Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: Pippin, Prince of the Halflings

Pippin, Prince of the Halflings

This is JRRT from appendix F:

It was, however, one of the peculiarities of Shire-usage that the deferential forms had gone out of colloquial use. They lingered only among the villagers, especially of the Westfarthing, who used them as endearments. This was one of the things referred to when people of Gondor spoke of the strangeness of Hobbit-speech. Peregrin Took, for instance, in his first few days in Minas Tirith used the familiar forms to people of all ranks, including the Lord Denethor himself. This may have amused the aged Steward, but it must have astonished his servants. No doubt this free use of the familiar forms helped to spread the popular rumour that Peregrin was a person of very high rank in his own country.

This is, in essence, a joke that Tolkien couldn't tell in English, within the confines of his narrative. What I'd like to Challenge HASA writers to do is write a story about this, without shifting PoV out of Middle Earth, the way JRRT had to do when he put the above note in the appendices: IIRC, Tolkien is writing 'I use English for Westron' -- ie, he's comparing then (middle Earth) with now (20th c).

I've attempted to shoe-horn this into my S&K AU, but it might be messing with the focus of the chapter, and may need to come out. This is my potential challenge: write a gapfill that doesn't break out of Middle Earth PoV that explains the joke, and have Pippin and other characters react to his social faux pas …

… and you'd probably have to figure out how to handle the "thee"s and "thou"s and not be awkward about it. (I can only half understand the rules of thee/thou -- but I think the meanings have effectively reversed. Sigh.)

Any interest?

Julie
thinking she may lose this argument with her muse

 

 

Re: Pippin, Prince of the Halflings

I don't know about writing a story specifically for this challenge, but I must say, I am so very glad that you brought this to our attention. When I get Ilrhenir into Minas Tirith, I promise to use this very notably.... Thanks!

E.W.

 

 

Re: Pippin, Prince of the Halflings

Hmmm... intriguing. I might have to give this serious thought. Could be an interesting little vignette, and very language-based, which I love.

Have you put out a general call to all Merry and Pippin fans? Maybe Llinos would want to take this one on....

 

 

Re: Pippin, Prince of the Halflings

I don't know about writing a story specifically for this challenge, but I must say, I am so very glad that you brought this to our attention. When I get Ilrhenir into Minas Tirith, I promise to use this very notably.... Thanks!

Glad to be of help. I'm all in favor of additional Ilrhenir scenes arriving in your head. I'm looking forward to reading it.

... I think I will post this to HA and see if I can get more nibbles. I think there's fun to be had. (But it won't fit into S&K without bad focus problems; sigh; S&K needs a few bits of humor.)

Julie
who laughed and laughed when that bit of appendices finally clicked

 

 

Re: Pippin, Prince of the Halflings

(But it won't fit into S&K without bad focus problems; sigh; S&K needs a few bits of humor.)


Humor, eh? Have you thought of seeing whether you could fit this in somehow as a "Make 'Em Laugh" challenge, Julie? You could have Pippin tell Denethor stories and see if the Lord of the City laughs at all. Maybe he laughs in the wrong places because of that weird inversion of formal/familiar pronouns that the hobbits have in some regions of the Shire.

 

 

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