Merry can grasp what is ‘really going on’ in a situation immediately, by being present to it and figuring it out logically as he goes; when they stumble upon Frodo out in the woods, and find a sinister black-hooded rider pursuing him, Merry knows there is something important Frodo is not telling them. Where Pippin naively assumes Aragorn will go along with the hobbits’ continual needs for food, Merry has a stronger sense of his character. He grasps the seriousness of their “mission… quest… thing” far more deeply than his cousin. When Frodo hesitates to join them after the Uruk-Hai attack, Merry instantly knows “he is leaving us…” and going on alone, and chooses to distract their enemies so his friend can escape. Merry argues for the bigger picture among the Ents, reminding them they are ‘part of this world’ and should contribute to its protection (a lower Fe value of thinking about the welfare of all, rather than just myself). Pippin foolishly tells him they can simply return to the Shire and escape the war in Middle-earth, and Merry angrily informs him that unless they do something, there won’t be a Shire. As the story unfolds, Merry becomes more and more desirious of being part of a movement larger than himself, and contributing in a meaningful way for the greater good, even if it means his death. He does not want to remain behind when the Rohan ride to war, because “it would make me feel ashamed not to fight” when his friends are all risking their life for the greater Cause. He does not mind traveling so far from home, and meeting so many new people, but also sates himself with the “comforts” of home whenever possible (good food, good ale, and a barrel each of Old Farthing Pipeweed).

Enneagram: 7w6 so/sp

When we first meet Merry, he is a happy-go-lucky hobbit, somewhat irresponsible, known for shenanigans, who happens to be stealing from a local farmer’s vegetable fields. He is quite good at deflecting personal responsibility and insisting what he is doing is right, using the classic 7 “denial of any wrongdoing” approach in favor of his “good” self-image. He will crack jokes and take any opportunity to have fun or make things more fun for other people. Merry is forever trying to keep the mood light, even when circumstances are dire. After he’s been injured by the Uruk-Hai, to keep Pippin from worrying too much, Merry reassures him that he was “faking” having fainted. It doesn’t take much for him to settle in with common pleasures and forget his woes, and he can become quite cheerful almost immediately, even when things have gone wrong for them. Under stress, he moves toward his line to 1 – becoming critical, judgmental, and harsh of others who refuse to do their part for the greater good. Merry is also more sober, more aware of the risks involved, and faster to catch on to the serious nature of Frodo’s situation. He also shows more attachment—it would “shame him” not to go to war, and to be left behind. He argues that the Ents should get involved in the war, because they are a “part of this world,” implying that they are obligated into “service.” He is cautious about the Nazgul, and shakes his head over Pippin’s behaviors, fearing that they may never see one another again (he cannot reassure his cousin that they will do so, once Pippin sets out with Gandalf).