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De Twee Torens
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De Twee Torens (1954)

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40,73225731 (4.39)1 / 504
Frodo and his companions of the ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the ruling ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They lost the wizard Gandalf in a battle in the Mines of Moria, and Boromir, seduced by the power of the ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape, the rest of the company was attacked by Orcs. Now they continue the journey alone down th great River Anduin ... alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.… (more)
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The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (1954)

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» See also 504 mentions

English (237)  Spanish (8)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  Polish (1)  Finnish (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (255)
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
277
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
Read in trilogy. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
It is a truth universally acknowledged that, no matter the state of your reading copies of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring will always be twice as beat-up looking as the other two books in the series.

The Two Towers is such a breath of fresh air after the sluggishness of Book I. Yeah, when I was younger the bits in Fangorn Forest felt a bit plod-y to me, too, but nowhere near as bad as the first half of Fellowship. This time, I raced through The Two Towers, even the part with Frodo and Sam, which I'd been dreading.

Most of my comments are going to go hand in hand with the Quote Roundup, but I will say that it's really in The Two Towers where (a) the lack of strong women characters and (b) the sheer number of times that something black is associated with evil started hitting me over the head like an iron skillet.

(a) Probably it's just because I already started The Return of the King before I started writing this, but...freakin' Bergil, the 10-year-old son of a guard of Minas Tirith, gets more backstory and interesting dialogue than Eowyn. And it's all the more infuriating because I've read The Silmarillion and I know how awesome Luthien and Galadriel were. Why couldn't we get more cool women actually doing things in The Lord of the Rings? Why not follow the Luthien-Beren pattern and have Arwen join Aragorn on his quest to fulfill her father's impossible demand? Why not let Eowyn demonstrate why she's a shieldmaiden? Aren't there any other shieldmaidens in Rohan? Why did the female Ents have to disappear? ARGH!

(b) With the exception of Saruman--who, it must be said, has a fantastic exchange with Gandalf about becoming a wizard "of many colors"--everything evil is described as black. Full stop. Not a synonym, not a comparison to something that's dark in hue, just the word "black." Seriously, even Gollum, who we're told is of the race that became hobbits, is described as "black" at one point. And yes, there are definite racial implications when it’s a person described (I think I've got some quotes below), but otherwise, it's just plain lazy. One thing I'm frustrated about with the book as a whole is that it is both simultaneously over-descriptive--we know all the plants in Ithelien, it seems--and under-descriptive--Faramir and his men are dressed in "green". Um...what shade of green, or black? What does anyone even look like? All the details seem to go into the landscape and, sometimes, the architecture, and even then, things are silver, gold, black, green, white, grey. Um, are there any other colors even mentioned? For such a richly imagined, deep-history world, I'm surprised to rediscover how thin it feels in places.

/endrant

I did enjoy The Two Towers more than The Fellowship of the Ring. We finally are feeling a sense of urgency, and major events are happening on a time scale of days rather than weeks or months. We're getting actual action between our pauses to learn more about the world, and it's not always confined to the last few pages of the chapter. We're not pausing in Lothlorien for almost a month! And hey, I don't know any last line more propulsive than the one in The Two Towers. I certainly wasn't able to pause for a review before diving after my copy of The Return of the King!

Quote Roundup
This edition keeps the page numbers flowing all the way through the three volumes, which is pretty neat.

p. 575) Why aren’t orcs included in Treebeard’s song about the peoples of the world? Why aren’t orcs considered “free peoples”?

p. 603) [Treebeard]: "We have a long way to go, and there is time ahead for thought. But it is something to have started. ... Of course, it is likely enough, my friends," he said slowly, "likely enough that we are going to our doom: the last march of the Ents. But if we stayed home and did nothing, doom would find us anyway, sooner or later. That thought has long been growing in our hearts; and that is why we are marching now. It was not a hasty resolve."
I'm reading way to much social commentary and recent history into everything this time through.

p, 619-620) "I thought Fangorn was dangerous."
"Dangerous!" cried Gandalf. "And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet [Even a balrog?], unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord. And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion."

p. 620) "Hope is not victory."
AMEN.

p. 649-650) I didn't remember that it was actually one of the king's advisors who suggested Eowyn to rule in Theoden's absence. She may not get a chance to show off why she's so loved and respected (argh, Tolkien...), but that's still pretty cool!

p. 666) Eomer and Aragorn leant wearily on their swords.
I...am not quite sure how to imagine this. Nothing I can picture meets the trifecta of safe, dignified, and not likely to damage their most important weapon. I mostly end up with irreverent images of them using their swords like fancy Victorian canes.

p. 684) And they saw that in the midst of the eyot [really obscure word for an islet in the middle of a river] a mound was piled, ringed with stones, and set about with many spears.
"Here lie all the Men of the Mark that fell near this place," said Gandalf.
And thus, in the years to come, did everyone downstream drink corrupted corpse water and get sick from the rotting-body-juice infusion. Good lord, Tolkien, don't you know anything about public health? Yuck!

p. 742) "Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves." - Gandalf
Are...are computers and social media our palantiri? Gasp!

p. 744) I really love Pippin in the book. He's so curious but he knows it, and he jokes about his endless questions here with Gandalf. They really did a disservice in the movie, making him a stupid punchline so many times.

p. 767) "You nasty treacherous creature. It's round your neck this rope ought to go, and a tight noose too."
Sam is pretty darn nasty himself. Yikes!

p. 822) A description of a killed Southron, a human soldier from the south coming to fight for Mordor, included some highly uncomfortable adjectives:
His black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood. His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword.
This is far from the only instance—the orc descriptions are also unsettling—but this one stood out to me.

p. 833) "If he [Boromir] were satisfied of Aragorn's claim [to the throne of Gondor], as you say, he would greatly reverence him. But the pinch had not yet come. They had not yet reached Minas Tirith or become rivals in her wars."
Faramir answers my disbelief that Boromir would just be happy to get any help he could get, even if it meant surrendering control of Gondor to a totally unknown claimant to the throne. Faramir, Faramir... A little too perfect of a character, to me.

p. 886) I won’t type it all out, but I do love Sam’s little speech about stories, and his winding from wondering if he would be in stories to realizing that he is in one already—and not just any story, but one tied to the great tale of Beren and Luthien, however distantly.

p. 901) And sometimes as a man may cast a dainty to his cat (his cat he calls her, but she owns him not) Sauron would send her prisoners that he had no better uses for: he would have them driven to her hole, and report brought back to him of the play she made.
Well, there’s quite a lot to unpack here. First of all, I totally didn’t remember that we get even one very close glimpse into the mind of Sauron. There isn’t a good character in the middle guessing at his thoughts, so we’re hearing straight up what he thinks. And…what we’re learning isn’t about his dark plans, it’s about (what he considers) his pet. Not just any pet, though: a giant spider-like monster that he thinks of as a cat, an independent and slightly indulgent creature that refuses to acknowledge him even though he’s keeping her alive by feeding her. Yep, that’s a cat! He even likes watching her play and hunt (indirectly). You know Sauron would have an Instagram account for Shelob.

p. 902) Then returning quickly to his long habit of secrecy…
Now here’s an interesting way to phrase something about one Samwise Gamgee. It honestly sounds a little…untrustworthy? What kinds of secrets is he keeping, and from whom? If it’s a long habit, how far back does it stretch? Does this go back as far as Sam’s spying on Frodo for Merry, Pippin, and Fatty in the Shire? Or does it go back even further? And it’s his habit, not their habit, which makes me think this is bigger than just his and Frodo’s need for stealth on their march toward Morder. Samwise is a far more deep and observant character than he lets on. He plays the servant so convincingly, but he really does take charge in the end…which is exactly why so many people advised Frodo to take someone he trusted on his journey. But honestly, I get the sense sometimes that Sam is even more subtle than Frodo, who’s so wrapped up in his lordly, hands-off ways that he ends up seeming pretty helpless at times. It makes me wonder if some of the class difference snobbery that Tolkien is criticized of is getting a little bit undermined—whether the author knew he was doing it or not. But really, while Merry and Pippin are from good families, Sam’s rise from a humble gardener to, eventually, mayor of the Shire, is a little bit of a blow to the order of things.

p. 918-919) One of my favorite parts of The Two Towers, the first time I read it, was this scene where the orcs/Uruks Gorbag and Shagrat hang back to gossip and complain and reveal that they really don’t want anything to do with this war—and they see much more than their masters probably want to, detecting trouble among the higher-ups. Really, it’s surprising how much Tolkien lets them seem sympathetic here.

p. 923) I find it very interesting that the orcs describe Frodo as “precious” to their masters. That word gets used so often in such a specific context that it’s hard to imagine this was just a coincidence on Tolkien’s part…though it makes little sense, when Frodo no longer has the ring with him.

And now back to The Return of the King! ( )
  books-n-pickles | Oct 29, 2021 |
Fantastic, for the 21st time. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Oct 27, 2021 |
J.R.R. Tolkien is an author who truly creates a world the reader can escape into. I love how detailed and complete his world is. These are books I have read and re-read many times and they continue to hold my interest and to offer me new details each time I dive into them. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
That 'The Lord of the Rings' should appeal to readers of the most austere tastes suggests that they too now long for the old, forthright, virile kind of narrative... the author has had intimate access to an epic tradition stretching back and back and disappearing in the mists of Germanic history, so that his story has a kind of echoing depth behind it...
 

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. R. R. Tolkienprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andersson, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beagle, Peter S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blok, CorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domènech, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horne, MatildeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inglis, RobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krege, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lauzon, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ledoux, FrancisTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marshall, RitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohlmarks, ÅkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsson, LottaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serkis, AndyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, DarrellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westra, Liuwe H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
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First words
Aragorn sped on up the hill. Every now and then he bent to the ground. Hobbits go light, and their footprints are not easy even for a Ranger to read, but not far from the top a spring crossed the path, and in the wet earth he saw what he was seeking.
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"Not asleep, dead".
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Disambiguation notice
J.R.R. Tolkien's complete work The Lord of the Rings consists of six Books, frequently bound in three Volumes, as follow:
  • Volume I: The Fellowship of the Ring, consisting of Book 1, "The Ring Sets Out" and Book 2, "The Ring Goes South";
  • Volume II: The Two Towers, consisting of Book 3, "The Treason of Isengard," and Book 4, "The Ring Goes East"; and
  • Volume III: The Return of the King, consisting of Book 5, "The War of the Ring," and Book 6, "The End of the Third Age," with Appendices.
This LT Work consists of Volume II, The Two Towers; please do not combine it with any other part(s) or with Tolkien's complete work, each of which have LT Works pages of their own.

CAUTION: It appears that most copies of the title O Senhor dos Anéis: As Duas Torres in Portuguese translation are the complete Volume II of "The Lord of the Rings," published in English as The Two Towers. However, a Brazilian edition of the same title reportedly includes only the first part (of two) of Volume II, roughly corresponding to Book Three of the larger Work, The Treason of Isengard; see O Senhor dos Anéis. Please be mindful of the difference, and only combine records for Works having the same content. Thank you.
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Frodo and his companions of the ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the ruling ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They lost the wizard Gandalf in a battle in the Mines of Moria, and Boromir, seduced by the power of the ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape, the rest of the company was attacked by Orcs. Now they continue the journey alone down th great River Anduin ... alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

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The Fellowship was scattered. Some were bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some were contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam were left to take the accursed Ring of Power to be destroyed in Mordor–the dark Kingdom where Sauron was supreme. Their guide was Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring.
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