe – Merry (detail)

Merry – Esquire of Rohan
The Movie
Merry offers his service to Théoden in Edoras and he makes Merry an esquire of Rohan. He rides with the Rohirrim to Dunharrow where Éowyn gives him his armour. Merry wants to go to war but Théoden leaves him behind saying that nobody can bear him as a burden. Then suddenly he is lifted up on a horse and Merry recognises Éowyn. Together they secretly ride with the Rohrirrim towards Minas Tirith. Before arriving to Pelennor Fields, they rest for a while and Merry talks to Éowyn that although he probably can’t do much, he still wants to try to help his friends.

The book
Merry sits at the table of Téoden at Hornburg and feeling sudden love for Théoden, Merry offers him his sword and service. Théoden accepts his offer and makes Merry an esquire of Rohan. Merry rides with Théoden and the others towards Dunharrow where Théoden releases Merry from his duties and says he can’t take Merry along to the war. They ride together to Edoras where Théoden departs from Merry. But then a young rider calling himself Dernhelm, takes Merry to ride with him and together they ride along the Rohirrim, Merry sitting in front of Dernhelm. On the way he wonders why he left and feels very useless and hopes that he would be brave enough to help his friends.

Per Sjögren – The Battle of the Pelennor Fields (detail)

Pelennor Fields
The Movie
When the Rohirrim arrive to Pelennor Fields Merry is horrified seeing the amount of orcs waiting there. The Rohirrim attack and Éowyn and Merry ride together killing and oliphaunt and Merry fights bravely killing many orcs. Éowyn challenges the Witch-King when he’s about to kill Théoden and when the Witch-King is ready to kill Éowyn, Merry stabbs him after which Éowyn kills him. Merry hurts his hand and lies wounded in the battle field and Pippin finally finds him after searching him the whole day. Pippin promises to look after him but the movie doesn’t show at all how they get back to the city and what happens before the last battle.

The book
Merry is very scared when the Rohirrim reach the battle. When the Witch-King is threatening Théoden, Merry is unable to do anything because the darkness has filled him. He tries to gather courage by reminding himself that he must be beside his king but fails until he realizes that Dernhelm is Éowyn and that she’s fighting with the Witch-King. Merry wants to be there for her and crawls near them and stabbs the Witch-king after which Éowyn kills him.

Merry goes to the dying Théoden and says farewell to him. After the battle he walks towards the city beside the bearers of Théoden feeling chilly and ill. They arrive to the city and Merry is now walking completely in the darkness and gets lost in the city. Pippin finds him and together with Gandalf they take Merry to the Houses of Healing. Merry lies in dark dreams with his hand infected from a Morgul blade. Aragorn heals Merry and he and Pippin meet Gimli and Legolas who tell them what has happened in the Paths of the Dead.

The Last Battle and Aragorn’s coronation
The Movie
Merry rides to the Black Gate and the last battle with the army and he’s terrified when he sees Forodo’s gear that Mouth of Sauron is holding. With Pippin he runs to the battle in the first line and fights bravely. After the war the Fellowship is reunited in Minas Tirith in the room of Frodo. At Aragorns coronation the hobbits look in awe when everyone bows respectfully towards them.

The book
Merry doesn’t take part to the final battle because he’s not fully healed and Aragorn explains that he has already gained great honour. After the war he’s in Ithillien with Pippin serving in a ceremony arranged for Frodo and Sam. After Aragorn’s coronation the hobbits stay in Minas Tirith spending time with Gimli and Legolas and waiting for Aragorn’s wedding day.

Back home and the Grey Havens
The Movie
After Aragorn’s coronation the hobbits ride to the Shire where everything is as it used to be and in the Green Dragon they drink beer in silent understanding. They take part in the wedding of Sam and Rose but otherwise their life after the war isn’t shown. Later Gandalf and Frodo are taking Bilbo to the Grey Havens and Merry, Pippin and Sam ride with them. There the hobbits are surprised to notice that Frodo will also sail to the Undying Lands and so they leave sad farewell to Frodo too.

The Book
The book tells a lot more about the events after the war than the movie. They leave from Minas Tirith in a big group and Merry rides with Riders of Rohan beside Théoden. In Edoras Merry says final farewell to Théoden in his funeral and he recieves an ancient horn from Éowyn. He also says good bye to Treebeard in Isengard and Aragorn turns back in the Gap of Rohan. In Rivendell the hobbits meet Bilbo who gives them lovely pipes.

When only the hobbits now ride towards the Shire together they notice that everything is not alright and that their war isn’t totally over. In the Scouring of the Shire Merry and Pippin are now ready to take the part of leaders. They demand actions towards Saruman’s men and they organize the battle for getting the Shire back to the hobbits.

After the whole thing is over, Merry and Pippin spend much time together often wearing their armour and they gain much glory by telling and singing their stories. Gandalf tells them when Frodo is going to the Grey Havens to sail to the Undying Lands and they arrive there just in time to say farewell to him.

The Relationship between Merry and Théoden
Merry meets Théoden in Isengard but they don’t have any interaction before Merry offers Théoden his service in Edoras. The relationship between Merry and Théoden seems much like a leader and his subordinate. Although Merry voluntarily serves Théoden and seems to like him, they don’t chat or spend time together and the relationship doesn’t develop further. When Théoden goes to the war he leaves Merry behind with a few short words and after that they don’t meet or talk to each other again.

In the book Merry meets Théoden in Isengard where they already have some conversation because Théoden is intrigued by meeting the hobbits. The book shows beautifully that the relationship between Merry and Théoden has much respect and feeling. Merry has great respect for Théoden and when Merry offers his service to Théoden his words are “As a father you shall be to me”. Also Théoden shows respect for Merry when he sits and talks with him and they plan one day sitting together and talking about Shire and herblore. In Dunharrow Théoden kindly explains to Merry why he won’t take him along to the war and he still allows him to ride with him to Edoras. When Théoden dies in the Pelennor Fields Merry is there to say farewell and after the war he can take part to Théodens funeral.

Other things:
– Merry doesn’t take part to the final battle because he’s wounded badly from stabbing the Witch-King.
– Merry stabbs the Witch-King to his knee just like in the book.

Alternate Viewpoints/Questions [Submit Viewpoint/Question]

Related Information
Related Books vs. Movies Articles:
- 3.08. The Road to Isengard by Rosearialelven
- 5.03. The Muster of Rohan by Rosearialelven
- 5.05. The Ride of the Rohirrim by Rosearialelven
- 5.06. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields by elenluin
- 5.08. The Houses of Healing by elenluin
- 6.09. The Grey Havens by atalante_star

- Merry in FOTR by Figwit
- Merry & Pippin in TTT by AinarielPalantir

Interesting Links:
Our Gallery has has screencaps of the theatrical version, as well as the extended edition. There are also seperate galleries for Merry and Dominic Monaghan.

A transcript of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Return of the King' can be found in our Film Fun & Facts section.

A summary of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Return of the King' can be found in Elrond's Library.

In our Film, Fun and Facts Section you can find biographies for Dominic Monaghan.

Some articles that are related to this character:
- The Middle-earth Section of Elrond's Library has an article about The Brandybucks and Buckland.

Forum threads related to this character:
- In the Movies Forum you can visit Merry & Pippin: Comic Relief or Independent Characters?, Merry & Pippin's Drinking Song and Do you have a favourte Merry & Pippin scene?.
- In the Casting Forum there's threads for Dominic Monaghan.

Take a look at how some artists saw this character in 'The Return of the King':
- Merry by John Howe
- Éowyn, Merry and the Witch-king by Angus McBride
- Meriadoc the Magnificent by ponine_21
- Meriadoc Brandybuck by Lydia Postma

Preview the Merry chatskin here.

Looking for something more creative - you may find it here: