# Saturday, September 22, 2018

TheTwoTowersI wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one, of course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: "Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring!" And they’ll say: "Yes, that’s one of my favourite stories."
-Samwise Gamgee

The Fellowship formed in the first book has broken. Frodo and Sam are on their way to Mordor to destroy the evil ring, so that the evil Sauron cannot use its power to conquer Middle Earth; Gandalf is presumed dead after falling into an abyss while battling the Balrog; Merry and Pippin have been kidnapped by Orcs - the same Orcs who killed Boromir; and Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn traverse the land, seeking allies and battling Sauron's forces.

The first half of The Two Towers follows Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn, Merry, and Pippin until they are united. It is filled with epic battles between mighty armies. The second half of the volume chronicles the journey of Frodo and Sam, as they travel across perilous country to Mordor, guided by the twisted Gollom. The dangers they encounter are smaller, but no less perilous. They are attacked by Gollom and by Orcs and by a giant spider.

The theme of this middle volume of The Lord of the Rings trilogy seems to largely deal with decisions in the face of adversity. Boromir wrestles with his loyalty to the Fellowship and his desire to use the powerful ring to defend his country. Gollom literally argues with himself when debating whether to keep promises he made to Frodo or betray him and seize the ring for himself.

The leaders of Middle Earth know that a war is coming, but many of them need to be convinced to take sides. They delay because they wish to remain neutral, which gives an advantage to the aggressor Sauron and his minion Saruman. Since Tolkien lived through World War II, it's hard to imagine he wasn't thinking of all the countries who hesitated to take on Hitler during his pre-war efforts to expand his power.

The Two Towers is a classic adventure story that keeps the reader in suspense throughout. But, like its predecessors The Fellowship of the Ring, it is best read as part of the trilogy. It is parts 3 and 4 of a 6-part series and each of these parts ends with much unresolved. The characters are wonderful, the world is amazing, and the storytelling is epic.

I am enjoying this journey.

Saturday, September 22, 2018 9:24:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)