Wednesday, September 04, 2013

LOTR Reread Highlights: The Two Towers

SPOILERS ahead for those who haven't read the book and/or seen the movie.

Without further ado, what stood out for me on this reread:

  • In The Two Towers the members of the fellowship, especially Merry and Pippin first come in close encounter with the Orcs. No matter how ugly, disgusting and horrible the Orcs as depicted by Tolkien are, there is one thing that makes them even more horrendous in the movies: their voices. I couldn't help but remember them as I was reading The Two Towers. If you need a reminder of how they sound, see this post I wrote a while back.
  • Théoden's words to Saruman:

"Even if your war on me was just – as it was not, for were you ten times as wise you would have no right to rule me and mine for your own profit as you desired…"

          It is an important thing to keep in mind, especially nowadays when the survival of the fittest seems once more again the principle that rules the world and the strong and powerful dismiss the poor and the weak. These words are a reminder that as human beings those who are wiser, stronger and richer than others do not have the right to trod upon the less fortunate but should show consideration and solidarity.

  • I love Treebeard's idea of names growing over time, being the stories about people's and things' existence.
  • And as always, Gollum provided some food for thought. For example, the moment when Gollum watches sleeping Frodo under Cirith Ungol and he looks like "an old weary hobbit […], an old starved pitiable thing" and then Sam catches him at it and accuses him of sneaking, and Gollum, offended, pushes away the last bit of goodness left in him. It makes me wonder about how thin a line between someone staying good or turning evil is and how little is necessary for one to cross it. Setting aside the fact that Gollum actually did plan to betray them and that his betrayal was crucial for the final (good) outcome, it makes me question whether he would have done the same if Sam had not sort of pushed him over that last, however low, limit. More importantly, it makes me think of how much one might contribute with the smallest word or action to someone else's choice between good and evil (or anything, really). We can argue that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own choices and actions, but as we are all responsible for our own doings, we are also responsible for how what we do might influence other people and their deeds.

And with that I should end my philosophising.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with any of what I've said? Do you have any favourite parts of The Two Towers that you would like to share?

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