Peregrin “Pippin” Took is a Hobbit from The Shire, first cousin to Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, second cousin once removed to Frodo Baggins, and friend to Samwise Gamgee. He’s the youngest of the Fellowship and (at first) was also the smallest of all the grown Shire Hobbits. After drinking Ent-draught in Treebeard’s domain in Fangorn Forest, Pippin and Merry both grew to be taller than 4’5” (taller than even the Bandobras, the tallest Hobbit in history).
He is known for his naive and sometimes thoughtless behavior, being a close accomplice to Merry’s antics, and his overall comedic, carefree attitude. This is especially prominent in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring book and movie. Oftentimes his behavior causes stressful moments for the group and this tension is never better displayed than through Gandalf’s interactions (and beratement) from Gandalf:
“Fool of a Took!” he growled. “This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking party. Throw yourself in next time, and then you will be no further nuisance. Now be quiet!”
– Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, A Journey in the Dark
As his journeying with The Fellowship progresses, his maturity develops and he becomes more confident and self-reliant.
Pippin also serves as a Hobbit encapsulation of blind loyalty and faithfulness. When Elrond appointed the Fellowship to take the One Ring to Mordor, he was at first against Merry and Pippin journeying with the group. However, Pippin is fiercely loyal to Frodo and his friends in general and vowed to travel behind the Fellowship at a distance to be close to Frodo and Sam.
“We hobbits ought to stick together, and we will.” – Pippin, The Fellowship of the Ring, Elrond’s Counsel
Inspiration for Character
As with all the Hobbit characters, it is widely theorized Tolkien based their compositions on the friendships he formed at King Edward’s School in Birmingham where all 4 friends attended and started the T.C.B.S. (Tea Club & Barrovian Society), a writing club. Members Rob Gilson, Geoffery Bache Smith, Christopher Wiseman, and Tolkien were all British soldiers in World War I and only Tolkien and Wiseman survived.
In Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Pippin’s actor, Billy Boyd let out a candid scream when a firework exploded inside the tent, during Bilbo’s 111th birthday celebration. In the scene, a dragon firework was stolen from the back of Gandalf’s cart, which the crew on set refrained from warning actors Billy and Dominic Monahan (Merry) that the firework was real and would be set off for real, while they jostled it back and forth between them in a comedic relief scene. Billy Boyd stated his reaction was completely unscripted and is what made it to the final film cut as stated in the Cast Commentary.