Lord of the Rings read along, book 2, The Two Towers
Just finished reading the first part of The Two Towers as part of a #LOTRreadalong being hosted by The Little Red Reviewer with this week’s questions being provided by Clint of Geeky Daddy. This week’s chapters take us to Chapter 8, the Road to Isengard.
The questions this week:
What is your favorite part of The Two Towers, thus far into the book?
I’m torn with this one. Obviously I think the Ents are brilliant, they are such amazing characters and I think the whole history with the disappearance of the Entwives was so good to read. I’d completely forgotten about that! I also thought the Riders of Rohan is a great chapter. I love the introduction to the Riders of Rohan, the part where they completely ride past Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli without even noticing their presence is great and then we’re introduced to Eomer and his little altercation with Gimli ‘I would cut off your head, beard and all, Master Dwarf, it it stood but a little higher from the ground’. What I really love about that little speech is that it is completely replicated in the film as is so much of the dialogue from the book. I think it’s great the way Gimli’s parts in the book always manage to inject some humour – even at the bleakest times – and also this highlights yet again his friendship with Legolas when he stands by Gimli against Eomer. But, and after that long diatribe my favourite chapter has got to be Helm’s Deep. Such bravery and courage in the face of such enormous opposition. Gimli, shines yet again in this chapter! And, I think what the book manages to portray more strongly than the film, was the underlying cowardliness of the Orcs – who, in spite of their far greater numbers, run for the hills (or more importantly the trees – and how cool was it that a forest appeared of a sudden) as soon as Helm’s Horn sounds – plus Gandalf appearing at the final moment with Erkenbrand – just so uplifting and I got goosebumps reading it.
What were your thoughts of Boromir trying to defend Merry and Pippin from Orc archers?
I know Boromir isn’t to everybody’s liking but I never really disliked him. He was misguided but not bad and even though he was overwhelmed I believe he would always try to defend those in need – even in his last breath he was asking Aragorn to go to Minas Tirith and save his people. So his defending Merry and Pippin to me felt natural – also, I’m sure he would very much have liked to have made up for his part in Frodo’s running away.
What thoughts would have been going through your mind if you were approached by Treebeard?
I think if I had been approached by Treebeard I would have been completely gobsmacked. I mean, even if you were living in Middle Earth where Wizards, elves and hobbits exist along with Trolls and other creatures I don’t think anything could prepare you for an Ent. I think an Ent would be just something that was talked about as a mythical thing – a bit like a unicorn. Yep, gobsmacked about sums it up for me! Not very eloquent but there it is.
What were your thoughts and reactions of the battle at the Hornburg?
Well, I’ve already spoken about this in my first answer. This is my favourite part of the book. I just love the way that even though the situation is so desperate the characters don’t lose hope. They’re full of courage, always rushing into battle with their own battle cries and each of our characters have such important parts to play.
Do you like it that Tolkien has split the Company into three mini-quests? Do you wonder if the company will be together throughout the quest again?
I actually think that splitting the Company into three mini quests makes great sense. We get to cover so much ground – and it’s three times as interesting. A definite winner on all fronts as far as I can see and I don’t think it could have worked in any other way. I mean, really, the Company never planned to stay together for the whole quest and even Gandalf didn’t have a plan that would take them to the end. Plus I don’t think nine people could just stride up to the Gates of Mordor – two little hobbits going it alone have a much better chance of staying hidden – hidden in plain sight really, because Sauron just doesn’t conceive of the idea of anyone actually wanting to destroy the One Ring. I don’t think it would be possible for the Company to come together during the Quest (but then I would say that as I already know the outcome) but it makes for a brilliant reunion at the end!
Rereading this book is just proving such a lot of fun, especially with all the discussion and what I find really amazing is that even though we’re now over 500 pages into the story I have never felt any lack of interest or desire to skip read. Such a testament to JRR Tolkien’s writing that it is still so captivating even though I’ve already read it not to mention seen the films a lot!
Take this link to The Little Red Reviewer to see more discussion.
Plus this link takes you to a lego version of the first book – I couldn’t resist it, it just made be laugh (although I’m not sure how reliable this link is so not necessarily saying you should use it – if you want a look check it out on You Tube (LOTR The Fellowship of the Ring):