This is my June follow-up post for LOTR Read-Along hosted by Lorren at The Story Girl. It includes SPOILERS.
The War of the Ring begins in the West. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli help the Rohirrim in the Battle at Helm’s Deep, and Merry and Pippin make friends with the Ents. Together they remove the threat of Saruman.
Tolkien’s depiction of the battle is epic and detailed, and the readers feel as if they were watching it from close by. There are some great symbolic events, let me just point out the cleansing of Isengard by water of the river Isen. The purifying power of water is another Christian trait Tolkien uses in his work.
Meanwhile, the real Quest continues in the East. Frodo and Sam journey to Mordor. And since they would not get far on that part of the journey without Gollum, I, insolent as I am (*she winks*), think it best to let Gollum describe the journey by himself. I think it would sound somewhat like this:
¨We’ve caught up with them, my Precious, yess, we did. Those nassty thieves, thieves, they stole it, from us. We wants it back, we does, it’s ours, ours, my Precious. Cruel hobbits, they jumps on us like cats on poor mices, they hurt us, my Precious. We are so alone, and hungry, and they ties us, we knows they are cruel, they visit Elves, fierce Elves with bright eyes.
“Masster, kind Masster takes mercy on us. Nice hobbits, they don’t hurt us. We promise, we swear, we swear on the Precious. We swear to do what he wants, never to let Him have it.
“Sméagol helps, I take nice hobbits safely through the marshes, through nice thick mists. Sméagol is starving. He can’t eat hobbit food, dust and ashes, Elves made it, he can’t eat that.
“Then Wraiths came, Wraiths on wings, White Face shows us to them. Wraiths see us, they tell him everything. He sees, He knows. We are afraid. Must take the Precious. But we promised, we promised not to let him have it. If he gets the Precious, he will eat us all, gollum, gollum. Must take it. But not for Him. It’s ours, ours.
“The Black gate is closed, but we knows other, more secret way to Mordor. We come to nice land, we catch us nice food. The nassty, suspicious hobbit wants us to catch some food. We brings them rabbits, juicy young rabbits. Stupid fat hobbit cooks the rabbits, spoils nice meet.
“Tricksy hobbits, they find new friends, they leave us and go with their new friends. False Masster betrays us, gollum. We want some fish, only some fish for poor, hungry Sméagol, and they say death. Cruel Man asks questions we don’t want to answer.
“Nassty Men let us go. Nice Masster goes with us. We found it, we knows it, the path across the mountains. She is there, always hungry, she helps us. Gollum brings nice meat. When she throws away clothes and bones, perhaps we finds it, the Precious, gollum.
“They have lights, terrible lights. Curse them, gollum. The nasty suspicious hobbit fight us, jumps us with the sword, yes, my Precious. We run my Precious, but we will come back. We will find the Precious. It’s ours, ours, gollum.”
Have I overdone it?
Personally, I believe Gollum is one of the most fascinating characters Tolkien created. He is overcome with evil, but deep down inside him, there is still some good which resurfaces if given a chance. Gollum hates the Enemy and is afraid of him, therefore he would do anything to stop the Enemy from getting the Ring. Yet, the Ring’s command over him is so strong he cannot resist it. All he wants is to get back his Precious and this is what eventually leads his actions.
In the last part of The Two Towers, Tolkien introduces Faramir, one of my favourite characters in the book. Faramir is a friend to Frodo, found where the least expected. He is honourable, just, wise, and stronger in heart than his brother. He helps Frodo as much as he can.
Also, Tolkien puts another one of his beautiful settings in Ithilien. Hennenth Annȗn, a sanctuary of people of Gondor is a cave behind a waterfall, called Window of the Sunset. Through it one can see sparkling setting of the Sun and the Moon. This image is one of the last beautiful visions of the West before the War unleashes from the East.