In the Lord of the Rings chapter "The Scouring of the Shire", there is this passage:

The hobbits at the gate still seemed ill at ease, evidently some rule or other was being broken; but there was no gainsaying four such masterful travelers, all armed, and two of them uncommonly large and strong looking.

Which of the hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry, or Pippin, are uncommonly large and strong looking?


1 Answer 1


Merry and Pippin.

Both had benefited from Treebeard's Ent-draught, as described in "Flight to the Ford" (in The Fellowship of The Ring):

You are thirsty I expect. Perhaps you are also tired. Drink this!' He went to the back of the bay, and then they saw that several tall stone jars stood there, with heavy lids. He removed one of the lids, and dipped in a great ladle, and with it filled three bowls, one very large bowl, and two smaller ones. ...

Then when some of the company reunite later, in "The Field of Cormallen" (in The Return of the King):

But amidst all these wonders [Sam] returned always to his astonishment at the size of Merry and Pippin; and he made them stand back to back with Frodo and himself. He scratched his head. 'Can't understand it at your age!' he said. 'But there it is: you're three inches taller than you ought to be, or I'm a dwarf.'

[Gimli] 'But what did I say? Mortals cannot go drinking ent-draughts and expect no more to come of them than of a pot of beer.'

  • 11
    There’s a passage in the appendices about how Pippin and Merry were the tallest Hobbits on record.
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 12:03
  • 18
    @Shamshiel: taller than Bandobras Bullroarer Took!
    – Taladris
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 14:02
  • 1
    See also Pippin's line "I am but four feet, and not likely to grow any more, save sideways". Tolkien has said elsewhere that Hobbits tended to average 3'6".
    – ibid
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 4:35
  • 3
    Why does Gimli know what ent-draught is? Seems unlikely knowledge for a dwarf.
    – svenvo7
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 15:23
  • 7
    Presumably this is after Gandalf has told him various things about it and Gimli was dwarfsplaining?
    – kcrisman
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 17:35

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