Saturday, October 22, 2011

Read-along: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Week Two

It's week two of the Two Towers read-along hosted  by the Little Red Reviewer, Geeky Daddy, and Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. I'm thoroughly enjoying my re-read of The Lord of the Rings and like someone mentioned last week, this is the perfect time of year for LOTR. I love everyone's comments and insights, and I also love that these discussions are conjuring up great memories for those who love the books/movies but aren't participating in the read-along.

If you've read the books or seen the movies, feel free to jump in the discussions! Please be aware that there are spoilers for those who have not yet experienced LOTR.

1. The Glittering Caves of Aglarond; Fangorn Forest: Which of the two would you be most excited to visit once the war was over?

I would want to visit the caves, but I would be more excited about Fangorn Forest. Mostly due to claustrophobia, but also because of the Ents.

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 thought it was funny for them to find Merry and Pippin eating, drinking, smoking, and relaxing when they were so worried about the great peril they were in. I can't imagine that's how they expected to find them.

3. What are your thoughts about Galdalf's confrontation with Saruman?

Saruman creeps me out. His manipulations give me the shivers. How cool is Galdalf the White, though?! "I am not Galdalf the Grey..." I love it.

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 wouldn't have stolen it away from Gandalf, but yes, I would have been overly curious about the Palantir. I would have been tempted to look only not knowing what I would find.

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?

Oooh, yes. I hear Andy Serkis saying Gollum's lines the same way I heard Cate Blanchett reading me the prologue in The Fellowship of the Ring last month!

I enjoy Gollum. He makes me very anxious.

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? [For some reason I answered which one I'd rather travel.]

Personally, I would be more comfortable on marshland, but would despise the fog. Well, the corpses and the fog.

I love the imagery of the candle lights and the draw of the corpses. Very dark and creepy.

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?

I love the names. They are unlike any other names I know so I go into them with no preconceived notions. When you later hear the names again - the movies, re-reads - it conjures up vivid memories that don't belong to anything else.


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  1. Oh, it's hilarious to see Merry and Pippin eat and drink on top of flotsam. I would definitively want to visit both Aglarond - I've been to a few caves so I should like it - and Fangorn - I'd love to meet some Ents. The part when Frondo and Sam meet Gollum and travel with him is one of my favorite parts of the book and the movies, Andy Serkis made perfect Gollum voice.

    It's always nice to remember LOTR though your posts!

  2. I've been too a couple of caves, too, Pepca. I really love them. It's an extraordinary sight to see, but I have never been in one without having moments of panic.

    I'm glad you are reminiscing LOTR with me!

  3. I've been in caves as a child and while I get a little bit of that claustrophobic feeling, it isn't enough to take away my enjoyment. I'd be equally thrilled to do both.

    I'm sure the gang expected to find the hobbits dead, if find them at all, and so it is comical that they are just kicking back when Gandalf rides up with everyone.

    Gandalf is definitely cool, and his calm display of power would make me afraid to be on the wrong side of him.

    Yes, there is no way I would be brave enough to slip the palantir from Gandalf's hands, but I so would want to look.

    The names really do conjure up vivid imagery and I believe therein lies their power. I can just see a Tolkien name written somewhere and this flood of images and memories and feelings comes rushing in.

  4. The caves and forest question was a thinker that is for sure:) The reunion of the Company was quite funny I thought. Not to sure what the everyone besides the 2 hobbits were thinking when they saw Pippin and Merry taking it easy and alive.

    Tolkien knows the perfect time to put some humor in our quest to Middle Earth.


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