Published in 1954, The Two Towers is the second book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this book, the members of the Fellowship are separated. Sam and Frodo have the Ring of Power and are headed to destroy it on their own.
In the previous book, The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo had decided the evil of the Ring was affecting others in their group and he didn’t want to chance it hurting them or causing them to hurt him to get it.
Sam, his loyal friend, and companion insisted on going along. Their story is in the second half of the book. The first half is about the rest of their party and the battle they fight against Saruman, an evil wizard that has been corrupted by Sauron.
Aragorn arrives too late to help Boromir battle an Orc party who take Merry and Pippin and leave him for dead. After burying Boromir, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas begin their search for the Hobbits.
First, they encounter Gandalf, who is no longer a Grey Wizard, but a White Wizard. The battle they thought had killed him instead boosted his power level. Soon they find Merry and Pippin who have been rescued by the Ents, creatures made of trees. The Ents are ready to battle Saruman and join with Gandalf and the Fellowship. The battle is going in favor of the Orcs until the King of Rohan brings troops to help. They defeat Saruman.
Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam have met up with Gollum. They make him lead them to Mordor. There they encounter evil swamps, tortured spirits, and Orcs. At the end of The Two Towers Frodo has been paralyzed by a monster spider bite, and Sam, who has the Ring now, has been separated from him.
Frodo and Sam are on their own and headed to Mordor to destroy the Ring of Power. Frodo knows it is evil and since it affected Boromir to make him try to take the Ring, Frodo is afraid it will do the same with the other men in the Fellowship.
Fearing for Frodo and Sam’s safety, Aragorn tries to catch up with them. But, even though he is a great tracker, he can’t find Frodo’s tracks. He is stopped when he hears sounds of battle back at the camp. Aragorn runs back to help Boromir but finds the Orcs have fatally wounded him. As he lays dying, Boromir confesses that he tried to take the Ring from Frodo.
Legolas and Gimli return from chasing after some of the Orcs. When Aragorn tells them about the death of Boromir they are all saddened. They send his body off in a funeral boat, while they sing songs to the life of Boromir.
When Legolas asks Aragorn about the Hobbits, he realizes that he had sent Boromir to look after Merry and Pippin, but doesn’t know if Frodo and Sam were with them. They begin to realize why Frodo separated from the group and they make plans to find the Hobbits. Dwarves, Elves and Men must work together to help Frodo complete his mission.
The trail left by the Hobbits are hard to find. After false trails and even a group of dead Orcs, they finally come across some tracks they figure to be Pippins and an Elf brooch that he obviously dropped to leave a trail.
They come across a some Riders of Rohan. Aragorn tells them they are hunting for Orcs who have stolen the Hobbits. He tells them they battled with the Orcs but didn’t see any Hobbits. That night Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli camp in the forest of Fangorn. Legolas tells the other men about the Ents, tree men that live in Fangorn. During the night Gimli has a vision. He sees an old man wearing a cloak and a wide – brimmed hat. Gimli thinks he might have been Saruman. The next morning they wake to find their horses gone.
Legolas tells the other men about the Ents, tree men that live in Fangorn. During the night Gimli has a vision. He sees an old man wearing a cloak and a wide – brimmed hat. Gimli thinks he might have been Saruman. The next morning they wake to find their horses gone.
Meanwhile, Pippin and Merry are captives of the Orcs. They are tied hand and foot. Pippin is remembering the battle Boromir died in. He thinks about the sound of the horn Boromir used to call for reinforcements that didn’t come in time. Pippin feels like a burden on the trip and wishes he hadn’t let Gandalf convince him to go along.
The Orcs are from different tribes and argue a lot. When two of them start to fight, Pippin is able to get close enough to a knife to cut the rope securing his hands. After the fight, they continue on their journey. The Orcs have orders not to kill the Hobbits or to search for the Ring. But, suddenly one of the groups grab the Hobbits and start to run. After outrunning the other group they drop the Hobbits on the ground and begin to search them.
The Hobbits demand to be freed, but a rider comes up and kills the Orcs. He doesn’t see them because they have managed to cover themselves up with the cloaks given to them by the Elves and they are invisible. Then the Hobbits have a quick snack and leave an Elf brooch behind to mark their trail. This is the brooch Aragorn finds.
Pippin and Merry run through the forest but soon stop at a stream for a drink. Suddenly one of the trees starts to talk to them. He is Fangorn and Ent. He offers to carry the Hobbits to his home and along the way, he tells them about the history of the Ents.
Fangorn tells the Hobbits that many of the trees standing in the forest are actually Ents that have fallen asleep and must be awakened in order to move. Then he tells them about all their wives. They wandered off one day and never returned, therefore there are no little Ents born anymore.
Over dinner, Fangorn tells the Hobbits that the Saruman has been changing the Orcs. They are now able to walk around in the daylight. The next day Fangorn takes the Hobbits to a meeting of the Ents. They discuss forming an alliance with the people of Rohan so they can fight against Saruman and his Orcs. Suddenly there is a loud roar and all the trees begin to move. They are going into battle with Saruman and the Orcs. The Hobbits worry because the land around Isengard is rocky and not good for Ents.
Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are still on the trail of the Hobbits. They find the place the Hobbits cut off their bounds and worry when they see the battle between the Rider of Rohan and an Orc.
While they are investigating footsteps near the water they spot a man in a cloak and hat. Since they fear he might be Saruman they prepare to kill him. Legolas advises caution and soon they see the man is the wizard Gandalf the Grey who is now Gandalf the white. His ordeal at the Mines of Moria changed him and upped his power.
Gandalf tells them that Saruman was recruited by Sauron and is supposed to be looking for the Ring for him, but Saruman wants it for himself. Also, Sauron’s troops are looking far and wide for the Ring, unable to find him because he can’t imagine Frodo going to Mordor to destroy the Ring.
The group heads to Edoras, the capital of Rohan to see the King. They are stopped at the gate. A man named Wormtongue has issued orders not to allow anyone in. Gandalf is furious and forces his way into the King.
There he sees Wormtongue talking to him and accuses him of giving the King advice that has been in Saruman’s favor. The King tells Wormtongue he can either fight with him against Saruman or leave. Wormtongue flees. The King gives Gandalf’s group weapons and mail for the coming battle. Gandalf just asks for Shadowfax, the horse.
Heading south with the Fellowship, Legolas suddenly sees shapes in the distance. Gandalf becomes worried and tells the rest of the group to go on to Helm’s Deep where the battle is about to begin, while he investigates. He reminds them to avoid the plains of Isen.
Shortly after they reach the Deeping Well near Helm’s Deep the Orcs attack. After many hours of battle, the forces of Rohan begin to tire. They fall back to the citadel in Hornburg. When it looks like the Orcs are going to win, King Theoden brings the cavalry just in time to save the day. The Orcs run away in fear.
Gandalf arrives. He urges the Fellowship and some of the Riders of Rohan to join him in fighting Saruman. Along the way, they pass some Ents and the Wizard’s Vale, which is burning. When they finally arrive at the tower of Orthanc, the stronghold of Saruman, they see the once vibrant gardens around it are now barren and desolate. They also find Merry and Pippin sitting at the gates of Isengard smoking a pipe. They tell Gandalf that Fangorn is waiting to meet him. He, Gimli, Legolas and Theoden, the leader of the Riders of Rohan, go to meet with the leader of the Ent.
As the Fellowship is back together, except for Frodo and Sam they spend some time catching up. The Hobbits tell the rest of them about Gandalf coming to the Ents during their battle with Saruman’s forces and asking them to break the dams which flooded the area under Isengard with water and killing the Orcs in the lower areas.
Gandalf leads them to Orthanc to speak to Saruman. Gandalf yells from the ground and Saruman yells from the tower window. He tries to persuade the soldiers using his power, but Gimli sees through the magic and accuses him of lying about seeking peace. This enrages Wormtongue who throws a glowing crystal globe at Gandalf. He dodges it and Pippin picks it up.
As the group is leaving they hear an uproar coming from the tower. Saruman has become aware that Wormtongue threw the globe out the window. It is important to him. Gandalf asks the Ent, Fangorn to fill the gorge around the tower with water, thus trapping Saruman.
That night as they are camping the ever curious Pippin sneaks over to Gandalf to get a closer look at the globe. What he sees in it terrifies him so much that he cries out. Gandalf wakes up and roughly tells Pippin the globe is a Palantir. It is one of seven ancient stones that carry the magic of sight that Sauron made evil so he can talk to his minions. When Pippin looked into the stone Saruman was able to see into his thoughts. It also allowed Pippin to see visions.
They reason the stone was used by Saruman to communicate with Sauron. Gandalf thinks the stone also added to making the formerly good Saruman evil. Gandalf also thinks that if Sauron saw Pippin in the stone it would confuse him, therefore allowing them an edge in his defeat. Gandalf wants to take Pippin away with him on Shadowfax and ride as far as the court of Edoras, the capital of Rohan.
Book four moves back to Frodo and Sam. They have been wandering the barren slopes of Emyn Muir. Although they have lembas, the magical food that if filling and lasts awhile, given to them by the Elves, the Hobbits are tired of the sameness in every meal.
The landscape is torturous on their feet and they are hoping to have finally lost Gollum, who has been following them for days. Unfortunately, they must continue forward to Mordor, even though they keep taking wrong turns and getting lost because the way back is patrolled by Orcs.
After the two almost fall off a cliff and are saved by the Elf rope Sam is carrying, they are attacked by Gollum. Frodo pulls Sting, his knife and puts it to Gollum’s throat. He becomes subservient but Frodo doesn’t trust him, still. They use the Elf rope to harness him. The rope hurts Gollum but finally makes him more kowtowing. The Hobbits have him lead them on to Mordor.
They finally stop to rest. Sam stays awake as long as he can but finally gives in to sleep after he thinks Gollum is asleep. The next morning the see that Gollum is gone. Soon he returns claiming to have gone after food. He can’t eat the Elf cakes. The Hobbits decide they can trust him and allow him to lead them through the swamp.
The three travel for days in the dismal swamp almost passing out from the putrid smells. One night Frodo hears Gollum talking in his sleep. He says that Frodo is the master of the Ring and therefore he must obey him, also he must keep the Dark Lord from getting the Ring.
The next morning they arrive at the gates of Mordor. Gollum refuses to go on, but Frodo convinces him to go by using his knife. He reminds Gollum that he swore by his “Precious” to guide them safely without betraying them. Since the gate is locked and they can’t get through, Gollum tells them of another route that will get them into Mordor.
After lots of discussions, they decide to take the path past the Tower of the Moon. Gollum says that although it is dangerous, it is no more dangerous than any other path. The Hobbits are suspicious but they cautiously let Gollum lead them.
They are being observed by Nazgul, flying creatures that are the eyes of Sauron. Gollum also warns of other Men heading towards Mordor. He once again urges them to sleep during the day and travel at night.
After traveling through such desolate landscape they are happy to finally find some greenery. The land seems to be better. At a stream Frodo and Sam stop to bathe and drink. Frodo sends Gollum off to hunt for food after reminding him Hobbits don’t eat what Gollums eat. Soon he returns with rabbits. Sam cooks them for him and Frodo while Gollum eats his raw. When Frodo wakes up he is glad to see a nice meal being prepared but warns against fire in an exposed area.
Suddenly four Men come upon them. They question Frodo and Sam as Gollum has disappeared. Frodo tells them they were traveling with Aragorn and Boromir, then became separated. They become agitated but when they hear a battle nearby, they put the Hobbits in a nearby tree and enter into the battle. The Hobbits see their first battle between tribes of Men. Damrod, the leader of the Men who found the Hobbits, calls for Mumak, a large elephant-like creature called an oliphaunt. The battle is ended, for now.
Damrod, the leader of the Men who found the Hobbits, calls for Mumak, a large elephant-like creature called an oliphaunt. The battle is ended, for now. Sam and Frodo are allowed to stay with the Men temporarily. While Sam sleeps, Frodo is questioned by Faramir, another of the Men. Faramir says that he has heard the prophecy of a halfling carrying something valuable through Mordor.
He wants to know what it is, but Frodo just says he is on a mission. Then Faramir tries to trip Frodo up by mentioning Boromir. Although Faramir knows Boromir is dead, Frodo doesn’t. Faramir makes hints that Frodo betrayed Boromir. Frodo learns that Faramir was Boromir’s brother. After questioning Frodo, he doesn’t suspect him anymore.
Faramir offers to lead them back to Minas Tirith, a city in Gondor. He continues to question Frodo and Sam along the way. He can feel that Frodo is leaving something out. He knows that what he is carrying is called Isildur’s Bane, but doesn’t know what it is. Finally, Sam blurts out that Boromir had tried to steal the Ring. Frodo had not told him that as he did not want to speak ill of Boromir. Although Faramir is surprised at his brother’s actions, he appreciates Sam’s truthfulness. He further says that he has no desire for the Ring himself but is surprised to hear that Frodo plans to throw the Ring in the Crack of Doom and destroy it.
One morning they awaken early by Faramir. His men have sighted Gollum. He wants to know whether they should kill it or not. Frodo asks him not to. Frodo leads Gollum into the encampment where he meets Faramir. Faramir questions him and is surprised to learn Gollum once carried the Ring. He tells Frodo that someday when they are both old and “chair bound” they will tell each other these stories.
Never the less, Gollum can not travel on their lands unescorted under penalty of death, so he will have to travel as Frodo’s servant, but he warns Frodo not to trust him. He also tells him the path he has chosen is hopeless. But, Frodo assures him they can’t go through the Gates of Mordor.
Faramir sends them on their way warning them not to drink any of the water coming from Imlad Morgul, the Valley of the Living Death. He gives them some food for their journey and staffs to help support them when they walk. Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are all blindfolded and led away from the camp.
Gollum is leading them towards the “crossroads.” One night they wake to find Gollum gone again. Sam is relieved, but Frodo reminds him how many times Gollum was useful. As they continue on their journey, the air becomes hot and heavy, the daylight darkens.
Frodo and Sam are weakened on the afternoon by an agitated Gollum. He urges them to go east on Southward Road. He says it will lead them to the Cross Roads. Along the way, they pass a beheaded statue of a former king with a crown of flowers growing around its head. When they pass the Tower of the Moon, they pause again. Although the going is hard, it seems to be sapping the strength of Frodo faster than the others.
Suddenly the mountain Minas Morgul erupts deafeningly and spews out troops of Nazgul. Frodo sees the Lord of the Nazgul. In his fright Frodo almost puts the Ring on, but when he touches the vial of Galadriel he stops. The Ringwraiths move on not seeing them.
Gollum leads the increasingly distraught and weary Frodo up a never-ending flight of stairs. Suddenly Frodo looks down and discovers they are above Minas Morgul. Finally, Gollum leads them into a dark crevice where they can rest. The Hobbits discuss old songs and prophecies and wonder if their own children will sing songs about them.
Then they begin to wonder how much they can trust Gollum. Frodo keeps saying that since he doesn’t like Orcs they should be able to trust him to guide them. Sam points out how Gollum sneaks around in the dark.
Gollum leads them into a cave and disappears when they enter a dark tunnel. Frodo shines his vial of Galadriel and sees hundreds of tiny eyes. It is Shelob a huge spider that Sauron uses to guard his passages. The Hobbits walk past it gingerly but are almost stopped by an impenetrable spider web. Frodo uses Sting to cut through.
They see an exit and Frodo begins to run. Sam tries to yell at him when he sees Orcs, but Gollum covers his mouth. Suddenly Shelob attacks. Frodo is poisoned by its venom and is paralyzed. Sam fights Shelob and it runs away. Sam thinks Frodo is dead and takes the Ring so he can complete the mission. When Orcs come the terrified Sam puts on the Ring.
Suddenly he can understand the Orcs language. They take Frodo’s paralyzed body and Sam follows. The Orcs carrying Frodo say that he is still alive, just paralyzed. This gives Sam hope. He tries to catch up with them but is separated when they pass through great doors that slam shut. The book ends with Sam trying to beat against the doors. No one hears him.
hey take Frodo’s paralyzed body and Sam follows. The Orcs carrying Frodo say that he is still alive, just paralyzed. This gives Sam hope. He tries to catch up with them but is separated when they pass through great doors that slam shut. The book ends with Sam trying to beat against the doors. No one hears him.
Frodo Baggins – Puts together the Fellowship of the Ring. When his uncle, Bilbo leaves him the Ring of Power, Frodo becomes the Ring-bearer. Frodo is not the usual hero. He is not searching for glory and is not strong or outstanding. But he is brave, steadfast, polite, thoughtful, and selfless. His good character is what makes him the perfect person to carry the Ring.
Instead of using it for power, he agrees to take it to Mordor so he can destroy it. When he figures out that the people with him are in danger of being tempted into evil by the Ring. Although he loves to listen to stories of adventure, Frodo sees the quest he has been given as a dangerous duty.
Samwise Gamgee – Frodo’s best friend. Sam worked as the gardener at Bag End. Although he comes across sometimes at simple, his common sense helps Frodo in his quest. He is one of the most loyal friends in literature. Sam is very observant. Even when Frodo tries to leave him, Sam always stays a few steps ahead of him and stays by his side. He stubbornly refuses to allow Frodo to continue on the quest alone. Sam retains his optimism and is pragmatic. Whenever Frodo begins to feel the responsibility of the Ring, Sam helps him to carry on.
Peregrin Took – Called Pippin. He is a young Hobbit and is sometimes brash. Although he is very concerned with his meals, he never wavers from his duty to the Fellowship. His character is sarcastic.
Meriadoc Brandybuck – Called Merry. Although most Hobbits are afraid of water, Merry spends a lot of time in boats and on the water. He is from Buckland, near Bag End. Merry is very close to Pippin but is more mature. They have similar tastes and go through most of the adventure together.
Gandalf the Grey – A wizard in Middle Earth. Gandalf is one of the five great wizards. Although he is very powerful, the Hobbits think of him as the creator of wonderful fireworks. He is very wise but can be tempted towards evil. He is kind and generous but can also have a short temper.
Gandalf counts his friends equally between the lowliest and the most powerful of beings. He is just as comfortable at a gathering of Hobbits as at the Council of Elrond. Throughout the books, his power grows along with his character.
Aragorn – Known as Strider. He was a Ranger who protected The Shire and other places in the North from Evil. He is a warrior and a tracker. He is also the heir to Isildur who took the ring from Sauron during the Great Battle. Aragorn is destined to become a King. As the story grows his bravery and wisdom grows as his character does.
Legolas – A warrior Elf. Legolas is from Mirkwood. He is a master archer. As the books progress his skill with a bow and prowess as a warrior grows. When he joins the Fellowship he begins with an antipathy towards Gimli who is a Dwarf. Elves and Dwarves are natural enemies.
J. R. R Tolkien biography
J(ohn) R(Donald) R(Reuel) Tolkien (1892 – 1973) Born in South Africa and a professor at Oxford in Britain. A brilliant linguist and fantasy writer. The Hobbit was just one of the stories he created.
Originally written for his children, it came to the attention of a publisher and was an instant hit with young and old. He was soon commissioned to continue the story in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Tolkien created an entire world for his stories, Arda, where Middle Earth is located. He also made an entire language for them called “Elvenlatin”.
Tolkien was homeschooled until he was 12. That was when his mother died and he was sent to live with a Catholic priest, Fr. Francis Xavier Morgan. He did well in school until he was 16 when he fell in love. Father Francis noticing how love was affecting his school work, forbid Tolkien from contacting her until he turned 21.
On the evening of his 21st birthday, Tolkien contacted Edith Mary Bratt. She was 3 years older than him, and not surprisingly, engaged to another man. As soon as she realized Tolkien still loved her, she broke off the engagement and agreed to marry him.
They were married 3 years later in 1916 and lived happily together until her death in 1971. He followed her in death 22 months later. They were devoted to each other and their children and grandchildren.
Buried in the same grave at Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford, he had the name ‘Luthien’ under her name and ‘Beren’ under his name, after two romantic characters in his story, Of Beren and Luthien from the collection of short stories in his book, The Silmarillion.