Publisher’s Summary: The Two Towers is the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic saga, The Lord of the Rings.
The Fellowship has been forced to split up. Frodo and Sam must continue alone towards Mount Doom, where the One Ring must be destroyed. Meanwhile, at Helm’s Deep and Isengard, the first great battles of the War of the Ring take shape.
In this splendid, unabridged audio production of Tolkien’s great work, all the inhabitants of a magical universe – hobbits, elves, and wizards – spring to life. Rob Inglis’ narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio.
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If The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring can be said to have introduced both readers to the wonders of Middle Earth and the value of friendship in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds then the Two Towers takes those presumptions, examines the premise, shakes them and lets the remains fall to the ground.
For those who expect the Lord of the Rings trilogy to be a simple stroll through an imaginary landscape filled with simple moral tails then the second installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy will quickly disabuse them of that notion.
In this, the second part of Tolkien’s masterful trilogy the reader (or viewer if you prefer the lighter film version) will see the Hobbits and their human companions suffer setback after setback.
Firstly both Merry and Pippin, who had formed the irascible core of the questing party are captured by agents of Sauron and taken to be subjected to forced interrogation. Fortunately (and due in part to an enormous helping of Orc stupidity and luck) they escape only to fall into the hands of the Ents, sentient trees that have guarded the forests of Middle Earth from time immemorial.
It is now that Gandalf the Grey appears to the companions in his new guide as Gandalf the White.
Although the Ents are slow of thought, once they are moved to action by the realization that Sauron’s hordes pose a risk to the forests that they are sworn to protect they prove devastating to the armies of Saruman – an old friend and compatriot of Gandalf who has fallen prey to the lures of Sauron.
After the battle for Saruman’s fortress is over the companions are reunited and news reaches them that the Riders of Rohan, an essential part of their strategy to defeat Sauron have agreed to join their cause.
The journey of the Hobbits is by no means over and Samwise and Frodo now push onward to Mount Doom. They travel through lands that have been cursed with the spirits of long forgotten battles and they have to contend with the attentions of Gollum, who owned the ring and desperately wishes to be its owner once again. We see Gollum as a conflicted character who faces a psychology split between greed for the power of the ring and his growing concern for Frodo. The reader does not know whether to sympathize or treat this character with absolute abhorrence.
During the travels of the much reduced band Frodo and his companions meet Faramir, the brother of the departed Boromir who desired the ring for himself as he believed that it held the key to his people’s survival. This is a turning point as the band are met with suspicion but finally freed to resume their quest.
There follows an underground adventure where Frodo encounters the venomous Shelob, a gigantic spider who seeks to consume Frodo who has fallen prey to one of Gollum’s plans to seize the ring for himself.
Sam and Frodo are separated and the reader needs to delve into the final chapters of the trilogy to find if the band is able to dispose of the One Ring and save all that they hold dear and ensure that Middle Earth remains a land of safety and enchantment.