The Two Towers Section 2

Orthanc-lee "'Not this way, master!' he pleaded. 'There is another way. O yes indeed there is. Another way, darker, more difficult to find, more secret. But Smeagol knows it. Let Smeagol show you!'"
Welcome back everyone to the Lord of the Rings Read-A-Long. We(as a group) now continue the reading of the The Two Towers, the second book of the epic classic of Lord of the Rings. Below are the discussion question that your truly decided to ask for the whole group to answer with their thoughts. You can also add other remaining thoughts after the questions as well.
This week it was Carl from Stainless Steel Dropping turn to ask the questions. I thought that he found and though up some great question for the group to answer. It was nice for him to join the Question Crew for The Two Towers and beyond.

What Other Bloggers Thought:
 Little Red Reviewer
Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
All Booked Up
Stainless Steel Droppings
Lynn’s Book Blog
Book Den 
Passages of the Pen 
Remember to post your discussions no earlier than this Saturday, and if you're on twitter use #LOTRreadalong.  Here are this week's questions:
1.  The Glittering Caves of Aglarond; Fangorn Forest:  Which of the two would you be most excited to visit once the war was over? 
For me this is a tough one. I am a fan of both forest and caves. When I was in grade school, I was privileged enough to be able to visit Monmoth Cave down in Kentucky. We did not get the chance to really get to know the Glittering Caves. There would be a great chance that I would pick the Glittering Caves as my after the war visit…well as long I make to that point at least.

2.  How did you like the reunion of at least part of the fellowship at Isengard?  Did any part of it stand out to you?
I did think that was great for part of the Company the to tell the other what their side of the quest has gone so far. As well as how the did get to Isegard in the first place. It aslo thought that it was kind of neat that the hobbits were in ill prepared conditions for company. It just shows that hobbits are always wanting to entertain thier guests regardless where they may be at the moment.
The part that really stood out to me was what Ents did to Isegard to wipe out Saurmans Army of Orcs and other villians of evil were flooded out by the Treebeard and Company. I can still see Treebeard doing this in the movie adaptation by Peter Jackson.
3.  What are your thoughts about Galdalf's confrontation with Saruman?
This confrontation reminded me so much of Star Wars. Why would it remind me of a space opera. The fact, that first Saurman offered his hand to Gandalf and together they would finish this war together. Then after that Gandalf offered Saurman a way out of his melicious ways by allowing him a way out, but under certain stipulations.
There was plenty of other people imvoled that were nervous throughout this confrontation. They were wondering what was going to really happen in the end. In the end Saurman’s pride and greed for power was just to much to give up.

4.  We learn a great deal about the Palantir in this section.  How do you feel about Saruman given Gandalf's speech about the use of the Palantir?  Would you, like Pippen, be tempted to look in to see what you could see?
I think that I would have been with Pippen and wonder what you can really see in the Palantir. I am not sure i would go to the lenth that Pippen did and take from Gandalf and tick him off in the process.
It sure interesting with the fact that he can see so much throughout Middle Earth. To the viewer, you see multiple events can create a false impression on the viewer.
5.  What are your thoughts about Smeagol/Gollum in this first part of his journey leading Frodo and Sam?  For those of you who've seen the film, are you hearing Andy Serkis in your head when you read Gollum's lines?
The parts where Gollum talks it is like taking with somebody that has a multiple personality disorder. Sometimes he is Smeagol and other times he is Gollum. Whatever his name is I would trust Gollum at all, but he has Frodo and Sam in a pickle. Due to the fact, that the two have no clue where they are going and what terrain is set before them. 
Yes, i hear Andy Serkis voice whenever Gollum speaks in the book. I can hear the voice and I laugh every so often just thinking back to the movie. There was much blood shed in the battles that were fought in the Marshes. It always seems that battle sites always have a story to be told.

6.  Sam and Frodo are not traveling in the most picturesque part of Middle-earth.  Which would you find worse, the seemingly impossible to leave mountains or the Dead Marshes?
I think that the worst part is the Dead Marshes. It just seems that a person or a group can get turned around in the marsh in a hurry. Not to mentions with the faces in the water. It is like going to Gettysburg or even an Indian Burial Ground. 
In this case the Dead Marches are no different, but the Marches seem to be haunted and those who are hypnotised by these lights. Then you can end up as one of the dead as well.
7.  Tolkien introduces us to a lot of places in this section of The Two Towers, many just getting a mention in passing.  What do you think of Tolkien's place names (Minas Morgul, Isengard, the Emyn Muil, and on and on)?  Do any stand out to you?  Are there any that you don't care for?
There are so many places that are mentioned through out the quest in this section of the jounrey. Sure would be interest to actually get know know more about all these wonderful place in Middle Earth. It seems that Tolkien likes to tease the reader in this part of the story.
The one place that stand out to me is Minas Tirith. I am not that sure why of all the places mentioned throughout the quest this is the one that stands out to me as much as it does. I did not get to see Return of the King. There were no places that I did not really care for though. I found out that every place in Middle Earth has a place in its history.
I would like to thank everyone for joining the LOTR Read-A-Long to Middle Earth with Andrea, Carl V and myself.


  1. Hi
    I'd forgotten about Gandalf offering a way out to Saruman - thanks for the reminder - he was really very gracious wasn't he? I'm not sure I would have been as forgiving after what Saruman had done! I felt at first that the reunion part was a bit low key but after reading everyone else's comments it has made me have a rethink - I think I probably read this section too quickly because I was behind. I particularly like one of the other comments about how Gimli, Aragorn and Legolas were almost in shock when they rode to Isengard and found Merry and Pippin sat happily smoking a pipe - after all their efforts and battles to try and rescue them they hadn't needed rescuing at all!
    Lynn :D

  2. I'm a fan of caves, too, but I've never been in one where I didn't have moments of panic.

    I was thinking I wouldn't have stolen the palantir from Gandalf just because I'm not sneaky, but not making Gandalf angry is a very good reason, too!

  3. You've been to Mammoth Cave? I'm totally jealous! What a cool place to visit! Maybe that's why I went for the forest, I've zero experience with caves IRL.

    I never thought about Gandalf and Saruman's conversation as being fairly space opera, but it is! or maybe George Lucas read LOTR? it does sound a bit "join me and we can rule the universe together!" and "let me help you and keep you from that path". . . or something. Two uber-powerful wizard better be careful, they could easily destroy most of the world in their fightings.

  4. I couldn't just pick one or the other, I had to go with "both". :)

    The ents part of the films is just amazing. It is one of the cases where I am glad I saw the films first because my imagination could not have done justice to Tolkien's ents the way Peter Jackson and crew did them justice.

    The Dead Marshes are an example of one of many great things about Tolkien. You get this brief description and mention of its history and your mind can just race off thinking about all that history, wondering about those wars and the evil that makes the corpses still look fresh.

    You haven't seen The Return of the King?!?! You have sooo got to see this when we are done reading the book.

    Minas Tirith will knock your socks off.

  5. @Lynn-I like your thought of the party think that they did not in fact needs to rescued whatsoever. They were with allies the whole time.

    @Jennifer-I am not that sneaky either, I am not Indiana Jones that is for sure. I would give it a shot even if it would set off Gandalf:)

    @Little Red Reviewer-I bet that it is a good possibility that George Lucas was enthralled while reading LOTR..lol

    @Carl V- I noticed that many people found that this question was the hardest to decide to where they would go post-war. I think I might buy the extended version set:)


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