Pippin: The Most Pivotal Character In Lord of the Rings

For my latest post, I thought I would do something a little different , I am going to explain to you all, why I think that Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took is the most pivotal character in the Lord of the Rings (film) franchise.

Now this might seem like a bit of a hard sell considering that Pippin is, let’s be honest, a little dim but it is his apparent inability to grasp the severity of the situation he’s in that leads to the pivotal moments.

Still not convinced, read on…

It Comes In Pints

Quick Recap: The hobbits have made their way to the village of Bree, relatively unscathed despite their run-in with the Ringwraiths, have checked in at The Prancing Pony under the inconspicuous name of ‘Underhill’ and are settling in with a nice drink of ale, where Merry reveals his discovery of ‘the pint’. And of course, despite having had a “whole half already”, Pippin must get himself one.

In his excitement at the prospect of a pint, or due to the fact that he may already have been a little tipsy, Pippin forgets the Hobbits’ need for secrecy and loudly declares that he not only knows, but is related to, Frodo Baggins, and proceeds to point him out to pretty much the whole pub.

The Pivotal Moment: Pippin’s revelation forces Frodo to act and the subsequent actions forces the Hobbits into the path of the mysterious Ranger, Strider, who turns out to be their greatest ally.

Merry and Pippin enjoying a pint in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Do Not Disturb The Water

Quick Recap:The Fellowship of the Ring has been formed but their journey over the mountain pass has been hindered by the magic of Saruman. Upon the decision of the Ring Bearer, Frodo, the group instead attempt to take the path through the Mines of Moria. While Gandalf and Frodo figure out how to open the door to the Dwarvish kingdom, the rest of the group can do nothing but wait. Apparently unable to sit patiently with the rest of the group, Pippin keeps himself entertained by throwing rocks into the water. Harmless, right?

The Pivotal Moment: After finally gaining access to the mine, the Fellowship discover the skeletons of hundreds of dwarves and decide to turn back. However, Pippin’s actions have woken the beast below the depths, who rises up and attempts to capture Frodo. In order to escape, the Fellowship hurry back into Moria and the beast brings the ceiling down on the great hallway. Our group of heroes have no choice but to journey inwards.

The Watcher in the Water, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Fool Of A Took

Quick Recap: With a minor pit stop along the way, the Fellowship are quickly and quietly making their way through Moria until they stumble upon the tomb of Balin, Lord of Moria and Gimli’s kin. Gandalf reads from the Dwarves’ Book of Records, which details the events that befell Balin’s colony.

Yet again, unable to just stay still and listen, Pippin is distracted from the story of the demise of the dwarves by a skeleton sitting on the wall of a well. When he touches it, the skeleton falls down the well, taking a chain and bucket with him, and making an almighty racket on the way down. The noise causes a horde of orcs and a Balrog to wake.

The Pivotal Moment: Pippin’s actions lead to the fall of Gandalf the Grey and the eventual emergence of Gandalf the White. This, I believe, is why Gandalf is able to break Saruman’s hold on Théoden and temporarily hold of the Nazgul to save the riders from Osgilliath.

Fun fact: The dwarf holding the Book of Records is Ori, who travelled with Balin during the events of The Hobbit saga.

Gandalf the White Revealed - Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Not Idly Do The Leaves Of Lorien Fall

Quick Recap: The Fellowship has now completely disbanded; Boromir died in battle, Frodo and Sam have gone off on their own and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli have gone after Merry and Pippin who were taken by the Uruk Hai and are en route to Isenguard. Part of the way their, Pippin takes the Elven brooch from his neck and lets it drop to the floor.

The Pivotal Moment: I’ll admit this one may be a little bit of a stretch in terms of importance but it does serve as a token to Aragorn and Co. that A) they are on the right track and B) one Hobbit, at least, is still alive.

Pippin's Lorien brooch - Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Closer We Are To Danger

Quick Recap: By escaping from the Uruk Hai into Fangorn Forest, leads to the introduction of Treebeard, an Ent. After holding an ‘Ent-moot’, it is decided that, even though Merry and Pippin are not orcs, the Ents will not choose a side in the war. On their way out of the forest, Pippin asks Treebeard to take them south, even though this is close to Isenguard. As he says, “The closer we are to danger, the further we are from harm.”

The Pivotal Moment: The decision to go south means that Treebeard sees the destruction that Saruman and his army have caused to Fangorn Forest, which ultimately leads the Ents joining the fight and defeating Saruman.

Merry, Pippin and Treebeard - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Why Do You Always Have To Look

Quick Recap: Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf are all reunited at Isenguard, where Saruman is barricaded in his tower. Pippin sees something shiny in the water and, of course, has to pick it up. Later on, when everyone else is sleeping he looks into the Palantir, straight into the mind of Sauron.

The Pivotal Moment: Looking into the Palantir is probably one of the most pivotal things that Pippin does as it leads to many different events. Sauron knows that the heir of Isildur is alive, which pushes Aragorn to takes his rightful path. Sauron also thinks that Pippin is the Hobbit that has the ring which takes a little pressure off of Frodo and Sam. Gandalf confirms that Sauron is planning to attack Gondor soon and heads there to warn them, taking Pippin with him.

Pippin looks into the Palantir - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

I Offer You My Service

Quick Recap: After arriving at Gondor, Gandalf and Pippin head in to meet Denethor, who in the absence of a king, is Steward of Gondor and father to Boromir and Faramir. Despite being told by Gandalf to keep quiet, Pippin tells Denethor the manner of Boromir’s death and pledges his service to the city.

The Pivotal Moment: By answering the City Guard’s call to arms, Pippin saves Gandalf’s life during the first wave of the attack on Gondor. Also, his new position puts him in close proximity to Denethor which results in both the end of Denethor’s reign and the ultimately survival of Faramir.

Pippin gets his uniform - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

The Beacons Are Lit

Quick Recap: In order to have even the slightest chance of beating Sauron, the world of men need to unite. Having not long survived the Battle of Helm’s Deep, Théoden is reluctant to move his forces to Gondor, especially as Gondor was not there when Rohan needed the help.

The Pivotal Moment: Pippin climbs Gondor’s tower and lights the beacon, calling on Rohan for aid. Not only does this bring Théoden’s forces to the main battle but it also puts Aragorn in the shadow of the Dimholt Road, and on the path to accepting his true identity as King.

Pippin lights Gondor's beacon - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

So there you have it, my argument for why the youngest member of the Fellowship was actually the most pivotal character of them all.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Lindsey says:

    Pippin has always been my favourite and his accidental moments of heroism really are turning points at pushing the other characters into the roles they need to fulfil in the long run. I love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirsty T says:

      Aww I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think he’s a very underrated character so I’m glad I could give him a bit of credit.
      Thanks for reading.

      Like

  2. nsfordwriter says:

    Great post! Interesting idea. I never considered that Pippin’s more stupid moments were actually turning points! I do like him though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirsty T says:

      That’s why I wrote this post lol, Pippin is so underrated. He needed his time in the Spotlight.

      Like

  3. Finally, someone who can understand why this is my favourite LotR character! Also, a moment to appreciate Billy Boyd?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirsty T says:

      Agreed! Boyd is as underrated as Pippin is, both deserve our appreciation 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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