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In the Court of the High King  by Dreamflower 9 Review(s)
Grey WondererReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/2/2011
A very nice start to their friendship in spite of the topic. I just know that Aragorn is going to like Freddy. : )

Author Reply: Of course he will. Good old Strider has a soft spot for hobbits, and he knows this particular one is a good friend to Frodo and the others. And Freddy is a very likable fellow...

KittyReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/5/2010
Aragorn's easy manner has to be comforting for the hobbits – no need to be in overawe of the king. And I think what he said about the death sentence did a lot to reassure Freddy and Beri.

Mr. White? Of course, Saruman the White ... one wonders if he changed that name to Mr. Multicolour in the end? *eg*

The discussion about the papers telling more about all these machinations and how far they went back was interesting. But I have to agree; while it was treason what Lotho and his accomplices did, I doubt they ever expected or wanted things to go as far as they did in the end.

Author Reply: I'm only just now finding a whole bunch of reviews!

I am sure it reassured them a lot. The state of Gondorian law, of course, was the main reason that the two younger prisoners were tried in Rohan instead. Rohan's weregild system meant that there was more flexibility for Eomer to deal with them instead of Aragorn.

*giggle* I think by the time he became "Mr. Multicolor" he had other things on his mind!

No, I don't think any of the traitors knew they were traitors; they were far in over their heads!

SoledadReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/13/2010
I love the way you use Hobbits only mentioned as participating in Bilbo's birthday party to build a solid background to the actual events. There's nothing like family gossip to cast some light on hidden events, is there?

Author Reply: *grin* Absolutely!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/4/2010
“Thank you, sire,” said Freddy, relieved. He had confidence in this King, whose eyes spoke of wisdom and discernment.

And he's not mistaken with this judgement.

It was interesting to find out about the early origins of the pipeweed trade.

But Lotho and all his companions were overrun by Sharky and his Ruffians in the end! The misled hobbits treated Saruman as an equal, but he did not!

So, there is a lot we can blame Lotho for, but he could not foresee the end.
He was simply too greedy. And that made him blind!

Author Reply: The misled hobbits treated Saruman as an equal, but he did not!

Exactly. Saruman saw the hobbits he dealt with as nothing more than useful pawns, and a way to annoy Gandalf.

No-- I am quite sure that if Lotho *could* have seen his ignominious end, he would NEVER have had any dealings with Mr. White! Lotho might have been greedy, but I am sure he would not want to end up imprisoned in his own hole and then murdered!

GamgeeFestReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/4/2010
Lotho is at fault for many things, stupidity and self-entitlement chief among them, but he's not responsible for the Black Riders. I hope Freddy isn't making that assumption!

I enjoyed your take on Saruman's dealings with the Shire and how little by little his was able to reach more and more hobbits. I also liked the hobbity family gossip and think that Freddy and Beri likely have the right of it; it's good know that not all the apples on the Bracegirdle tree were rotten! I look forward to the feast as much as the hobbits, as well as the other many revelations they have awaiting them. :D

Author Reply: No, he wasn't, although many of the inhabitants of the Shire *did* believe that he was, especially the Gaffer! But Freddy wouldn't make that mistake-- he knew better than most that the Black Riders were far more than some of Lotho's Ruffians!

However, the knowledge that on the very night he was running for his life from them, Lotho was invitin *more* danger into the Shire behind everyone's back-- well, that just had to sting!

Trying to reconcile the Bracegirdles on Lobelia's side of the family with the one on the Brandybuck family tree, and filling in from the Boffin Family Tree in PoMe is what made me come up with that bit of family history! And then of couse, there is that entry in the ToY for 1353 (TA2953) indicating that Saruman's *already* meddling in the Shire...

It all makes for some really interesting plot bunnies. I'd love to see a few other fic writers tackle that subject as well!

FantasyFanReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/1/2010
Freddy is right to have confidence in the King - he remembers all the mealtimes! But seriously, the frank discussion has to be a relief. The traitors are guilty of greed, fraud, cruelty and general orneriness, but they were outmatched by Saruman from the start. It is very interesting to hear how far back the dealings go.

I'm pleased to have new chapters of this story to read. I've been going back and re-reading A New Reckoning and The Road to Edoras, and re-discovering how much I really enjoyed them. Thanks for your faithfulness to this fandom!

Author Reply: Oh, there's no doubt whatsoever that Lotho and his cronies were used and manipulated by Saruman from the start-- but without their greed, they would not have fallen for his temptation.

Yes, I've long been fascinatted by that! In both UT and the ToY, it's clear he'd been trying to undermine the Shire for a long time! In fact, the year I mention in the story is the year we are given in the ToY!

I'm so glad you still enjoy the first two stories! ANR was a fairly early story for me, and I am surprised at how well it has held up. As for my faithfulness to the fandom, well, I seem to be a fandom monogamist-- LotR has always been my fandom and always will be; I just can't imagine feeling the same way about any other.

VirtuellaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/1/2010
Oh, I like the special hobbit chairs!

Very interestign to see some back story to the pipe weed affair. I didn't quite understand what the connection was supposed to be between Lotho's letter and the Black Riders, other than the date, would you mind explaining that?

Author Reply: It was the date, of course. It had to strike Freddy as he realized that even as he was fleeing for his life from Black Riders, Lotho was in the process of opening the back door of the Shire to even more danger! I was sure that would upset him!

The only time I have mentioned the hobbit chairs in another story, I only mentioned one of them, but I knew all along there were four of them, built to the King's specifications for his hobbit friends.

Theresa GreenfalconReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/30/2010
It's good to know the actual culpability of Clodio and Dago with Lotho over his and Saruman's actions during the war within the Shire. I like that you don't just gloss over what happened and that you make the crimes and characters more three-dimensional than most do.

Author Reply: I decided that Clodio and Dago were mainly guilty of helping to finance Lotho's ambitions, and that they told themselves that it was all simply good business-- even though both of them were aware that Lotho was capable of doing some really spiteful things. Clodio's own motives were more from spite than greed-- he had long been jealous of his sister's marriage to the Thain, which gave her more status than him-- the Head of the Banks family. Dago, on the other hand was motivated sheerly by greed; he was not especially ambitious, but he thought he was much cleverer than he actually was.

What was worse, of course, was their failure to say or do anything during the Troubles of the Occupaton. Neither of them approved of the violence the Ruffians brought in, but they did not want anyone to realize they had anything to do with it.

AeärwenReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/30/2010
I do enjoy the backstory that you're developing for this, dealing with the goings-on between Isengard and the Shire in the days before the Quest. You're painting a very interesting picture of Saruman and Lotho, and making Saruman's interest in destroying the Shire have a lot more reason behind it.

I also like the more informal office you've given Elessar; it's much more in keeping with his character as a former ranger and Dúnadan. I'd think that Aragorn would have some difficulties with the expected airs of the Gondorian court - not that he wasn't familiar, but that they just didn't *fit* him.

Looking forward to your next installments of both this and the other. This is a treat!

Author Reply: We know from Unfinished Tales and also from the Tale of Years that Saruman took an interest in hobbits and the Shire as early as TA 2953, when he began to keep agents in Bree and the Southfarthing. We don't have much in the way of details though, so I am trying to figure those out logically. I think Saruman's interest in corrupting the Shire, to begin with, was nothing more than a petty wish to discomfit Gandalf.

I'd think that Aragorn would have some difficulties with the expected airs of the Gondorian court - not that he wasn't familiar, but that they just didn't *fit* him.


I first came up with Aragorn's informal office in my story "Chance Encounter". I decided that he chose a small room not too far from the throne room, where he could relax and work without all the pomp. I even have a backstory for that battered table, though I haven't told it yet. It may find its way into this tale somewhere along the line.

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