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25th anniversary cover for ISBN 0-345-29606-0.

447 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published November 11, 1954

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About the author

J.R.R. Tolkien

600 books67.1k followers
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: writer, artist, scholar, linguist. Known to millions around the world as the author of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien spent most of his life teaching at the University of Oxford where he was a distinguished academic in the fields of Old and Middle English and Old Norse. His creativity, confined to his spare time, found its outlet in fantasy works, stories for children, poetry, illustration and invented languages and alphabets.

Tolkien’s most popular works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set in Middle-earth, an imagined world with strangely familiar settings inhabited by ancient and extraordinary peoples. Through this secondary world Tolkien writes perceptively of universal human concerns – love and loss, courage and betrayal, humility and pride – giving his books a wide and enduring appeal.

Tolkien was an accomplished amateur artist who painted for pleasure and relaxation. He excelled at landscapes and often drew inspiration from his own stories. He illustrated many scenes from The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, sometimes drawing or painting as he was writing in order to visualize the imagined scene more clearly.

Tolkien was a professor at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford for almost forty years, teaching Old and Middle English, as well as Old Norse and Gothic. His illuminating lectures on works such as the Old English epic poem, Beowulf, illustrate his deep knowledge of ancient languages and at the same time provide new insights into peoples and legends from a remote past.

Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1892 to English parents. He came to England aged three and was brought up in and around Birmingham. He graduated from the University of Oxford in 1915 and saw active service in France during the First World War before being invalided home. After the war he pursued an academic career teaching Old and Middle English. Alongside his professional work, he invented his own languages and began to create what he called a mythology for England; it was this ‘legendarium’ that he would work on throughout his life. But his literary work did not start and end with Middle-earth, he also wrote poetry, children’s stories and fairy tales for adults. He died in 1973 and is buried in Oxford where he spent most of his adult life.

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Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,100 reviews44.1k followers
September 12, 2020
Another Tolkien review? Yep, I’m putting out another Tolkien review. I’m on a mission, a mission to review everything written by Tolkien. And I literally mean everything. I’ve read most of his works, so I’m starting with those first before I move on to the few I haven’t read (there’s not many).This is all preparation, and a readdress of his writings, before I delve into Christopher Tolkien’s twelve book The History of Middle-Earth later on this year. Yep, I’m that much of a Tolkien nerd.

I’ve been meaning to tackle it for years, and it will likely take me even longer to get through, but I know it will be worth it. For now though, as I did with my review for The Fellowship of the Ring, here are a series of ten points to explain exactly why I love this particular book:

1. Gandalf the White

“Do I not say truly, Gandalf,' said Aragorn at last, 'that you could go whithersoever you wished quicker than I? And this I also say: you are our captain and our banner. The Dark Lord has Nine. But we have One, mightier than they: the White Rider. He has passed through the fire and the abyss, and they shall fear him. We will go where he leads.

Gandalf the Grey was charming and quirky; he was everybody’s friend and advisor. But he was also a great wonderer and a great quester. He was an unearther of dark secrets and mysteries. And Middle-Earth no longer needs such a figure, darkness is now on her doorstep; it is no longer hidden. So Middle-Earth needs a man (or Istari) with far sight that can unite the scattered forces of Rohan and manipulate events in order to ensure that the King does, indeed, return. It needs a methodical man of great wisdom and intelligence; it needs a stagiest: it needs a new white wizard now that Saruman has changed his colours. And he has come.

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2. Riders of Rohan

I just love the entire country of Rohan. Tolkien based much of their culture and background on Anglo-Saxon tradition, and I just love it. Did I say that already? I don’t care. It doesn’t lessen it. The Riders of Rohan are awesome, and Gandalf the White comes just in time to save the poisoned mind of their King. I think this entire side-plot is very clever. I would love to see what happened if Saruman would have won here. Could Wormtongue have become the new leader of Rohan, in effect, siding with the forces of darkness? Food for thought. He did want to marry Eowyn after all. Had his plan gone to fruition, he would have been regent.

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3. Faramir of Gondor

Boromir has always been one of my favourite characters from Tolkien, simply because he was one of the most human. He was a flawed hero, but I don’t get that sense from Faramir:

"Here was one with an air of high nobility such as Aragorn at times revealed, less high perhaps, yet also less incalculable and remote: one of the Kings of Men born into a later time, but touched with the wisdom and sadness of the Eldar Race. He knew now why Beregond spoke his name with love. He was a captain that men would follow, that he would follow, even under the shadow of the black wings."

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He was a better man that his brother, and why his farther didn’t see it I will never no.

4. The Ents

Talking Trees? Trees that throw rocks and kill evil orcs? What’s not to rave about. The Ents are old even by Middle-Earth standards. They must have seen so much in their lifetimes. When I read about how all their wives disappeared I had a good laugh. Was Tolkien trying to be funny? They clearly wondered off and got chopped down by someone who wanted to make a house or something.

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5. Nazgul and their Fellbeast

So we have nine undead Kings. They wear cowls of black and are pretty much invincible. To call them bad-ass would be to do a massive disservice to their awesomeness. So how do we make them even cooler? Give them flying beasts of death, obviously.

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6. Gollum

Gollum, for me, is an image of what Frodo could become. If he tried to keep the ring for himself, and went into hiding, he could become this way. Having him around, no doubt, helped to strengthen his resolve and remind him exactly why he can’t keep this for himself.

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7. Helm’s Deep Battle

Now the movie really capitalised on this and gave the film a stronger ending, but it was still fun to read about here. It was intense and bloody. Haldir and the elves of Lothlorien saved the day. Without them the men of Rohan would have died before Gandalf and Eomer showed up.

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8.Tests of Friendship and loyalty

“It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

Sam really starts to realise how important his role is in this adventure. He may not have any songs sung about him, and nobody will remember him as the hero, but he is the one who will have to get Frodo to Mordor. Frodo has the ring, and Sam has Frodo. He has a big task on his hands.

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Also Gimli and Legolas know that they must stay close to Aragorn because his role is also very important. The fellowship, through broken, must remain resolute.

“He stands not alone. You would die before your stroke fell.”

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9.Aragorn’s transition

Aragorn has many moments to shine in the first book, but it here that his real capabilities are displayed. He leads part of the defence of the Helm’s Deep, and he is instrumental in the final victory. It is here that we begin to see the first glimpses of the man that will one day become the king of Gondor.

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10. The real threat is yet to be realised

Mordor’s full strength has not been seen as of yet. We’ve had glimpses, and the tension is really increased as this book finishes. The Witch King’s hour draws near.

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Final thoughts- Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was meant to be one entire book, so when writing a review of this I did really consider the structure of the book. There’s no beginning or end per say, but that’s because it is the middle of the story. And the middle of the story is just as grand as the rest of it.
Profile Image for oyshik.
182 reviews645 followers
January 31, 2021
The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings,#2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

As usual, Tolkien’s writing is superb. He creates such a complex and detailed world that is so entertaining. In this book, the Fellowship of the Ring, which was formed in the first book, has fallen apart. Now, Frodo and Sam, as a companion, try to pass the gates of Mordor with the Ring. Merry and Pippin meet the oldest race in Middle-earth. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Gimli and, Legolas-prepare for the final battle. And that will determine the fate of middle earth. Certainly, this book is more enjoyable and darker than the first book.
There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.

Epic!!!!!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.6k followers
August 15, 2021
(494 From 1001 Books) - The Two Towers (The Lord of The Rings, #2), J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien

The Two Towers is the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien's high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. It is preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring and followed by The Return of the King.

Awakening from a dream of Gandalf the Grey battling the Balrog, Frodo Baggins and his friend Samwise Gamgee find themselves lost in the Emyn Muil near Mordor and soon become aware that they are being stalked by Gollum, the former owner of the One Ring. After capturing him, a sympathetic Frodo decides to use Gollum as a guide to Mordor, despite Sam's objections. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «خداوندگار حلقه ها»؛ «فرمانروای حلقه ها»؛ «ارباب حلقه ها»؛ «سالار انگشتریها»؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژوئن سال 2002میلادی

عنوان: خداوندگار حلقه ها؛ نویسنده: نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ مترجم: تبسم آتشین جان؛ تهران، حوض نقره، 1381، در شش جلد؛ عنوان جلد نخست: «رهروان حلقه ها»؛ شابک 9649305491؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا-سده 20م

عنوان: سالار انگشتریها؛ نویسنده: نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ مترجم: ماه منیر فتحی؛ تبریز، فروغ آزادی، 1381، در سه جلد؛ عنوان جلد نخست: «دوستی انگشتری»؛ جلد دوم: «دوتا برج»؛ جلد سوم: «بازگشت پادشاه»؛ شابک دوره ایکس - 964697130؛

عنوان: فرمانروای حلقه ها؛ نویسنده: نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ مترجم: رضا علیزاده؛ تهران، روزنه 1381؛ در سه جلد؛ عنوان دیگر ارباب حلقه ها؛
بخش نخست: یاران حلقه؛ بخش دوم: دو برج؛ بخش سوم: بازگشت شاه؛ چاپ ششم 1391؛ شابک جلد نخست: 9789643343224؛

عنوان: ارباب حلقه ها؛ نویسنده: نویسنده: جی.آر.آر تالکین؛ مترجم: پرویز امینی؛ تهران، دنیای نو، 1382؛ در شش جلد؛ شابک: 9646564992؛

کتاب حاضر بخش دوم از سه گانه ی «ارباب حلقه ها» است؛ در این کتاب «فرودو بگینز» و همراهش «سام»، پس از جدا شدن از گروه یاران حلقه تلاش میکنند، خودشان را به سرزمین «موردور»، و کوه هلاکت برسانند؛ و از سوی دیگر یاران حلقه درگیر جنگی بزرگ میشوند، که «سارومان» متّحد «سائورون»، علیه «روهان» ترتیب میدهد؛ کتاب نخست: یاران حلقه؛ کتاب دوم: دوبرج؛ کتاب سوم: بازگشت شاه؛

نقل از آغاز برگردان جناب «رضا علیزاده»: (مرگ «بورومیر»: «آراگورن» شتابان از تپه بالا رفت؛ گاه و بیگاه روی زمین خم میشد؛ هابیتها سبک راه میروند و تعقیب رد پای آنها حتی برای تکاورها هم آسان نیست، اما نه چندان بالاتر از قله تپه، جویبار چشمه ای کوره راه را قطع کرده بود و روی خاک مرطوب چیزی را که میجست، پیدا کرد؛ با خود گفت: رد پا را درست دنبال کرده ام؛ «فرودو» به طرف بالای تپه فرار کرده است؛ نمیدانم آنجا به چه چیزی برخورده؟ اما درست از همین راه برگشته و دوباره از تپه پایین آمده؛ «آراگورن» درنگ کرد؛ دلش میخواست خودش نیز به امید دیدن چیزی که در این سردرگمی راهنمایی اش کند، تا جایگاه بلند بالا برود؛ اما وقت تنگ بود؛ یکباره پیش جست و از روی سنگفرشهای عظیم به طرف قله تپه دوید، و از پله ها بالا رفت؛ روی جایگاه بلند نشست و نگاه کرد؛ اما خورشید را انگار سایه گرفته بود و جهان، تیره و بیگانه مینمود؛ سرش را دور تا دور چرخاند و چیزی جز تپه های دوردست ندید، مگر دوباره پرنده ای بزرگ به شکل عقاب که در آن دورها در ارتفاع زیاد پرواز میکرد و در مسیری دایره وار و بزرگ، چرخ زنان آهسته به طرف زمین فرود میآمد؛ در اثنایی که نگاه میکرد، گوشهای تیزش صداهایی را در بیشه زار پایین، در کرانه غربی رودخانه شنید؛ خشکش زد؛ صدای فریاد به گوش میرسید، و در میان آنها با وحشت تمام توانست صدای زمخت «اورک»ها را تشخیص دهد؛ سپس نا��هان همراه با فریاد بمی که از گلو برآید، صدای شیپوری عظیم برخاست و نفخه آن تپه ها را زیر ضربه خود گرفت و در دره ها طنین انداخت، و بانگ پر صلابت آن از این سر تا آن سر برفراز آبشار اوج گرفت؛ فریاد زد: صدای ��اخ «بورومیر»! احتیاج به کمک دارد!؛ از پله ها پایین جست و دور شد و به طرف کوره راه دوید؛ افسوس! امروز روز شومی است برای من، و هر کاری میکنم اشتباه از آب درمیآید «سام» کجاست؟؛ همچنان که میدوید صدای فریادها بلندتر شنیده میشد، اما صدای شیپور اکنون ضعیفتر و نومیدانه تر به گوش میرسید؛ فریاد «اورک»ها سبعانه و گوشخراش شد و شیپور ناگهان دست از بانگ زدن برداشت؛ «آراگون» شتابان از آخرین شیب پایین آمد، اما پیش از اینکه به دامنه تپه برسد، صداها همه خاموش گشت؛ و وقتی به سمت چپ پیچید و به سوی آنان دوید، صدا دور شد، تا آنکه سرانجام دیگر هیچ صدایی را نشنید؛ شمشیر درخشانش را بیرون کشد و فریادِ «الندیل! الندیل!» سر داد، و با هیاهوی بسیار به میان درختان زد؛ حدود یک مایل آنطرفتر از «پارت گالن»، در یک محوطه بیدرخت کوچک نه چندان دور از دریاچه، «بورومیر» را پیدا کرد؛ نشسته و پشتش را به تنه درختی عظیم تکیه داده بود، و انگار که داشت استراحت میکرد؛ اما «آراگورن» دید که تیرهای پَرسیاه بسیاری تنش را سوراخ کرده است؛ هنوز شمشیرش را به دست داشت، اما تیغه آن از نزدیک قبضه شکسته بود؛ شاخش دو تکه شده و کنارش افتاده بود؛ تعداد زیادی از «اورک»ها کشته، و گرداگرد او و زیر پایش کپه شده بودند؛ «آراگورن» در کنار او زانو زد؛ «بورومیر» چشمانش را باز کرد، و کوشید سخن بگوید؛ سرانجام کلمات آهسته بیرون آمدند؛ گفت: سعی کردم که حلقه را از «فرودو» بگیرم؛ متاسفم؛ تاوانش را پرداختم؛ نگاهش روی دشمنانی که به خاک افکنده بود، سرگردان ماند؛ دست کم بیست تن بودند؛ آنها را بردند: «هافلینگ»ها را: «اورک»ها آنها را بردند؛ فکر نمیکنم مرده باشند؛ «اورک»ها اسیرشان کردند؛ مکث کرد و چشمانش از خستگی بسته شد؛ پس از لحظه ای دوباره به حرف آمد؛ بدرود «آراگورن»! به «میناس تی ریت» برو و مردم مرا نجات بده! من شکست خوردم.)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 12/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 23/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Petrik.
655 reviews39.9k followers
May 3, 2021
“It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”


Friendship, hope, resilience, faith, justice, and bravery; these days, good-hearted with no grey morality characters are much easier for fantasy readers to dismiss. I totally get it; this type of characters and stories have been done more than a million times in fantasy stories, and readers—myself included—sometimes prefer more complexity. However, I also personally think that these kinds of characters are still much needed in the stories we devour. Maybe even more than ever. The Two Towers, being the second part of The Lord of the Rings, touches upon these themes by transporting its readers to an old and familiar ground, which I highly enjoyed reading.

I’m genuinely surprised by how fast and immersed I am with reading The Two Towers. To be honest, I never expected to find myself compelled from reading most of Tolkien’s work, but I certainly did with this one. This is surprising to me because The Two Towers have often been mentioned as being even slower and tedious than The Fellowship of the Ring by several fans of the series. There’s something about The Two Towers that worked reasonably well with me. To be clear, there’s no clear beginning and ending with this volume, but that’s also why what the characters faced in The Two Towers resonated; they’re doing whatever they can with the hope that their faith towards one another will be rewarded. Many people in this world say and believe that true faith is achieved once you believe in something that you can’t see with your eyes. After what happened at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, the main characters are plagued with doubts on whether they can succeed in completing the journey they set out to do. And yet they persevere. Honestly, what they had was only the faith that everything will maybe turn out alright if they do everything they respectively can do the best.

And isn’t that what we all do in our lives?

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”


I’m also, once again, amazed at the film’s portrayal of the Battle of Helm’s Deep. Now that I’ve read the scene in the original text for the first time, I will say that what the movie did on this sequence was so much more superior to what’s written. I’m not saying that Tolkien’s Battle of Helm’s Deep was poorly written, it’s just that the movie took the best quality of the text and increased the buildup, the tensions, and the execution of the battle dramatically.

Picture: The Two Towers by Jonathan Burton



If there’s one thing that the books do better, it would be the world-building and the characterizations for Faramir and Frodo. Frodo in the movies, in my opinion, was mediocre. I liked Frodo in the book more, and I think Tolkien’s writing of Frodo and Samwise Gamgee’s friendship was wonderfully done; it’s no wonder the movie could execute their friendship to its maximum potential. I’ve been saying this since I first watched the movies, and I will repeat it again that everyone needs a Samwise Gamgee in their life.

'Why, Sam,' he said, 'to hear you somehow makes me as merry as if the story was already written. But you've left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. "I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn't they put in more of his talk, dad? That's what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam, would he, dad?"'
'Now, Mr. Frodo,' said Sam, 'you shouldn't make fun. I was serious.'
'So was I,' said Frodo, 'and so I am.”


As for the parts that didn’t work for me, I’m going to keep this brief by saying that every single scene revolving around Merry, Pippin, Treebeards, and the Ents bored me to oblivion. Thankfully, there aren’t too many of them, but wow they totally tested my patience; their scenes were as painfully slow as the Ent’s communication with each other.

Picture: Fangorn Forest by Donato Giancola


Overall, though, despite a few issues, I definitely enjoyed reading The Two Towers more than reading The Fellowship of the Ring. Not going to lie, it helps a lot that there’s no Tom Bombadil’s nonsense here. I only have one more book left, once I’m done reading The Return of the King, it would mean that I’m finally done with Middle-Earth (I’ve read Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and the three Great Tales of Middle-Earth) after all these years.

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Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
204 reviews2,116 followers
August 28, 2022
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions upon finishing reading fantasy books.

Doesn't quite live up to the hype compared to today's standards, but still a very enjoyable experience

Strangely enough, I didn't read this book until very recently. I wasn't into fantasy books when I was younger, and I figured this wouldn't catch my interest as an adult. And while I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as the fanatics who claim this is the greatest fantasy story every told, it was a worthwhile read that is highly enjoyable.

You do have to constantly remind yourself of the year this book was written, and if you are an adult, it helps if you are already a fantasy fan if reading for the first time. If you have read a lot of fantasy, you can see how modern authors are still to this day using many of the same writing choices that Tolkien did here, and it's fun to see them peppered throughout the story.

The ents in this book were extremely enjoyable and were a highlight for me, Merry and Pippin's orc adventures were wonderful, and virtually everything involving Gollum was a treat.

The second half of the book was quite a bit slower than the rest of the series up to this point, but it ends in an exciting way and has me ready to start up with the final book.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
742 reviews3,399 followers
January 16, 2022
Bromancing to Mordor while Middle Earth falls to pieces

Split personality overkill
Golluming through life is a hard task, especially if it´s that freaking long. Too many different psychological, sociological, etc implications to name them all, but poor Smeagols' quest towards looking freaking emo zombie style could easily be seen as the decision between happiness and sadness, the seductive potential of power, or simply the easygoing simplicity of evil. It could also be seen as the perverting energy of power, with the good old saying that total perversion totally corrupts, that good people get nasty as soon as they get money, influence, or a fancy invisible mindpenetrating bling bling, that would also be a fantastic bluetooth fingerset to always stay in touch with your evil overlord.

Planning and preparation is everything
After everything has been established in the first part, the whole scenery can lift off, get far darker and hopeless, introduce new friends, foes, and people not sure which to choose, and in general create the outline for the genre itself. I assume that the mysticism, nerdgasms, and glorification around Tolkiens´ work and its immense impact make it (subjectively for me too, not even mentioning the nostalgic touch) one of the most fertile cornerstones of the maybe biggest popular fictional genre.

new brand of evil with a touch of übersoldier breeding program
Another milestone, leads to even more suspense and includes the always and forever important rule of warfare of pimping ones´ killer machines to let them Chuck the heck out of every enemy. At least until automatization and robotization of warfare sets in and lets each soft bloodbag fall into pieces miles away from the unbeatable killer machines. Except the fantasy fractions have magic and mind controlling psi-powers. However, this dynamic leads to an even more suspenseful and action loaded plot than just one evil fraction united in darkening the world forever.

A full picture of the world.
Now the reader can enjoy so many different settings, cultures, traditions, and even a bit of political power balance, that it feels kind of relaxing to switch to Sam and Frodo from time to time for some good, old fight for survival without complicated following the big picture actions.
It may be appropriate to read the Silmarillion too to get even more out of this. It´s as difficult to read as the classics that inspired Tolkien and that were adapted by him, but directly linked to the backstory and history of the actions, so maybe the better and not as dry alternative. Still just something for the really hardcore fangirl/boy enthusiasts out there.

No banality of evil
Nearly all antagonists have no grey areas, no moral dilemmas, no option to change towards the better, and that may be one of the biggest differences in contrast to modern fantasy, where these eclectic evildoers often have backstory, tragedy, depth, etc. explaining what made them the creatures they are. Not giving excuses for what they do, but making them feel more human/inhuman if they´re fantasy creatures (bad wordplay), and their actions comprehensible and not just evil. In the good old times, it was clear which was the team to promote, but meanwhile, it has become a tricky, ethical dilemma with far too many implications, innuendos, and stuff.

Preparing for the endfight
As in many great series, everything is interconnected and the whole thing accelerates towards a great cliffhanger, letting one ask what might both meta and personally happen to all those freaking fascinating fantasy fighters. Classy “ buy the next part to know how it will go on“ dynamic, something that has stolen estimated hundreds of millions of days of lifetime of poor, addicted, fantasy readers.
Must read the Wheel of time series….
Thanks for that, JRR!

Establishing fantasy supertropes
Na matter if it are the fractions, superhuman elves, monster orcs, grumpy dwarfs, wise wizards, brave halflings, etc, the heroes journey, the switching between fast and slow pace, the cuts between meta fights, battles and the preparation of these and the personal, emotional scenes and the big, epic scenes including all characters, Tolkien defined the genre in a way maybe nobody else may ever have the influence to do. He not just inspired so many great fantasy authors, but indirectly helped creating so many sub-genres that are more and more expanding to subsubs, and I can remember hearing rumors about something like a subsubsub somewhere in the regions of dark science fantasy, but I don´t really trust the alien succubus who whispered it in my ear and assume that it was just a cheap trick to get me laid where she wanted me to go for a quest. But not again, honey!

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...
Profile Image for Anne.
3,792 reviews69k followers
January 20, 2023
Not one tower, but TWO towers.
You are definitely getting your money's worth here, my friend.

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Also, less singing here than in the 1st book.
But still plenty of singing. <--don't you worry your crusty Hobbit feet about it if that was your jam last time around.

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Ok, so this one surprised me. I thought it was going to be an absolute chore to get through. Boring walks, long-ass songs, and nothing much in the way of forward plot movement. <--is what I thought this whole book would be like.
But NO!
Once this thing got going it really got going.
There were all kinds of battles and shit! People popping up from the dead! Big fuckin' trees walking all around!

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And there was some actually before-his-time girl power here!
Honestly, I'm not used to reading shit like that coming out of a female character's mouth from a book that was written at the same time James Bond was talking about the sweet tang of rape in Casino Royale.
You get an extra fucking star from me for that one line, Mr. Tolkien.

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Alright. Just so you don't think I've turned over an entirely new leaf and can now somehow get excited over books that ramble, this one definitely had its moments. Moments that tested my patience.
Like the part where we've just been on a whole long walking adventure with Pippin, Merry, and the Ents, and then they meet up with all the other LotR dudes. You would think all that would be necessary would be a line about how Merry & Pippin told the other dudes what they had been through.
And Lo! Merry and Pippin caught everyone up on the shenanigans with the Ents.
And yet...they gave a full recap.

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But this was such (for me) an easier read than the 1st book. I'm (dare I say it?) almost looking forward to The Return of the King!
Recommended!
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,107 reviews3,542 followers
December 27, 2015
The hope for saving Middle-Earth continues!


THE FELLOWSHIP IS BROKEN

There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for.

So much for the fellowship made of representative of the races of good in the Middle-Earth with the task of destroying The One Ring in the hellish fires of Mount Doom, located right inside of Sauron’s domains.

Members fell, member got tempted by The One Ring, members got trapped, the journey now has two roads and it’s not certain which way is the right one. Maybe no one is, but they need to take decisions, keep in movement and to trust that they are doing what is right.

While they knew each other (in some cases) barely before the start of the mission, they now have a bond, a camaraderie, a friendship that it will be put to test to the maximum.

New allies will rise but also the dark forces are getting stronger.

And yet, HUGE surprises are ahead of them. Since it seems that in Middle-Earth certain things aren’t definitive.


ISENGARD’S AGENDA

A king will have his way in his own hall, be it folly or wisdom.

Something that I liked while reading the book(s) (since I noticed it since the first one) is that Saruman is a servant of Sauron. Yes, the powerful wizard of Isengard wants The One Ring BUT not for giving to the Dark Lord or Mordor, oh no, no, no, Saruman knows that who gets The One Ring will rule in the Middle-Earth and since he is already one of the most powerful beings in that realm, it’s only logical to get The One Ring and with that key advantage, he will be able not only to challenge the armies of men, dwarves and elves but also the dark forces of Sauron.

I have huge respect for the good King Théoden, BUT dang it! How can you have as your personal advisor somebody running with the name of Grima Wormtongue! Geez! It’s like the Green Lantern Corps: “Oh, who would think that SINESTRO will resulted a bad guy.” Geez!

In the movies is understood that Saruman “works” for Sauron but in the books, at least in my humble analysis is quite clear that Saruman is a third column in this dangerous game in the Middle-Earth. And anybody who was not only member of The White Council but its leader and having forces trying to get control of the Middle-Earth, it’s never wise to underestimate his potential of causing destruction, suffering and pain.


THE BATTLE OF HELM’S DEEP

I have spoken words of hope. But only of hope. Hope is not victory.

You don’t know the courage of men until they are tested against a challenge without hope.

Some war strategists would say that battling a lost battle is pointless and it’s better to flee for fighting another day.

But what happen when there isn’t another day?

When there is nowhere to run away?

When accepting that it’s a lost battle isn’t an option?

It’s when you know of what you are made of.


SAM RULES!

Don't go where I can't follow!

It’s obvious that the saga of Lord of the Rings have many heroes, many awesome characters, but many of them have training, skills, education and powers to help them, but…

…Samwise Gamgee shows one of the most amazing heroism of all, not matter that you can say that he everything against him.

First of all, Sam is a Hobbit, not the most useful species in the Middle-Earth in matters of war, and even between Hobbits, he may not being the “best example” of his kind.

Sam wasn’t as old as Frodo, Pippin and Merry, therefore less mature.

Sam didn’t share a family bond like Frodo, Pippin and Merry shared.

Sam wasn’t even of the same social status in The Shire as Frodo, Pippin and Mery, since they were from respected Hobbit families with lineage, while Sam was the son of Bilbo’s gardener.

While Merry and Pippin were traveling with Frodo out of a family thing, for Sam was basically a unpaid job imposed on him.

So, when the things got tough (and trust me that things couldn’t get tougher than what they got!!!), Sam could easily flee, throwing to hell that awful job, and getting back to safety, back to The Shire.

But no.

Not Sam.

Sam keeps walking, keeps looking out for his master (Frodo) and keeps to amaze due his honest loyalty, his unconditional friendship and his unbelievable willpower.













Profile Image for SK.
188 reviews792 followers
October 8, 2022
Such an enjoyable read.

This one definitely was at a much faster pace compared to the first one. Loved the characters' separate journeys, especially the trio's- Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Their journey was far more exciting and interesting to me than the ones of the Hobbits. Gollum was a nice addition to Frodo and Sam's story as it kept things at a stable and intriguing pace. I sadly did not enjoy Merry and Pippin's scenes, they just bored me.

Looking forward to reading the Return of the King and drooling over a certain fictional character who's going to be king🤤🤤 *kicks feet up and giggles over the thought of it, calls him 'my precious'* TMI? 👀
January 19, 2022
“A red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night”.

Bueno, por fin leí Las dos Torres, que es la segunda parte de El Señor de los Anillos, y estoy sorprendida porque este tomo también me gustó un montón.

La verdad es que el libro empieza bastante fuerte, justo después de que Frodo y Sam deciden irse por su cuenta con el anillo e ir acercándose cada vez más a Mordor. Esas primeras escenas me dejaron con la boca abierta y, eventualmete, Legolas, Aragorn y Gimli tienen que emprender el camino para encontrar a los otros dos hobbits, Merry y Pipin, a quienes han secuestrado unos orcos. En ese camino también esperan descubrir el rumbo de Frodo y Sam, pero antes tendrán que enfrentarse a muchas cosas.

A decir verdad, a medida que avanzaba la historia me iba desconcertando mucho porque estaba llegando a la mitad y nadie mencionaba ni a Frodo ni a Sam… y no entendía nada. Sin embargo, el libro vuelve a su perspectiva y por fin nos enteramos de todo lo que están viviendo para poder llevar el anillo hasta Mordor, de todas las cosas a las que tienen que enfrentarse y, especialmente, cómo lidian con Gollum… porque vaya ser más particular.

Creo que lo que más me gustó de este libro fue ver cómo los protagonistas van descubriendo diferentes signos y eventos que dan cuenta de la maldad que los rodea y los reencuentros con personas que pensaban perdidas. Esta soy yo intentando no hacer spoilers a pesar de que todo el mundo conoce esta historia, jajaja.

Siento que Las dos Torres es el libro que nos hace ver el peligro real de la misión que emprendieron estos personajes para destruir el anillo antes de que el anillo los destruya a ellos y corrompa sus voluntades. Y, en general, sí que me gustó mucho el libro, aunque siento que la historia de este tomo pudo haber acabado en ese momento súper cliffhanger en el que no sabemos qué pasa con un protagonista. Pero en realidad se revela su suerte como una página antes de que se acabe el libro, lo cual me pareció un poco anticlimático.

En fin, que ya quiero terminar la trilogía. Definitivamente no me arrepiento de haber empezado a leerla, así haya llegado 15.000 años tarde a esta historia.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
April 8, 2011

I'm one of very few people in the world that actually really hate the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and 'The Hobbit' as well. I've read 'The Hobbit' twice, trying to capture the second time what I was sure I must have missed the first time round... but no. And then I read The Fellowship of the Ring and found Frodo's story to be as drab and long-winded as that of Bilbo. I would have stopped there but my friends told me that I should definitely read this book, promising me great adventure and well-written fantasy worlds. And still no.

I realise I am in the minority and I don't know why. But I've looked for what everyone loves so much about these books and everytime I find pages and pages of boredom. These novels are the kind that make me want to skip pages - and I really hate doing that because I feel like a cheat, but ack! What is it? Really, what am I missing?
Profile Image for Paul.
2,306 reviews20 followers
December 9, 2019
The second act of the classic Lord Of The Rings saga is divided into two halves; the second half focussing on Frodo, Sam and Gollum and the first half focussing on the rest of the divided fellowship.
To be honest, I love this book so much, it's virtually impossible for me to write a balanced review. If you're also a fan, you know exactly what I mean, so I'll leave it there. :-D

Buddy read with Sunshine Seaspray.

-----------------------------------------------

Re-read in 2017: If anything, I love it more than ever now. :-D
Profile Image for Jonathan.
Author 6 books82 followers
January 17, 2023
A review of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by Sauron

After my review of the Fellowship of the Ring, my agent BBMed me and said that people still thought I was a bitter a-hole. He suggested that I learn to deal with my situation by talking with some likeminded people who have faced similar frustration. So he signed me up for Dark Lords and Villains Anonymous. At least that’s what it's called on the website. When I send out a FB invite to my peeps I usually use the subject line "Hatas Beware". Because General Zod is still trapped in that ridiculous Phantom Zone, we can't really meet in person so we IM. Every week a member discusses his or her public failure. This is the transcript from my week.


Sauron: Hello, my name is Sauron, and it's been 56 years since the publication of my defeat.

Group: Hello Sauron!

Sauron: I'm…I'm not sure where to start. I just don't think I've been given a fair shake. I recently emailed an op-ed piece to the editor of the Times. In it, I argued that the name of Tolkien's "masterpiece" should be renamed "An Unprovoked Attack On Sauron the Merciful" and that the second book should be entitled "Saruman F*cks The Pooch". Crusty old cracker. It looked like my email was blocked so I tried another. None of them worked: frodosucksballs@yahoo.com; bitemearagorn@gmail.com; theresnowayanelfcouldfireabowandarrowlikethat@hotmail.com. Nothing. Anyways, my point is that none of this was my fault. I mean, things started off fine. That Boromir got what he deserved. I've never tried to destroy someone who cared more about their hair!

General Zod: Can anyone help me!!??

Agent Smith: Shut the hell up windowboy!

Sauron: Thank you. Ahem.

Darth Maul: Bllllllaaarrgghhh.

Darth Vader: You'll have to excuse my associate. He's…useless.

HAL 9000: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

Agent Smith: OMG! Can anyone stop this light bulb from saying that every week!

Moby Dick: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuflllllllllllllllllll

Agent Smith: Jesus, now the whale is talking.

Randall Flagg: Let…Sauron…talk.

[silence]

Sauron: If I may continue. Helm's Deep. My grandma could have tossed that joint before breakfast. But instead of sending her wheelchair-bound ass in to lead the charge I chose an Uruk-hai. In retrospect, since I took the time to hatch those suckers, I could have included some dolphin or chimpanzee in the mix to boost the IQ a little. Or at least supplied them with better loincloths. One Uruk-hai had a bad habit of talking to me while his leg was up on the table. We don't need to see that. Oh, and why don't I put all my faith in Gríma Wormtongue, he sounds reliable. Every time I looked at his multi-coloured eyes I wanted to puke.

General Zod: That was pretty dumb.

Khan: [shouts] THIS IS CETI ALPHA FIVE!

Sauron: OooooK. I also regret relying on that damn Palantir for global communications! That freakin snowglobe basically told me that everything was going just fine. These days Saruman would have just texted me something like, "Yo, Sauron, we may have an issue." Instead his ass is whooped by trees. You know, man invented fire like 10,000 years ago. Trees.

Jabba the Hutt: Sorry, I got here late. Has that loser Sauron started yet?

[silence]

Khan: I shall avenge you.

Sauron: Thanks. Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, Shelob. Stephen King's made me afraid of clowns and spiders. I don't want to discuss that bitch.

Khan: You see, their young enter through the ears and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex. This has the effect of rendering the victim extremely susceptible to suggestion. Later, as they grow, follows madness and death.

Sauron: STOP! A-hole. That's why Kirk can beat you while simultaneous boinking a green chick. You're pathetic. Go back to selling coffee or whatever you've been doing. This is getting me nowhere. I never should have signed up for this. And there's no fracking way I'm writing a review of my demise in The Return of the King.

[end transmission]

Moby Dick: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuflllllllllllllllllll

[end transmission]
Profile Image for James.
Author 17 books3,483 followers
December 3, 2018
Book Review
For as long as I can remember, I have loved serial fiction and saga stories. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and associated books by J.R.R. Tolkien are a treasure. I first found the books when I was 14 and had to re-read again when the movies came out in the last decade or so. The second book, The Two Towers, was a worth follow-up, enhancing every original love I had with the story. I'm generally not a fan of the fantasy genre, and have only read perhaps 20 books in total, less than 3% of my entire reading history. But something about these books absolutely stands out among to me as a truly amazing series. I liken it to Star Wars as a movie and film phenomena, when it comes to the saga story. But this one started out as a set of books, which makes it even more fantastic...

For me, although I loved all three in the series, the middle one was the least favorite, but they were all still 4+. The first one introduces everything and sets the stage. The last one is the epic battle. The middle one... pure awesome storytelling... but it's the middle. Full of history, secrets, revelations, explanations... you learn the most here. But you also get a little overwhelmed with the sheet amount to remember. But I like that about it too. And to tell the story of dark versus light. To see people you love fall to their death. To think so much will change for the worse. It's a challenge to decide which part of the story to love most.

If you've not read the series, it's probably 2000 pages in its entirety. I still think you should read it... but start with book 1 of course. You can't read out of order. Then let's chat again! :)

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,419 followers
February 15, 2020
One of my favorite books with extraordinary battles and wonderful writing.
The two towers are the symbols of religious and political malfeasance both affronted by Bilbo and the Fellowship of the Ring along with their allies in some of the most visual scenes of battle ever written.

Tolkien switches the storytelling technique of the Quest which served him so well in The Hobbit, or There and Back Again and The Fellowship of the Ring. Following Boromir's temporary insanity at the end of the previous book, the Company is split into three pieces as The Two Towers begins: Frodo and Sam are off on the Quest alone, Pippin and Merry have been captured by the orcs for transport to Mordor, and Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas are headed to join forces with the armies of Rohan.

As Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas create a campfire near the forest of Fangorn, there is another nice view of the nature of trees: It may have been the dancing shadows that tricked their eyes, but certainly to each of the companions the boughs appeared to be bending this way and that so as to come above the flames, while the upper branches were stopping down; the brown leaves now stood out stiff, and rubbed together like many cracked hands taking comfort in the warmth. There was a silence, for suddenly the dark and unknown forest, so near at hand, made itself felt as a great brooding presence, full of secret purpose. (p. 431 - note that the page numbers are from the all-in-one volume of LOTR)

Meanwhile, Pippin and Merry have befriended Treebeard, an Ent (tree-person) and have a wonderful time trying to understand each other (p. 454) in which Treebeard's language is wonderfully what one might imagine a tree to talk like. Treebeard is no dummy, having known Saruman for some time, he perceives that he is up to no good (p. 462) and is persuaded by the Hobbits to rally the Ents to make battle on his stronghold at Isengard. But before this, there is another wonderful but very sad ecological message told by Treebeard - the disappearance of the Entmaidens and this the coming extinction of all the Ents (p. 464). I found this to be very sad and also very real. This theme seems to me to have been very important to Tolkien because even at the very end of The Return of the King, when we see Treebeard one last time, he laments the lost Entmaidens and Entwives once again. Treebeard: 'Of course, it is likely enough, my friends,' he said slowly, 'likely enough that we are going to our doom: the last march of the Ents....Still I would have liked to see the songs come true about the Entwives...But there, my friends, songs like trees bear fruit only in their own time and in their own way: and sometimes they are withered untimely. (p. 475).

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli arrive after Isengard has already succumbed to the anger of the Trees (and let me just take one minute, speaking of the trees to make a short homage to the late Neal Peart and his wonderful lyrics:
There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas
The trouble with the maples
And they're quite convinced they're right
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade?
There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream 'oppression!'
And the oaks, just shake their heads
So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
'The oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light'
Now there's no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet,
Axe,
And saw

R.I.P. Neal.)
Merry and Pippen fill in their companions as to how the battle went. The description starting on page 520 is gripping to say the least. In the battle of Helm's Deep, the moment where Gilmi suddenly beheads two Orcs to save Eomer was epic (p. 522).

Another parenthesis here to talk about the beautiful description of friendship between Gimli and Legolas. In Tolkien, these two people have mostly been at odds (like the Scots and the British or perhaps the Irish and the British?) and the deep bond that is formed between the Elf and the Dwarf is striking. One of the most moving passages to me is when they decide to visit their favorite sites together after the war:
'And lights, Legolas! We should make lights, such lights as once shone in Khazad-Düm; and when we wished we would drive away the night that has lain there since the hills were made; and when we desired rest we would let the night return.'
'You move me, Gilmi,' said Legolas. 'I have never heard you speak like this before. Almost you make me regret that I have not seem those caves. Come! Let us make this bargain - if we both return safe out of the perils that await us, we will journey a while together. You shall visit Fangorn with me, and then I will come with you to see Helm's Deep.'
(p. 535). Fortunately, we do get a glimpse of this journey in The Return of the King.

Later, Pippen and Merry meet Theoden before the critical discussion with a defeated Saruman, and introduce the king to pipe smoking in the most delightful way: 'For one thing,'said Théoden. 'I had not hear that [hobbits] spouted smoke from their mouths.'
'That is not surprising,' answered Merry; 'for it is an art which we have not practiced for more than a few generations.'
(p. 544) Tobacco was introduced in England in 1565 following its 'discovery' by Columbus in 1492, so this is a homely reference to one of Tolkien's preferred vices.

During the angry exchange between Gandalf and Sarumon, I was curiously surprised to see a word which was all the rage in politics just two years ago.
'Gibbets and crows!' [Saruman] hissed, and they shuddered at the hideous change. 'Dotard! (p. 567). Interesting, so does that word exist in Korean or did the North Korean leader actually read Tolkien in the original English? Fascinating...

Once again, the protagonists are split up, but the story then shifts to the travails of Frodo and Sam on their slow progress towards Mount Doom. They are pursued in the shadows by Gollum. After a fall (that in its somewhat existential nature reminded me of Don Quixote falling off the window sill in Cervante's masterpiece), they 'capture' Gollum who is to lead them on their journey, one which he has naturally made before. Gollum describes the awful Dead Marshes which are lifted straight out of Dante with the rotting heads: They lie in all the pools, pale faces, deep deep under the dark water. I saw them: grim faces and evil, and noble faces and sad. Many faces proud and fair, and weeds in their silver hair. But all foul, all rotting, all dead. A fell light is in them.' (p. 614). One imagines that this hellscape comes directly from Tolkien's own wartime experiences on French battlefields in the hell of WWI.

However, before entering this apocalyptic landscape, they pass through idyllic Anduin. Many great trees grew there, planted long ago, falling into untended age amid a riot of careless descendants; and groves and thickets were of tamarisk and pungent terebinth, of olive and bay and there were junipers and myrtles; and thymes that grew in bushes, or with their woody creeping stems mantled in deep tapestries the hidden stones; sages of many kinds putting forth blue flowers, or red, or pale green; and majorams and new-sprouting parsleys, and many herbs of forms and scents beyond the garden-lore of Sam. (p. 636). I love how Tolkien reminds us here that things that we take for granted as domesticated (spices like thyme, flowers, parsley) all were originally part of the primeval forest long ago. And how, if left to its own devices, that it inevitably can come back.

During this phase of their voyage, Frodo and Sam meet Faramir of the Rohan (who will have a large role to play in the last volume!), Boromir's brother. The meeting is rather uncomfortable because they bear memories of Boromir's final treachery (although they do not yet know whether he is alive or dead), but are relieved that Faramir does not lust after the Ring as his brother did. 'But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo.' (p. 656) Faramir shows himself worthy of future glory and is one of the more noble and incorruptible spirits in the trilogy.

As they take to the road again, they have a beautiful precursor to the victory that they hope will ultimately be theirs and that of Middle Earth: The eyes were hollow and the carven beard was broken, but about the high stern forehead there was a coronal of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like small white stars had bound itself across the brows as if in reverence for the fallen king, and in the crevices of his stony yellow stonecrop gleamed.
'They cannot conquer for ever!' said Frodo. And then suddenly the brief glance was gone. The Sun dipped and vanished, and as if at the shuttering of a lamp, black night fell.
(p. 687) Once again, nature is used as a symbol of regeneration and hope.

There is a wonderful little soundbyte about storywriting which sounds perfectly suited to a Frodo/Sam conversation but is a real mise-en-abime since they are talking about themselves as characters in a story. Sam:'And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one that you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them to.' (p. 696). I thought this was an absolutely wonderful clin d'oeil from our omniscient narrator. Frodo continues: 'You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: 'Shut the book now, dad; we don't want to read anymore.''
'Maybe,' said Sam, 'but I wouldn't be one to say that. Things done over and made into part of the great tales are different. Why, even Gollum might be good in a tale, better than he is to have by you anyway. And he used to like tales himself once by his account. I wonder if he thinks he's the hero or the villain.'
(p. 697). This is a keen observation because Gollum is precisely somewhere between a victim and a villain, and later between an unwilling hero and a clumsy villain.

There occurs then a scene where Gollum displays his dual nature (p. 699) and before the curtain falls on our story, Frodo is captured and Sam left alone.

This book is a real achievement as it is the perfect second volume of a thrilling trilogy: it builds on the suspense of the first volume, switching narrative frames and having us follow two or three groups of characters in parallel. Its battle scenes are gripping and epic. Whereas in the first volume, we met Elves and Dwarves (well, remnants of a Dwarf civilization in any case), in this book we meet the Men of Gondor and Rohan who will both be critical in the final battle of Mordor. One of my favorite books ever.

Fino's Tolkien Reviews:
The Hobbit
The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR 1)
The Two Towers (LOTR 2)
The Return of the King (LOTR 3)
Lord of the Rings 1-3 - General Comments and Observations
Raymond Edward's Tolkien biography
Profile Image for Glenn Sumi.
404 reviews1,493 followers
April 26, 2018
Herewith Some Notes On My Inaugural Journey Through The Second Volume Of Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings

Me after staying up all night reading The Two Towers

I liked The Fellowship Of The Ring , but this book made me love Tolkien’s Middle-Earth epic. Some of the writing is astonishing (see quotes below). The author handles various storylines – the fellowship has scattered, after all – gracefully. And after having two of its main characters (and their slimy guide) spend a lot of time climbing up a cliff, the book ends on one whopper of a cliffhanger.

• The Treebeard and Ent scenes are magical, if overly long. I love the ecological theme – destroying the countryside to fuel industry and war has consequences! – and the way the Ents are described.

Fewer songs and poems!, which means fewer songs and poems to read with eyes glazed over. With the exception of...

Sam's "Oliphaunt" poem: simply adorable. Here it is.

• Loved the Théoden transformation scene. And really, people trusted Gríma Wormtongue? Wasn't his, you know name, a clue to his character?



Saruman’s manipulative speech at Isengard, when he tries to use his evil wizard powers to win over Théoden et al: brilliantly written. Shame they had to cut down the exchange for the movie. And I love Saruman's coat-of-many-colours, which would have been too gaudy or campy for the film, I guess.

The Helm’s Deep battle wasn’t as sharply written as I expected. It went on forever and I had a hard time getting oriented. I was bored enough here to put the book down for a few days. (Now that I’m in partway through The Return Of The King, I think Tolkien’s battle-writing skills improved for the Minas Tirith fight.) Re: Helm’s Deep: Peter Jackson was smart to end the film with it.

Monologues. Now that we’ve met most of the major players, there are fewer of those “Hi, I’m X, son of Y, and here’s my story” passages.* But of course Gandalf gets one, cuz everyone needs to know what happened after he battled the Balrog in Moria, right? And I guess these monologues are meant to be stories told over firelight, good roasted food and mead. (People weren’t as distracted by things like social media back then.)

Shadowfax: I’m not even a horse lover, and I kinda fell in love with the gorgeous, noble steed, the pride of Rohan.

• It took some major cajones to go 200 pages without dealing with Sam and Frodo. Talk about keeping us in suspense! And while we're talkin’ Hobbits, Pippin gets way more to do than Merry in this book, including his scenes with that cool "seeing stone," the palantír.

Sméagol/Gollum. After all the stories other people told about him in Book One, we finally meet him, and... wow. He’s the work's single tragic character. I’m sure there are PhD theses about how he represents the dark or greedy side of human nature. (Frodo knows he has to accept him.) I suppose he could withstand a psychiatric diagnosis, too. Schizophrenic? Addict suffering from withdrawal? Whatever, he’s fascinating, and earns our suspicion, fear and also pity.

The writing. Nearing Mordor, after they’ve survived the spooky Dead Marshes, Frodo and Sam come to another landscape that’s as bleak and desolate as death itself:

Frodo looked round in horror. Dreadful as the Dead Marshes had been, and the arid moors of the Noman-lands, more loathsome far was the country that the crawling day now slowly unveiled to his shrinking eyes. Even to the Mere of Dead Faces some haggard phantom of green spring would come; but here neither spring nor summer would ever come again. Here nothing lived, not even the leprous growths that feed on rottenness. The gasping pools were choked with ash and crawling muds, sickly white and grey, as if the mountains had vomited the filth of their entrails upon the lands about. High mounds of crushed and powdered rock, great cones of earth fire-blasted and poison-stained, stood like an obscene graveyard in endless rows, slowly revealed in the reluctant light.

Introducing… Faramir, a brave man who knows how to speak, not just act! We’ve seen heroic warriors, funny Hobbits, gruff dwarves, arrogant wizards, and those damn elves deliver all their words with a mischievous twinkle. But Faramir impresses with the sheer nobility of his character. When he meets Sam, Frodo and Gollum, and learns to trust the first two, he delivers this lovely speech about war, honour and what he's doing all this for:

War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom.


Shelob-POV! No spoilers, but I love learning the backstory of this character. The way Tolkien sets up the finale, from the stairs of Cirith Ungol, the cave, the smells, etc., and then seeing everything from the character’s point of view? Just masterful.

Shagrat and Gorbag, the bickering orcs in the cave in the final pages. They’re minor characters, but I love their awesome names and their complaining about what to do. Sure, they dispense information we (and Sam) need to know, but they’re also drones kvetching about their jobs, as commonplace on Middle-Earth as on earth itself.

On to the finale, The Return Of The King!

---
* Spoke too soon. Now that I'm reading The Return Of The King, there are a bunch more people being introduced. And so many place names! Glad there won't be a Middle-Earth geography quiz afterwards.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
504 reviews361 followers
January 15, 2023
“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

So, war it must be for Frodo and company. But since the fellowship is broken, each must wage war in their own way against the dark lord, Sauron. Frodo must travel to Mordor with Sam to cast the ring to mount doom, and the rest must prepare for the battle against the Enemy's foul servants.

This is the middle book if you take the trilogy as a series. But story wise, it is the continuation of the adventures of Frodo and the company. The key features here are the sad demise of Boromir, the return of Gandalf (who was lost in Moria) the "white", and the fall of Saruman (which filled me with glee!). We meet some interesting characters here whose roles will be seen in full capacity in the next stage. King of Rohan (Theoden) who was released from the clutches of Saruman by Gandalf, Eomer, the Marshal of Rohan, Faramir of Gondor (Boromir's brother), and Lady Eowyn of Rohan are but only introduced. Their parts are set for the final stage.

The Two Towers is a story in the middle. It's only a continuation of what began in The Fellowship of the Ring. When a story is neither the beginning nor an ending, but only the middle, it may lessen the interest of the readers. But Tolkien, with his brilliant storytelling, makes the continuing adventures of the fellowship so engaging and interesting that one forgets that this is only a part of the story. I've mentioned this in my review of The Fellowship, and I repeat it here. Tolkien is one brilliant storyteller. And he writes absolutely beautifully. His words are a treat to read. I was particularly struck here by Tolkien's ability to bring the setting to life. It's overwhelming. So beautifully he describes them that one is completely transported into the scene. I especially enjoyed how Tolkien painted the picture of the dark and menacing Mordor, the land of the Enemy, the land that must not be named! And here too, like in The Fellowship, the cinematic quality he brings to the story with his words is alluring.

Reading this was like going on a fantastic journey, every step being interesting and enjoyable, and no moment feeling tired or bored. It is a rare feat to achieve especially in a middle book like this. And Tolkien has attained the feat with ease I would say. He is a literary genius, no doubt there.

Before winding up, I'd like to add a little personal tidbit here. I live in a condo and from my pantry window, I see (a little bit far off) another condo. From my vantage point, it looks like a tower. And since its entrance is facing the west from my view, I can only see its side. From the top of this condo, one strong light emanates at night (I don't know what the source is). So, when I look at it at night what I can see is a sharp but dismal light against a dark tower which reminds me of the "Barad-dûr" (the Dark Tower) of Mordor and the Eye of Sauron! :) :) It's a view I never forget to watch every day. :) I even show my non-reading family this "Dark Tower of Sauron" to their utter confusion! :) Having nonreading fellows around you can be amusing too!
Profile Image for Brian .
413 reviews5 followers
May 4, 2022
2020: I noticed the two curses placed on Gollum, from Frodo and Faramir, foreshadowing the end, and wonder if Tolkien intended this as prophecy or irony. Also, Sam asks Frodo about Gollum, hero or foe. It's an interesting question: evil but he accomplished the task that saved Middle Earth. The energy and ecstasy, the desire to never leave this world, the reality of the characters. Overwhelmed again, like reading from a different mind. The descriptions of evil horrified me, so vivid and pure, unadulterated. Shelob bubbling and growling and the stench. A movie can't touch this. Wow. Also, a theme I see this time. Innocence. The entire universe holds the theme of lost innocence, the deep sadness you feel as reality within. Lost forever, only a memory fading and sailing away. You see it in the relationship of Frodo and Sam, that brotherly, pure love, like children. Still the best.

2019 Update:
Seventh Read. Reading the history of Numenor this year, and reading about the wraiths, how they were fallen kings, stood out to me. Seven reads, and the magic remains. Such a spiritual masterpiece. I consider Tolkien my literary father, or grandfather. I realized this as I listened to him read his work on YouTube. The feeling came to me then. I also realized Frodo believed his companions had all failed, along with Gandalf, and he had resolved to do it alone, to rely on his strength and Sam and not on anyone else. That thought, though untrue, strengthened his resolve.

2017 (18) Update:
Sixth read, best yet. I caught something to figure out. We leave Saruman to Sauron, who believed he saw Frodo in the palantir. He sent winged Nazgul to follow up, but I don't recall hearing anything more of it.
I found the summaries enthralling, and am embarrassed to admit I finally found the passage explaining the title. He gives great summaries explaining history, and explains Sarumans Tower copies Saurons, as they both had been set up in better times.
The fight with Shelob scared me and the hand to hand combat made me realize Tolkien must have known this from war experience, and I realized this little Hobbit from nothing and nowhere defeated an evil thing of dark nobility from ancient times.
And the feeling, the burning pleasure! What a gift to humanity! Thank God for Tolkien's work and life!

2016 Update

I'm grateful I abandoned the movies. The book reads in a different way, yet I feel the movies present a dazzling and significant interpretation. The books start to take on an earthy, ancient feel.

I also experienced some personal revelations for my life, and a glimpse of the spiritual nature of the book, and of Tolkien. In the book, Sam holds up the Phial of Galadriel against Shelob: "And then his tongue was loosed and his voice cried in a language which he did not know...." That describes the biblical event of speaking in tongues, from "Acts." Tolkien's Christian influences breaking through.

I felt the time spent with Faramir paced slow and dragged on; my thoughts threatened to wander, but it provides a backdrop for the rest of the masterpiece.

Frodo felt a coldness in his arm spreading to his heart when the Rider flew over him. His world blackened and his thought patterns turned negative and despairing. This made me realize some of my own thought patterns have been inspired by some form of darkness, within or without, and I need to abandon these patterns.

This year I went through a divorce. I've often wondered at my life, at the pointlessness of some things, and wonder what God is thinking, putting me through some of the destructive and pointless things I've experienced. I sat on break, at work pondering this story a couple days ago. Another important character manifests in this book. Tolkien introduced this Being in The Silmarillion. Middle-Earth calls him Illuvitar. I see his influence in this story, although not once does JRRT mention the name. Can you imagine the reaction of the council, if they had planned it this way? "Okay, so Gandalf will need to die. Boromir, you'll need to die too, and Aragorn, you'll need to be absent while two Hobbits split the party and need rescued. Frodo, you and Sam need to go into The Land of Shadow alone, to face wild beasts and threat of exposure, without a guide and only on your tiny little strength. Sorry, it just has to be this way, everyone." Elrond and the rest would have laughed at this, yet it turned out to be the best plan, although the most foolish. Some things happen in life we don't understand, but a hidden Person works things out we don't understand. He does it so our Saurons and Morgoth don't understand the battle plan either. He does it for a greater purpose, to bring about some greater good, and to reward us for our effort and suffering. That describes how I see things in my version of spirituality. I'm more impressed with Tolkien's depth every year. Only a forty year effort could produce such a masterpiece.

2015 Update

I didn’t expect this, but my fourth read thrilled me more than the last three. I found nothing to criticize here. I believe my reading skills have strengthened this year because I’ve increased my daily reading and writing. Where I would wander in my mind before, I find I can follow the words into deeper descriptions. The imagery in this book transports the mind into a real place. No movie can do this. I’ve experienced utmost pleasure in these pages, and have closed the book at night wanting to dream and go there again.

I noticed something about Gandalf in this fourth journey. In the first book, although I didn’t mention it in the previous 2015 review, Gandalf seemed to be a grumpy old worn out man, using his wisdom and intelligence to shut everyone else down. He disagreed with everything people said and corrected them. I never noticed that before. Then he fell into shadow. [SPOILER – SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS OR SEEN THE MOVIES.] In the second book he reappears, and he has changed. He has been renewed, and has more joy, more confidence and charisma, like he took a long nap and feels better. I never noticed this change until this read. I like Gandalf the White better than the Gray. He treats people nicer and he doesn’t act as grumpy.

Tolkien has a strong ability to describe settings and create mood. When the mind follows his words, they seem to bring this reader into a trance. Writers have mentioned being entranced by the writing process. What incredible talent to put the reader in a trance. How does Tolkien do it? How many times will I read before I see it? His trilogy puts a kind of spell over me. I feel it, literally feel…something…when I read. Perhaps he organizes his word patterns in a way or manipulates the language. I don’t know, but I have never experienced this with any other book quite the same way. I feel he literally takes me into this other world.

2014 Review

The beauty and history of middle earth is introduced through a snapshot of that history in the War of the Ring. Rohan is introduced to the reader. Eowyn, Eomer, Faramir, King Theodin, Saruman and Wormtongue come onto the scene. The Ents have a meeting with the Hobbits and tear apart Isengard. The book is wonderful, as the history goes as deep as the roots of the Guardians of Fangorn. Every character has depth and personality, history, and inner struggles. I fell in love with every one of them.
Profile Image for Carlos.
99 reviews84 followers
September 3, 2021
En mi opinión, aquí es donde empieza lo duro y la acción de esta travesía. La comunidad del anillo es una introducción de la trama, en sentido de organización, introducción de personajes, etc. Sin embargo, aquí es cuando la cosa se pone más densa, cuando las cosas poco a poco se van transformando en algo cada vez más infernal. Aquí es cuando la comunidad comienza a tener problemas: caen en trampas, tienen riesgo de morir, y están forzados a sacar sus mejores habilidades de supervivencia.
Aparte de todo esto, es cuando los personajes comienzan a crear lazos de amistad... unos más que otros (lo que es normal), pero aquí es cuando ya se arma todo el equipo y, por lo menos yo, comienzo a tomar cariño a los personajes.
Es bastante hilarante imaginarse cómo va cambiando Gandalf, cómo Gollum tiene cada vez más protagonismo en el libro, y cómo se va desarrollando a través de la historia.
¡Uf! Simplemente es maravilloso leer un libro e imaginarse tantas cosas mientras se lee. Esa es la magia de leer: crear tus propias escenas mientras vas leyendo una historia.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
June 8, 2012
Tolkien did not design The Lord of the Rings to be read as three separate books. However, since the book is flawless, there is just no boring moment. Even if you chop it further to 6, 12 or 24 books, I think all of them deserve 5 stars. I am not a big fan of fantasy genre but this one is just over the top. It is about good vs. evil and the nature of evil. With a universal theme like that, the non-stop action, the memorable characters, the extricate design of the fictional world, Middle-Earth and the lyrical prose, Tolkien wrote a book that will outlive all of us here on earth.

The story begins with the four hobbits separated into two, Frodo and Sam who will later meet Gollum on their way to Mordor and Merry and Pippin lost in Fangorn and later meeting the Treebeard and the rest of the Ents. This is after the death of Boromir who is one of the members of the Fellowship (Book 1). He is killed by the Orcs after his attempt to steal the ring from Frodo and Sam. If Book 1 was mostly about the four hobbits, in this Book 2, Tolkien put them on a sideline and the focus here is the Fellowship fighting the Orcs. For most of the story in this book, the hobbits are at the sideline. They only came into action when the Ents with Merry and Frodo on top of Treebeard are destroying the first tower where Saruman resides: ORTHANC. Then the other two, Frodo and Sam battle with Shelob on their way to the second tower, CIRITH UNGOL where the other villainous wizard, the ultimate evil, Sauron lives.

So, the two bad wizards stay in those two towers overlooking the Middle-Earth. Some crazy people say that the title "Two Towers" is a metaphor for two penises and there is a homosexual relationship between Frodo and Sam. Go to hell, I tell them. The book is so good and the movie is at par so please spare these works of art from your shallowness. I pity these people for not being able to appreciate good literature.

On to Book 3. I am hoping that the third and final book will be as exciting as the two. Tolkien, sir, you are just so brilliant I'd like to open your grave and kiss your hands as a sign of my admiration and respect for you sir. There is just no other fantasy writer like you. Although I enjoyed The Game of Thrones and has a plan of reading the series where it belongs, A Song of Ice and Fire, I am sure that despite George Martin having the hindsight advantage, still your LOTR is better. I will not even say that yours is original. That could mean that his is better and yours are just the original. All of their works will not be able to top yours. Yours is simply incomparable and will always be better than all of their works. LOTR cannot be outranked. It will always be THE BEST epic high fantasy. Ever.
Profile Image for Dream.M.
424 reviews91 followers
September 7, 2022
دوبرج رو درحالی تموم کردم که گمونم بخاطر خوردن تخمه کدوی فاسد مسموم شدم و یه حال عجیب شبیه مستی و چتی بی کیفیت دارم. بعد از تموم شدن کتاب رفتم سراغ اطلس سرزمین میانه و خب! خدا به دادم برسه. دنیای تالکین یجوریه که هرچی بیشتر واردش میشی بیشتر نمیفهمیش. نقشه ها رو مرور کردم و بعد خواستم با اتکا به حافظه افتضاح ام بین سیلماریلیون و اطلس و سریال حلقه های قدرت ارتباط شناختی برقرار کنم و تصویر ذهنیم رو کامل کنم که تهش رسیدم به فیلم سینمایی اش. [آه آقای تالکین! کاش من یه گاو بودم که توی سرزمین میانه درحال چریدنه. ]
خب. جذاب ترین بخش این کتاب برای من جاییه که گالوم وارد داستان میشه. اون حرص و طمع و بیچارگیش خیلی همدلی منو برمی انگیزه. و بعد داستان شلوب که فرودو رو نیش زد، چون ایشون از نوادگان همون عنکبوتی هستن که توی سیلماریلیون باعث خشک شدن دو درخت خورشید و ماه میشه. میدونید این کتاب های تالکین یجوری ان که آدم حجم انبوهی از داستان و شخصیت ها رو توی ذهنش داره ولی نمیتونه برای کسی درست و سرراست تعریف کنه که چی از کجا به کجا رسیده ، چون به شدت پیچیده، تو در تو و گیج کننده است. الان من تا همینجا هم که نوشتم مغزم گره خورده. تا یادم نرفته این موضوع رو هم درمورد کتا�� بگم.
عنوان دو برج این کتاب، به ​​ترتیب به بارادور و اورتانک، دژ محکم سائورون در موردور و ارگ سارومان در ایزنگارد اشاره داره که هردو نمادی از دو نوع شر درونی و بیرونی ای هستن که در تمام داستان ارباب حلقه ها جریان داره.
بارادور همیشه و از همون ابتدا مکان شروری بوده چون سائورون خودش اون رو ساخته و تنها هدفش از خلق اون برج این بوده که ازش به عنوان پناهگاهی استفاده کنه که از چشم بزرگش که برای تماشا و منحرف کردن سرزمین میانه بوجود اومده، مراقبت کنه. از طرف دیگه،برج اورتانک خیلی قبل از تولد سارومان وجود داشته.  توی سیلماریلیون اومده که اورتانک توسط اربابان باستانی گوندور ساخته شده بوده، قلعه ای که «تا مدت‌ها زیبا بود» و بعد از این که سارومان اون رو به محلی برای ارتش شیطانی اورک هاش تبدیل کرد، تبدیل به محلی بدبو، بیابانی و جهنمی شد. توی سریال حلقه های قدرت قسمت دوم، اگر اشتباه نکنم هنوز برج اورتانک رو نساختن.
...
خب اینم از این. گوش دادن به این کتاب تجربه خیلی خوبیه واقعا. خیلی پیشنهاد میکنم.
راستی من چرا کتابای ارباب حلقه هارو ندارم؟؟؟
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
615 reviews4,243 followers
July 15, 2022
"It's like in the great stories, Mr Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end... because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing... this shadow. Even darkness must pass."

The second volume in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers focuses on the disintegration of the Fellowship, as Frodo and Sam go off on their separate journey towards Mordor whilst Merry and Pippin are taken captive by some Orcs. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli decide that they will attempt to pursue and rescue Merry and Pippin.

As a child, The Two Towers was always my favourite movie, and I think I used to say it was my favourite book too, but as I've gotten older my favourite movie is now The Return of the King. I'm still unsure as to whether my favourite book will change as well, we'll soon see! I loved this reread though, there's so many great quotes and events jammed into The Two Towers, but I do have my complaints too.

Firstly, the positives! My eyes brim with proud tears as I reflect over how Aragorn has grown - it is in The Two Towers that he really starts to demonstrate his leadership skills at the Battle of the Hornburg. You can quite literally see me standing at the sideline waving my huge Aragorn flag. MAKE THIS MAN KING. I fear that every LOTR review will basically just be me rambling on how about how much I love Aragorn, but the heart wants what it wants.

Another positive - in the second half of the book we get so much Gollum and that greatly pleases me. He is such an incredible character that no scene can possibly be boring when he's there. He cracks me up by how he constantly refers to Frodo as the good master, whereas Samwise is the nasty one! We've already observed how strong and brave Samwise is, and that's built upon in this volume, where at times he literally carries and drags Frodo onwards in their journey. Also *potential spoiler alert* the scene where he thinks Frodo is dead and decides that he'll carry on with the mission of destroying the ring... MY HEART. Samwise just wants to be at home with his feet up, but here he is, with the whole weight of Middle Earth on his shoulders.

Also, young Johann was a complete moron. I used to complain all the time about how much I hated the Ents and how those chapters were so boring that I wanted to cry. It's strange to observe how your reading tastes change as you get older, because I was ALL OVER those chapters this time around. The Ents are awesome! You also can't talk about The Two Towers without referring to Shelob's lair. I find that chapter so uncomfortable and unsettling to read, because... spiders, man. But the tension and dread that Tolkien builds is terrifying.

I guess my main problem with this book is the separation of the two storylines into Book 3 and Book 4. I mean, we don't get to see what Sam and Frodo are up to until halfway through, and then that also means we don't get to check in with Aragorn etc for the remainder of the book. I personally am not a fan of this, I'd rather we moved back and forth between the two storylines, because I start to miss characters when I don't get to see them for a while. And dare I say it, but it meant the second half of the book can slightly boring at times... it's just Sam and Frodo walking basically - but thank god for Gollum!

If you had to force me to chose, I would perhaps rank The Two Towers over the Fellowship. I think. Gah, this is too difficult! But I'm really intrigued to see how I feel after my reread of Return of the King. This one, however, gets 5 stars out of 5! It's sad that my journey through Middle Earth is coming to an end soon, but we can always go back, can't we?

Reread July 2022. 4.5 stars. Still love this book but maybe my least favourite!
Profile Image for Alialiarya.
154 reviews21 followers
September 6, 2022
فرزندم قرار است ارباب حلقه‌های تالکین را با کتاب‌هایش به یاد بیاورد یا فیلم‌هایش؟ شاید هم سریال‌اش... یا احمق پدرسگ کلا قرار نیست با ارباب حلقه‌ها آشنا شود؟


هدیه دادن ارباب حلقه‌ها به نوجوانان از بهترین هدایایی‌ست که می‌توان در میان شکل‌گیری شخصیت اهدا کرد. بنظرم مهم‌ترین دیالوگ کتاب‌های ارباب حلقه‌ها آن‌جایی‌ست که آراگورن می‌گوید: تصمیم گندالف(برای مبارزه) بر مبنای پیش‌بینی سلامت خودش یا دیگران نبود. کارهایی هست که دست زدن به آن‌ها بهتر است از سرباز زدن، هرچند که فرجامش حزن‌انگیز باشد. در این راه چند ساله ادبیات ژانرخوانی که از خود تالکین شروع شد و امروز دوباره به آن بازگشته‌ام تنها نکته‌ی ثابت این است که ارباب حلقه‌ها تمام و غایت ادبیات ژانر برای من است. روایت تالکین در اوج هیجان و شخصیت‌های فراموش ناشدنی‌اش درباره‌ی ماهیت ظلم و مبارزه است. چگونه انسان، رفاقت و نور می‌تواند با وجود تمامی سختی‌ها و مشقت‌ها بر تاریکی بر روح ویران‌گر چیره شود. نمی‌خواهم بگویم هر اثر ژانری باید حرف‌های مهمی بزند که احمقانه است. اما ارباب حلقه‌ها می‌تواند بدون آن‌که به روایت زیبایش خدشه‌ای وارد شود حرف‌های بزرگی بزند. مبارزه با ظلم سخت و مرگ‌بار است و به تنهایی امکان ندارد. مبارزه با ظلم با نگاهی به پایان خوش ممکن نیست. این عایدی من از تالکین است. عایدی من از حلقه
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
275 reviews455 followers
November 17, 2020
"The wise speak only of what they know,"
"Dawn is ever the hope of men,"

That settles it. I'm going to stop watching any more movies, not until I've read the book. It's not that I have anything against the movie, for I love it, it's just that I couldn't help but picture most scenes as they appeared in the movie. How different it would've been if I were to read this first, I wonder.

"Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end."

As the lay of the land for middle earth was perfectly laid out by Tolkien already - in both The Hobbit, and then in Fellowship - what he have here is, unlike its predecessors, a sequence of fast-paced, action-packed continuation of the journey. This one eventful book which is impossible to get bored with. Unlike The Fellowship, here the story is twofold (or if I understood correctly, they are actually two different books). And there were some major changes from the movie too.

"Rede oft is found at the rising of the Sun."

It's hard to imagine one starting the series with this book: you've either read both The Hobbit and The Fellowship, or at least the latter. So, I believe, there's no need to spoil the book by narrating the event themselves. You're going to enjoy the engaging narrative of Tolkien, which just keeps getting better.

'Galadriel! Galadriel!
Clear is the water of your well;
White is the star in your white hand;
Unmarred, unstained is leaf and land
In Dwinmordene, in Lórien
More fair than thoughts of Mortal Men.'

"What's taters, precious, eh, what's taters?"
Profile Image for Gillian.
100 reviews119 followers
December 21, 2022
This was a brilliant and epic fantasy about power, friendship, bravery in the face of challenges. The Two Towers follows Frodo and his champions as he continues his journey to destroy the powerful ring. During their journey Frodo and his champions face many hardships as well as make new alliances.

I really enjoyed this book! It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I once completely swept away into this brilliant and epic world. The world building was excellent, the world is so unique and detailed. The author spent a great deal of time introducing and describing the interesting world. I enjoyed learning about the lands, languages and unique people in this world including elves, hobbits, Ents (tree people), dwarves, wizards and more. The characters are each so complex and face their own challenges along the way. My favorite characters are Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn, and Legolas. Aragorn is charming, kind, strong, and brave. Sam is loyal, kind, brave and resilient. Gandalf is wise, helpful, and powerful. Legolas is awesome, brave and strong. I really liked the new characters we were introduced to especially Treebeard. I loved the banter between Legolas and Gimli, it added comedic relive to the the darker scenes. The character development was excellent, I really enjoyed learning more about each character and seeing all sides of them. The author is a great writer and the writing is ver descriptive. The ending was so good and action-packed. I can’t wait to read the next book!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, excellent world building and interesting characters!
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 28 books13.4k followers
December 24, 2017
Rereading The Lord of the Rings in German is an interesting exercise; as usual, not knowing the language well and being forced to go slowly makes me notice aspects I missed or skipped over on earlier visits. Two things in particular stood out. First, and I guess this comes from first being exposed to Tolkien at age 10, I had somehow managed to block out the fact that Frodo is obviously gay. I outlined this theory for my friend E, who shares my passion for Scandinavian languages and Middle Earth lore, and she was sceptical: she thought homosexuality wasn't part of Tolkien's universe. But to me, the case is pretty solid. Frodo has no interest in women whatsoever, and there's never any suggestion that he might. He does however have tender feelings for Sam, which are reciprocated. The scene on the stairs of Cirith Ungol, where Gollum sees him resting his head in Sam's lap, is quite moving.

The other thing, which I think I saw before without really seeing it, is the extent to which the bearers of the Three Rings - Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf - are controlling the action. Their thoughts are always on Frodo, guiding and helping him, and they can see far, both in space and in time. On several occasions, when Frodo is on the point of succumbing to the power of the Ring, Gandalf is able to rescue him. And when Galadriel meets him in Lórien, and she says that the fate of the Quest hangs by a hair, I think she can already foresee the whole continuation, and she knows how very difficult it will be. Everything depends on Frodo's being able to show mercy to Gollum, because he will play a crucial role at the ultimate moment; but, for reasons that are never explained, neither she nor Gandalf can tell him why. It is a pity that so many aspects of the background were exposed when the Silmarillion was published after Tolkien's death, since they revealed too much of the mystery, but it is still quite adequately mysterious.

I think people underestimate Tolkien's skill. This is a book you can read many times, and you'll always find something new.
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,200 followers
February 3, 2016
The Two Towers suffers from the Jan syndrome. It's the middle child, and one that wasn't even meant to exist. Tolkien didn't intend The Lord of the Rings to be a trilogy, but rather one whole book, so inevitably the second volume was doomed to have no true beginning nor a satisfying finish.

When I first read it as a teen I didn't enjoy it much at all, and it's still not my favorite of the three, but having read it again recently I warmed to it. It provides an admirably strong bridge between the first and last book, while including some very memorable moments and revealing interesting background details. Who could forget the Ents or the creepy Dead Marshes? The fight with Shelob was quite exciting. The struggle with Saruman and the Battle at Helms Deep is a great primer for things to come.

All of these things and more are sometimes forgotten when comparing the quality of the three books side by side. Personally I love the first book when the four hobbits are on their own in the Old Forest, evading black riders and picking their perilous way through the Barrow Downs. And of course the final book is the satisfying pay off with the added bonus of all those info-laden appendixes, great for the hearty fan.

The Two Towers may not get its due, but it is a fine book.

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Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
1,966 reviews1,386 followers
September 18, 2021
First Read: December 2018, Rating: 5/5 stars
Second Read: September 201, Rating: 5/5 stars


I'm looking forward to completing this infamous trilogy but I'm putting it off as I seem to be unable to say goodbye to these beloved characters.

In my review for The Fellowship of the Ring I stated that my familiarity with the film acted as a barrier, in some areas, when it differed from the original book it was based upon. However, it also helped me to bond with all the many elves and dwarves and hobbits, and it is now impossible to view them as anything other than the beloved actors who play them. The same could definitely be said for book two.

I loved how the adventures progressed and the darkness encroached here. Much death, many battles, and tense scenes featured. The characters were faced with both new and returning enemies and their mission seemed a hopeless one at many different junctures. However, their hearts remained pure and they continued on, regardless.

I enjoyed every actions scene. It was the fleeting moments of happiness and joy, in amongst the descending gloom and approaching evil, and the formed friendships and loyal individuals, who were often surrounded by unspeakably sinister entities, that made this story a timelessly beloved one though.
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