Monday, July 11, 2011
The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien
Book II in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
"One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all,
And in the darkness bind them."
The Fellowship was scattered. Some were bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some were contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam were left to take the accursed Ring of Power to be destroyed in Mordor–the dark Kingdom where Sauron was supreme. Their guide was Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring.
Thus continues the magnificent, bestselling tale of adventure begun in The Fellowship of the Ring, which reaches its soul-stirring climax in The Return of the King. (Goodreads)
With the death of Boromir and the courageous escape of Frodo and his trusty gardener Samwise, the Fellowship of the Ring was scattered but not quite broken. Despite feeling as though their lost companions must surely be dead--or worse--each man in the company continues to do his part in taking down the evil of Sauron.
Pippin and Merry are captured and taken away from their friends who pursue on foot for a while to no avail. But there's is perhaps the most magic of adventures out of all of their companions.
Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn are left to ally with the King of Rohan in hopes of defeating the digusting orcs converging on Middle Earth. And one old companion who was lost will return again, triumphant and powerful, ready to release his wrath on Saruman, Sauron, and all other evil in the land. Hope, however, is dwindling-- held together by only the hearts of men. Whether any of them will make it out of this war alive is yet to be seen...
I'm not sure I can say that I enjoyed The Two Towers any more than The Fellowship of the Ring but it definitely pulled me much farther into the world and the story and held a greater grip on my mind. Tolkien's lulling and lyrical prose wound around me like an enchanted piece of elven rope and still hasn't let go.
We meet some new characters in this second installment who quite nearly stole the show, in my opinion. Faramir was a big surprise to me. I never really liked him in the movies, he seemed more like his greedy, misled brother. In the book, though he was gallant and kind. A bit frightening for Frodo and Sam, but a great and worthy ally in their quest.
I fell in love with the people of Rohan as well. They're so rough and wary, but also so good hearted. They were almost more interesting to me than the elves and Galadriel had been in the first book. I loved Eomer, King Theoden, and of course, Eowyn.
The bit of unrequited love between Eowyn and Aragorn was shown for the first time in this book, and my heart went out to her. She's had such a cold and stuffy life, it's easy to see why she would be looking for someone gallant to cling to, but it is also obvious that Aragorn won't be having any of that.
The only character in the book (or the trilogy, rather) that I don't enjoy is Gollum. He's funny at times, but for the most part he just creeps me out. I can't decide whether to be proud of Frodo for his mercy and kindness or angry at him for his naivete in letting the little Stinker stay with him.
Now, I'm just dying to read the last book in the beloved trilogy, and I'm afraid that I'll cry when I finish it. There is no doubt in my mind that I will carry all of these character with me for the rest of my life. Their impression on the reader is so great it is hard to imagine them not being with you, and harder still to accept the fact the they (and likely no one like them) exists in our world any more. The thought is enough to bring tears to my eyes, so instead of weeping I'm and doing what Tolkien taught us: hoping. Hoping to find that bright light, courageous goodness, and honor in those around me.
Click here to read my review of The Fellowship of the Ring.