Your uncle forbids you to ride with them. Aragorn denies you, and what more, he pities you. It is obvious. You remind yourself that you will never wither, not even under that pity. You will break and it will not be by this kingling’s hand.
Your brother laughs at you. You fume off into the night, like into a field when you were seven, and make bloody oaths to the dark. Eomer’s laugh [...] cuts through the night again. You circle back and see the subject—a Halfling, the quieter one, Meriadoc Brandybuck. Merry looks like a child. His chin juts out, stubborn, fierce. He looks like you at seven.
You choose the name Dernhelm that night. When you pick out a fierce mare for yourself the next morning, you find yourself making sure she’s strong enough to carry two.