J.R.R. Tolkien Epic Reads discussion

The Two Towers > Book 3 chapters 1-4

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Eileen (new)

Eileen | 89 comments Well I'm going to start working on the rest of this stuff, mostly out of sheer boredom.

Chapter 1: The Departure of Boromir

Chapter 2: The Riders of Rohan

Chapter 3: The Uruk-hai

Chapter 4: Treebeard

message 2: by James (new)

James Mullen | 102 comments In the past, I've always rushed through book 3 in a hurry to find out what Frodo and Sam are doing. Reading it slowly has been interesting. "The Departure of Boromir" is an interesting chapter. It feels so odd to have Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli stop in the middle of a high action situation to give Boromir a proper funerary send-off.

They're in a hurry to follow the orcs and rescue Merry and Pippin, they're in a hurry to find Frodo and Sam, they need to decide where to go next... and they stop to cut boughs, lay Boromir out in the boat with his weapons and his enemies', then sing three verses in his honor. It is almost surreal.

It always bothered me that Aragorn and Legolas could improvise a poem so quickly, but it seems more likely that it is meant to be a common style of poetry said over the fallen, that they adapt on the fly. It has also been nice to read that poem carefully and realize how well written it truly is. Many times I've struggled to find any rhythm to it while reading, but I didn't this time. I think because I didn't rush myself this time, and in slowing down found the rhythm of the verse. I still need to read chapter two, and I'm looking forward to it.

message 3: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 61 comments It was a cultural skill. When you need to lament the dead on a moment's notice, you learn how.

It does probably help to have stock of suitable metaphors and rhymes in memory.

message 4: by Eileen (new)

Eileen | 89 comments Also a ranger who was in Gondor in his youth. Aragorn may have learned the tradition for their fallen warriors during his time there. So the poem for Boromir being made up so quickly could also stem from that.

message 5: by James (new)

James Mullen | 102 comments I'm finishing up the 4th chapter (I know, I'm way behind...) and about once a page, at least, I notice a line or two that are simply beautiful. I have to stop and roll them off my tongue once or twice to let them sink in.

Tolkien has a gift for writing prose that scans as poetry. It is beautiful and enriches the experience of reading for me.

back to top